AWAITING YOUR REQUEST

Thursday 9th March – Thursday of the 1st week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 7: 7-12

AWAITING YOUR REQUEST

If you had the privilege of growing in a Christian home, one of the first things you would have learnt as a child is how to pray. Whether you were taught to recite prayers or to use your own words, it all boiled down to talking to God and asking Him for your needs for the most part.

Indeed, prayer is a very vital part of our lives as Christians and many of us know that. We often remember to ask the Lord for our material needs and maybe the needs of our families and our society and this is in fact laudable. Our Lord reassures us in today’s reading that He awaits our request. He wants us to come to Him asking, seeking and knocking and he promises that we would never go back empty handed.

As we go through Lent, why not consciously make prayer a priority? Take a step further, make a habit of asking the Lord for help as you encounter challenging moments in day to day living. Take a moment to tell him about what bothers you and remember to offer a prayer of thanksgiving as you encounter the day’s success. God longs to hear your voice and awaits your requests.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the assurance that you will hear me when I call upon you. Please help me to always bear I mind that you are only a prayer away. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 490 – Is it enough to pray when you feel like praying?

No. Someone who prays only when he feels like it does not take God seriously and will leave off praying. Prayer thrives on faithfulness.

Hide a Treasure: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Esther 4:17; Psalm 138: 1-3,7-8; Mt 7:7-12

KNOWING JESUS

Monday, 8th February – Monday of week 5 of the Year
Reflection: Mark 6:53-56 KNOWING JESUS 

“It is he, Jesus Christ, the true life, who gives hope and purpose to our earthly existence”

        -Pope St. John Paul II

God never promised a smooth ride for his children but he assures us of a glorious destination. A life without this in mind will always be in fear and defeat from the adversary of our soul. This was why God sent his son to show us the way to our end, the truth about our calling as his children and the life of God himself who works his wonders in our lives.

Today’s reflection is centered on the power of God which is made manifest by an encounter with his Son Jesus Christ. Having fed the 5,000 men not counting on women in an earlier episode of the scripture that brought the people’s longing for Jesus in our reading, Jesus continued his mighty deeds in their lives by healing their diseases of various kinds. The people’s faith was so great that they knew only a touch on Jesus’ cloak would meet their needs. What an outbreak of Gods power in action. What made this possible was the fact that they knew who Jesus was. They had encountered him before and wanted more of his presence.

Our worship today is filled with liturgies that is making no impact on us because we have failed to leave the benchmark of our past experiences with Jesus and build a new and fresher one with him if we had one before. Are you seeking to encounter Jesus daily or are you contented with what you know about him? Beloved, knowing Jesus is eternal life and eternal life is our glorious destination. We will fully know and encounter him when we meet him but this is so tied to how well we desire to know him more daily. This is the greatest miracle we must desire and cherish. All other cares and worries only need his presence in our lives and they would bow to his power. Let us praise his glory and thirst to always renew our walk with God daily.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, fill my life with your presence. Let your power dispel my infirmities and heal me. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 10With Jesus Christ, has everything been said, or does revelation continue even after Him?

In Jesus Christ, God himself came to the earth. He is God’s last Word. By listening to Him, all men of all times can know who God is and what is necessary for their salvation.

HIDE A TREASURE: “….I am the Lord, the one who heals you” Exodus 15:26b GNB

Today’s Readings: 1 Kings 8:1-7.9-13; Ps. 132:6-7.8-10; Mark 6:53-56

TAKE THAT STEP

Friday 1st January – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Reflection: Luke 2: 16-21

TAKE THAT STEP

Each day of our lives presents us with information which needs to be backed up by actions. Sometimes, the appropriate action may be to wait patiently or to get into a discussion with someone or even to make a change in our own personal lives. God chose to bring His Son into the world in the most humble way. He was born of peasants in a manger in the lowly town of Bethlehem and though most of mankind was unaware of the great event that was taking place, God chose to reveal it to the most unlikely of persons: shepherds watching their flocks.

