GAUDETE!

Sunday 13th December – 3rd Sunday of Advent

Reflection: Luke 3:10-18

GAUDETE!

As we get half-way through Advent we are greeted at Mass today with “Rejoice!” The Entrance Antiphon captures the message in a beautiful way: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” The “Gaudete” Sunday calls you and me, amidst the penitential nature of Advent, to embrace our hope and expectation with joy. What better reason do we have to be joyous than the reassurance that our Lord and Saviour is near?

When we encounter difficulties in our day to day lives – at home, at work, in our communities, in our nation, we can easily become so overburdened that we do not see any reason for joy. Yet God tells us to look beyond all these and see how much we are loved by the very God that holds the universe in existence. St Paul calls us in the second reading to hand over our worries and concerns to God in prayer so we may experience His peace, one that is much greater than we can understand and one that keeps our hearts in perspective.

The question of John’s hearers should become our own too: “what must we do?” We must rid ourselves of the division and strife caused by sin and human selfishness. Remember that the call to rejoice is for the entire human race. Is there any way your words and actions may be preventing your neighbour from experiencing the joy that God fills our heart with? John the Baptist called the people to reconciliation and a life of love and sharing. Advent gives you an opportunity for reconciliation as we wait in hope to celebrate our Saviour’s birth. Let us grasp this opportunity and experience the rivers of overflowing joy in us and around us.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please fill me with your joy today and help me share that joy with all who surround me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 311-What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.

 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” Philippians 4:4 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-18; Isaiah 12 (canticle); Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3: 10-18

CELEBRATE OUR MOTHER

Tuesday 8th September – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

CELEBRATE OUR MOTHER

Micah 5: 2-4

The key is a small piece of intricately cut metal. If seen just as a piece of cut metal; it is apparently worthless, but by its special design; it provides access even to the most beautiful cars and houses. As simple as it appears, the value of the key becomes the price of the car since only the car owner holds its key. A car might be right in front of you, but till you find its key; you might just have to keep walking. Mary has a similar but greater role in our salvation story.

As prophesied by Micah; the coming of Mary and the birth of Christ marks the return of ‘God in our midst’ a savior of the world. Mary opened the door of salvation in Christ Jesus to the world and the lights the path for the return of the lost world to God’s love. In God’s plan for salvation, he chose a lowly maid in His infinite wisdom to become a major character in our salvation story.

Today, as we celebrate the birth of Mary; let us thank God for the gift of His mother to us and ask our Blessed Mother to form us more and more into her son, Jesus Christ and help us to live out God’s divine will for our lives.

PRAYER: Dear Mother of God, lead me to your Son; the source of my salvation. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 84Was Mary only an instrument of God?

When the angel told her that she would bear “the Son of God”, Mary replied, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). The redemption of mankind by Jesus Christ thus begins with a request by God and the free consent of a human being and a pregnancy before Mary was married to Joseph. By such an unusual path Mary became for us the “Gate of Salvation”. 

HIDE A TREASURE: “He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like his own body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is his to submit everything to himself.” Philippians 3: 21 RSV-CE

Today’s readings: Micah 5: 1-4; Psalm 13: 5-6; Matthew 1: 1-16.18-23

EMMANUEL

Wednesday 13th May – Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima

Reflection: Acts 17: 15, 22 – 18:1

EMMANUEL

“Yet He is not far from each one of us, for ‘in him we live and move and have our being”’

Acts 17: 27-28

Human relationships thrive on personal contact. We grow close to those with whom we live and work and without efforts to maintain good communication, our love and friendship can grow cold when we are physically distant from each other. The name “Emmanuel” which means “God is with us” was given through the prophet Isaiah as he foretold the virgin birth of Christ (Is 7:14; Mt 1: 22-23). Indeed through the incarnation, God came to dwell amongst us men. He came to relate with us humans so as to build intimacy with us and raise us up to Himself.

Dear friend, even today, several centuries after Jesus’ ascension, God is not far from us. He seeks to encounter you and I right where we are and through our everyday circumstances. He is in our midst in the poor and needy and dwells amongst us in a special way in the Eucharist.

Are there times you are lonely, helpless or confused? Does the world around you seem to be falling apart? God reminds you today that He is neither far from you nor oblivious of your difficulties. He seeks to step into your situation if you permit Him. Like St Paul told the people of Athens in today’s reading, He is closer to you than you can imagine. Turn to Him in prayer today and tell Him your concerns and difficulties. Ask for His direction as you make important decisions because God is indeed very close. He is truly Emmanuel – God is with us.

PRAYER: Thank you dear Father for your ever abiding presence. Please help me to stay close to you so I can be transformed by your grace. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 470What prompts a person to pray?

We pray because we are full of an infinite longing and God has created us men for himself: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you” (St. Augustine). But we pray also because we need to; Mother Teresa says, “Because I cannot rely on myself, I rely on him, twenty-four hours a day.”

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:20 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 17: 15, 22 – 18:1; Psalm 148: 1-2, 11-14; John 16: 12-15