SING PRAISES

Monday 7th March – Monday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: Psalm 30

SING PRAISES

“Count your blessings, name them one by one

and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”.

So reads a song we are all familiar with. It’s a song that calls us to give thanks to God as we reflect on the numerous blessings we receive from Him each day. However, the words of this song unveils one reality: if we are not careful, we can easily forget the great things God does for us and begin to take them for granted, hence the need to count our blessings and name them one by one.

The Psalmist in today’s reading does just that. He reflects on all the wonders God has done for Him and cannot but sing praises to God from the depths of His heart. We too should stop and think. Think of the times of uncertainty or difficulty you have experience in the past. Think of the times of sickness, suffering and pain, think of the numerous times you have turned to God and asked for His help. Think of the many blessings you have received which you did not even ask for. Look around you and see the beauty and order of creation.

Dear friends, God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is indeed great. Let us take time to praise Him. Let us look beyond the difficulties assailing us right now and praise our God for the many blessings we receive each day. Remember, God dwells in the praises of His people and moves mightily on their behalf. A heart of thanksgiving always touches God’s heart. Are you ready to praise? Go on, God is waiting to hear your voice!

PRAYER: Lord I thank You for the blessings You give me each day. Please give me a heart of gratitude that I may praise you always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 489 What does it mean to praise God?

God needs no applause. But we need to express spontaneously our delight in God and the rejoicing in our hearts. We praise God because he exists and because he is good. We thereby join even now in the eternal praise of the angels and saints in heaven.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Isaiah 65: 17-21; Psalm 30; John 4: 43-54

REMEMBER, IT IS ONLY A GIFT

Tuesday 22nd December

Reflection: 1 Samuel 1: 24-28

REMEMBER, IT IS ONLY A GIFT

When science fails to solve our puzzles, medicine fails to heal our wounds and our efforts are apparently futile; it is only natural to turn even to the most “illogical” solution. When faced with unnerving problems even the staunchest atheist (as they proudly profess) might consider talking to the God; he had consistently tagged non-existent. It is amazing what promises we are willing to make when they earnestly desire something. Just then, we are reminded that God is our ultimate help.

When we ask in faith and humility; God our loving Father would not deny us anything we need for our salvation and well being. This is the assurance Christ has given us: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7 :11). It is however saddening to know how many turn a cold heart to God after He has dried their tears.

Hannah, whom the Lord had saved from the shame of childlessness, was indeed grateful. She did not cling to Samuel her only son. She saw him as a gift from God and though he was still an infant whom she had just weaned, she was willing to fulfil her promise to God as difficult as it appeared to be. In gratitude, she exalted God, recounting His power to supply the needs of the weak and dejected, and humble the proud and she joyfully gave her son back to God (1 Samuel 1:28). God increased her joy, giving her five children in the place of one which she had requested for (1 Samuel 2:21)

Beloved, let us constantly remember that every answered prayer is a gift from God; who is able to do immeasurably more. When we do this, we would show enough gratitude to fulfil our vows to Him and our obligation of love to our neighbour. Remember everything you have is only a gift, and you will not forget the giver.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you have given me so much; please give me one more thing – a grateful heart. May I never forget that You are the source of my life and happiness. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 488 – Why should we thank God?

Everything that we are and have comes from God. Paul says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7). Being grateful to God, the giver of all good things, makes you happy.

The greatest prayer of thanks is the “Eucharist” (“thanksgiving” in Greek) of Jesus, in which he takes bread and wine so as to offer in them to God all of creation, transformed.

HIDE A TREASURE: “What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” 1 Corinthians 4:7 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: 1 Samuel 1: 24-28; 1 Samuel 2: 1, 4-8 (Canticle); Luke 1 : 46-56

RECOGNISING GOD’S HAND

Friday 14th August – Memorial of St Maximilian Kolbe, Priest & Martyr

Reflection: Joshua 24: 1-13

RECOGNISING GOD’S HAND

Our day to day life presents us with pleasant and unpleasant circumstances alike. Some seasons of our lives bring us joy and fulfilment while others can leave us disillusioned and frustrated. Yet, we have the tendency to take the glory for the pleasant seasons and blame other people, our environment or even God for the unpleasant ones.

As Joshua neared the end of his time as leader of Israel, he reminded them in today’s first reading of the wondrous works God had worked amongst them and their fathers over the years. Why did he remind them of these? He did this because the people had a habit of forgetting all God’s miraculous works each time they encountered difficulty. This forgetfulness led them to complain against God and their leaders several times during their exodus – before the crossing of the Red Sea, when they were thirsty, when they craved for meat, at the verge of entering the Promised Land etc.

Dear friend, we are often just as guilty as the Israelites, failing to recognize God’s hand at work in our lives and forgetting so quickly the many ways He cares for us, provides for us and saves us from evil. As long as we attribute our successes to ourselves, we will be unable to trust God with our lives. On the contrary, when we recognize His mighty deeds around us, we will grow in faith and true commitment to God. Thank God today for the many blessings you have received from Him and trust Him to take care of the difficult situations you encounter.

PRAYER: Thank you dear Lord for the many blessings you have showered on me. Please help me to recognize your hand at work in my life and trust you in difficult situations. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 488Why should we thank God?

Everything that we are and have comes from God. Paul says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7). Being grateful to God, the giver of all good things makes you happy.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Bless the Lord oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits” Psalm 103:2 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Joshua 24: 1-13; Psalm 135: 1-3.16-18.21-24; Matthew 19: 3-12