MAKE LOVE YOUR MOTIVE

Friday 5th February – Friday of week 4 of the year

Reflection: Ecclesiaticus 47: 2-11

MAKE LOVE YOUR MOTIVE

As long as I can remember, my mum would sneak into her boys’ room on cold nights to lay a blanket over anyone (especially me); who would usually sleep without one. The sudden warmness from this blanket would awaken me; to find my mum busy with keeping her children warm. I am well over sixteen now, yet she has not grown tired of this simple act; which only recently I began to appreciate when far away from home on those cold rainy nights. Pampering me has become for her more than a duty, but a reflex of love. My mom never got me the Play Station most of my friends got (in fact she disallowed video games) and she seriously restricted the amounts of sweets I took as a child (a discipline I now appreciate).

This is a model for Christianity; a model that made David so special to God. David was dedicated out of love to pleasing God in his songs of praise and worship. His love for his maker made him so dear to God’s heart; his many sins were forgiven him and the God he loved so much exalted him.

Beloved of God; living the Christ-like life of charity and mercy would too soon become unbearable and stale outside love. Obeying every law in the books, praying and fasting all year long, winning a million and one debates to uphold the doctrines of the Church and giving out your entire salary; if not done out of love is as ‘pouring water into a basket’. If you would remain a Christian; it can only be out of love for God and His creatures. Indeed it is only deeds done out of love than can stand the test of time and can endure through difficult situations.

PRAYER: Sweet Jesus, teach me to follow you out of pure love.  Help me repay your perfect love for me with true love from my imperfect heart. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 485 – Why should we adore God?

Every person who understands that he is God’s creature will humbly recognize the Almighty and adore him. Christian adoration, however, sees not only the greatness, omnipotence, and holiness of God. It also kneels before the divine Love that became man in Jesus Christ.

 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Thus will your faith be tested, like gold in a furnace. Gold, however, passes away but faith, worth so much more, will bring you in the end praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears. You have not yet seen him and yet you love him; even without seeing him, you believe in him and experience a heavenly joy beyond all words, for you are reaching the goal of your faith: the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1: 7-9 RSV-CE

 

Today’s Readings: Ecclesiaticus 47: 2-13; Psalm 17: 31 47, 50-51; Mark 6: 14-29.

THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN

Wednesday 3rd January
Reflection: 2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17

THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN

‘For it is the one whom the father loves that he chastises’. This statement came to fulfilment in the reading of today that despite the fact that David was a man after God’s own heart, a beloved of God, he was severely punished for his sin.

However, a great lesson that should be taken from today’s reading is the fact that when the punishment comes, it may not be the only one who sinned that will partake in the punishment just like seventy thousand people died on the account David’s sin. So when we see others around us falling away from the way of God, it is our duty to always call them to order especially when they are our leaders. We should always learn to watch one another’s back because we are all children of God even the sinner himself.

Dear beloved, though painful it may be, the punishment for our sins, it must be seen as a way in which God the father purifies us again, makes us worthy again and prepares us for greater tasks ahead of us.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner, please give me the heart to bear the punishment for my sins and never to go back to them again. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 337– How are we saved?

No man can save himself. Christians believe that they are saved by God, who for this purpose sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world. For us salvation means that we are freed by the Holy Spirit from the power of sin and have been brought back from the realm of death to a life without end, a life in God’s presence.

HIDE A TREASURE: I have acknowledged my offence to you, and I have not concealed my injustice. I said, “I will confess against myself, my injustice to the Lord,” and you forgave the impiety of my sin. [psalm 32:5]

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 24:2,9-17; Psalm 32: 1-2, 5, 6, 7; Mark 6: 1-6

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S

Monday 1st February

Reflection: 2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S

“What business is it of mine or yours?” this response of David when he was being cursed as he tried to run from his son, Absalom in today’s first reading should be our attitude when we realise that any battle we face is not ours. It is the Lord who fights for us and gives us victory.

This is much more important for us to understand when we are leaders in any capacity because the Lord who put us there as leaders knows that there will be difficult and challenging times for which we cannot overcome except we leave them to God. David’s battle came from within as his own son turned against him, with a deep insight he understood the manipulation and without any act of revenge trusted in God to deliver him.

Beloved, once you are a child of God, consciously striving to please Him each day, always bear in mind that whatever battle you face, whether physical or spiritual is not a struggle to undergo by your own strength. Make a situation report to God, with complete trust that He will fight and win the battle for you.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, this life is full different battles, let me always remember that with my effort I will lose but with you on my side, I am a victor. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT40 – Can God do anything? Is he almighty?

