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Reflections and Prayers

Together, let us pray for the needs of our brothers and sisters. Please remember these intentions in your prayers.
If you would like to post and share a refection and/or prayer on this site please use the above request link.



Loving God,
You Speak to us through your
living WORD.
Your WORD tells us your story.
Your WORD conforts our lives.
Your WORD challenges the way we live.
Help us live your WORD each day.



Week of January 24, 2011



One of the greatest challenges of our world is to trust in the power of forgiveness and to fully understand and believe in the reconciling love that God offers each one of us.
In the gospel today, Jesus calls together his followers, despite the fear of ridicule, and speaks to them about their understanding of unity, and of reconciliation within themselves. Jesus emphasizes that it is impossible to live a life that is fully worthy of God’s reconciling love if we continue to make judgments, to criticize and to inflict our own ideals on others.
We need to first forgive the ourselves before we can forgive others: then we will truly see the presence of God within ourselves and within others. It is in this we sing a new song to the Lord.

O God, I need to feel that I have forgiveness from You.
So often my good intentions do not become what I want them to be, and so often the good I want to do, I don’t do.
It is hard to face up to the wrong that is in my life. When I feel Your forgiveness, I feel clean and good inside and so free to be what You want me to be. Help me feel this goodness, and strengthen me to forgive those who have wronged me.
I pray in the name of Christ who shows us the way to Your forgiving presence. Amen.
Kids talking

 Week of January 17, 2011

Reflection on the Word

As we are called by God through the spirit, the Christian body needs an open ear so it can be attuned to God’s call and presence and respond. This openness, is of course a challenge in our noisy, busy and distracting world. But if we are to create a ‘culture of vocations’ – an ambiance in which believers can hear God’s call – those open ears are absolutely necessary! But the ears may just be an image of the whole person – eyes, heart and mind – whose openness is needed. God’s voice speaks in the poor, and asks for justice and generosity in response to their needs God’s voice speaks in the lonely and marginalized , and invites our compassion. God’s voice speaks in the cries of those oppressed by war, violence and by injustice, and asks for our solidarity.
Boy giving man a sandwich
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Week of January 10, 2011
A Reflection on the Baptism

As we celebrate Jesus’ baptism, Isaiah reminds us that the message Jesus brings to our world is a message of justice and tenderness: God will not crush those who are “bruised” by the injustices of life, our hope dimmed, let us take time to listen and allow the comfort and strength of these words to sink into our being!
At the same time, let us be mindful of others struggling around us, whether we know their struggles or not – perhaps a confident young person, a family member. Let us resolve to crush no one, nor to put out anyone’s light by our impatience or dismissal or gossip, or by participating in injustice. Let us reach out with care and stand always for justice. When we do, we join ourselves to Jesus’ ministry. And just as God is well pleased with Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to strengthen him for the challenges ahead, so too we will receive God’s blessing and strength for our journey.
Man with Haitian children

Lead me from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
Peace, peace, peace. 
Week of January 3, 2011
A Reflection for Epiphany Sunday

During Advent, the world was in darkness, and we prayed and waited in the spirit of the Jewish nation which lived in expectation of the Coming Light during thousands of years. At Christmas the Light shone forth, but dimly, seen only by a few around the crib: Mary and Joseph and the shepherds. But at Epiphany the Light bursts forth to all nations and the prophecy is fulfilled: "The Gentiles shall walk in Thy light, and kings in the brightness of Thy rising." The mysterious star of Epiphany, "flashing like a flame," is still another facet of the light-motif, a symbol capable of being interpreted in a dozen different ways.
Epiphany lifts our eyes from the family celebrations and demands that we should include in our vision "all the ends of the earth." It demands that, like the three wise men, we should have the courage to follow the light of the star we have seen, however hazardous the journey; that the light of our faith, like that of the wise men, should be so strong that we are able to see and recognize our Lord and Ruler in however unexpected a way He may present Himself to us; and that having recognized Him, we should bow down and adore Him, offering Him our total loyalty.

