Reflections

Battling Worldly Allurements

posted Oct 13, 2017, 8:27 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Oct 13, 2017, 8:28 AM ]

15 October 2017 ( 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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How foolish the Pharisees were in their stubbornness and refusal to heed the warnings of Jesus. He gave them every opportunity to renounce their ways. His divine heart was ever ready to embrace them if only they would acknowledge their own faults. We too could make the same mistake the Pharisees did if we do not stand guard and do battle against the allurement of the world whenever it tries to blot out the things that are God’s. The impediment of the love of this world, its wealth and its pleasures must be conquered through a daily struggle against our own evil inclinations and a daily endeavor in striving towards love of God and neighbor. Christ did not ask anyone to do the impossible. He led the way, and millions have followed him to eternal glory. He has called us too and has placed within our easy reach in his Church all the grace and strength we need through the Sacraments and the spiritual food in the letter to the Philippians. If we fail to use these tools, we would then be deprived of the blessings of the messianic kingdom.

Working For God’s Honour And Glory

posted Oct 6, 2017, 6:12 PM by Risen Christ   [ updated Oct 6, 2017, 6:12 PM ]

8 October 2017 ( 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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In the first reading from the prophet Isaiah, we see God under the image of the wine grower who had done everything He had to make his vineyard fertile and productive in order for His Chosen People to bear fruit. All He asked in return was their cooperation. Despite Israel having other plans God was patient with them; again and again He pardoned their infidelities. He sent prophets to turn them back to Him, but they maltreated these messengers of God and refused to heed their warnings. Today’s gospel is a parallel to the first reading heard today. It provokes the question: “Are we producing the grapes and the wine that our divine Master expects of us? “ If our answer is "yes, I am living a true Christian life, I am working for God's honour and glory and for my own eternal salvation," then our response should be one of “prayer and thanksgiving,” trusting as Paul’s letter to the Philippians says, “that the peace of God which is so much greater than we can understand will guard your hearts and thoughts, in Christ Jesus.

Repent, Renew, Reconcile

posted Sep 29, 2017, 7:11 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Sep 29, 2017, 7:11 AM ]

1 October 2017 ( 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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A notion prevalent among the Jews in the time of the prophet Ezekiel in today’s First Reading is one where children would be punished for the sins of their parents. Ezekiel overturns that notion by telling his audience that each person is responsible for their own sin because Man possesses a free will, the just man may turn to a life of debauchery and likewise the sinner may repent. If we have repented and reconciled we must be wary of hypocrisy and live a life of unity in love and mutual charity as stated in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. St Matthew’s parable in today’s Gospel warns against it for all eternity revealing the hypocrisy of the chief priests and elders of the Jews, and the perilous position in which they stood in relation to God and heaven. While we are at God’s door, His mercy is wide open to us. We still have time to reverse that sinful decision. Not only can we with God's grace turn over a new leaf, but we can completely wipe out the sinful pages of our life's story written up to now.

A Glimpse Into The Mind Of God

posted Sep 22, 2017, 6:08 PM by Risen Christ   [ updated Sep 22, 2017, 6:09 PM ]

24 September 2017 ( 25 th Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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Blaise Pasqual comes close to understanding the thinking of God when he said, "The heart has reasons that reason cannot know." We can never understand the mind of God though logic or reason alone. We tend to like a person because his kind or generous or entertaining. And we value him by the amount of effort he puts in and the results he produces. The moment he is not able to meet our expectations, we stop loving him or we lower his value rating. But God operates on a completely different plane. God loves because he loves. God does not reward us according to what we do but by the motivation of our heart. We see that Paul would be too happy to die for Christ, because that would mean he gets to go back to Christ. But he is willing to struggle on in the flesh if that is what it takes to bring more people to Christ. As disciples of Christ, we know we are on the right track when more and more we are willing to do things that please God even though they are difficult, unpleasant and unglamorous.

Forgive others as God forgives us

posted Sep 15, 2017, 7:26 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Sep 15, 2017, 7:27 AM ]

17 September 2017 ( 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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This week's gospel reading tells of a man who owed his master what is equivalent to tens of thousands of dollars today, and could not repay it. His master took pity on him and wrote off his debt. Yet when this same man met a fellow worker who owed him just a few hundred dollars, he demanded every cent back. Was it simply a case of lack of self- awareness? Some people would pick on the smallest faults in others but could never see that they themselves are a major irritation to other people. More likely, it is a case of hypocrisy and double standards. The man received mercy and understanding, and it didn't occur to him that he has the moral obligation to be doing the same for others. The next time we are tempted to be harsh and judgemental towards others, let us recall how God has been kind and generous in forgiving our faults and failings. In every situation, we find ourselves in which we should apply The Golden Rule and do to others what we would like for others to do to us.