God could have chosen to reveal this wonderful event to the chief priests or religious leaders but He didn’t instead He chose lowly men and these men did not disappoint. As soon as they heard the great news of joy the angels brought, they took the appropriate step – went in search of the new born infant Jesus. Thus, they became instruments of evangelisation to all who heard their message (Lk 2:18). Their response was similar to Mary’s when she heard that Elizabeth was to have a baby and Joseph’s when He was asked by the angel in a dream to take Mary as his wife without fear. Beloved, in what ways did God prompt you in the past year? Did you take the required step? Did He prompt you to intensify your prayer life or to evangelise a friend or to attend daily Masses more regularly? Did He prompt you to change some bad habits or be more loving in your words and deeds? How did you respond?

This New Year offers us a wonderful opportunity to begin again. It offers us the opportunity to make a decision not to delay in acting on the promptings God sends to us. Don’t remain in your comfort zone, take the required step and like the shepherds, you will be playing your part in God’s big plan for your life or the life of others and His blessings are sure to remain with you as you walk in obedience to Him.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the opportunity you give me to play a part in my salvation and in those of others. Please help me to respond appropriately to your promptings always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 22 – How does one go about believing?

Someone who believes is seeking a personal union with God and is ready to believe God in everything that he shows (reveals) about himself.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land” Isaiah 1:19 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Num 6:22-27; Psalm 67: 2-8; Galatians 4: 4-7; Lk 2:16-21

REMEMBER, IT IS ONLY A GIFT

Tuesday 22nd December

Reflection: 1 Samuel 1: 24-28

REMEMBER, IT IS ONLY A GIFT

When science fails to solve our puzzles, medicine fails to heal our wounds and our efforts are apparently futile; it is only natural to turn even to the most “illogical” solution. When faced with unnerving problems even the staunchest atheist (as they proudly profess) might consider talking to the God; he had consistently tagged non-existent. It is amazing what promises we are willing to make when they earnestly desire something. Just then, we are reminded that God is our ultimate help.

When we ask in faith and humility; God our loving Father would not deny us anything we need for our salvation and well being. This is the assurance Christ has given us: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7 :11). It is however saddening to know how many turn a cold heart to God after He has dried their tears.

Hannah, whom the Lord had saved from the shame of childlessness, was indeed grateful. She did not cling to Samuel her only son. She saw him as a gift from God and though he was still an infant whom she had just weaned, she was willing to fulfil her promise to God as difficult as it appeared to be. In gratitude, she exalted God, recounting His power to supply the needs of the weak and dejected, and humble the proud and she joyfully gave her son back to God (1 Samuel 1:28). God increased her joy, giving her five children in the place of one which she had requested for (1 Samuel 2:21)

Beloved, let us constantly remember that every answered prayer is a gift from God; who is able to do immeasurably more. When we do this, we would show enough gratitude to fulfil our vows to Him and our obligation of love to our neighbour. Remember everything you have is only a gift, and you will not forget the giver.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you have given me so much; please give me one more thing – a grateful heart. May I never forget that You are the source of my life and happiness. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 488 – Why should we thank God?

Everything that we are and have comes from God. Paul says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7). Being grateful to God, the giver of all good things, makes you happy.

The greatest prayer of thanks is the “Eucharist” (“thanksgiving” in Greek) of Jesus, in which he takes bread and wine so as to offer in them to God all of creation, transformed.

HIDE A TREASURE: “What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” 1 Corinthians 4:7 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: 1 Samuel 1: 24-28; 1 Samuel 2: 1, 4-8 (Canticle); Luke 1 : 46-56

KEEP UP YOUR FAITH

Wednesday 16th December – Wednesday of the 3rd week of Advent

Reflection: Luke 7: 19-23

KEEP UP YOUR FAITH

“…happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.”

A Jew is baptised and becomes a Christian refers to himself as a “fulfilled Jew”. This stems from the knowledge that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, whose coming was proclaimed by the prophets. Though the Jews received the promise of redemption, most of them unfortunately did not recognise the Messiah when He came and until this day, still await the salvation God promised in Jesus.

Is there something we can learn from this? While the Jews expected a political Saviour who would free them from their Roman oppressors, Jesus came, preaching the good news and a friend of the poor and sinners. They could not reconcile Jesus with the expectations in their minds and even John the Baptist the very one who prepared the way for Christ became confused and unsure of himself at some point.

Beloved, are there ways in which God is working in our lives but we are blinded from recognising Him because our own expectations are not being met? Is God revealing Himself to you in the most unexpected way? Today, ask the Lord to clear all your doubts like Jesus did for John the Baptist. Ask Him to open your eyes so you may recognise His hand at work in your life and circumstances even in ways you do not expect. Jesus pronounces a blessing on you if you do not lose faith in Him. Hold on to your faith beloved, God is ever faithful to His promises.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to be open and receptive to the various ways you decide to work through me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 73 – Why is Jesus called “Christ”?

