STANDING IN THE GAP

Thursday 30th March – Thursday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: Exodus 32: 7-14

STANDING IN THE GAP

The power of prayer cannot be overemphasized. So often the events around us that set us complaining can be solved when we bring them to God in prayer. Today’s reading gives us a picture into how powerful intercessory prayer can be. God’s anger towards Israel because of her sin was turned around through Moses intercession.

Can you imagine what would have become of Israel if Moses had at that moment begun to recall how fearful, disobedient and difficult the Israelites were instead of interceding for them? Indeed God had a big promise for him: He would destroy the Israelites for their sin and make a great nation out of Moses. What a privilege! Moses would have become such a great man! But this humble man would hear none of that. He had great concern for the Israelites and for how other nations might begin to perceive God if He destroyed his people.

Dear friends, we often find ourselves complaining about our nation, our community, our siblings, parents, colleagues etc. Do we care enough to pray about those situations we complain about? Indeed we will find more peace and solutions to the problems we complain about if only we turn to God in prayer. We can make a lot of difference in our environment and in the lives of others if we humble ourselves like Moses, recognize that we too are in need of God’s grace and mercy and spend time praying for others. Dare to stand in the gap for someone today.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You have promised to listen to me when I pray. Please grant me a heart of humility and love so that I may pray for others who need your help. Amen.

Faith Pearls: CCC 2635 – Since Abraham, intercession – asking on behalf of another has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age of the Church, Christian intercession participates with Christs, as an expression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who prays looks “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” even to the point of praying for those who do him harm.

Hide a Treasure: “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Exodus 32: 7-14; Psalm 106: 19-23; John 5: 31-47

A SHINING LIGHT THEY LEFT US

Sunday 1st November 2015: Solemnity of All Saints

Reflection: Matthew 5: 1-12

A SHINING LIGHT THEY LEFT US

“We seek from the saints example in their way of life, fellowship in their communion and the help of their intercession” – Vatican II

Every day we live as Christians ought to take us deeper in intimacy with Christ (Philippians 3: 12-13). This spiritual progress we are called to has never been and will never be achieved with ease as it demands the renunciation of our whole self (Luke 9:23-24). It is for this exemplary life of self-renunciation and fidelity to Christ despite all odds that the Church celebrates her saints today. Their lives affirm the truth that cooperating with the grace of God, we can all live out our call to sanctity (Leviticus 19:2).

Beloved in Christ, what are your struggles and weaknesses? Are you facing some opposition to your faith and spiritual advancement? Please be reminded that no challenge you are going through is absolutely new, so do not give up. The Church is calling you and I to reflect on the lives of the saints gone ahead of us and draw strength from their steadfastness and perseverance. We are also encouraged to seek the intercessory support of these holy men and women for strength on our own spiritual journey.

To those who think otherwise of the appropriateness of asking for the prayers of the saints, we need to remind ourselves of certain truths: (i) Our communion and fellowship as faithful in Christ transcend physical death (John 11: 17-26; Matt 22: 31-32; Jeremiah 15:1). For us, life is changed and not ended by death when we abide in Christ. (ii) God delights in the prayers of the righteous (Proverbs 15: 8, 29; Job 42:8) and encourages us as faithful to pray for one another (James 5:16). If the saints are alive in Christ, and closer to God than we are (Revelation 7: 13-15), should we not seek their intercessory support as we do for other faithful here on earth (Hebrew 13:18; Colossians 4:2-4)? (iii) Asking for the intercessory  support of saints does not in any way change our conviction on Christ  being the one mediator between God and men ( 1 Timothy 2:5) just as asking for the prayers of pastors or brethren does not alter this conviction.
Dearest in Christ, let us all make holiness a daily pursuit that the light of our faith may brightly shine to lead others to Christ even after our departure from this world.

PRAYER: You have called me to holiness dear Lord, please help me to daily walk therein through the help of your grace. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 497- Why does it help to turn to the saints when we pray?

Saints are people who are aflame with the Holy Spirit; they keep God’s fire burning in the Church. Even during their earthly life, the saints prayed ardently, in a way that was contagious. When we are close to them, it is easy to pray. Of course, we never worship saints; we are allowed, though, to call on them in heaven, so that they may present petitions for us at the throne of God.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, you shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Apocalypse 7: 2-4, 9-14; Psalms 24: 1-6; 1 John 3: 1-3; Matthew 5: 1-12

THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERCEDES FOR US

Sunday 20th July – 16th Sunday of the year

Reflection: Romans 8: 26-27

THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERCEDES FOR US

The Holy Spirit is a free gift of God to his children to help us and to teach us among other things (John 16:13) All Christians should have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in them if they are truly live out their Christian identity.

It is the Holy Spirit who helps us in our weaknesses; strengthening us in so that we can live according to God’s standards. As humans, we are limited even in understanding the right way to communicate with God the Father, we are deficient in the right words to use in prayer but the Holy Spirit goes before us to the Father to plead on our behalf because He (The Holy Spirit) knows the deepest parts of the heart of men, He therefore intercedes on our behalf. The Holy Spirit knows the most perfect way to express our needs and feelings. No wonder those who have a relationship with the Holy Spirit feel fulfilled each time the Holy Spirit comes at work in them.

Beloved, do you really desire to live out the fullness of your faith as a Christian? Do you want your prayers to be acceptable to God the Father always? Then seek a living relationship with the Holy Spirit whom you have received at Baptism. He is every ready to strengthen us on our faith journey.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Spirit. Please help me to always be open to His leading. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 120 What does the Holy Spirit do in my life?

The Holy Spirit makes me receptive to God; he teaches me to pray and helps me to be there for others.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:15 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Wisdom 12:13,16-19; Psalm 86: 5-10, 15-16; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13: 24 – 43