SINGLENESS OF HEART

Thursday 4th June – Thursday of week 9 of the year

Reflection: Tobit 8: 4-9

SINGLENESS OF HEART

“…I do it in the singleness of heart…”(Tobit 8:7)
The title of today’s reflection casts my mind back to my Chemistry lessons in Secondary school. We were taught the differences between homogenous and heterogeneous compounds. Basically, a heterogeneous compound is made up of two or more constituents while a homogenous compound is of a single make. The homogenous compound is essentially a pure compound. 

The human mind can also be related to a compound- It could either be homogenous i.e. pure and of a single make or heterogeneous i.e. impure; a jumbo mixture of many parts. Our Blessed Savior in the beatitudes calls the pure hearted blessed, for they shall see God ( Matthew 5:8) and from the first reading of today we hear these words of Tobit: “ …I do not take my sister for any lustful motive; I do it in singleness of heart.” Beloved in Christ, the place of motive is crucial in our actions or inactions in life. Except our hearts are pure and right with God, our motives will not be right. They will be nothing but inordinate and self-seeking.
Tobit said the above in relation to his newly wedded wife. As youths, prospective husbands and wives, how sincere is the love we profess in our relationships? It is a common phenomenon that some young men and ladies go about deceiving and exploiting the opposite sex in the name of “love.” Beloved in Christ, this must not be our line of action as sons and daughters of Light. The love our Lord calls us to in today’s Gospel demands that we have the fear of God and seek to honor Him in all our dealings. This is the only way we can access the blessings professed by the Psalmist today. To do otherwise is to walk in the path of deception which leads only to regrets!

PRAYER: Deliver me Lord from every grip of falsehood. Please make my heart pure and sincere like Yours that I may see your loving-kindness in all my ways. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 463How does one achieve “purity of heart”?

The purity of heart required for love is achieved in the first place through union with God in prayer. When God’s grace touches us, this also produces a path to pure, undivided human love. A chaste person can love with a sincere and undivided heart.

When we turn to God with a sincere intention, he transforms our hearts. He gives us the strength to correspond to his will and to reject impure thoughts, fantasies, and desires. 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8 RSV-CE.

Today’s Readings: Tobit 6: 10-11, 7:1,9-14, 8:4-9; Psalm 128: 1-5; Mark 12: 28-34

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN; MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

Monday 30th March – Monday of Holy Week

Reflection: John 12: 1-11

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN; MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

Would it be that we humans can readily read each other’s mind, how much inconsistency, dear friend, would people discover between what you say and the thoughts of your mind? How much of pseudo “I am sorry”, “I love you”, excuses and promises do we express nowadays? Pure lack of sincerity is fast being dignified as diplomacy or tactfulness.

Dearest in Christ, this is an aberration that is inconsistent with our identity as children of light (Mt 5: 14-16). Our “yes” must mean “yes” and our “no” must mean “no”. That is the unchanging commandment of God to us (Mt 5:37). If we would truly manifest as light of the world and salt of the earth, our society must find us as people of our word; people with unflinching sincerity and integrity. This is a major hallmark of purity and we must be reminded that only the pure in heart would see God (Mt 5:8). If the world calls insincerity “tactfulness” and the almighty God calls it “sin” (1 Jn 5: 17b), we must then, as Christians ask ourselves whose judgement matters most to us. The Lord who sees the sincerity of Judas’ concern for the poor in today’s gospel reading clearly sees the inner recesses of our hearts (Jer 17:10).

It is undeniable fact that the truth could be bitter. However, we must be reminded that there is no other guaranteed way to genuine liberty except by the truth (Jn 8:32; Rom 6:16). True love reduces the pain of the bite of truth, so let us speak the truth in love. We must mean what we say; we must say what we mean. As Christians, we must be true to our words!

PRAYER: Dear Father, please dispel every speck of insincerity from my heart and grant me the courage to be truthful after You. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 455 – What does it mean to be truthful?

Truthfulness means that one acts sincerely and speaks honestly. The truthful individual guards against double-dealing, misrepresentation, malicious deception, and hypocrisy…A great evil in all communities is slander of other people and malicious gossip: A tells B “confidentially” something derogatory that C said about B.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no. Anything else you say comes from the devil.” Matthew 5:37 CCB

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 42: 1-7; Psalm 27: 1-3, 13-14; John 12: 1-11

THE UPRIGHT IS LAW ABIDING AND HONEST

Saturday 16th August – Saturday of week 19 of the year

Reflection: Ezekiel 18: 1-10, 13, 30-32

THE UPRIGHT IS LAW ABIDING AND HONEST

Righteousness, Scripture says, exalts a nations but sin is a reproach to any people (Psalm 14: 34). Our country Nigeria is one of the most religious countries of the world. Rarely can you go through a street in our towns and cities without finding religious houses here and there and leaders and followers alike openly profess their faith in God. However, taking a critical look at the state of things in our land, can we truly say it is “exalted”? The level of insecurity and unlawful killing in our county is quite alarming. Majority of the population lack food and potable water, the rate of corruption is staggering and there is massive unemployment in the land. More young people are losing faith in our nation and daily leaving its shores in search of greener pastures. We seem not to be getting it right in too many areas of our national life. Unfortunately we seem to be quick at passing blames to each other.

Beloved, if this country will truly be great as it has the potential to be, all of us have important roles to play. As young Nigerian Christians, how law abiding and honest are we? Do we sabotage merit through examination malpractices, certificate forgery or racketeering? Do we demand for financial inducement before conducting our lawful responsibilities? How well do we respect the queue and orderliness in public places? How readily do we desecrate and pollute the environment though indiscriminate dumping of refuse? How good is you respect for time and appointments?

Dear friends, the list is endless and you and I surely find ourselves guilty at one point or the other. The upright is law abiding and honest. If we are truly upright in the practice of our Christian faith, our society must necessarily find us law abiding and honest citizens. Our collective destiny as a nation lies with you and I and the quality of our government is a reflection of the quality of the citizenry. Let us as Christians stand up for the change we desire for our country.

PRAYER: Dear Father, please help me this day that my way of life might match the commands of thy word. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 376 – What duties do citizens have toward the State?

Every citizen has the duty to cooperate loyally with the civil authorities and to contribute to the common good in truth, justice, freedom, and solidarity.

A Christian, too, should love his homeland, defend it in various ways in times of need, and gladly offer to serve civil institutions. He should exercise the right to vote and even run for office and not shirk the duty to pay just taxes…

HIDE A TREASURE: “Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonour through me, O God of Israel.” Psalm 69:6 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Ezekiel 18: 1-10, 13, 30-32; Psalm 51: 12-15, 18-19; Matthew 19: 13-15