EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF MERCY

Monday 26th October – Monday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Luke 13:10-19

EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF MERCY

The word “untie” was used by Jews to express that someone’s sin or penalty was cancelled. It also meant freeing an animal from its yoke. Jesus freed the woman in the synagogue in today’s gospel reading and invites us to follow His example. The synagogue official was indignant because Jesus performed a miracle on the day of Sabbath (rest) but Jesus made him realize that no single day was exempt from the task of showing mercy; of bringing freedom and succour to God’s children.

God does not rest from providing for his creatures on the Sabbath as St. John Chrysostom said: How does the Father work, who ceased on the seventh day from all His works? Let Him learn the manner in which He works, what is it? He cares for, He holds together all that hath been made. When thou behold the sun rising, the moon running in her path, the lakes, the fountains, the rivers, the rains, the course of nature in seeds, and in our bodies and those of irrational beings, and all the rest, by means of which the universe is made up, then learn the ceaseless working of the Father. 

Dear friends, we profess our Christian faith, not just by going to Church or praying, but in the way we treat our brethren. If we fail to show mercy and love to our brethren, because of one observance or the other then our observance becomes void. Christ calls us to untie and lift the yoke off each other’s back first, all other things then follow. Let each single day of your life find you extending God’s love and mercy to others.

PRAYER: Lord, teach me to show love and engage in works of mercy irrespective of the person or circumstance involved. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 365How do Christians make Sunday “the Lord’s day”?

A Catholic Christian attends Holy Mass on Sunday or on the vigil of Sunday. On that day, he refrains from all work that would prevent him from worshipping God or disturb the festive, joyful, restful, and restorative character of the day.

HIDE A TREASURE: “What I want is mercy, not sacrifice” Matthew 9:13 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 8:12-17; Psalm 68: 2-7, 20-21; Luke 13: 10-17

THE SON OF MAN IS LORD OF THE SABBATH

Saturday 5th September- Saturday of week 22 of the year

THE SON OF MAN IS LORD OF THE SABBATH

Luke 6:1-5

What does the commandment “keep holy the Sabbath” require of us? Or better yet, what is the primary intention behind this command? The religious leaders confronted Jesus on this issue. The “Sabbath rest” was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and the goodness of his work, both in creation and redemption. It was a day set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on our behalf. It was intended to bring the week’s work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment. Jesus’ disciples were scolded by the scribes and Pharisees, not for plucking and eating corn from the fields, but for doing so on the Sabbath. 

In defending his disciples, Jesus argues from the scriptures that human need has precedence over ritual custom: In their hunger, David and his men ate of the holy bread offered in the Temple.  Jesus also quoted of the Sabbath work involved in worship in the Temple. This kind of work was usually double the work of worship on weekdays. Do you honor the Lord in the way you treat your neighbor and celebrate the Lord’s Day? Let us then always keep this day holy not by attending Mass only but also by been holy just like Jesus who is the Lord of sabbath is.

PRAYER: Lord, may I honor you in my work and in my rest and treat my neighbor with respect and kindness.  Keep me free from a critical and intolerant spirit that I may seek the good of my neighbor in all situations. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2173– The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the Sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day. He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing. “The Sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honour God…”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy” Exodus 20:8 GNB

Today’s Readings: Col 1:21-23; Ps 54:3-4.6.8; Lk 6:1-5

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

NEW THINGS HAVE COME

Monday, 16th March – Monday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: Isaiah 65:17-21

NEW THINGS HAVE COME

Today, the Lord gives us a promise of newness. Newness signifies a fresh start, a blank page on which there are no memories of past errors or experiences. He promises a renewal to the people called by His name; replacing their grief with joy, lengthening their days on earth and blessing their hard work with fulfilment.

Dear friend, has life been tough on you? Have you been miserably battered by your past and find yourself dwelling on memories that bring you deep hurt? You do not have to continue living this way. God calls out to you, ready to give you a new beginning if only you would allow Him. Jesus is saying to you: “come unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:28).

Beloved, do you wish to be a partaker of these blessings? What is keeping you back? Take it all to the Lord with all humility and faith in Him and new testimonies shall be yours.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I submit myself to you. Please renew me; take away all past hurts and grant me a new life in you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 221 – How does Holy Communion change me?

