TRUE GREATNESS

Wednesday 24th February – Wednesday of the 2nd week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 20: 17 – 28

TRUE GREATNESS

What names come to mind when you think of great people? Our young minds would think of stars in the fields of music, sports, movie industry or very rich individuals in the world. But is that really what it means to be great? Consider this list: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King (Jnr), Bishop Oscar Romero, St Francis of Assissi, St Maria Goretti, Nelson Mandela, William Wilberforce, Pope St John Paul II the great.  Do they make the list of great souls in your mind?

One thing is common to these people – they lived for others. They became famous not because they desired it; their fame was a result of their desire to live for others. They were servants, giving their lives for the sake of the health, freedom, peace and spiritual growth of others and as they did this, the world took note. Did they face trials? Sure! They faced opposition, rejection, imprisonment, near assassination, and eventual assassination for some; yet they attained greatness through servant hood.

Beloved, do you desire greatness? Why not seek for true greatness which not only man but God himself approves? Christ tells us today: “Anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first…must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mt 20: 26-28). Today, look around you for opportunities to serve others and bring the love of Christ to them and you will be mapping out your way to true greatness.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you have given me an example of humility and true greatness. Please help me to follow you in sincerity and seek to serve those around me. 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. Jesus showed us once and for all how authority should be exercised. He, the greatest authority, served others and took the last place. Jesus even washed the feet of his disciples (Jn 13:1-20).

HIDE A TREASURE: “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant” Matthew 20: 26 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 18: 18-20; Psalm 31: 5-6, 14-16; Matthew 20: 17-28

BECOMING A BETTER YOU

Monday 20th January – Memorial of Blessed Cyprian Tansi

Reflection: Philippians 2: 1-11

BECOMING A BETTER YOU

Of what value is a man’s life when it seeks no progression in goodness? You and I cannot remain the same persons of yesteryears. If our human bodies respond to progression in years; and the count of years situate us in varying situations, environments and relationships, the fullness of our human persons cannot but respond to these dynamics. Depending on the choice(s) we make, we are either progressing in goodness (ie perfection) or regressing in it. Time will never permit us to remain static.

If we have the benefit of communual life, differ from each other in our talents and abilities and have been enriched with different experiences; should we not seek profit from these? The first reading of today (Philippians 2:1-11) answers in the affirmative. There is something good to learn from EVERY ONE we come across in life. No one is so “bad” without some degree of goodness in him and even in an obvious display of folly, a humble, loving and retrospective mind will still find something to learn. But we fail in this often due to our subtle pride and hypocrisy.

We make ourselves standards by which we judge others just because we fare better than them in some respect. This is why the secret pornography lover publicly condemns a fornicator. Much as no vice should be encouraged or glorified, we must guard against a “holier than thou” attitude in our approach to helping one another (Luke 18: 9-14; Matthew 7:1). Humility helps us see our own weak spots and appreciate the good in others.

The available resources and opportunities seem inadequate to meet our needs and desires. Hence, as we look out for legitimate means of meeting our needs, we are cautioned against unhealthy rivalry with our neighbours. Our Christian hearts must be large enough to accommodate the interests of others. Let us be assured that our loving Father will take care of our interests beyond our widest imagination as we seek the good of others.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I rededicate my life to you. Please help me be the best you have created me to be. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 34 – What should you do once you have come to know God?

Once you have come to know God, you must put him in the first place in your life. And with that a new life begins. You should be able to recognize Christians by the fact that they love even their enemies.

 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do all things without  grumbling or questioning that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and pervesrse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world” Philippians 2:14-15 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Philippians 2: 1-11; Isaiah 12: 2-6 (Canticle); Matthew 13: 44-46

EMBRACE HUMILIITY

Saturday 31st October – Saturday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Luke 4:1, 7-11

EMBRACE HUMILIITY

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.” Lk 14:11

In an era in which we are often preoccupied with concerns about how others see us, we can find ourselves going out of our way to make an impression on people around us and in the bid to do this, we are often caught up with the vice of pride. Yet, Jesus’ warning stands clear: “whoever exalts himself will be humbled.”

Though Jesus used the example of taking places at a feast to illustrate the lesson on humility, this lesson applies to all aspects of our lives. Do our words, actions and attitudes portray humility? Are we willing to listen patiently to others as they air opinions which may be contrary to ours? Are we open to correction and criticism or are we in a haste to defend ourselves against critics? Do we respect other people and uphold their human dignity even if they may be at a lower societal class than ourselves?

St Paul admonishes us in his letter to the Philippians: “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit but in humility count others better than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). God praised Moses for his humility and was quick to defend him when Miriam and Aaron spoke against him (Num12: 3-8). He seeks that same humility from us. Remember, the man who humbles himself will be exalted

PRAYER: Lord, please forgive me for the times I have acted in pride. help me to be humble before you and before men in all my dealings. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 61 In what does the equality of all men consist?

All men are equal inasmuch as they have the same origin in the one creative love of God. All men have their Saviour in Jesus Christ. All men are destined to find their happiness and their eternal blessedness in God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29; Ps 94: 12-18; Luke 14: 1, 7-11

THE CHILD-LIKE HEART

Tuesday, 11th August- Memorial of St. Claire, Virgin

THE CHILD-LIKE HEART


Mt 18:1-5.10.12-14

A childlike heart is a Christlike heart. A heart that is innocent, without deceit, forgives easily and exhibits simplicity and credulity. A heart that finds it easy to trust, that embraces its weakness; one that is not worried about the future and totally depends on parents for all needs. Would it not be of great happiness to relate with a childlike heart in our relationship with God and people around us? To relate with the heart of a child it is of great importance that we possess certain qualities, one of those qualities include humility which was not exhibited by the apostles in the gospel of Matthew (18:1-5). Christ made us understand that who and what we are while on earth does not change the fact that to be great in the kingdom of heaven we have to be like children. We are to live our lives without comparing it to that of others and avoid unnecessary rivalry, competition for power and greatness.

It is true that the world defines greatness as a possession by someone or something of eminence. However, Christ has a different definition for greatness as in the gospel of Matthew “the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child” (Mt 18:4). This is the definition of true greatness. As sons and daughters of God we are to follow God’s definition and not that of the world. It should however be noted that to be like a child does not require us to behave with immaturity. Let us then dear friends, lay aside our quest for the kind of greatness that the world has to offer and make ourselves humble just like a child before God that we might be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

I do not want to be known for winning the game, I want to be remembered for how I played it.     –Abbie St. Claire.

PRAYER: Enlighten my mind that I may have a childlike heart. Help me to trust you as my father.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 89To whom does Jesus promise “the kingdom of God”?

God wills “all men to be saved and to come to the knowldge of the truth”(1Tim 2:4). The “kingdom of God” begins in those who allow themselves to be transformed by God’s love. In Jesus’ experience these are above all the poor and the lowly.

HIDE A TREASURE: “May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you, O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer!” Psalm 19:4

Today’s Readings: Deut 31:1-8; Deut 32:3-4.7-9; Mt 18:1-5.10.12-14