True Love

posted Sep 8, 2017, 7:51 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Sep 8, 2017, 7:51 AM ]

10 September 2017 ( 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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How do we tell our best friend that what he is doing is blatantly against what we truly believe is wrong? Would we risk loosing this valued friendship? The first reading strongly tells us to warn a brother living a sin, of the wrong he is doing, as we would ultimately be responsible for his sinful death. That we cannot live oblivious to the plight of others, concerned only for our own salvation. So how could we begin to help our brother? The second reading states that one commandment overrides all else “Love thy neighbour as you would yourself”. Then the Gospel explains how we could approach our brother of the wrong he has done. We need to speak with reverence and kindness, bring in sincere witnesses, not to shame him more, but to allow him to see all angles so as to make wiser choices. We need to use all the skills, compassion and love that God has given us and all other resources possible to help him. Above all we do it not out of anger or condemnation but out of love for him and his salvation.

Following God’s plan

posted Sep 1, 2017, 9:40 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Sep 1, 2017, 9:40 AM ]

3 September 2017 ( 22 nd Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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Jesus shows us what it takes to follow God’s will. Today we may see and hear many things that sounds good, but are they? We feel inclined to agree and endorse these ‘good’ ideas. Are we thinking as men do? Jesus did not hesitate to reprimand Peter, knowing Peter may be hurt by his rebuke. Would we find the courage to go against our loved ones when we know they may be hurt, and in turn we may be rejected? When we know our betters are going against God’s teachings, would we dare to question our superiors, leaders or anyone in positions of power, as Jesus begun doing with the Pharisees? When it comes to ourselves, being successful is a good thing, to achieve our goals show commitment, but Jesus said, to follow Him we must deny ourselves, deny our deepest idea of self. Keeping Jesus from any harm ought to have been a good thing, but that would mean going against God’s plan for Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Let us pray for the possibility to be more like Jesus in accepting and following God’s plan.

Accept Jesus [NOW] For Who He Is & Do What He Requires Of You!

posted Aug 25, 2017, 7:34 PM by Risen Christ   [ updated Aug 25, 2017, 7:34 PM ]

27 August 2017 ( 21 st Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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Through God’s providence, Peter realised the essence of Jesus’s true identity. Peter was the first apostle to recognise Jesus as the Christ (Anointed One, Messiah) & the only begotten Son of the Living God. In calling Jesus, the Son of God, Peter indicates that Jesus is God & that death has no power over Him. Since Jesus Himself is the Son, & as the Son takes up all things from God the Father, let us then adore Jesus in our hearts & lives unreservedly, because there is no one who escapes His power & judgement. How miserable for those who misinterpret, deny & reject the divinity of Jesus Christ! As for us, whether cradle Catholic or convert, do we really believe in Jesus as God, Messiah & Saviour? Do we conduct our lives as He requires us to? Or, have we all this while, been looking but not seeing, hearing but not listening, seeking yet not accepting, attending Church services yet not believing? On Judgement Day, would a simple yet familiar question posed by The Judge; “Who do you say I am?” render us silent, ashamed & infinitely regretful?

Regardless of Race, Gender & Position

posted Aug 18, 2017, 9:05 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Aug 18, 2017, 9:05 AM ]

20 August 2017 ( 20 th Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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Paul is sad that his fellow Jews have not accepted God’s gift of salvation: Jesus Christ. Their rejection of Jesus had led to His crucifixion & death. The gift of salvation through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was now freely available to anyone. As Paul saw many gentiles accepting Jesus, how he hoped that his fellow Jews were doing the same! Do we have same desire for our loved ones, relatives & friends who have yet to know& accept Christ? In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus test a gentile woman to see if she was earnest in receiving a gift of deliverance - from a Holy God. The Gentile woman’s persistent & willing to suffer rebuff in order to obtain healing for her child. No one who seeks Jesus in earnest & sincere faith was ever refused His help. Jesus accepts anyone who seeks, loves & obey him, regardless of race, gender & position. As Christians, are we holy, loving, forgiving, fair & honest? If we are not, we can’t say that we have accepted Jesus as our Lord & Saviour. Can we?

We Serve A Living, Loving & Almighty God !

posted Aug 11, 2017, 8:59 AM by Risen Christ   [ updated Aug 11, 2017, 9:00 AM ]

13 August 2017 ( 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time )

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Isn’t it heartening to know we can count on God’s unconditional love, faithfulness & care to help us in our walk of life? Elijah was fleeing from Queen Jezebel who wanted to revenge the deaths of the prophets of Baal. God manifested his powers over the elements & showed Elijah who should be feared instead. God also gave Elijah instructions with ramifications for the royal house of Israel. Peter did walked on the water. However, after having noticed the wind, he began to sink (Matthew 14: 30). As we make efforts to grow in our faith in Jesus, do we allow the vicious winds & the deep dark sea of our world to shake our faith in Him? At moments of our darkest nights, do we, like Peter, reach out to our Lord & hold Him firmly? Every time fumbling Peter fell, he rose again - with Jesus’s help. His failures only made him love & trust the Lord more deeply. Let us cling & fix our steady gaze on Jesus, our Model of Holiness & pride ourselves only in Him! Remember, we serve a Living, Loving & Almighty God!

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