Wednesday 24 August 2022

Saturday of Week 25 Year 2

One of the realities of life we need to be aware of and prepared for is that human praise and admiration can be very fickle, and people who were once allies or friends could become rivals or enemies when the circumstances do not benefit them. At any time, we can gain and lose the praise and admiration we get from others, and if we depend only on such praise and admiration, we may find ourselves bitter and disappointed when things are not good for us.

In today's Gospel, we are told: "At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: “The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.”’" Jesus Himself, who performed a lot of miracles, healed many, and said many inspirational and good things, was eventually condemned, despite of all He had said and done. This shows that as followers of Jesus, we should not rest on our laurels and bask in human praise and admiration, since such things are temporary and could change so easily and quickly. Instead, let us take up our cross and follow Jesus, not seeking human glory, but by giving God the glory.

Saturday of Week 23 Year 2

Saying that we are Christians is easy, since mere words are easy and cheap, but how many of us are really follow Jesus' teachings and commandments faithfully and completely? There are some of us who may be Christians only in name, but we want to do our own thing and according to our own way. There are some of us who may claim to be Christians, but we follow only those teachings and commandments which are beneficial or convenient to us. How many of us are humble and willing to accept and follow Jesus' teachings and commandments in its entirety, even those teachings which are hard or challenging for us to follow?

In today's Gospel, Jesus admonishes us: "Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?" It is easy to say that we are followers of Christ, but it is certainly not easy for us to be steadfast and faithful in following all that He has told and taught us and not just pick and choose those teachings which we like. Being a Christian is not just accepting Jesus and listening to Him, but also acting on His words and growing in His ways. May we act upon His words, and help others to do the same, for His glory.

Saturday of Week 22 Year 2

What does it mean to “Keep holy the Sabbath” and what is the reason for this commandment? The Sabbath rest was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and the goodness of his work both in creation and redemption. It was intended to bring everyday work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment. So Jesus’ disciples were scolded by the scribes and Pharisees, not for plucking and eating corn from the fields, but for doing so on the Sabbath. But is this what keeping holy the Sabbath really mean, where absolutely nothing could be done?

In today's Gospel, Jesus defending His disciples by asserting that human need takes precedence over ritual custom. He reminds the scribes and the Pharisees of what David and his companions did. In their hunger, they ate the bread of offering which only the priest can lawfully eat. Then he concludes with these words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” What Jesus is trying to tell the scribes and Pharisees and us too, is that the Sabbath is meant to be used to honour the Lord in the way you treat your neighbour, while celebrating the Lord’s Day. Instead of being over legalistic or petty, we should seek the good of our neighbour in all situations with respect and kindness. May we make every effort to honour the Lord in our work and in our rest.