Just as Nebuchadnezzar succeeded in making the people worship the idols out of fear of losing their lives, many today are “worshipping” all kinds of idols just to make ends meet. They have become slaves to sin because they think they have no other means of putting food on the table.

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Indeed, if we must boast at all, there is only one name we can fully rely upon; it is the name of God. Only God deserves such a high level of confidence and trust.

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After the great catch of fish, Peter and his team left everything to follow Jesus. They did not go after the fish itself but after Him who caused the great catch. Do not worship the blessings (miracles) that God gives to you. Worship God instead. And even if blessings do not come, remember that we brought nothing to this world and we shall take nothing with us – God alone is enough!

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Always allow God to do your fighting for you. Just as no one can fight God and succeed, you cannot win unless God is on your side. Seek first God’s kingdom and be fervent in prayer. God will do the rest for you.

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If you do not believe that your prayers are capable of changing anything, then you are yet to understand the meaning of prayer. The deeper your confidence in the power and effectiveness of even a single line of prayer, the more you see the result in your life.

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Cheer up. The sufferings you are experiencing now for the sake of your faith is your cross. For now, everything seems shameful, painful and difficult. Don’t worry, just as we are venerating the cross today, people will come from north, east and west to listen to your story and congratulate you. Do not give up on God just because it is Good Friday.

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At times, God shows up as the fourth man in the fire but at other times, God leaves us to burn. We must have the type of faith to take whatever God so wills.

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In today’s First Reading, we are presented with the story of Abraham our Father in faith. Interestingly, just as Noah offered a sacrifice to God that pleased God so much, we find Abraham offering a very huge sacrifice; the sacrifice of his only begotten son, Isaac – the same Isaac that was born to him after twenty-five long years of waiting.

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The truth is that we cannot avoid having to write exams and very difficult exams at that. God often allows us to go through the valley of the shadow of darkness to show us that even in thick darkness, even amid all the commotion and turbulence, He remains Lord and Ruler of the World. By walking on water, Jesus was saying: “no matter how tough your situation may be, it is not difficult for me because I am on top of it.”

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Today, there are many Christians who literally throw caution to the wind in the name of celebrating Christmas. By so doing and without realizing it, many of us actually celebrate the devil more than we celebrate Jesus Christ during Christmas. Let me ask, where are you planning to go and catch fun today? And why do you feel Christmas is empty without this “fun”?

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The truth is that everything we desire in life, be it peace, prosperity, fame and so on can only come to us if we keep God’s commandments. We cannot live in disobedience to God and still expect the best things in life.

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Are you being threatened with death for doing the right thing? Be like Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego who said to the king: “Even if our God does not save us, we will not bow to your stature.” Yes, even if God decides not to prevent your death (as in the case of John the Baptist), be assured of a better life in heaven. Just don’t live with your fears.

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