WHY WE FAILED

Saturday 23rd January – Saturday of week 2 of the year
Reflection: 2 Samuel 1: 1-4, 11-12, 17, 19, 23-27
WHY WE FAILED
Why do certain people; who had enjoyed fame and wealth in their prime, end abruptly and unhappy? Why do extravagant weddings, too often, end in devastating divorce? Why do the science prodigies; born into wealth homes, end in rehab for drug addiction? Why do people suddenly fail? Saul; the most handsome man in the whole of Israel at that time, was most fit by any human standard to rule as king. After he was anointed as king of Israel, he succeeded in many battles and had his kingdom secured; until his story changed.
In his impatience at Gilgal; he would not wait seven days for Samuel’s return as instructed (1 Samuel 13: 8-11). In his ill-charity, he starved six hundred of his men in mad pursuit of revenge and swore to execute his son, Jonathan, who bravely invaded the enemy camp trusting God (1 Samuel 14: 24, 29-32). His jealousy of David’s victory led him to murder Ahimelech, the priest, and his family over allegations of consulting God on David’s behalf (1 Samuel 22: 17). For his disobedience to God’s commands and obstinacy, he was rejected as king of Israel (1 Samuel 15: 17-19, 26). With his hands; he destroyed his kingdom, and with his spear; he killed himself. Truly, God exalts the lowly and brings down the proud.
Friend, when constant success becomes abrupt failure, remember, God is the giver of every Gift. It is only in our union with God that we can be sure of fulfillment and peace; even in cloudy days. Turn back to God today, and find true success in Him.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I work today keep me connected to you. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 125What is unique about the People of God?
In the midst of all the peoples on earth, there is one people that is like no other. It is subject to no one but God alone. It is supposed to be like salt, which adds flavor; like yeast, which permeates everything; like light, which drives away the darkness. Anyone who belongs to the People of God must count on coming into conflict with people who deny God’s existence and disregard his commandments. In the freedom of the children of God, however, we have nothing to fear, not even death.
HIDE A TREASURE: “You give it to them, and they gather it up; you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face; they vanish, you take away their breath; they expire and return to dust. When you send forth your spirit; they are created, and the face of the earth is renewed”. Psalm 104: 28-30 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 1: 1-4, 11-12, 17. 19. 23-27; Psalm 79; Mark 3: 20-21.

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.

BEWARE OF JEALOUSY

Thursday 21st January – Memorial of St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

Reflection: 1 Samuel 18: 6-9, 19: 1-7

BEWARE OF JEALOUSY

Dear friends, as we continue our reading about David, we are confronted with a surprising reaction to the victory God won through him for Israel. At the time David killed Goliath, Saul was king over Israel. One would expect that as king, Saul would be the happiest person in the nation since God had miraculously led them to defeat the Philistines who had been making war with them for a while.

Unfortunately, although Saul was initially happy with this victory but his happiness turned sour when he heard the women sing; “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” From that point on, Saul grew jealous of David and though he knew God’s hand was upon David, he sought to kill him by all means. Dear friends, before we are quick to condemn King Saul, let us look into our own lives. Are there ways we have allowed the evil spirit of jealousy to envelope us and control our behavior and actions towards others?

As young people, we desire all the good things of life. We desire beauty, fame, the best clothes and accessories, the latest electronic gadgets etc. In as much as we desire these good things, we must not allow ourselves to become envious of our friends or colleagues who have them when we do not. Envy is a capital sin which opens the door to more grievous sins and shuts a person up from God’s blessings. A tiny wave of jealousy rising in the heart of a man can eventually lead to slander, murder, theft etc. Friends, rejoice with others in successes and achievements and God will open the door of blessings unto you.

PRAYER: Lord, I ask for your forgiveness for the times I have been jealous of other people’s blessings, talents and successes. Please remove every seed of jealousy in my heart and fill me with the love that comes from you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 318 What are vices?

Vices are negative habits that deaden and dull the conscience, incline a person to evil, and habitually prepare him for sin. Human vices are found in connection with the capital sins of pride, avarice, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth (or acedia, spiritual boredom).

