Saturday 22 May 2021

Saturday of Week 8 Year 1

When we successfully complete a task or a job well done, some of us would try to grab credit or glory. Some may try to claim that the task or job was done through one's own effort, and in some cases, put others down to lift oneself up. While it may be good to give credit where credit is due, how many of us would be willing and humble enough to give God the glory for the task or job done?

 In today's reading, we see how credit and glory is given to God for the gift of wisdom. The reading tells us: "Thanks to her I have advanced; the glory be to him who has given me wisdom! For I am determined to put her into practice, I have earnestly pursued what is good, I will not be put to shame." Not only credit and glory is given to God, the wisdom received would be put into practice. Wisdom is not meant for one's gratification or to show how capable or great one is, but ultimately to give glory to God. Are we using wisdom properly for the good of others and for the greater glory of God?

Friday 21 May 2021

Friday of Week 8 Year 1

In today's Gospel, we come across Jesus cursing a fig tree which had no figs on it. Some of us may initially wonder whether Jesus was acting irrationally or weird, since the Gospel tells us that Jesus felt hungry and seemed annoyed that He could not find any figs, only leaves, since it was not the season for figs. However, if we look carefully at the text, we would discover that Jesus was actually using symbolic language to mean Israel, especially the scribes and Pharisees, who had so stubbornly held to their ways of doing things and their self-righteous behaviour and attitude, instead of repenting and returning to God's ways.

If we look at ourselves, have some of us become like the scribes and Pharisees? Have we so stubbornly held to our ways of doing things and our self-righteous behaviour and attitude, instead of repenting and returning to God's ways. Have we been like the fig tree, which produces fruit only according to season, and at other times we can behave and do as we please? Let us be mindful, lest we end up like the fig tree, withered to the roots; because of our pride, prejudice, selfishness, lack of forgiveness, and stubbornness; as well as our refusal to truly, consistently and wholeheartedly do all things for the glory of God.

Thursday of Week 8 Year 1

It is easy for some of us to feel as if we are useless, or not good enough, or not capable enough, or some other reason. When we feel this way, we begin to think as if God had made a mistake in creating us, and some of us even think that we should not have been born. Some even go to the extent of having suicidal thoughts, and tragically some even go to the extent of making such thoughts a reality.

But today's reading reminds us that we are part of the works of the Lord, and that "the work of the Lord is full of his glory." Not only that, the reading reminds us: "How desirable are all his works, how dazzling to the eye! All things go in pairs, by opposites, and he has made nothing defective." This shows that God does not make a mistake and each of us are special and have got a purpose, which is ultimately to glorify Him. Perhaps we may not have fully realised our purpose, so let us not dwell in pity or even despair. Instead, let us focus on God and let Him guide us, so that in all we do we give Him the glory.

Wednesday of Week 8 Year 1

Learning a new language could be a challenging experience, especially if one is learning the language as an adult. At times, the language itself could be, by nature, difficult to learn; or it could contain words specific to a certain gender, making it a challenge to know when and how to switch the words according to the gender. Because of this, we sometimes could end up seeing stars, or are in a daze, when we are struggling to pick up the basics of the language. However, after a while, we begin to get a hang of it and we may soon find ourselves becoming more and more proficient in the language.

In today's Gospel, the disciples who were following Jesus were dazed and were apprehensive. They had heard a lot of heavy teaching from Jesus about the cost of following Him, about persecutions and about service. What Jesus had been teaching the disciples is a different kind of language - the language of love and service. At first, the disciples could not comprehend what Jesus was constantly trying to teach them, since the language of love is not so straightforward. But eventually, they began to get a hang of it, and became more and more proficient in the language.

What about us? Have we become more proficient in the language of love? Are we able to communicate the language of love in the same way and manner Jesus taught His disciples and also us? May we make effort to get a good understanding of the language of love, practice it constantly, and encourage others to do the same, while giving glory to God.