On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 18, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32

And so at every Eucharistic Celebration we ‘unworthy’ sinners are invited to His Heavenly Banquet here on earth to partake and receive His grace, mercy and love. To be reminded of His great love for us and how we should be living truly in His likeness and image. Sons and daughters of God our Heavenly Father so loved by Him. He desires to take out our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh. In other words He will take out all that is dead, not of Him and give us His life and divinity!

So then can we view attending the Eucharistic Celebration as an obligation?

Do we continue to be inattentive, aloof, ignorant or asleep? To be talking among ourselves? To treat the Celebration as purely ritualistic and unwelcomed? If so sisters and brothers then we have failed to put on the ‘wedding garment’.

For every Eucharist is a Celebration, a thanksgiving for the great love poured out for us all! And so we partakers of the Heavenly Banquet with hearts disposed to receive, welcome Him fully into our beings. We rejoice for our hearts are transformed, transfigured into His likeness. He receives us; just as we receive Him, body, blood, soul and divinity! And having such abundant graces, mercy and love we go out into the World to share the joy of the Gospel by our lives.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 36:23-28 ·

I will remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.’

Gospel

Matthew 22:1-14

Invite everyone you can to the wedding

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 17, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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I pray Lord that You never find me idle ever again, for You came and chose me to work in Your Kingdom. And I have been Blessed Lord abundantly, for there is no greater reward then to be fully alive in Your presence. No greater joy then to see the fruits of my labour in the love, joy and peace of the lives whom I serve in Your name. You have called me to shepherd your flock, I earnestly do so after the heart of the Good Shepherd, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I know I am not alone, and so walk in communion with You and my fellow Shepherds who tend to Your flock.

My only plea Lord is that You grant me a fresh anointing each day and keep me safe against the snares and wickedness of the enemy. So that I may always walk in the power of Your resurrection and glorify You by my life. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Ezekiel 34:1-11

An oracle against bad and selfish shepherds

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them:

    ‘“Shepherds, the Lord says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock, yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock. You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently. For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far. My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them.

    ‘“Well then, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. As I live, I swear it – it is the Lord who speaks – since my flock has been looted and for lack of a shepherd is now the prey of any wild animal, since my shepherds have stopped bothering about my flock, since my shepherds feed themselves rather than my flock, in view of all this, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this: I am going to call the shepherds to account. I am going to take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. I shall rescue my sheep from their mouths; they will not prey on them any more.”

    ‘For the Lord says this: “I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view.”’

Gospel

Matthew 20:1-16

Why be envious because I am generous?

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 16, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What can we do to add to the greatness to the Lord our God? Absolutely nothing!  What can we do to add to His Glory? The true answer would be as the first absolutely nothing! Yet we who love, honour and worship Him as the One True God are called to glorify Him by the way we live our lives.

He had already told us what we must do and we should do well to remember always…

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

    And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

    and to walk humbly[a] with your God. Micah 6:8

For this is truly how we have already entered the gates of Heaven if we are living out His Will for us. For is it not Heaven when we walk humbly with Lord our God in His presence? Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 28:1-10 ·

Against the arrogance of the king of Tyre

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, tell the ruler of Tyre, “The Lord says this:

Being swollen with pride,

you have said: I am a god;

I am sitting on the throne of God,

surrounded by the seas.

Though you are a man and not a god,

you consider yourself the equal of God.

You are wiser now than Daniel;

there is no sage as wise as you.

By your wisdom and your intelligence

you have amassed great wealth;

you have piles of gold and silver

inside your treasure-houses.

Such is your skill in trading,

your wealth has continued to increase,

and with this your heart has grown more arrogant.

And so, the Lord says this:

Since you consider yourself the equal of God,

very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you,

the most barbarous of the nations.

They will draw sword against your fine wisdom,

they will defile your glory;

they will throw you down into the pit

and you will die a violent death

surrounded by the seas.

Are you still going to say: I am a god,

when your murderers confront you?

No, you are a man and not a god

in the clutches of your murderers!

