Blessed Are…

Monday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time; 6th June 2016
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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,  for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…”
(Mathhew 5:3-11)

  Here are the beatitudes: the rules and regulations every Christian ought to abide in, the pathway to our heavenly reward if followed. Christ uses these beatitudes to call us to embrace a life of holiness, a life worthy of the meaning of being ‘Christian’. However we can only live to God’s expectations and practice these virtues only if we go to Him.
His disciples came to him… and he taught them…
(Mathew 5: 1, 2)
Unless we are wholly rooted in God can we realize the virtues embodied in the beatitudes. We must recognize our dependence on God and go to Him to taught us to live as his Son our Lord Jesus Christ lived. Only then shall we rejoice and be glad. Only then said our reward be great in heaven.

I Say To You, Arise.

10th Sunday of Ordinary Time; 5th June, 2016.

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As he drew near the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said young man, “I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak.
(Luke 7:12-15)

Death is a miserable thing. Death in sin is worse than miserable. There are times when we are soo deep in our sinful nature that we lose hope in ever being worthy of the salvation Christ suffered for our sake. We reach this point where we make ourselves believe that no sin is worse than those committed by us. It’s only natural to have such feelings and thoughts but when we decide to dwell on them and then despair, we hurt our Lord God more. Today we hear readings of the dead raised to life by God. There is nothing Jesus cannot do. No matter how dead in sin you may be; no matter how unworthy of his healing power you may feel, he is always there to rise you up to a new life in Him.
Jesus looks at us with love an compassion. Listen to Christ’s words of comfort today: “‘Do not weep’, cry not more over your sins, I am here for you, I have forgiven you; and now ‘I say to you, arise’, get up from the pit of sin, arise from your past and come and dwell in me, come and experience a new life full of hope, full of glory . God visits us his people today, don’t fall to rise up.

My Heart Exults in the Lord, My Saviour…

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 4th June, 2016.

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I will greatly rejoice in the Lord my soul shall exult in my God; for he has covered me with the garment of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness…
(Isaiah 61:9-10)

Today we celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day we recall and reflect on the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections and, above all, her love for God, and her compassionate love for us, her children. Mary’s heart was essentially concerned with the love that her heart has for Jesus, for God- a love that made her say yes to God, a love that made her totally submit to His will. This love her heart had is meant to be a model for the way we should love God. We are called to practice the virtues of this Immaculate Heart. The fact that her heart is immaculate, that is sinless, means that she is the only fully human person who is able to really love
God in the way that he should be loved.

Blessed is the Virgin Mary, who kept the word of God, and pondered it in her heart.
(Gospel Acclamation)

  So let us honor Mary’s Immaculate Heart, she is the person who was chosen to be the Mother of God and we his adopted ones, let us recognize her extraordinary holiness and the immense love she bestowed on Jesus as his mother, and let us imitate her virtues, that in doing so we may remain faithful to our calling and become fit for the kingdom of God.

Let Thy Hearts Be Sacred…

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; 3rd June, 2016

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“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me for I have found the sheep which was lost.'”
(Luke 15:4-6)

A wonderful parable being told by our Lord Jesus Christ today. There are two sides of the story we are to fully grasp the lesson to be learnt however: the side of the lost sheep and the side of the shepherd.

The lost sheep: We have all felt lost sometime during our spiritual journey in life (and if you haven’t, I guess you’re one of the ninety-nine, Well done!). When we fall away from God’s faithful due to our sins, when we make ourselves believe we can get that lasting joy and happiness we seek in the world and its pleasures- those moments are the moments we identify with the lost sheep.

The shepherd: We are shepherds of some sort living in a self-absorbed world. Not everyone who had a hundred sheep who leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which got missing. Isn’t that crazy? “That’s way too stressful!”, we’ll tell ourselves, “What if the sheep enjoys its lost state? What if a pack of big bad wolves come for the remaining ninety-nine, wouldn’t that be a greater loss? What’s one compared to ninety-nine anyways?” And thus this is how we let our lost brethren stray away from the faith they once believed in, we watch them drift away from God because we wouldn’t want to discomfort ourselves in searching for the lost and moreover we still have ninety-nine righteous brothers and sisters in Christ.

But God speaks to we the lost sheep today through the prophet Ezekiel:

“I myself will search for my sheep, and I will seek them out… I will rescue them from all the places where they have scattered… I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak…”
(Ezekiel 34:11-16)

And Christ speaks to we the shepherds:

“Just so I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
(Luke 15:7)

It’s high time we let God in. It’s high time we stopped on the lost path we find ourselves in and pray to God that He come find and rescue us. We ought to imitate the good shepherd who goes all the way to find the lost sheep. We too could be means through which our lost brethren find their way back to God. We too can be a reflection of His love and compassion. So let’s make our hearts sacred. Let’s make it like Christ’s.

Approved by God

Thursday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time; 2nd June, 2016.

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The saying is true: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful- for he cannot deny himself.
(2 Timothy 2:11-13)

Today St. Paul writes not just to Timothy but to us.

“We should do our best to present ourselves to God as one approved.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)

So how do we become approved in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, we may ask.
New Life: As St. Paul once wrote to the Philippians, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” He calls us to accept death- dying to our sinful ways & bad habits, dying to lust and sins of the flesh- a death that makes us rise above our selfish desires, passion, and hate; a death that makes us reborn in Christ.

Endurance: How hard it can be to persist in doing good, to go on in the ‘narrow path’ when everyone else seems to be using the ‘wide road’. When faced with challenges, difficulties as well as temptations, where a decision of whether to “give in/give up” or “go on” has to be made, St. Paul encourages us to choose the latter for only then shall we reign with our Lord Jesus forever.

Faithfulness: Believing beyond all unreasonable doubt whatever God reveals (doubt in the first place is something unreasonable when it comes to God). This is quite easy, this is quite hard too. Despite our faith in Jesus, we tend to be like Simon Peter, denying our Lord at times. But St. Paul beckons on us to remain faithful to Christ just as He remains faithful to us.

So how do we become approved in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, we may ask. The answers are not far-fatched: We become approved by God by dying in Christ and experiencing a new life in Him; by having endurance for His sake so that we will reign with Him forever and by being faithful to the One who saves and never fails.
Today St. Paul writes not just to Timothy but to us. Hope you are reading…