On Today’s Gospel

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

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What can a man offer God? If his heart is full of worldly desires and his head with the ways of the world. How can he serve with a heart empty of all that is Holy? What he values as high and precious never stands the test of time. Soon all is lost and he whithers, dies and is easily forgotten.

But a man of God is never forgotten for he is always fondly remembered for his faith and works. They will say this of him, “The words he spoke were those of the Lord, the lives he touched were touched by the hand of the Lord. He never ceased to give thanks, praise and Glory to God. He brought hope, healing and performed many acts of mercy. Many lives were transformed and brought close to Christ. Truly he was a man of God. ”

Lord Your children pray that through You, with You and in You; we become the men and women of You, our Lord and God. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 44:1,9-13

Let us praise illustrious men,
our ancestors in their successive generations.
Some have left no memory,
and disappeared as though they had not existed,
they are now as though they had never been,
and so too, their children after them.
But here is a list of generous men
whose good works have not been forgotten.
In their descendants there remains
a rich inheritance born of them.
Their descendants stand by the covenants
and, thanks to them, so do their children’s children.
Their offspring will last for ever,
their glory will not fade.

Gospel
Mark 11:11-26

After he had been acclaimed by the crowds, Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked all round him, but as it was now late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Next day as they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf some distance away, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it, but when he came up to it he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. And he addressed the fig tree. ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’ he said. And his disciples heard him say this.
So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons. Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple. And he taught them and said, ‘Does not scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples? But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’ This came to the ears of the chief priests and the scribes, and they tried to find some way of doing away with him; they were afraid of him because the people were carried away by his teaching. And when evening came he went out of the city.
Next morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered to the roots. Peter remembered. ‘Look, Rabbi,’ he said to Jesus, ‘the fig tree you cursed has withered away.’ Jesus answered, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, “Get up and throw yourself into the sea,” with no hesitation in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too.’ But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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I let life take its toll on me and once more I was blind. I could not see the marvels and beauty of the sky, sea and earth that God had put before me. The love in the eyes of my spouse and children were foreign to me I only saw them as my responsibility. I was alone even though I was not.

I cried out to You O Lord! And You heard me. You opened my eyes to the Glory of You. Your Word transformed me from deep within and I was set free to once again to live fully in Your love. I will sing Your praises forever. I will walk Your paths and lead others on it too. So that I may glorify You by my every act and word. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 42:15-26

I will remind you of the works of the Lord,
and tell of what I have seen.
By the words of the Lord his works come into being
and all creation obeys his will.
As the sun in shining looks on all things,
so the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
The Lord has not granted to the holy ones
to tell of all his marvels
which the Almighty Lord has solidly constructed
for the universe to stand firm in his glory.
He has fathomed the deep and the heart,
and seen into their devious ways;
for the Most High knows all the knowledge there is,
and has observed the signs of the times.
He declares what is past and what will be,
and uncovers the traces of hidden things.
Not a thought escapes him,
not a single word is hidden from him.
He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom,
he is from everlasting to everlasting,
nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away,
he needs no one’s advice.
How desirable are all his works,
how dazzling to the eye!
They all live and last for ever,
whatever the circumstances all obey him.
All things go in pairs, by opposites,
and he has made nothing defective;
the one consolidates the excellence of the other,
who could ever be sated with gazing at his glory?

Gospel Mark
10:46-52

As Jesus left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’ And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man. ‘Courage,’ they said ‘get up; he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,’ the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’ And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

On Today’s Gospel

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

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We can easily see others seeking personal glory or recognition in their words, actions and feel indignant towards them. But we ourselves may be doing the same albeit subtly. The only recognition we should seek is one day hearing our Lord say to us “Come my good and faithful servant, come dine in Your Master’s house.”

For it is in the love of our Lord that we should serve. All our blessings and rewards comes from serving Him. And to serve Him is to serve our brethren in great love and humility. That every act and word we utter brings Him Glory. They whom we serve can see that we are men and women of God and it builds in them a desire to know and experience Him first hand for themselves.

Grant me a servant’s heart O Lord and let me serve You according to Your Will. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 36:1-2,5-7,13-19

Have mercy on us, Master, Lord of all, and look on us,
cast the fear of yourself over every nation.
Let them acknowledge you, just as we have acknowledged
that there is no God but you, Lord.
Send new portents, do fresh wonders,
win glory for your hand and your right arm.
Gather together all the tribes of Jacob,
restore them their inheritance as in the beginning.
Have mercy, Lord, on the people who have invoked your name,
on Israel whom you have treated as a first-born.
Show compassion on your holy city,
on Jerusalem the place of your rest.
Fill Zion with songs of your praise,
and your sanctuary with your glory.
Bear witness to those you created in the beginning,
and bring about what has been prophesied in your name.
Give those who wait for you their reward,
and let your prophets be proved worthy of belief.
Grant, Lord, the prayer of your servants,
in accordance with Aaron’s blessing on your people,
so that all the earth’s inhabitants may acknowledge
that you are the Lord, the everlasting God.

