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Reflection for Today

 

Reflection on Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26, Monday 5/7/21- 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.

Reflection - 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, Monday 28/6/21- 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.’

Reflection -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, Thursday 24/6/21- 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.’

Reflection - 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- 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, Wednesday 23/6/21- 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.’

Reflection- 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, Tuesday, 22/6/21- 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.’

Reflection- 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, Monday 21/6/21- 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.’

Reflection- 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, Friday 18/6/21- 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!

Reflection – 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 - 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, Thursday 17/6/21- 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.’

Reflection- 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, Tuesday, 15/6/21- 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.’

Reflection - 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, Monday ,  14/6/21- 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.’

Reflection -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- 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, Thursday  ,9/6/21- 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.’

Reflection - 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, Wednesday, 9/6/21- 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.’

Reflection - 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, Tuesday 8/6/21- 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.’

Reflection - “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, Monday 7/6/21- 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.’

Reflection - 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 - Do you celebrate ‘The Lord’s Supper’ in the Eucharist with deep reverence and attention?


Reflection on John 20:19-23, Thursday 27/5/21- In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you,’ and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ After saying this he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’

Reflection - Through our baptism we died to our sins and rose to new life in Christ Jesus. The challenges of Baptism are for us to go out and proclaim the Good News. Jesus empowers us to do His work through His gift of His Spirit’s presence in us. Focus on one thing you want to do for Christ right now and say sincerely, “Holy Spirit I warmly welcome You into my heart”.  Then, listen to your heart and feel how the Spirit may be moving you!


Reflection on Mark 10:32a, 35-40, 43-45, Wednesday, 26/5/21- Jesus and his apostles were on the road going up to Jerusalem. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. ‘Master,’ they said to him, ‘We want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’ So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

Reflection - Jesus came to serve, not to be served. If we are to be true disciples of Christ, we too must also serve and not be served. Those who are in positions of authority must be mindful of their calling to give of themselves in service to those under their care. Reflect on how you can better serve the people whom God has placed under your authority.


Reflection on Mark 10:28b-31, Tuesday 25/5/21- “What about us?’ Peter asked Jesus, ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you , there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over; houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land — not without persecutions — now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life. Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’

Reflection - Anyone who places God before all things in his or her life may face much persecution but will be rewarded many times over.

 Questions to think- In what ways is God first and foremost in your life? How else is God calling you to worship Him? Ask for the grace needed to entrust yourself completely into God’s hands.


Reflection on John 20:19-23, Monday 24/5/21- In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you,’ and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ After saying this he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’

Reflection - Through our baptism we died to our sins and rose to new life in Christ Jesus. The challenges of Baptism are for us to go out and proclaim the Good News. Jesus empowers us to do His work through His gift of His Spirit’s presence in us. Focus on one thing you want to do for Christ right now and say sincerely, “Holy Spirit I warmly welcome You into my heart”.  Then, listen to your heart and feel how the Spirit may be moving you!


Reflection on John 16:23b-28, Monday 17/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I tell you most solemnly, anything you ask from the Father he will grant in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and so your joy  be complete. I have been telling you all this in metaphors; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in metaphors, but tell you about the Father in plain words.  When that day comes you will ask in my name; and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you, because the Father himself loves you for loving me, and believing that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I leave the world to go to the Father.’

  Reflection - The Lord will reward those who are faithful to Him, and will always listen to  the prayers of those who trust Him.  It is true that trusting can be difficult at times. However, if we have any doubt, we should simply remember that Jesus’ love for us is so great that He died on the cross for us even though we do not deserve it. It is precisely because of this sacrifice that we know Jesus loves us. He will definitely listen to all our needs with compassion and love.


Reflection on John 15:9-17, Friday, 14/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. ‘I shall not call you servants anymore, because a servant does not know his master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. What I command you is to love one another.’

