LOOK BEYOND THE “NOW”

Tuesday 27th October – Tuesday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Romans 8: 18-25

LOOK BEYOND THE “NOW”

Ours is an age marked by the desire for instant gratification. We seek the fastest and easiest way to enrich ourselves and expect to receive instant rewards always. Yet, the universal law of sowing and reaping holds true in every area of our lives. There is a time to sow, to sacrifice, to suffer; a time to wait patiently for the plant to sink its roots, grow and mature and finally the harvest we all look forward to. Our faith journey is not exempt from this law.

In Baptism, the seed of God’s kingdom is sowed in our hearts and we begin our journey to the mountain of God. This journey is not an easy one because it demands of us a new life – a life that is guided by godly principles which often run contrary to the principles of this world. Living out our faith may sometimes entail suffering – the suffering of being made jest off by peers, that of denying yourself of certain pleasures, that of being the only voice for truth amidst the crowd, that of denying oneself so as to offer love to others…these are the crosses we are called to carry after our Lord. Yet, Christ assures us that there is something great to look forward to: a hundred fold reward in this world and thereafter, eternal life (Mt 19:29). Hence St Paul tells us in today’s first reading: “I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed which is waiting for us (Rom 8:18).

Dear friend, in an age that glorifies pleasure at all costs and scorns the message of self control, God calls us to look beyond the “now; to follow the footsteps of His son who “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). He calls us to persevere in doing good regardless of the cost. Today, resolve to put in your best in all you do – in your faith journey as well as your daily work, household chores, studies marriage etc. Make efforts to sow good seeds today and you will be sure of a joyful harvest (cf Psalm 126:5-6)

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please grant me the courage and faith to live for you in this world and set my heart on the glory to come. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 102 – Why are we too supposed to accept suffering in our lives and thus “take up our cross” and thereby follow Jesus?

Christians should not seek suffering, but when they are confronted with unavoidable suffering, it can become meaningful for them if they unite their sufferings with the sufferings of Christ: “Christ… suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps” (1 Pet 2:21).

HIDE A TREASURE: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 8:18-25; Psalm 126: 1-6; Luke 13: 18-21

EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF MERCY

Monday 26th October – Monday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Luke 13:10-19

EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF MERCY

The word “untie” was used by Jews to express that someone’s sin or penalty was cancelled. It also meant freeing an animal from its yoke. Jesus freed the woman in the synagogue in today’s gospel reading and invites us to follow His example. The synagogue official was indignant because Jesus performed a miracle on the day of Sabbath (rest) but Jesus made him realize that no single day was exempt from the task of showing mercy; of bringing freedom and succour to God’s children.

God does not rest from providing for his creatures on the Sabbath as St. John Chrysostom said: How does the Father work, who ceased on the seventh day from all His works? Let Him learn the manner in which He works, what is it? He cares for, He holds together all that hath been made. When thou behold the sun rising, the moon running in her path, the lakes, the fountains, the rivers, the rains, the course of nature in seeds, and in our bodies and those of irrational beings, and all the rest, by means of which the universe is made up, then learn the ceaseless working of the Father. 

Dear friends, we profess our Christian faith, not just by going to Church or praying, but in the way we treat our brethren. If we fail to show mercy and love to our brethren, because of one observance or the other then our observance becomes void. Christ calls us to untie and lift the yoke off each other’s back first, all other things then follow. Let each single day of your life find you extending God’s love and mercy to others.

PRAYER: Lord, teach me to show love and engage in works of mercy irrespective of the person or circumstance involved. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 365How do Christians make Sunday “the Lord’s day”?

A Catholic Christian attends Holy Mass on Sunday or on the vigil of Sunday. On that day, he refrains from all work that would prevent him from worshipping God or disturb the festive, joyful, restful, and restorative character of the day.

