Reflections of Faith
Read and be inspired by a reflection based on today's Gospel made by members of the Verbum Dei Family in Manila.
February 19, 2020 Wednesday
Gospel: Mark 8:22-26
"He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside.”
Many of us, knowingly or unknowingly, may be blinded at some points in our life: blinded by the flash of wealth or admiration, blinded by our pride, blinded by the expectations of others, blinded by self-pity, or blinded by doubt. Whatever causes our blindness to the Truth, Jesus is always willing to reach out, take us by the hand, and lead us to a clearer vision of His kingdom. He yearns to restore our sight that we may find the genuine joy He promises.
Mother, may we allow Jesus’ touch as He lay His hands on us to enable us to see clearly His will.
February 18, 2020 Tuesday
Gospel: Mark 8: 14-21
"Do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand?”
There are many ups and downs in every man’s journey of faith. There are instances when we see God’s hand at work in our lives – when impossible cases become possible through Him. On the other hand, there are also times when we forget the wonders Christ has done and we tend to be narrow-minded and focused only on what is lacking.
Jesus reminds us to be watchful, to recognize the times when we tend to forget that He is in control. As the first reading also encourages us: “Blessed is he who perseveres in temptation.”
Dearest Mother, increase our perseverance through the ups and downs of our faith.
February 17, 2020 Monday
Gospel: Mark 8:11-13
"Jesus sighed from the depth of His spirit”
Whenever we encounter dilemmas, sometimes we tend to ask for ‘signs’ to help with our decision-making. There can be moments when we are like the Pharisees in today’s gospel – arguing with Jesus, setting conditions before we believe.
And how does Jesus react to our asking for ‘signs’? Amazingly, He sighs. It’s as if saying, “My dear, if only you knew the extent of my love. If only you believe that I will never forsake you, and all I want is what’s best for you. All I ask is for you to trust me.”
Can we wholeheartedly entrust our dilemmas and uncertainties to Jesus?
Mother Mary, help us to believe that God has a perfect timing for everything.
Sunday, February 16
I have come to fulfill the law
Actions speak louder than words. Jesus today tells everyone that He is the fulfillment of the law, not just because He knows it and not just because He is the very source of the law. But because He acts in accordance with the law, in love and compassion for others. The pharisees knew the law, teach the law but do not practice it. Jesus invites us to become examples of his law of love and mercy. Let is do our best to fulfill the law and his commandments.
Saturday, February 15
How many loaves do you have?
When people come to us seeking help, we sometimes ask ourselves if we can do it. Can we render unto them the help they need? That is the question Jesus is asking his disciples now. What do you have to feed the hungry people? But perhaps the deeper question he is asking, “do you have the faith and courage to offer your help? Do you believe that I can take what little you think you have, and make it sufficient enough to help those in need?” Today as we rest from the burdens of yet another busy week, let us recall the moments when God took our meager loaves and made them enough.
Lord, increase our trust in you to step out in service of others.
Friday, February 14
His ears were opened and his tongue was released.
It is very common for deaf people not to be able to talk. And this is not only in situations with the mute. Even if one can talk, but have not been able to hear speech, it is difficult for that person to speak. Jesus today healed a deaf mute and he immediately began to preach and give testimony. When Jesus “opens our ears”, we are able to hear His word. We are able to discern His guidance to us. We are able to understand His presence in our lives. Let us then proclaim Him like the deaf mute did to tell others of how Jesus has helped us.
Thursday, Feb 13
She begged Him to cast the demon out of her
Have you been in desperate situations? When you are helpless and feel there is no solution to your problem? The Greek mother in the gospel today was in a similar situation. Reaching out to Jesus was her only solution and so she reached out with faith and boldness. Unlike her, we don’t fear that Jesus would turn us away but there are other kinds of fear. Perhaps the fear that He will not help us. Today He asks us to trust Him and call out to Him in our need and suffering.
Lord, help us in all our problems and worries. We put all our hope and trust in You!
Wednesday, February 12
These evil things come from within and they defile a man
In Filipino we say “Nakasanayan na” when we see a person engaged over and over again in a bad habit. Bad habits begin deep inside us, in how we think, how we reason out. Bad habits are just our bad thoughts and attitudes turned into action. That is what Jesus is warning us today. Be careful and keep watch over our thoughts and desires. Let us make it a habit to examine and reflect in prayer so that we take hold of ourselves and be led towards the more loving way of Christ.
Lord, keep us from evil thoughts and desires that we may not be hurtful of ourselves and others.
Tuesday, February 11
You leave the commandment of God and hold to tradition!
It is easy to fall into the trap of being self-righteous, thinking that we know the Word of God just because we study it every day or because we hold fast to our daily rituals. Indeed those are very important because they are meant to help us love and be compassionate towards others. But if these make us proud, preachy and judgmental, then we become like the Pharisees who are always quick to point out the faults of others. Let us remember always why God gave us His word and the rituals and sacraments of the Church — that we honor Him by loving others.
Lord, grant us hearts and minds to understand your commandments and hands to put them into action!
Monday, February 10
Those who touched his garment were made well
Whether it is physical illness, emotional pain, broken relationships or addiction, all of us need healing. In the Gospel, Jesus healed the sick in Gennesaret. They came and reached out to Him and they were made well. Whatever our pain is, let us reach out to Him and ask His blessing on our ailments with expectant faith. Many times, the healing could take long. Nevertheless, He is with us in our suffering and His presence gives us relief.
Lord, thank You for being with us through our difficulties. Please heal us and make us whole again.