AN EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY

Saturday 31st May – Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reflection: Luke 1: 39-56

AN EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY

We all are familiar with the Feast we celebrate today – the Visitation of our Blessed Mother to her cousin, Elizabeth. It is a story we reflect on each time we pray the joyful mysteries of the Rosary. What can we possibly learn from this visitation and the wonderful exchange that took place between these two righteous women?

Our Blessed Mother gives us an example of humility. She had just been informed of the great plan God had in mind – to become man through her! What a great privilege. However the moment she was told that her cousin who had been barren was with child, she forgot herself completely and went off to stay with Elizabeth to rejoice with her and be of help to her. She did not think herself too important to offer the necessary help her elderly cousin would need. Moreso, she did so without being asked.

Beloved, sometimes, we find ourselves in places of honour because of some gifts and talents God has given to us. As young people, we can easily be tempted to think of ourselves as “important” and start to look down on others, much less, attend to their needs. Let us imitate our Blessed Mother, who, rather than glorifying herself, turned to God in thanksgiving and sought to help her cousin in her time of need. Remember, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6).

Prayer: Loving Father, thank You for the great plans You have in store for me. Please help me to recive your blessings in humility always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 501 – Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood  extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: “The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formulation she cooperates with a mother’s love.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” James 4:6 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Zephaniah 3: 14-18; Isaiah 12; Luke 1: 39-56

DO NOT BE AFRAID

Friday 30th May – Friday of the 6th week of Easter

Reflection: Acts 18: 9-18

DO NOT BE AFRAID

Atheists have always had two things to ponder on with respect to their disbelief of God: Fear and Immortality! If there is no God and indeed man is the source and summit of himself, then, why do men fear, what are they afraid of and why do they die? The fact that we both fear and die is a pointer to the truth that we are not an end to ourselves and there is something greater than man.

In some sorts, we all have a bit of atheism in us when we doubt God or refuse to trust him enough, but allow fear to rule us. For the knowledge of God casts out fear. This is what God is saying to Paul today and indeed to all of us: do not be afraid! However, Jesus does not delude us to the basic reality of life, to the fate of man on earth, but told the Apostle the truth: You will weep and mourn, you will grieve”, but he comforts them even more when he said, “you will rejoice, and your joy, no one can take away…” (John 16: 20,22)

Like Paul, most of us may be in a state of transition; (for Paul it was turning from persecutor to preacher), for us it might be as little as changing from one academic level to the other, transiting from student to graduate, from graduate to worker, or even some more weightier matters like getting married or starting a lifelong commitment; the words of God is still the same……..do not be afraid! Yes, there will be challenges, there will be persecutions, but in the end, you will rejoice, and your joy, none shall take away.

PRAYER: Lord, the shepherd of your people, guide and guard us in our life’s pilgrimage, keeping us always safe in your arms from the wiles of the evil one, Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 476 – How did Jesus pray as he was facing his death?

When face to face with death, Jesus experienced the utmost depths of human fear. Yet he found the strength even in that hour to trust his heavenly Father: “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this chalice from me; yet not what I will, but what you will [be done]”

HIDE A TREASURE: “The knowledge of the kingdom of God has being given to you, but to the rest it comes by means of parables, so that they may look but not see, and listen but not understand” Luke 8: 10GNB

Readings for today: Acts 18: 9-18; Psalm 47: 2-7; John 16: 20-23

THE GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING

Thursday 29th May – Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Reflection: Ephesians 1: 17-23

THE GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING

The word understanding is a common word which everyone is well acquainted with. Unfortunately, we often use it only in relation to academic excellence. Today, we are being told that there is such thing as “the eye of your understanding”. (Ephesians 1:18). Beloved, there is a kind of understanding that is purely spiritual and is from God. This divine understanding commands confidence and boldness in the life of anyone who possesses it.

The Psalmist says today, “Sing ye praises with understanding” (Psalm 47: 7b). This means that there may be times when we as Christians may just be singing songs or reciting prayers without any form of spiritual significance attached to it because understanding is lacking. Little wonder that on the mountain of the ascension, the disciples asked Jesus a funny question: “Lord, will you at this time give the kingdom back to Israel” (Acts 1:6). All the while they had been with Jesus they lacked the basic understanding that Jesus had come to bring another kingdom on earth, which is the kingdom of God.

Beloved, the level of your spiritual understanding is not measured by the length of years you have been a Christian. No it is a gift that God gives. So if you are in need of this precious gift, humbly ask of the Father who will graciously give it to you, for as scripture says: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh from the down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Prayer: Father of mercy, giver of good gifts, today I pray earnestly for the gift understanding. Please grant me this in the name of Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 310: What are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. With these, the Holy Spirit “endows” Christians, in other words, he grants them particular powers that go beyond their natural aptitudes and gives them the opportunity to become God’s special instruments in the world.

HIDE A TREASURE: “By wisdom is a house built and by understanding it is established.” Proverbs 24:3 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-9; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20

THE POWER OF TRUTH

Wednesday 28th May – Wednesday of the 6th week of Easter

Reflection: John 16: 12-15

THE POWER OF TRUTH

Dear friend, I hope you are expectant of the coming of the Holy Spirit as this year’s Feast of Pentecost draws near? There is always an encounter with the Spirit of Truth at each Pentecost. As a youth, you are most in need of the revealed truth of God in your life. Scripture says today, “But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth.” (John 16:13).

One of the principal functions of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to give us divine revelation. Why do we need divine revelation? It is simply because there is so much information that you cannot gather by mere human knowledge – the wisdom of man. Hence, there is need for divine revelation in knowing the things of God. One important truth you must know is that ‘revelation is a booster of faith’. When a thing is revealed to you, you gain an immeasurable understanding of that thing. Hence there is no room for any form of doubt over that matter.

