On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 2, 2015 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

image

How swiftly we judge and condemn others and yet with sin we possess an impaired judgement. Even then are we called to judge others? We tend to cage ourselves by these acts and don’t even realise it. Questions we should be asking are, have we ourselves kept God our Father’s commandments? Have we lived according to His Will for us?

We are all called first and foremost to love one another and to be merciful. And by doing so we stretch our limited capacities beyond ourselves by the gift of divine grace poured out for us. For the measure we give is the measure we receive. Hence we can gauge the level of our growth in faith and love for our Lord by how much we are able and willing to tolerate even except the faults in others. And work instead to bring them to the truth and the light.

Jesus I want to be Holy as You Lord, are Holy. And to be merciful as You Lord are merciful. Amen

First reading
Daniel 9:4-10

O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you. To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.

Gospel
Luke 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’

March 1st 2015 – Second Sunday of Lent

Posted: February 28, 2015 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Reflections with Dr Scott Hahn

Bonds Loosed

Readings:
Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15-19
Romans 8:31-34
Mark 9:2-10

The Lenten season continues with another story of testing. Last Sunday, we heard the trial of Jesus in the desert. In this week’s First Reading, we hear of how Abraham was put to the test.

The Church has always read this story as a sign of God’s love for the world in giving His only begotten son.

In today’s Epistle, Paul uses exact words drawn from this story to describe how God, like Abraham, did not withhold His only Son, but handed Him over for us on the cross (see Romans 8:32; Genesis 22:12,16).

In the Gospel today, too, we hear another echo. Jesus is called God’s “beloved Son” – as Isaac is described as Abraham’s beloved firstborn son.

These readings are given to us in Lent to reveal Christ’s identity and to strengthen us in the face of our afflictions.

Jesus is shown to be the true son that Abraham rejoiced to see (see Matthew 1:1; John 8:56). In His transfiguration, He is revealed to be the “prophet like Moses” foretold by God – raised from among their own kinsmen, speaking with God’s own authority (see Deuteronomy 18:15,19).

Like Moses, He climbs the mountain with three named friends and beholds God’s glory in a cloud (see Exodus 24:1,9,15). He is the one prophesied to come after Elijah’s return (see Sirach 48:9-10; Malachi 3:1,23-24).

And, as He discloses to the apostles, He is the Son of Man sent to suffer and die for our sins (see Isaiah 53:3).

As we sing in today’s Psalm, Jesus believed in the face of His afflictions, and God loosed Him from the bonds of death (see Psalm 116:3).

His rising should give us the courage to face our trials, to offer ourselves totally to the Father – as He did, as Abraham and Isaac did.

Freed from death by His death, we come to this Mass to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and to renew our vows – as His servants and faithful ones.

Blessings Come In Different Ways…

Posted: February 28, 2015 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

On hindsight I must say I had been truly blessed last night and extra most probably because Clement led us in a prayer before we cycled.  Midway through our journey I had a puncture in my inner tube of the back wheel and didn’t realise it at the time.

This was about the time when my bike fell and the guys joked that I was showing temper for all the waiting.  As I then rode off first Clement was right behind me,  so when I stopped to check my wheel he got of to offer assistance. By then my back wheel was flat. We used his ‘never used’ before pump and we remarked how good and smooth it was to pump the bike.

I honestly don’t know how I then managed to complete the 25km++ with the guys! Just after leaving Woodlands 11 where we had a drink and a meal my back wheel was flat one again and I had to walk the rest of the way back which was at most 500 metres.  Anyhow just wanted to thank and praise the Lord! And it was fantastic riding with the guys of St Anthony’s! 

P.s. Inner tube changed and new night light installed all set for the next ride!

O Blessed Mother..

Posted: February 28, 2015 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

image

This morning as I was making my way to church. I met an elderly couple at the bus stop also attending the EC. The man was asking about my parents and then later we ended up talking about the new Grotto of our Lady in our Church. He was lamenting that the statue is placed too high and is a strain on the neck. I told him that we can look towards heaven to see her there but besides that we can always stand further back so we do not have to strain our necks. I also shared that ever since it was installed I feel drawn to pray to her before going in.

Upon arrivng to church I made my way to the Grotto dismayed to find that the waterfall was stopped for some minor works. But it did not deter me from praying to our Lady to intercede for me so that I may have purity of heart and mind. Then I overheard a lady Parishioner, a regular pretending to talk to Mother Mary in a loud voice, “Hello how are you up there?” then she giggled. She didn’t mean anything by it but all the same another Parishioner, also a regular guy was heard telling her that no matter what, we should be more respectful etc. I walked off into the Church as I did not want to add to the slight tension in anyway and to prepare for the EC. I decided to also say a quick prayer for the parishioners.

After taking a host and dropping it into the ciborium I could not believe my eyes! Praise the Lord! Thank You blessed Mother!

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 28, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

image

It is far easier to see the faults in others and to write them off. To stay far away from those who irritate us even if they are family. Afterall what we want is only peace and quiet. To be in company of those who love us and of whom we love.

Yet we ourselves want to be loved by God our Father afraid that we often do not measure up and are simply not good enough to be loved by Him. Still He loves us despite our imperfections and our many, many faults. And in His great love He sent His Son our Lord Jesus to save us from eternal death.

By virtue of our baptism we are consecrated unto Him. We are His children called to be Holy as our heavenly Father is Holy. To love as He loves. And so we are called to love one another despite our many faults and imperfections. To lead one another closer to eternal life with our Heavenly Father. Through Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading
Deuteronomy 26:16-19

Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
‘You have today made this declaration about the Lord: that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice. And the Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments; then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.’

Gospel
Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 27, 2015 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

image

There is no sin too great that God our loving Father will not forgive; so long as we detest and leave them behind while seeking earnestly to reconcile with Him.

Holding a grudge leads to sin and holds us captive. How can we be free to love, serve and worship God at the altar if we do not first let go of the grudge? If we do not first seek reconciliation? Forgive or be forgiven? How can we receive mercy from our Lord for our heinous sins against Him who is pure and not extend mercy to our brethren?

Lord Jesus it is through Your great love for me that I can love. It is my greatest desire to grow in that love daily for You and for my brethren. Guide me Lord in Your ways. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord:
‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’

Gospel
Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples, If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 26, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

image

If we put God our Father in the centre of our lives in everything we say and do. Will we have need to ask Him for anything? Our whole lives will be act of prayer, of communion with Him. Our Lord will provide for all that we need, especially during the trying times.

And yet when we ask, do we not ask out of reverence and love for Him? Do we ask for ourselves or for others? If we ask for ourselves, do what we ask for bring Him Glory? Our loving Father answers all our prayers, can we accept then accept if the answer is no? Trusting that it is best for us.

We have but one Enemy, the one who seeks glory for himself and misery for others. Who sits in direct opposition to God and thrives on the sins of all. Let us pray that we remain steadfast in the love of God so that we are always under His protection.

And may our almighty and ever living God bless us, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

First reading
Esther 4:17

Queen Esther took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She besought the Lord God of Israel in these words:
‘My Lord, our King, the only one,
come to my help, for I am alone
and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
‘I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family,
that you, Lord, chose
Israel out of all the nations
and our ancestors out of all the people of old times
to be your heritage for ever;
and that you have treated them as you promised.
‘Remember, Lord; reveal yourself
in the time of our distress.
‘As for me, give me courage,
King of gods and master of all power.
Put persuasive words into my mouth
when I face the lion;
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
‘As for ourselves, save us by your hand,
and come to my help, for I am alone
and have no one but you, Lord.’

Gospel
Matthew 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. Is there a man among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.’