Saturday 28 January 2023

Saturday of Week 6 Year 1

In today's Gospel, Peter, James and John experienced the presence of God when they saw Jesus transfigured. They had never experienced their master in this way before. In the Gospel: "Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ But things did not quite work out that way. They were only being prepared for what is to come. With Jesus they descended the mountain to the valley below and on to the garden of Gethsemane and Calvary. On the mountain, they didn’t want to leave. In the Garden of Gethsemane, they didn’t want to stay. When Jesus was arrested they all fled in fear.

We can all identify with the apostles because in our mountain-top experiences of joy and consolation we also want to stay. We want the experience to go on forever. And then in the moments of trial we want to flee. We forget that our Lord did not promise us a rose garden, but a garden of olives and a crown of thorns. We also forget that we need to face reality and go forth to proclaim the Good News, not just remain up in the mountain. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Are we still clinging on to the mountain top? Or are we willing to pick up our cross and leave to face the trials of the day.

Monday 16 January 2023

Saturday of Week 3 Year 1

Faith is something of a mystery, since there are times what is happening is not natural or logical to us. For example, we sometimes come across certain persons who seem to be in a hopeless situation, such as an illness or taken a bad turn in life and seem heading towards doom. But such persons do not give up or give in to their predicament, and place their faith in God to be healed and change for the better. Then when all seems lost, such persons actually recover, or change and turn into a new leaf.

In today's reading, we are reminded: "Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen. It was for faith that our ancestors were commended." What seems lost or doomed can actually be found or rescued, when we have faith in God and let Him take control. May we not despair or doubt, knowing that God will deal with the situation according to His purposes and for His glory.

Saturday of Week 2 Year 1

It is easy and convenient for some of us to become very calculative with our time and wealth. We begin to have a "what's in it for me" attitude, and whatever we do must be beneficial to us in one way or another. We begin to take on tasks or responsibilities which may be advantageous to us or to make us look good, and we expect to be recognised, rewarded and appreciated for our efforts. But is such attitude compatible to being a follower of Jesus? Are we really following the ways of Jesus, or are we becoming engulfed in the ways of the world?

In today's Gospel, Jesus was home. A crowd had gathered and Jesus could have been calculative in giving his time towards the crowd, since some would have thought that Jesus ought to have some privacy and rest. However, to Jesus, being generous knows no bounds or limits, especially when it comes to doing the will of God. Instead of being calculative, Jesus was generous even to the point where it hurts.

What about us? Are we able to follow Jesus's example or have we become more and more worldly in our attitude and behaviour? Have we become so calculative to a point that everything has a price and a purpose for our own benefit and gratification? May we come to realise that whatever we say and do ought to be to give glory to God, and not to boost our pride and ego or gain prestige.

Thursday 5 January 2023

7 January

“There is no more wine,” Mary says to her Son. It is neither a demand nor even a request. It is just a description of the situation at hand, which could turn out to be quite an embarrassing situation for the newly weds, and especially for the master of feast who ought to have been on top of things. She does not put Jesus in a spot. Nor does she pester Him to perform a miracle. She gives Jesus space to think and decide. She is very prudent, wise and considerate. Not only that, she knows her Son deep in her heart. Acting on her mother’s instinct at the first sign of Jesus’ willingness to deal with the situation, she immediately instructs the servants. “Do whatever he tells you,” and she does not interfere further.

Mary’s intercession clearly illustrates her role as our mediator to the Lord. She brings people to her Son and she lets Him take it from there. It also highlights her profound faith in Him - knowing fully well that whatever He tells us is wise, good, and just. When we pray and ask for Mary's intercession, let us pray with confidence and be ever ready to “Do whatever he tells you,” so that whatever we pray for will be to do His will and glorify His name.

7 January

It is very easy for us to get caught up with praying for all kinds of needs and wants, and we make much effort to pray persistently, asking God to grant our prayers. However, when our prayers are not answered, do we reflect on why our prayers are not answered? Or do we begin to think that God is not interested in our prayers, or even think that God is being very selective with answering prayers? Would some of us even give up trying to pray altogether, and turn to other so called deities for help?

In today's reading, we are reminded: "We are quite confident that if we ask the Son of God for anything, and it is in accordance with his will, he will hear us." Notice that the reading does not say that our prayers will be answered come what may, but if "it is in accordance with his will." This clearly shows that we need to pray in such a way that our prayer would jive with God's will, not our will. After all, when we pray the Our Father, we say: "Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done" and not "my Kingdom or my will." May we learn to pray earnestly to do God's will, and give Him the glory.