Nature is full of divine lessons that reveal God to us. The freshness or the lush of plants around us is an eloquent testimony of roles that the soil, water and sunlight play in sustaining vegetation on planet earth. Into day’s gospel Jesus reminds us that the human heart is the soil on which the Word of God is planted. Therefore, the growth of the kingdom of God takes place in the heart or soul of every Christian. More so, God’s divine plan is directly linked to our willingness to cooperate with Him (God). What kind of soil am I?
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The zeal of God for all souls is often manifested in His special love for the poor. At his birth Jesus was laid on grass and at his death a tomb had to borrowed for his burial. “Behold your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey…” (first reading). The prayer of the poor echoes a symphony of absolute dependence and reliance on God.This is why God does not despise the prayer of the humble and contrite heart (cf. Psalm 51). In actual fact, greatness needs no trumpet and goodness needs no advertisements.
What we hear about immigrants... Myth and Facts
They steal our jobs, but only 4% of the workforce in South Africa are international migrants
MiWORK Report, 2012
They over-populate our country, but only 3.1% of our general population is made up of foreign nationals
They raise crime levels, but only 4% of the 112,467 sentenced prisoners are foreign nationals.
Leonie Wagner, Business Day April 2014
They dominate the informal sector, but 2 out of 10 people who own a business in the informal sector are cross-border migrants
The World Reflects the Mystery of the Trinity
The mystery of the Holy Trinity is a revealed truth. The whole universe reflects this unique mystery. In mathematics we have learnt 1x1x1=1 and not 3.
The same principle, though analogously, can be applied to the Holy Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit do not constitute three Godheads but ONE Godhead.
Let us take another analogy. For instance, the universe. The whole universe is one, though it is constituted of three elements - the sky, the earth and the sea.
The readings of today beautifully remind us that we are part of a much bigger story than we often think. We are invited to be "other-centered" with all our God-given talents and wealth, then we will join 'the humble of the land who do God's commands' (First reading). When we are humble in life, there is nothing to be afraid of. Fear steps in when our souls are arrogant, justifying our fear of everything and everyone.
Life is replete with ups and downs, joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness but the scripture exhorts us constantly look up to Him who brings our work and efforts to fruition. God is always revealing a new stage of growth in our lives through circumstances that perhaps we never bargained for. Initially, the shedding of God's light could be disconcerting and very painful but if we hold on to the course, life takes on a new meaning and purpose. If we allow Jesus light up our way, our "weeping may last for the night but a shout of joy come in the morning". Ps. 30:5.
“The time of Advent that we begin again today returns us to the horizon of hope, a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful!”
The time of Advent that the Church celebrates in preparation for Christmas, is “a new journey of the People of God with Jesus Christ, our Shepherd, who guides us in history towards the completion of the Kingdom of God.”
The modern culture vehemently encourages the modern man to avoid thinking about the last important four things (death, judgment, heaven, hell) and the great truths of life. But the instinct to see beyond the veil of death and time haunts us now more than ever. In the moments of Jesus' concentrated agony on the cross he prayed "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." The liturgy today focuses on what the end will look like. The world will come to an end someday. The Catholic catechism reminds us that "at the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love".
If anyone of us is of the opinion that a Saint is someone who spends the whole time praying or is out of touch with the modern way of doing things, the devil has successfully captured out thoughts believe it or not. Saints are not born! They become saints here on earth. Our mission on earth as human beings is to live a holy life and become saints when we die (... in fear and trembling you shall work out your salvation) Cf. Philippians 2:12. There is a lot of misery in this world that will inevitably come our way when we strive to live Christian life.