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

PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM

Wednesday 3rd June – Memorial of St Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs

Reflection: Tobit 3:1-11, 16-17

PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM

The true measure of our faith is not seen when all around us is going smoothly. Practically all of us can sing praises to God in times of comfort and abundance.  However, how easily are we prone to speak ill of God in times of tribulations and trials? How readily do we forget His previous benefits and appreciate is ongoing provisions even in our storms.  For some, the mind is completely occupied with nothing but the question: “why me?”

Beloved in Christ, our life is not designed to be problem-free as some would want us to believe nowadays. The way of the cross walked by our Blessed Savior and the saints gone ahead of us still remains relevant to us Christians of this age (Luke 9:23). The better we are prepared for this, the more we are equipped to walk through it victoriously. Today, as the Church celebrates the faith of Charles Lwanga (The patron Saint of youth and Catholic action in Africa) and his companions (fellow Ugandan martyrs); we have much to learn from them as youths of this age. These young men joyfully braved the wave of cruel opposition against their newly professed faith to the point of martyrdom.

Dearest in Christ, this calls us to assess our own response to the struggles of our lives. What problems are you going through that have kept you mournful and sorrowful? Perhaps it appears a lot seems not to be working well around you. Please do not dwell on your losses or inadequacies, rather choose to look on the bright side of life. When we call to remembrance the wonderful deeds of God in times past and appreciate how better off our situations are compared to that of many, we cannot but thank God. The sincere praise of God in trying times has the capacity to work unimaginable wonders (Acts 16: 16-30; 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30). Let us emulate the faith of Tobit as seen in today’s first reading who despite the odds around him acknowledged the faithfulness of God. Our song of praise, especially in difficult times, is a sound affirmation of our trust in God and a veritable weapon against the assaults of the evil one.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, I am sorry for the moments I have failed to appreciate you in my difficulties. Please help me to see your faithfulness in my life at all times. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 40 – Can God do anything? Is he almighty?

For God nothing is impossible. He is almighty. Anyone who calls on God in need believes that he is all-powerful… He guides all things and can do everything. How he uses his omnipotence is of course a mystery.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 GNB

Today’s Readings: Tobit 3: 1-11, 16-17; Psalm 25: 2-9; Mark 12: 18-27

THE PRICE OF PERFECTION

Monday 25th May – Monday of week 8 of the year

Reflection: Mark 10:17-27

THE PRICE OF PERFECTION

Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17)

The question the young man asked as he ran up to Jesus reveals his thirst for holiness. There is a blessing in longing and striving for betterment, in making oneself a sheep that gets out of the mud rather than a pig that stays on in it. However, as today’s gospel shows us, to thirst for holiness is not enough, we must also be ready to pay the price. All men desire greatness but only few are ready to give what it takes.

When our Lord proposed to him the ordinary way of salvation, namely, keeping the commandments, the man was dissatisfied; he sought for something more perfect; but, when the perfect way was proposed to him, the way of renunciation: He went away sad because he had great wealth. Such response shows us that one can have an earnest desire for God, but be unwilling to tread the path of true holiness.

Beloved, always remember: “The way of perfection passes by the way of the Cross. There is no holiness without self-renunciation; no salvation without Calvary and no crown without a cross. Thus, our path to holiness as Christians demands that we detach ourselves from earthly things. It is a path of total self-giving that calls us to die to our own desires and cling to God’s purpose for us. Jesus, tells you today: “If you wish to be perfect…go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”. What is standing in your path to perfection? Let go of it today!

PRAYER: God give me the grace to always walk in the light of your presence and never to depart from you, so that eternally I may reign with you in heaven. 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: “We cannot please God without putting our human and fleshy desires to death” Romans 8:8 CCB

Today’s Reading: Sirach 17:20-28, Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7, Mark 10:17-27