TREASURE WHAT YOU HAVE

Friday 26th February – Friday of the 2nd week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 21: 33-46

TREASURE WHAT YOU HAVE

In this parable, the vineyard is the kingdom of God; the Jews, God’s chosen people are the tenants. God entrusted His kingdom to them. He guided them throughout the long span of history that they would be an example to others. They were to communicate their experience to others so that all would develop justice, and a spirit of responsibility. These were the fruits God wanted to harvest. God sent his prophets to remind them of their debts; but they ignored them. Finally, the only Son of God appeared as man but they cast Him out and killed Him. Consequently, the Kingdom was taken from them and given to others, those believers converted from other nations. Thus, through their disobedience the mercy of God came to the pagan nations (Romans 11:11-33).

We too as Christians have been entrusted with time, talents and treasures by God; He has given us the grace to dress the vineyard of our life with all He has blessed us with. He has given us all these to use for the betterment of our own lives and to help others. God has given us strength, vitality and ideas as youths to better our life, our environment and the world at large. Dear Friends, today God is reminding us of this duty, He is calling us bear fruits. He is calling us to recognize the resources He has entrusted to us and to value them. Can you recognize the talents God has given you? Can you recognize the grace God has given you to serve him in various capacities? How faithful are you with those God has placed under your care?

Remember, what we have is a gift from God, what we do with them is our own gift to God. What kind of gift are you offering back to God?

PRAYER: Lord, help me to recognize my treasures and to use them for your glory. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 203 – What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is the Sacrament that completes Baptism; in 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 the 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: “Any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire” Matthew 7:19 CCB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-28, Psalm 105:16-21; Matthew 21: 33- 46

BE FAITHFUL

Monday 23rd November – Monday of week 34 of the year

Reflection: Daniel 1: 1-6, 8-20

BE FAITHFUL

Each phase of life presents itself with its own peculiar challenges. The challenges one encounters as young child are quite different from the challenges encountered as a teenager and those presented as a young adult are different from those encountered as one grows to old age. In the midst of these varying challenges one important call is extended to us a Christians – the call to faithfulness. Irrespective of where we find ourselves, God calls us to be faithful to Him, trusting that He is able to take care of the challenges that assail us.

Daniel and his friends had been taken away from their native land to Babylon on exile. Though far away from their country, their faithfulness to the God of their fathers did not wane. Being in a pagan land presented to them the temptation of eating from the king’s table, food offered to idols. Indeed, all their fellow Jews were eating the king’s portion but Daniel “resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s rich food…” (Dan 1:8). What temptations does your present state of life present to you? Are you being pressured by your peers to “experiment” with sin? Do you find yourself contemplating sexual sin, exam malpractice, dishonesty etc?

Dear friend, just as God had a way out already for Daniel and his friends by granting them favour before the Eunuch in charge of them so also does he have a way out for you if only you truly resolve like them to be faithful to God. Do not let yourself be overwhelmed by the seeming difficulty of living a holy life. It is a constant call for us as Christians and God is ever willing to provide all the grace and help we need. Today, make a decision to be faithful to God come what may and rejoice in the peace that godliness brings.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please strengthen me especially in moments of temptation and decision making. Help me to be faithful to you and to pursue holiness in all things. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 525: What does it mean to say, “Lead us not into temptation?”

Because every day and every hour we are in danger of falling into sin and saying “No” to God, we beg God not to leave us defenceless in the power of temptation.

HIDE A TREASURE: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Psalm 119:9 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Daniel 1: 1-6, 8-20; Daniel 3: 52-56 (Canticle); Luke21: 1-4

KINGLY PEOPLE

Sunday 22nd November – Solemnity of Christ the Universal King

Reflection: Apocalypse 1: 5-8

KINGLY PEOPLE

“Mine is not a kingdom of this world…” John 18:36

Our knowledge of kingship comes from our day to day encounter with royalty. The king is a highly regarded and feared person to whom all his subjects pay obeisance. His power is absolute and unquestionable and he is often “up there” disconnected from his subjects. It was this perception of kingship that Pilate bore in mind as He asked our Lord during his trial, “Are you the king of the Jews?” little did he know that much more than being the king of the Jews, Christ is the king of the whole world. It is this universal sovereignty that the Church calls us to reflect upon and celebrate today as she concludes her liturgical year.

What makes Christ’s kingship different from the worldly kingship? Frist, when James and John as well as the rest of the apostles seemed to be confused about this, Jesus took time to explain to them that unlike the rulers of this world, his kingship is one of servanthood. His is a priestly kingship that involves the sacrifice of his own life for his subjects (Mk 10: 42-45). In addition, while our worldly rulers hold tightly to their power, Jesus shares His with us. Much more than being His subjects, Christ calls us to be his brothers and share in his reign. “He has made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father” (Rev 1:6).

Dear friends, you and I have the highest privilege – that of belong to the King of Kings. How much obeisance do you pay to him? Does your way of life portray allegiance to Jesus the universal king or to the devil, the enemy of your soul? Do you live by His heavenly standards or by the standards of this world? We have been washed with the precious blood of the Lamb and consecrated to be kings and priests. Let us make a commitment today to die to our own selves – to our selfishness and pride for the sake of our salvation and those of others.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we celebrate your universal Kingship today. Please rule in my heart and affairs always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 520 – What does it mean to say, “Thy kingdom come”?

When we pray, “Thy kingdom come”, we call for Christ to come again, as he promised, and for God’s reign, which has already begun here on earth to prevail definitively”

HIDE A TREASURE: “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:5-6 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Dan 7: 13-14; Ps 93: 1-2, 5; Apoc 1: 5-8; Jn 18: 33-37

FAITHFUL SERVANTS

Tuesday 10th November – Memorial of St Leo the Great, Pope & Doctor

Reflection: Luke 17: 7-10

FAITHFUL SERVANTS

The desire for self-glorification is an innate feature of the human person. We desire to be recognized and appreciated for whatever good we do and we can easily become proud when we think have made an achievement. Jesus was very much aware of this when he reminded His disciples that a servant does not receive praise from his master when He has simply done his duty.

Our catechism teaches us that God made us to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world and be happy with Him in the next. We should never lose sight of this call to be servants of God. Our wonderful privilege as adopted sons is a true and unique one. Yet, just as a good child is obedient to his parent and carries out the errands he is sent so also we must be willing to faithfully serve God as his beloved children.

Has God blessed you with a talent, wealth or a position, use it to honour Him. Look around you today. In what way is God calling you to serve Him? Humbly and joyfully put yourself at the service of your brothers and sisters and say in the end, “we are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help to be your faithful servant in everything I do. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 375 – How is authority exercised correctly?

Authority is exercised properly when it is understood according to Jesus’ example as service. It must never be arbitrary.

HIDE A TREASURE: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” 1 Cor 4:1 RSV-CE