Reflection -Jesus gives His disciples a new commandment — to love others the way He loves us. True love is evident in sacrificial love.  In Jesus’ love for us we find the fullness of grace, life, peace and joy. Jesus speaks of the deep and perfect love that He and His Father has for each other.  Jesus too wants us to have a deeper and more personal relationship with Him and His Father. If our lives are fully surrendered to God we will surely find deep peace and joy even though life may be trying.  God’s love will be our consolation and strength.


Reflection on John 15:9-17, Thursday 13/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. ‘I shall not call you servants anymore, because a servant does not know the master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. What I command you is to love one another.’

Reflection - The love between the Father and Son is so intense and intimate that both of them think and act as one perfect divine union, in the Spirit. Jesus loves each of us personally and intensely even though our love for Him in return is often inconsistent, and unfaithful. However, Jesus continues to have the infinite patience and mercy to develop our love for Him.  “Lord Jesus, you chose us to bear fruit; fruit that will last. Nourish us with your graces so that we may love others more fully.”


Reflection on John 16:5-11, Tuesday, 11/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Now I am going to the one who sent me. Not one of you has asked, “Where are you going?” Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this. Still, I must tell you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I do go, I will send him to you. ‘And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin, and about who was in the right, and about judgement: about sin: proved by their refusal to believe in me; about who was in the right: proved by my going to the Father and your seeing me no more; about judgement: proved by the prince of this world being already condemned.’

Reflection- When someone we love leaves we are naturally sad because we will no longer be in the company of that person. Jesus understands this human feeling and promises us His Spirit to be with us everywhere, every time and for all times. The Holy Spirit is the source of Truth, wisdom and good counsel and will guide and protect us and the Church. When we pray to Jesus, be attentive to what the Holy Spirit has to say to us. In prayer we are not meant to be pre-occupied with ourselves and our needs.


Reflection on John 15:26-16:4a, Monday 10/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses because you have been with me from the beginning. ‘I have told you all this so that your faith may not be shaken. They will dismiss you from the synagogues, and indeed the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy duty for God. They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or myself. But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you.’

Reflection - As baptised Christians, each of us has been commissioned by Jesus Himself to bring the Good News to others. However, we cannot do this alone. We need the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus to give us the strength to witness to Christ’s Truth of salvation and to say and do the things that will touch the hearts and minds of those searching for God.

 Questions to think- How have we co-operated with the Holy Spirit to make the Good News real in our families and places of work?  Are you able to sense the Holy Spirit’s prompting to be God’s voices and action in your daily living?


Reflection on John 15:5, Friday ,7/5/21- I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.

Reflection- Jesus is telling us through this passage that, he wants to produce good fruit in your life. He also wants to bring His grace and mercy into the world through you. The vine does not produce the fruit alone but does so through the branches. So, Jesus is saying that He has chosen to bring his grace and mercy into your life and into the world through you. However, we need to be united to Jesus, as he is the Vine otherwise, it would be like cutting off a twig from a fig tree and hoping that the twig will produce figs.


Reflection on John 15:1-5, 7-8, Thursday , 5/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more. You are pruned already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and then you will be my disciples.’

Reflection - We need to identify ourselves with this image of Jesus in today’s Gospel. Are we the branches that are withering and dried up or the ones that are alive and freshly united with the Vine.

 We will bear fruit in-so-far as we remain united firmly with the Lord, the “Vine” of our lives.  Do we want to continue to bear even more fruits in life or prefer to wither and die through our wrong and bad choices in life?

 The Spirit of God is “flowing” and alive within us. All that we have comes from God. How much spiritual fruits have we borne in our lives?  What are they?


Reflection on John 15:1-8, Wednesday 5/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more. You are pruned already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.

‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away — he fades; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and then you will be my disciples.’

Questions to think - What is my response to Jesus’ promise of the gift of His peace? Do I desire this peace?  Have I experienced the peace that comes from Jesus? How did I experience this peace? What effect did it have on me?  Am I being invited to bring this peace to others? Who may this person be? How can I bring the peace to him/her?


