I read Matthew 1 to 3 aloud today, then kept silent after each chapter. Here are my reflections on the gospel:
Matthew 1: Geneology of Jesus
- 14 + 14 + 14 generations. – Things take time. God has a plan and good things will work out for those who trust in God.
- When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. – This sentence struck me because St Joseph had so much faith in God – he too, was a descendant of David and Abraham but I found myself wondering if I can 1) recognise when the Lord is speaking 2) act as commanded, without hesitation. What an amazing man of faith!
Matthew 2: The Visit of the Magi
- How do I treat people who are searching for the Lord? Sometimes I don’t know what to do / say. So I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide the conversation.
- We see King Herod welcoming an audience with the Magi but with secret intentions. Do I have a personal agenda when speaking to people?
- How often do I visit Jesus, to pay homage?
- What gifts do I bring?
- Again we see that God said Go, and Joseph went. And the Magi went. Even the Magi, who are not believers of the faith, but are curious seekers. If they can listen and obey God’s commands, why am I not?
- Then King Herod orders the massacre of innocents. Do I retaliate in anger and hurt others in the process?
- Joseph is warned in a dream again, and he goes. God protects us! It took awhile to reach the ‘intended land’ but God fulfills His promise to all those who trust in Him and obey.
Matthew 3: Proclaiming the Kingdom
- John was out and about, fulfilling his task of carrying the message of repentance. What message am I carrying? Where and to whom am I carrying this message?
- Am I fulfilling my apostolic mission?
- Am I leading others closer to God?
- What behaviours or words should I abstain from?
- John is living a simple life (doesn’t mean comfortable and safe life). What are the unnecessary things in my life? Is my life too comfortable? What can I offer as a sacrifice for Lent?
- The people acknowledged their sins. Are there any unconfessed sins?
- Am I a self-righteous onlooker like the Pharisees and Sadducees? Or am I active in my faith?
- A sentence that stood out to me: “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.” – Matthew 3:8 This ties in with the aim for 2017 – to grow the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It reminds me that ongoing action is required and part of repentance.
- John then points to Jesus. Do I point to Jesus or claim glory for myself? This reminds me to be humble and to give all glory to God.
- Jesus travelled from Galilee to John in the Jordan. I have a long way to go too, in order to reach and fulfill my baptismal call to holiness.
- Also, each of us has a role to play in each other’s journey towards holiness. Lead others to God.