WHEN LOVE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Saturday 8th August – Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest

WHEN LOVE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Deuteronomy 6:4-13

This conversation ensued between a mother and her child after a Sunday Mass:

Mother: What lesson did you learn from Father’s homily today?

Child: Father said that love does not keep a record of wrongs in our hearts.

Mother: That is great my baby. You listened well.

Child: Thank you Mum, But where should I keep it? What then should I do if I don’t even remember the wrongs my friend did to me?

Beloved, Love is the nature of our Abba Father and all His actions are wrought in love. God’s love gives us a glimpse of heaven and it is capable of stripping us of anything in this world that contends with it in our heart. How then as Christians can we live without love? The truth is that there is no life without Love. Love breathes life and that is why Jesus love for the world led him to died so as to give us life.

Our reading today tells us of the greatest command that God gave his people Israel: “Israel, remember this! The LORD and the LORD alone is our God.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:4-5). To show its importance, God ordered them to tie this law on their arms and wear on their foreheads, to keep saying it while resting and while working, to write it on the doorpost of their houses and gates. Beloved, is this too much for Love? Does it make sense to do all this?

Love doesn’t have to make sense to the flesh because it is a gift of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit pours out the love of God into our hearts (Romans 5:5) to make us do the impossible for God. are we willing to allow the Holy Spirit work in us and through us? Just like the little child’s response in the illustration above, the love of God would make us live above malice, hatred, envy and all sorts of vices and would reconfigure our thinking. This is what Love can do with ease. Let us therefore be willing to give all for the Love of God and in turn we would see God in our neighbour.

Keep showing love to others even if it does not make sense.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to love you always. Give the grace by the power of the Spirit to love even when it doesn’t make sense to my reasoning. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 33- What does it mean to say that God is love?

If God is love, then there is nothing created that is not carried and surrounded by his infinite benevolence. God not only declares that he is love, he also proves it: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).

HIDE A TREASURE: “Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs”. 1 Corinthians 13:5 GNB

Today’s Readings: Deut. 6:4-13; Psalm 18:2-4.47.51; Matt. 17:14-20

HOW GREAT IS GOD’S GRACE?

Sunday 12th July- 15th Sunday of the year

HOW GREAT IS GOD’S GRACE?

Reflection: Ephesians 1:3-14

“Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church.” CCC 2003

God’s grace is the unmerited favour we receive from Him regardless of our physical and spiritual status. His grace over our lives is so great and beyond our imagination. Can you ever imagine a father sending His only son to a world of sin and wickedness to die for the salvation of souls? It was by the fullness of God’s grace that we were created in God’s image and now we can be called sons and daughters of God through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5). He has also blessed us with every spiritual blessing so that we can grow to the status He desires for us since this is his purpose for our existence.

So then, beloved in Christ, just as St. Paul said in Romans (6:14) “sin must not be your master; for you do not live under law but under God’s grace”. This is the time for us to choose to stay away from all forms of sin and unite ourselves to the father, for with him we have no cause to worry; his grace is ever sufficient. Always remember the words of the lord in 2corinthians 12:9 that says “my grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak”.

PRAYER: Father, I ask for the grace to follow, to stay away from sin and remain connected to you. Amen .

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 339What does God’s grace do to us?   

God’s grace brings us into the inner life of the Holy Trinity, into the exchange of love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It makes us capable of living in God’s love and of acting on the basis of this love.                                                          
Hide a treasure: Surely he is ready to save those who honour him, and his saving presence will remain in our land. Psalm 85:9 GNB

Today’s Readings: Amos 7:12-15; Psalm 85:9-10,11-12,13-14; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:7-13

OUR HOPE IN THE GLORY TO COME

Tuesday 19th May – Tuesday of the 7th week of Eastertide

Reflection: John 17: 1-11

OUR HOPE IN THE GLORY TO COME

Though the world may someday forget the pains of racism, history will never forget Martin Luther King Jnr. and his famous speech “I have a dream”. Along with many others, he stood his ground against the pervading demon of racism at that time. They knew their lives on the line yet they were not going to permit a cloud to cover the bright light of hope they saw. They were inspired by the hope that their children would someday live in a nation without racial boundaries. Their dream may not have come through during their lifetime, yet their hope has inspired generations. Should our hope in Christ not be even much greater?

