Image  —  Posted: April 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures

Lessons in Holy Week

Posted: April 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Some lessons I’ve learnt over these few days in Holy week..

1. When the Lord tells you He has plans for you, expect the challenges you’ll face almost instantaneously.

2. You can choose to react the same old way or you can accept the humility of it all and be the first to love and be merciful.

3. People especially fellow parishioners are watching your every move. Hence either you lead by good example or lead them astray by your poor choices.

4. You are not entitled or privelleged just because you’re serving in some ministry, but rather as Jesus said you must be a servant for others.

5. Speak up for the truth always even if it is unpopular. For a disciple has a higher calling to follow after His master; who has said the truth will set you free!

Unnailing Vespers

Posted: April 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Today in our Parish the Church of St Anthony, after the 3pm Good Friday service we returned at 6:30pm for the unnailing vespers.

After hearing the echo of our voices in the crowd shouting crucify him, crucify him at the 3pm service, it was refreshing to join the ranks of his disciples Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus as they brought our Lord down from the cross. It was very touching for many as we sang with one voice the vespers while witnessing the unnailing and at the very end the carrying off an almost life size Jesus. There was a certain feel of a more complete tridium this year.

Yes it will only end with Easter Sunday vespers which is something I look forward too, however we who attended this evening vespers are certainly thankful for the unique experience.

Praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Good Friday 2019

Posted: April 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We recall the first part of our Lord’s passover today, in which he passed over from life into death. He suffered tremendously, physically, mentally, spiritually, and died a cruel death for love of you and me.

He was crushed, bore the sins of the world and carried it with him to his tomb. So that death will NOT be the final answer for us! God Himself came down to save us, He paid the debt in full without which we would surely die. The temple veil was torn, no longer are we separated from the love of God!

We adore you O Christ and we praise you. For by your Holy cross you have redeemed the world!

Thank you Jesus my Lord for loving and saving me. Amen

Personal Reflection Lent To Easter

Posted: April 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

I have often repeated at many prayer meetings over the last few years that there is no Christmas without Advent; just as there is no Easter without Lent. It is all about the journey up the mountain to reach the pinnacle. And because of the sacrifices and the commitment it takes to complete the journey, we find at the top of that very mountain Jesus our Lord waiting to embrace us. What joy! What cause for great celebration!

I began 2019 with a commitment to grow deeper in my faith and love for our Lord. And so I was resolute in overcoming habitual sins by praying more and reading scripture more. And to serve the community as best as I could. In fact it was because of the various communities that I’ve journeyed with this Lenten season that has enabled be to more faithful, faith-filled and steadfast! This year I also signed up for a series of Catholic talks on leadership, attended a Lenten retreat and most recently a two day Passover Seminar.

The latter was led by whom I’ve affectionately called my spiritual father, a lay person Brother Lalith Perera from Sri Lanka. He is truly an anointed speaker who had made many difficult theological concepts or truths easy for everyone to understand. It was during this retreat that I was charged up and eager to hold on to the promises of Christ as I know He has great plans for me. That also means more challenges and sacrifices are to be expected.

Post Seminar and on hindsight one of the reasons it was exceptionally fruitful for me is because I simply said yes when I was asked if I could help, tired as I was. Because the night before our community meeting ended late and by the time I got to bed it was close to midnight. Woke up at 5am to reflect on the word, rushed for morning EC then on to the seminar thinking I could rest. But when a dear sweet lady, family of brother Lalith asked if I could help I was silently praising the Lord for yet another opportunity to serve Him through His community. Didn’t matter what the task or tasks were. I was given a tag to put on. When some close friends saw me wearing it, one of them and me why so special? Why do you have it and we don’t? I jokingly answered, “Can you drink this cup?” They laughed and so did I. But again now looking back I can’t help but think there is more to that simple line. To follow Christ is to carry our cross and follow Him! Can we indeed drink His cup when it is presented to us?

The seminar and the follow up talk on Tuesday, “When Heaven goes silent” has given me great insights to the promises of our ever loving God. To have the unfailing, rock solid hope and faith our Blessed Mother had and to know without doubt that all God’s promises will be fulfilled. So while its still two more days to Easter, I already have the joy of the Risen Lord in my heart! Praise the Lord!