HIDE A TREASURE: “What I want is mercy, not sacrifice” Matthew 9:13 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 8:12-17; Psalm 68: 2-7, 20-21; Luke 13: 10-17

CALLED BY GOD

Sunday 25th October – 30th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Hebrews 5: 1-6

CALLED BY GOD

Scripture gives us several accounts both of men and women who were called by God. These people were called and set aside from their ordinary lives because God had a specific assignment for them. Abraham had to leave his fatherland in Ur of the Chaldeans; David had to leave his duty as a shepherd, Elisha had to leave his farm, oxen and family; Peter, Andrew, James and John had to leave their fishing businesses and families.
All of us, baptized Christians have been called by God into the common priesthood of all believers (CCC 1268). But there is another kind of priesthood – the ministerial priesthood which is possessed by bishops and priests. While our calling requires that we strive for holiness in the midst of our ordinary lives, the calling of our priests is much different. They are specifically called to share in the priesthood of Christ, offering the sacrifice of the Eucharist for us and leading us on in our path to holiness. This special call is one that leads them into a different kind of life altogether.

Dear friends, if we recognize that our priests have been specifically called by God what should be our attitude towards them? First, we must be careful of what we say about them as we are not in position to judge God’s servant and such judgment may have unpleasant repercussions for us just as it did for Miriam (Num 12). In addition, if there are no priests, there will be no sacraments – no access to confession or the Eucharist. Hence, we must be grateful to them for the sacrifice they make in yielding to God’s call and show that gratitude in supporting them. Finally, they too, like us, live in the limitations of weakness (Heb 5:2) hence, it is our responsibility to pray for them constantly, asking the Lord to strengthen them and help them lead His flock aright.

PRAYER: Thank you dear Lord for the gift of our priests. Please strengthen them in their vocation and help me to treat them with love and respect always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 250How does the Church understand the sacrament of Holy Orders?

The priests of the Old covenant saw their duty as mediating between heavenly and earthly things, between God and his people. Since Christ is the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Tim 2:5), he perfected and ended that priesthood. After Christ there can be an ordained priesthood only in Christ, in Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, and through a calling and apostolic mission from Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “One does not take the honour upon himself, but he is called by God just as Aaron was” Hebrews 5:4 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 31: 7-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Hebrews 5: 1-6; Mark 10: 46-52

WHERE LIES YOUR INTEREST?

Saturday 24th October – Saturday of week 29 of the year

Reflection: Romans 8: 1-11

WHERE LIES YOUR INTEREST?

What interests a man goes a long way to tell you about his personality. While some see life as a field for pleasure and self-satisfaction, others consider it as a pilgrimage during which they are to discover and live out the purpose of our creator. To both, their outlook on life will inevitably shape their life’s engagements and pursuits.

Today’s first reading calls us to examine our interests in life. Are we fascinated by spiritual things or carnal things? “It is death to limit oneself to what is unspiritual; …to limit oneself to what is unspiritual is to be at enmity with God: such a limitation never could and never does submit to God’s law” (Romans 8: 6-7). God’s laws are meant to direct our ways aright in life. To deliberately choose to live in opposition to them would amount to self-inflicted injury on one’s soul.

Beloved in Christ what drives your life? Is your life bearing godly fruits to the Lord’s delight? Today we are called to rededicate our lives to godly pursuits; to devote our youthful strength to the Lord’s service. Though this might appear unpopular in our secular age, it is the only sure guarantee to a life of fulfilment and peace. Let us make our delight in pleasing the Lord.

PRAYER: Fill my heart with a pure love of you Lord. Please dispel from me all yearnings and attention that do not honour you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 285What is eternal happiness?

Eternal happiness is seeing God and being taken up into God’s happiness. This happiness is the pure gift of God’s grace, for we men can neither bring it about ourselves nor comprehend it in its magnitude. God would like us to decide in favor of our happiness; we should choose God freely, love him above all things, do good and avoid evil insofar as we are able. 
Man is so great that nothing on earth can satisfy him. Only when he turns to God is he content. St. John Vianney

HIDE A TREASURE: “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” Romans 8:6 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 8:1-11; Psalm 24: 1-6; Luke13: 1-9