Christ at the close of His earthly ministry; was eagerly desirous of the glory He was to receive from His heavenly Father, after glorifying the Father with His earthly life and work (John 17:5). Also, amidst the tears of the elders of the church in Ephesus, as he gave his farewell speech, St. Paul was at peace with himself and with God after serving him faithfully through thick and thin. He had given his life in order to accomplish the work of his Master, Jesus. In hope, he could catch a glimpse of the glory to come at the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8: 18-19).

As Christians, we are people of hope. It is our hope in God that keeps us faithful to Him even in difficult situations. Have you lost the will to live in the face of trials? Are you on the verge of compromising your Christian and Catholic faith because of the difficulties around you? Do not give in to despair, dear friend. Ask the Holy Spirit to rekindle in your heart the gift of hope and the joy that comes with it.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, comfort me in trying times by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 308 – What is hope?

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on earth to do: to praise God and to serve him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfillment in God; and for our final home: in God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us…” Romans 5:4 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Acts 20: 17-27; Psalm 68: 10-11, 20-21; John 17: 1-11

WHAT KIND OF BELIEVER ARE YOU?

Monday 18th May – Monday of the 7th week Eastertide

Reflection: Acts 19: 1-8

WHAT KIND OF BELIEVER ARE YOU?

Every religion in the world has doctrines which must be accepted by anyone who professes it. Our Christian faith, being a newness of life drawn from a union with Christ requires an even deeper profession. True Christians are recognized by the fruits of the Holy Spirit which they manifest in their daily life (Mt 7:16, Gal 5:22).

At Ephesus, St. Paul met twelve people who professed to be believers but immediately noticed there was something missing in their faith; they lacked a manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit whom they unfortunately had no knowledge of. What does your way of life portray? Does it manifest the presence of the Holy Spirit in you? You have received the Holy Spirit at baptism. Do you cooperate with Him and allow your life to be controlled by Him?

Dear friend, our profession of faith in Christ would be complete only when we manifest the divine life of Christ. Jesus tells us that certain signs would follow believers (Mk 16:17) and they would be identified because of their sacrificial love (Jn 13:34-35). Our Christianity would be mechanical and devoid of its life-transforming power without the breath of the Holy Spirit. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to renew you and lead you to live a true Christian life.

PRAYER: Come Holy Spirit, fill my heart; enkindle in me the fire of Your love. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 203 –What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is the Sacrament that completes Baptism; in it the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon us. Anyone who freely decides to live a life as God’s child and asks for God’s Spirit under the signs of the imposition of hands and anointing with chrism receives the strength to witness to God’s love and might in word and deed. He is now a full-fledged, responsible member of the Catholic Church.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “But the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness ad self-control; against such there is no law” Galatians 5: 22-23 RSV-CE.

Readings for Today: Acts 19: 1-8; Psalm 68: 2-7; John 16: 29-33

LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

Monday 2nd February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Reflection: Luke 2: 22-40

LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

Baptism is our common entrance into the family of God. Through it, we are regenerated from the corruption of original sin, adopted as children of God, and filled with the Holy Spirit by which we are empowered to live the life of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the seal of God’s ownership of us (Eph 1: 13-14, 2 Cor 1: 22, CCC 1216). The degree to which we freely yield ourselves to Him ultimately determines the depth of our intimacy with God and experience of His power.

Today’s gospel reading brings to fore the life of an upright and devout man, Simon who freely cooperated with the workings of the Holy Spirit in His life and thus experienced the fulfilment of God’s promises to Him. Prompted by the Spirit, he came to the temple” where he met the child Jesus (Luke 2: 27-32). Beloved in Christ, let us this day examine the state of our relationship with the Holy Spirit. How sensitive are you to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? How freely and fully do you yield yourself to the Spirit’s leading? To be oblivious of the promptings of the Holy Spirit is to walk in the vanity of the human mind (Eph 4: 17-18) while a deliberate rejection of His promptings is clear rebellion to His will and guidance. Both ultimately lead to regret and bondage.

To discern the will of God for our lives, we must have the right disposition of heart – one that seeks to please and honour God at all times. The Holy Spirit only reigns in pure and contrite hearts (Ps 34:18, Mt 5:8). Such are constantly attuned to God in prayer. Dearest in Christ, let us constantly open our minds to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let us deliberately make a choice of His will, for it is the pathway to our fulfilment here on earth and the realisation of the supreme promise of God – eternity with Him.