(I recorded part of the praise and worship to share… Come and see for yourselves…. Next time…)

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Today at the start of the tridium towards Easter we recall the great love of God our Heavenly Father who gave us Jesus His high priest. Through Him specially chosen men are anointed to be shepherds after His own heart. To tenderly love and serve His flock by getting down on their hands and knees if they have to. For our Lord Jesus Christ Himself set the standard by His own example. So let us pray for all priests as they renew their vows of service to Him and to us.

To pass over from death to new life with Him, Jesus gave us of Himself through the Holy Eucharist. To nourish, strengthen and to be given the special grace to serve and love one another as He loved us. Through His precious blood we are washed clean and unless we allow Him to touch us, we will have no union with Him. For just as we receive the bread of life into our very being, He too receives us into His very bosom.

Lord Jesus while I am not one of your consecrated priest, I renew by commitment to love and serve Your flock. By my baptism I was made priest, prophet and king to love and serve them with all my heart. I will get down on my knees to wash their feet if I have to, just as You have done for me. Bless me Lord and keep me close to Your heart. Amen

First reading

Exodus 12:1-8,11-14 †
The Passover is a day of festival for all generations, for ever

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt:
‘This month is to be the first of all the others for you, the first month of your year. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, “On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock, one for each family: one animal for each household. If the household is too small to eat the animal, a man must join with his neighbour, the nearest to his house, as the number of persons requires. You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal. It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old; you may take it from either sheep or goats. You must keep it till the fourteenth day of the month when the whole assembly of the community of Israel shall slaughter it between the two evenings. Some of the blood must then be taken and put on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten. That night, the flesh is to be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. You shall eat it like this: with a girdle round your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand. You shall eat it hastily: it is a passover in honour of the Lord. That night, I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike, and I shall deal out punishment to all the gods of Egypt, I am the Lord! The blood shall serve to mark the houses that you live in. When I see the blood I will pass over you and you shall escape the destroying plague when I strike the land of Egypt. This day is to be a day of remembrance for you, and you must celebrate it as a feast in the Lord’s honour. For all generations you are to declare it a day of festival, for ever.”’

Second reading

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 †
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord

This is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.

Gospel
John 13:1-15
Now he showed how perfect his love was

It was before the festival of the Passover, and Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had always loved those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was.
They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garment and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have nothing in common with me.’ ‘Then, Lord,’ said Simon Peter ‘not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’ Jesus said, ‘No one who has taken a bath needs washing, he is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’ He knew who was going to betray him, that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are.’
When he had washed their feet and put on his clothes again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’ he said ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We know the Word of God is alive and active. It is powerful and gives life. In an instant our lives can be transformed when the Lord our God breathes His Word into our hearts. And so a disciple seeks His Master’s Word by coming into His presence day after day. Desiring the grace to remain steadfast and faithful. Through this experience the tongue is discipled. It speaks only to glorify the ever living God.

How then can a disciple betray the Master by his or her own very words? When we try to justify our ill intentions or try to rationalise them. When our words tear down and cause grievous hurt. When we are in denial of our sinful choices. When we allow pride to dictate what we say. When we offer lip service to our Lord and our brethren with no commitment or dedication to put our words into action. All these are a result of hearts empty of the Word of God.

Jesus my Lord, I seek You daily that I may serve You worthily according to Your will. Grant me your grace and mercy that I may love You and my brethren evermore dearly. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 50:4-9 †
Who thinks he has a case against me? Let him approach me

The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. The Lord has opened my ear.

For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away. I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.

The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed.

My vindicator is here at hand. Does anyone start proceedings against me? Then let us go to court together. Who thinks he has a case against me? Let him approach me.

The Lord is coming to my help, who will dare to condemn me?

Gospel

Matthew 26:14-25
‘The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will’

One of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty silver pieces, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray him.
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ ‘Go to so-and-so in the city’ he replied ‘and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.”’ The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.
When evening came he was at table with the twelve disciples. And while they were eating he said ‘I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me.’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not I, Lord, surely?’ He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him; asked in his turn, ‘Not I, Rabbi, surely?’ ‘They are your own words’ answered Jesus.