DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Monday 20th March – Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reflection: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus. The genealogy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 1:1-17, shows that St. Joseph was of the line of King David whom the Lord promised in today’s first reading: ”Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever”. This promise was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, as the prophet Isaiah said, “He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever” (Isaiah 9:6).  Though it took hundreds of years, God was faithful to His promise just as He was to our father Abraham.

Dear friends, our God can do much more than we can ask or imagine and He’s more willing to help us than we want to be helped. Though some of God’s promises may seem delayed from our perspective, we must not abandon hope. Though the tunnel may seem very dark and long, there will surely be light at its end; though our tears may persist all the night, we shall surely rejoice at dawn. Beloved in Christ, God’s delays are never His denials; He alone knows the best time is for us. Our Hope in God should lead us to understand that there is nothing impossible for God who is more than able to fulfil His promises.

Let us remember our fathers in the faith; has there been anyone who trusted the Lord and being confounded? Not one! Then, we too can be sure that our hope in God can never fail us. So keep hope alive.

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith in you and give me the grace to know that in all things you always work for my good. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 308 – What is hope?

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on earth to do: to praise God and to serve him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfillment in God; and for our final home: in God.

Hide a Treasure: “This is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

GOD CAN USE YOUR ENEMY

Friday 17th March – Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent (Feast of St Patrick)

Reflection: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28

 GOD CAN USE YOUR ENEMY

The enemies of our progress in life come through diverse ways such as a weakness in us, our family background, a person who wishes our downfall, unpleasant situations etc. Many have abandoned the course of destiny because they couldn’t see beyond the present. They see others moving fast in their own tracts and because of the limitations they experience, they neglect their own path to progress.

God alone knows our future and the best pathway for us. In today’s reading, God used Reuben and Judah to carve out his plan for their brother Joseph. Our God who controls the heart of kings used them to accomplish his work in Joseph’s life despite their evil plans. When they spoke, none of the other brothers could interrogate them because God was speaking through them. Many instances have gone by in our lives when the worst circumstances turned out to be a glorious story. Can we recall them? Do we ever remember the wonders of the Lord just as the psalmist says today (Psalm 105:5-6)?

Beloved, in the dry pits of life’s challenges, Jesus is there for you to draw you up again. Nothing can stop His plan for our lives when we simply trust and obey him. The Scripture assures us that all things works together for good, for those that love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Let us therefore be courageous in our dealings with others today – even those who seek our downfall. Let us surrender all to Jesus who can turn the worst situations into a perfect story.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I surrender my life to you today. Strengthen me in the face of persecution and guide me in the path of peace and fulfilment. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 51 If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, why does he not prevent evil?

“God allows evil only so as to make something better result from it” (St. Thomas Aquinas). Evil in the world is an obscure and painful mystery. Even the Crucified asked his Father, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). Much about it is incomprehensible. One thing, though, we know for sure: God is 100 percent good…

HIDE A TREASURE: “When you please the Lord, you can make your enemies into friends” Proverbs 16:7 GNB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28; Psalm 105: 16-21; Matthew 21:33-46

 

WHAT’S YOUR ROLE?

Sunday 27th December – The Feast Of Holy Family Of Jesus, Mary And Joseph

Reflection: Sirach 3:3-7, 14-17

WHAT’S YOUR ROLE?

Today, the Church celebrates the gift of the family as she presents us with the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as a standard for us to emulate. The first reading focuses on the we  children, giving us an insight into the great blessings awaiting the child who honours his parents. God has placed each one of us under the care and authority of our parents therefore we must respectfully obey and care for them even when they are old. This singular attitude of total obedience to one’s parents in God provokes God’s blessings to be showered on the life of the child; the first of which is long life, answered prayers, forgiveness of sins among many others.

Dear beloved, as a youth, have you realised that God has given your parents authority over you and you have a primary duty to always make them happy in every godly way? Have you ever realised that disobedience to them is disobedience to God who placed you under their care? Even our Lord Jesus whose birth we celebrate this season had to be incarnated in the setting of a family and have parents to care for Him, parents whose authority he submitted to as today’s gospel reading tells us.

Beloved, our role as children is not a passive one; we are not to be at the receiving end always. God calls us to actively love and honour our parents so that just as they rejoiced at our birth, we will remain a source of joy and thanksgiving to them all our lives.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please give me the grace to be an instrument of change in my family and to the glory of your name. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 371 – How does a child respect his parents?

A child respects and honours his parents by showing them love and gratitude.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For the Lord has given fathers authority over their children and given children the obligation to obey.” Sirach 3:2 GNB

Today’s Readings: Sirach 3: 3-7, 14-17; Psalm 128: 1-5; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2: 41-52

HONOURABLE COURTSHIP

Friday 18th December

Reflection: Matthew 1: 18-24

HONOURABLE COURTSHIP

Living in an increasingly secular society, we can easily lose the values that make us stand out as children of God. Such values that can easily be eroded, especially for young people, include purity of mind, heart and body. We do not need to look very far to get caught up with examples of impurity. Simply observing the trend at school – secondary school or higher institution, the “stars” in music, movie and sports etc that the world projects to us and while innocently surfing the web, we hear the same message ringing out: “purity is old fashioned!”; “It does not really matter whether or not you are a virgin!”; “everyone engages in premarital sex, you cannot possible do without it!”. If we are not extra careful and strengthened by God, we can easily become persuaded to live in impurity.

Dear friends, the results of this secularisation are clear: increasing number of unhappy people and marriages, increasing rates of separation and divorce, increased incidence of depression etc. If we are to live out the fullness of our faith as young Christians, we must strive to live honourable lives and seek out honourable friendships and courtships that will lead to happy homes. We must be willing to listen to God’s voice as He speaks to us and gives us the path to follow when we are uncertain.

Today’s gospel reading describes Joseph as an honourable man. His courtship with Mary was pure and holy such that there was no reason for him to panic when she was found to be with child. There was no chance he could be responsible for the pregnancy! Yet, in the midst of this confusing situation, God gave him direction about what to do. He reassured him that Mary’s story was true and that He had a role for him: to be the foster Father of our Lord. Let us open our hearts to God and ask Him for the grace to live lives that honour Him always. As we do, we can trust his direction every day of our lives.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, please help me to live in purity. Help me to build up good friendships and when the time for marriage draws near, grant me the grace of a fiance(e) and a courtship that honours you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 404 – What is chaste love? Why should a Christian live a chaste life?

A chaste love is a love that defends itself against all the internal and external forces that might destroy it. That person is chaste who has consciously accepted his sexuality and integrated it well into his personality. Chastity and continence are not the same thing. Someone who has an active sex life in marriage must be chaste, too. A person acts chastely when his bodily activity is the expression of dependable, faithful love.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body” 1 Corinthians 6:18 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Jeremiah 23: 5-8; Psalm 72: 1-2, 12-13, 18-19; Matthew 1: 18-24