Thursday, February 21, 2008


The Young Adults of Mustard Seed Community in St Francis Xavier Church are organising a series of talks under the name METANOIAto help young adults grow in their faith journey. The first set of talks fall under the theme "Finding God in My Life". For more info, see the ad below.
Metanoia Ad

Clinging on to the wrong things

Was inspired with this illustration for my vespers sharing yesterday.

14 years ago, on a hiking trip up Mt Ophir in malaysia, one of my friends got injured when he slipped and slid down a slope. His main injury was not on his body or legs, but on the palms of his hands, because as he was sliding down he tried to grab something to stop himself. Sadly, he grabbed on to a branch full of thorns, which gashed his hands severely.

Linking this incident with our lives, often we find ourselves during trials and difficulties reaching out and grabbing on to things for support, hope and help. Sometimes the things that we cling on to in dificult times are actually not good for us, things that take us away from reality, eg. addictions, virtual worlds. But in the end it ends up hurting us more.

Todays psalm 61(62) reminds us that it is only in God alone, that we need to rely on. In him is a hope that will not dissapoint, that will last. So instead of reaching for things that cannot heal, comfort, or support, let us reach out for our God who is our rock, on whom we can stand firm.

In God alone be at rest, my soul;
for my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
my fortress; I stand firm.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Phoenix and Lent

On Ash Wednesday, we sang the song ashes, which has a line which goes "We rise again from ashes". This reminded me of the Phoenix, made famous in recent times by Fawkes from the Harry Potter series, and I was just wondering if it could be used to symbolise our lenten journey.

The Phoenix is a mythical bird, found in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Oriental cultures. It is supposed to live to 500 years, at which it will make a nest, set it and itself on fire, and from the ashes that remain lies an egg from which the phoenix will be reborn.

The interesting thing I found out in searching the net for info on the phoenix, was that because of this characteristic of rebirth of the phoenix, it was used by the early christians as a symbol for Christ and the Resurrection.

Anyway back to the Phoenix and the Lenten Journey. In the book, Dumbledore, tells Harry that Fawkes had been looking dreadful and was about time for him to be reborn. And so it is with us, who might have grown weary, sinful, distant from God. Lent is a time of rebirth, of renewal, although most of the time it seems like it is more burning than rebirth. But that is the purification process that we have to go through in our relationship with God. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving, may seem like fire, but only if we go through it do our impurities get removed and we have a deeper encounter with God.

Lent is spring, it is about new life. The movie got the rebirth of Fawkes slightly wrong, they skipped the egg part. But just think about it, out of the ashes of lent, comes the egg, which has been used as a symbol for Easter. An egg carries in it new life. So this lent, focus on rebirth, renewal, new life with God, and fan the flames of prayer, fasting and alsmsgiving.