His Victory is our victory
March 24-29, 2014
Objective of the week:
To increase the awareness of the victory already won by Christ and to facilitate a personal experience of that victory in our lives.
As we continue with our journey in the desert, in this season of Lent, we experience the conversion that Jesus is calling us .A conversion that makes our hearts purified and capable of loving beyond the limits. Although there are times when our hearts are covered with fears, worries and doubts, let us be aware that we need to trust in Jesus who has already won the victory over the world. Let us increase our awareness that even how difficult the world is, we have a God who never abandoned us and prepares everything we need in our journey.
We experienced the saddest point in our Christian life when we were under the power of sin, but we also experienced the greatest victory when Jesus has redeemed us through his death on the cross, that even death was conquered by Him. This is the proof that Jesus is stronger than the world. This is our assurance that Christ’s grace is sufficient to give us security in life if only we trust and follow His will.
55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 15: 55-57)
The Victory is already won
9 So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying. “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean. 11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper”. 12 Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?” Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, had the prophets told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then when he says to you. “Wash, and be clean?” 14So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean.
(2 Kings 5: 9-15)
Everyone wants to have security in life. People work hard almost without ceasing in order to be secured financially. Some have taken different food supplements for health security. Some have engaged in superstitious beliefs like reading horoscope, palm and card reading in order to know and secure the future. Some wear amulets or “habak” to secure oneself from bad spirits. Is Jesus not enough to become secure in life? How many times have you heard His Word through the people he sent to us and yet we don’t believe? How many times we doubt the capacity of God to answer our prayers? How many times we were in difficult situations but we managed to survived? Who do you think have saved you from that situation? Let us recognize that we have a God who is victorious. Jesus conquered all the sufferings on the cross, therefore we too as His beloved people have also the same capacity if only we allow and trust Him to be responsible of our future.
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendant of David; and the Virgin’s name was Mary. 28And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at his statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel. “How can this be, since I am a Virgin?” 35The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy child shall be called the Son of God. 36And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bond slave of the Lord; may it done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
You wanted no sacrifice or cereal offering, but you gave me a body. 6 You took no pleasure in burnt offering or sacrifice for sin; 7 then I said, 'Here I am, I am coming,' in the scroll of the book it is written of me, to do your will, God.
There are times when we don’t understand why we go through different realities in this world which seems to be unbearable. God has a purpose for each reality in us. Let us not be afraid, for these are all in favor for us. We need to possess a pondering heart in order to understand His will for us. When we are open to His will, the more we will find security in Him. Are you ready to submit to His will?
Increasing our awareness
9 He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself; “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.” 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was beating his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!. 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Luke 18: 9-14)
Our Christian life is a life with failures and success. As we examine ourselves, let us not compare our success or our failures with others, but instead with humility, let us compare them with the righteousness and victory of God. In this way we can struggle to practice righteousness and be victorious with Jesus. How do you evaluate yourself? How is your awareness of the victory of Jesus over your failures and weaknesses?
He has won us to Himself
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8: 35-39)
35 Jesus heard they had ejected him, and when he found him he said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of man?' 36 'Sir,' the man replied, 'tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.' 37 Jesus said, 'You have seen him; he is speaking to you.' 38 The man said, 'Lord, I believe,' and worshipped him. 39 Jesus said: It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight may become blind.
Whatever sufferings we are going through with our life now, Jesus has already gone through with it, and he conquered them all. Therefore, let us not lose hope and discern, because Christ‘s love for us is overflowing that He took the place of a slave to conquer our sufferings in sin.
Be Victorious as He Is Victorious
3 In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. 4 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be well?" 7 The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me." 8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk." 9 Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a sabbath.
3 This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome, 4 because every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. 5 Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
(1 John 5:3-5)
Sometimes our doubts, worries, anxieties are the stumbling blocks to reach our highest potentials . We belittle ourselves and our capacity to be above of all these things that hold us back from being victorious. We are created in the likeness of God and we are given each one of us a gift to nourish and share to others so they too may also do the same. All we need to do is listen to His instructions and believe. What hinders you to reach your full potential?
1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like torch that is burning.
8 You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; behave as children of light, 9 for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and uprightness and truth. 10 Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, 11 take no part in the futile works of darkness but, on the contrary, show them up for what they are.
We are already equipped with His grace and mercy. He is meeting all our needs and His grace is sufficient for us. He took the first step to conquer the weaknesses in us. Now is our turn to move. Let us not remain as mere expectators in our whole life. Let us offer our life to Him by conquering the hardness of others to follow Christ. This may take some time and effort or it may not always be comfortable, but we have the hope to be victorious in our cause because Jesus already did it for us. Whose heart do you need to conquer for Jesus?
4th Sunday of Lent
First Reading –1Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13
Psalm – Psalm 23: 1-6
Second reading – Ephesians 5:8-14
Gospel – John 9:1-41
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.