So, today be bold to ask your father in heaven for revelation in any area of your faith and life. He will surely answer you. Just ask with expectation and be sensitive to the answer He brings. He is faithful.

Prayer: Father, give unto me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you this day. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 453 – What does our relationship with the truth have to do with God?

Living in respect for the truth means not only being true to oneself. More precisely it means being truthful. Being true to God, for he is the source of all truth. We find the truth God about and about all of reality quite directly in Jesus, who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6) [CCC 2465-2470, 2505].

HIDE A TREASURE: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” John 8:32 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 17: 15, 22 – 18:1; Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14; John 16:12-15.

REJOICE!

Tuesday 27th May – Tuesday of the 6th week of Easter

Reflection: Acts 16: 22-34

REJOICE!

The power of God is felt most in the difficult areas and circumstances of our lives. There is a hope against all hope. Christ in us is the hope of glory. The revelation of the glory of God is a profound mystery. This is the wisdom that today’s text seeks to convey to us. This wisdom is found simply in being joyful in the Holy Spirit, for the kingdom of God is all about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

There is a great glory that is revealed in your life when you decide to damn all the ugly circumstances in your life and choose to praise God. Dear friend, it is in the midst of such joyful praise that you will experience the immense joy and peace which the Holy Spirit gives. As you are filled with this joy and oblivious of the difficulties around you, you will experience a miracle. The long awaited deliverance that you desire will suddenly come. This was the mystery that saved Paul and Silas; and today yours will not be any different.

Beloved, as you see God glorified in your situation, you will become a channel through which His presence and love radiate to those you come in contact with. How can this be? You just have to dwell in the presence of God always. That is, you should have a consciousness of His abiding presence in you, and worship Him in your heart always. By so doing, you too like Paul and Silas will become a conduit of glory and salvation to others around you.

Prayer: Father, as I worship you in my heart each day, let your glory be ever made manifest through me in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

KNOW YOUR CHURCH: YOUCAT 113 – What does it mean to say: I believe in the Holy Spirit?

To believe in the Holy Spirit means to worship him as God just like the Father and Son. It means to believe that the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts so that we as children of God might know our Father in heaven. Moved by God’s Spirit, we can change the face of the earth. [CCC 683-686].

HIDE A TREASURE: “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27b RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 16: 22- 34; Psalm138: 1-3, 7-8; John 16: 5-11

THE GOD OF WONDERS

Monday 26th May – Memorial of St Philip Neri, Priest

Reflection: Psalm 149: 1-6, 9

THE GOD OF WONDERS

Our God is so great, He has the power to give life and to take it back. That is why He is called the “Omni-potent One”. One of the ways we can experience the omnipotence of our God is through joyful praises. Beloved, when you praise God in every circumstance, you can be rest assured of complete victory. This is simply because you have handed the battle over to God.

Today, there is a clarion call made for you to praise God wherever you find yourself, and in whatever circumstances you are in right now. The Psalmist admonishes today: “Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, shout for joy and take their rest, let the praises of God be on their lips…” (Ps.149:5&6). Praise is a lethal weapon against the enemy of your soul. Through praise, you tear down strongholds and create a way where there seems to be no way. Through praise, God will be glorified, and men will favour you. So get up from any form of hopelessness and praise God today, and you will surely reap a harvest of miracles. God is able!

Prayer: You are most holy O Lord, accept the praises I offer you today. Amen.

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

“For God nothing is impossible (Lk1:37). He is almighty. [CCC.268-278]. 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… Often God’s omnipotence is displayed in a situation where men no longer expect anything from it. The powerlessness of Good Friday was the prerequisite for the Resurrection.”

HIDE A TREASURE: Do not be anxious about anything. In everything resort to prayer and supplication together with thanksgiving and bring your requests before God” Philippians 4:6 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 16: 11-15; Psalm 149: 1-6, 9; John 15:26 – 16:4.

CALLED TO BE WITNESSES

Sunday 25th May – 6th Sunday of Easter

Reflection: 1 Peter 3: 15-18

CALLED TO BE WITNESSES

Dear friends in Christ, our world is full of forces which can easily cloud our minds and gradually withdraw us from our very source of joy and eternal satisfaction. Man is faced with a lot of questions that bother his mind. With the era of internet which is filled with both good and bad materials, witnessing to the truth of the Gospel is of utmost importance. This is a call to all of us, the disciples of Christ to rise up and bring the good news to confused hearts.

Our reading today emphasizes the need for us to always be ready to witness to the hope we have in us. The first step we must take is to ensure that nothing in us hinders the flow of grace to others. Hardships, persecutions, storms may abound but our understanding should propel us above these strongholds. This is our faith in Christ Jesus (1 John 4:4). Faith is a weapon that conquers every battle of the mind. Once we rest our mind in God’s ability to do the seemingly impossible, we are better positioned to share our hopes with others.

Jesus Christ must take the first place in our lives if we are to do exploits in our journey of faith. Our actions will attract others to us and the Holy Spirit would teach us what to say as we open our hearts to his leading. Just as Christ admonished his disciples in Matt 10: 8: “You have received without paying, so give without being paid”. Let us do all this in humility and respect knowing fully well that God is always with us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to witness to you always. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 116 What does it mean to say that the Holy Spirit has “spoken through the prophets”?

Already in the Old Covenant God filled men and women with the Spirit, so that they lifted up their voices for God, spoke in his name, and prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “For the Holy Spirit would teach you at that time what you should say” Luke 12:12GNB

Readings of Today: Acts 8: 5-8, 14-17; Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21