ARE YOU ASLEEP?

Sunday 9th April – Palm Sunday

Reflection: Matthew 26: 14- 27:66

ARE YOU ASLEEP?

The above question which our blessed Saviour asked Simon Peter in today’s gospel reading remains pertinent to us as individuals in our journey of faith. Perhaps we think we can wish away temptation(s) or sufficiently ward it off by human strength; the experience of Apostle Peter should help us to know better!

To effectively combat and overcome temptation, we need to stay awake – we need to be spiritually watchful and vigilant (1 Pet 2:8; Lk 22: 40, 46). Much as soldiers do not start preparation on the day of battle, we as Christians cannot afford to allow ourselves to be caught in the web of temptation before we start looking for a way out, otherwise we might find ourselves lacking in the needed strength to overcome it. To be spiritually awake, we must daily find time to commune with God in prayer. The complexity of the modern times demands a daily evaluation of our life before God lest our faith is drowned by the wave of secularism and relativism raging around us. This is much more important to us as youths.

Beloved, are you asleep or awake? Is your standard of living measuring up to the call and investment of God in your life or you have merely settled for complacency? Let us this day arise from slumber and be awake to a full actualization of our call and potentials in Christ Jesus.

PRAYER: Consider and answer me, Oh Lord my God; lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep death. Amen. Psalm 13: 3.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2849 –…It is by His prayer that Christ vanquishes the tempter, both at the outset of His public mission and in the ultimate struggle of His agony. In this petition to our heavenly Father, Christ unites us to His battle and His agony. He urges us to vigilance of the heart in communion with His own. Vigilance is “custody of the heart”…the Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” Matthew 26: 41a RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 50: 4-7; Psalm 22: 8-9, 17-20, 23-34; Philippians 2: 6-11; Matthew 26:14- 27:66

WATCH YOURSELF!

Saturday 28th November – Saturday of week 34 of the year

Reflection: Luke 21:34-36

WATCH YOURSELF!

The admonishment to “watch” is one that comes up at several points during Jesus’ earthly ministry. In discussing the end of time, He admonished His hearers to “watch”. In Gethsemane, at the moment of his agony, He again told them to “watch”. Why does Jesus give this instruction at such critical moments? Through our baptism, we have been cleansed of original sin – the absence of divine grace in us which we inherited from our first parents. We have become children of God and have the grace of God imputed into us. Yet, we still have to make choice between good and evil. Our flesh seeks to satisfy itself always and hence the need for us as Christians to watch ourselves, to always be on the alert.

We live in a fallen world; one that is full of sin and evil. Yet if we cooperate with God’s grace, we will be able to swim against the tide that leads to destruction. Let us remember that this world is not our home; we are on a journey to eternity (Philippians 3:20). Let us hold on to Jesus admonishment today: “Watch yourselves, do not let your heart be weighed down with a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares…” (Luke 21:34).

Each time Jesus asks us to “watch”, He follows closely with the admonishment to pray (Luke 21:34-36; Matthew 26:41). Keeping guard over ourselves goes hand in hand with unceasing prayer. Beloved, let us pray for the strength to resist temptation and watch ourselves so that we may be able to cooperate with God’s grace as the moments of testing and decision making come in our daily life and activities.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I submit myself to you; please help me to be sensitive to the working of your Holy Spirit. Grant me the grace to watch and pray always that I may not be led into temptation. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 525 – What does it mean to say, “Lead us not into temptation”?

Because every day and every hour we are in danger of falling into sin and saying No to God, we beg God not to leave us defenceless in the power of temptation.

Jesus, who was tempted himself, knows that we are weak human beings, who have little strength of our own with which to oppose the evil one. He graciously gives us the petition from the Our Father, which teaches us to trust in God’s assistance in the hour of trial.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Stay awake and pray, so that you may not slip into temptation. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 CCB

Today’s Readings: Dan 7: 15-27; Dan 3: 82-87 (canticle) Lk 21: 34-36