Moreover, Epiphany demands that like these kings we should return to our own countries a different way, carrying to all those we meet the light of Christ. "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth," says the Epistle of the Epiphany Mass, "and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon Thee, and His glory shall be seen upon Thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in Thy light. . ." These words may be applied to us, upon whom the light of Christ has indeed risen, and who have the responsibility to radiate that light in the darkness of our own world. It is clear how much the feast of Epiphany must mean to all who are engaged in the apostolate and are striving to extend the kingdom of Christ.

O God,
you revealed your Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star.
Lead us to your glory in heaven
by the light of faith.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen


Sunset behind a mountain

Week of December 13, 2010

Reflection & Prayer

At the beginning of the new Church year, Advent invites each one of us to start over, to leave behind the familiar and venture into the unknown! Part of that can be letting go of preconceived notions about who Jesus is and how he should work in our lives, and opening ourselves up to new possibilities. With John the Baptist as our guide, let us begin today to discover anew the Jesus born into the world at Christmas.
“When the song of the angels is stilled;
When the star in the sky is gone;
When the kings and priests are home;
When the shepherds are back with their flocks…….
The work of Christmas begins …..
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among peoples …..
To make music in the heart!”
Mary and Joseph following the North Star
Week of December 5, 2010

Reflection & Prayer

In today’s gospel, John calls us to repent. We are called to reject our global culture of death. He tells us of someone coming after him baptizing with the Holy Spirit and fire. Can we hear John’s voice in today’s gospel and turn from the path we are on?
Hunger, disease and poverty – both the source and result of conflicts today – have to be vanquished. We must forsake old hatreds and intolerance. Through Jesus we can truly hope that the wolf will live with the lamb.
Rocks in hands reading "Hope, faith, peace, love, believe"
‘My Gift’
What can I give Him
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would give Him a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part-
But what can I give Him,
Give my heart.
Week of November 22, 2010

Reflection & Prayer
“Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” There are things that should not be put off, opportunities for good that shouldn’t be missed! In today’s gospel we are aware of a sense of urgency; we do not know how much time we have, so we must be prepared to act. We cannot merely dream.

On a larger scale, we must go beyond visualizing peace to actually working for peace – in our own lives, within our families, communities and society.

What are the steps we can take, the attitudes we can adopt, the organizations we can support, the lessons we can learn in the cause of peace.
Hands holding world

For the Church, Advent is the beginning of a new year. This year, let us make a new year’s resolution to become more fully people of peace.
 As a Catholic community, let’s work together at M.P.S.J. to lift the spirit of the vulnerable this Christmas by generously adopting as many families as possible!
*For opportunities, contact the Chaplaincy Department.
Week of November 22, 2010
Reflection & Prayer
Today’s gospel forces us to ask what type of King-Messiah Jesus was in his very short reign of possibly only one year of active ministry; how do we identify who Jesus is for us when we think of him as the Anointed One, the Messiah? We continue reading the passage of Luke and discover that only the criminal who realized that Jesus was innocent was the one who grasped something about the real Jesus dying on the Cross. He prays, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus, the merciful one, responds with “this day you shall be with me in paradise.” Luke has offered an image of a prophetic messiah. His role is similar to that of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. Jesus, the anointed one, was a merciful and kind person in his rule which was not of this world. He dies in order that we may be saved by his blood. This king messiah, who has done nothing wrong, is the Messiah. Only the thief affirms in Luke 23:41 that Jesus is innocent.
Jesus had come to put his arms of mercy around sinners and hug them. To the last he is very true to that kingly vocation. In the lastwords of the Gospel, words with which the entire Liturgical Year is brought to completion, he opens the gates of his kingdom to a repentant sinner: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” These are the words we all long to hear, words that are empty when coming from one who has no authority but charged with power when spoken by the one who is King over us all.”
Priest with a man with head bent

O my God, I love you above all things with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.
Week of November 15, 2010
Reflection & Prayer
The reading s at this time in the church year ask us to focus on the Lord’s return. They call us to stand against injustice and to thirst for peace, to long for the future that the Messiah will bring. We don’t know when that day will come. We have been told to work to build the kingdom; not to sit and wait. We do so knowing that the Messiah comes even now into our lives

