Reflections

The Good Shepherd

posted Apr 20, 2018, 9:10 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Apr 20, 2018, 9:10 AM ]

22 April 2018 ( 4th Sunday of Easter )
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With the power bestowed by the Risen Christ, Peter healed a lame man which astounded the community. Having known the man to be lame, it was a remarkable sight for them to see him walking, jumping and praising God. Boldly and eloquently, Peter took the opportunity to witness to the crowd gathered about who Jesus really was and that He was the only One who could save us from eternal damnation. Will we ever be able to witness to the people around us in such a manner? What a stark contrast indeed from the same person who earlier denied Jesus 3 times and abandoned Him at the hour of need! In today’s Gospel, we are reminded of the divinity of the Risen Christ. On his free will and in loving unity with the Father, Jesus the Son of God became one of us and as the Good Shepherd laid down his life in atonement of our sins. Having risen from the dead, Jesus provides the leadership, guidance and graces to His servants and followers to spread the Good News and live a life worthy of His Kingdom.

The Measure of Our Love for Him

posted Apr 13, 2018, 6:27 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Apr 13, 2018, 6:29 AM ]

15 April 2018 ( 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER )
The Measure of Our Love for Him
Through the sin of Adam, death, sin and suffering entered mankind. On top of that, Satan and his demons try their upmost best to divert us from the path of holiness by tempting us to go against God’s will. Mankind have fallen short of God’s glory and is in continual need of forgiveness for their sins. The old practice of sacrificing animals was a way for men to show their repentance from sin and faith in the future Sacrifice from God who would bear their penalty. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World. At the appointed time, the Man-God entered our world as one of us to teach us what God really wanted and to take our due punishment, in atonement of our sins. Our salvation has been paid with the blood and sufferings of Jesus, the Son of God. Are we taking His teachings as seriously as we should? If we truly love and accept Jesus, we would be spending time with Him in prayer, reading His Word and doing our best in observing His commandments and avoiding sin. What is the measure of our love for Him?

When in doubt

posted Apr 6, 2018, 8:59 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Apr 6, 2018, 9:01 AM ]

8 April 2018 ( DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY )
When in doubt
When the apostles told Thomas, they had seen the Risen Christ, Thomas reaction was not surprising. He refused to believe until he had “proof”. The crucifixion and death of Jesus was strong in Thomas’ mind - it broke his faith in Jesus. Having not grasped God’s plan of salvation, gone were the conviction received from the countless miracles he witnessed Jesus performed. Jesus accommodated Thomas’s unbelief by appearing to him and allowing Thomas to see and touch Him. Thomas responded by acknowledging Jesus as Lord and God. In times of doubt and spiritual struggles, let us not forget that God loves us, cares and understand us. Let us continue to seek Him & understand His will. We do this by strengthening our relationship with Him through daily prayer, the Mass and Sacraments and reading of His Holy Word. We can also revive our flagging spirits by reading and listening to inspirational books, audio, sermons and attending retreats and counselling (Romans 10:17). We can cry out as the man cried to Jesus, “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). And we can certainly trust the God of Love to answer us.

Because He lives – We can face our tomorrows

posted Mar 30, 2018, 5:48 PM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Mar 30, 2018, 5:49 PM ]

1 April 2018 ( Easter Sunday - Solemnity )
Because He lives – We can face our tomorrows
Today’s readings attest to the joyous glory of the Risen Christ. It’s so remarkable that Jesus not only prophesied His own suffering, death and resurrection – He accomplished it! With the power of the Risen Christ, bumbling Peter, doubting Thomas, the Apostles and the Church throughout the centuries have overcome obstacles, persecutions and even faced death in order to fulfil His command to bear witness for Him. Paul who previously persecuted the growing church, did a complete u-turn after the Risen Christ revealed Himself to him. As instructed, Paul zealously poured his heart into spreading his new found realization and faith in the Risen Christ to the Gentiles. In Christ Jesus, all prophesies by the Prophets regarding the Messiah are realized and in His resurrection, God’s plan of Salvation is complete. We can place our trust in Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega and accept God’s free gifts of forgiveness and eternal happiness. Having defeated Sin, Satan and Death, Jesus promised to be with us until the “end of time”. All because God truly loves us and wants us to be with Him (John 3: 16). Believers, let’s rejoice in the Risen Christ!

The Servant of the Lord

posted Mar 24, 2018, 6:48 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Mar 24, 2018, 6:49 AM ]

25 March 2018 ( PALM SUNDAY )
The servant of the Lord
This period we are coming to the central mystery of the Christian faith, the death & resurrection of Jesus. Today we see what is known as Palm Sunday, where Jesus goes to Jerusalem, ready to confront death. His enemies have been waiting for years to find a reason to get rid of Him. They’re confused by His simplicity, honesty, humility and His love to all (both Jews & gentiles). Jesus kept His eyes on his mission, despite the mocking, isolation & dangers. Despite His fears and doubts, moments where He lamented “why have you forsaken me?”, Jesus followed through in painful compliance with God’s will. Could we begin to follow Jesus’ footsteps in the measure of faith and obedience? It is a tremendous mission to undertake. Take comfort that the pain comes with hope, enduring the hardships (being different from popular cultures, taking a stand against all things wrong, speak up to remove injustices), knowing that we spread hope, as we are in union with God. Let’s work on supporting each other in abandoning ourselves into God’s hands, to be a servant for the Lord.

