WHERE DO YOU STAND?

Monday 16th November – Monday of week 33 of the year

Reflection: 1 Maccabees 1: 10-15, 41-43, 54-47, 62-64

WHERE DO YOU STAND?

“Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us” (1 Macc 1:11)

An attentive listening to today’s first reading will necessarily stir our hearts to wonder at the behavior of the Jews. They were God’s own people. They and their fathers had seen God’s mighty power at work in their midst over the centuries. Yet, many allowed themselves to be misled, attracted to the practices of the gentile nations around them and abandoning the true God and the covenant they had with Him. How could they ever do this? Even in the midst of difficulties, was there anything better than having God close to them?

Yet this same question is what each of us is faced with in our day-to-day lives. The Jews are not alone. We who have been chosen by God and covenanted to Him through the waters of baptism, we the new Israel often act just like the Israelites did. In the midst of an increasingly secular age, do we stand with God, obedient to His word and determined on pleasing him or do we submit ourselves to the standards of this world, seeking the easiest way out?

Beloved, just like the blind man in today’s gospel reading, let us cry out with all our strength to the Lord so that He may rescue us from spiritual blindness, so that He may open our eyes to recognize the privilege we have of being his children and we may not allow the lure of the world to draw us away from Him.

PRAYER: Thank you dear Lord for the privilege of being called by your name. Please help me to be faithful to my call especially when in the face of temptation. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 203: What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is the sacrament that compeletes baptism; it it the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon us. Anyone who freely decides to live a life as God’s child and asks for God’s Spirit under the signs of the imposition of hands and anointing with chrism receives strength to witness to God’s love and might in word and deed. He is now a full-fledged, responsible member of the Catholic Church.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: 1 Macc 1: 10-15, 41-43, 54-47, 62-64; Psalm 119: 53, 61, 134, 150-158; Luke 18: 35-43

OUR PASSOVER LAMB

Thursday 2nd April – Holy Thursday

Reflection: Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14

OUR PASSOVER LAMB

Israel was a unique nation, one with its laws, customs, feasts and even its very calendar set up by God. More than just a nation, they were the people of God. Today’s reading outlines the instruction God gave them in celebrating the feast of the Passover which marked the beginning of a new year for them as well as their liberation from slavery in Egypt. It marked the beginning of a covenant which God established with them through Moses.

As the Church celebrates the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood today, she celebrates the beginning of a new covenant, sealed not with the blood of animals but in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Christ ate the Passover meal with His disciples on the evening before His death, He fulfilled the old covenant and ushered in the new covenant that embraces not only Israel but the entire world. Just as the eating of the lamb was a prerequisite for the salvation of Israel in today’s reading, so is the eating of the flesh and blood of Jesus, our Passover Lamb a prerequisite for our entry into eternal life (John 6: 53).

You have entered into the new covenant through your baptism and Christ offers you Himself in the Eucharist each day to renew that covenant and as food for eternal salvation. What is your response to such great gift? Do you bother to prepare yourself to receive the Eucharist worthily? Do you avail yourself of receiving this great gift more often by attending daily Masses or you are simply satisfied to fulfill your Sunday obligation? Dear friend, do not forsake Christ’s call. Only in Him are we certain of eternal life.

PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for taking my sin upon yourself. Please open my mind to receive with faith and thanksgiving your Body and Blood in the Eucharist and let me be transformed through it. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 95 – Why did Jesus choose the date of the Jewish feast of Passover for his death and Resurrection?

Jesus chose the Passover feast of his people Israel as a symbol for what was to happen through his death and Resurrection. As the people Israel were freed from slavery to Egypt, so Christ frees us from the slavery of sin and the power of death.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood; you have no life in you” John 6: 53 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116: 12-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13: 1-15

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.

A NEW COVENANT

Thursday 7th August – Thursday of week 18 of the Year

Reflection: Jeremiah 31:31 – 34

A NEW COVENANT

The love of God for man is unending and he keeps lavishing us with it even when we go astray. It is this love that made him die for us even when we are still sinners (Romans 5:8). This love is absolutely pure and seeks our own good.

In our reading today, the Lord promised to make a new covenant with the house of Israel even when they forsook the old one. In this new covenant, the word of God was to be planted in their hearts. (Jeremiah 31:33). Beloved, this new covenant was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. His death and resurrection ushered in a new dispensation in which the gift of the Holy Spirit is promised to all who believe; a dispensation you and I are privileged to be part of through our baptism. (John 19:30; Matthew 26:27). The Holy Spirit makes us to know and love the law of Christ. The Spirit makes us to remember all that he has told us. (John 14:26).

Dear friend, the Spirit of Christ in us makes us to see things the way Christ would see it. And purifies our heart of every sin. Let us always listen to the Spirit as He speaks to our hearts in our daily meditation of the word and through our everyday experiences. Let us learn from him to lead a good life and fulfill our purpose.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, create a pure heart in me, put a steadfast spirit within me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 38Who is the “Holy Spirit”?

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity and has the same divine majesty as the Father and the Son.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts” Jeremiah 31:33 GNB

Readings for Today: Jeremiah 31: 31-34; Psalm 51: 12-15, 18-19; Matthew 16:13-23