- not in all fullness, but with us nonetheless. Strengthened by his presence, we long for and work for righteousness and healing. We see with the eyes of hope that the Lord is, indeed, on the way!
Man looking at food in a food bank
Week of November 8, 2010
The question in today’s gospel is posed by the Sadducees – the ones who say there is no resurrection. There is no solution and they did not want one; they wanted to make a fool out of Jesus by demonstrating how pointless it is to believe in eternal life.
As we live, we grow into knowing that we will die. The media bring us the local, national and international tragedies of violence, ware and terrorism and the awful power of earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters! Moreover, our own families and friendships draw us into the horror of car accidents, the miseries of terminal illness, the gentle ending to a long and honourable life, the last breath of a person we love, the unexpected loss of life before birth, the mystery of suicide….
We do not have the answers about life after death. We cannot tell how it works or what it will look like. What we do know is that we are followers of Jesus who are called to participate in the paschal mystery; with faith, we are certain that from darkness there is light and life!
Please keep in your prayers; Mr. Zucatti who is recovering while at home and Mrs. De Mello who fell ill while at school on Friday afternoon.
Sunset above trees
Week of Oct 25, 2010
Jesus' parable speaks about the nature of prayer and our relationship with God. It does this by contrasting two very different attitudes towards prayer. The Pharisee, who represented those who take pride in their religious practices, exalted himself at the expense of others. Absorbed with his own sense of self-satisfaction and self-congratulation he mainly prayed with himself. His prayer consisted of prideful boasts of what he did and of disdain for those he despised. The Pharisee tried to justify himself; but only God can justify. The tax collector, who represented those despised by religious people, humbled himself before God and begged for mercy. His prayer was heard by God because he had remorse for his sins. He sought God with humility rather than with pride.
Rainbow tree
This parable presents both an opportunity and a warning. Pride leads to illusion and self-deception. Humility helps us to see ourselves as we really are and it inclines us to God's grace and mercy. God dwells with the humble of heart who recognize their own sinfulness and who acknowledge God's mercy and saving grace. 
Week of Oct 17, 2010
There are two sides to Sunday’s readings. One theme is “Do not get tired when you are praying.” The other is, when you do, there will be support. Jesus is the one who announces the non-tiredness rule. “Pray always without becoming weary.” But in the Gospel, in order to illustrate why we should keep praying (asking for things) and not grow tired, Jesus tells a parable about the unjust judge and a widow who does not stop asking. Yet most of us have experienced drowsiness when we try to pray. Jesus says, “not get tired when you are praying.” The other side to the reading is, when you do get weary, there will be support.
Jesus’ parable goes on to describe that with very little to lose, a widow comes to public court every single day and demands justice from the admittedly bored judge. After a while the judge thinks to himself, if I don’t do something this woman will humiliate me in front of everyone. I give up. I will rule in her favour.
The point we are given for this parable is: how much more will God—who certainly is not bored—make sure we have what we need. The widow’s persistence is therefore an example for all of us.
Fall trees with gospel quote
Week of October 3, 2010
The Gospel reading starts as a genuine prayer of the apostles - Lord "increase our faith". The apostles realized that faith was a gift from God, for no one can earn or buy it. Without directly responding to the request of the apostles, Jesus used the image of uprooting a tree through the incredible power of faith. The tree is an image of the status quo of violence and destruction of human life. With the smallest amount of faith – the size of a mustard seed - one can uproot a large tree like the mulberry tree (with long roots). Jesus exaggerates to make the point that genuine faith has a transforming power for us and for the world. If we are faithfully united to Christ, we can be transformed into more effective instruments of the Lord in transforming our culture's ways. As faithful disciples, we are challenged to make our choice: to serve Jesus Christ or to remain indifferent.
Lord, give me the grace to do my best in all my studies.
Through all things I learn,
may I come to know and to love you better.
Rather than my own profit,
may your honour and glory and the service of others
be the motive that inspires me.
Give me a love of the truth,
perseverance in difficulties,
modesty in success and cheerfulness in failure.
Student reading
Week of September 27, 2010
Reflection & Prayer:
The parable of the rich man (with no name in Luke) and Lazarus is a perfect response from Jesus to the Pharisees who categorized the poor as sinners. The rich man represents the leaders of Israel who have failed to listen to God’s invitation to salvation. With the story of the rich man dressed in royal purple and Lazarus "dressed in sores", the stage is set for a dramatic change in fortunes. Lazarus, who represents those who accept God’s invitation in Christ, was not only poor, but sick and handicapped. He was laid at the gates of the rich man's house daily to eat the scraps from his table. Dogs licked the sores of Lazarus as it were, feasting on him. The rich man dinned lavishly daily. He could have opened the gate and helped the Lazarus, but he did not. He was so blinded by his possessions that he did not even see Lazarus. Moreover, his possessions led him to isolate himself from the rest of the community around. In the parable, Jesus paints a dramatic scene of contrasts: riches and poverty, heaven and hell, compassion and indifference, inclusion and exclusion. There is also an abrupt and dramatic reversal of fortunes. We are told that the poor man died and carried by angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried! The contrast continues with the rich man being rejected and tormented hell, while Lazarus is accepted and happy in heaven. The rich man becomes a beggar with not even a drop of water, while Lazarus is rich in God's life. Just as there was a gap between the rich man and Lazarus on earth, now there is a great chasm between the two. The rich man was condemned not because of his possessions, but because, blinded by his possessions, he failed to notice Lazarus who was at his door daily longing for scraps from his table. What message do we take home this Sunday?
1) To appreciate more fully this parable, one needs to keep in mind the contrasts outlined by Jesus in the beatitudes (Lk 6) - the poor are blest, but woe to the rich; the hungry are blest, but woe to the full.
 2) The parable challenges us to be more compassionate towards the poor, and to be more involved in our parish social ministry that give attention to the poor and less fortunate.
3) Jesus wants us to remind us that first of all there is hell and heaven; that our daily choices have consequences either leading us to heaven or to hell.
 4) Lazarus has not gone away but still at our gates. To notice or to ignore Lazarus has eternal consequences beyond this life.
Week of September 19, 2010

