SING PRAISES

Monday 7th March – Monday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: Psalm 30

SING PRAISES

“Count your blessings, name them one by one

and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”.

So reads a song we are all familiar with. It’s a song that calls us to give thanks to God as we reflect on the numerous blessings we receive from Him each day. However, the words of this song unveils one reality: if we are not careful, we can easily forget the great things God does for us and begin to take them for granted, hence the need to count our blessings and name them one by one.

The Psalmist in today’s reading does just that. He reflects on all the wonders God has done for Him and cannot but sing praises to God from the depths of His heart. We too should stop and think. Think of the times of uncertainty or difficulty you have experience in the past. Think of the times of sickness, suffering and pain, think of the numerous times you have turned to God and asked for His help. Think of the many blessings you have received which you did not even ask for. Look around you and see the beauty and order of creation.

Dear friends, God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is indeed great. Let us take time to praise Him. Let us look beyond the difficulties assailing us right now and praise our God for the many blessings we receive each day. Remember, God dwells in the praises of His people and moves mightily on their behalf. A heart of thanksgiving always touches God’s heart. Are you ready to praise? Go on, God is waiting to hear your voice!

PRAYER: Lord I thank You for the blessings You give me each day. Please give me a heart of gratitude that I may praise you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 489 What does it mean to praise God?

God needs no applause. But we need to express spontaneously our delight in God and the rejoicing in our hearts. We praise God because he exists and because he is good. We thereby join even now in the eternal praise of the angels and saints in heaven.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Isaiah 65: 17-21; Psalm 30; John 4: 43-54

A CRUSHED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK

Saturday 18th July – Saturday of week 15 of the year

A CRUSHED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK

Reflection: Matthew 12: 14-21

What do you think of the Lord’s mercy? How great do you consider His faithfulness? Perhaps you compare the Lord’s faithfulness to that of fellow men around you. Surely the human mind cannot fully grasp the depth of the Lord’s love and mercy (Ephesians 2:4-5). His mercy is great and it endures forever (Psalm 108:4; Psalm: 136:4). The best of human virtues is nothing to be compared with His.

At some critical times in our spiritual journey, we need to be reminded of the above truth. When we fall into grave sin; when we battle with spiritual dryness and weariness of soul; when it appears the light of our faith is getting dimmer and we are lacking the strength to carry on, let us be reminded of the INESTIMABLE love of God for us. He loves you personally as if you are His only creature. He treasures and seek after every missing sheep of His flock (Matthew 18:12-14). He revives every weary soul that trusts in his Divine mercy.

Dearest in Christ, are you weak and down cast? Are you lacking the spiritual strength to carry on? Please hold unto Jesus! Never give up on His love for you. Never allow the magnitude of your sins or trials to cloud your vision of His mercy. He who is capable of giving life to dry bones seeks to restore you (Ezekiel 37:1-14). You know of David, Samson and Peter; all these had their spiritual low points and dryness but God in His infinite mercy restored them.
Through the dark nights of our souls, let us implore the mercy of God; let us approach the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist for rejuvenation; let us humble our soul with fasting and read His scriptural promises to Him in prayer. Let us seek our Blessed Mother’s intercession with that of other saints of God.  If we do these in faith and hope, we see the amazing power of the Lord’s revival.

PRAYER: You are my hope and refuge dear Lord, please revive my dropping spirit. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 507 What 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.
Often we say: I have prayed, but it did not help at all. Maybe we are not praying intensely enough. The saintly Curé of Ars once asked a brother priest who was complaining about his lack of success, “You have prayed, you have sighed… but have you fasted, too? Have you kept vigil?”

HIDE A TREASURE: “In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!” Psalm 31:1 RSV-CE

Today’s readings: Exodus 12: 37-42; Psalm 136: 1, 10-15, 23-24; Matthew 12: 14-21

THE SACRIFICE FOR OUR SALVATION

Wednesday 14th January – Wednesday of Week 1 of the Year

Reflection: Hebrews 2:14-18

THE SACRIFICE FOR OUR SALVATION

Dear friends in Christ, the depths of God’s love for us his children is great and indeed beyond our comprehension. The assurance of His immense love is a treasure which the believer can hold on to when going through moments of trial. If God could become man because of you and me, we must never give up on ourselves and neglect the grace He gives us to rise up again when we have fallen into sin.

