WHO ARE YOU?

Wednesday 28th October – Feast of SS Simon & Jude, Apostles

Reflection: Ephesians 2: 19-22

WHO ARE YOU?

If a two year old prince of a renowned kingdom is taken out to play with other toddlers, he immerses himself fully into their child’s play without hesitation. When this same prince, at fifteen years of age, goes out into the streets of his father’s kingdom. He cannot behave just like any other person because he is aware that there is something different about him – he is the heir to the throne. He was no less an heir to the throne when he was two years old; he was only unaware of this fact and as the awareness dawns on him, his way of life changes.

The awareness of one’s identity largely influences one’s way of life. As Christians, our lives take on a new dimension at Baptism. We cease to be ordinary people and become members of God’s household and heirs to his kingdom. It is this awareness that St Peter draws our attention to as he tells us: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people…” (1 Pet 2:9). It is this awareness that the Church brings to us as she teaches us that “By Baptism, we share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission” (CCC 1268). How conscious are you of your identity? Do you really know who you are?

Just as Jesus called Saints Simon and Jude whose feast we celebrate today to be his apostles, He has called you into His Church, to be a visible sign of His presence in the world. As St Paul tells us in today’s first reading, “You are a citizen like all the saints, and part of God’s household.” (Eph 2:19). Let your awareness of this call reflect in your daily choices and let your thoughts, words and actions “declare the wonderful deeds of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you for the gift of my faith. Please help me to truly be a reflection of your presence in the world. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1273 – The Baptismal seal enables and commits Christians to serve God by a vital participation in the holy liturgy of the Church and to exercise their baptismal priesthood by the witness of holy lives and practical charity.

HIDE A TREASURE: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Ephesians 2: 19-22; Psalm 19: 1-4; Luke 6: 12-16

BE TRUE TO YOUR IDENTITY

Thursday 14th May – Solemnity of The Ascension of the Lord

Reflection: Ephesians 4: 1-13

BE TRUE TO YOUR IDENTITY

Our identity as individuals is who we really are and not merely what we answer to by virtue of our job or position. The true character of a man will inevitably define him no matter the array of titles with which he parades himself. It is lack of proper understanding of identity that makes some people to be excessively “title conscious.” You mistakenly address a “Chief” as “Mister” and you will be dazed by the magnitude of drama that may ensue. This explains why some individuals can comfortably prefix their names with titles such as: Honourable (Chief) Dr….; Barrister (Prince) Evangelist…etc. There seems to be a great fondness for positions and titles in our environment without a corresponding awareness and embracement of the responsibilities that come with them.

Beloved in Christ, as children of God, beyond our titles and positions, our true identity must be that we are Christ-like in nature everywhere we find ourselves. This must be intrinsically tied to all our responsibilities and actions. We cannot afford to project dual images of ourselves i.e. one within the body of Christ and another outside of it. This would amount to hypocrisy and false Christianity.

Are you an undergraduate or postgraduate student? May be you are a young professional- A doctor, nurse, lawyer, accountant, journalist etc. no matter what your discipline or career is, of utmost importance is our constant awareness that we should reflect the light of God in our various callings. Through the ability of the Holy spirit in us, we are called to show a positive difference in our world (Matthew 5:13-16). Let us rise above the prevailing sense of self importance in our society today and show forth the fragrance of Christ in love and godly service anywhere we find ourselves.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please let the world find me to be truly Yours in word and in action. And may this promote the conversion of my neighbours who are yet to know You. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOU CAT: 280What reasons do Christians give for human dignity?

Every person, from the first moment of his life in the womb, has an inviolable dignity, because from all eternity God willed, loved, created, and redeemed that person and destined him for eternal happiness.

If human dignity were based solely on the successes and accomplishments of individuals, then those who are weak, sick, or helpless would have no dignity. Christians believe that human dignity is, in the first place, the result of God’s respect for us. He looks at every person and loves him as though he were the only creature in the world…

HIDE A TREASURE: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light 1 Peter 2:9 RSV- CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-9; Ephesians 4:1-13; Mark 16:15-20

YOU NEED A NEW NAME

Friday 23rd January – Friday of week 2 of the year

Reflection: Mark 3:16-17

YOU NEED A NEW NAME

What is in a name? So much! Your name is your identity. Today God wants to give you a new name. When God gives a person a new name, it overturns the future of the person for good. Our father in faith – Abraham witnessed a change of name and was never the same again. Sarah and Jacob also experienced name changes that marked a transformation in their lives. In today’s text, Simon’s name was changed to Peter by Christ Himself. A name that signified the mission Christ had for him – to be the leader of His Church.

You may ask whether you really need a physical change of name before you can experience such spiritual transformation. The answer is simply- “not necessarily”. What you and I need is a transformation that changes our identity. Through baptism, we have become God’s children; our identity has been changed. Yet, for us to be truly transformed, we must cooperate with the grace we received at Baptism; we must be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and strive to live holy lives.

When we do this, then we become like the Apostle Paul who shared a spiritual identity with the name of Jesus. An identity that even the devil recognised: “I know Jesus, and I know about Paul; but you who are you?” (Acts 19:14). What an identity Paul the apostle had in the spirit realm! Do you now see why you need a new name? If you are keen on getting a new name from God today, then you must read about and imitate the lives of Christ and of those who experienced such great transformation. In addition, let every day lead you to a closer union with Christ as He alone can transform you and I and elevate our names – our identities.

 PRAYER: Father, thank you for the gift of my faith. Please transform me by the power of your Spirit and help me to live out my Christian identity to its full. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 201, 202 – What is the significance of receiving a name in Baptism? Why should Christians choose the names of saints at Baptism?

Through the name that we receive in Baptism God tells us: “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Is 43:1). There are no better examples than the saints and no better helpers. If my namesake is a saint, I have a friend with God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being, the old is gone, the new is come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 GNB

Readings for Today: Hebrews 8: 6-13; Psalm 85: 8, 10-14; Mark 3: 13-19