Wednesday, October 20, 2021

In Spe | In Hope

"... and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God." — Romans 5:2 (ESV) 


Photo by Jozef Trzebuniak


Our reflection for today is taken from Romans 5:1-2 "We rejoice in our misery".

For people who do not know God or for believers who have no hope, tribulation is the greatest cross in life. Tribulation is sometimes seen as a curse for sins committed in the past. Today Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans, reminds us that as believers we may stand in grace and may even boast in our affliction because Jesus who is the Source of our hope always gives us the grace to persevere in hope.

As Christians, we should be proud that we have not lost faith in Him, God who never discriminates His people. He is not choosy upon hearing all the complaints and groans of His people. At the appointed time, our prayers will always be answered as long as we are patient in hope and wait for His time because God's time is not ours. In difficult moments when we are almost desperate, God the Holy Spirit who always inspires, reminds us not to lose hope, but to surrender completely to God's will.

Brothers and sisters, let us always submit our will to God, asking that our daily plans and activities and life services may be pleasing and in accordance with God's will. Thus, our lives will always be blessed. God bless us all.



Reflection on Romans 5:1-2 by Sr. Yanti Purnawati SFSC

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Contra Spem | Hope against Hope

“In hope against hope he believed…” — Romans 4:18 (NASB) 


 


Life is unexpected, challenging and could be devastating. Relying on our own power to survive is proven fallacious. The pandemic has taught the world of how weak we are, just when we thought we could manage everything. Even without the pandemic we have to be ready when difficulties come. Abraham, known as Father of the faithful, set a great example for us in Today’s reading.

It was when God promised to make him a father of many nations from his own offspring, of his old barren wife, Sara – while  he himself was about a hundred years of age, as good as dead (v.19). In hope against hope he believed (v.18). Verse 20 says, “…yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God”. Believing in God is not only in hope for a better situation regarding our well-being, but moreover a challenge whether or not we give glory to God in any circumstances.

Are we dealing with impossibilities? Does darkness ahead scare you? Has fear started to weaken us? Let’s hope against hope as Abraham did. It’s like the Lord Jesus ignored all the doubts for the synagogue ruler’s faith on Jesus - regarding the death of his daughter. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” (Mark 5:36). Abraham's faith is based on “…God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that do not exist” (v.17). Our God is the Lord over any hopelessness. Just believe. To God be all the glory! Amen!

 


Reflection on Romans 4:13-25 by Desire Litaay 

(Listen to the Podcast here)

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Secundum Gratiam | According to Grace

"However, to the one who does not work but trust God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness." — Romans 4:5





 
Today’s reading was a bit confusing and baffling for me, and I needed to read it a few more times. In the end, it spoke to me of two messages: (1) God is Lord to everyone, and (2) that everything is grace.

Today’s verses remind of this truth – God is for everyone. He has said it thousands of years ago – that Jesus actually came for us sinners! He is not just the Lord of the righteous, but moreso of sinners like me who need Him more. He has that much Love in Him that can contain us all in His Kingdom should we be willing to do so. He never imposes, as this is what it means to have free will, but His invitation is extended to all of us. He is loving, generous and understanding. God is inclusive – and what a comfort that brings to a sinner like me. May this encourage me more to try to sin less every day. This is what Romans chapter 4 verse 12 tells me: “And He is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.“

The second message to me is this – that everything is grace. Even my faith is grace. Everything is grace, and that grace is open for everyone, should we choose to accept it. How humbling it is to be loved and adored so much by God who has dominion over everything but loves me for all that I am. It reminded me of a line in a book I previously read – we all know that we have a God-shaped void in our hearts that only God can fill, but do you know that in God’s heart, there is also space meant only for you and you alone? And that God will forever hold that space in His heart until we are ready to go home to Him. And for me, this will always be both humbling and amazing.

May we go through life knowing that God loves us and loves us individually, and that everything is grace available for us, should we only choose to receive it. May God bless you today.


Reflection on Romans 4:1-12 by Blessie Sto Tomas

(Listen to the Podcast here)