Dear friends we need the Lord and must be grateful to God for His love and grace!

God’s love and grace gives us life and joy

1 Samuel 2:6-7 “Yahweh gives death and life, brings down to Sheol and draws up; Yahweh makes poor and rich, he humbles and also exalts.” 

We often hear many people say things like, ‘My life is what I make of it’, ‘I’m successful because I did it by my own effort’, or ‘I attribute my own success to my own talents’. These statements are only actually partially true, because the fact is we can do all things only because we have been given life and breath from God, so if we don’t even have life, breath and existence, then we cannot even do anything. The Lord has also given us many things from His bountiful love and grace, which we often take for granted, like our health when we are healthy, the talents and abilities that help us to be gifted in a particular field of study or craftsmanship or sport. These we receive freely from the Lord because He loves us, so we need to be grateful to Him for His love and grace.

Considering the history of salvation, often the people of God, be it the Church or the first nation called by God, there is a huge repetitive cycle where people including ourselves may have forgotten that it is God’s grace and mercy that sustains our lives. We see this in Hosea 11:1-4When Israel was a child I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. But the more I called, the further they went away from me; they offered sacrifice to Baal and burnt incense to idols. I myself taught Ephraim to walk, I myself took them by the arm, but they did not know that I was the one caring for them, that I was leading them with human ties, with leading-strings of love, that, with them, I was like someone lifting an infant to his cheek, and that I bent down to feed him.”

Dear friends, I sense it often in my own life and the lives of family and friends around me, be it at the local parishes, or work places or schools and even at home, there is a prevalent sin we all struggle with, which is pride, selfishness and self-indulgence. Be careful as self-indulgence can be a form of idolatory, making something or someone else other than the Lord the centre of our lives. For it is not by indulging our sinful nature that will win us life, but by living our lives depending on the Lord. Remember we need the Lord, as we recall what the Holy Spirit tells us through the Apostle in Acts 17:24-25 “‘Since the God who made the world and everything in it is himself Lord of heaven and earth, he does not make his home in shrines made by human hands. Nor is he in need of anything, that he should be served by human hands; on the contrary, it is he who gives everything — including life and breath — to everyone.”

Our relationship with the Lord is not dependent on the success in the things we do in life, but rather the relationship with God is first and foremost an acceptance of God’s love for us which is given freely out of His bountiful grace, and a reciprocation by loving and serving the Lord through our love and service to our fellow human beings, our brothers and sisters, neighbours, friends, strangers and even those who are opposed to us. These good deeds and words that we do and speak are the fruits and evidence of the Faith that the Lord has given to us as His Church (People of God).

Remember how God loves us as the Lord tells us in John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

Let us have confidence in God’s love for us, even if we fail to live our Christian lives and discipleship as we ought to live, for remember what the Holy Spirit tells us through the Apostle in Romans 5:8-11 “So it is proof of God’s own love for us, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. How much more can we be sure, therefore, that, now that we have been justified by his death, we shall be saved through him from the retribution of God. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more can we be sure that, being now reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. What is more, we are filled with exultant trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.” 

Let us turn to the Lord always, and let our actions be guided by God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ His Son, and let us be attentive and open to the Holy Spirit so that the New Evangelisation and the Renewal of the Catholic Church may bear fruits of intentional Christian disciples willing to bear faithful witness to the Lord in our lives, and be it in activity or rest we should always keep the Lord first, for when we are tired and weary, we recall the Lord’s words  in Matthew 11:28Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.”

One song that captures our need for God is the song Lord, I need You, written by Matt Maher.

Lord I Need You – Matt Maher

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

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