SEEKING ASSURANCE

Wednesday 15th March – Wednesday of the 2nd week of Lent

Reflection: Matthew 20:17-28

SEEKING ASSURANCE

Jesus’ apostles had left their trades and their means of livelihood to follow Christ. James and John had been out on the sea of Galilee fishing with their father, Zebedee when Christ called them. They left their nets, their boats and their father and followed the Lord. Certainly, their families would have worried about whether their decision was worth. Little wonder their mother came to request of our Lord that her sons be given seats at his left and right in his kingdom. She wanted an assurance that the sacrifice had sons her made was really worth it.

We all often find ourselves in the same situation. We have decided to follow Jesus, a decision that has changed our entire outlook on life. Our discipleship calls us live a holy life amidst an increasingly immoral and permissive world. There are times we give up the “easy path” and choose the more difficult out of our commitment to Christ. We fight with the urge to swim along with the tide and engage in worldly pleasure and self-satisfaction but Christ calls us to deny ourselves, carry our crosses daily and follow him.

We do not know the end of the journey and like James, John and their mother, we often wish God can give us an assurance that all our sacrifice is worth it. Christ doesn’t often tell us what the end will be, he simply asks us to follow him step by step in complete trust and confidence. He didn’t assure James and John of what the end will be but He certainly took care of them through all their suffering for His name. He will take care of you too and He assures you of eternal joy and eternal life if you persevere till the end.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I follow with complete trust and confidence. Help me to find strength in the assurance that your plans for me are the best. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 281 – Why do we yearn for happiness?

God has placed in our hearts such an infinite desire for happiness that nothing can satisfy it but God himself. All earthly fulfillment gives us only a foretaste of eternal happiness. Above and beyond that, we should be drawn to God.

Hide a Treasure: “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

Today’s Readings: Jer 18:18-20; Psalm 31: 5-6,14-16; Mt 20:17-28

TAKE YOUR PART IN SUFFERING

Tuesday 15th September – Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows    

Reflection: Luke 2:33-35

TAKE YOUR PART IN SUFFERING

Mary our Mother is a model of faith and a woman set apart by God for a special mission. Though full of grace, she was fully human and shared in the sufferings of her Son, thus playing her own role in our redemption. She was privileged to carry the incarnate word in her womb, yet she had to endure the agony of seeing her son suffer grievously and die shamefully despite his innocence.

The Prophecy of Simeon in today’s gospel reading sheds light on some of the recent happenings in today’s world; a world that often stands in opposition to the truth. Christ has truly become a sign of contradiction not only in the ancient Jewish world but even today. Our Mother Mary is also a part of this sign for by her cooperation with her destined path with her words; “be it done to me according to your words”, she embraced both the joys and suffering of her calling. What then do you have to say about your Christian life? Is it all easy? Certainly not! St Paul tells us: “Take your part in suffering, as a loyal soldier of Christ Jesus.”(2 Timothy 2:3). Opposition and ordeals will come to us but we must learn from our Mother to be patient in difficult times. We must find the true consolation that comes from the Holy Spirit who possessed Mary and lavished her with infinite grace.

For every cross we have to carry for the sake of Christ, there is a much greater grace available for us to withstand its effect. Let us therefore not be ignorant of our part of the suffering for the sake of our salvation and the salvation of others. Instead, let us be encouraged by our victory which our Lord Jesus has already won through the shedding of his blood on the cross.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, grant me victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life and the grace to hold on to you in all things. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us to God that his word may abide in us just as it found a fertile ground in you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 117- How could the Holy Spirit work in, with and through Mary?

Mary was totally responsive and open to God. Thus, she was able to become the “Mother of God” through the working of the Holy Spirit –and as Christ’s Mother to become also the Mother of Christians, indeed, the Mother of all mankind… Strenghtened by the Holy Spirit, she went with Jesus through thick and thin, even to the foot of the Cross. There Jesus gave her to us as our Mother.

HIDE A TREASURE: “My dear children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ’s nature is formed in you.” Galatians 4:19 GNB

Today’s readings: 1 Tim 3:1-13; Ps 110:1-3, 5-6; Luke 2:33-35

LIVE AS A DISCIPLE

Sunday 31st May – Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Reflection: Matthew 28: 16-20

LIVE AS A DISCIPLE

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”

As we read these words of today’s gospel reading let us focus on ourselves as disciples who have been “made” as Jesus instructed. We, who have been baptized in the name of the Trinity are an evidence that Christ’s first disciples truly carried out the great commission. Yet, our discipleship is not manifested simply in being members of the Body of Christ. Our discipleship calls us to an entirely different way of life – a life that reflects our conversion. Are you living as a disciple of Christ?

Today’s readings reveal what our lives should entail as disciples:

  1. Obedience to God’s laws: In the first and gospel readings, Moses and Jesus call for God’s people to be obedient to His laws. Living as disciples entails living in total obedience to God in ALL situations of our lives.
  2. Sharing Christ’s suffering: St Paul reminds us that our sharing in Christ’s glory as his co-heirs must be preceded by sharing in His sufferings. When we stand up for truth and purity despite opposition from peers; when we decide to obey God no matter the cost, we share in Christ’s sufferings and truly live as disciples.
  3. Trust in Christ’s presence: Jesus promised His disciples His ever abiding presence. As His disciples, we must trust in Jesus’ abiding presence especially in the difficult moments of life. His presence is manifested in a special way in the Sacraments. He gives Himself to us in the Eucharist and raises hands of mercy and forgiveness over us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As we avail ourselves of these live-giving encounters with the Lord, we grow in grace to live as true disciples.

Dear friend, St Paul tells us that only those moved by the Holy Spirit are sons of God (Rom 8:14). Ask the Holy Spirit today for the grace to truly live as a faithful disciple always.

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for the gift of my faith. Please help me to live in obedience to you and to trust you in every situation of my life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 205What happens in Confirmation?

In confirmation the soul of a baptized Christian is imprinted with a permanent seal that can be received only once and marks this individual forever as a Christian. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the strength from above in which this individual puts the grace of his Baptism into practice through his life and acts as a “witness” for Christ.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” Matthew 7:21 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Deut 4: 32-34, 39-40; Psalm 33: 4-6, 9, 18-22; Rom 8: 14-17; Mt 28: 16-20