It is precisely through Jesus’ parables that we have heard how he tried to teach the rich and the powerful. He told them that they needed to change their lives if they wanted to follow him. And that is because a person who mistreats his brothers and sisters in Christ can not call himself or herself a follower of Christ.
Almost every day we come across people as ambitious as the administrator. They are people who toil to obtain money without considering how they get it. They run over the most needy of their brothers and sisters. The most important thing for them is to live comfortably going up the social ladder as rapidly as possible. Those of us who call ourselves Christians have the obligation to protest when we see things like this. We should struggle against avarice and injustice just as Jesus Christ did in his times.

Give me, O Lord, the strength to see my weakness
For what it truly is – and to recognize the need
To lean upon you through others, and to support
them in turn.
Stretch me, Lord, that I may learn my limit and
Grow beyond who I am at this moment, drawing
always nearer to you through those around me.

Week of June 14
Alexander Pope is the man who wrote the now well-known saying, “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” There is, of course, great truth to that statement. Human beings are notoriously prone to error. We can mess up any good thing. God is the author of forgiveness. God shows us by example how to forgive, even though we human beings would often rather chop off our own hands than forgive someone who cut us off in traffic.
It can also be extremely difficult for human beings to receive forgiveness. If I am willing to receive forgiveness, I have necessarily admitted that I am guilty or that I have failed. It is not easy to do that. I am sure you have experienced that inner dialogue in which you say to yourself, “I don’t need to be forgiven by you. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
To accept the forgiveness of someone else also seems to put myself in a subordinate position to the one who has forgiven. The forgiver is one up on the one who was forgiven. And of course, the bigger the offense, then the bigger the gap between forgiver and forgivee. Forgiveness between human beings can stir up a complex mix of emotions.
Today’s scripture, though, isn’t about the ways we do or do not forgive each other. Today’s story is about a woman who felt deeply that she had been forgiven. She felt as if there were no strings attached, but that she had been simply relieved of a burden that had dogged her life. And she was grateful, so thankful that she came weeping and poured out ointment on the feet of the one who was to her the sign of God’s forgiveness. 
Man kneeling before Jesus
A Prayer for Hope

