NO SERVANT CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS

Saturday 7th November – Saturday of week 31 of the year

Reflection: Luke 16: 9-15

NO SERVANT CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS

St Paul, in his letter to Timothy says “No soldier in service gets entangled with civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim 2:4). Faithfulness is a great gift; yet it is a virtue that is lacking amongst many of us today. Jesus says in today’s gospel reading: “If you are unfaithful with unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you true riches?”

Faithfulness cannot be partial; it is either “all” or “nothing”. How faithful are you to the gifts and blessings that God has entrusted to you? How faithful are you to commitments you have made to both man and God? Are you faithful in your dealings and relationships with fellow men or are you lacking in faithfulness? Today’s first reading gave an account of people who were faithful to their call in their own little way to the spread of the Gospel, they were great men and women who gave their input faithfully and were reckoned with. What can people say about your faithfulness and what can God say about your faithfulness? Is there a disparity in both recommendations? (Lk 16:15)

Today, God calls on you – John, Anthony, Justina, Charles, Theresa, Lucy, Chrisitiana…every one of us. He calls on us to live the faith so as to attain perfection. (Mt 5:48). Will you answer His call today?

PRAYER: Lord, please create in me a new heart that is committed and faithful to you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 543 – The word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field; those who hear it with faith and are numbered among the little flock of Christ have truly received the kingdom. Then, by its power, the seed sprouts and grows until the harvest.

HIDE A TREASURE: “I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set your ordinances before me.” Psalm 119:30 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Romans 16: 3-9, 16, 22-27; Psalm 144: 2-5, 10-11; Lk 16: 9-15

HE WANTS YOUR ATTENTION

Wednesday 29th July – Memorial of St Martha

HE WANTS YOUR ATTENTION

Luke 10: 38-42

When I was a child, I was surprised at Christ’s response to Martha in today’s gospel reading because my young mind expected Jesus to ask Mary to help out with the service. Yet, each time I reflect on the passage, it becomes clearer that Jesus’ response is one that addresses not just Martha but all of us. Like Martha, we may have invited Jesus into our hearts and because of our earnest desire to please Him, we zealously busy ourselves serving Him so much that we fail to spend time sitting at His feet in Bible study and prayer. We can become so busy with church activities, youth programmes etc that we do not have time to listen to what Jesus is saying to us.

Today, Jesus tells us that as important as our service of God is, spending time to listen at His feet is even more important. In giving our full attention to our Lord, we learn how to serve Him better. Are you caught up in the web of so much activity that you are unable to spend time alone with Jesus? Listen to Him as he says: “You worry and fret about so many things, yet few are needed; indeed only one” (Lk 10:41).

As we celebrate St Martha today, let us welcome Him to our hearts, homes and communities like she did and let us commit ourselves to spending time with our Lord each day as she was taught by our Lord. In doing this, we will receive His grace and direction for our other activities.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please come into my heart. Help me to take delight in sitting at your feet each day so that I may be transformed more and more into your likeness. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 494 How can my everyday routine be a school of prayer?

Everything that happens, every encounter can become the occasion for a prayer. For the more deeply we live in union with God, the deeper we understand the world around us.

HIDE A TREASURE: “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for you, O God.” Psalm 42: 1 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Exodus 34: 29-35; Psalm 99: 5-9; Luke 10: 38-42

TRUE LEADERSHIP

Wednesday 27th May – Wednesday of week 8 of the year

Reflection: Mark 10:32-45

TRUE LEADERSHIP

Our Blessed Lord called His disciples to himself and taught them what true leadership means. For His disciples, leadership involves service – a leader is one who is to serve and not to be served. This concept of humility in leadership is illustrated in the parable of the grain of wheat. “Truly I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24). The grain of wheat can boast of its great potential; however without first dying, it remains only a grain. But if it surrenders itself to death in the dirt of the soil, it bears much fruit and is respected for what it is.

In the same vein, to be a successful leader, one must necessarily learn how to serve. The mark of nobility in Christian leadership is the privilege to serve and not to be served. To lead is to live by example; it entails dying to our own personal desires and working rather for the good of all. The world, is “power-drunk”, and can never thoroughly grasp the paradox that only humility really leads to greatness. The strength of a leader is measured by the safety of his followers and his followers can only feel safe in the hands of a servant-leader.