PRAYER: I yield my all to you, Holy Spirit. Please come reign in me that my life may be a true expression of Your will. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 736 – By this power of the Spirit, God’s children can bear much fruit… “We live by the Spirit”; the more we renounce ourselves, the more we “walk by the Spirit.”

HIDE A TREASURE: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God” Romans 8: 14RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Malachi 3: 1-4; Psalm 24: 7-10; Hebrews 2: 14-18, Luke 2:22-40

FAN INTO A FLAME

Monday 26th January – Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

Reflection: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8

FAN INTO A FLAME

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of SS Timothy and Titus who were both Bishops in the early Christian Church. Though Timothy’s father was Greek, his mother, Eunice was Jewish and she and his grandmother, Lois had a deep faith in Christ which she passed on to her son, Timothy.

Many of us young Catholics were baptised as infants, thus becoming Christians before we knew anything at all and we have been taught by our parents and elders the way of righteousness. Are we holding on to this teaching and growing in holiness like Timothy did? Today, St Paul tells Timothy to fan into a flame the gift of God he had received when hand were laid on him. At our confirmation, the sacrament that completed our Christian initiation, the Bishop laid his hand on us, invoking on us the fullness of God’s Spirit. Are we fanning this gift of the Holy Spirit’s presence into a flame? Are we open to His promptings?

Beloved, our Christian faith can be likened to hot coals which would make a fire when fanned but become cold and useless if left alone. Fanning our faith into a flame implies that we respond to the grace of God in us. It is achieved through daily communion with God in prayers, taking time to prayerfully study His word and frequenting the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist. As we open our hearts to God in these ways, He strengthens our faith, allowing the seed of faith planted in us to blossom; he teaches us the demands of our Christian calling and gives us the grace to live it out to the full. Only then can we effectively pass on our faith to our progeny like Lois and Eunice did.

PRAYER: Dear Father, I thank you for the gift of faith and for your Spirit and dwells in my heart. Please help me to be sensitive and obedient to His leading always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 205 – What 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: “For this reason I remind you to fan into a flame the gift of God you have received through the laying on of my hands” 2 Timothy 1:6 CCB

Readings for Today: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8; Psalm 96: 1-3, 7-10; Mark 3: 22-30

BE LED BY THE SPIRIT

Sunday 14th December – 3rd Sunday of Advent

Reflection: Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11

BE LED BY THE SPIRIT

The Spirit of God has been given to us and He dwells in those who seek and long for his presence. The presence of the Holy Spirit fills us with power and makes us witnesses of God (Acts 1:8). Before his ascension, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit, the helper who would teach us everything and make us remember all he has taught us (John 14:26). This promise is fulfilled in us through the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.

Many of us young Catholics have received these sacraments; and have the privilege of receiving the Eucharist quite often. What have you allowed the Holy Spirit to do in your life through these sacraments? The first reading of today reminds us that we have been sent as witnesses to the good news of Christ on earth. We need the Holy Spirit to carry out this mandate. We therefore ought to grow in our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Beloved, do not restrain the Spirit of God in you (1 Thessalonians 5:19). It is only when we yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, listen to His still small voice in our hearts and allow Him to lead us that we can truly live out our Christian calling to the full. If John the Baptist had suppressed the Spirit of God in him, how would he have glorified God? Today, he is remembered and celebrated as the one who prepared the way for Christ (John 1:6). This season of Advent, let us be yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and then we will truly be witnesses, preparing the way for Christ.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to be a witness to your glory on earth. Let the Spirit of God teach me and lead me aright and help me to be obedient to His leading. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 38 – Who is the “Holy Spirit”?

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity and has the same divine majesty as the Father and the Son. When we discover the reality of God in us, we are dealing with the working of the Holy Spirit… In the Holy Spirit a Christian finds joy, inner peace, and freedom… In the Holy Spirit, whom we receive in Baptism and Confirmation we are permitted to call God “Father”.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children”. Romans 8:14 GNB

Readings for Today: Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11; Luke 1: 46-54 (canticle); 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24; John 1: 6-8, 19-28