SING PRAISES

Monday 7th March – Monday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: Psalm 30

SING PRAISES

“Count your blessings, name them one by one

and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”.

So reads a song we are all familiar with. It’s a song that calls us to give thanks to God as we reflect on the numerous blessings we receive from Him each day. However, the words of this song unveils one reality: if we are not careful, we can easily forget the great things God does for us and begin to take them for granted, hence the need to count our blessings and name them one by one.

The Psalmist in today’s reading does just that. He reflects on all the wonders God has done for Him and cannot but sing praises to God from the depths of His heart. We too should stop and think. Think of the times of uncertainty or difficulty you have experience in the past. Think of the times of sickness, suffering and pain, think of the numerous times you have turned to God and asked for His help. Think of the many blessings you have received which you did not even ask for. Look around you and see the beauty and order of creation.

Dear friends, God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is indeed great. Let us take time to praise Him. Let us look beyond the difficulties assailing us right now and praise our God for the many blessings we receive each day. Remember, God dwells in the praises of His people and moves mightily on their behalf. A heart of thanksgiving always touches God’s heart. Are you ready to praise? Go on, God is waiting to hear your voice!

PRAYER: Lord I thank You for the blessings You give me each day. Please give me a heart of gratitude that I may praise you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 489 What does it mean to praise God?

God needs no applause. But we need to express spontaneously our delight in God and the rejoicing in our hearts. We praise God because he exists and because he is good. We thereby join even now in the eternal praise of the angels and saints in heaven.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Isaiah 65: 17-21; Psalm 30; John 4: 43-54

PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM

Wednesday 3rd June – Memorial of St Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs

Reflection: Tobit 3:1-11, 16-17

PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM

The true measure of our faith is not seen when all around us is going smoothly. Practically all of us can sing praises to God in times of comfort and abundance.  However, how easily are we prone to speak ill of God in times of tribulations and trials? How readily do we forget His previous benefits and appreciate is ongoing provisions even in our storms.  For some, the mind is completely occupied with nothing but the question: “why me?”

Beloved in Christ, our life is not designed to be problem-free as some would want us to believe nowadays. The way of the cross walked by our Blessed Savior and the saints gone ahead of us still remains relevant to us Christians of this age (Luke 9:23). The better we are prepared for this, the more we are equipped to walk through it victoriously. Today, as the Church celebrates the faith of Charles Lwanga (The patron Saint of youth and Catholic action in Africa) and his companions (fellow Ugandan martyrs); we have much to learn from them as youths of this age. These young men joyfully braved the wave of cruel opposition against their newly professed faith to the point of martyrdom.

Dearest in Christ, this calls us to assess our own response to the struggles of our lives. What problems are you going through that have kept you mournful and sorrowful? Perhaps it appears a lot seems not to be working well around you. Please do not dwell on your losses or inadequacies, rather choose to look on the bright side of life. When we call to remembrance the wonderful deeds of God in times past and appreciate how better off our situations are compared to that of many, we cannot but thank God. The sincere praise of God in trying times has the capacity to work unimaginable wonders (Acts 16: 16-30; 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30). Let us emulate the faith of Tobit as seen in today’s first reading who despite the odds around him acknowledged the faithfulness of God. Our song of praise, especially in difficult times, is a sound affirmation of our trust in God and a veritable weapon against the assaults of the evil one.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, I am sorry for the moments I have failed to appreciate you in my difficulties. Please help me to see your faithfulness in my life at all times. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 40 – Can God do anything? Is he almighty?

For God nothing is impossible. He is almighty. Anyone who calls on God in need believes that he is all-powerful… He guides all things and can do everything. How he uses his omnipotence is of course a mystery.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 GNB

Today’s Readings: Tobit 3: 1-11, 16-17; Psalm 25: 2-9; Mark 12: 18-27

SAVED TO SAVE; FREED TO FREE

Tuesday 12th May –Tuesday of the 6th Week of Eastertide

Reflection: Acts 16:22-34

SAVED TO SAVE; FREED TO FREE

Paul and Silas were stripped, publicly whipped, and thrown into jail. Yet, their persecution did not in any way undermine their love and faith in God; they praised God in the darkest moment. God was moved by their selflessness and released His power which shook the prison foundations, freeing them and all the other prisoners. Even the jailer was not exempt from freedom and salvation which he badly needed. He recognized the need for salvation with that single encounter, hence His question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30).

Dear friend, your testimony to Christ’s wonders in your life is incomplete until it results in your total conversion and the conversion of others. God wants to manifest his power through your steadfastness and thanksgiving even everything seems hopeless. Just as we find strength and hope in the stories of heroes of our faith in Scripture and Church’s tradition, our own journey of salvation will be a testimony for others in times to come. God uses our victory stories to help our brethren become victorious as well.

Bearing this in mind, we must give thanks to God in all things. This attitude of praise is powered by genuine trust in God’s power to save us and set us free. Let us thank God for the gift of salvation today and ask for grace to be agents of salvation to others through all the events of life we encounter. Like Paul and Silas, we are all saved to save others and freed to set others free.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, grant me courage to see in all my troubles, your saving power which is mighty and sufficient for me and active in saving others through me. Give me a heart of praise and in times of need.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 290 – How does God help us to be free men?

Christ wants us to be “set free for freedom” (see Gal 5:1) and to become capable of brotherly love. That is why he sends us the Holy Spirit, who makes us free and independent of worldly powers and strengthens us for a life of love and responsibility.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For we are like a sweet smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are saved and those who are being lost”.

2 Corinthians 2:15 GNB

Today’s Readings: Acts 16: 22-34; Psalm 138: 1 -3.7-8; John 16:5-11