On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 3, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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What kind of relationship do we have with God? Is it one of only taking or receiving what we think is rightfully ours? Do we moan and groan to Him when life is dull? Or when face hardships?

Do we reflect instead on the many blessings we have received from our loving Father? The freedom we enjoy? The food on the table? The clothing we have? The shelter over our heads? Have we offered praise and thanksgiving to Him?

Our Lord and God is bountiful in His mercy and love. And we know and hold this to be true when we are in communion with Him. For He is always with us in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. And He will be with us eternally. Amen

First reading
Numbers 11:4-15

The sons of Israel began to wail, ‘Who will give us meat to eat?’ they said. ‘Think of the fish we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic! Here we are wasting away, stripped of everything; there is nothing but manna for us to look at!’
  The manna was like coriander seed, and had the appearance of bdellium. The people went round gathering it, and ground it in a mill or crushed it with a pestle; it was then cooked in a pot and made into pancakes. It tasted like cake made with oil. When the dew fell on the camp at night-time, the manna fell with it.
  Moses heard the people wailing, every family at the door of its tent. The anger of the Lord flared out, and Moses greatly worried over this. And he spoke to the Lord:
  ‘Why do you treat your servant so badly? Why have I not found favour with you, so that you load on me the weight of all this nation? Was it I who conceived all this people, was it I who gave them birth, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, like a nurse with a baby at the breast, to the land that I swore to give their fathers”? Where am I to find meat to give to all this people, when they come worrying me so tearfully and say, “Give us meat to eat”? I am not able to carry this nation by myself alone; the weight is too much for me. If this is how you want to deal with me, I would rather you killed me! If only I had found favour in your eyes, and not lived to see such misery as this!’

Gospel
Matthew 14:13-21

When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.
  When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they answered ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 1, 2015 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Scott Hahn Reflects on the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Endurance Test:

Readings:
Exodus 16:2–4, 12–15
Psalm 78:3–4, 23–25, 54
Ephesians 4:17, 20–24
John 6:24–35

The journey of discipleship is a life-long exodus from the slavery of sin and death to the holiness of truth in Mount Zion, the promised land of eternal life.

The road can get rough. And when it does, we can be tempted to complain like the Israelites in this week’s First Reading.

We have to see these times of hardship as a test of what is in our hearts, a call to trust God more and to purify the motives for our faith (Deuteronomy 8:2–3).

As Paul reminds us in this week’s Epistle, we must leave behind our old self-deceptions and desires and live according to the likeness of God in which we are made.

Jesus tells the crowd in this week’s Gospel that they are following him for the wrong reasons. They seek him because he filled their bellies. The Israelites, too, were content to follow God so long as there was plenty of food.

Food is the most obvious of signs—because it is the most basic of our human needs.  We need our daily bread to live. But we cannot live by this bread alone. We need the bread of eternal life that preserves those who believe in him (Wisdom 16:20, 26).

The manna in the wilderness, like the bread Jesus multiplied for the crowd, was a sign of God’s Providence—that we should trust that he will provide.

These signs pointed to their fulfillment in the Eucharist, the abundant bread of angels we sing about in this week’s Psalm.

This is the food that God longs to give us. This is the bread we should be seeking. But too often we don’t ask for this bread. Instead we seek the perishable stuff of our every day wants and anxieties. In our weakness we think these things are what we really need.

We have to trust God more. If we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, all these things will be ours as well (Matthew 6:33).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 1, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Whatever the celebration we hold do we thank and praise God first? Is He the centre of our lives? For when we are not ordered to God then sin easily finds its way in. We can get carried away with just partying and making sinful choices. And soon the reason for the celebration is lost.

The greatest celebration we have in which we give glory, honour praise and thanks to God is the Eucharistic Celebration! We acknowledge Him as our Lord, God of all creation.  We celebrate our redemption through Jesus Christ His Son, our Lord. Our hearts, minds and souls are filled with the sanctifying Word of God. And we are nourished by His body and blood. A foretaste each time of the promise to come. The Heavenly Banquet!

