WHAT MATTERS MOST?

Thursday 3rd September- Memorial of St. Gregory the Great, Pope & Doctor

WHAT MATTERS MOST?

LUKE 5: 1-11

What a great day it is today! Jesus has not stopped doing good things, He is still in the business. Today’s reading recorded the great miracle he performed for Peter and his companions. It should however be noted that this miracle was able to take place because Simon Peter obeyed the master’s instruction. At the end, the miracle did not matter the most to them, rather the One who performed the miracle did. It is amazing how a person’s life can be transformed in just one genuine encounter with the Lord. It can make all the difference needed.

In our modern world today, it seems most of us have completely missed the goal of Christianity. Many of us come closer to God only when there is a pressing need and once the request is granted, off we are to our usual routine of doing things. God is indeed very merciful to us, but we must not take the mercy of God for granted. We are called as Christians to go after what matters the most, which is God Himself. When Peter and his companions pulled the net ashore, they left everything to follow Jesus because they have found something more to live for. They immediately switched from being ordinary fishermen to great soul winners. Therefore friend let’s buckle up and stop chasing things, instead let us chase the Maker Himself, He is worth devoting a lifetime to find. Ask yourself today what matters most to me? If your answer is not focused on Christ, kindly re-examine your life. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mt 6:33)

PRAYER: Lord, help me that I may focus on you. Lead me not into the tempt of all ungodly things that matters to me.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 151: “We can believe in Jesus Christ because He is Himself God, the Word made flesh: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the Father, He has made Him known.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13.

Today’s readings: 1 Cor 1:9-14; Ps 98:2-6; Lk 5:1-11

WILL YOU ALSO GO AWAY?

Sunday 23rd August – 21st Sunday of the year

Reflection: John 6: 60-69

WILL YOU ALSO GO AWAY?

The crowds were often filled with admiration at Jesus’ words but today’s response was different. Though they eagerly sought Jesus out in the earlier verses of John 6, the chapter ends on a different note: “After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” (Jn 6:66). However, Jesus response to his massive loss of disciples is even more startling. Rather than going after them he made the apostles realise that they were free to leave too. Peter’s response shows that though the apostles did not understand Jesus’ teaching on “eating His flesh and drinking His blood”, they had grown to trust Him as the Son of God who “has the message of eternal life.”

The Catholic Church, established by Christ Himself as history testifies, possesses the fullness of the Christian faith as handed down to us by the apostles. Many truths have been compromised by majority of Christian groups – truths about the Eucharist, baptism, salvation through faith and works, contraception, abortion, homosexual unions, carrying our crosses etc. – truths which have constantly been upheld by the Catholic Church. Yet, many young people are carried away by the excitement and noise these other Christian communities offer and do not care about living out the truth.

Dear friend, Jesus asks you today too: “will you also go away?” Just as Christ did not compromise his teaching to appease the crowd in today’s gospel reading, His Church will not either. The apostles persisted with Christ and came to understand His words more fully after His resurrection. You have the fullness of the Christian faith as a Catholic. Don’t let this great treasure go to waste. Seek to deepen your friendship with Christ through an active faith life – prayers, the Eucharist, confession, Bible study and seek to understand your Catholic faith through study and prayers. Only then would you be able to respond like St Peter did: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life.”

PRAYER: Thank you dear Lord for the priceless gift of my faith. Please help me to embrace it in trust and true commitment so that it may lead me to the holiness of life to which you call me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 870 – The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic…subsists on the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines.

HIDE A TREASURE: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” John 6:63 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Joshua 24: 1-2, 15-18; Psalm 34: 2-3, 16-23; Ephesians 5: 21-32; John 6: 60-69

I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH

Monday 29th June – Solemnity of SS Peter and Paul, Apostles

Reflection: Matthew 16: 13-19

I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH

How much do you trust in God and in His word? Do you hold on to the words of Scripture as truth? Do you believe everything Christ says in the gospels? The average Christian will respond in the affirmative. Yet, many Christians have out rightly rejected Jesus’ words in today’s gospel reading pertaining to the leadership of Apostle Peter over the Church. He said, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of the underworld shall never hold out against it” (Mt 16:18). He went on to give Peter the keys to the kingdom of Heaven, with authority to bind and to lose.

History testifies to the truth that the Catholic Church is the one Church established by Christ; it has no human founder and is the only Church that can trace its history back to the apostolic and post-apostolic era. If Christ built his Church upon Peter and declared that evil will never overpower it, we can trust His words and believe that He who has kept His Church through the centuries will perpetually keep her from error. We can also trust that the Church, the pillar of truth (1 Tim 3:15) which has defended the Christian faith against heresies and guided many souls unto salvation will guide ours as we trust in her teaching and follow the path of holiness to which she calls us.

Dear friend, as we celebrate two foremost apostles today, take time to thank God for the privilege to be a Catholic; to belong to Christ’s own Church. Live out your faith in love, holiness and absolute trust in Jesus words – words of eternal life (John 6: 63). You have the fullness of the Christian faith. Embrace it with all seriousness and live your Christian life to its fullest.

PRAYER: Thank you dear Lord for the gift of my Catholic faith. Please help me to grow in deeper friendship with You each day and to live the life of love to which you call me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 141 What is the Pope’s responsibility?

As successor of St. Peter and head of the college of bishops, the Pope is the source and guarantor of the Church’s unity. He has the supreme pastoral authority and the final authority in doctrinal and disciplinary decisions.
Jesus gave Peter a unique position of preeminence among the apostles. This made him the supreme authority in the early Church. Rome—the local Church that Peter led and the place of his martyrdom—became after his death the internal reference point of the young Church.

HIDE A TREASURE: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 12: 1-11; Psalm 34: 2-9; 2 Tim 4: 6-8, 17-18; Mt 16: 13-19

RESPONDING TO CRITICISM IN LOVE

Monday 27th April, 2014 – Monday of the 4th Week of Eastertide

Reflection: Acts 11:1-18

RESPONDING TO CRITICISM IN LOVE

There must have been times in your life when you have been misunderstood and even criticized for your actions. So you see beloved, criticism and backbiting is almost an inevitable aspect of any meaningful venture you want to make in life. In today’s first reading, we see some good Christians with even “good motives” who were out to criticize Peter for going to the house of the uncircumcised. To them, it was an abomination for a Jew, not to talk of a Christian-Jew to mingle with Gentiles. Hence they criticized Peter over this matter.

Now, the question lies here: “How did Peter handle his critics”? Obviously, as we see in the passage, Peter did not quarrel with them in turn or respond with angry expressions. He simply recognized their state of ignorance and lovingly explained to them all that happened. Did you learn any lesson from that? Of course you did.

So next time dear friend, when people criticize you unjustly, simply calm down and ask the Lord to fill you with His love which you would use to handle the matter at hand. And if you try to explain to them gently, and they still don’t understand, then leave the matter for God and keep loving them, so far you know you are in the right. For the Bible says that “When a man’s ways pleases the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Prov.16:7). This is the way to triumph.

PRAYER: Thank you gracious Father for your presence with me that enables me to overcome every trial that comes my way in life. Please help me to respond to my critics in love. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT  311 – What 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.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Keep your temper under control, it is foolish to habour a grudge” Ecclesiastes 7:9 GNB

Today’s Readings: Acts 11:1-18; Ps 42: 2-3, 43: 3-4; Jn 10:1-10