WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

Sunday 21st February – 2nd Sunday of Lent

Reflection: Philippians 3: 17-4:1

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

Our values and perception of life go a long way in determining the choice of our role model or mentor. Consequently, the choice of our role model to a reasonable length goes on to influence our decisions and actions in life. In our society today where there is so much hype on materialism and consumerism, we youths are at risk of being swept off our feet by the flamboyant lifestyles of some prominent figures constantly being projected at us by the media their value system or manner of life notwithstanding.

From today’s second reading, of noteworthy is the appeal of St. Paul to the faith community in Philippi to consider the way of life of whoever they imitate to see whether it aligns with the precepts of Christ or not. Dearest in Christ, our world is getting more secular by the day with flagrant disregard for the fundamental precepts of the Christian faith in different quarters. The “modern man” assertion of “freedom and liberty” is daily kicking against every notion of absolute truth and relativism is fast becoming the acceptable hymn. In the light of this, it is of paramount necessity that we carefully examine the ideas being projected at us by the media to be sure we are not being subtlety led in the wrong direction.

Beloved in Christ, that the one you consider your role model comes out to endorse a notion or concept that runs contrary to the fundamental ternate of your faith or the voice of your conscience does not make his or her position right. It will serve us well as youths to identify individuals whose believe and way of life agree with the eternal precepts of the word of God, in addition to other desirable attributes we admire in them, as role models.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please guide me in my associations. Surround me with hearts that love and seek to honour You, that the light of their faith may urge me on in the right path. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2284- Scandal is an attribute or behaviour which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbour’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offence if by deed of omission another is deliberately led into a grave offence.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit” Luke 6: 39b  RSV-CE

LOVE: THE BOND OF PERFECTION

Thursday 10th September – Thursday of week 23 of the year

LOVE: THE BOND OF PERFECTION

Colossians 3:12-17

So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

An identity card is usually issued out as a proof that the bearer has an affiliation with the institution that issues the card. As our Lord neared the end of his earthly life, He gave His disciples that a commandment that was to serve as an identity: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you…by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34).

What was so “new” about this commandment? The newness of this commandment stems from the standard by which we are called to love. Rather than loving our neighbour just as we love ourselves, this commandment calls us to something more sacrificial – loving others as Christ has loved us. It calls us to laying down our lives for others. For when one loves a person, he thinks nothing else about the beloved except how to make him happy.

Think about the love of Christ for us. A love that made him leave his glory to live amongst us and endure discomfort, shame, suffering and death for us while we were yet sinners. His love for us is incomparable and that is the love we are called to emulate. A love that is manifest in our sincere compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness and patience as St Paul tells us in today’s reading. Christ implores us to love and pray for our enemies. It is such selfless love that truly marks us out as His children.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, help me to love sacrificially even my enemies just as you have loved me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 402 What is love?

Love is the free self-giving of the heart. Through the overflowing of divine love, we participate in the eternal love of God. The more a person loves, the more he resembles God. Love should influence the whole life of a person, but it is realized with particular depth and symbolism when man and woman love one another in marriage and become “one flesh” (Gen 2:24). 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Yes, may you come to know his love-although it can never be fully known-and so be completely filled with the very nature of God” Ephesians 3:19

Today’s Readings: Colossians 3:12-17; Psalm 150:1 -6; Luke 6:27-38

WHEN LOVE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Saturday 8th August – Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest

WHEN LOVE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Deuteronomy 6:4-13

This conversation ensued between a mother and her child after a Sunday Mass:

Mother: What lesson did you learn from Father’s homily today?

Child: Father said that love does not keep a record of wrongs in our hearts.

Mother: That is great my baby. You listened well.

Child: Thank you Mum, But where should I keep it? What then should I do if I don’t even remember the wrongs my friend did to me?

Beloved, Love is the nature of our Abba Father and all His actions are wrought in love. God’s love gives us a glimpse of heaven and it is capable of stripping us of anything in this world that contends with it in our heart. How then as Christians can we live without love? The truth is that there is no life without Love. Love breathes life and that is why Jesus love for the world led him to died so as to give us life.

Our reading today tells us of the greatest command that God gave his people Israel: “Israel, remember this! The LORD and the LORD alone is our God.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:4-5). To show its importance, God ordered them to tie this law on their arms and wear on their foreheads, to keep saying it while resting and while working, to write it on the doorpost of their houses and gates. Beloved, is this too much for Love? Does it make sense to do all this?

Love doesn’t have to make sense to the flesh because it is a gift of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit pours out the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5) to make us do the impossible for God. are we willing to allow the Holy Spirit work in us and through us? Just like the little child’s response in the illustration above, the love of God would make us live above malice, hatred, envy and all sorts of vices and would reconfigure our thinking. This is what Love can do with ease. Let us therefore be willing to give all for the Love of God and in turn we would see God in our neighbour.

Keep showing love to others even if it does not make sense.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to love you always. Give the grace by the power of the Spirit to love even when it doesn’t make sense to my reasoning. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 33- What does it mean to say that God is love?

If God is love, then there is nothing created that is not carried and surrounded by his infinite benevolence. God not only declares that he is love, he also proves it: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).

HIDE A TREASURE: “Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs”. 1 Corinthians 13:5 GNB

Today’s Readings: Deut. 6:4-13; Psalm 18:2-4.47.51; Matt. 17:14-20

THE DEMANDS OF LOVE

Tuesday 16th June – Tuesday of week 11 in Ordinary time

Reflection: Matthew 5:43-48

THE DEMANDS OF LOVE

Trials reveal our true character to us and the world. A man cannot be said to be patient without having endured some degree of delays; neither can he be said to be truthful without having shown himself to be honest. Love is a virtue we all practically claim to have, but how many of us are indeed loving? How often do we define love along our own standards as against the standard of God? This misnomer is what our Blessed Savior is correcting in today’s Gospel- “You have learnt how it is said: you must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45b).

God, who is Love (1 John 4:8), daily makes demands from you and I who claim allegiance to Him. The carnal inclination of man is to love those we consider “lovable” and keep at arm’s length those we consider “unlovable.” We live at a time when we easily justify our resentment for the inadequacies of others but easily excuse our own faults. Forgiveness becomes conditional and generosity is reduced to convenience. Dear friend, this is neither the way of Love exemplified by Christ nor is it the path of love followed by the early Church. In today’s Gospel acclamation (John 13:34), our Lord Jesus Christ commands us to love one another as He loves us. This is a call to sacrificial love; this is the call we see the early Church respond to in today’s first reading (2 Corinthians 8: 1-9).

Let us look inward, beloved in Christ and see how well we are responding to the demands love daily places on us. Our world is more secular than ever; the number of people who are interested in listening to the Good news lessens by the day, we however have an irresistible channel of evangelization by our way of life. People need to see the attributes of Christ in us. We must be loving, especially when it is most challenging to do so. This is our call as Christians and the grace of God is ever available to aid us.

PRAYER: Dear Father, please help me to daily meet the demands of love; help me that the world may find me true and faithful to You. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 303- How does one act justly?

One acts justly by always making sure to give to God and to one’s neighbor what is due to them.
The guiding principle of justice is: “To each his due”. A child with a disability and a highly gifted child must be encouraged in different ways so that each may fulfill his potential…

Hide a Treasure: “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” John 14:15 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, Psalm 145:2, 5-9, Matthew 5:43-48