TREASURE WHAT YOU HAVE

Friday 26th February – Friday of the 2nd week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 21: 33-46

TREASURE WHAT YOU HAVE

In this parable, the vineyard is the kingdom of God; the Jews, God’s chosen people are the tenants. God entrusted His kingdom to them. He guided them throughout the long span of history that they would be an example to others. They were to communicate their experience to others so that all would develop justice, and a spirit of responsibility. These were the fruits God wanted to harvest. God sent his prophets to remind them of their debts; but they ignored them. Finally, the only Son of God appeared as man but they cast Him out and killed Him. Consequently, the Kingdom was taken from them and given to others, those believers converted from other nations. Thus, through their disobedience the mercy of God came to the pagan nations (Romans 11:11-33).

We too as Christians have been entrusted with time, talents and treasures by God; He has given us the grace to dress the vineyard of our life with all He has blessed us with. He has given us all these to use for the betterment of our own lives and to help others. God has given us strength, vitality and ideas as youths to better our life, our environment and the world at large. Dear Friends, today God is reminding us of this duty, He is calling us bear fruits. He is calling us to recognize the resources He has entrusted to us and to value them. Can you recognize the talents God has given you? Can you recognize the grace God has given you to serve him in various capacities? How faithful are you with those God has placed under your care?

Remember, what we have is a gift from God, what we do with them is our own gift to God. What kind of gift are you offering back to God?

PRAYER: Lord, help me to recognize my treasures and to use them for your glory. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 203 – What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is the Sacrament that completes Baptism; in it the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon us. Anyone who freely decides to live a life as God’s child and asks for God’s Spirit under the signs of the imposition of hands and anointing with chrism receives the strength to witness to God’s love and might in word and deed. He is now a full-fledged, responsible member of the Catholic Church.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire” Matthew 7:19 CCB

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

THE DEMANDS OF THE KINGDOM

Friday 19th February – Friday of the 1st week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 5:20-26

THE DEMANDS OF THE KINGDOM

The Kingdom of God is a delicate matter which every serious Christian should pay keen attention to. This Kingdom demands that we live beyond the standards of this world. For instance, the standard of the world is to “be good to only those who are good to you”. But for a Christian, we are called to something much higher because the scripture enjoins us to “love our enemies, bless those that curse us and do good to them that hate us…” (Matthew 5:44). Often, we find ourselves falling short of this Kingdom standard. Hence, what must we do?

First we must acknowledge our weaknesses before God and implore the help of the Holy Spirit. One of the reasons why God gave us His Holy Spirit is to convict us of righteousness. (John 16:8). Beloved, what this means is that you will no longer try to be righteous by your own strength or human will, rather the Holy Spirit will teach you a new pattern of righteousness that comes from intimacy with Him. Dear friends, hatred and malice are never to be found in the rank of a Christian. Why not turn to the Holy Spirit today, He is ready to help you; He is ready to pour into your heart the love of God that stands above any form of pride, anger, envy or any vice that seeks to drain us of God’s love and mercy.

PRAYER: Precious Holy Spirit, I acknowledge your presence in me and ask you to help me shed off every weakness of character in my life this day. Please grant me the grace to cooperate with you in this purpose. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 112What will it be like when Christ judges us and the whole world?

“Even Christ cannot help someone who does not want to know anything about love; such a person judges himself.

Because Jesus Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), He will show what is of lasting value in God’s sight and what is not. Held up to the standard of His life, the full truth about all people, things, thoughts, and events will come to light.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If thou, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” Psalm 130:3 RSV

Readings for today: Ezekiel 18:21-28; Psalm 130:1-5, 7-8; Matthew 5:20-26

FOCUSING ON THE “WHEN”

Tuesday 24th November – Memorial of SS Andrew Dung-Lac & his

Companions, Martyrs

Reflection: Luke 21: 5-11

FOCUSING ON THE “WHEN”

Quite often I hear comments on how close the end of the world is, considering the difficulties faced by the modern world – wars, natural disasters, terrorism, extreme poverty, godlessness, immorality etc. Our preoccupation is very much like that of Christ’s audience in today’s gospel reading: “when…what are the signs?” They wanted to know when these things would take place so as to prepare beforehand but Jesus’ emphasis was different – His emphasis was on their constant preparedness.

Beloved, whether or not we can read the signs of the end of time is insignificant compared to the hard truth that stares at us in the face each day – our own personal lives can end at any time. We certainly have been taken aback by the sudden death of friends and loved ones. These deaths remind us that ours too can come at any time. Yet, far from keeping us in the fear of death, these reminders of our end should help us put life into proper perspective and that is what the Church calls us to do at Advent which is fast approaching.

Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the first reading showed that God would set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed. We have the privilege through our Baptism to be children of God, heirs to his kingdom. Let us live up to our baptismal promises and put to use the various means of sanctification the Church offers us in our daily lives. As we do this, we would focus not on the “when” of our end but on living a life of constant union with God here on earth.

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for the gift of my faith and for incorporating me into God’s kingdom through your death. Please help me to live each day as your true ambassador. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 543 – Everyone is called to enter the kingdom. Frist announced to the children of Israel, this messianic kingdom is intended to accept men of all nations. To enter it, one must first accept Jesus’ word: the word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field: those who hear it with faith and are numbered among the little flock of Christ have truly received the kingdom. Then, by its own power, the seed sprouts and grows until the harvest.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace” 2 Peter 3:14 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Daniel 2:31-45; Dan 3: 57-61 (canticle); Lk 21: 5-11