Reflections

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.


Preparing For The Banquet

Saturday 10th October 2020

Preparing For The Banquet

How could the poor man in the gospel story, Matthew 22:1-14, be expected to have the necessary clothes at such short notice when he was hauled off the street into a wedding reception? And he found himself in serious trouble as he was not suitably dressed for the occasion. The parable is not about wearing the right outfit at a wedding. The message goes much deeper because the banquet referred to is eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is saying that while God the Father has opened wide the doors of heaven and invited everybody into His kingdom, entrance is by no means automatic and should not be taken for granted.


Reflection

Saturday 3rd October 2020

Reflection

Rejection is something we all encounter on our journey through life and Jesus was no exception. The son of God came to earth, showed His love in every possible way and was rejected. In this gospel, Matthew 21:33-43, we are exposed to the truth that God has done everything possible for us as a people by sending His Son to live among us. In return we might have turned our back and offered him nothing but indifference. In this parable we can perhaps see ourselves as tenants cultivating a small portion of God's vineyard and when harvest time arrives we are expected to produce the fruits of right living, by displaying a way of caring, sharing and showing forth the charity of the gospel in our daily lives.


Saying Yes to God

Saturday 26th September 2020

Saying Yes to God

The liturgical reading today, Matthew 21:28-32, points out that there must be a connection between what we say and what we do. We possess the freedom to say yes or no to God and ability to change the direction of our lives. And one way or another we are responsible for our conduct and accountable for our behaviour. The varying attitudes of the two sons in the gospel give us cause to think carefully because whether we like it or not, there is a mixture of both personalities in us. If Christian faith is not accompanied by upright Christian living, what we profess to believe has no value and amounts to lip service or idle promises which are worthless. We are uttering words but are not changing our hearts.


Understanding His Generosity

Saturday 19th September 2020

Understanding His Generosity

We have ordinary ways of looking at things that when we listen to this gospel, Matthew 20:1-16, we are tempted to react and share the grumble of the workers who have laboured since early morning. It seems a bit unfair that after slaving all day in the hot sun they got the same pay for their efforts as those who were taken late. The parable is not dealing with equal rights for all or an honest day's work for pay. Its main emphasis is to show the generosity of God opening the doors of the kingdom of heaven to gentiles and sinners.


Christianity is all about boundless forgiveness

Saturday 12th Septmeber 2020

Christianity is all about boundless forgiveness

The theme of the gospel, Matthew 18:21-35, is all about forgiveness and mercy which are basic attitudes that every Christian must put into practice. Apart from the command to love one another there is no obligation which Christ taught more forcefully than of showing forgiveness. In actual fact of everyday life, forgiveness is more often talked about than put into practice because it is difficult and demanding. It takes a great deal out of us. Perhaps within families small incidents get blown out of proportion and rifts develop.


The responsibility we have to 'Call things out'

Saturday 5th September 2020

The responsibility we have to 'Call things out'

The readings point to a clear message concerning our responsibility towards the salvation of others within the community. We all have the duty of doing good while we can by helping those who are weak or in need of assistance. This doesn't mean we are interfering in people's lives. The love of our neighbour is priority. There is no living together without pain and the gospel brings us the delicate way of counselling those people who are misbehaving, doing wrong and going astray.


Taking up the Cross

Saturday 29th August 2020

Taking up the Cross

Peter found it difficult to accept that the mission of Jesus would end with the cross and crucifixion. He did not see why pain and suffering were necessary for discipleship. He was against at the idea that such should take place. He thought that being part of the kingdom was a matter of success. He had yet to learn that the standards of Christ were not those of power and privilege. The outcome was a reprimand from Jesus who cautioned him against embracing the standards of the world.


Who do You Say I Am?

Saturday 22nd August 2020

Who do You Say I Am?

The choice of Peter as head of the church is an example of the power of God at work, using the weak things of this world to confound the strong. Before his encounter with Christ, Peter's life had little meaning. Perhaps by human standards he was a disastrous choice and should never been appointed. He can be hardly described as a stable person because at times he was brave while on other occasions he displayed cowardice.


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