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

THE EVIDENCE OF FAITH

Monday 22nd June – Monday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Genesis 12: 1-9

THE EVIDENCE OF FAITH

Man generally feels secure with the familiar; with the unknown comes some degree of uneasiness. To move from certainty to uncertainty would undoubtedly provoke some fears. However, the ability to act on our convictions, despite our fears is what truly stands us out. Abraham is widely acclaimed as the Father of Faith; today’s first reading illustrates a major attribute that stands him out – obedience.  He was a man that demonstrated his trust in the Lord through uncommon acts of obedience (Genesis 12: 1-9; Genesis 22: 1-19). He left the comfort and security of his father’s house for an unknown destination purely out of faith in the Lord.

Beloved in Christ, again and again we sing that song: “Abraham’s blessings are mine..;” we claim the heritage and blessings of Abraham; we profess our faith in God and affirm ourselves to be His children but how obedient are we to Him? Is our obedience hinged on convenience or conviction? Is our obedience partial or complete? Do we delay or are we prompt to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit?

As the body is dead without the spirit, so is our faith dead without work (James 2:26). The works we do must express our obedience to the Lord’s precepts; ones that bring Him glory (Matthew 5: 16). Otherwise, our faith cannot be said to be genuine and it stands no chance of leading us to heaven (Matthew 7: 21-23).

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, make me obedient to your ways grant me the courage to stay on your path. Open my ears to hear your voice and follow your commands. Sing Catholic Hymn 61

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 49: Does God guide the world and my life?

Yes, but in a mysterious way; God guides everything along paths that only he knows, leading it to its perfection. At no point in time does something that he has created fall out of his hands.
God influences both the great events of history and also the little events of our personal life, without reducing our freedom or making us mere marionettes in his eternal plans…

HIDE A TREASURE: “The Lord takes care of those who obey him, and the land will be theirs forever. They will not suffer when times are bad; they will have enough in time of famine” Psalm 37:18-19 GNB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 12:1-9; Psalm 33:12-13, 18-.22; Matthew 7:1-5

THE EVIDENCE OF FAITH

Monday 22nd June – Monday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Genesis 12: 1-9

THE EVIDENCE OF FAITH

Man generally feels secure with the familiar; with the unknown comes some degree of uneasiness. To move from certainty to uncertainty would undoubtedly provoke some fears. However, the ability to act on our convictions, despite our fears is what truly stands us out. Abraham is widely acclaimed as the Father of Faith; today’s first reading illustrates a major attribute that stands him out – obedience.  He was a man that demonstrated his trust in the Lord through uncommon acts of obedience (Genesis 12: 1-9; Genesis 22: 1-19). He left the comfort and security of his father’s house for an unknown destination purely out of faith in the Lord.

Beloved in Christ, again and again we sing that song: “Abraham’s blessings are mine..;” we claim the heritage and blessings of Abraham; we profess our faith in God and affirm ourselves to be His children but how obedient are we to Him? Is our obedience hinged on convenience or conviction? Is our obedience partial or complete? Do we delay or are we prompt to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit?

As the body is dead without the spirit, so is our faith dead without work (James 2:26). The works we do must express our obedience to the Lord’s precepts; ones that bring Him glory (Matthew 5: 16). Otherwise, our faith cannot be said to be genuine and it stands no chance of leading us to heaven (Matthew 7: 21-23).

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, make me obedient to your ways grant me the courage to stay on your path. Open my ears to hear your voice and follow your commands. Sing Catholic Hymn 61

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 49: Does God guide the world and my life?

