Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 18, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Settling Accounts: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Psalm 128:1-5
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Matthew 25:14-30

The day of the Lord is coming, Paul warns in today’s Epistle. What matters isn’t the time or the season, but what the Lord finds us doing with the new life, the graces He has given to us.

This is at the heart of Jesus’ parable in today’s Gospel. Jesus is the Master. Having died, risen, and ascended into heaven, He appears to have gone away for a long time.

By our baptism, He has entrusted to each of us a portion of His “possessions,” a share in His divine life (see 2 Peter 1:4). He has given us talents and responsibilities, according to the measure of our faith (see Romans 12:3,8).

We are to be like the worthy wife in today’s First Reading, and the faithful man we sing of in today’s Psalm. Like them, we should walk in the “fear of the Lord”—in reverence, awe, and thanksgiving for His marvelous gifts. This is the beginning of wisdom (see Acts 9:31; Proverbs 1:7).

This is not the “fear” of the useless servant in today’s parable. His is the fear of a slave cowering before a cruel master, the fear of one who refuses the relationship that God calls us to.

He has called us to be trusted servants, fellow workers (see 1 Corinthians 3:9), using our talents to serve one another and His kingdom as good stewards of His grace (see 1 Peter 4:10).

In this, we each have a different part to play.

Though the good servants in today’s parable were given different numbers of talents, each “doubled” what he was given. And each earned the same reward for his faithfulness—greater responsibilities and a share of the Master’s joy.

So let us resolve again in this Eucharist to make much of what we’ve been given, to do all for the glory of God (see 1 Corinthians 10:31). That we, too, may approach our Master with confidence and love when He comes to settle accounts.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: November 18, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Jesus our mighthy deliverer has come to take away our sins. To free us from the bondages so that we may be free to live a fully fulfilled life with and in Him.

Come now and turn back to Him. Let nothing or anyone hold you back. Be reconciled with the Lord God, be one with Him.

Let our prayers be fervent and our hearts full of joy. For the Lord answers all our prayers according to His Will; for He knows what is best for you and me. All in His time. Amen

First reading
Wisdom 18:14-16,19:6-9

When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course,
down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word; into the heart of a doomed land the stern warrior leapt.

Carrying your unambiguous command like a sharp sword, he stood, and filled the universe with death;
he touched the sky, yet trod the earth.

For, to keep your children from all harm, The whole creation, obedient to your commands, was once more, and newly, fashioned in its nature.
Overshadowing the camp there was the cloud, where water had been, dry land was seen to rise, the Red Sea became an unimpeded way,
the tempestuous flood a green plain; sheltered by your hand, the whole nation passed across, gazing at these amazing miracles.
They were like horses at pasture, they skipped like lambs, singing your praises, Lord, their deliverer.

Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: November 17, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Everywhere and all around us we have the grandeur of God our Father’s creation. Do we make time to marvel in awe of its beauty. The flowers, trees, birds, even clouds in the sky some of the numerous treasures of which to behold.

Have we been blinded by sin that we cannot see? So entrenched in the ways of the world that we have lost our connection with the Lord our God? If we do not awake to the power of His redemptive love then we will be lost forever. So with contrite hearts let us turn to Jesus so that He can set us free to live in His glory.

Sweet heart of Jesus keep me awake and sober in Your love and service. Amen

First reading
Wisdom 13:1-9

Naturally stupid are all men who have not known God
and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is, or, by studying the works, have failed to recognise the Artificer.
Fire however, or wind, or the swift air, the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, heaven’s lamps, are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.

If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken things for gods, let them know how much the Lord of these excels them, since the very Author of beauty has created them.
And if they have been impressed by their power and energy, let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them, since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author.

Small blame, however, attaches to these men,
for perhaps they only go astray in their search for God and their eagerness to find him; living among his works, they strive to comprehend them
and fall victim to appearances, seeing so much beauty.
Even so, they are not to be excused: if they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge to be able to investigate the world,
how have they been so slow to find its Master?

Luke 17:26-37

Jesus said to the disciples:
‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: November 16, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We seek to be wiser than others, thinking often we are better, brighter and more knowledgeable. Even on matters of faith! How ignorant and arrogant we can become….

Wisdom of the Lord our God is what we should seek always. For true holiness comes from the wisdom and knowledge of Him. And He will impart His wisdom to those who love Him with all their heart. It is not for us to know the time of days, only that we must be obedient unto the Lord our God each and every day.

Jesus my lord, grant me the wisdom to know Your will. Amen

First reading
Wisdom 7:22-8:1

Within Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, active, incisive, unsullied, lucid, invulnerable, benevolent, sharp, irresistible, beneficent, loving to man,
steadfast, dependable, unperturbed, almighty, all-surveying, penetrating all intelligent, pure and most subtle spirits; for Wisdom is quicker to move than any motion; she is so pure, she pervades and permeates all things.
She is a breath of the power of God, pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
hence nothing impure can find a way into her.
She is a reflection of the eternal light, untarnished mirror of God’s active power, image of his goodness.
Although alone, she can do all; herself unchanging, she makes all things new.
In each generation she passes into holy souls,
she makes them friends of God and prophets; for God loves only the man who lives with Wisdom.
She is indeed more splendid than the sun, she outshines all the constellations; compared with light, she takes first place, for light must yield to night, but over Wisdom evil can never triumph. She deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other, ordering all things for good.

