LOOK INTO THE MIRROR

Wednesday 25th November – Wednesday of week 34 of the year

Reflection: Daniel 5: 1-6, 13-17, 23-28

LOOK INTO THE MIRROR

As the Church’s liturgical calendar draws to a close and we move closer to the end of the year 2015, there is no better time for us than now to examine ourselves and see how well we have fared through this year. “An unexamined life,” it is often said is “not worth living”. Taking time for self-examination is indispensable if we are to grow in holiness and as we examine ourselves, seek God’s mercy and make conscious efforts in striving against our human nature, we will keep ourselves from condemnation.

Belshazzar’s downfall in today’s first reading occured because he failed to examine himself, thus allowing the sin of pride to overcome him. He had become great, being the ruler of the whole world and had fought and won numerous battles. But he did not recognise the hands of the Almighty God at work in his life. Despite the humiliating experience his father, Nebuchadnezzar had gotten because of his pride, Belshazzar did not learn from it and humble himself before God. Hence, “he had been measured on the balance and found wanting” (Dan 5:27).

Dear friend, what is that vice that is holding you captive? Take time to examine yourself today. Do you have traces of the seven capital sins in your life? Pride, anger, greed, lust, gluttony, envy, sloth – all these open the door to more grievous sins. God gives us a chance today to weigh our own selves while we still can and make the necessary amends so that He will not weigh us at the end of time and find us wanting.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please shed the light of your Spirit into my heart. Open my eyes to see myself as I really am and seek for your pardon and grace in my areas of weakness. 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: “But if we judge ourselves truly, we should not be judged.” 1 Cor 11:31 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Dan 5: 1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28; Dan 3: 62-67 (canticle); Lk 21: 12-19

HEED CORRECTION!

 Wednesday 4th February – Wednesday of week 4 of the year

Reflection: Hebrews 12: 4-7, 11-15

HEED CORRECTION!

Certain fundamentals in our character go a long way in determining how far we will go in life. One of such is our attitude towards correction. Sometimes, we make mistakes that we are aware of; other times we are unaware of our errors (Ps 19:12). It takes humility to accept correction. Meekness and the willingness to grow demand the acknowledgement that though we have been called to perfection in Christ Jesus (Mt 5:48), none of us can claim to be perfect yet (Is 64:6).

If correction is a necessity for growth and improvement, what is your attitude towards correction? Do you neglect or resent correction? Beloved, neither is promotive. To neglect correction is to accept complacency and jettison the needed drive for improvement. Such a way of life can never lead us to the desired height to which God has called us. On the other hand, resentment of correction is an affirmation of a proud heart. A proud person is ever unwilling to acknowledge his mistakes; he would rather excuse or deny them even when convicted by his conscience. Such readily find “scape goats”, holding others responsible for their misdeeds.

As youths, we are in the prime of our strength with lots of adventures and aspirations. In our decision making, the tendency is very high to neglect the wisdom and corrections of elders. However let us be reminded that as experience can never be bought, there is need to give consideration to the counsel and correction of elders and not to out rightly dismiss them as “old fashion” as some of us often do. We don’t have all the years to repeat the errors of those ahead of us! Let us learn from them.

Accepting correction should not be limited to only those older than us; we should open our minds to the possibilities of meaningful correction from our peers and subordinates. God can speak to us through any person! He as well counsels us and corrects us through situations and events around us. Let us develop a discerning heart to know when He is speaking to us.

PRAYER: Oh Lord! Dispel every form of complacency and pride from my heart that I may heed the correction You bring my way. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 235 Can I make a confession even if I have not committed any serious sins?

Confession is a great gift of healing that brings about closer union with the Lord, even if, strictly speaking, you do not have to go to confession….Christians who take seriously their decision to follow Jesus seek the joy that comes from a radical new beginning with God. Even the saints went to confession regularly, if possible. They needed it in order to grow in humility and charity, so as to allow themselves to be touched by God’s healing light even in the inmost recesses of their souls.

HIDE A TREASURE: “He who heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reprove goes astray.” Proverbs 10:17 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Hebrews 12: 4-7, 11-15; Psalm 103: 1-2, 13-14, 17-18; Mark 6: 1-6

WHAT ARE YOU CLINGING TO?

Tuesday 20th January – Feast of Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi

Reflection: Philippians 2: 1-11

WHAT ARE YOU CLINGING TO?

