TRUE LEADERSHIP

Wednesday 27th May – Wednesday of week 8 of the year

Reflection: Mark 10:32-45

TRUE LEADERSHIP

Our Blessed Lord called His disciples to himself and taught them what true leadership means. For His disciples, leadership involves service – a leader is one who is to serve and not to be served. This concept of humility in leadership is illustrated in the parable of the grain of wheat. “Truly I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24). The grain of wheat can boast of its great potential; however without first dying, it remains only a grain. But if it surrenders itself to death in the dirt of the soil, it bears much fruit and is respected for what it is.

In the same vein, to be a successful leader, one must necessarily learn how to serve. The mark of nobility in Christian leadership is the privilege to serve and not to be served. To lead is to live by example; it entails dying to our own personal desires and working rather for the good of all. The world, is “power-drunk”, and can never thoroughly grasp the paradox that only humility really leads to greatness. The strength of a leader is measured by the safety of his followers and his followers can only feel safe in the hands of a servant-leader.

Beloved, we all have been chosen to lead; either as leaders of a group, a class or even as elders to our younger ones. Our responsibility is that of service. Christ calls us to lead by example, serving the common good and not our own interest. Dear friend, always remember, every opportunity you have to lead is a privilege and you will have to give an account of your stewardship in the end.

PRAYER: Lord help me that in discharging my duties I may learn humility and give me the grace to daily die to myself and daily rise to new life in you. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 89 – To whom does Jesus promise “the kingdom of God”?

God wills “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). The “kingdom of God” begins in those who allow themselves to be transformed by God’s love. In Jesus’ experience these are above all the poor and the lowly.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Whoever would be great amongst you must be your servant” Mark 10: 43 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Sirach 36:1-2, 5-7,13-19, Psalm 79: 8-13, Mark 10: 32-45

GIVE CHEERFULLY

Tuesday 26th May – Memorial of St Philip Neri, Priest

Reflection: Sirach 35:1-12

GIVE CHEERFULLY

From time to time, telecommunication companies advertise a promotion with prizes worth millions of naira and attract many Nigerians to participate at a token. Hence, the company gains millions of Naira in the process of giving out some. The contemporary world understands that without giving we cannot truly possess anything. For what really belongs to us is what we give out to others rather than what we hold on to.

Christ tells us: “Give and it will be given to you, …good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back.” (Luke 6:38-39). This, He reminds Peter of in today’s gospel reading when Peter wondered what reward they would have for leaving everything to follow Him (Mark 10:28-31). Hannah gave up Samuel, her only child to the Lord in fulfilment of her promise. In return, God gave her five more children though she only asked for one (1Samuel 2:21).

Dear friend, realizing that our “God is a good rewarder who will reward us seven times over,” (Sirach 2:11) we are called to honour the Lord with generosity and not stint when we bring our gifts before the Lord. Give to the Lord as He has given to you, generously and cheerfully as your means can afford. Give to the Lord the best of your gifts in appreciation of His goodness to you and He will surely bless you more as He did for Hannah. Never think you are too young to give to God. Give the Lord your time, your treasure and your talents and you will lay up blessings for your life and future.

PRAYER: Lord, help me understand that it is in giving that I can receive and help me to be more generous with what you have given me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 488Why should we thank God?

Everything that we are and have comes from God. Paul says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7). Being grateful to God, the giver of all good things, makes you happy.

HIDE A TREASURE: “What have you that you have not received? And if you received it, why are you so proud, as If you did not receive it” 1 Corinthians 4:7 CCB

Today’s Readings: Sirach 35:2-15, Psalm 50: 5-8, 14, 23, Mark 10: 28-31

THE PRICE OF PERFECTION

Monday 25th May – Monday of week 8 of the year

Reflection: Mark 10:17-27

THE PRICE OF PERFECTION

Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17)

The question the young man asked as he ran up to Jesus reveals his thirst for holiness. There is a blessing in longing and striving for betterment, in making oneself a sheep that gets out of the mud rather than a pig that stays on in it. However, as today’s gospel shows us, to thirst for holiness is not enough, we must also be ready to pay the price. All men desire greatness but only few are ready to give what it takes.

When our Lord proposed to him the ordinary way of salvation, namely, keeping the commandments, the man was dissatisfied; he sought for something more perfect; but, when the perfect way was proposed to him, the way of renunciation: He went away sad because he had great wealth. Such response shows us that one can have an earnest desire for God, but be unwilling to tread the path of true holiness.

Beloved, always remember: “The way of perfection passes by the way of the Cross. There is no holiness without self-renunciation; no salvation without Calvary and no crown without a cross. Thus, our path to holiness as Christians demands that we detach ourselves from earthly things. It is a path of total self-giving that calls us to die to our own desires and cling to God’s purpose for us. Jesus, tells you today: “If you wish to be perfect…go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”. What is standing in your path to perfection? Let go of it today!

PRAYER: God give me the grace to always walk in the light of your presence and never to depart from you, so that eternally I may reign with you in heaven. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2015 – Spiritual progress entails the ascesis (the exercise of self-discipline) and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes

HIDE A TREASURE: “We cannot please God without putting our human and fleshy desires to death” Romans 8:8 CCB

Today’s Reading: Sirach 17:20-28, Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7, Mark 10:17-27

DO YOU LOVE ME?

Friday 22nd May – Friday of the 7th week of Eastertide

Reflection: John 21: 15-19

DO YOU LOVE ME?

It is exciting to see newlyweds who are deeply in love with each other. They seek every opportunity to be with each other and nothing else seems to matter to them. Human love is indeed very beautiful. Yet, the love that exists between humans is just a glimpse into the union that God desires to have with us. Though love is often expressed in emotions, it is much more than emotions. It is a function of the will.

Love is a choice. It is a decision we make that finds its expression in making sacrifice for the one we love just as Christ sacrificed Himself for us (1 Jn 3:16). In today’s reading, Peter’s response to Jesus’ question “Do you love me?” was followed by an instruction “Feed my sheep”. Jesus asks you and me the same question today: “Do you love me?” Dear friend, your words are inadequate in responding to Jesus’ question. A sincere response consists of following Jesus in truth just as He asked Peter to do in today’s reading. It consists of holy living, prompt obedience to Him and extending hands of love to the poor and needy amongst us (1 Jn 4:12, 5:3).

In the midst of the numerous distractions and temptations that beset us as young people, Jesus asks for your love and commitment to Him today. Peter responded in the affirmative and that cost him his life ultimately. Your positive response may not lead you to martyrdom, yet it will cost you trials and persecution. It will require that you die to yourself daily and live for Christ. Are you willing to respond? As you say “Yes” to Jesus today, He will strengthen you with the grace to truly love Him with all your heart even when it is difficult.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me so much. Please increase my love for You and let my life truly please You always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 352 – What is the meaning of the commandment, “I am the Lord, your God” (Ex 20:2)?

Because the Almighty has revealed himself to us as our God and Lord, we must not place anything above him or consider anything more important or give any other thing or person priority over him. To know God and to serve and worship him has absolute priority in our life.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” John 14:15 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 25: 13-21; Psalm 103: 1-2, 11-12, 19-20; John 21: 15-19