LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Sunday, 9th February – 5th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Matthew 5: 13-16

LIGHT OF THE WORLD

All creation is eagerly expecting the birth in glory of the children of God (Romans 8:19). From God the incomprehensible light, we Christians, take our source to be light in the darkness of the world: a light that darkness should not overcome (John 1:5). We are in the world but not of the world, hence, we must not allow the cares of the world to put off the light of Christ in us. We must not allow the unfaithfulness and ingratitude we have experienced from others in the past to put off the generous and good spirit in us. We must not let ourselves be shaped by the world where we live; rather, we should be transformed through the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2).

Dear Friends, each time we share our bread with the hungry, shelter the homeless, encourage the down casted, fight for the cause of right or defend the helpless, we are shining forth the light of God in us. Each time we take the pain to correct those who go astray in love and not allow them to perish, each time we offer our time, talent and treasure for the good of others in the community or for service to God in His Church, we are shining forth our light as God’s Children. Each time we discharge our duties accordingly as students, as citizens of the country and as children to our parents and God; we are shining forth the light of God in us.

Let us ask ourselves; how much have I allowed the light of God in me to shine forth? Have I covered up my light because of past hurts or what others will say or think of me? Does my way of life lead others to God? Let us pray for the grace to be Light of the world and Salt of the earth.

PRAYER: Lord help me to live for you, that through my daily activities others may come to know you through me. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 11: WHY DO WE HAND ON THE FAITH?

No genuine Christian leaves the transmission of the faith exclusively to specialists (teachers, pastors, missionaries). We are Christ for others…He says to himself, “The Lord needs me! I have been baptized and confirmed and am responsible for helping the people around me to learn about God and ‘to come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4b).” Mother Teresa used a good comparison: “Often you can see power lines running alongside the street. Unless current is flowing through them, there is no light. The power line is you and I! The current is God! We have the power to allow the current to flow through us and thus generate the light of the world.

HIDE A TREASURE: “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Behave as Children of light; the fruits of light are kindness, justice and truth in every form.” Ephesians 5:8-9 CCB

Readings for today: Isaiah 58:7-10, Psalm 112:4-9, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Matthew 5:13-16

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

Thursday, 30th January – Thursday of week 3 of the year

Reflection: Mark 4: 21-25

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

In a country like Nigeria where power outages are still part of our everyday life, we would be able to appreciate the concept of light and darkness and I bet we all will agree with St John’s gospel that darkness cannot overcome light (John 1:5). No matter how dark a room is, the light of a single candle cannot be hidden by the darkness.

At our baptism, our admission into God’s family, we all were given lighted candles, signifying that we are given Christ, the light of the world who calls as His disciples to be light of the world too. A light always shows the way, giving illumination and direction to a dark path. Hence, you and I are called to be light even in the darkness of this world. As young people, we come face to face daily with worldly ways of doing things from the media, internet, friends, colleagues etc. The world upholds its own sinful standards in several issues such as fornication, lies, fraud, exam malpractice etc. We must not blend to the standards of this world because love for the world is enmity with God (1John 1:15).

Dear friend, Christ reminds us today that a lamp brought into the house cannot be put under a bed. Instead it is put on a stand so its light is seen everywhere in the house. Do not be afraid of standing out for Christ(Philippians 2:14). Do not be afraid of being the lone voice speaking the truth or being the only one in your class not engaging in sexual immorality. Each day, spend time with Christ studying His word and in prayers. Avail yourself of the privilege of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist as He is the strength for our journey of faith.

 Remember you are called by Jesus through your baptism to stand out and shine the light of truth and righteousness and someday, you will be called to account for how well you obeyed this call.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you for the privilege of belonging to the family of God through my baptism. Please grant me the grace and the courage to shine as a light in this fallen world. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 11 – Why do we hand on the faith?

We hand on the faith because Jesus commands us: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).

