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

DOING THE WILL OF THE FATHER

Tuesday 21st July – St. Lawrence of Brindisi, P.D (opt. Mem)

DOING THE WILL OF THE FATHER

Matthew 12: 46-50

Virtually every Christian is familiar with the Lord’s Prayer and the words: “may your kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:10). Yet, how often have we said this prayer without even considering what the Father’s will is? Do we really say this prayer with a sincere desire to do the will of the Father?

It is important as Christians that we always do the Father’s will. Indeed Jesus says: “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.” (Mt 7: 21). Doing the Father’s will implies total obedience to God. Each time we are presented with choices to make in our day to day lives, do we make decisions based on what pleases our heavenly Father?

Amidst of the peer pressure and increasingly secular societal influence around us, we must make efforts to live in obedience to God even when it is difficult. We must be willing to deny ourselves of the sinful pleasures of this world so that we can truly gain Christ. Let us imitate Jesus Christ who gave up all in obedience to the Father. May we be able to say like St. Dominic Savio said, “I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please grant me the grace and courage to the Father’s will especially when it is most difficult. Give me the grace to be faithful to my Christian calling. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 521 – What does it mean to say, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

When we pray for the universal accomplishment of God’s will, we pray that on earth and in our own heart it may become as it already is in heaven. As long as we continue to set our hearts on our own plans, our will, and our ideas, earth cannot become heaven. One person wants this, the other that. We find our happiness, however, when together we want what God wills. Praying means making room bit by bit for God’s will on this earth.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother” Matthew 12: 50 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Exodus 14: 21- 15:1; Exodus 15 (Canticle); Matthew 12: 46-50

TRUSTING GOD’S PLAN

Wednesday 25th March – Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Reflection: Luke 1: 26-38

TRUSTING GOD’S PLAN

Three young plants, “A”, “B” and “C” shared their ambitions with one another. “A” started, “I want to be a very strong tree and made into a chest to store the finest jewels in the world”. “B” said, “I want to be a tall and strong tree and be built into mighty ships that would carry great kings” while “C” said: “I desire to be a very tall tree; so tall that everyone would look up to me.” These trees grew to maturity and were felled. “A” was made into a feeding trough for animals and “B” into a small boat for use by the local villagers while “C” was felled and forgotten at a street corner. All three were unhappy because they had not attained their ambitions.

One cold evening, a man and woman needed a place to have their baby and as there was no room in the inn, they had to make do with a manger in Bethlehem. Only when “A” saw shepherds coming to see the child did he realize that He held within him, the Son of God. Several years later, there was a mighty storm while “B” was out on the sea, then suddenly a man in the boat rose and rebuked the storm; then he realized whom he was carrying – the King of kings. About 3 years later, “C” was still lying at the street corner in Jerusalem when someone picked him up because of his height and made into a cross for a man called Jesus to carry to his death at Golgotha. Indeed the whole world was going to look up to Him for redemption and salvation till the end of time.

Did these young plants attain their deepest desires? Sure, they did in the most marvelous way! Like “A”, “B” and “C”, we may not understand the path God is leading but we can trust Him with our lives. He has a much more beautiful plan for you than you can ever imagine. Our Blessed Mother said yes to God without knowing what the future held and today, the Church celebrates her “Yes” because it has brought redemption to mankind. Today, surrender your plans, hopes and aspirations to God and trust His beautiful plan for your life.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for the assurance that you have great plans for me. Please help me to submit to you each day with faith and trust. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 84 – Was Mary only an instrument of God?

Mary was more than a merely passive instrument of God. The Incarnation of God took place through her active consent as well.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” Luke 1:38 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10; Psalm 40:7-11; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38

RESOLUTIONS: SET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT

Thursday 1st January – Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Reflection: Luke 2:16-21

RESOLUTIONS: SET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT

Happy New Year, dear friends. As the New Year begins most of us have made new resolutions; we may have resolved to change old habits; to study more; to be gentler or friendlier etc. However the greatest resolution we can make this year is to live to please God every day and every moment of the year; to resolve to allow Christ be delivered through us to the world. Our resolutions are largely products of our priorities.

Today, the Church commemorates the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God who placed the ‘will of God’ above all her personal plans and desires and thus gave her fiat, ‘let it be done to me according to your words’. Our Blessed Mother was certain that He who created her will take care of her and guide her path. Though, she was chosen for this great task even before her conception, she still needed to submit to God’s will to fulfil her purpose. God has created each of us for a good purpose (Jeremiah 29:11). However, He needs our free will to cooperate with Him to achieve their purpose.

Many of us are afraid of surrendering all to God. We are afraid that we will lose the freedom to enjoy our lives. However, the reverse is the case, for it is only in God that we can ever find the fullness of life (John 10:10), true freedom and rest for our souls. We were not there when God created us and chose our parents, family and nationality. Thus, no matter how well we plan our lives, there is One who knows it best – our Creator. Hence we should not be afraid to hand over the wheel of our lives to Him to steer.

Beloved, if you have not made your resolutions for the year, it’s not too late. If you have made them without Christ priority, then you need to review them now. When the Lord is our shepherd there is nothing we can fear in the journey of 2015. Let us strive to be among the sheepfold of God that His blessings may always be upon us.

PRAYER:  Lord help me that the decisions and steps I take daily may be directed by the love of you. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 284 – Why are the Beatitudes so important?

