REVIVING OUR HOPE

Tuesday 28th March – Tuesday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: John 5: 1-3, 5-16

REVIVING OUR HOPE

Thirty-eight years is certainly a long time, taking into consideration the average life span of we humans. Regardless of how old the man whom Christ healed was, he had endured this crippling illness for most of his life. He must have been brought to the pool side several years earlier with high hopes of receiving healing but when he discovered he could not get into the pool first after so many attempts and so many years gone by, he may have lost all hope that he would ever be well again. He probably woke up that Sabbath morning and wondered if ever he would use his feet and work to the Temple like others did. Everything seemed dark and hopeless to Him until our Lord arrived on the scene and his story changed.

Beloved, we do not have to be paralyzed for thirty-eight years to know what a feeling of hopelessness means. You may feel like the dark tunnel of your life is simply getting longer and longer with no end in view. Christ reassures us in today’s readings that his presence makes all the difference. He asks you today: “Do you want to be well again?” Turn to Him in loving trust and let Him into those most difficult areas of your life. He wills to revive your hope. He desires to speak His word of healing and renewal. He is our helper close at hand in time of distress. Look up to Him in trust today and receive the strength and grace He has for you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be made whole again. Please revive my hope that I may trust in you for healing and renewal. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 507 – What happens if you find that prayer does not help?

Prayer does not seek superficial success but rather the will of God and intimacy with him. God’s apparent silence is itself an invitation to take a step farther—in total devotion, boundless faith, endless expectation. Anyone who prays must allow God the complete freedom to speak whenever he wants, to grant whatever he wants, and to give himself however he wants.

Hide a Treasure: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Ps 46:2-9; Jn 5: 1-3, 5-16

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Monday 20th March – Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reflection: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus. The genealogy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 1:1-17, shows that St. Joseph was of the line of King David whom the Lord promised in today’s first reading: ”Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever”. This promise was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, as the prophet Isaiah said, “He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever” (Isaiah 9:6).  Though it took hundreds of years, God was faithful to His promise just as He was to our father Abraham.

Dear friends, our God can do much more than we can ask or imagine and He’s more willing to help us than we want to be helped. Though some of God’s promises may seem delayed from our perspective, we must not abandon hope. Though the tunnel may seem very dark and long, there will surely be light at its end; though our tears may persist all the night, we shall surely rejoice at dawn. Beloved in Christ, God’s delays are never His denials; He alone knows the best time is for us. Our Hope in God should lead us to understand that there is nothing impossible for God who is more than able to fulfil His promises.

Let us remember our fathers in the faith; has there been anyone who trusted the Lord and being confounded? Not one! Then, we too can be sure that our hope in God can never fail us. So keep hope alive.

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith in you and give me the grace to know that in all things you always work for my good. Amen.

Faith Pearls: 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: “This is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

WAITIING IN HOPE

 Sunday 29th November – Sunday of week 1 of Advent

Reflection: Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36

WAITIING IN HOPE

When would Christ come to dry our tears? Where is God when we need Him most? Why does evil come to good people? These and many more questions flood our minds when we come in touch with the cold hands of suffering. The guilty man walks free, while the innocent man wastes in jail. The brightest child in class drops out of school as her parents cannot afford even the cheapest fees. The beloved husband of a pregnant woman dies barely a year after marriage. In the world there are many troubles, but our peace is our hope of victory in Christ Jesus. (John 13:33).

As the night is darkest just before dawn, Christ has promised that just when you feel the world is shaking; He will come to deliver you. Christ asks you to stand strong in faith, prayer and holiness as you keep watch through the long nights and the storms because our deliverance is nearer now than ever.

As we begin a new year in the Church’s calendar with this season of Advent, a season of hopeful waiting on the Lord, let us commit ourselves to Him more deeply. Let us take stock of the past year and renew our commitment to be faithful to Him and trust that his promises to us will be fulfilled. May we truly prepare our hearts for our Lord’s coming through this holy season. Amen.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, sustain me in the hope of your return and help me to watch and pray at all times. 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 fulfilment in God; and for our final home: in God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the world that was has passed away. The One seated on the throne said: See, I make all things new, and then he said to me; Write these words because they are sure and true.” Revelation 21: 4-5 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 33: 14-16; Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-10, 14; 1 Thessalonians 3: 12- 4: 2; Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36

OUR SOURCE OF STRENGTH

Monday 7th September – Monday of week 23 of the year

Reflection: Colossians 1:24 – 2:3

OUR SOURCE OF STRENGTH

In avalanche-prone areas, mountaineers and skiers are trapped deep in many meters of ice as the unpredictable flood of death sweeps out every life in its path. For the few survivors; when they finally wake from the shock of the flood of ice and find themselves trapped, the only remedy to their disorientation is light from the sky being more on one side. They begin to dig up to the surface; fighting the cold, the limited air and fear with their damaged trembling fingers. Some dig for days. Their exhaustion suddenly disappears when they notice: ‘the light just got a whole lot brighter; I must be close to the surface’. This dim light becomes the burst of energy that sees them to the surface.