The brief formula “Jesus is the Christ” expresses the core of the Christian faith: Jesus, the simple carpenter’s son from Nazareth, is the long-awaited Messiah and Saviour. Both the Greek word “Christos” and the Hebrew word “Messiah” mean “the Anointed One”. In Israel kings, priests, and prophets were anointed. The apostles learned that Jesus was anointed “with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38). We are called Christians after Christ, as an expression of our exalted vocation

HIDE A TREASURE: “How happy are those who have no doubts about me.” Luke 7:23 GNB

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 45: 6-8 18, 21-25; Psalm 85: 9-14; Lk 7: 19-23

SCALE THROUGH THE BARRIERS

Monday 7th December: (St. Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor) 
Reflection: Luke 5: 17-26

SCALE THROUGH THE BARRIERS

Zacchaeus was a man who longed to see Jesus; despite the shortness of his stature, he surmounted his physical limitation and eventually met with Christ (Luke 19: 1-5). Likewise blind Bartimaeus, he needed healing from Christ and refused attempts by the crowd to prevent him from crying out for Christ’s attention. He eventually got his healing through persistence (Luke 10:46-52). Today’s gospel reading presents us with another account of a man that defied all odds to encounter Christ. Through the doggedness of their faith, their expectations were adequately met. Our loving Lord constantly invites all to himself (John 7:37; Isaiah 55:1-2) and has promised never to turn down any one who comes to Him (John 6: 37b). 

Beloved in Christ, do you sense a longing for God deep within you? Do you hear him gently calling you to seek after him? Perhaps you seem to be considering some seeming barriers as preventing you from approaching Him. Dear friend, we must never allow anything to dampen this holy quest. Neither the weight of our sins nor our previous failed efforts to overcome our shortcomings should be allowed to tip us into resignation. Our resolve must daily rise against and above all that threatens to prevent us from a renewed encounter with Jesus. 

In today’s gospel reading, we acknowledge the helping role played by the men around the paralytic man in bringing him before Jesus. Let us also today resolve to be loving arms that help lift our brothers and sisters in their effort to encounter Jesus; let us not be ashamed to seek and accept the assistance of fellow believers in our respective battles of faith.

PRAYER: Please help me Lord to overcome all barriers that threaten my relationship with you. Kindly make me a loving support to my brothers and sisters in their quest to know you. Amen. 

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 34What should you do once you have come to know God?

Once you have come to know God, you must put him in the first place in your life. And with that a new life begins. You should be able to recognize Christians by the fact that they love even their enemies. 

After all, to know God means to know that he who created and willed me, who looks at me every moment with love, who blesses and upholds my life, who has the world and the people I love in his hand, who waits longingly for me, who wishes to fulfill and perfect me and to make me dwell forever with him—is there. To nod with your head at this is not enough. Christians must adopt Jesus’ way of life.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which cling so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 85: 9-14; Luke 5: 17-26

HOLDING ON TO GOD’S PROMISES

Saturday 17th October – Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr

Reflection: Romans 4:13, 16-18

HOLDING ON TO GOD’S PROMISES

Our catechism teaches us that faith is the supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed. Faith makes us certain that whatever we ask of God will be granted to us according to His will. It gives us the assurance that we will always have answers to our prayers. All the promises of God to us his children are realized though faith hence scripture tells us: Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)

Faith propels us to move even when the obvious situation around us asks us to stop. Faith tells you that you are a success when all around you is written failure. This is amazing! Yet, all too often we get worried and impatient when things do not go as planned and God seems not to be answering our prayers. If you have moments of waiting on God, do not be discouraged. You are in good company and you have the assurance that you will not be disappointed. Dear friend what are the promises of God concerning you and your family? Only believe! God is ever faithful.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please help me to hold onto your promises with faith and trust just as Abraham did. May my trust in you never be disappointed. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2611 – The prayer of faith consists not only in saying “Lord, Lord,” but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father. Jesus calls his disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.

HIDE A TREASURE: “No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 4: 13, 16-18; Psalm 105: 6-9, 42-43; Luke 12:8-12