On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 29, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Today dear Jesus I ponder on Your great love for us. On how You constantly seek to gather Your flock unto Yourself. Of how You freely gave up Your body as a loving sacrifice so that we can be reunited with You; One in Your Body.

And as I ponder these things I realise how self absorbed, self centred I’ve been. I have been lazy in my faith, seeking to be fed never feeding. Seeking to be forgiven yet often holding back forgiveness. My love for You was a private one not to be shared. And I never sought a deep meaningful relationship with You because I was too busy with everything else, my worldly life! For these and all my sins I am truly sorry.

Jesus, my Lord, my God I seek communion with You now and always. I seek not only to be encouraged but to encourage others to live Your Word faithfully. I want to be Your light for all the world to see. And as we Your One Body grows so will our faith, love and charity. Glory to You O Lord. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 10:19-25

Through the blood of Jesus we have the right to enter the sanctuary, by a new way which he has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, his body. And we have the supreme high priest over all the house of God. So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our minds sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is faithful. Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. Do not stay away from the meetings of the community, as some do, but encourage each other to go; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.

Gospel
Mark 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Would you bring in a lamp to put it under a tub or under the bed? Surely you will put it on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
He also said to them, ‘Take notice of what you are hearing. The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given – and more besides; for the man who has will be given more; from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Distractions are overwhelming in this world we live in and it comes in many forms, many vices too. Some are more subtle in their lure like work or a career. It starts off with a bread and butter job then slowly if we allow it; takes over and all our time and passion goes into doing more, earning more. How then can we experience the love of God our Father? Where is He in our lives?

And what about sin? It plunges us into darkness and we drift further away from our loving Father. What we hunger is More! More money, more sex, more wine, more song, more fun! Soon we begin to think there is nothing or no one that can save us.

Jesus can and will save us! All we need to do is cry out to Him with repentant hearts and He will bring us out of darkness into the light. He will liberate us from our sins. Free to love and bear fruit in our lives.

So then the question is how do we remain steadfast? The heart of the answer lies in communion with our one triune God.

We must love God with all our strength, heart, mind and soul. We must love one another as Jesus our Lord loved us. We listen to His Word and live it out in our lives. And partake of the bread of life; the Word made flesh in Holy Eucharist. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 10:11-18

All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. The Holy Spirit assures us of this; for he says, first:
This is the covenant I will make with them
when those days arrive;
and the Lord then goes on to say:
I will put my laws into their hearts
and write them on their minds.
I will never call their sins to mind,
or their offences.
When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.

Gospel
Mark 4:1-20

Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen!, Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’
He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 27, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Do we love God enough to seek His Will for us? Or do we love ourselves more and are only concerned with self preservation and happiness? Do we ponder over His great profound love for us, His great gift and sacrifice? Or are we so shallow as to take Him for granted? O why Lord do You love us still?

To love God is to participate in His sacrifice of love. That is to carry our cross and follow Him. Trusting and knowing that He will never forsake us. We are then in full communion with Him and one another.

Here I am Lord, I’ve come to do Your Will. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 10:1-10

Since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. Instead of that, the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what he said, on coming into the world:
You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;
then I said,
just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’
Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Gospel
Mark 3:31-35

The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Only children of the light can see the beauty and wonder of the creator in His creations. They too can see the good in others and draw it out. They have witnessed the great and abundant love of God in their lives and in the lives of others and are able to testify boldly without reservation. They who have fallen deeply in love with Jesus are disciplined in His ways and bear willingly the cross of His love to all.

Jesus Son of the living God have mercy on us. Heal us and open our eyes so that we may always see the truth. Let us never blaspheme against You by our words, thoughts and deeds darkened by our attachments to sin. Free us the snares of all evil so that we may live faithfully according to Your Word. Amen

St Timothy pray for us.
St Titus pray for us.
Amen

(Memorial – Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops)

First reading
2 Timothy 1:1-8

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus in his design to promise life in Christ Jesus; to Timothy, dear child of mine, wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Night and day I thank God, keeping my conscience clear and remembering my duty to him as my ancestors did, and always I remember you in my prayers; I remember your tears and long to see you again to complete my happiness. Then I am reminded of the sincere faith which you have; it came first to live in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I have no doubt that it is the same faith in you as well.
That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy.

