A MERRY HEART

Friday 25th December-. Solemnity of The Birth of Our Lord.
REFLECTION: ISAIAH 52:7-10 A MERRY HEART

Wow! How time flies! Just like it is a dream, today we have come to another yuletide. First of all we wish a “Merry Christmas”. But how merry are you today? Are you truly merry? Well, friend, there may be so many reasons not to be merry, but really we have to find that happy spot in our souls today and give someone a big hug. Yes, a big hug. The Word of God says in the book of Proverbs that “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. (Prov. 17:22a). Wonderful, isn’t it?

 Beloved, today being the celebration of the birth of our Lord offers a wonderful opportunity for us to show that spirit of fraternity and oneness that should exist between us and those around us. We are encouraged to be the channel through which Christ will be born anew in the heart of someone else. The birth of Christ should be for us a new beginning. We don’t have to wait for the New Year before we take the decision to be a better person. Beloved, time waits for no one. One of the best decisions we can make this season is to be a blessing to someone else. Remember that when you give people joy, you also reap joy in return, when you give people peace, you also reap peace as well. 

So let’s go all out today and be merry, not forgetting to show love to all around us. One again, Merry Christmas.

PRAYER: Father please fill my heart with joy today by Your Holy Spirit, I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Being cheerful keeps you healthy.” Proverbs 17:22a. GNB.

Today’s Readings: Isa.52:7-10; Heb.1:1-6; John1:1-18

GAUDETE!

Sunday 13th December – 3rd Sunday of Advent

Reflection: Luke 3:10-18

GAUDETE!

As we get half-way through Advent we are greeted at Mass today with “Rejoice!” The Entrance Antiphon captures the message in a beautiful way: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” The “Gaudete” Sunday calls you and me, amidst the penitential nature of Advent, to embrace our hope and expectation with joy. What better reason do we have to be joyous than the reassurance that our Lord and Saviour is near?

When we encounter difficulties in our day to day lives – at home, at work, in our communities, in our nation, we can easily become so overburdened that we do not see any reason for joy. Yet God tells us to look beyond all these and see how much we are loved by the very God that holds the universe in existence. St Paul calls us in the second reading to hand over our worries and concerns to God in prayer so we may experience His peace, one that is much greater than we can understand and one that keeps our hearts in perspective.

The question of John’s hearers should become our own too: “what must we do?” We must rid ourselves of the division and strife caused by sin and human selfishness. Remember that the call to rejoice is for the entire human race. Is there any way your words and actions may be preventing your neighbour from experiencing the joy that God fills our heart with? John the Baptist called the people to reconciliation and a life of love and sharing. Advent gives you an opportunity for reconciliation as we wait in hope to celebrate our Saviour’s birth. Let us grasp this opportunity and experience the rivers of overflowing joy in us and around us.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please fill me with your joy today and help me share that joy with all who surround me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 311-What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.

 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” Philippians 4:4 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-18; Isaiah 12 (canticle); Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3: 10-18

HEAVEN’S JOY

Saturday 3rd October – Memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Virgin & Doctor

Reflection: Luke 10:17-24

HEAVEN’S JOY

Man is so great that nothing on earth satisfy him. Only when he turns to God is he content. St. John Vianney.

These words of John Vianney describes the joy of Jesus’ seventy-two disciples on their return from mission. They were overwhelmed by what they did through Jesus’ name. As Christ shared in their joy, he gave them an even more important cause to rejoice: “But don’t be glad because the evil spirits obey you; rather be glad because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Beloved, just as Jesus’ disciples were fortunate to see and hear what Christ was doing, so are we who are members of God’s kingdom. We do not see Christ in flesh but we can boast of his power and miracles in our daily lives, even in our darkest hours of our lives. This is what we are called to embrace and uphold – a life full of joy, faith and confidence amidst the sorrows of life.

Christ wants to rejoice over us and be proud of us. He does not look down on us because of our weaknesses just as He did not disregard his disciples who were unlearned. He loves us the way we are and readily wants to work in us so that through us people may acknowledge his power. He wants us to be joyful in our unique personalities and never become proud because of what He is doing through us or envious of what He is doing through others.

Today, Christ shows us how we can gladden his heart as we go on with our daily schedules. Are we working faithfully to make our names written in the book of life? Do you serve God in the Church without a true knowledge of why we are serving? What gladdens your heart and gives you an unwavering joy? Are you thirsty for God to fill you with his power and use you as his workmanship?  God awaits a positive response from us each day as he wants us to happy and fulfilled in life. May heaven’s joy fill us today and forever. Amen.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, fill me with the joy that comes from your Spirit that I may rejoice in your great salvation. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 281 – Why do we yearn for happiness?

God 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: “As fresh water brings joy to the thirsty, so God’s people rejoice when he saves them”. Isaiah 12:3 GNB

Today’s readings: Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29; Psalm 69:33-37; Luke 10:17-24

CHRIST – OUR SOURCE OF JOY

Wednesday 22nd April – Wednesday of the 3rd week of Eastertide

Reflection: Psalm 66:1-7

CHRIST – OUR SOURCE OF JOY

Happiness and joy are two words that are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between them. While happiness depends on our circumstances, joy goes beyond them. For instance, getting a good grade at school, having your favourite meal for supper and having your needs met may be sources of happiness. Joy on the other hand springs from your heart and is there even when life is rough and circumstances are unpleasant.

Joy is a gift; a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22) and one of the blessings of the resurrected Lord. He is indeed our source of joy. Christ triumph over death on the cross and the assurance that we are God’s children through Baptism in His name is our source of joy and transcends whatever difficulties we may experience in our daily lives. Hence we have every reason to praise Him with today’s psalm.