No genuine Christian leaves the transmission of the faith exclusively to specialists (teachers, pastors, missionaries). We are Christ for others. This means that every genuine Christian would like God to come to other people, too. He says to himself, “The Lord needs me! I have been baptized and confirmed and am responsible for helping the people around me to learn about God and ‘to come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Tim 2:4b).” Mother Teresa used a good comparison: “Often you can see power lines running alongside the street. Unless current is flowing through them, there is no light. The power line is you and I! The current is God! We have the power to allow the current to flow through us and thus to generate the light of the world: JESUS—or to refuse to be used and, thus, allow the darkness to spread.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven” Matthew 5:16 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 2 Samuel 7: 18-19, 24-29; Psalm 132: 1-5, 11-14; Mark 4: 21-25

LIGHT AND DARKNESS

Monday, 27th January – Monday of week 3 of the year

Reflection: Mark 3:22-30

LIGHT AND DARKNESS

The Kingdom of God is an everlasting one. Everything that happens and would happen is known to God and is revealed in the living word of God. God confirmed the unity of his kingdom when satan was cast down from heaven because he rebelled against God. (Rev12:7-9). This episode was further made known by Apostle John in his (1John 1:5); when he declared God as light which is devoid of darkness.

Dear friends, there are no two ways to our eternal home. The only way is Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. You cannot have two masters (Matthew 6:24), you either serve God or serve the devil. You can either shine for Christ or shine for the devil. Therefore, it is important for us to have a clear-cut understanding of the fruits of our actions. Does my life constantly open others to temptation and sin? Do I still harbor malice, hatred, lust, jealousy and other fruits of human nature (Gal 5:19-21) and still live as if nothing is wrong? These are manifestations of darkness with which the light cannot live.

In our reading today, Jesus was wrongly acclaimed to possess the evil nature; casting out demons with the power of Beelzebul. What an evil contention by the scribes! Dear friends, bearing good fruits for Christ will raise oppositions and all manner of slander. The world will testify against us and plant weeds amongst our plants. There would be times of suffering and division from even our own friends because we want to live for Christ. Let us be courageous and never give in to our human nature. Let us live by the Spirit who will help to sustain our light to our perfect end.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, sustain the light of the Gospel in your body, the Church. Help me to look forward always to a new horizon of your light in my life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 347 – Why is “not practicing what you preach” such a serious deficiency in a Christian?

Agreement between one’s life and one’s witness is the first requirement for proclaiming the Gospel. Not practicing what you profess is therefore HYPOCRISY, a betrayal of the Christian duty to be “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”

HIDE A TREASURE

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden”. Matthew 5:14 GNB

Readings for Today: 2 Samuel 5:1-7,10; Ps 89; Mark 3:22-30

LIGHT OF THE NATIONS

 

Sunday, 19th January – Second Sunday of the year

 

Reflection: Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6

LIGHT OF THE NATIONS

Can you imagine what our world would look like if the sun fails to rise? It It would mean a sustained global darkness. This cannot but unsettle mankind! Little wonder in the order of creation, God in His infinite wisdom created light before man (Genesis 1: 1-4, 26-27). The light of creation is itself a reflection of the True light, the Eternal Light in whose image man was created (Psalm 36:9). It is only God, the Eternal Light that truly illuminates; for this brightness penetrates beyond the eye it reaches deeper into the spirit and soul of man.

We must have light in order to reflect light. For us to be godly, God must be enthroned in our hearts. By His enthronement, He frees us from the inordinate love of self and other entrapment of sin. He ushers us into genuine freedom; the kind that makes our hearts resonate with the psalmist: “Here I am Lord! I come to do your will.” When we make a choice of God’s will and commit ourselves to doing it we become light in this fallen world. This light must necessarily challenge our human complacency (Matthew 5:14-16) for it is the kind that glorifies God. It reflects godliness in action and inaction. It fine tunes all aspects of our human life, ranging from spirituality to interpersonal relationships and our dedication to duty. It sometimes attracts opposition because it mystifies the fallen world (2Timothy 3:8, John 1:5). However, it is a pathway to assured victory. It is a dynamic way of evangelization.

Dear friends, if today there is still much darkness in the world, it calls you and I who answer the name “Christian” to reexamine our individual and cooperate ways of life. How bright is the light of Christ shining through me? Does my Christian identity promote or defame the name of Christ? We must be unsettled by the prevailing darkness in our world. To whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12: 47-48; Revelation 22:12)

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Light of glory, please brighten me up that my life may better honour and glorify you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 331Why is there nevertheless injustice among men?

All men have the same dignity, but not all of them meet with the same living conditions. In cases where injustice is man-made, it contradicts the Gospel. In cases where men have been endowed by God with different gifts and talents, God is asking us to rely on one another: in charity one should make up for what the other lacks.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” Matthew 5:16

Readings for today: Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6; Psalm 40: 1-10; 1Corinthians 1: 1-3; John 1:29-34