Every Holy Communion unites me more deeply with Christ, makes me a living member of the Body of Christ, renews the graces that I received in Baptism and Confirmation, and fortifies me for the battle against sin.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30: 2-6, 11-13; John 4:23-54

PEACE IS OF THE DIVINE

Tuesday, 17th February – Tuesday of week 6 of the year

Reflection: Psalm 29: 11

PEACE IS OF THE DIVINE

When God created man, He placed the desire for happiness (peace of soul) in man’s heart. Thus, man never ceases to search for peace of soul; this quest is a desire for God who alone can give man peace. Everyone desires peace yet it is often difficult to know what peace really is and where to find it. In today’s world the search for peace and happiness is the source of all human anxiety and frustration because without peace of soul there cannot be peace in the world. The wars we see are only projections of the conflicts waged inside the soul of men, for nothing happens in the external world that has not first happened within a soul. Peace of soul is a divine trait and can only be found in the divine – in God.

The basic anxiety of life is transcended in three ways, each of which brings Peace of soul that only God can give;

1. By controlling desires: anxiety and frustration are often due to uncontrolled desires. Uncontrolled desires grow like weeds and stifle the spirit. Material possessions bring temporary pleasure but sooner or later a sense of emptiness returns. To control our desires we have to take them to the foot of the cross and lay them down for Christ (Matthew 11:28).

2. By shifting our attention from the flesh to and paying more attention to our souls: Christ admonished us to: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:31). Christ did not say “some things” or “many things” rather He said “All…”. Thus, direct your love towards God, and you will receive His peace. Turn away from God, and the heart becomes a broken fountain where tears fall.

3. By increasing our trust in God: God who created us is more than capable to give us rest of mind only if we allow Him. Anxiety comes in each time we try to solve things our own way, but we find peace when we hand it over to God to take charge.

As St. Augustine has said, “Our hearts were made for thee. They are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord. Do you seek peace? Turn to our Lord today!

PRAYER: Lord, please grant me divine peace of mind and body and help me to always have recourse in you in all things. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 281 – Why do we yearn for happiness?
God has placed in our hearts such an infinite desire for happiness that nothing can satisfy it but God himself. All earthly fulfillment gives us only a foretaste of eternal happiness. Above and beyond that, we should be drawn to God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Come to me, all you who work hard and carry heavy burdens and I will refresh you” Matthew 11:28 CCB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10, Psalm 29:1-4, 9-11, Mark 8:14-21

THE NEED TO WORK HARD

Tuesday 10th February – Memorial of St Scholastica, Virgin

Reflection: Genesis 1:20-2:4

THE NEED TO WORK HARD

“On the seventh day, God ended his work which he had made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day, sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
Hard work can be described as the effort put into duties that have to be accomplished. Its rewards include success, fulfilment and of course, rest of mind and body. God worked hard at creation for six days and at the end he was fulfilled as He looked at the beauty of the work of his hands. As creatures made in His image and likeness, we are obliged to be like God thus we must work hard if we desire fulfilment but be careful not abuse our bodies in the process. There should be adequate time to rest our minds and bodies. More than merely resting, God sanctified the seventh day. Thus, we are expected to keep it holy.

As young people, we often neglect our duties, believing that our parents should bear the responsibilities while we enjoy life to its fullest. We want success and rest without hard-work. Just like it was at creation, so it is with our everyday lives – success and rest only come after hard work, not before it. “If you are lazy, you will never get what you are after, but if you work hard, you will get a fortune” (Prov 12:27). “When someone is too lazy to repair his roof, it will leak, and the house will fall in” (Ecclesiastes 10:18).

Hard-work is the key to success. Rest well earned is the key to a relaxed mind. Make a decision to work hard at home, school, work etc and you will find yourself much happier.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please strengthen me to perform my duties diligently and bless the work of my hand with success.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 46 – Why does the Book of Genesis depict creation as “the work of six days”?
The symbol of the work week, which is crowned by a day of rest (Gen 1:1-2:3), is an expression of how good, beautiful, and wisely ordered creation is.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If anyone would not work, let him not eat” 1 Thessalonians 3:10 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Genesis 1: 20-2:4; Psalm 8: 4-9; Mark 7:1-13