Monday 23rd March – Monday of the 5th week of Lent
Reflection: John 8: 1-11
Does it not surprise you that the greatest opposition Jesus had during his earthly ministry was from the Jewish religious leaders? They were not spared either as Christ openly criticized them. Though they claimed strict observance of the Law of Moses, their pride, outward display of righteousness, hypocrisy and lack of love and mercy had blinded them from understanding the love and mercy of God.
Are we much different from the Pharisees? Don’t we who claim to be good Christians and Catholics look down with disdain on other young people around us who do not live upright lives? Are we not quick to pass judgment on our peers who engage in sexual immorality, drug abuse, exam malpractice, lying, stealing etc? Christ tells us in today’s reading to look inwards. While he does not condone or make excuses for sin, He loves the sinner deeply and is interested not in passing judgment but in arousing repentance.
Dear friend, you are whatever you are because God has shown you mercy. The Psalmist says: “If you oh Lord should mark our guilt; Lord, who will stand?” (Psalm 130: 2). Look into your life and see the areas in which you too need transformation and as you see those who live in sin, extend the mercy God has shown you to them by praying for their conversion and seek loving ways to evangelize them. Through this you will not only please God, but experience the grace of ongoing conversion too.
PRAYER: Lord, please forgive me for the many times I have passed judgment on others. Help me to seek your mercy more and more and extend this mercy to others. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FATH: CCC 982 – There is no offense however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. “There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest.” Christ…desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin.
HIDE A TREASURE: “Do not judge and you will not be judged” Matthew 7:1 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: Daniel 13: 41 -62; Psalm 23: 1-6; John 8: 1-11
Monday, 27th January – Monday of week 3 of the year
Reflection: Mark 3:22-30
LIGHT AND DARKNESS
The Kingdom of God is an everlasting one. Everything that happens and would happen is known to God and is revealed in the living word of God. God confirmed the unity of his kingdom when satan was cast down from heaven because he rebelled against God. (Rev12:7-9). This episode was further made known by Apostle John in his (1John 1:5); when he declared God as light which is devoid of darkness.
Dear friends, there are no two ways to our eternal home. The only way is Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. You cannot have two masters (Matthew 6:24), you either serve God or serve the devil. You can either shine for Christ or shine for the devil. Therefore, it is important for us to have a clear-cut understanding of the fruits of our actions. Does my life constantly open others to temptation and sin? Do I still harbor malice, hatred, lust, jealousy and other fruits of human nature (Gal 5:19-21) and still live as if nothing is wrong? These are manifestations of darkness with which the light cannot live.
In our reading today, Jesus was wrongly acclaimed to possess the evil nature; casting out demons with the power of Beelzebul. What an evil contention by the scribes! Dear friends, bearing good fruits for Christ will raise oppositions and all manner of slander. The world will testify against us and plant weeds amongst our plants. There would be times of suffering and division from even our own friends because we want to live for Christ. Let us be courageous and never give in to our human nature. Let us live by the Spirit who will help to sustain our light to our perfect end.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, sustain the light of the Gospel in your body, the Church. Help me to look forward always to a new horizon of your light in my life. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 347 – Why is “not practicing what you preach” such a serious deficiency in a Christian?
Agreement between one’s life and one’s witness is the first requirement for proclaiming the Gospel. Not practicing what you profess is therefore HYPOCRISY, a betrayal of the Christian duty to be “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”
HIDE A TREASURE
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden”. Matthew 5:14 GNB
Readings for Today: 2 Samuel 5:1-7,10; Ps 89; Mark 3:22-30