Today, ask the Lord to fill you with His joy and make a choice to dwell in that joy. A Christian without joy has something missing. Let your joy lead to you to praise God in every circumstance of life and radiate this joy to others. You are a child of God; a heir to His kingdom Why not join your voice with those of the angels as they sing psalms to the praise of His holy name.

PRAYER: Lord, please fill my heart with joy and let this joy lead me to praise you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 311 – What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 8: 1-8; Psalm 66: 1-7; John 6: 35-40

NEW THINGS HAVE COME

Monday, 16th March – Monday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: Isaiah 65:17-21

NEW THINGS HAVE COME

Today, the Lord gives us a promise of newness. Newness signifies a fresh start, a blank page on which there are no memories of past errors or experiences. He promises a renewal to the people called by His name; replacing their grief with joy, lengthening their days on earth and blessing their hard work with fulfilment.

Dear friend, has life been tough on you? Have you been miserably battered by your past and find yourself dwelling on memories that bring you deep hurt? You do not have to continue living this way. God calls out to you, ready to give you a new beginning if only you would allow Him. Jesus is saying to you: “come unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:28).

Beloved, do you wish to be a partaker of these blessings? What is keeping you back? Take it all to the Lord with all humility and faith in Him and new testimonies shall be yours.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I submit myself to you. Please renew me; take away all past hurts and grant me a new life in you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 221 – How does Holy Communion change me?

Every Holy Communion unites me more deeply with Christ, makes me a living member of the Body of Christ, renews the graces that I received in Baptism and Confirmation, and fortifies me for the battle against sin.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30: 2-6, 11-13; John 4:23-54

A HAPPY ENDING

Wednesday 31st December – 7th day within the octave of Christmas

Reflection: Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13

A HAPPY ENDING

After a journey of 365 days in the year 2014, what more can we do but give thanks to God for his unending love and faithfulness to us all throughout the year? It is a great privilege to count your blessings and remember the goodness and mercy of God through the happy and sad moments that we have encountered in the year 2014. Think less of what you would have loved to accomplish this passing year and thank God for what you have been able to do. Lift him high in praise and worship. Find some moments today to reflect over the past year, and rejoice in thanksgiving as you look forward to the beginning of the New Year.

Dear friends, the scripture says that the end of anything is better than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8). Hence we must heed the psalmist today as he calls us to: “Sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord all the world” (Psalm 96:1). Just as a pregnant woman rejoices when she finally gives birth to her child, so must we enter the New Year with joy as we hope for a good start. Make a choice to be happy and let the Spirit of truth lead you to make right decisions and conclusions for whatever plans you have. A happy ending would always usher in a note of peace, a sign of freedom from worry and a platform for the presence of God’s spirit. Be determined to finish strong by letting go strongholds of malice, depression, self-pity and all that weighs you down. Today can still make a difference in this passing year.

So be at your duty post today no matter how little it may be. Do everything out of love. Remember also that life is a pilgrimage the end of which must come one day. Keep focused and live well so as to die well.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for seeing through me another year, help me to remain united to you as long as I live. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 186What is the liturgical year (the Church year)?

The liturgical year, or the Church year, superimposes the mysteries of the life of Christ—from his Incarnation to his second coming in glory—on the normal course of the year. The liturgical year begins with Advent, the time of waiting for the Lord, and has its first high point in the Christmas season and its second, even greater climax in the celebration of the redemptive suffering, death, and Resurrection of Christ at Easter. The Easter season ends with the feast of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The liturgical year is repeatedly interrupted by feasts of Mary and the saints, in which the Church praises God’s grace, which has led mankind to salvation.

HIDE A TREASURE: “You would do everything you have promised; Lord, your love is eternal. Complete the work that you have begun”. Psalm 138:8 GNB

Readings for Today: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13, John 1:1-18

THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL


Saturday 27th December – Feast of St. John, Apostle & Evangelist.

Reflection: 1 John 1:1-4

THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL

The Church celebrates today, an icon of the Gospel – St John the Evangelist, who, according to tradition, was the only Apostle of Christ that died a natural death. All others were martyred. He preached love in his letters and lived the gospel with joy, a joy he was ever ready to share. The “beloved Apostle”, as he is called, John’s humility is manifest in the Gospel reading of today (John 20:2-8) as he waited for Peter to enter the tomb of their master before he did. He gives us an example of humility which we all are called to embrace.

The word of life in today’s reading is the word made flesh (John 1:14), Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the reason for our life of joy and victory. He is the one we meet every day in prayer and in the Sacraments. We meet him at our working place and in our schools, in the market and on the streets. Do we recognize him? Do we deliberately create an atmosphere of love amidst hatred where Jesus’ presence can be felt? Beloved, Jesus is alive and he desires our active participation in his ministry to put smiles on the faces of those around us.

The Apostles may have seen and touched Jesus during his earthy ministry but we too are blessed because we believe in Him even without seeing Him (John 20:29) and are united in faith with the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let us embrace the life of joy and peace which Christ brings. We must choose to live out the gospel and never be ashamed to experience the transformation it brings. (Romans 1:16). St John was able to share the joy of the gospel because He encountered Christ personally. Let us encounter Him in prayer, in His word and in the Eucharist; let us draw living water from the word of God each day to quench our thirst and fill our lives so that we can share the joy of the gospel with our neighbors. Only then is our joy is made complete.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please fill my life with your presence that I may overflow with the joy of your saving grace to others. Amen,

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 124 – The word of God, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, is set forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the New Testament which hand on the ultimate truth of God’s revelation. Their central object is Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son: his acts, teachings, Passion and glorification, and his Church’s beginnings under the Spirit’s guidance.

HIDE A TREASURE: “How happy are those who believe without seeing me.” John 20:29 GNB

Readings for Today: 1 John 1:1-4; Psalm 96:1-2, 5-6, 11-12; John 20: 2-8