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.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 26, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Is it possible to hear the word of God and not be changed? transformed? To preach or share the good news and yet not do or act in accordance with the Scriptures? To receive communion and yet not be in communion with the Church and the body of Christ? What good can come from an appearance of holiness? Unearned respect or recognition? Repent and let hearts of stone be turned into flesh!

The true Holy people of God live not in the foreground, they are too busy with works of mercy and service to God our Father. And so the light of Christ shines through them for nothing is hidden or lying in darkness.

Lord Jesus help me remain steadfast in Your love, let me honour and serve You and my brethren in humility and love all the days of my life. Amen

FIRST READING
2 Thessalonians 3:6–10, 16–18

GOSPEL
Matthew 23:27–32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 26, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Inspired by the Holy Spirit the sacred traditions of our Church have been preserved throughout the centuries. Most will never change especially the ones instituted by our Lord, others with new inspirations from our living God are changed to draw us closer to Him in the present changing time. Knowing that it all comes from our Lord, can we pick and choose what we want to follow and what we don’t? Can we use the excuse of a lack of understanding or ignorance? And then make no effort to learn? Or do we follow them blindly with our hearts and minds disengaged?

Every time we read and reflect on the Word of God and every Eucharistic celebration we attend will and must transform us. For we are drawn into His love and His grace; And that very love and grace will fill our hearts so that we in turn can love everyone especially the least of our brethren. If reading the Word and attending the Eucharistic celebration does nothing for us, if it does not change us in any way or change our attitude towards others then we can be sure our hearts and minds are fully occupied with everything else not from or of God. It could also be a sign of us still holding on to our unrepentant sinful lives. We need to be reconciled with God our heavenly Father.

Lord Jesus let might sights be set only on heavenly things and my heart fully engaged in loving and serving You. Amen

FIRST READING
2 Thessalonians 2:1–3a, 14–17

GOSPEL
Matthew 23:23–26

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self–indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 24, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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What good is our faith if it has no roots and thus bears no fruit? Whom do we worship? If we only pay lip service? How does our prayer transform lives if our hearts are not engaged? How does our love for God and our neighbour grow If we are not willing to sacrifice our time? Nor willing to endure a little hardship or suffering?

I am an important part of the body of Christ just as all parts are equally important. If I think that worship is a private thing, I live for myself and my family alone then I am not part of the body of Christ. To be the body of Christ is to be in, to live in and to live for the community. In prefect union with Him our Godhead, we lift Him up; our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ for all the world to see. So that they too may witness His glory, come into faith and be saved.

Lord grant us open hearts that You may fill with Your love always. Amen

FIRST READING
2 Thessalonians 1:1–5, 11–12

GOSPEL
Matthew 23:13–22

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.”


Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

‘Oh, the Depths!’

Readings:
Isaiah 22:15, 19-23
Psalm 138:1-3, 6, 8
Romans 11:33-36
Matthew 16:13-20

 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” Paul exclaims in today’s Epistle. Today’s Psalm, too, takes up the triumphant note of joy and thanksgiving. Why? Because in the Gospel, the heavenly Father reveals the mystery of His kingdom to Peter.

With Peter, we rejoice that Jesus is the anointed son promised to David, the one prophesied to build God’s temple and reign over an everlasting kingdom (see 2 Samuel 7).

What Jesus calls “my Church” is the kingdom promised to David’s son(see Isaiah 9:1-7). As we hear in today’s First Reading, Isaiah foretold that the keys to David’s kingdom would be given to a new master, who would rule as father to God’s people.

Jesus, the root and offspring of David, alone holds the kingdom’s keys (see Revelation 1:18; 3:7; 22:16). In giving those keys to Peter, Jesus fulfills that prophecy, establishing Peter – and all who succeed him – as holy father of His Church.

His Church, too, is the new house of God – the spiritual temple founded on the “rock” of Peter, and built up out of the living stones of individual believers (see 1 Peter 2:5).

Abraham was called “the rock” from which the children of Israel were hewn (see Isaiah 51:1-2). And Peter becomes the rock from which God raises up new children of God (see Matthew 3:9).

The word Jesus uses – “church” (ekklesia in Greek) – was used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament for the “assembly” of God’s children after the exodus (see Deuteronomy 18:16; 31:30).

His Church is the “assembly of the firstborn” (see Hebrews 12:23; Exodus 4:23-24), established by Jesus’ exodus (see Luke 9:31). Like the Israelites, we are baptized in water, led by the Rock, and fed with spiritual food (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-5).

Gathered at His altar, in the presence of angels, we sing His praise and give thanks to His holy name.