29 May, Sunday — Saints in the making

7th Sunday of Eastertide

Acts 7:55-60
Apo 22:12-14,16-17,20
Jn 17:20-26

I have given them the glory you gave to me…

It has been an interesting couple of weeks for me from a ministry perspective — serving at two retreats a fortnight apart and being blessed to have listened to two priests who, though separated by a significant age gap, share similar views on how we as Christians are meant to live out our calling as ‘saints in the making’.

The time spent reflecting gave me an opportunity to look back on my own journey of service, which started sometime in 2011. If someone had told me then, that I would be playing my violin, praising & worshipping God, and bringing others to Him through music, I would have scoffed at him/her and said they were crazy.

Yet here I am, a sinner who has many faults, struggling to keep groups of like-minded people united as one, always thinking of ways to get others to see that the ways of God are not the ways of man; that no one else knows better than God simply because He is the Almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful One who holds all of us in His loving hands.

So why the war in Russia? Why the spate of shootings in the US where innocent lives are taken? Why do we hear/see/read so much about the horrible state of our world? I truly don’t think anyone on earth has an answer (though many world leaders gamely try to posit solutions). If we have been ‘given the glory’ that God gave to Jesus, why do we humans keep insisting on pushing each other to doing hateful and hurtful things? What do we lack in our lives?

Brothers and sisters, the world has been disrupted, not just by a virus, but by those who seek the advancement of their own interests. But can we blame them? After all, it is human nature to always want to ‘one up’ our neighbour, to get a better (insert whatever you value as a sign of success). But where is the ‘one-ness’ in this way of thinking? How can we all be as one if we are constantly bickering, constantly shoving one another aside (with our elbows, our cars and our words)? I am reminded of a homily during the recently-concluded PER #30 when we were reminded of how a certain frail woman, humble of heart and filled with a heart only for Jesus, made such an impact on others that world leaders travelled to her funeral to pay their respects.

As we approach Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, let us ask for the humility of heart to admit our failings, to put down our prideful nature, and to pray for the desire to open the eyes and ears of our hearts so that we can be more attuned to the spirit of God moving within. That somehow, He will spark in us a change in how we approach the realities of everyday life so that we can radiate the love of Christ to others.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Abba Father, we are weak and defenceless against the onslaught of sin and temptations of the material world. Help us to discern what is right and of you so that we will not be led astray by the forces of evil and the voices of secularism, relativism and materialism. Give us the grace to be kind, loving and merciful to others, especially those who have done us wrong. 

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for your unconditional love for us, and for those who hurt us.

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