TRULY CHRISTIAN

Tuesday 15th December – Tuesday of week 3 of Advent

Reflection: Matthew 21: 28-32               

TRULY CHRISTIAN

A beautiful lady had been forced into prostitution by difficult and pitiable circumstances. She endured heinous agony at the hands of her patronizers and gradually sank into perpetual grief. At that moment, she had had a handful of wicked men; but she would never forget the first one and the evil in his eyes as he deflowered her just three weeks ago. Haunted by her life, she sought spiritual help at a nearby church only to find that the chief counselor and head pastor of the church was the same man; whose evil eyes haunted her. The rest of the story is obvious.

‘Christians’; who are the first to hear God’s word and by their profession agree to live by it would be most unfortunate; if they do not show their faith in obedience. ‘Christians’ called to live like-Christ would be most unfortunate; if Christ is not seen in their lives outside the Church; in truth, humility and love. Our Christian faith is proven, not just by our attendance in Church, our carrying Bibles and Rosaries around or our outward shows of piety. The most important proof ouir faith is the everyday life we live.

Jesus rebuked the chief priests and elders in today’s gospel reading for their failure to believe John the Baptist because of their religious pride and self-righteousness. Are we any different from them dear friends? Are we open to the challenge for a renewed life, a life that looks beyond ourselves, our pride and past hurts and decisions and  is centred on obedience to Jesus? Redeemed of Christ, the Church is not just a building where piety is stored; the Church is the body of Christ alive in the lives of Christians.

PRAYER: My Lord Jesus, teach me obedience to your Word and help me live like you. 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: “Samuel then said: Does Yahweh take as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to his command? Obedience is better than sacrifice and submission better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15: 22 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Zephaniah 3: 1-2, 9-13; Psalm 34: 2-3, 6-7, 17-19. 23; Matthew 21: 28-32.

Advertisement

DELIGHTING IN GOD’S LAW

Friday 11th December – Friday of the 2nd week of Advent

Reflection: Psalm 1: 1-6

DELIGHTING IN GOD’S LAW

The book of Psalms begins with a promise of blessedness for the man who delights in the law of God and meditates on it day and night. To “delight” in something means “to have great pleasure” in it. God promises fruitfulness and prosperity, in and out of season for the man who takes great pleasure in His word. More so, the first reading of today reveals even more blessings upon the one who is alert to God’s commandments.

How then can we as youth take great pleasure in God’s law? God’s law is outlined for us in scripture and in the church’s tradition. As we study God’s word and the teachings of the Church, the Body of Christ, we come to know what God requires of us. God’s requirement of our way of life is often contrary to that of the world around us. If we live by the world’s standards, we will find ourselves following the counsel of the wicked, lingering in the way of sinners and sitting in the company of scorners. This standard of living brings nothing but doom. (Psalm 1: 1, 5-6).

What does the world around you say about pre-marital sex, abortion, use of hard drugs, homosexuality, lying, revenge, unforgiveness, exam malpractice, theft etc? What do God and his Church say about all these? We must seek daily to know God better by studying His word, obeying it and asking for his help in difficult moments. Only then would we be partakers of the divine blessing of all round fruitfulness and prosperity.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, your call to holiness is one that entails standing up for you in the midst of a sinful world. Please increase in me a desire to know you more and to live out your precepts. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 282Does Sacred Scripture speak about a way to happiness?

We become happy by trusting in Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes.

The Gospel is a promise of happiness to all people who wish to walk in God’s ways. Especially in the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12), Jesus has told us specifically that eternal blessedness is based on our following his example and seeking peace with a pure heart.

HIDE A TREASURE: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to thy word” Psalm 119:9 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Isaiah 48: 17-19; Psalm 1: 1-6; Matthew 11: 16-19

WHOM DO YOU TRUST?

Thursday 26th November – Thursday of week 34 of the year

Reflection: Daniel 6: 12-28

WHOM DO YOU TRUST?

None of us is self-sufficient, able to cater for all his own needs – physical, social, psychological, spiritual etc. God has created us with a need for interdependence. We all look to others to supply our needs in one way or the other. Such interdependence builds on a measure of trust without which our relationships cannot function. A child trusts the parents to provide his material needs, a parent trusts his child to put his best into his studies and uphold the family name through good behaviour. A wife trusts her husband to provide the family needs and the husband trusts his wife to manage family resources effectively to ensure smooth home running.

Yet we humans are very fallible and sometimes even our purest intentions can be foiled. Daniel could have placed his trust in the king, knowing that the king had no intention of hurting him but the first reading reveals that even the kings’ hands seemed to have been somewhat  tied and for all his good intentions, he could not prevent Daniel from being thrown to the lions. Beloved, so it is with us. If we do not place our trust in the ever faithful God, we will be faced with disappointment and frustration as we journey through life.

Only our trust in God will keep us faithful to him like Daniel was even in the face of persecution. Only our trust in God will keep us obedient to him in the choices we make when the whole world is going the wrong way. Beloved, God is our only sure anchor; our only sure hope who cannot be influenced by human limitations. Let your trust in Him be manifest in your total obedience to him as you make your daily choices and even though trials may come, like Daniel, you will experience His mighty power to save.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you because you are ever faithful. Please help me to trust you with the details of my life and find peace in obeying you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 470 – What prompts a person to pray?

We pray because we are full of an infinite longing and God has created us men for himself: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you” (St Augustine). But we pray also because we need to; Mother Teresa says, “Because I cannot rely on myself, I rely on him, twenty-four hours a day.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” Psalm 125:1 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Daniel 6: 12-28; Dan 3: 68-74 (canticle); Lk 21: 20-28

KEEPING WHAT YOU HEAR

Saturday 10th October – Saturday of week 27 of the year

Reflection: Luke 11: 27-28

KEEPING WHAT YOU HEAR

Each time we are confronted with the truth, it has an effect on us; we may acknowledge it, ignore it or oppose it. If we claim to acknowledge it without a concurrent effort to apply it to our lives, then we have actually ignored it. In the same way, each time we hear God’s word, we are confronted with the truth and are invited to model our lives on it. Hence, Jesus answers the woman in today’s gospel reading: “Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28).

Each time we are confronted with God’s word, the parable of the sower plays out again (Luke 8: 4-15). What kind of soil are you? Do you allow the devil to steal the word from your heart or the cares of this world to choke it out? Do you allow the word to grow deep roots in you or is your faith superficial? The good soil are those who hear the word of God, hold it fast in an honest and good heart and bring forth fruit with patience (Lk 8:15).

As you hear God’s word each day, ask yourself, “in what way does this word apply to me?” “What message is God directing at me today?” Jesus’ response to the woman shows that his mother was not blessed just because of the physical contact he had with her. Rather, she was blessed because she heard God’s word and kept it. Dear friend, make a commitment to keeping what you hear and you will experience the blessings the Lord has in store for you.

PRAYER: Thank you dear Lord for the gift of your word. Please help me to accept it with faith and joyfully live it out always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2706 – To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. it is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: “Lord, what do you want me to do?”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Joel 4:12-21; Psalm 97: 1-6, 11-12; Luke 11: 27-28