Reflections

Listening for God's call

Saturday 19th December 2020

Listening for God's call

Mary is at the centre of this Sunday's gospel, Luke 1:26-38, which gives us a simple but moving account of the greatest message that was ever delivered. In it we are told simply and plainly that there was a young maiden, who knelt down at the angel Gabriel's mysterious message and in the freedom of her heart, gave the total gift of herself to God saying 'be it done unto me according to thy Word.' Mary was needed by God so that He might carry out this plan for the world and send His Son among us. She was asked to cooperate with God and be the mother of Christ. The moment she said yes to the angel, salvation began and she brought that salvation to birth at Bethlehem on the first Christmas day.


Rejoice and be happy because the Lord is near

Saturday 12th December 2020

Rejoice and be happy because the Lord is near

The joy of advent comes with an inspiring message, John 1:6-8, 19-28 of hope and encouragement urging us to rejoice and be happy because the Lord is near. More so, it tells us that joy is basic to being Christian and our vocation is to radiate this joy. Experience tells us that rejoicing is not always the hallmark of a Christian. It has been associated with sadness. Many of us are more familiar with the gospel message of carrying the cross than of its characteristic of joy. While there is hardship and suffering in the life of Jesus, there is joy which is compatible with pain. We were created for happiness. It is the purpose of our whole being and we spend our lives searching and striving to attain it.


Prepare the Way of Jesus

Saturday 5th December 2020

Prepare the Way of Jesus

Advent is an invitation to conversion and John the Baptist gives us some down to earth advice on how to change our lives for the better. He talks, Mark 1:1-8, about filling in valleys of prejudice, levelling down mountains of pride and straightening out the crooked paths of injustice. We ask ourselves what in our lives needs a complete turning around to allow God to come close to us. There are areas and dark corners of ourselves which we do not want disturbed. This advent time of prayer and penance brings home to us the need to make a fresh start. Welcoming God involves removing all blockages and obstacles which prevent Him from coming close. Preparing a way for the Lord may mean walking a new path. Christ cannot save us without our cooperation. He does not force an entry into our lives but waits to be invited.


Advent - Prepare

Saturday 28th November 2020

Advent - Prepare

There is a note of high hope about this Advent season, Mark 13:31-37,. It proclaims the message that God has not abandoned His people. And we are to wait in joyful hope for our Lord and Saviour to be revealed. Echoed and re-echoed throughout the readings is the warning 'Be on guard, stay awake because you never know when the time will come'. To be found wanting and unworthy of the kingdom on that occasion will be painfully frustrating. The real challenge of Advent is to prepare ourselves in body and soul for that great moment, by letting God's presence and power get to work in our lives.


Christ The King

Saturday 21st November 2020

Christ The King

The feast of Christ the King brings the church's year to a close and with it comes a reminder that the cycle of our own lives here on earth will also reach its completion. The end of the year is review time and gives us opportunity to reflect on our behaviour as members of God's household. The gospel, Matthew 25:31-46, points out very strongly that admission into our eternal home depends on the effort we make to aid and comfort the needy. We will be assured of a place in Christ's kingdom only if we treat others as Christ would treat them.


Our God Given Talents

Saturday 14th November 2020

Our God Given Talents

There is a side to us which identifies with the insecurity of the man who is severely punished for his laziness in not using God's gifts. He was so wrapped up in himself and his personal concerns that he failed to face up to his responsibilities. At the end of his day he had nothing to show for his years on earth because he did not avail of the opportunities that came his way. His life was not a success story as he was mean in the service of God and showed little or no enthusiasm for Christian living.


Spiritual Health Check

Saturday 7th November 2020

Spiritual Health Check

This parable of the bridesmaids, Matthew 25:1-12, who were excluded from the wedding feast and forced to remain locked out in the dark could easily be understood for regarding their sensible companions as a selfish group in refusing to share their oil with them. To our way of thinking the punishment of having the door of the wedding banquet slammed in their face is too severe. At worst they deserved a reprimand for their last minute rush. However the gospel story is not about forgetting to bring along extra oil for the lamp, but about how we view the invitation extended to us all to take our place in the kingdom of God. We only have ourselves to blame if we fail to arrive or are unprepared when the time comes. Being ready beforehand is what matters most and a last minute hurry to get ourselves into spiritual shape is not to be recommended. If we are to have an eternity of joy we shall have to prepare for it whole heartedly.


All Saints' Day

Saturday 31st October 2020

All Saints' Day

We are given a glimpse into our ultimate future as we celebrate the glory of countless millions of people who won through the centuries and have gone home to God. Those who are now gathered in heaven with Christ were men and women who worked and suffered for the love of God. They took their faith seriously enough to allow it to shape their lives in order to complete the task that God has given them. Those who are canonised are only a fraction of God's friends. In the hard experience of life they managed to keep their sight on the living God, trusting that He would work all things for the good. Their outstanding quality was faithful perseverance in the long and painful task.


The great two commandments

Saturday 24th October 2020

The great two commandments

The gospel, Matthew 22:34-40, emphasises the two commandments which Jesus described as the greatest - love of God and love of neighbour. No matter how often we hear these words we are struck by the demands they put on us. Jesus brings together the love of God and love of our neighbour as something inseparable like two sides of a coin. Love of God is false if it is not complemented by the love of the people whom we encounter every day. Loving our neighbour as ourselves is a necessary element in giving our hearts and minds to God and that is where the challenge lies. It is wonderful in theory but difficult to put in practice.


Give to God

Saturday 17th October 2020

Give to God

(Matthew 22:15-21) When the Pharisees dragged the name of Caesar into their dispute with Jesus, it was a clever attempt to trick him into making an incriminating statement. He was in a no-win situation because to state that tax should be paid would have made Him appear a traitor to his country. While a denial would have left Him behind bars as enemy of Rome. Aware of their malice, He sidesteps the issue giving attention on the tax coin saying, 'Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.' He challenges them to take their responsibility to God as seriously as their obligations to the state.


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