ARE YOU LOOKED DOWN UPON?

Sunday 26th April – 4th Sunday of Easter

Reflection: Acts 4:8-12

ARE YOU LOOKED DOWN UPON?

During the teenage age, a typical young person would feel very embarrassed when he is referred to as a child by the parents or any other adult. Sometimes as youth you want to prove this sense of independence and freedom from every form of control. This feeling can be termed as merely natural, because of youthful exuberance.  It always hurts when people look down upon you especially when you present your ideas, dreams or ambitions to someone that you trust. In today’s reading, Jesus is referred to as the ‘stone’ which the builders rejected.

Jesus was indeed a rejected stone during His time on earth. As far as the religious leaders of the Jews were concerned, they had done away with Him and silenced Him forever. But in just a matter of days, He became the ‘cornerstone’. Beloved, it is amazing how God can take what is seemingly worthless or useless in our worldly eyes and make it the best. It is in fact, the work of grace, and not by any work of ‘righteousness’ done by the beneficiary of such miracle. Today, God reminds you that you are not worthless or useless as others might think you are, or that you think yourself to be. Never look down upon yourself! You are of great value to God and to humanity. Go humbly before Him today with absolute trust and ask Him to re-shape your life for good.

PRAYER: Thank you Father for reminding me that you have a purpose for my life, please fill me with the grace of fortitude. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1808: “Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good… (it) enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “May Your constant love be with us Lord as we put our hope in You” Psalm 33:22 GNB

Today’s Readings: Acts 4: 8-12; Ps 11:1, 8-9, 21-29; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18

CHRISTIANITY: AN OVERWHELMING MESSAGE

Saturday 25th April – Feast of St Mark, Evangelist

Reflection: 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 (Gospel Acclamation)

CHRISTIANITY: AN OVERWHELMING MESSAGE

The Christian faith and values has endured an incredibly great and ever new resistance from world powers in all spheres of human life right from its origin and even in our time. In our days, speaking against contraception, abortion and other “anti-life policies” and philosophies is a good way to win the unpopularity of the “modern-day” person. Titles ranging from ‘Ex-Catholic’ to ‘Atheist’ have become as fashionable as “Brazilian hair”. You might be drawn to wonder: “Why is there so much opposition to such a harmless way of life?” Saint Paul gives an answer in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 1:23): “we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles”.

Christ’s message of unconditional love and forgiveness goes against human logic. The Church’s stance on morality does not hold water in our secular senate houses. Faith in unseen mysteries is regarded as foolishness. The devil goes on seeking souls to devour through sin and unbelief, yet our lives should represent Christ. In the midst of an increasingly secular world where truth is compromised, we are to stand up against these oppositions not by being judgmental or with spiritual pride but out of love and with a firm faith that seeks holiness of life.  (1 Pet 5: 8-9).

Dear friend, always remember that your Christian faith is a call from God and not just a choice you made. (1 Cor 1:24) Obey God’s call today in living as light of the world and salt of the earth (Mt 5: 13-16). You are born of God, overcome the world in faith (1 John 4:4).

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, reveal yourself to someone new today, as you make me a manifestation of your goodness. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 4 – Can we know the existence of God by our reason?

The world cannot have its origin and its destination within itself. In everything that exists, there is more than we see. The order, the beauty, and the development of the world point beyond themselves toward God. Every man is receptive to what is true, good, and beautiful. He hears within himself the voice of conscience, which urges him to what is good and warns him against what is evil. Anyone who follows this path reasonably finds God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: 1 Peter 5:5-14; Psalm 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17; Mark 16:15-20

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD TO USE


Friday 24th April – Friday of the 3rd week of Eastertide

Reflection: Acts 9:1-20

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD TO USE

Though we often do not like to be judged by others, we find ourselves almost always judging others. Ananias, the disciple must have been greatly surprised by God’s instruction about Saul and wondered, “Lord, do you really know this man? He is our arch enemy! Let me tell you a bit about him…” but God insisted, “This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before the pagans…” God is unquestionable as regards whom He decides to use for work. Regardless of your past, you are good enough for Him if you are open to His mercy and grace.

If Paul, the Church’s great persecutor could encounter God right on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, who cannot be brought to conversion? Who are you to judge that person in your class or neighbourhood? Something noteworthy about Saul was that his actions stemmed from sincerity. He persecuted the Church, not because of sheer hatred but because he thought they were going against God’s law. Hence his action stemmed from a “sincere ignorance”.

Are you available to be used for the glory of God? Do you live in sincerity before Him? Let your actions stem from a sincere love for God and readiness to do His will and you will be surprised what great things He will do with you.

PRAYER: Lord, I give you my life. Please manifest your love and glory through me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 196 – Who can be baptized, and what is required of a candidate?

Any person who is not yet baptized can be baptized. The only prerequisite for Baptism is faith, which must be professed publicly at the Baptism.
A person who turns to Christianity is not just changing a world view. He travels a path of learning (the cathecumenate), in which he becomes a new man through personal conversion, but especially through the gift of Baptism. He is now a living member of the Body of Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work.”
2 Timothy 2:20 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 9:1-20; Psalm 117:1-2; John 6:52-59

#40 LOOK WHAT I FOUND

What Christians have always believed…

Diary of a Cleric

Dear Doctimus Prime,
You can’t guess what i stumbled on this morning! It is a writing that dates back to the second century. Yes second century. It was written by a Christian convert  who goes by the name JUSTIN. Before becoming a Christian, he was a philosopher. His encounter with Christianity brought him to the conviction that Christianity is the only true philosophy and God is to be worshipped.

Here is a letter he addressed to the Emperor Titus Aelius Antoninus Augustus Pius (86 – 161).

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“No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.
  We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for…

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