Gospel
Mark 3:22-30

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house. ‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

January 25th 2015 – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 24, 2015 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Reflections with Dr Scott Hahn

Following Him

Readings:
Jonah 3:1-5,10
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

The calling of the brothers in today’s Gospel evokes Elisha’s commissioning by the prophet Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:19-21).

As Elijah comes upon Elisha working on his family’s farm, so Jesus sees the brothers working by the seaside. And as Elisha left his mother and father to follow Elijah, so the brothers leave their father to come after Jesus.

Jesus’ promise – to make them “fishers of men” – evokes Israel’s deepest hopes. The prophet Jeremiah announced a new exodus in which God would send “many fishermen” to restore the Israelites from exile, as once He brought them out of slavery in Egypt (see Jeremiah 16:14-16).

By Jesus’ cross and resurrection, this new exodus has begun (see Luke 9:31). And the apostles are the first of a new people of God, the Church – a new family, based not on blood ties, but on belief in Jesus and a desire to do the Father’s will (see John 1:12-13; Matthew 12:46-50).

From now on, even our most important worldly concerns – family relations, occupations, and possessions – must be judged in light of the gospel, Paul says in today’s Epistle.

The first word of Jesus’ gospel – repent – means we must totally change our way of thinking and living, turning from evil, doing all for the love of God.

And we should be consoled by Nineveh’s repentance in today’s First Reading. Even the wicked Nineveh could repent at Jonah’s preaching. And in Jesus we have a greater than Jonah (see Matthew 12:41). We have God come as our savior, to show sinners the way, as we sing in today’s Psalm. This should give us hope – that loved ones who remain far from God will find compassion if they turn to Him.

But we, too, must continue along the path of repentance – striving daily to pattern our lives after His.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 24, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Through our Lord Jesus Christ we are united with God our eternal Father. We can see, touch and experience the love of God in a most tangible and profound way. He can live in us as we live in Him. The source and summit of our faith, the bread of life!

To experience the gift of life in all its fullness we need to cast aside our shallow thinking. We need to rid the scales of sin from our eyes. Only then can we receive Him wholly into our lives and experience the depth of His love.

Jesus You are my Eucharistic Lord and saviour! Amen

First reading
Hebrews 9:2-3,11-14

There was a tent which comprised two compartments: the first, in which the lamp stand, the table and the presentation loaves were kept, was called the Holy Place; then beyond the second veil, an innermost part which was called the Holy of Holies.
But now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.

Gospel
Mark 3:20-21

Jesus went home, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 23, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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We are a chosen people to bring the light of Christ into the world. To be a shining example of what it means to be a child of God our almighty Father. Who in great compassion and love for us made an everlasting covenant with us through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

He is our Father and we are His children and so now we can fully enter into a deep and personal relationship with Him. We know when we have sinned and when we choose to detest our sins and be reconciled with Him, He welcomes back with open arms. Nothing and no one can separate us from the love of our heavenly Father. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 8:6-13

We have seen that Christ has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it. And in fact God does find fault with them; he says:
See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –
when I will establish a new covenant
with the House of Israel and the House of Judah,
but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by the hand
to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
They abandoned that covenant of mine,
and so I on my side deserted them. It is the Lord who speaks.
No, this is the covenant I will make
with the House of Israel
when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks.
I will put my laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts.
Then I will be their God
and they shall be my people.
There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour,
or brother to say to brother,
‘Learn to know the Lord.’
No, they will all know me,
the least no less than the greatest,
since I will forgive their iniquities
and never call their sins to mind.
By speaking of a new covenant, he implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears.

Gospel
Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up into the hills and summoned those he wanted. So they came to him and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils. And so he appointed the Twelve: Simon to whom he gave the name Peter, James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges or ‘Sons of Thunder’; then Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray him.