“For God nothing is impossible” (see Lk 1:37). He is almighty.

HIDE A TREASURE: But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 15: 13-14,30; 16:5-13; Psalm 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; Mark 5: 1-20

KNOWLEDGE IS NOT ENOUGH

Saturday 30th January – Saturday of week 3 of the year

Reflection: 2 Samuel 12:1-7, 10-17

KNOWLEDGE IS NOT ENOUGH

As children of God, it is certain that what keeps us going is that we know God is aware of us and wants us to be aware of Him always. We know that salvation came through Christ and the power to save us from all our foes rests in his hands. All these make up what we believe. However, if not experienced, this can neither be a testimony for us not can it bring us victory in our battles. This knowledge of God must not lie fallow in our lives but must generate a way of life which is lived and practiced.

Beloved, Jesus Christ often condemned the Pharisees and the Scribes because they were usually at the forefront of pointing accusing fingers to the wrongs of others but never cared about how their knowledge of the law could change their own lives. This was Prophet Nathan’s message to King David in our reading today to be reprimanded by God because he was not accountable for his word. “A servant who knows what master wants is and does not get ready to do it would be punished with a heavy whipping”. (James 1:22-24 also describes such hypocrisy. Thus, to witness for Christ requires a lifestyle of truth and a firm determination to constantly check any areas our lives which may not be in accordance with truth. A blind man cannot lead another blind man. Refusing to live the word of God belittles God’s grace in us which gives the ability to do His will.

Let us all learn from David who had Luke 12:47-48). To whom much is given, much is expected. Now that you know the truth, how happy you would be if you put in into practice. (John 13:17).

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, to know you as my Lord isn’t enough, help me to be a witness of the Gospel in words and deeds.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1802 – The word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer, and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Now that you know the truth, how happy you would be if you put it into practice.” John 13:17 GNB

Readings for today: 2 Samuel 12:1-7.10-17; Psalm 51:12-17; Mark 4:35-41

GOD RETURNS AT EVERY MASS

Tuesday 26th January – Tuesday of week 3 of the year
Reflection: 1 Samuel 6: 12-15, 17-19
GOD RETURNS AT EVERY MASS

To many the Mass has become the routine ceremony of listening to lengthy homilies, singing the same old hymns and sharing some ‘tasteless’ bread. Even to devout Catholics; it could become a colorless daily repetition of prayers. The Eucharist: a renewal of God’s covenant of love in the sacrifice of His Son, God’s majesty glorified in the simplicity of bread and wine should never become so ‘common’.
Many years before the first mass celebrated by Jesus and His disciples at the upper room; David led the whole of Israel to celebrate the return of the ark of God’s covenant with great rejoicing. In this sketchy replica of the Eucharistic celebration, they celebrated in singing and dancing; with an imperfect sacrifice of sheep, a mere shadow of the everlasting covenant we now share at every Mass. This replica represents a lesson on how we should receive God’s covenant at mass. Our hope in his power revealed in bread and wine should bring us to worship him in truth and spirit. Our faith in the mystery of the Eucharist should make us blessings to the world and to ourselves. Our love in sharing bread and wine should be taken beyond the mass to our homes and the world.
As you prepare for Mass today; rejoice that you would see God return at Mass as you prepare your heart for him. See you at mass; there we would meet God.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, come into my heart today, and may I take you with me wherever I go. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 216In what way is Christ there when the Eucharist is celebrated?
Christ is mysteriously but really present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. As often as the church fulfills Jesus’ command, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24), breaks the bread and offers the chalice, the same thing takes place today that happened then: Christ truly gives himself for us, and we truly gain a share in him. The unique and unrepeatable sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is made present on the altar; the work of our redemption is accomplished.

HIDE A TREASURE: But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said: ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man”. John 1: 50-51 RSV-CE
Readings for Today: 2 Samuel 6: 12-15. 17-19; Psalm 23; Mark 3: 31-35.