And so we should model all our celebrations after this one, remembering always that it is only through Jesus that we have life and in abundance. Amen

First reading
Leviticus 25:1,8-17

The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. He said:
  ‘You are to count seven weeks of years – seven times seven years, that is to say a period of seven weeks of years, forty-nine years. And on the tenth day of the seventh month you shall sound the trumpet; on the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout the land. You will declare this fiftieth year sacred and proclaim the liberation of all the inhabitants of the land. This is to be a jubilee for you; each of you will return to his ancestral home, each to his own clan. This fiftieth year is to be a jubilee year for you: you will not sow, you will not harvest the ungathered corn, you will not gather from the untrimmed vine. The jubilee is to be a holy thing to you, you will eat what comes from the fields.
  ‘In this year of jubilee each of you is to return to his ancestral home. If you buy or sell with your neighbour, let no one wrong his brother. If you buy from your neighbour, this must take into account the number of years since the jubilee: according to the number of productive years he will fix the price. The greater the number of years, the higher shall be the price demanded; the less the number of years, the greater the reduction; for what he is selling you is a certain number of harvests. Let none of you wrong his neighbour, but fear your God; I am the Lord your God.’

Gospel Matthew 14:1-12

Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus, and said to his court, ‘This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’
  Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. For John had told him, ‘It is against the Law for you to have her.’ He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet. Then, during the celebrations for Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and so delighted Herod that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked. Prompted by her mother she said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head, here, on a dish.’ The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her, and sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl who took it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 31, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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In the early years just as a father would do for his children. Our Heavenly Father gave us guidelines, commands to follow. How and when we were to offer up first fruits, sacrifices etc. How we are to worship Him and give Him thanks. Our loving Father has no need for our praise and thanksgiving. He has no need for our sacrifices and burnt offerings. All these He commanded was for us, so that we might be rightly ordered to Him. And that we come together to think and act not for self centred reasons but for Him and for one another.

Today as we worship together in Church, do we offer up our thanksgiving to God? Do we offer up sacrifices? Do we care for one another as one body in Christ? Are we rightly ordered to Him? Most importantly do we have a deep personal relationship with Jesus? Or was he just a mythical figure? Simply a carpenter’s son with great charisma? Able to wow the crowds with unexplainable feats?

Jesus You are the Son of the living God and You are my Lord and God. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Leviticus 23:1,4-11,15-16,27,34-37

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said:
  ‘These are the Lord’s solemn festivals, the sacred assemblies to which you are to summon the sons of Israel on the appointed day.
  ‘The fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the Passover of the Lord; and the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of Unleavened Bread for the Lord. For seven days you shall eat bread without leaven. On the first day you are to hold a sacred assembly; you must do no heavy work. For seven days you shall offer a burnt offering to the Lord. The seventh day is to be a day of sacred assembly; you must do no work.’
  The Lord spoke to Moses. He said:
  ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them:
  ‘“When you enter the land that I give you, and gather in the harvest there, you must bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest, and he is to present it to the Lord with the gesture of offering, so that you may be acceptable. The priest shall make this offering on the day after the sabbath
  ‘“From the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the sheaf of offering, you are to count seven full weeks. You are to count fifty days, to the day after the seventh sabbath, and then you are to offer the Lord a new oblation.
  ‘“The tenth day of the seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. You are to hold a sacred assembly. You must fast, and you must offer a burnt offering to the Lord.
  ‘“The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of Tabernacles for the Lord, lasting seven days. The first day is a day of sacred assembly; you must do no heavy work. For seven days you must offer a burnt offering to the Lord. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly, you must offer a burnt offering to the Lord. It is a day of solemn meeting; you must do no heavy work.
  ‘“These are the solemn festivals of the Lord to which you are to summon the children of Israel, sacred assemblies for the purpose of offering burnt offerings, holocausts, oblations, sacrifices and libations to the Lord, according to the ritual of each day.”’

Gospel
Matthew 13:54-58

Coming to his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter’s son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?’ And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house’, and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 30, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Jesus is the glory of God personified. He is the loving mercy of God come to save us. And we remember the everlasting covenant He made with us at every Eucharistic Celebration. He seeks to dwell in the tabernacle of our hearts. For He is Emmanuel, God with us; are we then ready to receive Him? Have we strived for holiness? Have we regularly gone for the Sacrament of reconciliation?

