On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 27, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Are we spiritually asleep? Or are we discerning the Will of our Heavenly Father through prayer for us? Are we performing tasks we are called to do as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we bring life and love into the lives of others or death and destruction by our words and deeds? Do we partake of the living Word of God daily so that we may be nourished, awake and alert when He comes?

In Your great love Lord have mercy on me a sinner. Teach me Your ways that I may live my life according to Your Will. So that I will find my name written in the book of Life; life with You O Lord. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 20:1-4,11-21:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven with the key of the Abyss in his hand and an enormous chain. He overpowered the dragon, that primeval serpent which is the devil and Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and shut the entrance and sealed it over him, to make sure he would not deceive the nations again until the thousand years had passed. At the end of that time he must be released, but only for a short while.
Then I saw some thrones, and I saw those who are given the power to be judges take their seats on them. I saw the souls of all who had been beheaded for having witnessed for Jesus and for having preached God’s word, and those who refused to worship the beast or his statue and would not have the brand-mark on their foreheads or hands; they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of his throne, while the book of life was opened, and other books opened which were the record of what they had done in their lives, by which the dead were judged.
The sea gave up all the dead who were in it; Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and every one was judged according to the way in which he had lived. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death; and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was thrown into the burning lake.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband.

Gospel
Luke 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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There is a price to pay when we choose evil over good. For in doing so we are rejecting the love of our Heavenly Father. In His absence so is hope, peace, joy and love. Plunged into darkness there is only chaos, unfettered rage, pain and fear.

Let us turn to the light before it is too late and leave our sinful past behind.

Lord Jesus You are the light of the world, we come before You sinful and sorrowful. In Your great mercy and love free us from the bondages of sin. Heal us Lord and transform us, that we may become beacons for others. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 18:1-2,21-23,19:1-3,9

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory. At the top of his voice he shouted, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty, loathsome bird. Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, ‘That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again.
Never again in you, Babylon,
will be heard the song of harpists and minstrels,
the music of flute and trumpet;
never again will craftsmen of every skill be found
or the sound of the mill be heard;
never again will shine the light of the lamp,
never again will be heard
the voices of bridegroom and bride.
Your traders were the princes of the earth,
all the nations were under your spell.
After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, ‘Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous prostitute who corrupted the earth with her fornication; he has avenged his servants that she killed.’ They sang again, ‘Alleluia! The smoke of her will go up for ever and ever.’ The angel said, ‘Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb’, and he added, ‘All the things you have written are true messages from God.’

Gospel
Luke 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!
They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.
‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Are we ready this day to fight the good fight? To lay our lives down for our Lord? To battle evil and overcome sin? To accept the suffering and hardship of carrying the cross even unto death?

Not everyone are called to a joyful martyrs death, but anyone who has stood up for the faith can share the pain of dying to oneself and accepting the suffering for Christ. What are some of these sufferings? Well enduring shooting taunts and mockery. Facing murderous words which seek to kill the spirit. Spiteful rejection of the message of Christ coupled with hurtful gestures. Indifference with sometimes rejection from close family members and friends.

Lord Jesus I accept death as a rite of passage into new life with You. And I look forward to the day where I can revere, praise and worship You in Your Kingdom. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 15:1-4

What I, John, saw in heaven was a great and wonderful sign: seven angels were bringing the seven plagues that are the last of all, because they exhaust the anger of God. I seemed to see a glass lake suffused with fire, and standing by the lake of glass, those who had fought against the beast and won, and against his statue and the number which is his name. They all had harps from God, and they were singing the hymn of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb:
‘How great and wonderful are all your works,
Lord God Almighty;
just and true are all your ways,
King of nations.
Who would not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
You alone are holy,
and all the pagans will come and adore you
for the many acts of justice you have shown.’

Gospel
Luke 21:12-19

Jesus said: Men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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There are some things people don’t like to think or talk about. The major ones are about death, that is our own impending death and the end times. Some will say, “why think about it at all when you have no control over it?” Others, “Just live and be merry, life is too short to be worrying about such things.” Are we then called to live fearful lives?

We, my dear sisters and brothers are called to live loving lives in Christ. To think about our death and the end times from time to time in a sense, gives us an opportunity to humbly keep score. Have we loved enough? Have we strived for holiness? Have we done what our Heavenly Father has willed for us? Or have we instead chosen and grown in our sins, bloated to the degree that we are ripe to be crushed? If we choose love and live according to the Will of God our Father then the only fear we will and should have is the fear out of love in offending Him in any way.

