DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Monday 20th March – Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reflection: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus. The genealogy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 1:1-17, shows that St. Joseph was of the line of King David whom the Lord promised in today’s first reading: ”Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever”. This promise was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, as the prophet Isaiah said, “He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever” (Isaiah 9:6).  Though it took hundreds of years, God was faithful to His promise just as He was to our father Abraham.

Dear friends, our God can do much more than we can ask or imagine and He’s more willing to help us than we want to be helped. Though some of God’s promises may seem delayed from our perspective, we must not abandon hope. Though the tunnel may seem very dark and long, there will surely be light at its end; though our tears may persist all the night, we shall surely rejoice at dawn. Beloved in Christ, God’s delays are never His denials; He alone knows the best time is for us. Our Hope in God should lead us to understand that there is nothing impossible for God who is more than able to fulfil His promises.

Let us remember our fathers in the faith; has there been anyone who trusted the Lord and being confounded? Not one! Then, we too can be sure that our hope in God can never fail us. So keep hope alive.

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith in you and give me the grace to know that in all things you always work for my good. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 308 – What is hope?

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on earth to do: to praise God and to serve him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfillment in God; and for our final home: in God.

Hide a Treasure: “This is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

WAITIING IN HOPE

 Sunday 29th November – Sunday of week 1 of Advent

Reflection: Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36

WAITIING IN HOPE

When would Christ come to dry our tears? Where is God when we need Him most? Why does evil come to good people? These and many more questions flood our minds when we come in touch with the cold hands of suffering. The guilty man walks free, while the innocent man wastes in jail. The brightest child in class drops out of school as her parents cannot afford even the cheapest fees. The beloved husband of a pregnant woman dies barely a year after marriage. In the world there are many troubles, but our peace is our hope of victory in Christ Jesus. (John 13:33).

As the night is darkest just before dawn, Christ has promised that just when you feel the world is shaking; He will come to deliver you. Christ asks you to stand strong in faith, prayer and holiness as you keep watch through the long nights and the storms because our deliverance is nearer now than ever.

As we begin a new year in the Church’s calendar with this season of Advent, a season of hopeful waiting on the Lord, let us commit ourselves to Him more deeply. Let us take stock of the past year and renew our commitment to be faithful to Him and trust that his promises to us will be fulfilled. May we truly prepare our hearts for our Lord’s coming through this holy season. Amen.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, sustain me in the hope of your return and help me to watch and pray at all times. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 308 – What is hope?

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on earth to do: to praise God and to serve him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfilment in God; and for our final home: in God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the world that was has passed away. The One seated on the throne said: See, I make all things new, and then he said to me; Write these words because they are sure and true.” Revelation 21: 4-5 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 33: 14-16; Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-10, 14; 1 Thessalonians 3: 12- 4: 2; Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36

WORDS WE CAN TRUST

Friday 27th November – Friday of week 34 of the year

Reflection: Luke 21: 34-36

WORDS WE CAN TRUST

Over the last few days, Jesus has been explaining to his disciples about the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem, the city which had refused to recognise the day of its visitation. The destruction of Jerusalem which historically prefigured the end of the world was to put an end to the Old Covenant and establish Christ’s new and everlasting covenant. Hence, Christ told his disciples that in the midst of the unprecedented sufferings they were to “look up and raise their heads because their redemption is drawing near.” (Lk 21:28).

As Jesus, continues this discourse in today’s gospel reading, he leaves us words of reassurance; words we can hold on to tightly as we run our Christian race; words from which we can find strength and succour amidst life’s difficulties: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Lk 21:33). What better assurance can we get as we read through Scriptures?

God has many promises reserved for His children. He promises to hear us each time we call on him and to protect us in the day of trouble. He assures us that He has good plans for our lives and asks us to trust him completely. Jesus assures us of eternal life as we partake in the Eucharist – His very Body and Blood. Realising the impact of God’s word in our salvation, we would be immensely grateful for Jesus words: “…my words will not pass away.” Let us hold tightly to God’s words because they are words we can trust; words we can hang our lives on.

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for the wonderful promises you have for me. Please help me to trust completely in your words always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 16 – What is the right way to read the Bible?

The right way to read Sacred Scripture is to read it prayerfully, in other words, with the help of the Holy Spirit, under whose influence it came into being. It is God’s word and contains God’s essential communication to us.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Lk 21:33 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Dan 7: 2-14; Dan 3: 75-81 (canticle); Lk 21: 29-33

YOU CAN COUNT ON HIS WORD

Thursday 16th July – Our lady of Mount Carmel (opt. Mem)

YOU CAN COUNT ON HIS WORD

Psalms 130:5 (Gospel Acclamation)

Christian, why are you worried? Beloved in Christ what is troubling your mind? Are you looking at the lost benefits or wasted opportunities? Perhaps the present looks bleak and the future is not assuring. Trust in the Lord!

There is an open call to all from our blessed saviour in today’s Gospel: “come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The first reading shows us the Lord coming to the rescue of a people that called on Him in their oppressed and distressed state. He was liberating them from slavery to usher them into a prosperous land promised to their forefather Abraham (Genesis 15: 18-20; Joshua 1:4). This affirms the words of the Psalmist today: “He is mindful of his covenant for ever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generation, the covenant which he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac” (Psalm 105: 8-9).

Dearest in Christ, you and I have been called to rest in the assurance of God’s promises (Psalm 18:30; Isaiah 55:11). He is not man, that he should lie (Number 23:19) and with him there is no hopeless situation (Jeremiah 32: 27) or impossibility. This is the way of faith. This was the path trod by our patriarchs in faith and they were not disappointed. However, to rest in the promises of God, we must be aware of these promises. Ignorance of the word of God is ignorance of God. Scriptural study and meditation are necessary for the development of our faith and deeper experience of the power of God.
PRAYER: I count on your promises to me dear Lord. Please sustain me by the power of your word and be glorified in my life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 16 What is the right way to read the Bible?

The right way to read Sacred Scripture is to read it prayerfully, in other words, with the help of the Holy Spirit, under whose influence it came into being. It is God’s Word and contains God’s essential communication to us.
The Bible is like a long letter written by God to each one of us. For this reason I should accept the Sacred Scriptures with great love and reverence. First of all, it is important really to read God’s letter, in other words, not to pick out details while paying no attention to the whole message. Then I must interpret the whole message with a view to its heart and mystery: Jesus Christ, of whom the whole Bible speaks, even the Old Testament. Therefore I should read the Sacred Scriptures in the faith that gave rise to them, the same living faith of the Church. 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” Proverbs 30: 5 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Exodus 3: 13-20; Psalm 105: 1, 5, 8-9, 24-27; Matthew 11: 28-30