RETURN TO YOUR FATHER

Saturday 27th February – Saturday of the 2nd week of Lent

Reflection: Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

RETURN TO YOUR FATHER

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the two sacraments of healing in the Church; it obtains pardon from God for the offense committed against Him and by the Priest’s sacramental absolution, God grants the penitent “pardon and peace”. In approaching the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the first step is Interior Penance; recognition of guilt with repugnance towards the evil actions we have committed. Next is a contrite heart; sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again. Then comes the confession of sins to the priest after a diligent self-examination. Lastly, the Satisfaction; is fulfilling the penance given by the priest in order to make amends for the sin.

The Prodigal Son’s process of conversion stems from a recognition of his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, his reflection on all he had lost, a sorrowful heart for what he had done, his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey home. Up to this point he had lived “outside “of himself; now in the language of the Gospel he “enters into himself”, that is, he begins to look inwards and see his true nature.

When he starts back, he finds that the father is out on the roadway ready to welcome him back. Forgiveness meets us more than halfway. The father’s generous welcome; the father’s joy – all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. The Beautiful robe, the ring and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life – pure, worthy and joyful – of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of His Family, which is the Church.

Dear Friends, let us take time to reflect and identify areas of our life where we have strayed from God, let us be sorrowful for them and pray for the grace to fully complete our conversion process. Remember, no matter how bad your past might have been, you can always begin anew with God. Today God calls us to conversion; He calls us to journey home.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to remember always that my sins are not greater than your mercy. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1470 – Effects of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Jesus spoke up “healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I have come to call to repentance; I call sinners, not the righteous” Luke 5:31-32 CCB

Today’s Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

COME TO THE LIGHT

Sunday 15th March – 4th Sunday of Lent

Reflection: John 3:14-21

COME TO THE LIGHT

At the heart of the good news is the message of reconciliation. Through the death of His only beloved Son, God has reconciled us to himself and made us his adopted children, opening the way to eternal life for us all. Yet, as Christ tells Nicodemus, for us to benefit from the redemption, we must believe in Christ Jesus.

Believing in Christ is not merely a passive proclamation which we make at baptism; it is an active participation in the life to which He calls us – a life of holiness. Through Christ, light has come into the world and this light must be reflected in our daily lives. It must permeate every aspect of our lives and illumine the areas that have been darkened by sin. As we welcome the light of Christ, we are transformed by Him and freed from condemnation.

Beloved, are you still living in the darkness of sin and lustful passions that lead unto death? Are you willing to come to the light of Christ? Through your baptism, you have already become a child of God; you have entered into a covenant with Him and this covenant must shape the life you live. Today, Christ beckons on you to come out of the darkness of sin and embrace the life to which He has called you – a truly abundant life. Remember that when we stay away from the light, we are judged and condemned.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess all my sins today (mention your sins), please forgive and let me dwell in the light of Christ forever. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 200: What happens in Baptism?

In Baptism we become members of the Body of Christ, sisters and brothers of our Redeemer, and children of God. We are freed from sin, snatched from death, and destined from then on for a life in the joy of the redeemed

HIDE A TREASURE: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and this is not your doing, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: 2 Chronicle 36:14-16, 19-23; Psalm 137: 1-6; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21.

THE LORD STILL HEARS

Saturday 10th January – Saturday after Epiphany Sunday

Reflection: 1 John 5: 14-21

THE LORD STILL HEARS

Looking through the scriptures; we see several instances of God attending to the needs of His people when they call upon Him in prayer. Yet, when we have needs or are in the midst of trials and we do not seem to get answers to our prayers readily, we can easily slip into doubt. Today, God seeks to increase our confidence in Him as He reminds us in His word that He hears us every time we pray and grants our request in accordance with His will (1 John 5: 14).
Sin; however is a barrier between God and us. If we live in sin, God’s grace does not abound in our lives and two things happen:
Our sins prevent God from hearing our prayers (Isaiah 1:15; Proverbs 15:8)
We are unable to recognise God’s work in our lives, unable to hear His voice and follow the promptings He gives which may be the very answer to our prayers.

The Bible tells us that all disobedience is sin; no matter how little they are and whether or not the sins can lead to death. Are you living in sin? Do you take time each day to examine your conscience and ask for God’s mercy when you recognise your faults? Do you take advantage of the forgiveness and reconciliation the Sacrament of Penance offers to you?

Dear friend, God still hears you when you pray. He knows your needs and He is in the very act of meeting you at the point of your deepest need. Simply make it your own priority to live in sincerity with Him and strive for holiness each day. His grace is indeed sufficient; cooperate with that immense grace today.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, in your mercy, I pray for the grace to always overcome temptation so that I may hear you clearly at all times. Please Lord, meet me at my points of need and increase my trust in you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2375 – …we ought to be astonished by this fact: when we praise God or give him thanks for his benefits in general, we are not particularly concerned whether or not our prayer is acceptable to him. On the other hand, we demand to see the result of our petitions. What is the image of God that motivates our prayer: an instrument to be used? Or the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

HIDE A TREASURE: “And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:14 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: 1 John 5:14-21; Psalm 149:1-6, 9; John 3:22-30