JOURNEYING THOUGH THE WILDERNESS

Tuesday 4th April – Tuesday of the 5th week of Lent

Reflection: Numbers 21:4-9

JOURNEYING THOUGH THE WILDERNESS

When I was growing up, my parents often told us stories about their childhood and how some of the things we see as necessities where great luxuries for them. One of the stories I found outrageous was the fact that they had to eat virtually the same meal three times a day on most days. I can’t imagine how monotonous and boring meal times would have been for them. But this feeling recalls the complaints of the Israelites in today first reading. They had been on the journey to the promised land for so long and they lost patience. They had become bored with the monotony of their lives and food – manna.

Dear friends, we all at some points in our lives can pass through a wilderness experience like the Israelites – a time when life seems tough and tiring with nothing interesting to look forward to. Times when basic needs become unattainable luxuries and we are tempted to lose patience with God. Let us pause for a while at these difficult moments and seek consolation and strength in God’s wonderful works in our lives and in His promises to us.

Wilderness experiences ultimately test our allegiance to God. Are we going to trust Him only in plenty or are we going to hold on to Him as He leads us through this fallen world full of suffering to eternal happiness with Him? Let us look up to the cross of Christ and find healing, strength and the grace to be patient on our journey of faith.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, through the difficult moments of life, help me to trust that you are right beside me and you have a purpose for me. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 102 – Why are we too supposed to accept suffering in our lives and thus “take up our cross” and thereby follow Jesus?

Christians should not seek suffering, but when they are confronted with unavoidable suffering, it can become meaningful for them if they unite their sufferings with the sufferings of Christ: “Christ . . . suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Pet 2:21).

Hide a Treasure: “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” 2 Corinthians 4:17

Today’s Readings: Num 21:4-9; Ps 102:2-3,16-21; Jn 8:21-30

EMBRACE HUMILIITY

Saturday 31st October – Saturday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Luke 4:1, 7-11

EMBRACE HUMILIITY

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.” Lk 14:11

In an era in which we are often preoccupied with concerns about how others see us, we can find ourselves going out of our way to make an impression on people around us and in the bid to do this, we are often caught up with the vice of pride. Yet, Jesus’ warning stands clear: “whoever exalts himself will be humbled.”

Though Jesus used the example of taking places at a feast to illustrate the lesson on humility, this lesson applies to all aspects of our lives. Do our words, actions and attitudes portray humility? Are we willing to listen patiently to others as they air opinions which may be contrary to ours? Are we open to correction and criticism or are we in a haste to defend ourselves against critics? Do we respect other people and uphold their human dignity even if they may be at a lower societal class than ourselves?

St Paul admonishes us in his letter to the Philippians: “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit but in humility count others better than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). God praised Moses for his humility and was quick to defend him when Miriam and Aaron spoke against him (Num12: 3-8). He seeks that same humility from us. Remember, the man who humbles himself will be exalted

PRAYER: Lord, please forgive me for the times I have acted in pride. help me to be humble before you and before men in all my dealings. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 61 In what does the equality of all men consist?

All men are equal inasmuch as they have the same origin in the one creative love of God. All men have their Saviour in Jesus Christ. All men are destined to find their happiness and their eternal blessedness in God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29; Ps 94: 12-18; Luke 14: 1, 7-11

HIS WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS

Tuesday 6th October – Tuesday of week 27 of the year

Reflection: Psalm 130: 1-8

HIS WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS

The way of God is far different and more perfect than ours. It is His desire and will to constantly draw us closer to him but due to our sinful self we separate ourselves from him who is our creator. Today’s readings emphasize how much different our ways are from God’s. God gave the people of Nineveh a second chance to amend their ways, contrary to what Jonah and probably many of us would think. Likewise, in the gospel reading, Martha wanted to satisfy Jesus so badly and was surprised that though she complained against her sister, Jesus commended Mary.

Dear friends, we often find ourselves in Jonah or Martha’s shoes at one time or the other. We work very hard to do what we know is right and consciously or unconsciously, despise those who do not work in our direction. Yet, God shows us that even those whom we despise are dear to Him and all judgment should be left to Him. He reminds us that human wisdom is foolishness before Him. Indeed, you are what you are only by God’s grace because as the psalmist tells us, if God were to mark our guilt none of us will stand.

God calls you and I to extend the same love, patience and mercy He constantly shows us to others. He also calls us to ask His direction as we chart our ways through life, bearing in mind that only in Him is true wisdom found. Let us free our minds from unnecessary worries and stay at Jesus’ feet, listening to him at all times. Has sin scared you away from God’s pesence? Are you at a crossroad or lost in the valley of indecision? Come to Jesus today, trusting him to have mercy on you and reach out to you for ‘his ways are not our ways’. Take joy in His word, live it out daily and you will find His peace.

PRAYER: Dear lord, help me to take solace in your word at all times, that my faith and trust may be deepened and i may realise that your ways are not same as mine.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1874– “God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us.” To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned? But you forgive us, so that we should stand in awe of you.” Psalm 130: 3-4 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Jonah 3:1-10; Psalm 130: 1-4, 7-8; Luke 10: 38-42

WAITING ON THE LORD

Thursday 25th June – Thursday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Genesis 16:1-12, 15-16

WAITING ON THE LORD

“To wait on the Lord, is not as important as what we do while waiting.” God made a covenant with our father Abraham to give him an heir of his own (Gen 15:4-5). After ten years in the Promised Land, Sarah thought of a way out and she gave out her servant Hagar as a concubine to Abraham. However, God’s plan of an heir for Abraham was to be fulfilled through Sarah. The result of their impatience was more trouble to contend with. Dear friends in Christ, we are not oblivious of God’s promises for us, nor are we ignorant of His good plans in store for us, however, we often lose patience while waiting.

Patience is not passivity, but a strong endurance in the face of seeming defeat and disappointment; it is a refusal to be crushed by the blow of circumstances. “He who believes, does not hasten,” and “In our patience, we must learn to possess our souls.” Possession of soul describes the state in which a person has full command and undisturbed enjoyment of himself in opposition to outside influences, which disturb and decompose his peace of mind.

The Angel of the Lord told Hagar, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” This is the word of the Lord for so many that suffer injustice, not because tyranny is just but because we too, need to be freed from our arrogance. It is true that we are worth more than what society offers us, but if, through our circumstances, the Lord humiliates us, let us trust Him, knowing that such humiliation will prepare us for a greater mission. Patience in the face of injustice is not a sign of weakness. Every man has a soul to save, but this cannot be done without steadfast loyalty to the highest and the best. Patience then, is a submissive waiting. In the words of St. Theresa of Avila, “Patience attains all that it strives for.” Dear friends, let those who trust in God, wait on Him and possess their souls while waiting.

PRAYER: Lord, please grant me the virtue of patience and the grace to be obedient and to trust you wholeheartedly. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 311What 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 (cf. Gal 5:22-23). In the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the world can see what becomes of people who let themselves be adopted, led, and completely formed by God. The fruits of the Holy Spirit show that God really plays a role in the life of Christians

HIDE A TREASURE: “Since this is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 16:1-12, 15-16, Psalm 106:1-5, Matthew 7:21-29