Lord, I am so happy that you offer us hope and not chiding. You hold out life and freedom and hope.
When with tentative faith we take hold of your words and your promise, fill us afresh with your joy.
Some of my brothers and sisters reading these words have been battered and beat up emotionally and spiritually. They have lost whatever confidence they once had, and can only see a tiny glimmer of your hope.
Today I ask you to pour out upon them your full dose of hope and renewal and cleansing that you showered upon the woman that came to Simon's house to say such an eloquent "thank-you." We, too, thank you, Lord. And we love you -- greatly. In your powerful and Shalom-producing Name, we pray.
Week of June 7, 2010
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The solemnity underlines our unity (communion) with Christ - the Body, and we - his members. While the Body and Blood of Christ nourishes us spiritually, we can easily forget and neglect the social justice dimension of the Eucharist. Our Catechism (1397) tells us: “To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brothers and sisters”. The Eucharist sustains us as the body of Christ in the world following the mission of Jesus to the poor (Lk 4:16-19).
The Eucharistic meal is shared equally by the faithful. There is no division. Yet we often leave this “meal” and divide/discriminate against our brothers and sisters according to the social categories in which we place them. Continued injustice, discrimination and other forms of structural injustices reflect either a lack of understanding of the social dimensions of the Eucharist or a lack of willingness to act on the social imperatives of the Eucharist. Our celebration of the Eucharist therefore cannot be divorced from the injustices around us. “The Eucharist commits us to the poor” (Catechism, 1397). The US Catholic Bishops in 2003 said that, the Eucharist challenges us “to seek a place at the table of life for all God’s children” (cf. A Place at the Table).
The readings help us to understand the relation between the Eucharist and this universal mission of the Church towards the poor. The Gospel of Luke on the miracle of the multiplication of loaves underlines this social-justice dimension pointing to Christ’s compassion and love renewed every day at Eucharistic celebration. By eating this heavenly food, we become one with Christ, sharing in his life, his strength, his purpose and mission.
Nun feeding a boy
“Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought it--or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for your hands meeting his across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot or suffer a lot--or die a little, even. - Daniel Berrigan”
by David Farley
"Though I'm just a boy with some bread and a couple of fishes,
I'll give them to this hungry crowd and to the one who knows my wounds and wishes.
And I pray he works a miracle for the ones who the world leaves empty,
For we who struggle and starve while the few cling tight to their plenty.
This is my prayer. This is my prayer. This is my prayer. This is my prayer. This is my prayer.
For those who work on the land, for those who plant the seed,
For those who work with their hands to bring us the food we need
Thanks be to God and blessings on all who labor.
Thanks be to God and justice for all our neighbors.
This is my prayer.
Come all who hunger and thirst and bring what you have to share,
It may seem so little at first, but soon there'll be plenty there.
For the one who made heaven and earth, the one who brought forth the waters
Has given the fruits of the earth to all life's sons and daughters.
Though I'm just a boy with some bread and a couple of fishes
I'll give them to this hungry crowd and to the one who knows my wounds and wishes
This is my prayer. This is my prayer."
Man eating at soup kitchen
Week of Trinity Sunday – May 30 – June 5
Lord, please, help me to find good employment for the next year. Thank you. - Mariya Shymonovych
Reflection on the Word
Trinity Sunday, also known as Holy Trinity Sunday, is celebrated a week after Pentecost Sunday in honor of the most fundamental of Christian beliefs—belief in the Holy Trinity. We can never fully understand the mystery of the Trinity, but we can sum it up in the following formula: God is three Persons in one Nature. The three Persons of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are all equally God, and They cannot be divided.
The solemnity of the Holy Trinity is a powerful reminder for us that the mystery of God cannot be limited to one word. We have come to know, through Jesus, that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We need not be able to explain how this works, however we are called to recognize that God’s love has been poured into our hearts. God is love: fullness of love. God is life: fullness of life.

