It is truly amazing how God calls us to mission and gives us the talent to fulfil all that He plans for us. Today, we welcome Hannah, who has joined our stable of contributors and has been receiving Oxygen since last year.
Hannah is a relatively new Catholic trying to navigate her journey in the faith. During her growing up years, she often ran away from the faith because of her circumstances. Hannah had always loved the song ‘Still’ by Hillsong, but it was only 2 years ago that Hannah decided she would stop running, be still and know that God is present every day of her life.
Working in the mental health field, Hannah often encounters situations whereby she would see Jesus in each of her clients, and would question herself as to what Jesus would do when the situation becomes complex or dire for them. These moments would inspire Hannah to think out of the box and to do more for her clients.
During her free time, Hannah loves to read and write and will often fill journals with her reflections. Hannah is thankful to Desmond for introducing Oxygen to her as it enhances her daily reflections, and is also appreciative of the chance to contribute as well.
1 Samuel 3:3-10,19
Samuel was lying in the sanctuary of the Lord, where the ark of God was, when the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ He answered, ‘Here I am.’ Then he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, since you called me.’ Eli said, ‘I did not call. Go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down. Once again the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, since you called me.’ He replied, ‘I did not call you, my son; go back and lie down.’ Samuel had as yet no knowledge of the Lord and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Once again the Lord called, the third time. He got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, since you called me.’ Eli then understood that it was the Lord who was calling the boy, and he said to Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if someone calls say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The Lord then came and stood by, calling as he had done before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’
Samuel grew up and the Lord was with him and let no word of his fall to the ground.
1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20
The body is not meant for fornication: it is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God, who raised the Lord from the dead, will by his power raise us up too.
You know, surely, that your bodies are members making up the body of Christ; do you think I can take parts of Christ’s body and join them to the body of a prostitute? Never! But anyone who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body. Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God.
As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher –’where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.
“Speak, Lord, your servant is listening”
2017 was an extremely busy year for me and, truth be told, I can barely remember what I was busy with. I knew that the days were flying by, and work became the most convenient excuse for me; God was on the receiving end as well. I stopped going for Adoration and my prayer life became affected. A 5-minute prayer to God every morning would superficially remove all guilt from me as I’d accomplished my ‘obligation’ to talk to God; however, deep down, I knew that I was becoming lazy.
I refused to accept that I was no longer putting God first in my life, and I believed that I had justified excuses to keep my distance from God. By mid-October, I found myself questioning my purpose in life, and I felt that life had neither meaning nor purpose. My mood started to get affected and over dinner one day, my friend casually asked “How’s your relationship with God?” My first instinct was to tell her it’s been good, but instead, I told her the truth — that it had been non-existent. That night, on my way home, I started to have a conversation with God, one I had not had in over 6 months.
During my conversation with God, He brought me back to the many times whereby I needed help, and it came to me via the people around me. He showed me specific instances whereby He prompted me when I was caught in a predicament. I realized that God had never left my side, and was always patiently waiting for me to say “Here I am Lord”. I expected Him to be there, but yet I was not willing to wait at His feet for Him to speak to me.
Since dinner that night, I have made a daily effort to invite God to speak to me and to open my heart to receive what He has to tell me. I also started using my traveling time to continue conversations with God instead of using my handphone to surf various social media sites. I am truly amazed at the way God speaks to me and I am more aware of the moments that He prompts me when I need assistance.
Brothers and sisters, let us learn to be like Samuel, who obeyed Elijah and responded to God’s call with a simple but powerful invitation — “Speak, for your servant is listening”. Or like John and Andrew, who listened to Jesus and responded to his invitation to follow Him.
(Today’s Oxygen by Hannah Huang)
Prayer: Dearest Father, we pray for the grace to wait at your feet and to respond to your call on a daily basis.
Thanksgiving: We thank you O loving Father, that despite our impatience and neglect towards You, You are always there with us, waiting for us.