RAISED TO NEW LIFE

Sunday 2nd April – 5th Sunday of Lent

Reflection: Romans 8:8-11

RAISED TO NEW LIFE

A study of living things reveals that there is an innate struggle for survival. From the moment a seed germinates or an animal is conceived, it does everything possible to sustain life. Trees shed their leaves in the dry, cold days of winter to reduce the amount of water loss so that they survive. Certain animals sleep through the winter so they don’t starve to death by expending energy hunting for food that is scarce during that season. We humans are not left our in this quest for survival. We do everything possible to survive difficult situations. We give our all to fight disease because we do not want to die. For us, death is the ultimate end, the moment when all hope is lost …or so it seems.

In today’s gospel reading (Jn 11:1-45), Christ delayed in going to heal Lazarus while he was still alive, while there still seemed to be hope (Jn 11:4-6). He did is to help his followers realize that death is not the end of our story and his raising of Lazarus from the dead points us to a greater reality…that of our resurrection in Him. We too, like Lazarus were dead in our sins. We were stripped of the divine life of God from the very day of our conception because of the original sin we inherited from our first parents and we constantly were led astray by the lure of sin (Rom 5:12). Thankfully, that was not the end of the story for us. Through the waters of Baptism, God has raised us up to new life in Christ Jesus (Col 2:12).

Beloved, you and I are privileged to be children of God. God has given life to our mortal bodies through his Spirit that lives in us (Rom 8:11). You and I, are partakers of the wonderful promise of new life God gave to Israel (Ezek 37:12-14). In Baptism, we have been buried with Christ and raised to new life in Him by the glory of the Father (Rom 6:4). How are you living out this new life? As we look forward to celebrate our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, let us seek His mercy for the times we have drifted back to our old ways and renew our commitment to live out new life He has won for us through His death.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the new life have given to me through the working of your Spirit. Please help me to truly live as you have called me to. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 200 – What happens in Baptism?

In Baptism we become members of the Body of Christ, sisters and brothers of our Redeemer, and children of God. We are freed from sin, snatched from death, and destined from then on for a life in the joy of the redeemed.

Hide a Treasure: “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into his death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

Today’s Readings: Ezek 37:12-14; Ps 130:1-8; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S

Monday 1st February

Reflection: 2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S

“What business is it of mine or yours?” this response of David when he was being cursed as he tried to run from his son, Absalom in today’s first reading should be our attitude when we realise that any battle we face is not ours. It is the Lord who fights for us and gives us victory.

This is much more important for us to understand when we are leaders in any capacity because the Lord who put us there as leaders knows that there will be difficult and challenging times for which we cannot overcome except we leave them to God. David’s battle came from within as his own son turned against him, with a deep insight he understood the manipulation and without any act of revenge trusted in God to deliver him.

Beloved, once you are a child of God, consciously striving to please Him each day, always bear in mind that whatever battle you face, whether physical or spiritual is not a struggle to undergo by your own strength. Make a situation report to God, with complete trust that He will fight and win the battle for you.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, this life is full different battles, let me always remember that with my effort I will lose but with you on my side, I am a victor. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT40 – Can God do anything? Is he almighty?

“For God nothing is impossible” (see Lk 1:37). He is almighty.

HIDE A TREASURE: But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 15: 13-14,30; 16:5-13; Psalm 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; Mark 5: 1-20

OUR VICTORY OVER THE WORLD

Saturday 22nd November – Memorial of St Cecilia, Virgin & Martyr

Reflection: Apocalypse 11: 4-12

OUR VICTORY OVER THE WORLD

The world is plagued by an unending battle between good and evil, and the human soul is caught on the battle line. Too often, those on the side of good face untold hardship from the forces of evil. It appears the upright are doomed by their virtues as honesty is perceived as a sign of naivety. The world rejoices at the extinction of faith, love and truth.

The psalmist expresses his absolute trust in God; who is the source of victory for the kings. Through our baptism, we share in the royal priesthood of Christ (1Peter 2: 8-9) and as kings we have our ultimate source of victory over the world in God. An illustration of this divine saving help is contained in the revelation to St John in today’s reading. The witnesses received the power to overcome their enemies from God, and they manifested great signs upon the world. Even when they were overcome by the beast (sin) and were reckoned dead by the world, God, to whom all are in fact alive, breathed life into them.

Today, we might be tossed about by the waves of doubt or trapped by the snares of deception, yet God offers Himself as our shield and stronghold. Dearly beloved, we are encouraged to rekindle the torch of faith with which we would walk through the darkness of the world. Our perseverance would yield a rich harvest. Today, God awaits us with a crown of victory.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, teach us to persevere as you did. Please continually renew our strength in this journey of faith. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 125 – What is unique about the People of God?

The founder of this people is God the Father. Its leader is Jesus Christ. Its source of strength is the Holy Spirit. The entryway to the People of God is Baptism. Its dignity is the freedom of the children of God. Its law is love. If this people remains faithful to God and seeks first the kingdom of God, it changes the world.

HIDE A TREASURE: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith” 1 John 5:4 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Apocalypse 11: 4-12; Psalm 144: 1-2, 9-10; Luke 20: 27-40

 

THE WAR WITHIN

Tuesday 25th, January – Tuesday of week 7 of the year

Reflection: James 4:1-10

THE WAR WITHIN

There is always this conflict and battle within us as youth. To do or not to do- you know what I mean. It is called the desires of the flesh. The enemy of our soul is never at rest, he has lost the battle over 2000 years ago, but he still continues to display his merchandise in the souls of men with his last strength. So you may ask, what is the way out? And I would answer: “fight the good fight of faith.”

The war against sin is not one that we fight casually; we must look up to Jesus daily in whom our victory is assured. Pride is often the reason why many people would remain where they are till today, because they would begin to wonder “what would people say about me?” But irrespective of people’s opinion about us, we must seek for help while it may still be found. You and I cannot afford to languish in iniquity.

There is help for you this day my beloved. God is ready if you are willing. Today ask Him as a Father to lead you to a turning point in your life through many situations and circumstances that would come your way henceforth. Only believe, and you would see the marvels of our God. He is able. Welcome to your new dawn!

PRAYER: Father of mercy, today I come to you in humility, asking you to deliver me by all means from every yoke of bondage in my life. Thank you, for you are faithful, and I am ready to see your wonders in my life this day onwards. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: The seven deadly sins: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy and Sloth. The seven opposite virtues: Humility, Liberty, Chastity, Meekness, Temperance, Brotherly Love, Diligence.

HIDE A TREASURE: “… In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” Romans 8:37 RSV-CE

Readings for today: James 4:1-10; Psalm 55; Mark 9:30-37