Thursday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, 21st January 2016
And the women sang to one another as they made merry, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him.
(1 Samuel 18:7-8)
Envy. That which drives a man to be angry and displeased at the merriment of others; the vice that fuels the passion for hate in the hearts of men. Saul had that. We all have it every now and then. We see our family and close friends and even our neighbours progress in life and instead of rejoicing with them, we wish we were the ones the good came upon. We put on a fake smile but in the depths of our hearts we don’t really wish them well. But there’s always a voice we ought to listen to: a voice that speaks against hate and envy, a voice like Jonathan’s, a voice that tell us to rejoice for the blessings of our family and neighbours, for ours is on our way too.
So let us not sin against others; they have not sinned against us by being blessed by God after all. Let go of envy today.
Wednesday of the 2nd week in Ordinary Time, 20th January 2016
“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Complete my joy by being of the same mind. Oneness. That’s what drives us as followers of Christ and as Catholics: having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Selflessness. Putting others before us, loving not for our selfish desires and pleasures but loving genuinely, having a love that calls us to serve our neighbours. Humility. That which makes us have the mind of our Saviour, that which makes us submissive to Christ will, the humility that makes us empty ourselves out for those around us, the humility that springs forth obedience, that in being humble we will be exalted one day.
Oneness, Selflessness, Humility. Our Christian keywords for today. May we be given the grace not to just make them keywords in our lives but keys to opening the doors of salvation.
Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time; 19th January 2016
“…The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
It is said that as man proposes, God disposes. Today’s reading is the perfect example. Samuel invites the house of Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice in which he was to choose a new king of Israel. Looking at Eliab, he probably would have told himself: “He appears very tall, almost like Saul. Maybe he’s the one” or stared at Abinadab and said: “Well, this one looks strong. I guess he will fight to the last for his people” or on seeing Shammah: “Another good looking man, the people might love him”. Samuel was about letting his personal views and emotions cloud his judgement but had to realize that there was more to what meet the eyes.
Many a times we let our emotions and reasoning affect the way we see things. We give rash judgement about people’s motives without giving thought to the possible reason behind such actions. We like to judge the book by the cover. We look on the outward appearance and feel we know what the inside should look like. We ought to stop doing such. Yes we can’t see the hearts of men but we can discern people’s actions & not just jump into conclusions most times. So let’s ask the Holy Spirit to come on us and give us the grace to discern beyond what meet the eyes so that we will not judge our brothers and sisters wrongly. Let’s see beyond the face and appearance of people. Let’s look on the heart.
Monday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time, 18th January 2016
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination and stubbornness is as inquity and idolatry.”
(1 Samuel 5:22-23)
Today Samuel confronts Saul who chose to follow his way and the way of his people disregarding God’s instructions. We are called to let go of those bad habits that push us away from God but we tend to feel we can have both, “we take back the spoils in our lives we ought to have destroyed” the moment we renounced sin. We fail to obey Him who wants the best for us. God doesn’t want some heroic sacrifice from you; all he asks is that you obey Him, there is no better pathway to gaining graces from God than through obedience.
So what are you willing to sacrifice for God? Your obedience is a perfect sacrifice. How you you plan on walking in His ways today? Make your way blameless and let God show you His salvation: Live in obedience of Him.
Friday of the 1st week in Ordinary Time; 15th January 2016
“Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you… they have rejected me from being king over them.”
(1 Samuel 8:7)
The people of Israel wanted a ruler, a king-someone that will make them feel like other nations. They lost sight of He who rules over all; the King of kings, their God. We act like the Israelites at times. We try to imitate the others who “appear” to have more not realizing they possess little. We allow ungodly things rule over us. Money, the hunger for fame, the craving for the most recent fads, power, sin and so on govern and control us. We prefer to listen to the voice of the world and reject God by our ways. And those things which lord over us leaves us high and dry, makes us empty. They rob us off the blessings we would have gotten if God ruled over our lives.
God is a King who doesn’t just governs us but also cares for and loves his people. Let us listen to the voice of Him who wants the best for us. Let us allow God have his way in our lives today. Let us make God our King.
Thursday of the 1st Week In Ordinary Time, 14th January 2016
“Why has the Lord put us to rout today before the Philistines? Let us bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that He may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”
(1 Samuel 4:3)
As the goes, overfamiliarity breeds contempt and this applied in today’s first reading (1 Samuel 1-11). The Israel felt soo confident that no matter how grave their sins were, that God will always fight their battles. They only seemed to remember him when they were at war losing and tended to forget him when things went smoothly. And this could be our attitude at times: when the going is good we forget God and act like every success, every good thing came to be from our own doing; then when the going gets tough, we recoil and remember God and we call on him expecting him to do ‘His magic‘.
Yes, God is willing to save us from the powers of our enemies. And yes, our Lord is a merciful God but He is also a just one. Let’s not take his mercy for granted, just because his ocean of mercy is always open for us. Remember God at all times, whether good or bad and praise Him always.
Wednesday of The 1st Week in Ordinary Time, 13th January 2016
In today’s Gospel, Jesus goes to Simon and Andrew house and gets told that Simon’s mother-in-law is bedridden. He comes, takes her by the hand, lifts her up, the fever leaves her; and she serves them (Mark 1: 29-31). “The fever leaves her; and she serves them”. I believe we can rightly say that she was “saved to serve.” Many a times, we have been purified and healed by Christ’s Precious Blood but we go about ignoring those who need our help to gain healing from He who saves. We get saved but don’t serve. Christ takes us by the hand and lifts us up in our times of trials so that we can do the same to others by serving. Today’s Gospel also says that they (those who believed in God’s healing power) brought to Jesus all who were sick (Mark 1:32). They went the extra mile to bring people to Christ for the same healing they received and believed in. And that’s what serving is all about: bringing people to fountain of mercy and life, Christ Jesus. The power of Christ in us encourages us to serve others. How are you leading those to Christ through your service? You have been healed; your sins have been washed away; you have been saved. So don’t just lay down in bed. Lift yourself up and serve!