The hour of Jesus

posted Mar 16, 2018, 9:02 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Mar 16, 2018, 9:03 AM ]

18 March 2018 ( 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT )
The hour of Jesus
Jesus chose to follow God’s plan, to be the ultimate sacrifice for humankind, to be the conqueror of all deaths, overcoming everything. Jesus’ whole life as man was in preparation for this journey to His “hour”. His challenges were many, the people expected a glamorous God, the religious leaders were hostile & judged him based on the teachings of the old testament, then having to squeeze in time for Himself and God in the early morning hours before His busy day began. Would we be ready for our own “hour”? Metaphor of being a grain of wheat illustrates that the grain is nothing if it does not “fall to the ground” and “die”, it cannot grow into life giving food. We need consciously choose to go to the right place, perhaps metaphorically within our hearts and mind, or literally by going to church and enriching ourselves with God’s teachings. To die to our old self, to give up our vices, our old ways of being, so that we could prepare and say “yes” for our own ultimate “hour” for the Lord.

How God so loved the world

posted Mar 9, 2018, 7:07 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Mar 9, 2018, 7:08 AM ]

11 March 2018 ( 4TH SUNDAY OF LENT )

How God so loved the world
God so loved us that He gave us the ultimate light to remove all forms of darkness. It is perhaps too incredible for us to believe such a gift that we all have doubts about this possibility. Also that He would love us so unconditionally, no matter what we have done or not done, loving and forgiving us in a heartbeat. Another incredible fact of our God, unimaginable as often we find it so hard to forgive others & ourselves. Let us work on fighting these doubts, so that the light within us, given by the grace of God, can work its miracles. For we are his handiwork created for good works, even when it seems what we do or say has little impact. We live in a society where outcomes are being scrutinized, instantaneous results expected, let us by our lives, demonstrate that living by God’s measurement of success is the one worth fighting for. Live to discover our brothers and sisters, giving each a helping hand, so that in solidarity, we can work together to remove the darkness.

Temple of God

posted Mar 2, 2018, 4:55 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Mar 2, 2018, 4:56 AM ]

4 March 2018 ( 3RD SUNDAY OF LENT )
Temple of God
The temple of God, we hope, is a place of purity, safety and filled with love. A sanctuary for all who need shelter and help. How could we put enough effort into making aspects of our lives into places of sanctuary, for our family members, friends, colleagues? A refuge & a place of renewal where we help prepare one another to tackle the challenges of the world. Do we end up creating a market place in our quest for improvements in grades, pay or material gains. How do we become better without inciting sibling rivalry amongst our children, using putdowns, abandoning teamwork at work? Could we go back to Christian values and teachings, using the ten commandments as a framework to live by, and learn from Jesus’ life, how he demonstrated what it meant not to be enslaved by the laws, and free ourselves for a relationship of love with God and each other? From here we could become more reliant on God, rather than on human wisdom, find opportunities to create temples of God in every parts of our lives.

The Main Message Of The Transformation -- TRUST!

posted Feb 24, 2018, 6:06 AM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Feb 24, 2018, 6:07 AM ]

25 February 2018 ( 2ND SUNDAY OF LENT )
The Main Message Of The Transformation -- TRUST!
The Transfiguration of Jesus is a key event in the gospel during which it seems that the veil between heaven and earth opened long enough for us to catch a glimpse of heaven. The incident took place for Jesus' sake as much as for his followers' sake. For Jesus, it was to prepare him for his impending death on the cross. We have to remember that although Jesus was fully divine, he was also fully human. So the fear that Jesus felt was real. And the pain of crucifixion he would feel is no less than any other person of flesh and blood would feel. For the disciples Peter, James and John, it was more to prepare them for the aftermath of the crucifixion, when they would not have Jesus around. The voice from heaven that they heard said basically two things. The first part, "This is my Son, the Beloved" was to assure the disciples that Jesus was truly divine. The second part "Listen to him" was to say: Trust in Jesus, keep in mind his words now and especially during the chaotic period after the crucifixion. Stay the course, and you will find victory in the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter.

Preparing our hearts for Easter

posted Feb 16, 2018, 7:29 PM by Church of the Risen Christ   [ updated Feb 16, 2018, 7:30 PM ]

18 February 2018 ( 1ST SUNDAY OF LENT )
Preparing our hearts for Easter
This week we enter into the Holy Season of Lent. Lent means "spring", and springtime is associated with hope and fresh growth. But before experiencing growth we must, like Jesus, first go through the "desert experience" and encounter the "wild animals". What is this desert experience? It is the experience of dryness and deprivation. We need to experience the dark before we can fully appreciate the light. In the same way, it is when we go through the Lenten observation of fasting and penance that we can fully experience the joys of Easter. And like Jesus we, too, need to contend with the "wild animals" in our lives. "Wild animals" could mean different things for different people. To some of us it could be our passions and things that we find hard to control. To others it could be the bad habits and the things we find hard to give up. In fighting our selfish impulses, we strengthen our will. And through the grace of God we will overcome our wieldy passions and experience the joys of Easter, which is Christ's victory over sin and death.

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