WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY?

Tuesday 17th November – Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Reflection: Luke 19:1-10

WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY?

One of the first things we were taught in Secondary school Economics was the importance of having a scale of preference so that our insatiable human needs can be attended to in order of priority. This economic principle applies to every area of our lives. As young people, we desire greatness and hope to attain great popularity in our various endeavours. Such ambition is good in itself yet, there is more to life than just having ambition of what we would like to become in the future. The important question we must ask ourselves is: “what is it that matters most?”

Today’s gospel reading points out to us that the presence of Jesus in our lives matters most. Zacchaeus was a very rich man, but having encountered Jesus he saw another meaning to life. He realised that there was more to live for than becoming a “successful professional”. Jesus gave him the most precious gift of all time which is the salvation of his soul. It is this same salvation that Eleazar, in today’s first reading looked forward to and refused to profane himself even in the face of death (2 Macc 6:18-31).

It is possible for one to be very successful in the eyes of men, but a failure in the sight of God. Zacchaeus’ encounter with our Lord today challenges us to seek for that which will fulfil our ultimate purpose in life – to know, love and serve God and to be with Him forever in the next world. Christ is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6). When we come to know Christ personally, our everyday work, encounters with others, profession, businesses etc will take on a new perspective. They will all become avenues to please our Lord.

PRAYER: Thank you great Father for the gift of your Son Jesus to me today. May I ever live in the consciousness of His abiding presence all the days of my life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1693: “Christ Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father, and always lived in perfect communion with him. Likewise Christ’s disciples are invited to live in the sight of the Father ‘who sees in secret’, in order to become perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “For what is life? To me, it is Christ. Death, then, will bring more.” Phil 1:21 GNB

Today’s Readings: 2Macc 6:18-31; Ps 3:2-7; Lk 19:1-10

PRACTICE YOUR FAITH

Wednesday 14th October Wednesday of week 28 of the year

Reflection: Luke 11:42-46

PRACTICE YOUR FAITH

Why does Jesus single out the teachers and lawyers for some rather strong words of rebuke?  Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God’s word and they misled the people they were supposed to guide in the ways of justice and truth. The scribes devoted their lives to the study of the Law of God and regarded themselves as legal experts in it.  They divided the Ten Commandments and precepts into thousands of tiny rules and regulations. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God.

Jesus used the example of tithing to show how far they had missed the mark. God had commanded a tithe of the first fruits of one’s labor as an expression of thanksgiving and honor for his providential care for his people (Deut. 14:22; Lev. 27:30).  The scribes, however, went to extreme lengths to tithe on insignificant things (such as tiny plants) with great mathematical accuracy.  They were very attentive to minute matters of little importance, but they neglected to care for the needy and the weak which was of greater importance.  Jesus admonished them because their hearts were not right.  They were filled with pride and contempt for others. They put unnecessary burdens on others while neglecting to show charity, especially to the weak and the poor.  They meticulously went through the correct motions of conventional religion while forgetting the realities.

What was the point of Jesus’ lesson? The essence of God’s commandments is love — love of God and love of neighbor. Do you allow the love of God to transform your mind and heart? And are you willing to carry your neighbor’s burden? God is love and everything he does flows from his love for us.Love is sacrificial; it both embraces and lifts the burdens of others. Let us then concentrate on the greatest commandment which is love rather than make lives unbearable for those around us in the name of being religious and principled.

PRAYER: Lord, inflame my heart with your love that I may always pursue what matters most — love of God and love of neighbor.  Give me wisdom and courage to act with justice, kindness, and mercy in all that I do and say. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2063:  The lord prescribed love towards God and taught justice towards neighbour, so that man would be neither unjust, nor unworthy of God. Thus, through the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), God prepared man to become his friend and to live in harmony with his neighbor…. the words of the Decalogue remain likewise for us Christians.

HIDE A TREASURE: “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”. Mark 12:31 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Rom 2:1-11; Ps 62: 2-3, 6-9; Lk 11:42-46

SET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT

Saturday, 8th February – Saturday of week 4 of the year

Reflection: 1 Kings 3:4-13

SET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT

The purpose of man is to live for the glory of God. God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength (CCC 1). This desire for God is written in the human heart, and only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for. God has placed the desire for happiness in human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it.

As humans, we make choices and our choices are based on our desires. The end of all man’s desire is happiness. King Solomon in quest for happiness asked God for “the heart to discern between good and evil”, that he may lead the people right and still be pleasing to God. Thus, God was at the centre of his desire and God gave him more than he asked for. Often times, man searches for happiness in wealth, power, position, and even in all forms of immorality. However, all these cannot give lasting happiness. No created being or thing can give man eternal happiness on its own, for happiness is a divine trait and can only be found in its fullest, in the divine alone.

Dear Friends, we are enjoined in all our plans, our aspirations, our goals, our careers, and in all we do, to put God first and seek for His glory alone and He will bless all that concern us. We are created for Him and Him alone. Thus, our first priority is to live for God. In living for Him, we will find our Peace and Happiness.

PRAYER: Open my heart Lord, that I may know your will and give me the grace to do it. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC1718 – THE DESIRE FOR HAPPINESS

……How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek for a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Set your hearts first on the kingdom and justice of God and ALL these things will also be given to you.” Matthew 6:33 CCB

Readings for today: 1 Kings 3:4-13; Psalm 119:9-14; Mark 6:30-34