Reflection on John 14:27-31a, Tuesday 4/5/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Peace I give you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me say: I am going away and shall return. If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

          ‘I have told you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe. I shall not talk with you any longer, because the prince of this world is on his way. He has no power over me, but the world must be brought to know that I love the Father and that I am doing exactly what the Father told me.’

Reflection - The ‘peace’ in this world is avoiding trouble and refusing to face disagreeable things.  However, Jesus promised to give us His peace “that the world cannot give.” In this peace of Christ, even though we may be surrounded by sadness, pain and suffering Jesus’ Spirit that is within us will conquer all the fears and worries of our lives if we the courage  to trust in Him.

In the eyes of the world the cross stood for shame, embarrassment, and defeat. However, in the Cross of Christ we find true peace and understanding with  God.  Pray for this peace that the world cannot rob you of.


Reflection on John 14:1-6, Friday 30/4/21- Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said: I am the Way; the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’

Reflection - To trust someone is “easy” when we are brought up in a family and an environment of affection and assurance. But, if we have experienced only superficial love and affirmations, or when we have bottled-up deep hurts and pain in life, it is very difficult to “trust” others and even ourselves. Today, the Lord challenges us to go beyond our personal experiences and learn to trust Him and His promise of eternal life and that He has actually “prepared a place for us in heaven after we die.” 


Reflection on John 10:11-16, Thursday 29/4/21- Jesus said: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; he runs away because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep. ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, one shepherd.’

Reflection- In Today’s Gospel Jesus repeatedly declares, “I am the Good Shepherd and I lay down my life for my sheep”. Jesus promises us eternal life with Him if we listen, accept and follow His voice and obey His Word. Jesus fulfilled His Father’s Will faithfully and fully to the point of dying on the Cross for our sake.

Question to think- How willing am I to suffer and obey God’s Will out of my love and thankfulness to the Lord?


Reflection on John 12:44-50, Wednesday, 28/4/21-, Jesus declared publicly: Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me. I, the light, have come into the world, so that whoever believes in me need not stay in the dark any more. ‘If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall condemn him, since I have come not to condemn the world, but to save the world: he who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.

‘For what I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me, and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore, what the Father has told me is what I speak.’

Reflection - Jesus came to save and not to judge us.  He came to bring “Light” to the world.  We often forget this truth of God.  We ourselves tend to be suspicious and judgmental of others; mostly because of our own emotional baggage in life.  Such attitudes are not going to help us in our relationships with others. Are we aware of such attitudes in us? We are called to accept others as they are and then be instruments of “light” of God to others.  How are we contributing to the “saving” truth of Jesus in today’s world?


Reflection on John 10:22-30, Tuesday, 27/04/21- It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied: ‘I have told you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness; but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine. The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me. The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father. The Father and I are one.’

Reflection - In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks of the immense trust He has in God, the  Father. We too should have such deep trust in Jesus who is our Good Shepherd. In this life we will certainly experience pain, suffering, sickness and death but our consolation is that Jesus will ultimately lead us to eternal life with Him. Thus, our true peace and security in life is found in Jesus alone.

Questions to think - How secure is your faith and trust in God?  Do the material things and comforts of this world distract you from the true peace and security of Jesus, our Risen Lord?


Reflection on John 10:1-5, 9-10, Monday 26/4/21- Jesus said: ‘Anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way, is a thief. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger, but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’ ‘I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’

Reflection - In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that He is the gate and “anyone who enters through me will be safe” and will gain eternal happiness. Jesus, the Good Shepherd watches over us personally and calls each one of us by name.  Are we happy to allow Jesus to lead, protect and provide for us daily?  If we do, we will deepen our relationship with Him.

 Pray daily to  hear Jesus’ voice calling you in the various situations of your life. Try to sense how He wants you to love Him and others more wholeheartedly.


Reflection on John 6:52-59, Friday 23/04/21- The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied: ‘ I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. ‘As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me. This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live forever.’

Reflection - Jesus promises us that “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person.” Jesus is truly present in flesh and blood in the Eucharist.