Beloved, we all have been chosen to lead; either as leaders of a group, a class or even as elders to our younger ones. Our responsibility is that of service. Christ calls us to lead by example, serving the common good and not our own interest. Dear friend, always remember, every opportunity you have to lead is a privilege and you will have to give an account of your stewardship in the end.

PRAYER: Lord help me that in discharging my duties I may learn humility and give me the grace to daily die to myself and daily rise to new life in you. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 89 – To whom does Jesus promise “the kingdom of God”?

God wills “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). The “kingdom of God” begins in those who allow themselves to be transformed by God’s love. In Jesus’ experience these are above all the poor and the lowly.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Whoever would be great amongst you must be your servant” Mark 10: 43 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Sirach 36:1-2, 5-7,13-19, Psalm 79: 8-13, Mark 10: 32-45

FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT

Friday 20th March – Friday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT

“We know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”Jn 7:27

The Jews failed to recognize the divinity of Jesus because they thought they knew Him too well. “Isn’t He the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? Aren’t all his sisters living here (Matthew 13:55-56)? They expected the Christ to come in a majestic way and not in a way that touched their neighborhood, entered into close dealings with them, or lifted the hammers in a trade shop around them. Thus, their familiarity with Christ blinded them from knowing His true identity.

Dear friends, are we not also guilty of this same contempt bred by familiarity? Do we still recognize Christ in the Holy Eucharist and receive Him with reverence or have we lost the significance of what we receive and just receive it as a routine? Do we still recognize that the Church as a sacred place where we should comport ourselves or do we treat the Church as we like? Do we still recognize Christ in the person of our Priests and Religious and do we treat them as such or have we lost focus of who they are out of our familiarity with them?

Do we realize our duty of serving God in our groups in Church and places of work or have we lost focus by seeking for human approval and praise? Do we still hear God’s voice in the words of the Bible or has it become a mere historical book for us? Do we realize the recompense of God for a good and holy life or are we blinded in the pleasure of sin? Do we realize that we talk to God in prayers and as such He deserves all our attention or do we consciously give in to distractions? How often do we recite prayers without thinking of their meanings? Do we still give due respect to our parents and elders as we ought to or have we lost focus of this out of familiarity?

Beloved in Christ, today offers you an opportunity to reflect on how well you are living for God. He desires that true worshippers worship Him, not merely as a routine but in spirit and in truth

PRAYER: Lord enlighten my heart with your light that as I grow in you, I may never lose focus of who you are to me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 218 – What is the right way to honor the Lord present in the bread and wine?

Because God is truly present in the consecrated species of bread and wine, we must preserve the sacred gifts with the greatest reverence and worship our Lord and Redeemer in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Reverence the Lord with all your being and respect the priests.” Sirach 7:29 CCB

Today’s Readings: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, Psalm 34:16-23, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

THE SERVANT-LEADER

Friday 25th July – Feast of St. James, Apostle

Reflection: 1 Corinthians 4: 8-13

THE SERVANT-LEADER

In our contemporary society, every young person is aspiring for one leadership position or the other. Little do they know that “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Leadership in our day has become an avenue to gain fame and popularity among the people, or to dominate and exercise authority over the led. What does it truly mean to be a leader? A leader is one who is ready to forgo his own pleasure for the benefit of the followers. A leader is a servant who is sensitive to the need of every one of his followers. A good leader leads by example.

Today’s text reveals St. Paul as a leader par-excellence. He possessed all these qualities of leadership listed above. He became weak so that his followers may be strong, he became poor that they may be rich; he was humiliated, so that his followers might be honoured. In fact, he became all things to all men for the sake of Christ. Such leadership qualities are rare these days. Hence, one would need to go back to the Sovereign Leader himself, Jesus Christ to learn what it means to lead. Beloved, Jesus has taught us that he who desires to be the first among many must first of all become the servant of all (Mark 9: 35).

Simply stated, a leader should be an embodiment of divine love. If you are already occupying one leadership position or the other anywhere, then you must ask yourself a question to know if you have these qualities in large measure. And if you don’t, then cry to God for them. The reason is because every position ofthe authority you occupy is an opportunity to make a life changing impact towards the people you are leading, failure to do this is tantamount to disappointing God.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, give me the grace to be a servant leader like yourself. Help to make a meaningful impact in every leadership position I find myself. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 1804: “The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “…If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest.”  Matthew 20:26b GNB

Readings for Today: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15; Psalm 126; Matthew 20: 20-26