Let us go often with the room of our hearts prepared to receive Jesus in the Eucharist; Let us be made worthy to be called children of God. And let us lead one another into the Heavenly Kingdom of our Lord. Amen

First reading
Exodus 40:16-21,34-38

The tabernacle is set up

Moses did exactly as the Lord had directed him. The tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month in the second year. Moses erected the tabernacle. He fixed the sockets for it, put up its frames, put its crossbars in position, set up its posts. He spread the tent over the tabernacle and on top of this the covering for the tent, as the Lord had directed Moses. He took the Testimony and placed it inside the ark. He set the shafts to the ark and placed the throne of mercy on it. He brought the ark into the tabernacle and put the screening veil in place; thus he screened the ark of the Lord, as the Lord had directed Moses.
  The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because of the cloud that rested on it and because of the glory of the Lord that filled the tabernacle.
  At every stage of their journey, whenever the cloud rose from the tabernacle the sons of Israel would resume their march. If the cloud did not rise, they waited and would not march until it did. For the cloud of the Lord rested on the tabernacle by day, and a fire shone within the cloud by night, for all the House of Israel to see. And so it was for every stage of their journey.

Gospel
Matthew 13:47-53

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
  ‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Let us always come before the Lord with our hearts and minds opened either in prayer or worship. Let nothing lie hidden within us for He sees all and knows all. If we are ashamed for having sinned then let us bring our sins before Him so that we can be reconciled and restored.  Our loving Lord will fill us with His peace and grace so that we may reflect His light unto others so that they too will no longer live in darkness.

O Saint Martha what faith You exemplified through your deep personal relationship with our Lord. At a time where the Saduccees did not believe in the resurrection, you uttered your faith with conviction.  You declared once again in great faith that Jesus our Lord was the promised one, sent for the salvation of the world. The Son of God! You showed us how that through a loving relationship with Jesus, we too might see through His eyes and that His heart can speak to and through us. Intercede for us O beloved Saint, that we may do likewise. Amen

First reading
Exodus 34:29-35

When Moses came down from the mountain of Sinai – as he came down from the mountain, Moses had the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands – he did not know that the skin on his face was radiant after speaking with the Lord. And when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, the skin on his face shone so much that they would not venture near him. But Moses called to them, and Aaron with all the leaders of the community came back to him; and he spoke to them. Then all the sons of Israel came closer, and he passed on to them all the orders that the Lord had given him on the mountain of Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. Whenever he went into the Lord’s presence to speak with him, Moses would remove the veil until he came out again. And when he came out, he would tell the sons of Israel what he had been ordered to pass on to them, and the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord.

Gospel
John 11:19-27

Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Let us strive to be Holy and faithful so that we too can be life giving. We can choose to be wheat that becomes bread or simply darnel that possess only a semblance of wheat but are useless and parasitic.

Our Lord Jesus intercedes for us, He is the bridge whereby we are able to be in Holy communion with our Heavenly Father.  To receive His peace, grace, love, joy and loving instruction. And so we can share freely how merciful and loving is our God; rich in kindness and faithful. So that all may be brought to a personal encounter with Him and be saved.

Let our headstrong minds and stubbornness of heart be melted away by the flame of Your love O Lord. As we choose to be life giving and stedfast in our love for You. Amen

First reading
Exodus 33:7-11,34:5-9,28

Moses used to take the Tent and pitch it outside the camp, at some distance from the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting. Anyone who had to consult the Lord would go out to the Tent of Meeting, outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the Tent, all the people would rise. Every man would stand at the door of his tent and watch Moses until he reached the Tent; the pillar of cloud would come down and station itself at the entrance to the Tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. When they saw the pillar of cloud stationed at the entrance to the Tent, all the people would rise and bow low, each at the door of his tent. The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would turn back to the camp, but the young man who was his servant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the Tent.
  And the Lord descended in the form of a cloud, and Moses stood with him there.
  He called on the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness; for thousands he maintains his kindness, forgives faults, transgression, sin; yet he lets nothing go unchecked, punishing the father’s fault in the sons and in the grandsons to the third and fourth generation.’ And Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped. ‘If I have indeed won your favour, Lord,’ he said ‘let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are a headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins, and adopt us as your heritage.’
  Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, eating and drinking nothing. He inscribed on the tablets the words of the Covenant – the Ten Words.

Gospel
Matthew 13:36-43

Leaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’