19 March, Thursday – Can you hear Him?

Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14,16
Romans 4:13,16-18,22
Matthew 1:16,18-21,24

…he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.

I am normally quite stubborn when it comes to sticking with a schedule, even on a weekend. On my recent trip to Italy, I did something previously unthinkable — I cancelled my plans to stay in Milan for 3 nights. Not having been there before on my previous trips to the beautiful country, I was quite determined to explore the Duomo, and had even booked 2 walking tours.

However, in the early hours of the very day I was supposed to take the train from Rome, I woke up and decided to remain in Rome (even if the hotel did not have a spare room for us). Providentially, we were given a room and spent 7 special nights in the Eternal City, meeting new people (from Singapore) and sharing various meals with them. Looking back, it was probably the best decision we made because on the day we left Rome (two weeks later, after spending a week in Florence), we had to declare while checking in at the airport if we had ventured northward.

Brothers and sisters, whether we want to believe it or not, our various journeys are inextricably linked to God. From the day we are conceived, to the day we return to Him, our heavenly Father has mapped out our paths on this earth. It is up to us to ‘listen’ to the voices — whether in our hearts, in our minds, or drummed into us by well-meaning friends — and then make our choices. But make no mistake, whatever the choice we make, God is there for us.

One week after arriving back in Singapore, we look at the situation in Europe and find ourselves turning to each other, thanking God for getting us out of Italy just in time. I look back at the many times I have been ‘saved’ over the decades and truly, God has been the one who rescued me on countless occasions. And it was made abundantly clear to me during my Conversion Experience Retreat in 2011 that He has been ever-present in my, up till then, exciting and colourful life.

And today, He makes His presence felt in many ways — the glorious laughter of my life partner as she makes funny faces for the camera; the recent sharings of ministry members during a ‘meet the members’ session; paving the way for me to step up in my service at CSC; the breathtaking landscapes in a foreign land; the old porter struggling to make ends meet in a train station; the kindness of a hotel manager at 5 o’clock in the morning.

There is no question at all that He is real. The question most of us have is whether or not He speaks to us, let alone cares for us. I testify as someone who has witnessed his glory, seen Him in a vision, chatted with Him and heard His tender voice. He IS real. He IS all around us. He IS there for us.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Father, ask you to speak to us clearly so that we can be guided by your wisdom and love. We pray that you remove the blinkers in our lives that prohibit us from discerning your voice so that like St Joseph, we can rise up and do your will.

Thanksgiving: Thank you for being our constant light. Thank you for always being there for us in our times of need.

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