Gospel
Mark 10:32-45

The disciples were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ahead of them; they were in a daze, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once more taking the Twelve aside he began to tell them what was going to happen to him: ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans, who will mock him and spit at him and scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.’
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’
When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Many times in the past I had come to Your altar Lord, empty handed and silent. I responded to Your call for communion but my heart was full with everything else. I was neither faithful to Your Word nor obedient to Your command to share Your love with others. With a contrite heart I turned to You and You O Lord transformed me.

I respond now to Your call always with great fervor. Willing an eager to share Your love and the knowledge of You with anyone who would listen. I bring to Your altar sacrifices of love, forgiveness of others, time you had given me and the fruits of my labour in Your love. With my lips I sing Your praises and give You heartfelt thanks for everything.

With my whole being I declare, “Here I am Lord, I’ve come to do Your Will.” Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 35:2-15

A man multiplies offerings by keeping the Law;
he offers communion sacrifices by following the commandments.
By showing gratitude he makes an offering of fine flour,
by giving alms he offers a sacrifice of praise.
Withdraw from wickedness and the Lord will be pleased,
withdraw from injustice and you make atonement.
Do not appear empty-handed in the Lord’s presence;
for all these things are due under the commandment.
A virtuous man’s offering graces the altar,
and its savour rises before the Most High.
A virtuous man’s sacrifice is acceptable,
its memorial will not be forgotten.
Honour the Lord with generosity,
do not stint the first-fruits you bring.
Add a smiling face to all your gifts,
and be cheerful as you dedicate your tithes.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously as your means can afford;
for the Lord is a good rewarder,
he will reward you seven times over.
Offer him no bribe, he will not accept it,
do not put your faith in an unvirtuous sacrifice;
since the Lord is a judge
who is no respecter of personages.

Gospel
Mark 10:28-31

‘What about us?’ Peter asked Jesus. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 25, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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What prevents many from entering into the deep personal relationship they seek with God? One is Worldly attachments and the other sin.

One could easily assume that the filth of our heinous sins that separates us from God our Father, is number one in preventing that relationship we hope to have. And yet that cannot be further than the truth. For no matter what we had done in the past or present can separate us from the love of God. And so all it takes is our turning back to Him. Through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we are redeemed, we are restored. We can live our calling; Holy Children of God our Father.

For being obedient and faithful to God’s commandments is not enough if we have worldly attachments. For we cannot serve two masters! We cannot fully embrace all that He wants us to have or to be for ourselves and for others. He knows the plans He has for us, not to harm us but to prosper us. Why then are we afraid to surrender to our creator? A sweet surrender to His love!

Lord I am Yours. Do with me according to Your Will. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 17:20-28

To those who repent, God permits return,
and he encourages those who were losing hope.
Return to the Lord and leave sin behind,
plead before his face and lessen your offence.
Come back to the Most High and turn away from iniquity,
and hold in abhorrence all that is foul.
Who will praise the Most High in Sheol,
if the living do not do so by giving glory to him?
To the dead, as to those who do not exist, praise is unknown,
only those with life and health can praise the Lord.
How great is the mercy of the Lord,
his pardon on all those who turn towards him!

Gospel
Mark 10:17-27

Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’

In Adoration…

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

During Adoration this prayer came to me and I was filled with His love ….

Let me kneel before You Lord till I can kneel no more.
Let me raise my hands in worship till I can raise them no more.
Let me praise You with every part of my being till I can do so no more.
Let my lips bring You glory by my testimonies and thanksgiving till I can speak no more.
Let my life which began in You end in You.  Now and forever… Amen

Pentecost

Posted: May 23, 2015 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Reflections with Dr Scott Hahn

A New Wind

Readings:
Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13
John 20:19-23

The giving of the Spirit to the new people of God crowns the mighty acts of the Father in salvation history.

The Jewish feast of Pentecost called all devout Jews to Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God’s chosen people, in the covenant Law given to Moses at Sinai (see Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:9-11).

In today’s First Reading the mysteries prefigured in that feast are fulfilled in the pouring out of the Spirit on Mary and the Apostles (see Acts 1:14).

The Spirit seals the new law and new covenant brought by Jesus, written not on stone tablets but on the hearts of believers, as the prophets promised (see Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Corinthians 3:2-8; Romans 8:2).

The Spirit is revealed as the life-giving breath of the Father, the Wisdom by which He made all things, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

In the beginning, the Spirit came as a “mighty wind” sweeping over the face of the earth (see Genesis 1:2). And in the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit again comes as “a strong, driving wind” to renew the face of the earth.

As God fashioned the first man out of dust and filled him with His Spirit (see Genesis 2:7), in today’s Gospel we see the New Adam become a life-giving Spirit, breathing new life into the Apostles (see 1 Corinthians 15:45,47).

Like a river of living water, for all ages He will pour out His Spirit on His body, the Church, as we hear in today’s Epistle (see also John 7:37-39).

We receive that Spirit in the sacraments, being made a “new creation” in Baptism (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).

Drinking of the one Spirit in the Eucharist (see 1 Corinthians 10:4), we are the first fruits of a new humanity – fashioned from out of every nation under heaven, with no distinctions of wealth or language or race, a people born of the Spirit.