DETACH FROM EARTHLY TREASURES

Sunday 27th September- 26th Sunday of the year

DETACH FROM EARTHLY TREASURES


Mk 9:38-43.45.47-48

I once met a man who believed he was everything a woman would ever want; he had good looks and so much wealth that he felt he was in control of every situation. He met this very simple lady whom he loved so much and wanted to marry but all she asked of him was to live simpler life, a life without so much riches but filled with much love, peace and happiness. He refused because he could not imagine a life without riches. This young man never found anyone as good as the simple lady and he remained single all his life.

The world we live in today is filled with all sorts of material attractions, things that are enough to buy  a man’s conscience and even his soul. It is true that the human wants are unlimited but we must always remember that the top item on our preference list should be the salvation of our souls. As young people we have different things and people that we unnecessarily attach ourselves to, ranging from clothes, jewels, phones and other gadgets. We also attach ourselves to certain people  believing that we cannot survive without them. Yet they add nothing to our moral and spiritual values but rob us of virtues . Christ is telling us today how vague these things are, for it is better to enter the kingdom of heaven without them than hell with them.
…If your eye makes you lose your faith, take it out! It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into Hell. (Mk 9: 45-47)

Let us then unlike the man in our illustration make sacrifices now that we may enjoy eternally at God’s side. No matter how far you think you can run to hide your riches from God, all he need take is a step to take it away from you.

PRAYER: Lord God, detach me from earthly treasures that I may find joy in your Kingdom.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 52 What is heaven?

Heaven is God’s milieu, the dwelling place of the angels and saints, and the goal of creation. With the words “heaven and earth”we designate the whole of created reality. Heaven is not a place in the universe. It is a condition in the next life. Heaven is where God’s will is done without any resistance. Heaven happens when life is present in its greatest intensity and blessedness- a kind of life that we do not find on earth.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Everything will be purified by fire as a sacrifice is purified by salt.” Mark 9:49 GNB

Today’s reading: Num 11:25-29; Ps 19:7-12; Jam 5:1-6; Mk 9:38-43.45.47-48

LIVING AS DISCIPLES

Wednesday 9th September – Wednesday of week 23 of the year

LIVING AS DISCIPLES

Colossians 3: 1-11

The popular and well respected Indian non-violence activist, Mahatma Ghandi was once quoted as saying, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Indeed, Ghandi’s observation is not contrary to what many other people have truthfully expressed. Why has Christ become so different from the people ‘like-Christ’? What went wrong with our Christianity? This question can only be answered when we go back to the beginning. ‘What is Christianity? ’.

Rather than being just a religion with Ten Commandments and lengthy doctrines, Christianity is living the true life of Christ. Christ’s disciples were called Christians because they were found to live like the Christ they proclaimed. Jesus lived in truth, love, and perfect obedience to God’s will and that is the life to which He has called us. St Paul reminds us in today’s reading: “…you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).

In baptism, you have died to your old self and risen with Christ to a new life. This new life is a life of love – true sacrificial love. Take time to examine yourself today. Does your Christian faith make you less judgemental, slanderous, quarrelsome etc and more loving and tolerant of others? Christianity is a journey towards knowing God as He truly is. Each day gives us a new opportunity to renew our commitment to Christ and truly live as His disciples. Let the opportunity today offers you not be wasted.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, teach me to live as you lived. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 348“Teacher, what…must I do to have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)?

Jesus says, “If you would enter life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17). Then he adds, “and come, follow me” (Mt 19:21). Christianity is more than a correct life and keeping the commandments. Being a Christian is a living relationship to Jesus. A Christian unites himself deeply and personally with the Lord and with him sets out on the way that leads to true life.

HIDE A TREASURE: “He replied, who are my mother and my brethren? And looking around on those who sat there he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren!. Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3: 33-35 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Colossians 3: 1-11; Psalm 145: 2-3.10-13; Luke 6: 20-26

IT IS WORTH THE COST

Tuesday 18th August: Tuesday of week 20 of the year

IT IS WORTH THE COST

Matthew 19:23-30

Anyone who consistently makes the “easy alternative” a way of life would possibly never leave a positive imprint in the sand of time. History celebrates success and times have shown us that only few out of the multitude demonstrate the needed sacrifice and courage to pay the demands of excellence. Life is about choices and there is a cost to every decision we make. By our choices, we are either growing in virtues or losing them; and it is the virtues that we exhibit that truly set us out as follower of Christ (Matt. 7:20; Matt. 5:20).

