Monthly Archives: November 2015
Daniel: man of high esteem, great character, God gives him a view of the future. According to Daniel, God has control over human affairs. Among the lions, he is the witness of the power of God. King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians want to train him, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego to become part of their pagan culture. The 4 boys are inspiring examples of how to live a godly life in an ungodly world. By being faithful you will have a great influence on those around you like Daniel. Gods honors you when you take a stand for what is right. God is in control, He has a plan for the future.
At the same time, “God never promised us an easy journey in life, only safe arrival.” I think this is true because Jesus in today’s gospel says that our life in this world is not an easy one. We should expect thorns in the forms of persecutions, sufferings and hardships; we should learn to bear our crosses and find more meanings in difficulties. But we should not worry because God will provide us the means.
He says: “By patient endurance you will save your lives.” Are we ready to suffer and to shed blood until the end, if necessary, for our faith? It is because Christianity is a religion of martyrdom. Christianity is a religion of the cross. Jesus willingly shed His blood for our sake and He calls us to be martyrs too. The word martyr in Greek means ‘witness.’ Some theologians in the past said something about being a witness like Tertullian and others. Tertullian said: “The blood of the martyrs is seed.” Cyprian also said: “When persecution comes, God’s soldiers are put to the test, and heaven is open to martyrs. We have not enlisted in an army to think of peace and to decline battle, for we see that the Lord has taken first place in the conflict.” Augustine wrote: “The martyrs were bound, jailed, scourged, racked, burned, rent, butchered and they multiplied!”
God may call some of us to be martyrs. But for most of us our call is to be dry martyrs who bear testimony to the joy of the gospel in the midst of daily challenges, contradictions, temptations and adversities which come our way as we follow the Lord; to witness to the joy, truth and freedom of the gospel; by our life, and real-life testimony. What attracts others to the gospel? They are attracted to the Gospel and to Christianity when they see us: Christians love their enemies, being joyful in suffering, patient in adversity, pardoning injuries and showing comfort and compassion to the hopeless and the helpless.
What are the marks of a true witness of Christ? David Watson in his, Called & Committed: World-Changing Discipleship (1982 pp. 142-143) said that the marks of a true witness are:
- A witness must have a first-hand experience of Christ. Hearsay is not acceptable in a court of law as well as in the court of this world’s opinion. People will listen only to what we have personally seen and heard.
- A witness must be able to express himself verbally. We may witness effectively through our lives, our work, our relationships, our attitudes, our suffering and even our death, yet we must still “be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you.” We must do so “with gentleness and respect,” and with the integrity of our lives demonstrating the truth of our words.
- A witness will have confidence in the power of God. He relies on the power of the message of Christ and him crucified, and the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows that God can break through any defenses, and change any heart. This confidence will not be brash, but humble and sensitive, marked by much prayer. He knows that without God he can do nothing, but that with God all things are possible.
- A witness will have compassion for the spiritually lost. He will care for them as individuals who matter deeply to God: made in his image, redeemed by his Son and to be indwelt by his Spirit.
Prayer for consecration
CHRIST, Jesus, I acknowledge You as King of the Universe.
All that has been made has been created for You.
Make full of Your rights over me.
I renew my promises I made in Baptism when I renounced Satan and all his pomps and works. I promise to live a good Christian life. Especially. I undertake to help, to the extent of my means, to secure the triumph of the rights of God and of Your Church.
Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You my poor efforts so that all hearts may acknowledge Your sacred Royalty and the Kingdom of Your peace may be established throughout the entire universe. Amen.
Our Catholic Church in Shatale is called CHRIST THE KING. Tomorrow there will be mass at 10h00. Also There will be two couples which will get married in Hluvukani on the this feast of Christ the King.
Dan 7:13-14; Rev 1:5-8; John 18:33-37
I do not know who said these words but I got these words from the animated movie Lion King that says: “Being brave doesn’t mean you’re looking for trouble.”
Bishop Villegas in his book entitled Jesus In My Heart said that Jesus is king of hearts in every Christian. He elaborated it by way of comparing it with a deck of cards which carries several images of kings. The first image is the king of clubs. A club is an extension of a violent hand. A club is an extension of a hostile man. Christ cannot be king of clubs because Jesus is not here to sow violence. Jesus is not here to sow hostility. Jesus is here as a king of peace. Jesus is here, gentle and humble of heart, not to sow enmity among us. Jesus is here so that all may be brothers and sisters to one another.
Bishop Villegas continued that Jesus could not be king of spades. A spade is used to throw dirt. Jesus is not here to make our lives dirty. Jesus is here to cleanse us from everything that defiles us. Jesus is not the king of spades because Jesus is not in the grave. Jesus is risen from the dead. Jesus is not king of spades because the business of Jesus is not to make other people dirty, to make people look at the grave dug by spades. The business of Jesus is to give hope and purity to us.
Jesus cannot be king of diamonds for he came to bless our poverty. Jesus came to bless our pains and our aches. Jesus is not here to make our lives easier and more comfortable. Jesus is here to give meaning and purpose to our crosses and pains and trials.
But Jesus can only be king of hearts. This is the kind of king that Jesus is. He is the king of the universe because he is the king of hearts.
For us Christians, let us stop our gossiping, intrigues, destruction of one another, our intention to take revenge and others. Let us not be Christians of spades, clubs or diamonds; let us be Christians of hearts. So let us make a loyalty check up with our hearts and see if Jesus is there.