HOW LONG WILL YOU GO WITHOUT HIM?

Saturday 13 June – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Reflection: Luke 2:41-51

HOW LONG WILL YOU GO WITHOUT HIM?

Who among us can journey through life alone? We surely need the support of one another. However, no matter how good, dependable or cheering the support we enjoy from others, times will come when we will find this inadequate and unsatisfying. It cannot but be so, for we are all limited in our capacity to assist and our experiences in life. We are all sojourners on earth with limited understanding of the seasons of life and the purpose(s) of the seasons.

When the inevitable happens – when the support of men fails us as it is sometimes bound to, who do we turn to? Our Creator (Psalm 27:10); however, we can only do this if we acknowledge His existence and our dire need for Him. Dear friend, have you been journeying through life without a relationship with Jesus Christ? Perhaps you doubt the existence of God and have therefore opted to live for yourself or you hitherto had a good relationship with Christ but this has been destroyed by lukewarmness ( Rev 3:15-16) or sin ( Isaiah 59:1-3).

Either way, we need to heed the call of St. Paul in today’s first reading: “be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:21). We need to jettison the old way of living for self interest (2 Cor. 5: 14-15) and cooperate with God to achieve His glorious plans for us. At every point in our life’s journey, we must ask ourselves: “am I journeying with God or have I deserted Him?” This must go beyond mere assumption; we need a clear conviction of His presence. If Christ is not with us, no matter who else is with us, it will be too costly to continue with life without Him! Let us turn around to seek Jesus as the Parents did in today’s Gospel reading. We can be rest assured that we will find Him as he is a loving Father patiently awaiting our homecoming (Jer. 29: 13; Luke 15: 11-32).

Prayer: Keep me steadfast with You dear Lord. Liberate me from every sense of false independence. Please deepen my quest and reliance on You! Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1733–The more on does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 2 Cor. 5: 14-21; Psalm 103: 1-4, 9-12; Luke 2:41-51

HONOURABLE COURTSHIP

Thursday 18th December

REFLECTION: Matthew 1: 18-24

HONOURABLE COURTSHIP

Living in an increasingly secular society, we can easily lose the values that make us stand out as children of God. Such values that can easily be eroded, especially for young people, include purity of mind, heart and body. We do not need to look very far to get caught up with examples of impurity. Simply observing the trend at school – secondary school or higher institution, the “stars” in music, movie and sports etc that the world projects to us and while innocently surfing the web, we hear the same message ringing out: “purity is old fashioned!”; “It does not really matter whether or not you are a virgin!”; “everyone engages in premarital sex, you cannot possibly do without it!”. If we are not extra careful and strengthened by God, we can easily become persuaded to live in impurity.

Dear friends, the results of this secularisation are clear: increasing number of unhappy people and marriages, increasing rates of separation and divorce, increased incidence of depression etc. If we are to live out the fullness of our faith as young Christians, we must strive to live honourable lives and seek out honourable friendships and courtships that will lead to happy homes. We must be willing to listen to God’s voice as He speaks to us and gives us the path to follow when we are uncertain.

Today’s gospel reading describes Joseph as an honourable man. His courtship with Mary was pure and holy such that there was no reason for him to panic when she was found to be with child. There was no chance he could be responsible for the pregnancy! Yet, in the midst of this confusing situation, God gave him direction about what to do. He reassured him that Mary’s story was true and that He had a role for him: to be the foster Father of our Lord. Let us open our hearts to God and ask Him for the grace to live lives that honour Him always. As we do, we can trust his direction every day of our lives.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, please help me to live in purity. Help me to build up good friendships and when the time for marriage draws near, grant me the grace of a fiance(e) and a courtship that honours you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 404 – What is chaste love? Why should a Christian live a chaste life?

A chaste love is a love that defends itself against all the internal and external forces that might destroy it. That person is chaste who has consciously accepted his sexuality and integrated it well into his personality. Chastity and continence are not the same thing. Someone who has an active sex life in marriage must be chaste, too. A person acts chastely when his bodily activity is the expression of dependable, faithful love.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body” 1 Corinthians 6:18 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Jeremiah 23: 5-8; Psalm 72: 1-2, 12-13, 18-19; Matthew 1: 18-24

TALK TO JESUS

Saturday 1st March – Saturday of week 7 of the year

Reflection: James 5: 13-20

TALK TO JESUS

Despite how basic prayer is to the Christian, we often find it a burden to pray. As young people, we have the tendency to see prayer as a formality; as an act that needs so much time to plan and execute. However, God desires that we, His children communicate with Him daily through prayer. God seeks a relationship with you and I, a relationship that can only be nurtured through constant communication.

We all have friends in our neighborhoods and schools whom we hang out with. Just as our friendship with these individuals grows through our spending time together so also does our friendship with God. Indeed, talking to God is really as simple as talking to our friends. To grow in friendship with God, we must set out time each day to spend with this dear friend who can never fail us and who desires much more of our good than any of our friends can. In addition, as we carry out our daily routine, we should turn our hearts to Him in silent prayer, whatever situation we find ourselves.

Today’s passage shows us that there is always a reason to talk to Jesus. Whether we are happy or in trouble, healthy or ill and even when we have fallen into sin (James 5: 13-16). Jesus wants us to turn to Him in prayer always, letting Him in on the little details of our lives. He seeks to put His arms around us His children and bless us as He did in the gospel reading today (Mark 10:16). Dear friends, let us not allow anything to keep us back from talking to Jesus. Only then would we enjoy the fullness of joy that we have as God’s children.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please help me to always be aware of your presence and turn to you in prayer every moment of my day.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 494 – How can my everyday routine be a school of prayer?

Everything that happens, every encounter can become the occasion for a prayer. For the more deeply we live in union with God, the deeper we understand the world around us.

Someone who already seeks union with Jesus in the morning can be a blessing to the people he meets, even his opponents and enemies. Over the course of the day he casts all his cares on the Lord. He has more peace within himself and radiates it. He makes his judgments and decisions by asking himself how Jesus would act at that moment. He overcomes fear by staying close to God. In desperate situations he is not without support…This attentiveness to God is possible even at work.

HIDE A TREASURE: “So far you have not asked anything in my name; so ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.” John 16: 24 CCB

Readings for today: James 5: 13-20; Psalm 141: 1-3, 8; Mark 10: 13-16