CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

Wednesday 8th July- Wednesday of week 14 of the year

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

Matthew 10:1-7

Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; rather go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the Kingdom of heaven is close at hand.” (Mt 10:5-7)

Christ the Son of God, came into the world to save all men, all nations, and all peoples, for this was His ultimate goal on earth. It was only necessary that our Blessed Lord begin the process of Salvation with His own people (the Isrealites; Isaiah 49:6); for charity they say, begins at home. The first explicit direction of Jesus to the Apostles to avoid the pagans does not imply that the rest of humanity were only an afterthought in His ministry. On the other hand, it shows how much God loves his own, for he does not want any one of his fold to be lost (Mt 18:14). A man who cannot put his own home in order, cannot be considered eligible to lead a community or group.

As humans we clamour for change; as youths we dream of a better world; as citizens we seek for justice and for a better society. Yet we fail to see unlike Jesus Christ that the greatest change we need is from within. Friends, let our desire for a better world start from us; Let us as exemplaries of Christ choose to be the change we desire, let the change start from our families,  our communities, our schools, our groups and together we can make the world a better place.

To change the world, all we need do is change ourselves.

Prayer: Lord help me to become the change I seek and help others to do what is right.  Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 305What are the three supernatural virtues

The supernatural virtues are faith, hope and charity. They are called “supernatural” because they have their foundation in God, are directly related to God, and are for us men the way by which we can reach God directly.

Hide a Treasure: “Hypocrite, take first the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clear enough to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 GNB

Today’s Reading: Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24, Psalm 33:2-3. 10-11. 18-19, Matthew 10:1-7

HOW DO I LOVE GOD II?

Tuesday 5th May – Tuesday of the 5th week of Eastertide

Reflection: John 14:27-31

HOW DO I LOVE GOD II?

Yesterday, we learned that we love God by keeping his commandments and loving our fellow men. When we truly love God and our neighbour, we experience the peace that Christ promises us in today’s gospel reading – one that the world cannot give. This divine peace is one that surpasses all human understanding.

Today’s world is full of crises. The news is filled with stories of war, terrorism, deadly diseases and chaos in many parts of the world and we are tempted to ask: can there ever be peace in this world? Our dear country, Nigeria is not spared as many of our brothers and sisters in the North East constantly suffer the effects of the Boko Haram terrorist sect. The hatred and violence in our world is a direct effect of the absence of brotherly love, absence of personal inner peace which are a consequence of the absence of Christ.

Dear friend, it is only in abiding in Christ and in loving Him in our neighbour that we can experience true peace even in the midst of the ups and downs of this world. Let the love of Christ radiate through you to your neighbours. Christ the Prince of peace has promised to give us peace in a measure and manner that the world cannot give. Let us trust him to give peace to our hearts, families, country and the world at large.

PRAYER: Dear father, please grant me peace in my heart, home and environments and to live in peace with all men. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 395What is peace?

Peace is the consequence of justice and the sign of love put into action. Where there is peace, “every creature can come to rest in good order” (Thomas Aquinas). Earthly peace is the image of the peace of Christ, who reconciled heaven and earth.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27 GNB

Today’s Readings: Acts 14: 19-28; Psalm 145: 10-13, 21; John 14: 27-31

MEETING GOD IN YOUR NEIGHBOR

Monday 23rd February – Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 25:31-46

MEETING GOD IN YOUR NEIGHBOR

God always seeks communion with His children. In the Sacraments, He comes to meet us in signs such as the Eucharist and the priest at the confessional but our lack of faith and worldly minds often prevent us from recognising Him. Yet, Christ tells us that He stands at the door of our hearts, knocking” (cf Rev 3:20). Beloved in Christ, what is your response to God’s divine appointments with you?

Today’s reading reveals that God is closer to us than we can ever imagine – in the every needy person around us. Our works of mercy to those in need are actions which have an eternal value. Christ approaches us each day as a neighbour in need but do we pay close attention to recognize him? Are we still oblivious of the opportunities given to us to channel our treasures to our eternal home (cf Mt 6:20)?

As our Lord illustrated with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-36), attending to the needs of others is putting God first in our lives. It implies that we are placing our eternity at the top of our dreams in life and positioning ourselves to be blessed by God. (Mt 25:34). It is never too late to choose to be on the right hand side of God on judgment day. The thief on the cross recognised Christ at his last moment and was saved. Let us always be conscious of Christ presence in our neighbour and willingly extend our hands to them in charity. This season of Lent, look out for those in need: your schoolmate, sibling, parents, a street beggar, an elderly neighbour, a child, your colleague at work etc and offer some help.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please open my eyes that I may see you in my neighbour and respond to their needs with love. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2463 – How can we not recognise Lazarus, the hungry beggar in the parable, in the multitude of human beings without bread, a roof or a place to stay? How can we fail to hear Jesus: “As you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me” (Mt 25:45)?

HIDE A TREASURE: “…whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me” Matthew 25:45 GNB

Today’s Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Psalm 19:8-10,15; Matthew 25:31-46

LOVE: THE CALL TO CHARITY

Monday 3rd November – Monday of week 31 of the year

Reflection: Luke 14:12-14

LOVE: THE CALL TO CHARITY

“Love” is often used to describe a variety of feelings, states, and attitudes that range from interpersonal affection to pleasure. It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment. It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection – the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. In the context of Christianity, the divine love (Agape) is self-emptying. Love is a theological virtue, for it endures forever and it is the greatest of all virtue (1 Corinthians 13:8).

The word ‘Love’ is one of the most commonly used words in our society today, however, the word is often used without a deep reflection on its true meaning. The Apostle Paul tells us what Love entails:

“Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered nor does it seek its own interest. Love overcomes anger and forgets offences. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in truth. Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things”. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Jesus tells us today to extend our helping hands and our gifts outside the confines of our friends and relatives. He asks us to reach out to the sick, prisoners, homeless, poor and to any one in need of our help. In doing this, we seek not our own interests alone but those of others, irrespective of who they are. As Jesus told the teacher of the Law in Luke 10:25-37; ‘Our neighbour is anyone in need of our help’. The call to charity requires us to love them and seek their own good in all things.

Dear friends, our Christian calling is to be like God. God is love and all His children are called to love. Thus, we must daily yield to the demands of love. We must learn to be patient, bear the faults of others patiently and consider the good of others in all we do.

PRAYER: Lord, God of love, please teach me to love as you have loved me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1825 – …The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbour of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Love cannot do the neighbour any harm; so fulfils the whole law.” Romans 13:10 CCB

Readings for Today: Philippians 2:1-4; Psalm 131:1-3; Luke 14:12-14