Friday 31 July 2020

Saturday of Week 27 Year 2

One reality in modern society is that, no matter where we go, we would encounter laws and regulations. Such laws need to be observed, for the good of all, otherwise there would be chaos. Such laws are supposed to protect those who follow what is stipulated and also to deter wrong-doing. Thus, the law is like our guardian and it is expressed in the form of law-enforcement officers, and in some cases, the courts may come into the picture.

In today's reading, St. Paul said that the Law was the guardian of the people until Jesus Christ came along and then they could be justified by faith. The Law was there for the people to keep to it and follow it. Yet the problem here is that, by just keeping to the precepts of the Law, people could be doing so without any faith and only out of fear, instead of out of love and out of a desire to grow closer to God. With Jesus, we are justified by faith and are no longer under the law as our guardian, but we become sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

The question is: are we still keeping the law out of fear and just to get ourselves out of trouble; or have we grown in faith in Jesus, and keep the law out of love? Are we keeping the law only for the sake of keeping it to protect ourselves from punishment, or have we learnt to let Jesus be our guiding "law," so that we would become more and more like Him? May we learn to follow the law of love, letting Jesus be our help an guide.

Saturday of Week 26 Year 2

How many of us still have a sense of politeness, courtesy and especially humility? Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one's importance, but how many of us are able to maintain such humility, especially when it seems as if more and more people are forgetting their humble beginnings, as they become more affluent, or are supposingly having higher education, or they think they have better standing in society?

Today's reading tells us of Job's humility. The reading tells us: "This was the answer Job gave to the Lord: I know that you are all-powerful what you conceive, you can perform. I am the man who obscured your designs with my empty-headed words. I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand, on marvels beyond me and my knowledge. I knew you then only by hearsay; but now, having seen you with my own eyes, I retract all I have said, and in dust and ashes I repent." Job was willing to remain humble and seek forgiveness from God, instead of sticking to his pride and ego. As a result, the reading tells us that God blessed Job with wealth, property, offspring and other things, much more than Job could ever imagine.

What about us? Are we able to remain humble even though the world is tempting us to become proud, egoistic, and have a sense of entitlement? Have we learnt to become more like Job, willing to humble ourselves and let God be our help and guide? May we be make effort and be willing to walk humbly in God's ways, and glorify God in all we say and do.

Friday 17 July 2020

Saturday of Week 25 Year 2

I sometimes wonder and ponder whether some of us are aware of the direction we are taking in our lives. We seem to be so busy with earthly pursuits, and we take great effort in making a name for ourselves; or enriching ourselves, thinking that we are doing so for our future happiness and security, and for the happiness and security of our loved ones. But the reality is: at the end of the day, do all these efforts really matter? Will our efforts be long lasting?

In today's reading, we are cautioned that all our earthly pursuits would be scrutinised: "But this you must know: for all these things God will bring you to judgement." Not only that, the reading reminds us: "while man goes to his everlasting home. And the mourners are already walking to and fro in the street; before the silver cord has snapped, or the golden lamp been broken, or the pitcher shattered at the spring, or the pulley cracked at the well, or before the dust returns to the earth as it once came from it, and the breath to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. All is vanity."

If we look at what the reading tells us, all our earthly pursuits may eventually be insignificant when we return to the Lord. It does not mean that we should totally disregard our livelihood here on earth, but what the reading is reminding us is to set our priorities right. Are we focusing so much on temporary things here on earth, that we end up neglecting our relationship with God? Let us take caution and not end up regretting later, since all that we have here on earth is impermanent, and our eternal future is at stake.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Saturday of Week 24 Year 2

I sometimes come across people asking me what we would look like or be like after we die. Some begin to wonder whether a loved one would look or be the same. Some are even afraid to know what a loved one would look like or be like, especially when the loved one had gone through much suffering due to disease when the loved one was alive. But the reality is that our appearance would not be the same as when we were alive, since our bodies are perishable.

In today's reading, we are reminded: "Someone may ask, ‘How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?’ They are stupid questions. Whatever you sow in the ground has to die before it is given new life and the thing that you sow is not what is going to come; you sow a bare grain, say of wheat or something like that, It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised it embodies the spirit."

The reading reminds us that our bodies will die, decay and eventually turn to dust, but our souls will become better and glorious, especially if we have been maintaining a good relationship with God. This is why we should not be too concerned about how we would look like or be like after we die. We should also not be too concerned about earthly things, since such things are impermanent. Instead, we should make more effort in growing in relationship with God. Are we putting our priorities right, and letting God be our guide and happiness?