THE DEMANDS OF THE KINGDOM

Friday 19th February – Friday of the 1st week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 5:20-26

THE DEMANDS OF THE KINGDOM

The Kingdom of God is a delicate matter which every serious Christian should pay keen attention to. This Kingdom demands that we live beyond the standards of this world. For instance, the standard of the world is to “be good to only those who are good to you”. But for a Christian, we are called to something much higher because the scripture enjoins us to “love our enemies, bless those that curse us and do good to them that hate us…” (Matthew 5:44). Often, we find ourselves falling short of this Kingdom standard. Hence, what must we do?

First we must acknowledge our weaknesses before God and implore the help of the Holy Spirit. One of the reasons why God gave us His Holy Spirit is to convict us of righteousness. (John 16:8). Beloved, what this means is that you will no longer try to be righteous by your own strength or human will, rather the Holy Spirit will teach you a new pattern of righteousness that comes from intimacy with Him. Dear friends, hatred and malice are never to be found in the rank of a Christian. Why not turn to the Holy Spirit today, He is ready to help you; He is ready to pour into your heart the love of God that stands above any form of pride, anger, envy or any vice that seeks to drain us of God’s love and mercy.

PRAYER: Precious Holy Spirit, I acknowledge your presence in me and ask you to help me shed off every weakness of character in my life this day. Please grant me the grace to cooperate with you in this purpose. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 112What will it be like when Christ judges us and the whole world?

“Even Christ cannot help someone who does not want to know anything about love; such a person judges himself.

Because Jesus Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), He will show what is of lasting value in God’s sight and what is not. Held up to the standard of His life, the full truth about all people, things, thoughts, and events will come to light.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If thou, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” Psalm 130:3 RSV

Readings for today: Ezekiel 18:21-28; Psalm 130:1-5, 7-8; Matthew 5:20-26

Advertisement

GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT

Sunday 9th August – 19th Sunday of the year

GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT

Ephesians 4:305:2

The Holy Spirit is the mark of God’s ownership over us. It is through the working of the Holy Spirit that we are made children of God. Jesus’ promise not to leave His disciples as orphans is fulfilled by the gift of His Spirit who counsels us and guides our actions so we can fulfil God’s plan for our lives. The Spirit is always with us but sometimes we ignore his presence and choose to follow our personal human desires.

Many times we seek advice from people around us and we fail to remember the greatest counsellor who is always there at crossroads of our lives. We are often in a hurry and our prayers become monologues because we are not patient enough to let God speak to us. Once this begins to happen, the good virtues of the Spirit which is God’s nature in us is forced to give way to bitterness, anger, strife, impatience and other vices which spring from our human nature.

St Paul reminds us in today’s reading not make the Holy Spirit sad. We must continually keep alive the awareness that the Spirit of God dwells in us by our hunger to always commune with him, to share our dreams with him and acknowledge his presence and working in our lives. Beloved in Christ, “let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature” (Gal 5:16). There is no middle ground between good and evil desire. You either satisfy one or the other. The human nature is always there to protest against the Spirit of God in us. This calls for a conscious examination of self especially in our journey of faith. Am I walking by the Spirit? Let us establish a relationship with the Holy Spirit who dwells in us by seeking His direction and obeying His promptings. Only then can we truly live the life of faith to which we have been called.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, fill me afresh with your Spirit today and make me more like you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 120 – What does the Holy Spirit do in my life?

The Holy Spirit makes me receptive to God; he teaches me to pray and helps me to be there for others. Augustine calls the Holy Spirit “The quiet guest of our soul”… Being a “temple of the Holy Spirit”means being there, body and soul, for this Guest, for God in us… The more receptive we are to the Holy Spirit in us, the more he becomes the master of our life, the sooner he will bestow on us even today his CHARISMS for upbuilding of the Church.

HIDE A TREASURE: “And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you”. Ephesians 4:30 GNB

Today’s Readings: 1 Kings 19:4-8; Ps. 34:2-7; Eph. 4:30–5:2; John 6:41-51

DIVINE WISDOM

Tuesday 2nd June– Tuesday of week 9 in Ordinary Time (SS Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs)

Reflection: Mark 12:13-17

DIVINE WISDOM

“Thoughtless words leave lasting wounds”, someone once said. Many have paid heavily and many continue to pay direly for words uttered without proper thought. Moreover, there are people who deliberately look for avenue to trap others from their utterances in their inordinate desire to plot their down fall. So, all need to be careful in what we say; however, there will be instances when, relying on our human reasoning alone, we might be caught off guard on how best to respond to situations.

The Gospel of today presents us with an account of a trying situation whereby the chief priests and the scribes were trying to trap our Blessed Saviour in His words. He however, answered them in a way that left them surprised and dumbfounded. This is nothing but Divine wisdom at play! Our Lord Jesus Christ has the fullness of the Holy Spirit in Him (Luke 2: 40; Luke 4:1) and it is the Holy Spirit that inspires us to speak rightly. Beloved in Christ, how well do you depend on or how docile are you to the leadings of the Holy Spirit in what you say and do?

As ambassadors of Christ, we cannot afford to be careless with words. Many will ask us probing questions on our faith, morality and life in general. We certainly need more than our human ingenuity; we need the guidance of the Holy spirit to answer rightly in a manner that dignify our King and the kingdom we represent here on earth. We have the assurance of our Lord’s help at such crucial times (Luke 12: 11-12).
However, this can only become a reality if we treasure and protect our relationship with the Holy spirit by obedience and docility to Him. Let us rededicate ourselves to the leading of God that his light may better shine through us.

PRAYER: Mother Mary- Seat of wisdom, please intercede for me that I may be docile to the Holy Spirit as you were and always guided by His wisdom. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1831– The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David…They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.

Hide a Treasure: “For we all make many mistakes, and if anyone makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also” James 3:2 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Tobit 2:9-14; Psalm 112:1b-2, 7-9; Mark 12:13-17.

LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT

Sunday, 6th April – 5th Sunday of Lent

Reflection: Romans 8: 8-11.

LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT

Jesus, the Eternal Word of God tells us that He is able to bring to life those things that are dead. This is simply because, the Spirit He has given unto us is the Spirit of life. This Spirit is able to revive and revitalize our mortal bodies through His indwelling presence in us. So how do we activate this life-giving attribute of the Holy Spirit in our lives? The answer is: “only believe”.

Remember in the story of Lazarus, when Jesus demonstrated His power over death, He said, “if only you believe, you will see the glory of God” (John 11:40). Take a good look into your life today beloved, and see if there is any area that needs this life-giving touch of the Spirit. It may be in your health, academics, finances, family or relationships. Jesus is saying to you today to believe, and you will see His glory made manifest in these areas of your life like never before. All you need to do now is just to declare and trust in His words today. He never fails. Do you believe?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe you can do all things. Today I ask you to give life to these areas of my life… (mention them and pray with faith). Thank you Lord for you are able to do more than I can ask or imagine. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 114What role does the Holy Spirit play in the life of Jesus?

Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand Jesus…. It was the Holy Spirit who called Jesus to life in the womb of the Virgin Mary (Mt.1:18), endorsed him as God’s beloved son (Lk.4:16-19), guided him (Mk.1:12) and enlivened him to the end (Jn.19:30)…”

HIDE A TREASURE: “… I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” John 11:25 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45.