Those who yearn for the kingdom of God look to Jesus’ list of priorities: the Beatitudes.

HIDE A TREASURE: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” Psalm 23:1 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 67:2 – 8, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:16-21

IF GOD DOES NOT BUILD

Tuesday 8th July – Tuesday of week 14 of the year

Reflection: Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13

IF GOD DOES NOT BUILD

“Unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do its builders labor. Unless the Lord guards the city, in vain does the guard stay awake” (Psalm 127:1). God created man free and responsible. Though man is created free to make his own decisions, yet he is made up of both body and soul. Living in a finite world and aspiring for the infinite, he is pulled at one moment toward the pleasures of the body and at another moment to the joys of the spirit. He is in a constant state of suspension between matter and spirit, between the pull of the old Adam and that of the new Adam (Jesus). This inner war in man is a consequence of the fall; the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered. Thus, man though free cannot by himself save himself. He has to look for help beyond himself; he has to look to his creator to regain his control.

Dear friends, many a time we think we are in charge of our lives and we control and determine our path. We see ourselves as the absolute, affirming our own wish and pleasure and denying our dependence on God. However, the more we try to be absolute, the more we realize our emptiness; the more we sow the wind, the more we reap the whirlwind; the more we try to be ourselves without God, the lesser we become. God created us without our consent and He will not save us except with our cooperation.

Today God is calling us to surrender all to him; to recognize His supremacy in all we do and not rely on our own understanding.

PRAYER: Lord, I surrender all to you, take charge of me and use me for your glory. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 398 – Man’s first sin

In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good…

HIDE A TREASURE: “Trust in Yahweh with all your heart; do not rely on your own insight. Let his presence pervade all your ways and he will protect your foot from the snare.” Proverbs 3:5-6 CCB

Readings for Today: Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13, Psalm 115:3-10, Matthew 9:32-38

SELF MORTIFICATION

Monday 3rd March – Monday of week 8 of the year

Reflection: Mark 10:17-27

SELF MORTIFICATION

 “Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor; then come, follow me”. Happiness does not necessarily consist in leaving all one has, but it consists in being free of all one’s possessions in order to submit oneself to God totally. This is what Christ called the rich man to do – to detach himself from his wealth, to be ready to share with others and to help others by the means God had given him. Christ called the rich man to a state of detachment from his wealth, so as not to allow his status influence his readiness and willingness to serve Him. Christ called him to surrender all to Him, his wealth and entire life.

Dear Friends, like the rich man, Christ is calling us to surrender all we have: our wealth (our time, talents and treasures as youths) and our entire life to Him that they may be used for God’s glory. Are we ready to do this or are we like the rich man who wanted to enter God’s kingdom but was not ready to surrender all to God? Do we freely give in to Jesus so that he may take charge of our freedom, permeate our thoughts and direct our actions? Do we forsake worldly pleasures that we may abide in His presence always?

Beloved in Christ, we must always remember that; “The way of perfection passes by the way of the Cross”. There is no Holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. There is no Salvation without Calvary. We cannot please God without putting our human and fleshy desires to death (Romans 8:8)

PRAYER: Lord take my life and my all and make them all yours. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2015 – Spiritual progress entails the ascesis (the exercise of self-discipline) and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes

HIDE A TREASURE: “How then are you more than others? What have you that you have not received? And if you have received it, why are you proud, as if you did not receive it?”   1 Corinthians 4:7 CCB

Readings for today: 1 Peter 1:3-9; Psalm 111:1-10; Mark 10:17-27

THY WILL BE DONE

Thursday, 16th January – Thursday of week 1 of the year

Reflection: Mark 1:40-45

THY WILL BE DONE

Beloved, there is a dimension of prayer which pleases God and never seeks self or what we want from God. It is solely offered to God with total dependence on his judgment to give us what we need in his own way and at his own time. This is the prayer of surrender. We often times ask God for what we need and he supplies us bountifully. This should not in any way make us lose the consciousness of the supremacy of God who knows the best for us and who works in mysterious ways.

In our reading today, the leper offered his intention to God with a note of surrender and acknowledgement of God’s power. He did not doubt the power of God to heal him by the manner with which he put His request before Jesus: “if you want to, you can make me clean” (Mark 1:40); he plainly surrendered to God’s power and God’s will for his life. Dear friend, it delights God so much to see us accept whatever he wills for us and not just what we want him to do for us. God would always be God no matter the situation. When things go wrong, trust God to make them right in his own way and when things are right, still trust God to keep them right.

Jesus’ experience in the garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26: 36-39 shows us the importance of triumphing in hard times by our total dependence on God’s will for our lives. The almighty prayer (The Lord’s prayer) which Jesus gave to his disciples also contains this powerful aspect of our faith; “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

May we always learn to accept God’s design for our lives and seek him with our hearts open to what he has for us. Amen.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I surrender all to your mercy and power. Let your will be done in my life. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2826 – By prayer we discern “what is the will of God” and obtain the endurance to do it. Jesus teaches us that one enters the kingdom of heaven not by speaking words, but by doing “the will of my father in heaven”

HIDE A TREASURE: “You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises” Hebrews 10:36 GNB

Readings for Today: 1 Samuel 4:1-11; Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25; Mark 1:40-45