2 June 2018
1 Peter 4:7-13
Everything will soon come to an end, so, to pray better, keep a calm and sober mind. Above all, never let your love for each other grow insincere, since love covers over many a sin. Welcome each other into your houses without grumbling. Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others. If you are a speaker, speak in words which seem to come from God; if you are a helper, help as though every action was done at God’s orders; so that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to him alone belong all glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
My dear people, you must not think it unaccountable that you should be tested by fire. There is nothing extraordinary in what has happened to you. If you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed.
After he had been acclaimed by the crowds, Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked all round him, but as it was now late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Next day as they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf some distance away, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it, but when he came up to it he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. And he addressed the fig tree. ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’ he said. And his disciples heard him say this.
So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons. Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple. And he taught them and said, ‘Does not scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples? But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’ This came to the ears of the chief priests and the scribes, and they tried to find some way of doing away with him; they were afraid of him because the people were carried away by his teaching. And when evening came he went out of the city.
Next morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered to the roots. Peter remembered. ‘Look, Rabbi,’ he said to Jesus, ‘the fig tree you cursed has withered away.’ Jesus answered, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, “Get up and throw yourself into the sea,” with no hesitation in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too. But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.’
I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours.
I remembered playing this game entitled the “Trust Fall” where a friend of ours would stand on a chair and fall backwards whilst a group of friends would link hands and wait as a group at the back to catch hold of him. The trust lies in the individual believing that his friends would catch hold of him. The readings of today remind us of the need to stay close to God and to trust in His plan for us.
St Peter shares with us the need to accept the challenges in our lives. There is a need to believe in God’s plan for us which sometimes may include periods of suffering and pain. It certainly is not easy for us to go through such difficulty but indeed all things are possible if we journey with God. We must realise that God will work with us to ensure we achieve the desired aim He wants for our lives. How then are we able to see this through depends on our response. We must be willing to co-operate with God to discover what His plan for us entails.
Jesus has asked us to believe in the power of prayer. This requires us to first surrender our own will to God. This means we will need to give up our pride and ego. These are the two things which hold us back from becoming closer to God. As we continue with our lives, let us take every day slowly and to continue to communicate to God in prayer and peace.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, let us acknowledge your power in our lives and that you have a plan for each one of us.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all those who show us the plan which God has in our lives.