Today’s first reading reminds us of what Christ’s death accomplished for us. His death and resurrection has freed us from the fear of death by giving us the hope of eternity with God. In fulfilment of God’s perfect plan, in order to show us how to live our lives amidst the turmoil of the world, Christ became like us in every way in order to be our faithful and merciful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17). Hence, each time we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, we are reminded that Christ is with us on our earthly journey and constantly nourishes us with his very life.

How best can we respond to this great love which God has shown us? We must respond with love. We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:20). We cannot claim to love God without loving our neighbour. Hence, our response must be that of love for God and for neighbour. Let us be agents of salvation by being joyful in trials knowing full well that God loves us and is working everything for our good. If God did not spare His Son but gave Him up for us, what else will He withhold from us (cf Romans 8:32)? Hope in God and rest in his love today and always.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for your great love for me. Please help me to cooperate with your saving power that I may live for you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 337How are we saved?

No man can save himself. Christians believe that they are saved by God, who for this purpose sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world. For us salvation means that we are freed by the Holy Spirit from the power of sin and have been brought back from the realm of death to a life without end, a life in God’s presence.

HIDE A TREASURE: “And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself was tempted and suffered” Hebrews 2:18 GNB

Readings for Today: Hebrews 2:14-18; Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9; Mark 1:29-39

HIS STEADFAST LOVE

Thursday 10th July – Thursday of week 14 of the year

REFLECTION: Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9

HIS STEADFAST LOVE

Our God is merciful and tender in mercy. This is one nature of God that beats human imagination. Indeed God declares today that He is not human (Hosea 11:9b). Why did God say this? It is simply because he knows the nature of man. Men would easily give up on their fellow men, and pick offence at every wrong done to them. But this is not the nature of our God. The Psalmist says that our God is “slow to become angry and full of constant love”. (Psalm 103:8). It is this nature of God that makes God outstanding. No wonder the prophet Jeremiah declared that His steadfast love and mercy are new every morning. (Lamentations3:22,23).

We are called as Christian youth to be imitators of our God in this unique attribute of His. We are not supposed to easily give up on our fellow men just because they have wronged us. We must always remember that love bears all things, and that its patience never fails. This is the attitude we should carry every moment of our lives, and in particular, this very day. God is calling on you to be like Him today. He says to you: “my child, go out today and show love to those who have wronged you, those who have offended you, those who have gossiped about you”. He continues to say to you: “my beloved child, if you are willing to do this, then my grace will be made available for you”.

So then beloved friend, let us swallow our pride, forsake the memories of past hurts, and by the grace of God, go and become vessels of mercy to all. One great benefit of this task is that you will experience true peace and be healed of your infirmities. This is because Jesus has said: “blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” God bless you as you hearken to His voice this day.

PRAYER: King of mercy, thank you for loving me. Fill me this day with the grace to truly love all who have offended me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2093: “Faith in God’s love encompasses the call and obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “The Lord is merciful and loving, slow to become angry, and full of constant love.” Psalm 103:8 GNB

Readings for today: Hosea 11: 1-4,8-9; Psalm 80: 2-3,15-15; Matthew 10:7-15

HIS LOVE IS ETERNAL

Friday 28th March – Friday of the 3rd week of Lent

Reflection: Hosea 14: 2-10

HIS LOVE IS ETERNAL

I once had a dialogue with a friend of mine, and to my greatest amazement, he did not believe the fact that God loves him. He must have encountered some trying moments in his journey of life which had made him give up on God. Beloved, do you know that God loves you even more than you love yourself? This might sound strange, but it is true! God created you in this world in order to have a close relationship with Him. No wonder the Psalmist says “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

Unless you draw nearer to God you may never experience this personal love He has for you. God, has in fact promised to make His love manifest to you today if you call on Him. He is always willing to have you back, no matter how far you have strayed from him. God’s arms are opened wide today for you, would you not rather embrace Him? He would heal all the wounds in your soul. Remember this always my beloved: “God is love” (1John 4:8), and He loves you unconditionally.

PRAYER: Father I thank for your unconditional love for me. I surrender my whole being to you this day. Please take me as I am. Thank you Lord. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 2 – Why did God create us?

God created us out of free and unselfish love

When a man loves, his heart overflows. He would like to share his joy with others. He gets this from his Creator. Although God is a mystery, we can still think about him in a human way and say: Out of the “surplus” of his love he created us. He wanted to share his endless joy with us, who are creatures of his love.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “…The love of God is shed broad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Hosea 14:2-10; Psalm 81: 6-11, 14, 17; Matthew 12: 28-34