Dear OXYGEN readers,
As Lent draws to a close, we invite you to contribute a reflection for Holy Week and Easter. As per OXYGEN tradition, we have the following reflections open to volunteers. If you had experienced something this season that the Holy Spirit is prompting you to share, consider sharing your encounter with our faith community. God bless you!
1. Holy Thursday – Chrism Mass
2. Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper
3. Good Friday
4. Easter Vigil (9 reflections)
1st Reading + Responsorial Psalm
2nd Reading + Responsorial Psalm
3rd Reading + Responsorial Psalm
4th Reading + Responsorial Psalm
5th Reading + Responsorial Psalm
6th Reading + Responsorial Psalm
7th Reading + Responsorial Psalm
Epistle + Responsorial Psalm
Do drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org who will be in touch with you on how to proceed.
Oxygen Core Team
30 March 2017
The Lord spoke to Moses, ‘Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostatised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. “Here is your God, Israel,” they have cried “who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘I can see how headstrong these people are! Leave me, now, my wrath shall blaze out against them and devour them; of you, however, I will make a great nation.’
But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘why should your wrath blaze out against this people of yours whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with arm outstretched and mighty hand? Why let the Egyptians say, “Ah, it was in treachery that he brought them out, to do them to death in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth”? Leave your burning wrath; relent and do not bring this disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your servants to whom by your own self you swore and made this promise: I will make your offspring as many as the stars of heaven, and all this land which I promised I will give to your descendants, and it shall be their heritage for ever.’
So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
Jesus said to the Jews:
‘Were I to testify on my own behalf,
my testimony would not be valid;
but there is another witness who can speak on my behalf,
and I know that his testimony is valid.
You sent messengers to John,
and he gave his testimony to the truth:
not that I depend on human testimony;
no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this.
John was a lamp alight and shining
and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.
But my testimony is greater than John’s:
the works my Father has given me to carry out,
these same works of mine testify
that the Father has sent me.
Besides, the Father who sent me
bears witness to me himself.
You have never heard his voice,
you have never seen his shape,
and his word finds no home in you
because you do not believe in the one he has sent.
‘You study the scriptures,
believing that in them you have eternal life;
now these same scriptures testify to me,
and yet you refuse to come to me for life!
As for human approval, this means nothing to me.
Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you.
I have come in the name of my Father
and you refuse to accept me;
if someone else comes in his own name
you will accept him.
How can you believe,
since you look to one another for approval
and are not concerned
with the approval that comes from the one God?
Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father:
you place your hopes on Moses,
and Moses will be your accuser.
If you really believed him
you would believe me too,
since it was I that he was writing about;
but if you refuse to believe what he wrote,
how can you believe what I say?’
Yet you refuse to come to me for life
There are many moments in my life when I have come across difficulties and the first thing that came to mind was to solve it; to find a solution on my own, thinking that I could use my very own ability to get it sorted. It was only later on that I found out that it is really important to reach out for help, to ask for someone else’s opinion, so as to seek help get over the problem. Sometimes, it is pride that prevents us from opening ourselves up, hoping to take credit for getting the job done.
In today’s reading, the people of God were blinded and tired to know where the true Father was. They were lost in their spiritual desert, looking towards Moses for direction but only to find themselves tired and without direction. They turned to a molten metal calf and worshipped it, having no idea who the Father truly is. Do we turn to God when we lose our direction? Do we stop just for a short minute to lift up our issues to the Lord, and ask for the guidance that will aid us smoothly through our difficulty?
In the Gospel today, Jesus, Son of God, presents Himself and yet the people once again are so focused on the law, living a blind faith, and just couldn’t look up to Jesus the Messiah. Jesus even tried to explain the big picture of who He is, but He knew that they were still unable to see Him as God. Similarly, when we come across a huge difficulty, will we still be blind to know where God is for us?
Never turn away from the Lord for He is with us during our time of need. Jesus came to our world to live with us and even died for us. Let Him in during the happy moments and also include Him in the difficulties which we are about to face. Accept Him into our hearts, so that He may work the miracles in us because of our sincere belief.
(Today’s Oxygen by Austin Leong)
Prayer: Take us away from the distractions that hurt our relationship with Jesus, and know that as the Son of God? He has all the power to still our hearts in times of difficulties.
Thanksgiving: We continue to give love to non-believers, that we are always able to share Jesus with them.