“His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave…” (Philippians 2: 6-7)

The mystery of the incarnation continually baffles man through the centuries. To think of the immense love that led God to come and live amongst us as man is indeed very puzzling. However, it is not enough to simply reflect on God’s love. It is more important to imitate that love – to return love for love; loving God and our neighbour in response to the love His has shown to us (1 John 4:19).

In today’s first reading, St Paul reminds us that Christ did not cling to His equality with God, but emptied Himself. As human beings we tend to hold tightly to our possessions. The desire for permanent comfort and fear of future lack often prevents us from letting go of that which we have be it wealth, position, power, privilege, fame etc. Man tends to hold tightly to whatever good he possesses, often times to the detriment of himself and his neighbour. What are you clinging to? What are you holding on to so tightly that is preventing you from seeing the needs of those around you?

Dear friends, it is only when we let go of an unhealthy attachment to mundane things that we can empty ourselves like Christ. It is only when we do not allow our possessions to possess us that we can truly humble ourselves and treat others with love and compassion. Only then would we be able to look out for the interest of others and consider others better than ourselves as St Paul admonishes us to today (Philippians 2: 3-4). Today, let go of that which you are clinging to and let the love of Christ shine through you to all.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for loving me so much. Please free me from all worldly attachment that I may extend the love you have shown me to those around me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2779 – Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord’s Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn “from this world”. Humility makes us recognise that “no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to who the son chooses to reveal him,” that is, “to little children.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Philippians 2: 1-11; Isaiah 12 (canticle); Matthew 13: 44-46

WORTHY INSTRUMENTS

Wednesday 16th July – Wednesday of week 15 of the year.

Reflection: Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16

WORTHY INSTRUMENTS

Our reading today describes how Assyria failed to recognize God’s hand working through her and this resulted in self-glorification. Such lack of recognition of God’s work through a person can lead to failure and bring and abrupt end to the successes such a person has experienced. Beloved in Christ, God’s choice upon our lives is not by merit but by his mercy and grace. This realization must always bring us back to our senses when tempted to boast of our achievements. “Whoever wants to boast must boast about what the Lord has done”. What the Lord does through us is product of our acceptance of his grace.

Pride is one of the deadly vices which can rob us of our blessings from God. No matter how great and useful one might have been in the work of the Gospel, pride can destroy such good record and leave the proud man with no reward from God. Even when people praise us for good works, let us never forget to return to return all glory to God who we are accountable to. He chose us and appointed us by his grace to go out and bear fruit. (John 15:16). Let us be worthy vessels for God, willing to live out the fullness of His plan for us. This can be done by surrendering our plans to him daily and allowing his Word to direct us. Our lives are in his hands. Let us allow him to use us as he pleases.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I rededicate myself to you daily, use me O Lord as you please. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 485Why should we adore God?

Every person who understands that he is God’s creature will humbly recognize the Almighty and adore him. Christian adoration, however, sees not only the greatness, omnipotence, and holiness of God. It also kneels before the divine Love that became man in Jesus Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Whoever wants to boast must boast about what the Lord has done” 2Corinthians 10:17 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16; Psalm 94: 5-10, 14 -15; Matthew 11:25-27

BOAST NOT OF TOMORROW

Wednesday, 26th February – Wednesday of week 7 of the year

Reflection: James 4: 13-17

BOAST NOT OF TOMORROW

God is all knowing, He knows the end from the beginning but human beings are limited in time and space. God wants us to rely on Him for everything because it is in Him that we find joy.

It is rebellion against God to boast in ourselves about today, tomorrow, about our businesses, success, growth and development whether physical or spiritual, this can be seen as pride and pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16: 18)

Brethren, God wants us to rely on His grace, if the Lord is willing we will live to do things as He wants because His grace is sufficient for us and with God, all things are possible.

PRAYER: Father, help me to always understand that my life is hidden in you.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 279 – Why do we need faith and the sacraments in order to live a good, upright life?

If we were to rely only on ourselves and our own strength, we would not get far in our attempts to be good. Through faith we discover that we are God’s children and that God makes us strong. When God gives us his strength, we call this “grace”. Especially in the sacred signs that we call the SACRAMENTS, God gives us the ability actually to do the good that we want to do.

 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” Proverbs 16: 18 RSV-CE

Readings for today: James 4: 13-17; Psalm 49:2-3,6-11; Mark 9: 38-40.