On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 3, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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We want to grow in our faith, we want our intercessions and personal prayers to be heard. We want Lord to speak to us and yet we hear nothing. Have we silenced our worldly thoughts? Have we drowned out the noise of the world? Have we quashed personal ambition, envy of status and all other forms of bickering and rivalry? Have we emptied ourselves save for the desire to know, love and serve our Lord and God?

When we have done so, slowly and surely more will be poured out unto us. We know that and can witness that all our prayers are answered. Often we witness His great power through our intercession for others. But even if or when the answer to our prayers is a No; we are grateful still, for we know in His love, mercy and infinite Wisdom it is the best answer for us.

Jesus my Lord, You came so that we might have new life in You. And while we continue pray for healing for the many afflictions that ail us. Fill in our hearts the burning desire to share the message of Your love and salvation for many. Amen

FIRST READING
1 Corinthians 3:1–9

GOSPEL
Luke 4:38–44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother–in–law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 2, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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By the choices I made, I had many demons within me. Pride assured me that the knowledge I had of my faith was sufficient and my understanding of it was always correct. No one could or should attempt to teach me unless I permit it. And besides all other spiritual things are foolish nonsense. Lust drew me close and whispered that it was only a normal human condition to desire fulfilment. Greed showed me that I wanted more and needed more, more is always better than less. Rage bellowed that it is better to feared than to be loved! All my senses were dulled to the Word of God.

Jesus my Lord set me free! By His Word I was liberated from the bondage of sin and was transformed. Once again I can hear the voice of God my heavenly Father. I can sing my praises of Him together with His angels. I can see, smell, touch and experience the divine love of God.

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
is now,
and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

FIRST READING
1 Corinthians 2:10b–16

GOSPEL
Luke 4:31–37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 31, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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There were many times I was moved to speak up on the message from our Lord. The message of His love and salvation. The call for repentance and holiness. To bring hope and comfort to those before me who was clearly in need. But I chose to be silent, thinking I was not good enough, not eloquent enough. Who was I that they will listen? What qualifications did I possess? There were far better people suited for the task.

But as I grew in faith I realised they were all missed opportunities. He had chosen me in my weakness, with my shortcomings and all, so that His glory could shine through me. He would fill me up and make me whole. I, like many others are far better suited for the task He provides then we can ever imagine. Even our past can be used as testimony for the future.

Lord Jesus let Your spirit be upon be me, that I may serve Your flock not with my own wisdom. Let me instead be a beacon of Your love. So that their faith rest on the power of Your glory. Amen

FIRST READING
1 Corinthians 2:1–5

GOSPEL
Luke 4:16–30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’” And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.


Sunday Reflections With Dr Scott Hahn

For Your Life

Readings:
Jeremiah 20:7-9
Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Romans 12:1-2
Matthew 16:21-27

Today’s First Reading catches the prophet Jeremiah in a moment of weakness. His intimate lamentation contains some of the strongest language of doubt found in the Bible. Following God’s call, he feels abandoned. Preaching His Word has brought him only derision and reproach.

But God does not deceive – and Jeremiah knows this. He tests the just (see Jeremiah 20:11-12), and disciplines His children through their sufferings and trials (see Hebrews 12:5-7).

What Jeremiah learns, Jesus states explicitly in today’s Gospel. To follow Him is to take up a cross, to deny yourself – your priorities, preferences, and comforts. It is to be willing to give it all up, even life itself, for the sake of His gospel. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, we have to join ourselves to the passion of Christ, to offer our bodies – our whole beings – as living sacrifices to God.

By His cross, Jesus has shown us what Israel’s sacrifices of animals were meant to teach – that we owe to God all that we have.

God’s kindness is a greater good than life itself, as we sing in today’s Psalm. The only thanks we can offer is our spiritual worship – to give our lives to the service of His will (see Hebrews 10:3-11; Psalm 50:14,23). 


Peter doesn’t yet get this in today’s Gospel. As it was for Jeremiah, the cross is a stumbling block for Peter (see 1 Corinthians 1:23). This too is our natural temptation – to refuse to believe that our sufferings play a necessary part in God’s plan.

That’s how people think, Jesus tells us today. But we are called to the renewal of our minds – to think as God thinks, to will what He wills.

In the Mass, we once again offer ourselves as perfect and pleasing sacrifices of praise (see Hebrews 13:15). We bless Him as we live, confident that we will find our lives in losing them, that with the riches of His banquet, our souls will be satisfied.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 29, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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It is true that while we chose to live in sin we were worthless and weak. But in His mercy our Lord heard our cries for help. He picked us up, cleaned us off and filled us with his grace and love. Praise be to God!

What then does He ask of us? Simply to share His love and mercy for which we have received abundantly. He provides for all that we need. He equips us with what we can manage and sends us on our way. What do we do with the task given to us?

Lord Jesus let me never cower in fear of responsibility, for You are my tower of strength! Let me serve You and my brethren faithfully. Amen

FIRST READING
1 Corinthians 1:26–31

GOSPEL
Matthew 25:14–30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. “

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 29, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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What is truth? That man is willing to die for? It is far easier to give in to deception. To allow our loins to rule our heads or give in to the many temptations that rob us of our honesty. Do we judge the foolishness of others and yet not see in them the very same foolish choices we have made from time to time?

To live in truth is to hear the voice of God. We are called to a life of holiness.

Lord Jesus I give You the truth of my heart. By Your precious blood liberate me to love and serve You. Amen

St John the Baptist pray for us.

The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 1:17–19

GOSPEL
Mark 6:17–29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’ own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 27, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Oh how easy it is for us to be distracted by the world. So many advertisements and in so many forms showing us what we are missing, what we need, why we need it even how we are to dress, what we need to eat and what holiday we must have! It is far easier to fall asleep and give in to our many fantasies even sexual ones.

But You O Lord have shown me the error of my ways. You have liberated me and given me new life in You. I am truly more alive now then I have ever been. All I will ever need or want, I have in You. I have great joy in serving You and my brethen, one that cannot be bought or found other than in You. Has it always been easy and smooth sailing? No.Was there suffering and hardship? Yes. And I gladly carry the cross that I have to bear; for You have been faithfully by my side and Your peace is always upon me.

Lord let me always be awake in and for You. Amen

FIRST READING
1 Corinthians 1:1–9

GOSPEL
Matthew 24:42–51

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”