SEEKING ASSURANCE

Wednesday 15th March – Wednesday of the 2nd week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 20:17-28

SEEKING ASSURANCE

Jesus’ apostles had left their trades and their means of livelihood to follow Christ. James and John had been out on the sea of Galilee fishing with their father, Zebedee when Christ called them. They left their nets, their boats and their father and followed the Lord. Certainly, their families would have worried about whether their decision was worth. Little wonder their mother came to request of our Lord that her sons be given seats at his left and right in his kingdom. She wanted an assurance that the sacrifice had sons her made was really worth it.

We all often find ourselves in the same situation. We have decided to follow Jesus, a decision that has changed our entire outlook on life. Our discipleship calls us live a holy life amidst an increasingly immoral and permissive world. There are times we give up the “easy path” and choose the more difficult out of our commitment to Christ. We fight with the urge to swim along with the tide and engage in worldly pleasure and self-satisfaction but Christ calls us to deny ourselves, carry our crosses daily and follow him.

We do not know the end of the journey and like James, John and their mother, we often wish God can give us an assurance that all our sacrifice is worth it. Christ doesn’t often tell us what the end will be, he simply asks us to follow him step by step in complete trust and confidence. He didn’t assure James and John of what the end will be but He certainly took care of them through all their suffering for His name. He will take care of you too and He assures you of eternal joy and eternal life if you persevere till the end.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I follow with complete trust and confidence. Help me to find strength in the assurance that your plans for me are the best. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 281 – Why do we yearn for happiness?

God has placed in our hearts such an infinite desire for happiness that nothing can satisfy it but God himself. All earthly fulfillment gives us only a foretaste of eternal happiness. Above and beyond that, we should be drawn to God.

Hide a Treasure: “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

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

THE GOD OF ELIJAH

Saturday 12th December – Saturday of the 2nd week of Advent

Reflection: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-12

THE GOD OF ELIJAH

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in Israel and his life and works remain a source of inspiration to many. Worthy of note was the deep relationship he had with God. Elijah was no ‘mere’ man before the eyes of God or His angels, let alone human beings. Popularly called the “prophet of fire”, He demonstrated God’s power in no small measure. For three-and-half years, he locked up the economy of Israel by declaring that there would be no rain in a bid to call Israel back from idolatry to the living God.

Beloved, we must recognise that Elijah was great, not of his own making but because of the great Power behind him – The power of God. Therein lies an important lesson for us: When you have the divine backing in your daily life, whatever you do will definitely turn out to be a wonder. Do you like wonders? Sure you do. These sorts of things, beloved do not come by mere wishing. If you are really to make a lasting impact in your generation and for posterity, then you have to wake up from your slumber. Indeed, you and I have an assignment to fulfil here on earth. In order to live deliberately and meaningfully, we must be connected to God, living in intimacy with Him and being empowered by Him to carry out our purpose.

God is indeed searching for one whom he would use to declare His power this generation; He seeks for one who will surrender himself/herself to Him to be used by Him. Don’t say you are too weak or too young, for if God could speak through Balaam’s donkey, why not through you. So get ready today beloved, the world is waiting for you. Deepen your union with God so that your life will make an impact. That same God of Elijah is your God, and He is calling you today.

PRAYER: O God, I yield myself to you; please take me as I am and make me what you want me to become for your Kingdom sake. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2582: Elijah is the ‘father’ of the prophets, ‘the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.’ Elijah’s name, ‘The Lord is my God,’ foretells the people’s cry in response to his prayer on Mount Carmel. St James refers to Elijah in order to encourage us to pray: “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “…The prayer of righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth” James 5:16-17 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-12 Psalm 80: 2-3, 15-19; Matthew 17:10-13