Monday 28 June 2021

Monday of Week 13 Year 1

If we are told by Jesus to let go of things and people for the sake of the Gospel, would we be willing and humble enough to do so? It is easy to say that we would be willing to do so, but when it comes to having property or possessions, titles or positions, or even people who mean a lot to us or are close to us, would we still be willing to let go of them?

In today's Gospel, Jesus challenges us to consider exactly that. He said: "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Jesus also said: "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead." Would we be willing and able to be detached from what we have, even to the extent of being detached from family relationship, so that we would be free to follow Him and preach the Good News? It is certainly not an easy thing to do, but if Jesus calls us to leave everything behind and follow Him, how would we respond? Would we do so happily, sincerely and wholeheartedly?

Sunday 6 June 2021

Saturday of Week 12 Year 1

Imagine you are a childless couple and are already getting on in years, and you had guests at your house. While having a meal, one of the guest suddenly says: "I shall visit you again next year without fail, and your wife will then have a son." How would you respond? Quite likely some would say, "don't be silly, my wife and I are too old"; some might say, "oh come on, don't talk rubbish, factory closed long time ago (the 'factory' here refers the fertility period of a woman, before she hits menopause)."

This is exactly how Sarah in today's reading responded when she heard such words. In the reading, "Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, ‘Now that I am past the age of child-bearing, and my husband is an old man, is pleasure to come my way again!’" Yet, the guest in the reading did not take it as a joke or a laughing matter and re-emphasised, "Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the same time next year I shall visit you again and Sarah will have a son."

Now, this does not mean that elderly childless couples should get worried or concerned about conceiving at an old age and bearing a child. If it really happens, then we should praise God for such a miracle. But what it means is, if God can enable Sarah to conceive at an old age, just imagine what He can do for us if we are to consistently pray and ask Him. May we not laugh or scoff at such things, since God can make a way, even though there seems to be no way. May we put our trust in Him, and let Him do what is best for us, for His purpose and glory.

Saturday of Week 11 Year 1

Today's Gospel tells us not to worry, since worry would not solve anything. Instead, worry could cause us to do things in a rash manner or in a way which could make things worse. The problem with some of us is we worry and fret about so many things in life, that we neglect to trust in God and walk in His ways. We fail to realise or even admit that many things in life are beyond our control and worrying and fretting will not solve anything.

Instead of worrying or fretting, let us leave it in the hands of God, be grateful and thankful for the many things God grants us, and remain in His care. Let us not one day end up with regrets later for not taking things as they come and letting God take care of things. After all, if God can provide the many things around us with what they need, surely He would provide us with what we need at the right time and at the right place, according to His plan.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

How many of us actually try to take the time to ponder about the many things that have happened in our lives? Do we ponder about things good and bad, or have we been living life day in day out without much of a thought? Sometimes a certain significant event or situation has happened. Do we stop to ponder or think about such a situation or event?

Our mother Mary, whose feast of the Immaculate Heart we celebrate today, did not just remember things; she pondered over the events and experiences in her life. Mary would have pondered over the joy of the first Christmas, and also the sorrow and grief at Calvary. In today's Gospel, it was the worry and anxiety of looking for Jesus and after finding him at the temple, the surprise at the answer He gave, that Mary also pondered in her heart. Mary remembered and pondered in her heart all these events and experiences and much more.

Today, just like mother Mary did, we are invited to ponder about the many times we have experienced God in our lives. When we remember and ponder in our hearts, we become more aware of God's presence in our lives, and we begin to deepen our hope and confidence in God. The many things that have happened in our lives no longer become normal or insignificant, since through such things, we learn to encounter God in many different ways.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Saturday of Week 9 Year 1

Why do we get involved in various church activities and ministries? Do we do so because we want to serve God and His people? Or do we do so because we want to gain some recognition or fame? Do we serve because we want to glorify God in all that we say or do? Or are we trying to gain glory to boost our pride and ego? Are we serving because we want to be respected and noticed? Or are we humble enough to serve quietly, sometimes unknown and unappreciated, but nonetheless continuing to serve with dedication and commitment?

In today's Gospel, "Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’"

Have some of us become like the scribes, who appear to be serving but expecting to be noticed and recognised? Or are we able to resist the need to be recognised and admired, check our motives and intentions, and serve not for ourselves but for the glory of God?