WHY WE FAILED

Saturday 23rd January – Saturday of week 2 of the year
Reflection: 2 Samuel 1: 1-4, 11-12, 17, 19, 23-27
WHY WE FAILED
Why do certain people; who had enjoyed fame and wealth in their prime, end abruptly and unhappy? Why do extravagant weddings, too often, end in devastating divorce? Why do the science prodigies; born into wealth homes, end in rehab for drug addiction? Why do people suddenly fail? Saul; the most handsome man in the whole of Israel at that time, was most fit by any human standard to rule as king. After he was anointed as king of Israel, he succeeded in many battles and had his kingdom secured; until his story changed.
In his impatience at Gilgal; he would not wait seven days for Samuel’s return as instructed (1 Samuel 13: 8-11). In his ill-charity, he starved six hundred of his men in mad pursuit of revenge and swore to execute his son, Jonathan, who bravely invaded the enemy camp trusting God (1 Samuel 14: 24, 29-32). His jealousy of David’s victory led him to murder Ahimelech, the priest, and his family over allegations of consulting God on David’s behalf (1 Samuel 22: 17). For his disobedience to God’s commands and obstinacy, he was rejected as king of Israel (1 Samuel 15: 17-19, 26). With his hands; he destroyed his kingdom, and with his spear; he killed himself. Truly, God exalts the lowly and brings down the proud.
Friend, when constant success becomes abrupt failure, remember, God is the giver of every Gift. It is only in our union with God that we can be sure of fulfillment and peace; even in cloudy days. Turn back to God today, and find true success in Him.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I work today keep me connected to you. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 125What is unique about the People of God?
In the midst of all the peoples on earth, there is one people that is like no other. It is subject to no one but God alone. It is supposed to be like salt, which adds flavor; like yeast, which permeates everything; like light, which drives away the darkness. Anyone who belongs to the People of God must count on coming into conflict with people who deny God’s existence and disregard his commandments. In the freedom of the children of God, however, we have nothing to fear, not even death.
HIDE A TREASURE: “You give it to them, and they gather it up; you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face; they vanish, you take away their breath; they expire and return to dust. When you send forth your spirit; they are created, and the face of the earth is renewed”. Psalm 104: 28-30 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 1: 1-4, 11-12, 17. 19. 23-27; Psalm 79; Mark 3: 20-21.

WHY WE SHOULD NEVER FIGHT BACK

Friday 22nd January – Friday of week 2 of the year
Reflection: 1 Samuel 24: 11-13        

 WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER FIGHT BACK
From the cynical bullying of ‘the nerds’ in classrooms, to fanatic terrorist killings with religious colors, the unwarranted discrimination of Catholics even by ‘fellow Christians’; we are knocked down daily by punches even from our loved ones. Should we build up hatred and throw back punches in defense? Should we jump at any opportunity to revenge? Should we become silent, so that peace would reign? Certainly not; we would not be ‘Christians’, if we did.
Our dear St. John Paul was crossing St. Peter’s Square on the 13th May, 1981, when a man fired four shots at him with a 9-millimeter pistol. Despite severe blood loss, the pontiff survived, and asked for all Catholics to pray for his would-have-been assassin, whom he had ‘sincerely forgiven’. St. John Paul visited his would-be assassin in 1983 as a friend and stayed in touch his family, and in 2000 requested that he be pardoned.
As Christ-like people; it is our nature to do good everywhere and to everyone, yet we cannot always expect the same from everyone else. In sparing Saul’s life; who with three thousand men sought tom kill him, David teaches us to depend totally on God for defense. In the face of death, David found an opportunity to show God to Saul by kindness, even when he had the chance to fight back. He saw God’s wonderful image in Saul; anointed as king, and would never harm him.
St. Augustine beautifully wrote: ‘Unwaveringly, the Church marches forward on her pilgrim way between the world’s persecutions and God’s consolations’. Friend, in every persecution; find an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus in words and action. Being born again in God’s image of love; we should show this love especially when it is difficult, not returned and unappreciated. Today, tell someone you would rather not: ‘God loves you and I love you too’. This is what it is to be Christian.
PRAYER: Lord, make me an instrument of peace; when injured let me pardon. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 396 – How does a Christian deal with anger?
Anger is initially a natural emotion, a reaction to perceived injustice. If anger becomes hatred, however, and someone has ill-will toward his neighbor, this normal feeling becomes a serious offense against charity. All uncontrolled anger, especially thoughts of revenge, are detrimental to peace and destroy “the tranquility of order”.
HIDE A TREASURE: “My grace is enough for you; my great strength is revealed in weakness. Gladly, then, will I boast of my weakness that the strength of Christ may be mine. So I rejoice when I suffer infirmities, humiliations, want, persecutions: all for Christ! For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: 1 Samuel 24: 3-21; Psalm 56; Mark 3: 13-19.