WHY WE SHOULD NEVER FIGHT BACK

Friday 22nd January – Friday of week 2 of the year
Reflection: 1 Samuel 24: 11-13        

 WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER FIGHT BACK
From the cynical bullying of ‘the nerds’ in classrooms, to fanatic terrorist killings with religious colors, the unwarranted discrimination of Catholics even by ‘fellow Christians’; we are knocked down daily by punches even from our loved ones. Should we build up hatred and throw back punches in defense? Should we jump at any opportunity to revenge? Should we become silent, so that peace would reign? Certainly not; we would not be ‘Christians’, if we did.
Our dear St. John Paul was crossing St. Peter’s Square on the 13th May, 1981, when a man fired four shots at him with a 9-millimeter pistol. Despite severe blood loss, the pontiff survived, and asked for all Catholics to pray for his would-have-been assassin, whom he had ‘sincerely forgiven’. St. John Paul visited his would-be assassin in 1983 as a friend and stayed in touch his family, and in 2000 requested that he be pardoned.
As Christ-like people; it is our nature to do good everywhere and to everyone, yet we cannot always expect the same from everyone else. In sparing Saul’s life; who with three thousand men sought tom kill him, David teaches us to depend totally on God for defense. In the face of death, David found an opportunity to show God to Saul by kindness, even when he had the chance to fight back. He saw God’s wonderful image in Saul; anointed as king, and would never harm him.
St. Augustine beautifully wrote: ‘Unwaveringly, the Church marches forward on her pilgrim way between the world’s persecutions and God’s consolations’. Friend, in every persecution; find an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus in words and action. Being born again in God’s image of love; we should show this love especially when it is difficult, not returned and unappreciated. Today, tell someone you would rather not: ‘God loves you and I love you too’. This is what it is to be Christian.
PRAYER: Lord, make me an instrument of peace; when injured let me pardon. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 396 – How does a Christian deal with anger?
Anger is initially a natural emotion, a reaction to perceived injustice. If anger becomes hatred, however, and someone has ill-will toward his neighbor, this normal feeling becomes a serious offense against charity. All uncontrolled anger, especially thoughts of revenge, are detrimental to peace and destroy “the tranquility of order”.
HIDE A TREASURE: “My grace is enough for you; my great strength is revealed in weakness. Gladly, then, will I boast of my weakness that the strength of Christ may be mine. So I rejoice when I suffer infirmities, humiliations, want, persecutions: all for Christ! For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: 1 Samuel 24: 3-21; Psalm 56; Mark 3: 13-19.

FORGIVENESS BRINGS PEACE

Thursday 9th July- Thursday of week 14 of the year

FORGIVENESS BRINGS PEACE

Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5

Forgiveness to some people’s understanding, is “not returning hate with hate”; for others, it is the inner waiving of a legitimate right to revenge. It however, reaches its peak when no external circumstance is permitted to excuse pardoning others. Joseph had all the power and legitimate right to avenge the evil his brothers did to him, however, he chose to forgive them and offer a helping hand. One of the most beautiful things about forgiveness is that it can evoke love where it never existed and it ultimately gives peace to the one who forgives. Hatred can never conquer hatred, only love can do so (expressed in forgiveness). If someone wrongs you and you react in the same way, the vicious cycle of sin and hatred only continue. Forgiveness has a strong redemptive power.

Our Blessed Lord tells us in Matthew 5:38-48, “do not oppose evil with evil. If one slaps you on one cheek, turn the other…”  This calls us to forsake vengeance, to break the web of violence and wrongdoing. Our Blessed Lord told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. The means of expressing love to enemies comes first through forgiveness and in this act we find peace with ourselves and with God. Vengeance may seem make us happy with ourselves but never does it give us true peace with both man and God.

Dear friends in Christ, forgiveness is of the divine and no one can truly forgive except by the divine aid. Let us daily pray for the grace to forgive as the Lord forgives us our wrongdoings. Remember, in the light of eternal judgement, he who refuses to forgive others breaks down the bridge over which he himself must pass.

Prayer: Lord give me the grace to forgive my brethren as you Lord forgives me and help me understand that it is by forgiving others that I can receive mercy and peace. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC1446 – Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their basptisimal grace and wounded ecclesial communion.

Hide a Treasure: “If you do not forgive others, then your heavenly Father will not forgive you either.” Matthew 6:15

Today’s Reading: Genesis 44: 18-21, 23-29; 45: 1- 5, Psalm 105: 16-21, Matthew 10: 7-15

REPAYING GOOD FOR EVIL

Friday, 24th January – Friday of week 2 of the year

Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Reflection: 1 Samuel 24: 3-21

REPAYING GOOD FOR EVIL

We live in a highly individualistic world, a world in which men seek their own personal gain at all times. Our world is indeed full of selfishness, pride, unforgiveness and revenge and all these vices are at the root of the many wars, mass killings and man-made disasters that have befalling our world over the centuries.

However, as Christians, Jesus calls us to a very different way of living; one that takes us above selfishness and leads us to share the great love and mercy God has shown us to others. An insight into our calling is seen in the first reading of today. We reflected on the evil of jealousy yesterday and we see its effect in today’s reading as King Saul is after David to take his life and David is forced to run into hiding with his men. Despite the great wickedness King Saul has exhibited towards David, the latter refused to take the life of his pursuer even when he had an easy opportunity to do so. Instead he spared the life of the king and later called out to the king to make him realize he had nothing against him. He left the vengeance to God, not to himself.

Dear young friends, Christ calls us each day to live a life of love, to repay good for evil, a blessing for a curse and to feed our enemy if he is hungry (Romans 12: 14, 17-21). God calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). This call is not an easy one but is possible for us as long as we yield to the Holy Spirit whom God has given us at our baptism. The Holy Spirit within us will help us to be perfect even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. All we need to do is to ask for His grace and obey His leading in sincerity of heart.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for the great love and mercy you offer me each day despite my sinfulness. Please help me to joyfully extend this love to others, especially those who do not seek my good. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 395 – What is peace?

Peace is the consequence of justice and the sign of love put into action. Where there is peace, “every creature can come to rest in good order” (Thomas Aquinas). Earthly peace is the image of the peace of Christ, who reconciled heaven and earth.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do not be overcome by evil; but overcome evil with good” Romans 12: 21 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 1 Samuel 24: 3-21; Psalm 56: 1-11; Mark 3:13-19