THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

Friday 26th June – Friday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 8: 1-4

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

Then a leper came forward. He knelt before Him and said, ‘Sir, if you want to, you can make me clean.”

The audacity expressed by the leper is very commendable. Considering, that in the Jewish culture lepers were forbidden from coming into public arenas and mingling with people. This leper not only came to public view but also, went to meet our Blessed Lord for help. Such effrontery is the audacity of his hope. Dear friends, sometimes, like the historical lepers, we have been kept in a cocoon by our sins and unworthiness; we feel we are incapable of rising above our faults and thus remain complacent.

The boldness of this leper is a call for us to rise above our present limitations. Irrespective of how shamefully we might have lived, or how terribly we have failed in the past, today offers us another opportunity to take the bold step of beginning anew. No matter how bad our past might have been we can always begin anew. The leper said, “Sir if you want to…” His choice of words showed that the leper knew that only He who creates can renew. To begin anew, we must realize that only He who created us has the power to renew us.
Our Blessed Lord stretched forth His hands, touched him, and said, “I want to, be clean again.” Jesus is more eager to help us than we seek to be helped. Nevertheless, as St. Augustine said, “God created us without our consent but He will not save us without our cooperation.” Like the case of the leper, Christ is eagerly waiting to help us with our challenges, our relationships, our academics, or whatever our burdens maybe. He is waiting for us to just come to Him and He will make us clean.

Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? Are we weak and heavy-laden? Cumbered with a load of care? Take it to the Lord in prayer.

In His arms he will take and shield you and you will find a solace there.

PRAYER: Lord give me the grace to realize that no sin or fault of mine is greater than your love or mercy for me and help me to seek always for a new life in you. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 308 What is hope?

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on earth to do: to praise God and to serve him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfillment in God; and for our final home: in God.

HIDE A TREASURE: Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7 CCB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22, Psalm 128:1-5, Matthew 8:1-4

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WAITING ON THE LORD

Thursday 25th June – Thursday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Genesis 16:1-12, 15-16

WAITING ON THE LORD

“To wait on the Lord, is not as important as what we do while waiting.” God made a covenant with our father Abraham to give him an heir of his own (Gen 15:4-5). After ten years in the Promised Land, Sarah thought of a way out and she gave out her servant Hagar as a concubine to Abraham. However, God’s plan of an heir for Abraham was to be fulfilled through Sarah. The result of their impatience was more trouble to contend with. Dear friends in Christ, we are not oblivious of God’s promises for us, nor are we ignorant of His good plans in store for us, however, we often lose patience while waiting.

Patience is not passivity, but a strong endurance in the face of seeming defeat and disappointment; it is a refusal to be crushed by the blow of circumstances. “He who believes, does not hasten,” and “In our patience, we must learn to possess our souls.” Possession of soul describes the state in which a person has full command and undisturbed enjoyment of himself in opposition to outside influences, which disturb and decompose his peace of mind.

The Angel of the Lord told Hagar, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” This is the word of the Lord for so many that suffer injustice, not because tyranny is just but because we too, need to be freed from our arrogance. It is true that we are worth more than what society offers us, but if, through our circumstances, the Lord humiliates us, let us trust Him, knowing that such humiliation will prepare us for a greater mission. Patience in the face of injustice is not a sign of weakness. Every man has a soul to save, but this cannot be done without steadfast loyalty to the highest and the best. Patience then, is a submissive waiting. In the words of St. Theresa of Avila, “Patience attains all that it strives for.” Dear friends, let those who trust in God, wait on Him and possess their souls while waiting.

PRAYER: Lord, please grant me the virtue of patience and the grace to be obedient and to trust you wholeheartedly. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 311What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity (cf. Gal 5:22-23). In the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the world can see what becomes of people who let themselves be adopted, led, and completely formed by God. The fruits of the Holy Spirit show that God really plays a role in the life of Christians

HIDE A TREASURE: “Since this is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 16:1-12, 15-16, Psalm 106:1-5, Matthew 7:21-29

HIS NAME IS JOHN

Wednesday 24th June -Solemnity of the Birthday of St John the Baptist

Reflection: Reflection: Luke 1: 57-66, 80

HIS NAME IS JOHN

Like it is in the African setting, it was a common practice among the Jews to name a first born son after his father. This was the intention of the friends and neighbours of Zechariah and Elizabeth who considered it an honour to name this “special” child after his father. But his mother spoke up “he is to be called John”, the name the Angel had given and this was confirmed by his father.

Dear friends, God knows us individually, calls each of us by name and has a specific plan for the lives of every one of us. He has a certain task for you to carry out in this world; a task no one else has been saddled with.  Regardless of how influential our parents may be, their purpose in life is different from ours hence we must not be satisfied in being anyone’s “shadow.” Though both Zechariah and John attained holiness, their paths to holiness and their God given purpose differed.

Today, we celebrate the birth of St John the Baptist, the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ. John was born for a purpose: to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah and to point Him out to Israel when he came. He lived to fulfil his purpose. God has a plan for you too and life will be a waste if you do not fulfil this purpose. Each day, sincerely ask God to reveal His plan for your life and be committed to living out your purpose.

PRAYER: Lord, I open my heart to You; please help me to discover your purpose for me so that I can live each day of my life in fulfilment of that purpose. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 201 – What is the significance of receiving a name in Baptism?

Through the name that we receive in Baptism God tells us: “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Is 43:1).
In Baptism a person is not dissolved into an anonymous divinity, but rather is affirmed precisely in his individuality. To be baptized by a name signifies that God knows me; he says Yes to me and accepts me forever in my unrepeatable uniqueness.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 49: 1-6; Psalm 139: 1-3, 13-15; Acts 13: 22-26; Luke 1: 57-66, 80

ATTITUDE OF WORSHIP

Tuesday 23rd June – Tuesday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Psalm 15: 2-5

ATTITUDE OF WORSHIP

God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3). As children of God, it is good and proper to constantly do Him homage and worship. Our worship and reverence to God must be an attitude born out of love, acknowledgement and appreciation of who He is. It is far more than a routine Sunday activity in the church as some have wrongly believed; God seeks us to worship Him with our whole being every day, every moment of our lives.

The Psalmist today gives some qualities of the man who truly lives in God’s presence: A person who is committed to obeying God; who acts with sincerity of heart; who does no wrong to his neighbor; committed to justice and fairness; who is true to his promises…. (Psalm 15:2-5). Beloved in Christ, if living righteously amidst our daily routines is the proper act of worship that keeps us in God’s presence; may we ask ourselves how well we are faring in this?  We are called to be planted in Christ that we might bears fruits that bring Him praise every seasons of our lives. It is the will of God that we perpetually worship him like the angels in heaven do (Isaiah 6:1-3). As the will of God is done in heaven, so is it done in the lives of His children who choose to remain in His presence through their ways of life.

Let us embrace the worship of God today by striving to be agents of peace, bearing fruits of patience, self-control and love amidst our contemporaries. Worship is a life to be lived not an event. People around us should see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, make my life a fountain of praise. Remove from me anything that bring your name to shame I pray.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 353: Why do we worship God?

We worship God because he exists and because reverence and worship are the appropriate response to his revelation and his presence. “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
Worshipping God, however, is also beneficial to men, for it frees them from servitude to the powers of this world. When God is no longer worshipped and when he is no longer thought to be Lord over life and death, others assume that position and put human dignity at risk.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Worship the Lord, all the earth. Honor him all peoples of the world” Psalm 33:8 GNB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 13:2, 5-18; Psalm 15:2-5; Matthew 7: 6, 12-14