From yesterday’s reflection, we were counselled on the need to give God first place in our hearts; to resist the seductive lure of the worldly attractions that compete with the love of God in our hearts. In today’s gospel reading which is a continuation of yesterday’s, our Blessed Saviour gives consolation to all who have made a total commitment to Him – “…everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life”( Matt. 19:29).

Dearest in Christ, our call as followers of Christ is one that comes with its costs. To truly be Christians, we cannot but embrace the life of self-denial and sacrifice. Discipleship of Christ comes with some choices that ordinarily run contrary to the natural inclination of the fallen man. What are those things that you are tightly holding unto that are preventing you from freely and fully serving the Lord? As the Holy Spirit daily impels us to a deeper union with the Lord, are we embracing His demands or fleeing from them? No cost is too high to make heaven as there is a greater cost to pay for anyone who loses out (Matt. 16:26)!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please help me to daily say yes to your will, to forsake all that displeases you as I am called to a deeper intimacy with you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 618– The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”…He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow [him],” for Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps.
Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.

Hide a treasure: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? Matthew 16: 26 RSV-CE

Today’s readings: Judges 6: 11-24; Psalm 84: 9, 11-14; Matthew 19: 23-30

SALVATION AND THE CROSS

Friday 7thAugust- Friday of week 18 of the year

SALVATION AND THE CROSS

Matthew 16:24-28

Seeds are planted deep in the soil, where they undergo corruption, and die.. However, out of this decadence sprouts the seedling, the future plant. The seedling is of greater value and capable of greater produce than the single seed that was sown. In the seed we see a replica of the human life. Without renouncement, mortification and reformation, we cannot live a fulfilled and productive life. Without the cross we cannot achieve perfection.

As the way of Salvation passes by the way of the Cross; we cannot claim to love Jesus and then disdain the cross. To partake in the life of Christ, we must be ready to share in His suffering and death. Like the seed, we must be ready to let go of ourselves, our desires, and our will, surrendering them to that of our heavenly Father. We must learn the wisdom of God in what humans consider as foolish; we must learn to bring virtues out of the corruption of the world. In the face of frustration and annoyance, we must learn patience; in the face of grave offense, we must forgive; in the face of hatred and disdain, we must show love; in the face of despair, we must keep hope alive in God.

By bringing out virtues out of the circumstances around us and learning to recognize and bear our cross in every situation we find ourselves, we renounce our human nature and its desires. Each time we recognize and accept the virtues contained in our situations, we are bearing our cross. The more the Spirit of God triumphs in our life, the more we partake and share in Christ’s suffering and death, which is the way to salvation. Our crosses are largely products of our daily life; in our workplace, in our homes, in the church, in our schools, on the playgrounds, in the marketplace, these are all roads that can lead us to salvation. Our duty is to recognize the crosses we are called to bear in these places and pray for the grace to bear them and follow Jesus.

Prayer: Lord grant me divine wisdom, to learn and accept the virtues you teach me each day and give me the grace and strength to follow your path. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 102 – Why are we too supposed to accept suffering in our lives and thus “take up our cross” and thereby follow Jesus?

Christians should not seek suffering, but when they are confronted with unavoidable suffering, it can become meaningful for them if they unite their sufferings with the sufferings of Christ… Christians have the task of alleviating suffering in the world. Nevertheless, there will still be suffering. In faith we can accept our own suffering and share the suffering of others. In this way human suffering becomes united with the redeeming love of Christ and thus part of the divine power that changes the world for the better.

Hide a Treasure: “My son, if you have decided to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Keep your heart upright and remain resolute; do not be upset in the time of adversity.” Sirach 2:1-2 CCB

Today’s Readings: Deuteronomy 4:32-40; Psalm 77:12-16. 21; Matthew 16:24-28