To hear the Audio Reflections of Saturday, June 23, 2018 click HERE
Friday, 22 June 2018
Saturday, June 23, 2018 - How often do I try to be in two places at the same time or at two times in the same place?
To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Chronicles 24:17-25; Mt 6:24-34
The text of today begins by stating a general rule that undivided attention can be given to one person alone at a time. If there is more than one, then the disciple’s loyalty is certainly split. One must decide whether one will allow oneself to be controlled by wealth and the things of this world, or whether one will realise that they cannot bring true happiness.
The prohibition, “Do not worry” dominates the rest of this pericope and is used six times in it. The call to look at nature (the birds of the air and the lilies of the field) is a call to learn how God in his providence provides for them. This does not mean that human beings do not have to work for their living, rather it means that even after working as hard as they can, humans must realise the life is much more than simply work and earning a living. It has also to do with being.
There are indeed many distractions in life, which sometimes can take us away from where we ought to look and focus. While planning is good and desirable, what is undesirable is useless worry or anxiety. When we stir the sugar in our coffee or tea every morning we are already thinking of drinking it. When we are drinking our coffee or tea, we are already thinking of washing the cup. When we are washing our cup, we are already thinking or drying it When we are drying it, we are already thinking of placing it on the rack and when we are placing it on the rack we are already thinking of what we have to do next. We have not stirred the sugar, nor have we have drunk the coffee, nor have we washed it nor placed it on the rack. If one takes one moment of one day at a time and gives of one’s best to that moment, life will be well lived.
Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 2 Chronicles 24:17-25; Mt 6:24-34
Thursday, 21 June 2018
Friday, June 22, 2018 - If you were given the chance to take just ONE THING with you when you die, what would it be?
To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20; Mt 6:19-23
The section that begins in 6:19 concerns knowing where one’s priorities lie. Treasure stored on earth is of not much use because it is temporary and passing and gathers rust. It can also be stolen. Heavenly treasure in contrast is permanent and eternal. A person’s attention will be concentrated on where his/her treasure is. Thus instead of concentrating on the temporary it is better to concentrate on the eternal, the impermanent.
If one does not perceive correctly, one’s whole orientation will be incorrect and one will live a life of futility, concentrating on what is really not essential.
Sometimes we lose focus in our lives and waste so much time on trifles. We are so concentrated on gathering up for tomorrow and the next day, that the present day passes us by and we find that we have live it unaware. An occasional examination of our priorities is required to bring back our focus on what is really necessary.
Friday, June 22, 2018 - 2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20; Mt 6:19-23
Wednesday, 20 June 2018
Thursday, June 21, 2018 - St. Aloysius Gonzaga SJ - When was the last time you performed an action with no expectation of reward? Will you perform such an action today?
To read the texts click on the texts: 2 Cor 9:6-11; Mt 6:1-6,16-18
Aloysius de Gonzaga was born in Castiglione, Italy in 1568. His father wanted him to join military service, but by the age of nine Aloysius had decided on a religious life, and made a vow of perpetual virginity.
A kidney disease prevented St. Aloysius from a full social life for a while, so he spent his time in prayer and reading the lives of the saints. Although he was appointed a page in Spain, Gonzaga kept up his many devotions and austerities, and was quite resolved to become a Jesuit. His family eventually moved back to Italy, where he taught catechism to the poor. When he was 18, he joined the Jesuits, after finally breaking down his father, who had refused his entrance into the order. He served in an hospital during the plague of 1587 in Milan, and died from it at the age of 23, in 1591, after receiving the anointing from Robert Bellarmine.
He was canonised in 1726 and is regarded as the patron Saint of youth.
The text chosen for today is from part of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. It concerns three pious practices that were prevalent at the time of Jesus: almsgiving, prayer and fasting. These are used as examples of what true and false righteousness means. In each case, after mention of the pious practice, the Matthean Jesus explicates how it must not be done and why, and then goes on to explain how it must be done and why. In each case there is a contrast between public and secret and between external and internal.
Jesus uses hyperbolic language when he speaks of how almsgiving must not be done and uses similar hyperbole when he states how it must be done. Almsgiving must not be ostentatious but in humility and secret. When speaking of prayer, a distinction is made between prayer which is done for show and prayer which stems from the heart. The former makes itself an end in itself, the latter regards prayer as a mean to reach God. Finally, in the third pious practice, fasting, a distinction is made between fasting that is done to impress others and fasting that is motivated by an inner conviction. If one is convinced from within, then one will want it to be as inconspicuous as possible.
The reason for the choice of this Gospel text is because Aloysius understood completely the words of Jesus. His motivation to do good came from within. His desire to serve the poor and the sick was without expectation of reward. The austerities he practiced were for the sole reason of ‘feeling with others’. His reaching out to the plague ridden of his time was because it was a need and he was willing to do all that he could to cater to that need. Indeed, Aloysius internalised every pious practice, because of which his righteousness was pleasing in the eyes of God.
Thursday, June 21, 2018 - Is there someone who you think has hurt you whom you have not yet forgiven? Will you forgive that person today?
To read the the texts click on the texts: Sirach 48:1-14; Mt 6:7-15
In the text of today, we read what is commonly known as the "Our Father". However, a better term for this would be "The Lord's Prayer". The reason for this is because there are two versions of the same prayer. The other is found in Lk. 11:2-4. There, the pronoun "Our" is missing and the prayer begins simply with "Father".
Also the context of the prayer in Matthew and Luke is different. While in Matthew the prayer is told in the context of the Sermon of the Mount, in Luke it is told in response to the disciples’ request to Jesus to teach them how to pray (Lk 11:1).
Be that as it may, in both Matthew and Luke the point is clear that the prayer is primarily a prayer of dependence on God who is Father. This dependence is for something as dramatic and magnificent as the Kingdom and also for something as routine and regular as bread. Both prayers have also the theme of forgiveness, which is received from God and given to others.
The Lord’s Prayer is not just a prayer; it is also a way of life. The words of the prayer communicate the attitude that one must have toward God and others. While we must acknowledge our dependence on God for everything that we need and regard him always as the primary cause, our attitude to others must be one of acceptance and forgiveness.