Scripture Reading: John 6:60-61
A Psychologist once said something I never forget, she said that one of the tests that they conduct to test the psychological state of a person is to get a response from this question, “What will you do when that which you so desire to be or achieve did not happen?” From the responses, the psychologist gets an approach to counsel the person. If the person will breakdown as a result of not attaining his or her heart desire, the psychologist will know and the whole counselling will be geared at stopping the person from losing his or her mind. This is the same admonition the Holy Spirit brings to us today; that we should not lose our sanity, serenity, stability, spiritual might, and God because what we are expecting from God has not yet materialized; did not happen as we had prayed or worst still did not happen at all. We are called today to measure up to the level of Christian maturity that absolves whatever comes to us – good or bad – in so far as we are in good standing with God. As it stands, beloved in Christ, heaven is the only place that is trouble-free. The earth can never be without one form of trouble or the other so we are to develop a strong opposition to the options which the devil presents to us when challenges of life weigh us down. You can imagine the options that Satan often gives to us: “Commit suicide because what you so desired did not come to pass”; “Enroll into satanic groups and get a lucrative job”; “Give up your faith for a mouth-watering contract”; “Enter into a wrong marriage because age is no longer on your side (as you perceive).” Recently, I stumbled onto a news item where a nineteen-year old girl committed suicide because she had issues with a lover. Imagine, a nineteen-year old, still having a great future ahead. Who knows the purpose for which she was created? That has been distorted. The Lord tells us today: “You should not sign up for Satan because of hardship. You should not forfeit your faith for that contract. You should not enter into a wrong marriage relationship because you are advancing in age. You should not forsake God because what you asked for was not granted to you as you requested.” You cannot afford to lose heavenly inheritance while trying to acquire earthly status. At a point in time, the Sadducees posed a question to Jesus about who shall claim the woman that was already married to seven brothers in heaven, Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! It is because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power. For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry.” (Matthew 22:29-30) By this, Jesus is teaching the Sadducees and us as well a very important lesson. Our lives in heaven are worth much than our lives here on earth. As such man must ensure that his activities here do not affect the essence of his creation. Beloved, if we can be patient to trust God enough and remain faithful to Him, He is well able to provide and rescue us. Hebrews 10:35-39 confidently says, “Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward. You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what He promises. For, as the scripture says, “Just a little while longer, and He who is coming will come; He will not delay. My righteous people, however, will believe and live; but if any of them turns back, I will not be pleased with them.” We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead, we have faith and are saved.” Spurgeon concludes this reflection with these divinely-inspired thoughts, “We have many things in our possession at the present moment which can be shaken…there is nothing stable beneath these rolling skies…change is written upon all things…God is your Father. No change of circumstances can ever rob you of that…Our best portion and richest heritage we cannot lose. Whatever troubles come, let us play the man; let us show that we are not such little children as to be cast down by what may happen in this poor fleeting state of time. Our country is Immanuel’s land, our hope is above the sky, and therefore, calm as the summer’s ocean; we will see the wreck of everything earthborn, and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation.”
MASS: GREEN/WHITE/WHITE Gen 3: 9-24; Ps 90: 2. 3-4abc. 5-6. 12-13; Mk 8: 1-10
BVM/ Our Lady of Lourdes
- Sing and meditate on this song by Charles A. Tindley, “If the world from you withholds of its silver and its gold, And you have to get along with meager fare, Just remember, in His Word, How he feeds the little birds – Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. Chorus: Leave it there, leave it there, Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out – Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. Stanza 2: If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain, And your soul is almost sinking in despair, Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal – Take your burden to the Lord and leave it.
- O Lord my God, help me not to carry my problems about; give me the confidence and trust to leave it at the foot of your Holy Cross in Jesus name.
- Lord I know that You are above all things, and You also made me to have value above all created things and everything that happens here on earth. Help me therefore to accept this teaching that You will not allow me go through testing that is beyond me. (1 Cor. 10:13)
- Take the prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola meditatively.
- O Lord, I have come to thee according to Matthew 11:28 and lay all my burdens at your feet in the name of Jesus.
Exercise: Encourage someone with today’s reflection.
Meditation: Hebrews 7:25