Question to think - When was the last time you adored Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? The Blessed Sacrament can be found in a church, chapel or adoration room. If you regularly spend quiet time in adoration of Jesus you will find your life transformed by Jesus. Try to do this as often as you can.


Reflection on John 6:35-40, Wednesday, 21/04/21- Jesus said to the crowd: ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst. But, as I have told you, you can see me and still you do not believe. ‘All that the Father gives me will come to me; and whoever comes to me I shall not turn him away, because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of the one who sent me. Now the will of him who sent me is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me, and that I should raise it up on the last day. ‘Yes, it is my Father’s will that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’

Reflection -The people saw Jesus and yet did not believe. Still there are those who have not seen and yet believe.

Questions to think -What is in Christianity and the Church that helps me to believe and practise my faith daily? Why do I pray and go to Church every Sunday? Thank the Lord for maintaining my faith.


Reflection on John 6:30-35, Tuesday, 20/4/21- The people said to Jesus, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus answered: ‘I tell you solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered them: ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.’

Reflection - We, as Christians, are also looking for signs and miracles that will help strengthen our faith in God.  In doing so, we easily forget all the goodness and blessings that God constantly give us daily. In this passage Jesus is inviting us to focus on Him at all times because He is the Way , the  Truth and the Life.  If we follow Him we will never be lost. Let us become more fully aware of God’s abundant graces in our lives and acknowledge that He is the source of all good things.


Reflection on Matthew 26:17-18, 20-25, Wednesday 31/3/21- On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ He said, ‘Go to so-and-so in the city’ he replied’ and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples” ’. When evening came he was at table with the Twelve disciples. And while they were eating he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me.’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not me, Lord, surely?’ ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me will betray me. The Son of man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, ‘Not me, Rabbi, surely?’  ‘They are your own words.’ answered Jesus.

Reflection - Judas is always showed as the betrayer.  How could this be when he was so close to Jesus for three years in His ministry? Jesus preached and taught about self-sacrifice and salvation of all peoples; this message was too difficult to follow.  Judas, like many of us preferred self-glory and gain. Thus, he “used” Jesus as a means to achieve this personal end and ended up betraying Him.

 Questions to think- Have we too “betrayed” Jesus because we also, over time prefer our self- glory and gain to Jesus’ self-sacrificing ways? We need to be faithful constantly and focused on Jesus’ ways and pray for the graces to continue in them.


Reflection on John 11:46-53, Tuesday 30/3/21- Some of the Jews went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. ‘Here is this man working all these signs,’ they said, ‘and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy the Holy Place and our nation.’

One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, ‘You do not seem to have understood the situation at all; you fail to see that it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.’ He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prediction that Jesus was to die for the nation – and not for the nation only, but also to gather together in unity the scattered children of God. From that day they were determined to kill him.

Reflection - In today’s Gospel, Caiaphas prophesied that Jesus must die for the nation. Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb came to preach the Good News of salvation and was willing to pay the price of having to lay down his life for it.

Questions to think - Do we allow fear of opposition to hold us back from doing God’s Will?  Jesus single-mindedly and resolutely focused on fulfilling His Father’s mission for our salvation.

The only way to glory and victory for us is through the path of the cross of Jesus Christ. Are you willing to take up your cross and follow Christ?


Reflection on John 12:1-8, Monday 29/3/21- Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there; Martha waited on them and Lazarus was among those at table. Mary brought in a jar of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot – one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him – said, ‘Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he was in charge of the common fund and used to help himself to the contributions. So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone; let her keep this scent for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.’

Reflection- Jesus was foretelling His  death when He told Judas to keep Mary’s ointment for His day of burial. We often view death with much fear and doubts. Jesus too was fearful of His death, but He willingly embraced it because His focus was on the fulfilment of His Father’s Will to save all people. As we begin our Holy Week reflection, we too must learn to embrace God’s Will and try to live in His ways and overcome our fears and doubts in life.


 

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