REFLECTION FOR THE MEMORIAL OF ST. PHILIP NERI/ FRIDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK OF EASTER.
THEME: GOD’S PLAN FOR US.
BY: Fr Francis Onwunali.
Today is the Memorial of St. Philip Neri, priest (1515-1595). This gracious, cheerful saint was Rome’s apostle of the sixteenth century. He was a man of prayer, and especially devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. To his credit, frequent reception of Holy Communion that was long neglected was revived. He loved the young and he spent time with them discussing the things of God. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory.
We continue to pray on this eight day of Novena to the Holy Spirit for the gift of SELF-CONTROL. Our readings today highlight that there is always a way for God’s plan to come to fruition. God always has a way of leading people where He wants them to be and get them to do what He wants them to do.
This is evident in the first reading of today (Acts 25: 13-21). In yesterday’s reading, after Paul was released from prison, the Lord appeared to him and said: “Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome” (Acts 23: 11). Today, opportunity has arrived for Paul’s transfer to Rome to be tried by Caesar, an opportunity to bear witness to Christ in Rome. God will always find a way to fulfil His plans for you in life. Even in the most humanly hopeless situation in life, remember and hold unto God’s promise: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29: 11).
In the gospel (John 21: 15-19), Jesus asks Peter about the love he has for Him (Jesus) and explains what that means for Peter’s life. As Jesus has loved and cared for us, so He requests of Peter to care for the flock now being entrusted to his care.
Dear friends, the Lord Jesus is asking us the same personal and profound question – do you love me more than anything else that might be very dear to you? God’s love is selfless and God wants us to love in such manner, caring for one another. For Oscar Wilde, “to give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love”.
I pray as we journey in life today, we will appeal for God’s grace and empowerment since in our capacity, we cannot love as He loves except in the power of His Holy Spirit, Who lives in us. May we be radically transformed as we welcome the Holy Spirit of love in our hearts. Have a love-full day!
@Fr Francis Onwunali.
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