Reflection for May 2020

Community Word: The Holy Spirit empowers us to build God’s Kingdom and live an abundant life.

Order: “…Announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Pt 2:9)

Reflection:
After the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles on Pentecost, they began to preach boldly the kingdom of God among the nations. Bestowed with the gifts of the Spirit, they performed miracles and healing, proclaiming the salvation of the Risen Christ and uniting all believers for the kingdom of God. They proclaimed God’s forgiveness for sinners and invited them to conversion and faith. Sickness or suffering was no more, as those who believed were delivered from their spiritual and physical bondage. They reached out to the poor and treated them as important members of society, equally loved and cared for. Those who believed began to experience abundance of life upon their healing and conversion.

As followers of Christ, we who have experienced transformation and freedom from spiritual darkness, should realize that the Holy Spirit endows us with the grace to bring love and compassion of Jesus to our neighbors. Especially during this time of the pandemic, we can advance the kingdom of God on earth by our prayers and intercession, by our courage to help those who are suffering and in need. In the midst of uncertainty, we continue to be grateful to the Lord for the gifts and fruit of the Spirit that we have received, as we “announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful life,” (1 Pt 2:9). Indeed, the Holy Spirit empowers us to build God’s kingdom; as we do, we will live a blessed and abundant life.

For the month of May, let our reflections on the Sunday readings inspire us in responding to God’s call to be builders of His kingdom on earth.

For the 4th Sunday of Easter or Good Shepherd Sunday, the theme is – We build God’s kingdom when we heed the voice of the Good Shepherd. These days, when the whole world is affected by a deadly virus, we hear many voices. Some are noises that make us more anxious and fearful, stealing the joy and peace planted by God in our hearts. Others are messages that inspire and strengthen our trust in the Lord’s faithfulness. There is a challenge to discern the authentic and loving voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who calls out to his flock and leads them to the Truth. It is the true voice that brings us back to our faith when we begin to doubt and become discouraged. It is the gentle prodding we hear at the gate of the sheepfold that assures us, “Whoever enters through me will be saved…” (Jn 10:9a).

For the 5th Sunday of Easter, the theme is – We build God’s Kingdom when we believe in the Father through the works of Jesus. The work of Jesus is designed to lead people to believe in God the Father. He himself testifies that “…the Son can do nothing himself, unless it is something he sees the Father doing…” (Jn 5:19). As followers of the Risen Lord, we continue his mission and do the deeds that bear witness to the Father. Our redeemed lives should imitate the life of Christ, lived in love and forgiveness, drawing others to see the new life of God’s kingdom in us. We seek to let the light of our good works shine to glorify the Lord. And we are assured that Jesus will always be with us, believing in his promise, “I go and prepare a place for you… so that where I am you also may be,” (Jn 14:3).
The theme for the 6th Sunday of Easter is – We build God’s Kingdom when we love the Father and obey His commandments. The Father’s will is in His commandments which He has written in our heart. These commandments govern our inner life and our relationship with God, others and ourselves, and regardless of our circumstances in life, we are instructed to obey them. Whatever our situation is, we are part of the mission and plan to advance God’s kingdom. Jesus is looking for people who love him enough to abide by his example of love and living in accordance with the Father’s will. It is an invitation to all of us with a promise, “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and reveal myself to him,” (Jn 14:21b).

The theme for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is – We build God’s Kingdom when we preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. As followers of Christ, we build God’s kingdom by preaching and spreading the gospel of salvation to all man. We spend time witnessing to them how our lives have been transformed through a personal renewal when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Making disciples is a process just as life is a spiritual journey. We accompany those people who have been converted, and walk with them to help them grow in faith and fruitfulness. In our faith journey, we are in constant communion with the Lord, walking with him and seeking out ways to become more like him. Through all our life’s challenges we are always assured of the promise of the Lord to those who persevere, “… I am with you always, until the end of the age,” (Mt 28:20b). By His grace, we can draw more people to God in our mission to preach the gospel.

Finally, on Pentecost Sunday, the theme is – We build God’s Kingdom when we are peacemakers. It is hard to find peace in a world that is in crisis. People are distressed and fearful, anxious about things and situations they have no control of. Many are grieving on the loss of love ones. Others are openly frustrated and disappointed with their government leaders and, sadly, some begin to question God. True peace came upon the apostles and other believers when they received the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. During this present turmoil, let us ask the Holy Spirit to continue working in our hearts and blow a fresh and powerful wind of peace that we can share with others. O, Holy Spirit, “When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth,” (Ps 104:30).

Prayer:
Lord God Almighty, we declare that the only voice that we want to hear today is the voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, to lead us to a place that is secure, peaceful and abundant. Forgive us when we have become disobedient to your will. By the example of Jesus, may we imitate his ways that we will be worthy disciples in preaching the message of salvation. May we continue to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to up-build Your Church and grow in the fruit of Your Spirit. Amen.

 
 

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