OUR ULTIMATE CALL

Friday 24th March – Friday of the 3rd week of Lent

Reflection: Mark 12:28-34

OUR ULTIMATE CALL

When we think of the word “Love” we often look at it in the context of feelings. Loving someone could easily amount in our thinking, to having nice feelings and emotions towards the person. While love certainly does involve emotions, it is much more than that. It is simply a decision to will the good of the other person without thinking of any benefits to oneself. We love for the sake of the other.

It is only as we examine love in this context that we can truly embrace the first commandment as Christ clearly expresses it today: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength…” We love God not because of the gifts He gives us but just because He is God, our creator, our source of life. Our love for God is a call to obedience to Him. It is a call to hold on to his commands, regardless of what the world around us calls us to.

Our love for God also directly calls us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Our ultimate call as Christians is that of unconditional love. It is a call to find God in the least of our brethren, in our enemies, in societies outcasts and to love them for whom they are: precious children of God. Beloved, let us turn to the Lord today and ask Him for renewed grace so that we may truly love God by living in obedience to him and love our brethren regardless of how difficult it may be to do so.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please pour out your love into my heart today. Let me look up to the cross and be reminded that love means total self-giving. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 351 – Aren’t the Ten Commandments outmoded?

No, the Ten Commandments are by no means the product of a particular time. They express man’s fundamental obligations toward God and neighbor, which are always and everywhere valid.

Hide a Treasure: “But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1 John 3:17 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Hosea 14: 2-10; Ps 81: 6-11, 14, 17; Mk 12: 28-34;

WHEN LOVE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Saturday 8th August – Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest

WHEN LOVE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Deuteronomy 6:4-13

This conversation ensued between a mother and her child after a Sunday Mass:

Mother: What lesson did you learn from Father’s homily today?

Child: Father said that love does not keep a record of wrongs in our hearts.

Mother: That is great my baby. You listened well.

Child: Thank you Mum, But where should I keep it? What then should I do if I don’t even remember the wrongs my friend did to me?

Beloved, Love is the nature of our Abba Father and all His actions are wrought in love. God’s love gives us a glimpse of heaven and it is capable of stripping us of anything in this world that contends with it in our heart. How then as Christians can we live without love? The truth is that there is no life without Love. Love breathes life and that is why Jesus love for the world led him to died so as to give us life.

Our reading today tells us of the greatest command that God gave his people Israel: “Israel, remember this! The LORD and the LORD alone is our God.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:4-5). To show its importance, God ordered them to tie this law on their arms and wear on their foreheads, to keep saying it while resting and while working, to write it on the doorpost of their houses and gates. Beloved, is this too much for Love? Does it make sense to do all this?

Love doesn’t have to make sense to the flesh because it is a gift of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit pours out the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5) to make us do the impossible for God. are we willing to allow the Holy Spirit work in us and through us? Just like the little child’s response in the illustration above, the love of God would make us live above malice, hatred, envy and all sorts of vices and would reconfigure our thinking. This is what Love can do with ease. Let us therefore be willing to give all for the Love of God and in turn we would see God in our neighbour.

Keep showing love to others even if it does not make sense.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to love you always. Give the grace by the power of the Spirit to love even when it doesn’t make sense to my reasoning. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 33- What does it mean to say that God is love?

If God is love, then there is nothing created that is not carried and surrounded by his infinite benevolence. God not only declares that he is love, he also proves it: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).

HIDE A TREASURE: “Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs”. 1 Corinthians 13:5 GNB

Today’s Readings: Deut. 6:4-13; Psalm 18:2-4.47.51; Matt. 17:14-20

HOW DO I LOVE GOD II?

Tuesday 5th May – Tuesday of the 5th week of Eastertide

Reflection: John 14:27-31

HOW DO I LOVE GOD II?

Yesterday, we learned that we love God by keeping his commandments and loving our fellow men. When we truly love God and our neighbour, we experience the peace that Christ promises us in today’s gospel reading – one that the world cannot give. This divine peace is one that surpasses all human understanding.

Today’s world is full of crises. The news is filled with stories of war, terrorism, deadly diseases and chaos in many parts of the world and we are tempted to ask: can there ever be peace in this world? Our dear country, Nigeria is not spared as many of our brothers and sisters in the North East constantly suffer the effects of the Boko Haram terrorist sect. The hatred and violence in our world is a direct effect of the absence of brotherly love, absence of personal inner peace which are a consequence of the absence of Christ.

Dear friend, it is only in abiding in Christ and in loving Him in our neighbour that we can experience true peace even in the midst of the ups and downs of this world. Let the love of Christ radiate through you to your neighbours. Christ the Prince of peace has promised to give us peace in a measure and manner that the world cannot give. Let us trust him to give peace to our hearts, families, country and the world at large.

PRAYER: Dear father, please grant me peace in my heart, home and environments and to live in peace with all men. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 395What is peace?

Peace is the consequence of justice and the sign of love put into action. Where there is peace, “every creature can come to rest in good order” (Thomas Aquinas). Earthly peace is the image of the peace of Christ, who reconciled heaven and earth.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27 GNB

Today’s Readings: Acts 14: 19-28; Psalm 145: 10-13, 21; John 14: 27-31

HOW DO I LOVE GOD?

Monday 4th May – Monday of the 5th week of Eastertide

Reflection: John 14:21-26

HOW DO I LOVE GOD?

Our catechism teaches us that God created us to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world and be happy with Him eternally; also, when asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…” (Mt 22:27). Hence the injunction to love God is central to our Christian faith. We often ask ourselves: how do I love God? In what ways can I fulfill the command to love God?

Jesus tells us exactly what loving God means: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:21). Hence we must constantly ask ourselves: Am I living in obedience to God? Dear friend, it is very easy for us to disobey God in the way we think, speak and act each day; indeed it takes deliberate efforts to please God rather than behave the way the society wires us to. Yet, our love for God demands that we obey Him in all things and love our fellow men sacrificially just as He has loved us. (John 13:34-35).

Take some moments to examine yourself today. Do you truly love God? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see the areas of your life in which you may not be living in obedience to God. And ask for His mercy and the grace to love God sincerely and faithfully.

PRAYER: Dear God, I ask for the grace of a genuine love for you and my fellow men. Please help me to obey you always. Amen.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My father will love them, and my father and I will come to them and live them” John 14:23 GNB

Today’s Readings: Acts 14: 5-18; Psalm 114: 1-4, 15-16; John 14: 21-26