 

HIDE A TREASURE: “So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander” 1 Peter 2:1 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 1Samuel 18: 6-9, 19: 1-7; Psalm 56: 2-3, 9-14; Mark 3: 7-12

GOD’S PLAN NEVER FAILS

 

Tuesday 19th January – Tuesday of Week 2 of the Year

Reflection: 1 Samuel 16:1-3

GOD’S PLAN NEVER FAILS

God’s word to the Prophet Samuel in our reading today is apt for the ministry of the Church and Gods plan for the salvation of souls. The gate of hades would not prevail over the Church of Christ because that is God’s plan for redemption. This is not limited or determined by any human standard or the norm of the society in which we find ourselves. An example is the resignation of Emeritus Pope Benedict whose action was criticized by man but eventually lead to a deeper understanding of what the Church stands for. Elijah was replaced by Elisha, Moses by Joshua etc. God would not waste any time to see that his plan continues to be established.

Beloved in Christ, God’s action for prompt replacement of King Saul should jeer us up on our faithfulness and commitment to God. We must offer our best for God and live in accordance with His precepts. God cannot change and so His plans cannot fail. The little he entrusts to us must be cherished and used for his glory. Let us draw our mind back to the parable of the three servant who were given gold coins with respect to their ability (Matt. 25:14-30). The servant who was not fruitful with his gold coins was denied of his coins and this was credited to the faithful servant. This should intimate us that whatever we have comes from God and we are a privileged treasurer of God’s gift. The good news is that we all are in God’s plan which can never fails but we must strive to remain in it. Anything that will hinder us from surrendering our plans to God for his will to manifest should be parted with. This could be our friends, our blood relations or even, our self-ambitions.

God is looking for reliable servants who would take on courage and withstand the devils tricks by depending on him. Our faith must be deeply rooted in Christ and not on any Priest or Pastor. Faithful is he who has called you to embrace his plan for our benefit and for his glory.

 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I do not want to be a cast away. I surrender my plans to your will. Use me as you please and perfect your plans in my life. Amen

YOUCAT 137: Why is the Church called apostolic?

The Church is called apostolic because she was founded by the apostles, holds fast to their tradition, and is governed by their successors.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If we are not faithful, he remains faithful, because he cannot be false to himself” 2 Tim 2:13 (GNB)

Readings of Today: 1 Sam. 16:1-3; Ps89:20, 21-22, 27-28; Mark 2:23-28

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD TO USE


Friday 24th April – Friday of the 3rd week of Eastertide

Reflection: Acts 9:1-20

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD TO USE

Though we often do not like to be judged by others, we find ourselves almost always judging others. Ananias, the disciple must have been greatly surprised by God’s instruction about Saul and wondered, “Lord, do you really know this man? He is our arch enemy! Let me tell you a bit about him…” but God insisted, “This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before the pagans…” God is unquestionable as regards whom He decides to use for work. Regardless of your past, you are good enough for Him if you are open to His mercy and grace.

If Paul, the Church’s great persecutor could encounter God right on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, who cannot be brought to conversion? Who are you to judge that person in your class or neighbourhood? Something noteworthy about Saul was that his actions stemmed from sincerity. He persecuted the Church, not because of sheer hatred but because he thought they were going against God’s law. Hence his action stemmed from a “sincere ignorance”.

Are you available to be used for the glory of God? Do you live in sincerity before Him? Let your actions stem from a sincere love for God and readiness to do His will and you will be surprised what great things He will do with you.

PRAYER: Lord, I give you my life. Please manifest your love and glory through me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 196 – Who can be baptized, and what is required of a candidate?

Any person who is not yet baptized can be baptized. The only prerequisite for Baptism is faith, which must be professed publicly at the Baptism.
A person who turns to Christianity is not just changing a world view. He travels a path of learning (the cathecumenate), in which he becomes a new man through personal conversion, but especially through the gift of Baptism. He is now a living member of the Body of Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “If anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work.”
2 Timothy 2:20 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Acts 9:1-20; Psalm 117:1-2; John 6:52-59