DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Monday 20th March – Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reflection: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus. The genealogy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 1:1-17, shows that St. Joseph was of the line of King David whom the Lord promised in today’s first reading: ”Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever”. This promise was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, as the prophet Isaiah said, “He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever” (Isaiah 9:6).  Though it took hundreds of years, God was faithful to His promise just as He was to our father Abraham.

Dear friends, our God can do much more than we can ask or imagine and He’s more willing to help us than we want to be helped. Though some of God’s promises may seem delayed from our perspective, we must not abandon hope. Though the tunnel may seem very dark and long, there will surely be light at its end; though our tears may persist all the night, we shall surely rejoice at dawn. Beloved in Christ, God’s delays are never His denials; He alone knows the best time is for us. Our Hope in God should lead us to understand that there is nothing impossible for God who is more than able to fulfil His promises.

Let us remember our fathers in the faith; has there been anyone who trusted the Lord and being confounded? Not one! Then, we too can be sure that our hope in God can never fail us. So keep hope alive.

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith in you and give me the grace to know that in all things you always work for my good. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 308 – What is hope?

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on earth to do: to praise God and to serve him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfillment in God; and for our final home: in God.

Hide a Treasure: “This is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

ONLY SAY THE WORD

Saturday 27th June – Saturday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 8:5-17

ONLY SAY THE WORD

Beloved in Christ, nothing can stop the fulfillment of the word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Once God speaks concerning any situation, whatever He says must come to pass.

Today’s first and the Gospel readings give an account of two men who heard God speak to them in their different predicaments. The first was Abraham who welcomed God into his tent with such a hospitable gesture (Gen 18:1-5). God spoke this WORD to him; “Nine months from now, I will come back and your wife Sarah will have a son” (Gen 18:10). Despite Sarah’s unbelief, it couldn’t stop the spoken WORD. Unlike Sarah, the Roman officer in the Gospel reading knew the power of God’s word; “Just give the order, and my servant will get well” Matt. 8:8b. These two instances reveal to us the place of God’s word in our journey of faith. God’s word to you and me is his will for our lives.

Beloved in Christ, Christ is here for you today. He wants you to encounter him more deeply than ever. He is not interested in an encounter without a WORD from him. He desires that you truly mean the words of the liturgy which we address to him during Communion rites at Mass just like the Centurion in our reading: “Lord I am not worthy that you may enter under my roof, but only say the WORD and my soul shall be healed”. He is saying to us every time we receive the Eucharist; I AM FOR YOU AND I AM IN YOU. If we truly desire the word of God, then we must seek it with our hearts. As we do that, we experience God’s mighty power to save us and meet our needs.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, speak your word of life to every situation of my life and let me rejoice in your saving help. Amen.

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

In Jesus Christ, God himself came to 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: “Listen to me, my people, listen to what I say; I give my teaching to the nations, my law will bring them light” Isaiah 51:4 GNB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 18:1-15; Luke 1:46-55 (Canticle); Matthew 8:5-17

HIS NAME IS JOHN

Wednesday 24th June -Solemnity of the Birthday of St John the Baptist

Reflection: Reflection: Luke 1: 57-66, 80

HIS NAME IS JOHN

Like it is in the African setting, it was a common practice among the Jews to name a first born son after his father. This was the intention of the friends and neighbours of Zechariah and Elizabeth who considered it an honour to name this “special” child after his father. But his mother spoke up “he is to be called John”, the name the Angel had given and this was confirmed by his father.

Dear friends, God knows us individually, calls each of us by name and has a specific plan for the lives of every one of us. He has a certain task for you to carry out in this world; a task no one else has been saddled with.  Regardless of how influential our parents may be, their purpose in life is different from ours hence we must not be satisfied in being anyone’s “shadow.” Though both Zechariah and John attained holiness, their paths to holiness and their God given purpose differed.

Today, we celebrate the birth of St John the Baptist, the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ. John was born for a purpose: to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah and to point Him out to Israel when he came. He lived to fulfil his purpose. God has a plan for you too and life will be a waste if you do not fulfil this purpose. Each day, sincerely ask God to reveal His plan for your life and be committed to living out your purpose.

PRAYER: Lord, I open my heart to You; please help me to discover your purpose for me so that I can live each day of my life in fulfilment of that purpose. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 201 – What is the significance of receiving a name in Baptism?

Through the name that we receive in Baptism God tells us: “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Is 43:1).
In Baptism a person is not dissolved into an anonymous divinity, but rather is affirmed precisely in his individuality. To be baptized by a name signifies that God knows me; he says Yes to me and accepts me forever in my unrepeatable uniqueness.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 49: 1-6; Psalm 139: 1-3, 13-15; Acts 13: 22-26; Luke 1: 57-66, 80

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Thursday 19th March – Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reflection: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus. The genealogy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 1:1-17, shows that St. Joseph was of the line of King David whom the Lord promised in today’s first reading: ”Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever”. This promise was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, as the prophet Isaiah said, “He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever” (Isaiah 9:6).  Though it took hundreds of years, God was faithful to His promise just as He was to our father Abraham.

Dear friends, our God can do much more than we can ask or imagine and He’s more willing to help us than we want to be helped. Though some of God’s promises may seem delayed from our perspective, we must not abandon hope. Though the tunnel may seem very dark and long, there will surely be light at its end; though our tears may persist all the night, we shall surely rejoice at dawn. Beloved in Christ, God’s delays are never His denials; He alone knows the best time is for us. Our Hope in God should lead us to understand that there is nothing impossible for God who is more than able to fulfill His promises.

Let us remember our fathers in the faith; has there been anyone who trusted the Lord and being confounded? Not one! Then, we too can be sure that our hope in God can never fail us. So keep hope alive.

PRAYER: Lord, increase my faith in you and give me the grace to know that in all things you always work for my good. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 308 – What is hope?

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on earth to do: to praise God and to serve him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfillment in God; and for our final home: in God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “This is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

FULFILLING PURPOSE

Tuesday, 25th March – Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Reflection: Luke 1: 26-38

FULFILLING PURPOSE

After much time of waiting for the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah in the first reading of today (Isaiah 7:14), the Lord kept his word by sending the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary who in turn agreed to be part of God’s plan of salvation. This marked the beginning of our life of grace and truth. God’s message for our lives is a pathway that would lead us to where He wants us to be.

Beloved in Christ, we have all been designed by God for a purpose and all we have and are today were in God’s plan for us even before our existence. Our life keeps unfolding everyday like a scroll. Let us learn to receive from God with an open heart, whatever he has in store for us. The beauty of the Good news of Christ is that it does not only bring the knowledge of God’s will for us but also gives the grace to accept it.

In our reading today, the Angel’s first message for Mary was that of peace (Luke 1:28). This was to Mary, a tool to be able to receive and act appropriately. God is always bringing forth the message of salvation to us but many a time we close the door of our hearts due to anxiety, worry and doubt. Let us accept God’s word with conviction, bearing in mind that the grace and power to do His will has been made available for us. Indeed, only in trusting Him with our lives can we live to fulfill His divine purpose for our existence.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, let your peace reign in my heart so that I may be able to welcome your purpose for my life with faith and trust. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 80 – Why is Mary a Virgin?

God willed that Jesus Christ should have a true human mother but only God himself as his Father, because he wanted to make a new beginning that could be credited to him alone and not to earthly forces.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” Luke 1: 38 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Isaiah 7:10-14.8:10; Psalm 40:7-11; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38.