Lord Jesus I desire to live not in this world but in the world to come with You. Help me to remain faithful and steadfast on my pilgrim journey back to You. In Your most precious name, I pray. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 14:14-19

In my vision I, John, saw a white cloud and, sitting on it, one like a son of man with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the sanctuary, and shouted aloud to the one sitting on the cloud, ‘Put your sickle in and reap: harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then the one sitting on the cloud set his sickle to work on the earth, and the earth’s harvest was reaped.
  Another angel, who also carried a sharp sickle, came out of the temple in heaven, and the angel in charge of the fire left the altar and shouted aloud to the one with the sharp sickle, ‘Put your sickle in and cut all the bunches off the vine of the earth; all its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel set his sickle to work on the earth and harvested the whole vintage of the earth and put it into a huge winepress, the winepress of God’s anger.

Gospel
Luke 21:5-11

When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘All these things you are staring at now – the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.’ And they put to him this question: ‘Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’
‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand.” Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 23, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Some of us will say we are followers of Christ but pick and choose what we want to follow and believe. Then there are some of us who think ourselves leaders of men but have great difficulty in following the directions of other gifted leaders;let alone Christ Himself. Many of us have different ideas of what it means to be a follower of Jesus our Lord.

In order to have some idea of just how much of a follower of Christ we truly are, we need to ask ourselves. Have we truly emptied ourselves so as to be filled with His grace? Have we truly died to ourselves? Have we placed all our heart and trust in Him? Have we placed our hands on the plough and are only looking forwards? Are we carrying our cross and following Him?

O Lord my God, I want to give You my everything. Not just in word but in deed. Help me to overcome all that prevents me in doing so. Let me be holy as You my God are Holy. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 14:1-5

In my vision I, John, saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound coming out of the sky like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it seemed to be the sound of harpists playing their harps. There in front of the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four animals and the elders, a hymn that could only be learnt by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been redeemed from amongst men to be the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb. They never allowed a lie to pass their lips and no fault can be found in them.

Gospel
Luke 21:1-4

As Jesus looked up, he saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; then he happened to notice a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all contributed money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in all she had to live on.’

November 23, 2014 – Feast of Christ the King

Posted: November 22, 2014 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Reflections With Dr Scott Hahn

When the End Comes

Readings:
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Matthew 25:31-46

  The Church year ends this week with a vision of the end of time. The scene in the Gospel is stark and resounds with Old Testament echoes.
 
The Son of Man is enthroned over all nations and peoples of every language (see Daniel 7:13-14). The nations have been gathered to see His glory and receive His judgment (see Isaiah 66:18; Zephaniah 3:8). The King is the divine shepherd Ezekiel foresees in Sunday’s First Reading, judging as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.
 
Each of us will be judged upon our performance of the simple works of mercy we hear in the Gospel.
 
These works, as Jesus explains today, are reflections or measures of our love for Him, our faithfulness to His commandment that we love God with all our might and our neighbor as ourselves (see Matthew 22:36-40).
 
Our faith is dead, lifeless, unless it be expressed in works of love (see James 2:20; Galatians 5:6). And we cannot say we truly love God, whom we cannot see, if we don’t love our neighbor, whom we can (see 1 John 4:20).
 
The Lord is our shepherd, as we sing in Sunday’s Psalm. And we are to follow His lead, to imitate His example (see 1 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 5:1).
 
He healed our sickness (see Luke 6:19), freed us from the prison of sin and death (see Romans 8:2,21), welcomed us who were once strangers to His covenant (see Ephesians 2:12,19). He clothed us in baptism (see Revelation 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:3-4), and feeds us with the food and drink of His own body and blood.
 
At “the end,” He will come again to hand over His kingdom to His Father, as Paul says in the Epistle this week.
 
Let us strive to be following Him in right paths, that this kingdom might be our inheritance, that we might enter into the eternal rest promised for the people of God (see Hebrews 4:1,9-11).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 21, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Why do we hold on so tightly to this world? Why can we not see the plan of our Heavenly Father for us? Eternal life with Him together with the saints, our brethren who had returned to Him before us? His great love for us manifested through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. So that through Him with can share eternal life with Him.

While we are on our pilgrim journey, we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit. We have various gifts on hand to bring the love of God into the hearts of unbelievers. So that they too might have a share of our heavenly inheritance. As they strive to turn away from sin and lead lives worthy of their calling to be children of God our Father.

Lord Jesus Christ Son of the living God, You have given me new life. And I want to always live it out with and in You. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 11:4-12

I, John, heard a voice saying: ‘These, my two witnesses, are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the world. Fire can come from their mouths and consume their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; and if anybody does try to harm them he will certainly be killed in this way. They are able to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying; they are able to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like. When they have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them and overcome them and kill them. Their corpses will lie in the main street of the Great City known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified. Men out of every people, race, language and nation will stare at their corpses, for three-and-a-half days, not letting them be buried, and the people of the world will be glad about it and celebrate the event by giving presents to each other, because these two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world.’
  After the three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up, and everybody who saw it happen was terrified; then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here’, and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud.

Gospel
Luke 20:27-40

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’
  Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’
  Some scribes then spoke up. ‘Well put, Master’ they said – because they would not dare to ask him any more questions.