Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Treasures of the Kingdom

1 Kings 3:5,7-12
Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130
Romans 8:28-30
Matthew 13:44-52
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What is your new life in Christ worth to you?

Do you love His words more than gold and silver, as we sing in today’s Psalm? Would you, like the characters in the Gospel today, sell all that you have in order to possess the kingdom He promises to us? If God were to grant any wish, would you follow Solomon’s example in today’s First Reading—asking not for a long life or riches, but for wisdom to know God’s ways and to desire His will?
The background for today’s Gospel, as it has been for the past several weeks, is the rejection of Jesus’ preaching by Israel. The kingdom of heaven has come into their midst, yet many cannot see that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises, a gift of divine compassion given that they—and we, too—might live.

We too must ever discover the kingdom anew, to find it as a treasure – a pearl of great price. By comparison with the kingdom, we must count all else as rubbish (see Philippians 3:8). And we must be willing to give up all that we have—all our priorities and plans—in order to gain it.

Jesus’ Gospel discloses what Paul, in today’s Epistle, calls the purpose of God’s plan (see Ephesians 1:4). That purpose is that Jesus be the firstborn of many brothers.

His words give understanding to the simple, the childlike. As Solomon does today, we must humble ourselves before God, giving ourselves to His service. Let our prayer be for an understanding heart, one that desires only to do His will.

We are called to love God, to delight in His law, and to forsake every false way. And we are to conform ourselves daily ever more closely to the image of His Son.

If we do this, we can approach His altar as a pleasing sacrifice, confident that all things work for the good—that we whom He has justified, will also one day be glorified.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 25, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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The greatest gift I can give my children, family and friends is the Word of God. And to facilitate encounters with our heavenly Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Knowing that I can only do this through my very own loving and living example of holiness. For the grace of God is upon me.

Then they too can see what I see and hear what I hear. Amen

Feast – St Joachim And St Anne Parents of our Blessed Mother Mary

FIRST READING
Sirach 44:1, 10–15

GOSPEL
Matthew13:16–17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 25, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Empty vessels make the most noise! How we often hear people finding fault with the Church, the priests, religious, ministry members, lay persons even the pope. Some of these may even be well versed in scripture passages. But do they have an authentic relationship with the Holy Trinity? How many lost sheep have they brought back into the fold? How many have been brought close to God in a deep meaningful way?

If we hold the treasure of the Word deep in our hearts, we have the spirit, love and truth in us. And even through afflictions, hardships and toil, we will serve our Lord and brethren with joy. We can unite our sacrifices with the perfect sacrifice of our Lord Jesus so that, whatever we do;will be for the glory and praise of our heavenly Father. And when our earthly form comes to pass, we will be if our Lord in paradise. Amen

(Feast – St James The Apostle)
FIRST READING
2 Corinthians 4:7–15

GOSPEL
Matthew 20:20–28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

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The Eucharistic celebration, the sacraments, the Church, it’s traditions, it’s teachings even the Word of God is meaningless, senseless and useless if we are separated from our groom. How can we see the value in them? Of how priceless and precious they are? If we do not see or hear the source? The living water, eternal fountain! How can our hearts receive Him if it is not prepared to receive Him?

How sad it is that some have heard and responded to our Lord’s call but have leaky cisterns. While they may contain the living water for a while, they are not able to hold on to it. While others who can hold on for much longer never have depth or a complete understanding. They had decided to pick and choose and understand only what they are familiar with and hold true to them.

There is hope that if we so desire to know the Word of God, to see, hear and understand. We can turn to Him our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, He will heal and transform us so that we may enter into life with Him and ALL will be open to us!

Abba Father I adore You! Lord Jesus, I adore You! O Holy Spirit I adore You! Teach and guide me that I may know and understand Your Word and Your Will for me. Let me worship You in heart, word and deed. Amen

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 2:1–3, 7–8, 12–13

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:10–17

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”


The Eucharistic celebration which lasted past midnight is still playing on my mind. And I can still feel the presence of our Lord as He poured out His love on us all. How we gathered close around Him at His table. How we gazed and adored Him in our hands. How we experienced Holy communion with Him and with one another. I will Cherish that moment all the days of my life. Glory be to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 22, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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O the Word of my Lord, deep within my being. O the Word of my Lord you have filled my mind! Beautiful lyrics taken from the song of a young prophet. But how many of us have truly allowed the Word of God to penetrate deep into our hearts, to reflect and chew on His Word; so that we can know His Will and experience His love?

Are our ears shut? If not then do we allow worldly distractions, desires and wants to drive the Word away from us? Do we turn a deaf ear to our loving Father Who has loved and held us in His hands before we were even born?

I love and embrace You my sweet Jesus, Your Word I hold deep in my heart. Let be bear much fruit and grant me the Graces necessary to bring Your Word to all. Amen

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 1:1, 4–10

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:1–9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 22, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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We declare joyfully that we are children of God, but how many of us have truly reflected on what this means for us? Do we still squander away our heavenly inheritance? Do we honour our heavenly Father by the lives we lead? Or do we insist on leading our lives contrary to His loving Will for us?

Merciful Father be patient with us.

Jesus our Lord so loved and honoured His blessed mother that He entrusted her to the care of His disciple. And by so doing, she too is a mother for us all. Through Him we become one body, one Holy family. Let us then be faithful children who does the Will of our heavenly Father as we lead those who have strayed back into life of holiness in Christ. Amen

FIRST READING
Micah 7:14–15, 18–20


GOSPEL
Matthew 12:46–50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”