KEEP UP YOUR FAITH

Wednesday 16th December – Wednesday of the 3rd week of Advent

Reflection: Luke 7: 19-23

KEEP UP YOUR FAITH

“…happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.”

A Jew is baptised and becomes a Christian refers to himself as a “fulfilled Jew”. This stems from the knowledge that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, whose coming was proclaimed by the prophets. Though the Jews received the promise of redemption, most of them unfortunately did not recognise the Messiah when He came and until this day, still await the salvation God promised in Jesus.

Is there something we can learn from this? While the Jews expected a political Saviour who would free them from their Roman oppressors, Jesus came, preaching the good news and a friend of the poor and sinners. They could not reconcile Jesus with the expectations in their minds and even John the Baptist the very one who prepared the way for Christ became confused and unsure of himself at some point.

Beloved, are there ways in which God is working in our lives but we are blinded from recognising Him because our own expectations are not being met? Is God revealing Himself to you in the most unexpected way? Today, ask the Lord to clear all your doubts like Jesus did for John the Baptist. Ask Him to open your eyes so you may recognise His hand at work in your life and circumstances even in ways you do not expect. Jesus pronounces a blessing on you if you do not lose faith in Him. Hold on to your faith beloved, God is ever faithful to His promises.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to be open and receptive to the various ways you decide to work through me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 73 – Why is Jesus called “Christ”?

The brief formula “Jesus is the Christ” expresses the core of the Christian faith: Jesus, the simple carpenter’s son from Nazareth, is the long-awaited Messiah and Saviour. Both the Greek word “Christos” and the Hebrew word “Messiah” mean “the Anointed One”. In Israel kings, priests, and prophets were anointed. The apostles learned that Jesus was anointed “with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38). We are called Christians after Christ, as an expression of our exalted vocation

HIDE A TREASURE: “How happy are those who have no doubts about me.” Luke 7:23 GNB

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 45: 6-8 18, 21-25; Psalm 85: 9-14; Lk 7: 19-23

APPROACH TO EVANGELIZATION

Thursday 30th April – Thursday of the 4th week of Eastertide

Reflections: Acts 13:13-25

APPROACH TO EVANGELIZATION

As Paul preached to the Jews at Antioch in Pisidia, he put the message of the gospel into historical perspective so that his hearers would understand how the message of Christ flowed from their history and is a fulfillment of God’s promise made to their fathers. He needed to open their eyes to see, that the son of God was indeed Immanuel – of their own lineage and dwelling amongst them.

Since they were Jews, they could only understand and accept the message of salvation if it was explained in the context of their Jewish heritage. Dear friends, you and I are called to evangelize. We can only be effective in this mission when we understand the background and needs of our hearers because this would influence our approach to sharing the good news. The way you will speak about Christ to a regular church goer who doesn’t take his faith seriously may differ from the approach needed in speaking to someone who has never heard the gospel message at all. St Paul recognized this, and we too must recognize it.

Beloved, as we seek to share the good news of salvation with our peers, neighbours, co-workers or family members let us ask the Holy Spirit for direction. The Holy Spirit himself is the principal agent of every conversion. The seeds of the gospel that we sow are nurtured, germinate and bear fruits of repentance by His power. As we listen to him, He will speak the right words through us that will make a difference to our hearers.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please grant me the grace that my way of life and my words may bring others to you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 205 – What happens in Confirmation?

In confirmation the soul of a baptized Christian is imprinted with a permanent seal that can be received only once and marks this individual forever as a Christian. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the strength from above in which this individual puts the grace of his Baptism into practice through his life and acts as a “witness” for Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” 1Corinthians 9:22 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 13:13-25, Psalm 90: 2-3, 21-27, John 13:16-20