God, we praise you:
Father all-powerful,
Christ Lord and Savior,
Spirit of Love.
You reveal yourself in the depths of our being,
drawing us to share in your life and your love.
One God, three Persons,
be near to the people formed in your image,
close to the world your love brings to life.
We ask you this, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, true and living, forever and ever
Art with Dove and Jesus' face
Week of ‘Pentecost Sunday’ May 23 – 30
In the gospel, Jesus assures his followers that he will give them “another Advocate, to be with you forever.” This Spirit, Jesus promises, “will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”
What a fire at Pentecost! It is still burning, changing our world into a new heaven and a new earth. And we, the Spirit’s envoys, are challenged to keep the Pentecost fire burning within our hearts, our families, our schools and our world.

Almighty God,
you kindled this day the light of your Spirit
in the hearts of your faithful people;
may we by the same Spirit
have a right judgment in all things,
and evermore rejoice in your love and power;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
The Seventh Week of Easter – May 16-23
The gift of the Spirit at Pentecost is a recurring event in the life of the Church. Today we can receive and enjoy the Spirit in a new and exciting way. Don't be afraid to cry out, 'Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful.' What can prevent us from being filled with the Spirit is that we rely too heavily on our own ability, not necessarily realizing that even this is given to us by God. Our confidence in ourselves is often greater than our confidence in God! We need to be humbled by our own limitations and overwhelmed by our own weakness, so that we can pray with heartfelt conviction:

Our capacity to receive the Spirit is determined by our attitude. The Spirit retreats from self-reliance, self-confidence and self-assurance, but is quick to comfort the broken-hearted, the poor in spirit, the needy and the humble. The disciples were filled with the Spirit because they were empty in themselves; they had discovered the secret of receiving the Spirit.

The gift of the Spirit at Pentecost is a recurring event in the life of the Church. Today we can receive and enjoy the Spirit in a new and exciting way. Don't be afraid to cry out, 'Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful.' What can prevent us from being filled with the Spirit is that we rely too heavily on our own ability, not necessarily realizing that even this is given to us by God. Our confidence in ourselves is often greater than our confidence in God! We need to be humbled by our own limitations and overwhelmed by our own weakness, so that we can pray with heartfelt conviction:
Men eating bread and wine
Prayers are requested for the Checca family.
Michael Checca's Mother, Susan Cathy, died on Thursday, May 13. Please pray for Michael and his family at this very sad and difficult time.
Week May 09-15
Jesus is leaving his disciples and returning to the Father, whose will He has always done. Now His followers (we) must live by His Word, which is not His own but God’s. That Word is so important; Christ and the Father will live with those who keep it! In addition to this, the Holy Spirit will also guide the community of disciples and believers which is the church leading us to a deeper understanding of God’s Word and its meaning for our lives.
‘We have all been created for greater things – to love
and to be loved- to love a person without conditions,
without any expectations.
Works of love are works of peace and purity.
Works of love are always a means of becoming closer to God.
So it is, the more we help each other, the more we really love God!’
Week May 2 - May 7

Jesus demonstrates to us a love that goes beyond oneself. By offering His life, He pushes love unto death – but then, unto life, for He lives! This is the love that should mark His disciples: A love that knows humility, a love that serves, but also a love that gives life!

Prayer ‘God’s Love’
St. Augustine reminds us that God is closer and more intimate to us than
we are to ourselves. The prophet Isaiah in Chapter 43 reminds us of our
place in God’s love.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine …….
You are precious in my sight,
And honoured, and I love you ……
Do not fear, for I am with you.
Week April 25 - May 2
In this reading, Jesus is calling us to trust in God. Sheep inherently trust their shepherd to keep them safe, even in the most worrisome and frightening situations. There is no denying that the world of today is uncertain. Economic hardships, illnesses, family fragmentation create realities that make it difficult for one to remain immune to fear or anxiety!

