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

HARDEN NOT YOUR HEART!

Thursday 12th March – Thursday of the 3rd week of Lent

Reflection: Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9

HARDEN NOT YOUR HEART!

“…O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts… “(Psalm 95:7-8)

Today’s psalm, like the season of Lent itself is a call to repentance for us. It tells us how eagerly the Lord expects us to come into his presence with our hearts and minds set on repentance. While the Lord does not force us to repent, He constantly reminds us that we are His people and has paid the price for our redemption. His arms remain wide open as He seeks every opportunity to draw us to Himself.

Dear friends, as young people we sometimes want to live our lives without the reminder that there is a God somewhere reaching out to us. Christ tells us: “Anyone who is not for me is really against me…” (Luke 11:23). Every sincere act of repentance leads us closer to Christ who desires to have us come back to him.

You may have strayed far away from God and plunged yourself deep in sin. Do not despair my friend; God seeks your return; He is waiting for you with all eagerness, ready to run just like the father of the prodigal son as soon as you take a few steps back to Him. Do not follow the evil intentions and stubborn desires of your youthful heart. Today, you have heard His voice; will you harden your heart? The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy and he responds to repentance

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Oh that today I would listen to your voice. Draw me away from sin and closer to you this season of grace. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 229What prepares a person for repentance?

The insight into one’s personal guilt produces a longing to better oneself; this is called contrition. We arrive at contrition when we see the contradiction between God’s love and our sin. Then we are full of sorrow for our sins; we resolve to change our life and place all our hope in God’s help.

HIDE A TREASURE: “You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.” Proverbs 28:13 GNB

Readings for Today: Jeremiah 7: 23-28; Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9; Luke 11: 14-23

THE QUEST FOR PEACE

Sunday 6th July – 14th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Matthew 11:25-30

THE QUEST FOR PEACE

From time immemorial all man actions have been geared in the search for peace and happiness. Yet, peace of soul can never be found by mere human effort. The basis of human despair stems from our desire to make ourselves into an absolute, unconditioned being, independent of God, self-subsistent and self-reliant. Dread arises when we realize our contingency, limitations and nothingness. We are not the absolute, though we want it; we are not even all we could be. Anxiety arises from as we try to be the best of ourselves or to go beyond ourselves without God. Anxiety (human burden) increases in direct ratio and proportion as man departs from God.

The wise and the learned of the world seek to solve their challenges by their own efforts, but the more they try, the more challenges they create, unknown to them. This vicious cycle continues as long as man depends on itself. However, the lowly (humble of heart), aware of their strength look up to God for help. It is only by being little that we ever discover anything big.

Dear Friends, if we truly desire to be happy and have peace, God must be our supreme end. We must refer all things to Him, because all good things proceed from Him. Beloved, Christ is calling us today irrespective of the burden we bear, how heavy or how long we have been carrying them, to come home to Him on our knees and tell Him all about our troubles and burdens. He is ready to take over from us, to bear our load of care and support us in our weakness.

Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.  Are we weak and heavy-laden? Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior still our refuge. Take it to the Lord in prayers (Catholic Hymn Book 289)

PRAYER: Lord I give all that I have and all that I will be to you, use them for your glory. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 10 With Jesus Christ, has everything been said, or does revelation continue even after him?

In Jesus Christ, God himself came to earth. He is God’s last Word. By listening to him, all men of all times can know who God is and what is necessary for their salvation.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do not be anxious about anything. In everything resort to prayer and supplication together with thanksgiving and bring your requests before God.” Philippians 4:6 CCB

Readings for Today: Zechariah 9:9-10, Psalm 145: 1-2, 8-14, Romans 8:9, 11-13, Matthew 11:25-30

THE PEACE OF CHRIST

Tuesday 20th May – Tuesday of the 5th week of Easter

Reflection: John 14:27-31

THE PEACE OF CHRIST

The peace of Christ is a promise and an assurance that Christ gave unto His disciples before He left the earth and it is this peace that all Christians have been called to enjoy as one of the benefits of following Christ.

This peace, says Christ, is not as the world gives. It sustains us through the ups and downs of life. Every Christian should operate on this level of peace such that even when everything seems disorderly and clumsy, we have that assurance that all will eventually turn out for our good (Romans 8:28). It is this peace that makes us suffer joyfully for the sake of the good news hoping to inherit the kingdom of God. It is also this peace that makes us rest assured in Christ, submitting all to him.

Beloved, irrespective of what you are going through, irrespective of the situation of your life; take hold of this message and let the peace of Christ reign in your life. Let the peace of Christ empower you as you hear Him whisper to your heart: “behold, all is well.”

Prayer: Heavenly father, I submit my whole life to you today that I may gain your peace. Amen.

HIDE A TREASURE: “They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith.‘We must pass through many troubles to enter the kingdom of God’ they taught.” Acts 14:22 GNB.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 93 Why was Christ transfigured on the mountain?

The Father wanted to reveal the divine glory of his Son even during Jesus’ earthly life. Christ’s Transfiguration was meant to help the disciples later to understand his death and Resurrection.

Readings for today: Acts 14:19-28; Psalm 145:10-13, 21; John 14: 27-31