St Paul looked forward to the hope of glory in Christ and that provided all the energy he needed to fight on the good fight of faith. He had found a treasure in the good news of salvation and was driven by God’s grace to deliver the message of Christ to everyone.

What is your driving force? What is it that gives you strength and keeps you struggling on the path of faith? Our motives go a long way in determining our actions and the extent of sacrifice we are willing to make. If we are driven by flimsy reasons, the tendency to throw in the towel is high but if we are driven by our hope of eternal life, then we are strengthened to go through even the most adverse situations triumphantly. Dear friend, when life becomes cold and uninteresting and we feel all our good works are going to waste; come to Jesus and find warmth for your heart. Let your hope in His love be your strength.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, be glorified in my weaknesses and strengthen me daily for every good work. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 308What is hope?

Hope is trusting in what God has promised us in creation, in the prophets, but especially in Jesus Christ, even though we do not yet see it. God’s Holy Spirit is given to us so that we can patiently hope for the Truth.

HIDE A TREASURE: “The hope of the upright ends in happiness but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing” Proverbs 10:28 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Colossians 1: 24-2: 3; Psalm 62: 6-7. 9; Luke 6: 6-11

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

Friday 26th June – Friday of week 12 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 8: 1-4

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

Then a leper came forward. He knelt before Him and said, ‘Sir, if you want to, you can make me clean.”

The audacity expressed by the leper is very commendable. Considering, that in the Jewish culture lepers were forbidden from coming into public arenas and mingling with people. This leper not only came to public view but also, went to meet our Blessed Lord for help. Such effrontery is the audacity of his hope. Dear friends, sometimes, like the historical lepers, we have been kept in a cocoon by our sins and unworthiness; we feel we are incapable of rising above our faults and thus remain complacent.

The boldness of this leper is a call for us to rise above our present limitations. Irrespective of how shamefully we might have lived, or how terribly we have failed in the past, today offers us another opportunity to take the bold step of beginning anew. No matter how bad our past might have been we can always begin anew. The leper said, “Sir if you want to…” His choice of words showed that the leper knew that only He who creates can renew. To begin anew, we must realize that only He who created us has the power to renew us.
Our Blessed Lord stretched forth His hands, touched him, and said, “I want to, be clean again.” Jesus is more eager to help us than we seek to be helped. Nevertheless, as St. Augustine said, “God created us without our consent but He will not save us without our cooperation.” Like the case of the leper, Christ is eagerly waiting to help us with our challenges, our relationships, our academics, or whatever our burdens maybe. He is waiting for us to just come to Him and He will make us clean.

Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? Are we weak and heavy-laden? Cumbered with a load of care? Take it to the Lord in prayer.

In His arms he will take and shield you and you will find a solace there.

PRAYER: Lord give me the grace to realize that no sin or fault of mine is greater than your love or mercy for me and help me to seek always for a new life in you. 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: Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7 CCB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22, Psalm 128:1-5, Matthew 8:1-4

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

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Thursday 19th March – Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reflection: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

DO NOT ABANDON HOPE

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus. The genealogy of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 1:1-17, shows that St. Joseph was of the line of King David whom the Lord promised in today’s first reading: ”Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever”. This promise was fulfilled in Christ Jesus, as the prophet Isaiah said, “He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever” (Isaiah 9:6).  Though it took hundreds of years, God was faithful to His promise just as He was to our father Abraham.

Dear friends, our God can do much more than we can ask or imagine and He’s more willing to help us than we want to be helped. Though some of God’s promises may seem delayed from our perspective, we must not abandon hope. Though the tunnel may seem very dark and long, there will surely be light at its end; though our tears may persist all the night, we shall surely rejoice at dawn. Beloved in Christ, God’s delays are never His denials; He alone knows the best time is for us. Our Hope in God should lead us to understand that there is nothing impossible for God who is more than able to fulfill His promises.

Let us remember our fathers in the faith; has there been anyone who trusted the Lord and being confounded? Not one! Then, we too can be sure that our hope in God can never fail us. So keep hope alive.

PRAYER: Lord, increase my faith in you and give me the grace to know that in all things you always work for my good. 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: “This is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred.” Habakkuk 2:3 CCB

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89: 2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24