THE VIRTUE OF PERSEVERANCE

Saturday 14th November – Saturday of week 32 of the year

Reflection: Luke 18:1-8

THE VIRTUE OF PERSEVERANCE

Have you ever tried to seek audience with a VIP? Perhaps you needed to meet a highly placed official or needed a favour from some influential personality. How easy was it to get across to such a person? If you take time to reflect on this, you cannot but be grateful for the privilege we have as God’s children. The Almighty God who created all things is the only ruler who has no protocol officer through whom you must go to get his attention. With faith as tiny as a mustard seed, we can approach our loving and just Father and be confident that He will answer our prayers in due time.

Christ encourages us today with the parable of the widow and the unjust judge never to be discouraged in making our requests known to God. If even an unjust man cannot but attend to the unrelenting request of a widow, what should we expect from our all good God? “And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, He will vindicate them speedily” Lk 18:7-8

Beloved, what are you looking up to God for? Is it success in your exams, a life partner, peace or some other seemingly difficult situations? Have your rights been infringed and there is no one to fight your course? Does it look like God has forgotten you and has not answered your requests? Jesus’ words to us today is reassuring. We have a God whom we can trust; indeed His delays are never denials.  Do not ever give up, keep up asking God in faith and in due season He w

PRAYER: Heavenly father, relying on your words today, I lay all my requests humbly at your feet; please give answers to them so that my faith can be strengthened. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT510 – Is it possible to pray always?

Prayer is always possible. Prayer is vitally necessary. Prayer and life cannot be separated.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Now will God not judge in favour of his own people who cry to him day and night for help? Will he be slow to help them? Luke 18:7 GNB

Today’s Readings: Wisdom 18: 14-16, 19: 6-9; Ps 105: 2-3, 36-37, 42-43; Luke 18: 1-8

DO NOT GIVE UP ON THY SELF

Friday 23rd October – Friday of week 29 of the year

DO NOT GIVE UP ON THY SELF

Romans 7: 18-25

One of the greatest tragedies of faith is for any Christian to give up on him or herself. To surrender to our human weaknesses and quit striving in the salvation struggle is to relinquish oneself as prey to Satan. God never gives up on any one (Ephesian 2:4); we are the only ones that can shut the door of mercy on ourselves through unbelief. That was the tragedy of Judas’ faith.
Beloved in the Lord, is your lamentation similar to that of St. Paul in today’s first reading? “… for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing the good things I want to do, I carry out the sinful thing I do not want” (Romans 7: 21-23). Let us not be discouraged; the manifestation of our human weakness should promote humility of heart and spur us to greater dependence on God.

By humility of heart, I mean three things. Firstly, our weaknesses teach us that none of us is yet perfect (Romans 3: 23), though we have been converted to Christ, our salvation is a journey which we must daily work out (Philippians 2:12). Secondly, we are reminded of our need to daily quest and depend more on the grace of God (2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Samuel 2:9). Thirdly, our weakness should teach us to accommodate the imperfections of others having come to see the short comings in ourselves.

Dearest in Christ, let us not get wearied on the journey of faith; let us persevere in good work. Faithful is He that has called us (1 Thessalonian 5: 24) and He is able to safeguard the souls that have been committed to him to the glorious appearance of the saints in heaven (1 Timothy 1:12).

Prayer: Thank you father for your great love and mercy over my life. Please help me never to be discouraged by my shortcomings but that I may be committed to greater seek and serve you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 679 – The father has given “all judgement to the Son.” Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself. By rejecting grace, one already judges oneself, receives according to ones’ works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love. 

HIDE A TREASURE: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak” 2 Corinthians 12:9 GNB

Today’s Readings: Romans 7: 18-25; Psalms 119: 66, 68, 76-77, 93-94; Luke 12: 54-59

FINISHING STRONG

Saturday 19th September – Saturday of week 24 of the year

Reflection: 1 Timothy 6: 13-16

FINISHING STRONG

“Thank God for this beautiful day” exclaimed Ifeoma as she yawned tiredly. It was her matriculation to start studying her dream course after three years of battling with the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and the university admission process. As she retired to bed she reflected on the words of the Vice Chancellor. After congratulating the new students on their admission, he had reminded them that they were beginning a journey, aimed at acquiring knowledge and graduating with excellent grades and their joy will be full only if they persevered in their studies and achieved this goal at graduation.

The words of the vice chancellor hold true not only for students but also for us all as Christians. Through our baptism, God has transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved Son (Col 1:13); and our journey of faith has begun. We have become children of God and heirs to His kingdom. Yet, it is only if we strive to live out our call to holiness each day and persevere in it till the very end that we receive the final reward of our faith.

Let us take St Paul’s admonishment to Timothy in today’s first reading to be obedient to all that he had been told with no faults or failures, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ as our own. Our Christian profession will be of no benefit to us if we begin our journey of faith well but allow ourselves to drift away, distracted by the lure of the world around us. We must aim at finishing strong. We must endure to the end so that we can be saved (Matt 24:13). Let us approach our Lord in the Sacrament of Penance each time we fall and receive His ever abounding strength for the journey at the table of the Eucharist.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of my faith. Please help me to persevere in living it out sincerely till the very end. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1023 – Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live forever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.” Hebrews 3:14 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: 1 Timothy 6:13-16; Psalm100:1-5; Luke18: 4-15

TRUSTING GOD’S DESIGN

Saturday 11th July – St. Benedict, ABB (memorial)

TRUSTING GOD’S DESIGN

Genesis 49: 29-33, 50: 15-26

Are there times you have subjected yourself to discomfort because you were aiming at a particular goal? You may have denied yourself a good meal before a sporting event so as to be able to perform well or as a student, you denied yourself the pleasure of extra sleep and play time so as to study effectively and ace your test. You would notice that in those situations, you did not complain about the discomfort because you knew the benefit it would bring in the end.

Beloved, do you trust that the uncomfortable events in your life too are part of God’s design to make you whom He wants you to be? When Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he may have complained about their wickedness and about the suffering he underwent as a slave and then a prisoner in Egypt. Yet, in today’s reading he could look back at his experience and tell his brothers: “the evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good…” (Gen 50:20).

Our human minds cannot see beyond the present and we are tempted to complain about our circumstances. Yet, God calls us to trust in His design for our lives. He has a good plan for each of us and permits certain uncomfortable events to shape us so we can fulfil His beautiful purpose. In the midst of his suffering, Joseph lived in obedience to God and God’s blessing was upon him. Like Joseph, set your mind on pleasing God; let each day of your life be lived in obedience to Him and He will lead you ultimately to the fulfilment of His promises.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I trust in your perfect plan for me. Please help me to see your hand at work even in the unpleasant circumstances of life and to please you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 51If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, why does he not prevent evil?

“God allows evil only so as to make something better result from it” (St. Thomas Aquinas).

HIDE A TREASURE: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Gen 49: 29-33, 50: 15-26; Psalm 105: 1-7; Mt 10:24-33