Yes, but in a mysterious way; God guides everything along paths that only he knows, leading it to its perfection. At no point in time does something that he has created fall out of his hands.
God influences both the great events of history and also the little events of our personal life, without reducing our freedom or making us mere marionettes in his eternal plans…

HIDE A TREASURE: “The Lord takes care of those who obey him, and the land will be theirs forever. They will not suffer when times are bad; they will have enough in time of famine” Psalm 37:18-19 GNB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 12:1-9; Psalm 33:12-13, 18-.22; Matthew 7:1-5

ALL TO HIS GLORY

Sunday 21st June – 12th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Mark 4:35-41

ALL TO HIS GLORY

Today’s Gospel presents one of the instances of our Lord Jesus Christ journeying with His disciples. Though the journey was at the Lord’s instance, their boat was assailed by a storm that threatened their safety. This was a dramatic experience that led to the deepening of their faith in Christ.

Beloved in Christ, once we have decided to follow Jesus, we must come to trust in Him. The fact that we are disciples of Christ does not make us immune to experiencing the storms and temptations of life. Moreover, the evil one will like to test our resolve and determine the strength of our commitment to Christ. Jesus permitted the storm in our reading today to reawaken the faith of his disciples and to show his dominion and glory even in the face of temptation. Do we sometimes feel, as the disciples felt, that the Lord does not care about our troubles? Do we call to Jesus when our courage is almost gone? Do we put our faith in our strength or in the active power of God? 

Let us be comforted in our challenges and know that Jesus has the last say in all things. Christ wants to reveal his glory in every sphere of our lives. He seeks to deepen our faith even through  our storms. He wants us to know that every moment of our lives is secured in His love. We can fully depend on Him. He will come to our aid as we call on Him when the high tides of life surfaces.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you for your saving power upon my life. Please let your glory be made manifest in every storm of my life.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 40:  Can God do anything? Is he almighty?

“For God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37). He is almighty.
Anyone who calls on God in need believes that he is all-powerful. God created the world out of nothing. He is the Lord of history. He guides all things and can do everything. How he uses his omnipotence is of course a mystery. Not infrequently people ask, Where was God then? Through the prophet Isaiah he tells us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Is 55:8)…

HIDE A TREASURE: “In their trouble they called to the Lord, and he saved them from their distress” Psalm 107:28 GNB

Today’s Readings: Job 38:1, 8-11; Ps. 107:23-26, 28-32; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

ASSURANCE OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

Saturday 20 June- Saturday of week 11 of the year

Reflection- Matthew 6:24-34

ASSURANCE OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

It is an unchanging desire of God that we His children live in peace (John14:1; John 14:27). He wants our hearts to be constantly stayed on Him; not to lose sight of His amazing abilities and abundant love for us. When we consider our needs with respect to our abilities alone, we are tempted to lose our peace and possibly engage in uncharitable means to help ourselves.

Dearest in Christ, how much at peace are you? Do you really trust in the Lord’s goodness to meet your needs or are you constantly weighted down by loads of worry and anxiety? Our loving Father in today’s Gospel is reminding us of our need to trust in His care for us. He who clothes the grass of the fields, feeds the birds of the air is more than able to meet our NEEDS. He constantly seeks to glorify His name in the lives of His children. We must however always keep in mind that our NEEDS are not the same as our WANTS. Our wants are not always in our best interest; at times it could threaten our salvation. Beyond transient happiness, God desires us to have abundant joy in His purpose for us and eternal blessedness with Him.

These we cannot achieve if our minds are buried in worry. We must flee the inordinate love of money which otherwise has the ability to poison our faith. God seeks first our harmonious relationship with Him, within which we would realize His profound blessedness. He wants us to keep up a generous disposition even amidst our needs and expectations. His ways of provision clearly supersede the human’s imagination- only those who will walk with Him in faith and obedience can make this a constant experience in their lives.

PRAYER– Thank you for Your provision in my life, Father. Please grant me a steadfast faith and an obedient heart that is committed to honoring you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH:…The Father who gives us life cannot but give us the nourishment life requires- all appropriate goods and blessings, both material and spiritual…He is not inviting us to idleness, but wants to relieve us from nagging worry and preoccupation. Such is the filial surrender of the children of God.

