On Today’s Gospel

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

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How the tide has turned, for once upon a time I was very much with the crowd. I sang pretty much the same tune. And yet send you did indeed, one or two family members, priests, people close, familiar to me and even strangers to call me to repentance. And more often You ensured that they did so subtly and gently. Would I listen at the time? No! For it was easier to find fault with them, their logic, their own way of life, their relationships. Gossip would quash their efforts and if not then I would just stay away or walk away. Sin had a hold on me, for it was far more alluring.

Then like the prodigal son, I too saw the better life You my heavenly Father had to offer. I came prostrating myself before You ashamed and sorrowful, feeling unworthy to be in Your presence. But with Your powerful arms You lifted me up and embraced me lovingly and I was restored. I am and always be Your child.

Jesus my Lord, thank You for showing me the way. Let me be the light for others as You have been for me. I will not be discouraged in the face of rejection, for I know that there will be great rejoicing in heaven for that one sinner led back home. For I was that sinner. Amen

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 26:1–9

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:54–58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 30, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Thank you Abba Father for your mercy on me, You have been kind and patient. When I was bent out of shape and would have been discarded by most, it was You who guided me and moulded me. You loved me in spite of my offenses against Your Will for me. You saw the good in me and looked upon my strengths and not my weaknesses. Truly I had not experienced such unconditional love before.

Throughout the ages, Your saving Word O Lord has been upon us. A living Word which transform and gives new life to all who receive it. One which transcends time for Your Word is eternal. And yet what is considered old in our minds illuminates the new and gives it new meaning, new dimensions, greater depths. Thank You Jesus for allowing all of us who have opened our hearts and minds to You, the oppprtunity to fall deeply in love with You; our living Word. And through You we bring forth and share the old and the new with all.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done for now and forever. Amen

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 18:1–6

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:47–53

Jesus said to the disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

On Today’s Gospel

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

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I remember how it was, when I use to sit in the company of people I called friends who were vulgar in words and actions. It was fun and a rather carefree time, where we did and said what we wanted without restraint. But all the happiness in those times were fleeting and it left us with emptiness.

Then as I surrendered myself to the Lord and grew in holiness; I found that all that I had done in the past were distasteful and contrary to what my heavenly Father wanted for me. I was looking for love and happiness in all the wrong places.

I have found the most precious and priceless treasure there is to find, my Lord and my God! Life has meaning and so has death. Peace, love and joy surrounds my days. And even though I have to go through some trying days I do so not alone but with my Lord and I am comforted.

Glory be to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 15:10, 16–21

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:44–46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 28, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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We want peace and joy in our lives but do we reject the one Who can give it freely to us? Do we turn back to Him when we have sinned? Or only when the consequences start overpowering us? Or even not at all? Still our heavenly Father patiently waits for your return.

So great is His love for us that He sent His Son to save us. To teach, guide us and show us the way home to Him. He gives us enough time to repent and come back to Him for He always wants the best for us. To live life to the fullest and experience true joy, love and peace. Do we still want a life separated from Him? Do we think we still have tomorrow? Do we truly love our Lord and God? Do we keep Him in mind throughout or at the very least part of the day? Do we thank and praise Him with grateful hearts for the many blesssings He showers on us? Or has it become ritualistic in our lives like saying grace before meals with absent minds and hearts?

Jesus my Lord, I want a life with You. Thank You for being there for me, I love You. Amen

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 14:17–22

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:36–43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 28, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Oh how many still stay away from God thinking they want to enjoy life to the fullest and that a relationship with Him will hinder and stifle them! They stubbornly close their eyes, ears and hearts to our heavenly Father’s call for an intimate loving relationship with Him. Of Whom all life and goodness comes. A loving Father wanting only the best for His children.

How can we say we are useless or are of little value? We are all children of our heavenly Father! Made in His image, destined for greatness through a life of holiness.

We can make such an impact in each others lives. If we but grow in His love, in His Word, in His ways. We can bring comfort and hope when there is none. Nourishment to those in need, healing for those who suffer. Jesus our Lord enables our tiny limited hearts to grow in capacity, we can love with His limitless love. Amen

FIRST READING
Jeremiah 13:1–11

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:31–35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full–grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”

He spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.


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.”