However, Jesus promises us that ‘nothing can snatch us from God’s hand’.

In essence, Jesus gives us this assurance so that we might have the courage to listen to the voice of the shepherd, calling us to follow him
Lord Jesus, good and gentle shepherd, healer of body and soul: listen to your sheep who cry out to you in their need, consciously or not.
So many of your sheep are suffering, Lord. So many are wounded and confused. They have lost sight of you, Lord. They have strayed from you and now they stumble along trying to find the way forward, the way to happiness and peace.
They do not hear your voice, or, if they do, they cannot discern from where you call. Call out to them all the more loudly and clearly! Do not hide from them Lord, but manifest your loving presence to them.
With your rod and staff scatter the darkness, Lord! Make straight the path before us and lead us to your pasture.
Week April 19 - 23
To remain in Jesus means walking with Him and staying close and constantly plugged into Him, just like a branch that remains with the vine. When a branch is part of the vine, it bears fruit whereas conversely, when a branch is removed from the vine, it dies. Jesus says that if we remain in Him – spend time with Him, learn more about Him, be honest with Him and acknowledge our sins to Him – then we will bear much fruit!
Lord, help me to walk close to You every day and stay constantly in communication with You - both by talking and listening to You speak to my heart. Help me to stay deeply in Your Word, learning more about You and getting to know You better. Help me to increase in the knowledge of Your ways and Your will.

Second Week of Easter – April 12 to 16

When Peter preached the gospel to the crowds, they wanted to know what to do. After they had repented of their sins and been baptized, they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship with one another, to communion and to prayer.
What was important to the new believers in the first century A.D. is just as important to believers in 2010! The four things mentioned above are essential tenets for Christians to learn and put into practice so that they can grow in their faith and love of God.
‘Lord, help me to be diligent to study Your Word.
Teach me from it so that I can understand it perfectly.
Help me to be in communion with other believers so we can
be frequently in prayer with one another. Enable me to
maintain that direct line to You by praying constantly as
You bring things to my mind that need to be covered in prayer.’
Week April 6-9
Jesus said to Thomas, “Do not doubt but believe.”
We’ve all known people like Thomas who are difficult to convince, who frequently doubt, and who are often negative. To a large extent, most of us have been this way at one time or another; we demand evidence before we can commit to our faith.
Even after all the other disciples believed in the resurrection because they had encountered Jesus in person, Thomas would not believe them. Ultimately, he did not believe until Jesus appeared in the room where all of them had been gathered behind a locked door; he had to put his fingers on Jesus’ hands where the nails had been driven through them and on His side where the spear had pierced it.
God wants to bless us in many ways that require faith. Faith in the Word; faith in God’s love, power and goodness.
‘Lord I know You want to bless me in countless ways that require believing without seeing. Help me to have the kind of strong faith I need in order to overcome all doubt. Help me to have faith in Your Word and Your promises, and in Your love, goodness and power. Help me to trust that You are answering my prayers even when I can’t see it.’

A Reflection for Holy Week

‘We pray that our faith will not fail.’
A reading from Luke 22: 31-33.

‘But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers and sisters.’
Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. He told Peter this in the middle of their last Passover meal together – the Last Super – just before revealing that Peter

would deny Him. Peter did fail an important test when he denied Jesus, but fortunately his faith did not fail. He could have given up and hid himself in fear and refused to follow God’s call. However, his faith was not in works, or perfection, or in himself; it was in Jesus. Peter went on to lead the first-century church even after his failure on the night of Jesus’ trial.
Ultimately, Jesus’ prayer was answered and Peter’s faith did not fail. Jesus’ prayer reveals to us that our faith does not fail, we can indeed endure hardship, face temptation and even act without faith, but, thankfully we can be God’s instruments and do great things with our gift of faith.