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Reflection for Today
Reflection on Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26 — 05-07-2021
While Jesus was speaking, up came one of the officials, who bowed low in front of him and said, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.’ Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him. When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion, he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead; she is asleep.’ And they laughed at him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took the little girl by the hand; and she stood up. And the news of this spread all round the countryside.
Death defines our limited human reality as it is unavoidable that we all have to face this truth. However, this Gospel reminds us Christians that death cannot overpower us because we believe that Jesus will raise us to eternal life. This Risen Christ now lives within us and fills our daily lives with great joy regardless of our trials in life. This truth must make a difference in our lives because we see our present life existing beyond this world. Thus, we must try to overcome all worldly ways of living and focus on living in God’s ways that lead us to eternal life.
Reflection on Matthew 8:18-22 — 28/06/2021
When Jesus saw the great crowd all about him he gave orders to leave for the other side. One of the scribes then came up and said to him, ‘Master, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’ Another man, one of the disciples, said to him, ‘Sir, let me go and bury my father first.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.’
We all want to be followers of Christ. Jesus cautions us that we would be like Him, where “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”. Thus we should be prepared to live and serve God’s Kingdom selflessly. God must be our top priority and the centre of everything we do and live for. When we choose to live and serve in this manner, God will send us His Spirit and give us all the graces we need; He will never let us down. How willing are we to say “yes” to the Lord?
Reflection on Matthew 6:25b-31a, 32b-33 — 24/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith? So do not worry. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well.’
In today’s Gospel, Jesus mentions birds and flowers as examples to show that if God provides so well for them who are His mere creations, how much more can we, as His children, rely on His care. God is completely reliable. He admonishes us to cast aside our anxieties and preoccupations with material things, to focus instead on building God’s kingdom and doing His will.
Questions to think about
Is God the master in charge of your life? Is His Kingdom our first priority and do we put our complete trust in Him for all our needs? If so, His blessings and graces will follow unceasingly and abundantly.
Reflection on Mark 4:35-41 — 23/06/2021
With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost flooded. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’
Often, when we face confusion in our life, we ask our God ‘Master! Do you not care?’ But we must realize that we need never be afraid. For no matter how daunting and life threatening it may be, Jesus is always there beside us; protecting us. Jesus loves us dearly, and in return we must learn to have faith in Him, and trust in Him always, for He is the one who deserves our praises at all times.
Reflection on Matthew 7:6, 12-14 — 22/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces. ‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets. ‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to hell is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’
Sometimes our actions and words can be quite hurtful to others. Would we like it if such things were to happen to us? We thus need to be more tactful and loving towards others. However, doing good deeds are never easy. Indeed at times, it is easier to yield to temptation and sin, rather than to love. In taking this hard and narrow road, we will ultimately find love and joy at the end; for the path of goodness is the path of God; and He never forgets those who are faithful to His Will.
Reflection on Matthew 7:1-5 — 21/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. ‘Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, “Let me take that splinter out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.’
Often in life, we judge others and see only their faults. We forget that no one is perfect and that we too are far from being perfect. With that in mind, we must learn not to judge others; after all, who are we to judge others of their sins, when we too are so full of fault? Only God who is free from sin has the right to judge us. Instead, we must learn to understand one another, and learn to see and correct our own faults. Only then, can we truly seek to help someone else.
Reflection on Matthew 6:19-23 — 18/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and woodworms destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworms destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be all darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkened, what darkness that will be!
This world teaches us that happiness is obtained when we have money, power, health and pleasure. However, we know so well that many people who possess these ‘earthly treasures’ still lack inner peace and happiness. Jesus reminds us that ‘wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be too’.
Questions to think about
What is your life centred on? Is God ‘Number 1’ in your life? What changes must you make in order to live in this way?
Reflection on Matthew 6:7-15 — 17/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one. ‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’
If God knows what we need before we ask Him, why then the need to pray for the needs that we have? Prayer doesn’t move God to change His mind but instead expresses our utter dependence on His Providence and to acknowledge Him as our Lord and Creator. Effective prayer is listening to God. “Our Father in heaven, Creator, Lord and Master, give us the heart and mind to be always attentive to You”.
Reflection on Matthew 5:38-42 — 15/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad men as well as the good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. ‘For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
Jesus exhorts us to love our enemies just as our heavenly Father cares for everyone – the bad as well as the good. It is easy to love those who are deserving of our love. The test of the depth of our love for God is in whether we are able to love those who are not lovable or those who have done us wrong. Jesus asks us to go beyond loving, not only those we think are worthy of our love. We need God’s help. When faced with such difficulties, let us always pray for the divine grace and assistance we need.
Reflection on Mark 12:38-44 — 14/06/2021
In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted 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.’ He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’
The poor widow chose to love God by giving all she had; a selfless love towards God instead of only receiving God’s selfless love for us. She could have chosen to keep some of her possessions for her own security. No one would find fault with her for doing so.
Questions to think about
How would we choose to love God? Would we choose the widow’s selfless way; a way that was done in secret and in the silence of her heart; a way that brought her deep peace or would we trumpet our love for God and make a big fuss about it?
Reflection on Matthew 5:20-26 — 09/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. ‘You have heard how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Betrayer” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.’
To be disciples of Jesus, we are expected to live upright lives: both consistent in our daily living and in our worship of God our Lord. If we do not Love one another, we may end up causing each other much pain and harm, and most serious of all, we may draw people away from God. Jesus wishes that we Love one another. In doing so, our witnessing will sow peace, unity and happiness. And most of all sow the seed that leads them to Christ.
Reflection on Matthew 5:17-19 — 09/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to end the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to end but to complete them. I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. ‘Therefore, the man who trespasses even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.’
The Law that Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel is the divine law to love one another as God has loved us. Laws are not necessarily negative and they do not always inhibit our freedom and autonomy. Laws are meant to free us to live in harmony and to serve the greater and common good of our neighbours. The Laws of God, all the more, help us to be freer in our lives and empower us to love as selflessly as Jesus has shown us. This means to even lay down our lives for the sake and good and salvation of others.
Reflection on Matthew 5:13-16 — 08/06/2021
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be crushed. ‘You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.’
“Salt” can never “lose” its taste; if it loses its saltiness, it is no longer salt. Salt is naturally salty. We are created to be like God to love. We will always have goodness and love in our hearts. Without love and goodness, we would lose our human identity. Let us get in touch with our natural self; the God given gifts to love one another; more so in the way that Jesus has shown us through His life and teachings. When we do not live in Christ-like ways, we are actually destroying the true identity that God has given.
Reflection on Mark 14:12, 16, 22-25 — 07/06/2021
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as Jesus had told them, and prepared the Passover. And as they were eating he took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many. I tell you , I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’
During the Passover meal, Jesus foretold that one of His Apostles would betray Him. This shocked them into examining themselves. We too should examine the way we live daily so as not to fall into temptations. Just as we can choose to be an instrument of God or fall into Satan’s ways, we should pray that we keep close to Jesus through our constant prayers and frequent reception of the Eucharist.
Question to think about
Do you celebrate ‘The Lord’s Supper’ in the Eucharist with deep reverence and attention?