CAN YOU HOLD ON?

Sunday 28th June – 13th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Mark 5: 21-43

CAN YOU HOLD ON?

St Theresa of Avila says that “all difficulties in prayer have just one cause: praying as though God were not there”. Beloved in Christ, this is one of the greatest tests of faith which we experience in our lives. Sometimes, God seems silent and our waiting on him appears prolonged. This period is never pleasurable. Yet, it is a period reserved for those who truly believe in God and have experienced his mighty deeds. This is the wisdom of waiting on God.

In today’s reading, Jairus’ walk with Jesus when he came seeking for help was truly a walk of endurance. Even though he was a man of faith and a great intercessor for his ill child, he encountered a situation which stretched his faith even further. He watched the woman with the issue of blood receive her healing while his own request remained pending. Do we not often face similar situations today? We see others give testimony of the power of God while ours is not forthcoming. Jairus was silent and even in the face of bad news from his messengers, he watched Jesus do exactly what he believed and trusted him for. Can we hold on for Jesus just like Jauirus did?

Beloved in Christ, Jesus is tell us today; “Do not be afraid, only believe” (Mk 5:36). Our endurance in hope must carry us all the way to the end without failing, so that we can be made complete and perfect. (James 1:4). Patience in prayer would only become a wellspring of faith in our lives if it rejoices in the perfection of others and still holds tightly to what God is capable of doing. Nothing is impossible for God. Tears may flow in the night but joy will come at dawn. Let us be courageous then as we trust and wait on God for his unfailing help.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to trust in your designs for my life. May my faith in you continue to grow by your grace. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 507What happens if you find that prayer does not help?

Prayer does not seek superficial success but rather the will of God and intimacy with him. God’s apparent silence is itself an invitation to take a step farther—in total devotion, boundless faith, endless expectation. Anyone who prays must allow God the complete freedom to speak whenever he wants, to grant whatever he wants, and to give himself however he wants.

HIDE A TREASURE: “I wait patiently for the Lord’s help; then he listened to me and heard my cry” Psalm 40:1 GNB

Today’s Readings: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24; Psalm 30: 2-6, 11-13; 2Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43

RUN TO OBTAIN

Tuesday 3rd February – Tuesday of week 4 of the year

Reflection: Hebrews 12: 1-4

RUN TO OBTAIN

Our journey of faith as Christians can be likened to a marathon. It indeed demands a great level of discipline, resilience and commitment to reach a successful completion. Much as an athlete eagerly disciplines himself to obtain a perishable crown, with what greater earnestness and resolve ought we to run our Christian race which stands to earn us an imperishable and incorruptible crown (1 Cor 9: 24-25).

Today, dearest in Christ, the writer to the Hebrews is admonishing you and I to take a closer look at our lives with a view to identify and do away with the “excess luggage” that threatens to deny us the joy of a successful ending of our Christian race (Heb 12: 1-4). The “excess luggage” could be sinful habits we have long indulged in or character flaws we have failed to attend to over time. Either way, we must be reminded that the way that leads to life is narrow (Mt 7: 13-14); only the few that demonstrate the required love, discipline and commitment can walk therein.

This year is still relatively new and in it lies potential for meaningful achievement. Let us run the course of the year with the intent of obtaining the full blessings apportioned for us by our loving Father. Though at times we might get weary along the journey, let us emulate the endurance of our Saviour and seek refuge in Him. His Body and Blood, the Holy Eucharist remains an indispensable spiritual nourishment we need to constantly avail ourselves of (John 6:53,57; 1 Kings 19:7).

PRAYER: It is you I seek Oh Lord! It is for you I live my Father. Please prune me of all that opposes your love; that I may live to attain the purpose of my creation. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1037 – God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a wilful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of our faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”.

HIDE A TREASURE:“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” Matthew 16:26 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Hebrews 12: 1-4; Psalm 22: 26-28, 30-32; Mark 5: 21-43

PERSEVERANCE

Monday 25th August – Monday of week 21 of the year

Reflection: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12

PERSEVERANCE

Mount Everest the tallest mountain in the world was never climbed in a day. Those who attempted to climb its treacherous slopes spend months and even years training. Sometimes they fail, other times they succeeded. From one slope to another they keep on till they got to the top. So also is our own journey to eternity. The path we are treading is narrow and rough, filled with many ups and downs; with treacherous slopes and deep valleys. Yet ahead of it all lies the ‘Crown’ for those who endure.

Dear friends, to gain victory we must be ready to fight the good fight of faith. Without fighting we cannot obtain the crown of glory which God has in store for us (2 Timothy 4:7-8). As challenges come in the process of striving towards achieving set goals; likewise anyone who has determined to serve God must be prepared for times of trials. We must keep our hearts upright and remain resolute; and not be upset in time of adversity. We must accept all that happens to us with patience; for as gold is tested in the crucible of fire, so those acceptable to God are tested in the crucible of humiliation. For there is no ‘Crown’ without the ‘Cross’.

Beloved in Christ, we must hold fast to the Lord when trials and tribulations come our way because of our faith in God; do not separate yourself from Him so that we may be successful to the end of our days.

PRAYER: When I am weak and your grace alone can assist me, Jesus, help me and never leave me. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 197 – Why does the Church adhere to the practice of infant Baptism?

From antiquity the Church has practiced infant Baptism. There is one reason for this: before we decide on God, God has decided on us. Baptism is therefore a grace, an undeserved gift of God, who accepts us unconditionally. Believing parents who want what is best for their child want Baptism also, in which the child is freed from the influence of original sin and the power of death.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Happy are those who patiently endure trials, because afterwards they will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 CCB

Readings for Today: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12; Psalm 96:1-5; Matthew 23:13-22