Hide a Treasure: “Instead, be concerned above everything else with the kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with these other things.” Matthew 6:33 GNB

Today’s readings: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Psalm 34:8-13; Matthew 6:24-34

MAKING THE BEST SAVINGS

Friday 19 June – Friday of week 11 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 6:19-23

MAKING THE BEST SAVINGS

From our basic knowledge of economics we all appreciate the importance of having good savings and investments as forms of financial safety net. These explain why some do market analysis and seek the advice of financial experts on the best way to invest their money. These undoubtedly are wise financial measures. However, no matter how astute our investment initiatives are, we sometimes find ourselves in precarious financial state. The global financial crisis of 2007-2009 is a case in point; many people lost fortunes of investments in seemingly stable financial establishments across the globe. Some never recovered from this, their hearts were so tied to their fortunes and they could see no way out of their great losses.

Beloved in Christ, much as it is desirable to have reasonable savings and investments; as Christians, we are not expected to be preoccupied with wealth amassment; neither should our dependence or trust lie in the money or materials we possess ( Luke 12: 13-21). If our hearts are tied to earthly riches, we probably lose faith when we lose them; for where a man’s treasure is, there will his heart also be (Matthew 6:21). In today’s gospel, we are encouraged to make the best savings, ones with both earthly and eternal gains, immune from thieves, moths and woodworms of this earth. Beyond this world’s economic formula of wealth acquisition and diversification, we are called to operate by the principle of liberality and generosity. This is not equivalent to being spend thrifts or being financially indisciplined. Rather, it is a call to a loving readiness to share the wealth entrusted to us as stewards of God as occasion demands.

He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed (Proverbs 19: 17). As youths we need not wait till we start making earnings in the five digits and above before we are committed to supporting charitable ventures. The time to start is now. What we give in support of the Lord’s mission (2King 4: 8-17; Matthew 10:42) and to the less privileged are credible investments with eternal gains. 

PRAYER: Grant me oh Lord a loving and generous heart! One free from inordinate attachment to riches but sees You as the source of all that I have and need. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2443- God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them…It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones.

Hide a Treasure: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 GNB

Today’s readings: 2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30; Psalms 34:2-7; Matthew 6:19-23

THE LORD’S PRAYER: AN IDEAL PRAYER

Thursday 18 June – Thursday of week 11 of the year

Reflection- Matthew 6:7-15

THE LORD’S PRAYER: AN IDEAL PRAYER

“Prayer is the raising up of our minds and hearts to God or the requesting of good things from God” St. Therese Lisieux. Prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure with his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Thus, prayer is a communication between man and God. As a loving Father, He delights in our communion with Him when we approach Him in faith and love. God speaks and man listens and man speaks, God listens. Often a time, we only speak without listening to God. In the scripture, it is the heart that prays, if our heart is far from God, the words of our prayers are in vain.

In The Lord’s Prayer, we are reminded of the need to forgive offenses (Matthew 6:14-15). Unforgiveness hinders our requests from being granted by God. As Christians, come what may, we are meant to be bridge builders; initiators of peace and reconciliation. Also of special note in The Lord’s Prayers is the need for us to be opened to the will of God. Prayer must not be reduced to a forum where we merely throw our concluded plans and desires to God for His sanction Yes, we must petition the Lord in faith for our needs and desires; however, amidst this we must acknowledge His sovereign wisdom to decide how best to answer our prayers ( Matthew 26: 36-42) . This is a cardinal component of faith which trusts in the supreme goodness of God to do that which is supremely good for us.

Beloved in Christ, let us not get weary of praying, let us keep hope alive in God. He surely responds to His children who trust in His love.

PRAYER– Dear Father, I thank you for the gift of prayer as a means of dialoging with you. Please when it is difficult to pray, listen to the words of my heart. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH:  Why is Abraham a model of prayer?

Abraham listened to God. He was willing to set out for wherever God commanded and to do what God willed. By his listening and his readiness to make a new start, he is a model for our prayer.

Hide a Treasure: “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.” Matthew 7:7-8 GNB

Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-11; Psalms 111:1-4.7-8; Matthew 6:7-15.