Luke 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, Jesus gave them this answer, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, “Look here! Look there!” For, you must know, the kingdom of God is among you.’
He said to the disciples, ‘A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it. They will say to you, “Look there!” or, “Look here!” Make no move; do not set off in pursuit; for as the lightning flashing from one part of heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of Man when his day comes. But first he must suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 15, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

There is only one almighty and ever living God who created everything in His love. He has blessed us abundantly. Do we honour, praise and give Him thanks from within? Each and everyday? For the power of true love can only be received with gratitude.

If we are given any power from on high, we are to use it for His glory. To lead one and all accordance to His Will;Especially the least of our brethren. We need to care for and love them as He does. Healing, Peace and love comes from Him alone. For those who come into power will be judged by what they do by the all powerful ever living God.

Thank You Lord, praise You Lord! We love and worship You. With grateful hearts we lift songs of praise to You O Lord our God. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Wisdom 6:1-11

Listen, kings, and understand; rulers of remotest lands, take warning; hear this, you who have thousands under your rule, who boast of your hordes of subjects.
For power is a gift to you from the Lord, sovereignty is from the Most High; he himself will probe your acts and scrutinise your intentions.

If, as administrators of his kingdom, you have not governed justly nor observed the law, nor behaved as God would have you behave, he will fall on you swiftly and terribly.
Ruthless judgement is reserved for the high and mighty; the lowly will be compassionately pardoned,
the mighty will be mightily punished.
For the Lord of All does not cower before a personage,
he does not stand in awe of greatness, since he himself has made small and great
and provides for all alike;
but strict scrutiny awaits those in power.

Yes, despots, my words are for you, that you may learn what wisdom is and not transgress; for they who observe holy things holily will be adjudged Holy, and, accepting instruction from them, will find their defence in them.
Look forward, therefore, to my words; yearn for them, and they will instruct you.

Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

Watchmen Retreat 9-12 Nov 17

Posted: November 14, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Two months from the vineyard retreat, I would wake most of the time at 4am to pray the divine office. But after a while I slipped to praying it off and on and much later.

I have been doing daily reflections on the daily readings now, for about 7 years but hardly ever read the bible on my own even though I wanted to. Thankfully I have folks around the world following by reflections otherwise I might have even, given that up when I sinned and did not feel like doing them.

I signed up for the Watchmen retreat immediately when it was launched, as I longed to grow deeper in the faith. As the weeks were drawing near, I found myself committing habitual sins once at least every two weeks. However because I was one of the facilitators for LISS and running reflections for my communities from time to time I found myself going for reconciliation practically every week. In fact to prepare myself for the retreat I went for recon on Wed 8th Nov just before the lunchtime EC. I was very disappointed with myself for continuing to slip so often and cried out to the Lord to help me. The message I received was very clear, I had not been dwelling on His Word and discerning His Will for me through scripture.

I left my smartphone at home and bought a dumb one, just so I could call my daughter Hannah on her birthday on Sat the 11th. I even bought a Malaysian SIM card months before. And so when they asked us to surrender our phones, I did not do so. In the end I decided not to switch it on at all for the sake of my Lord, even though it pained me not to call Hannah as I had told her that I would.

The first day as we were praying and reflecting, I received three very strong messages. “Stop comparing yourself with others, stop loving others superficially, love them with my love…. Unconditionally!” And “if I placed a little child in front of you with a message from me, are you humble enough to listen and follow my instructions?”

Later that day during Adoration, I saw visions of Saints with hands in an ouran position. I was prompted to do likewise with three fingers on each hand while the two remaining fingers on each were to be bent over more. I asked the Lord,”Is this position not reserved for the priests?” Then I was given the understanding that he wanted me to be a ‘priest’ in the sense of offering sacrifices for others and to be a bridge for them; to lead them to Him.

The next day after reconciliation, I was feeling a little lost on what I needed to do and how to overcome the moments where I succumb to being enraged with some or unloving towards them. Then during spiritual counselling I was reminded of the Lord’s words, “Father forgive them for they not what they do.”

I think I heard a message for ‘Julian’ that night during adoration but I guess it was not meant for me as I did not hear it, only the name being mentioned. It did not help that apparently there were two other Julians in the retreat. I had however another vision, this time of the Lord carrying a lamb over His shoulder and felt so loved that I wept.

Day three night during Adoration, again the message was very clear for me even though I had hoped it was for one of the other Julians. “Julian the Lord is waiting for you, to have integrity of heart and integrity of faith!” Then at adoration at the praying over the Lord whispers in my ear. “Anger and impatience are not my ways. In my time, not yours.” Needless to say it played on my mind the whole night and carried over to the next day.

The Sunday’s Eucharist celebration was awesome with much consolations poured out on us. Then later midway during father’s talk he looks at me and says,”Julian something is on your mind. Work at it”

Praise You Lord! Thank you Lord! Alleluia!

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: November 14, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We are all wonderfully made special children of God our Father who loves us dearly and wants for us eternal life with Him. Let not sinful or sinful desires separate us from the love of the Lord our God.

We honour and serve Him because we love Him, with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Serving Him well with our all is enough reward. For God our Father who loves us, His children dearly provides for whatever we need and is best for us.

We love You Lord, we praise You Lord, we worship You. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Wisdom 2:23-3:9

God made man imperishable, he made him in the image of his own nature;it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover.

But the souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.
God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust.
When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out; as sparks run through the stubble, so will they.
They shall judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king for ever.
They who trust in him will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

Luke 17:7-10

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”