You will die like the uncircumcised

at the hand of foreigners.

For I have spoken – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:23-30

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you solemnly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ When the disciples heard this they were astonished. ‘Who can be saved, then?’ they said. Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he told them ‘this is impossible; for God everything is possible.’

    Then Peter spoke. ‘What about us?’ he said to him ‘We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life.

    ‘Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’


It is fitting that the Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who deigned that she would be our mother too, would show us the way to eternal life with Him. From her fiat to earnest fidelity, she magnified the Lord our God by the way she lived her life; that she truly loved Him with all her heart, strength, mind and soul.

She was assumed into Heaven by the first-fruit of all who have fallen asleep. And through her Son of whom she always leads us closer and deeper to, through her powerful intercession; we have hope of being raised with and through Him on the last day!

Dearest Mother of our Lord, our mother, assumed into Heaven pray for us. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10 ·

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman adorned with the sun

The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it.

    Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready.

    Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ.’

Second reading

1 Corinthians 15:20-26 ·

Christ will be brought to life as the first-fruits and then those who belong to him

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.

Gospel

Luke 1:39-56

The Almighty has done great things for me

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

    And Mary said:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord

and my spirit exults in God my saviour;

because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.

Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,

for the Almighty has done great things for me.

Holy is his name,

and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.

He has shown the power of his arm,

he has routed the proud of heart.

He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.

He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy

– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –

of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 13, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Consuming Fire: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Jeremiah 38:4–6, 8–10

Psalm 40:2–4, 18

Hebrews 12:1–4

Luke 12:49–53

Our God is a consuming fire, the Scriptures tell us (see Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24). And in this week’s Gospel, Jesus uses the image of fire to describe the demands of discipleship.

The fire He has come to cast on the earth is the fire that He wants to blaze in each of our hearts. He made us from the dust of the earth (see Genesis 2:7) and filled us with the fire of the Holy Spirit in Baptism (see Luke 3:16).

We were baptized into His death (see Romans 6:3). This is the baptism our Lord speaks of in the Gospel this week. The baptism with which He must be baptized is His passion and death, by which He accomplished our redemption and sent forth the fire of the Spirit on the earth (see Acts 2:3).

The fire has been set, but it is not yet blazing. We are called to enter deeper into the consuming love of God. We must examine our consciences and our actions, submitting ourselves to the revealing fire of God’s Word (see 1 Corinthians 3:13).

In our struggle against sin, we have not yet resisted to the point of shedding our own blood, Paul tells us in this week’s Epistle. We have not undergone the suffering that Jeremiah suffers in the First Reading this week.

But this is what true discipleship requires. To be a disciple is to be inflamed with the love of the God. It is to have an unquenchable desire for holiness and zeal for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.

Being His disciple does not bring peace in the false way that the world proclaims peace (see Jeremiah 8:11). It means division and hardship. It may bring us to conflict with our own flesh and blood.

But Christ is our peace (see Ephesians 2:14). By His Cross He has lifted us up from the mire of sin and death—as He will rescue the prophet Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 38:10).

And as we sing in the Psalm this week, we trust in our deliverer.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 13, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Children are indeed a Blessing from the Lord our God and those who welcome them welcomes Him. For God our Heavenly Father wants to Bless all His children when we turn our hearts to Him.

Think of it this way…Who is it that does not and wants to prevent God our Father’s  Children from receiving His Blessings? Who’s works do we do if by words and actions we stop them from coming to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord?

If a child see his father beating up on his mother what lesson does he learn? Or a mother using abusive language and vulgarities on her father, what does she learn? “You can go for catechism or mass after your exams, stay home and study!” “Attending online masses is good enough!” There we then declare that we are NOT preventing God’s children to come to Him? Yes we are all accountable for our individual sins but our sins can have a ripple effect on our families and community!

Lord Jesus Bless my children and my children’s children as I strive each day to lead them closer to You. And Bless me Father Your loving child. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32 ·

You, not your children, will suffer for your sins: so repent, and live

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows:

    ‘Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge”?

    ‘As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel. See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.

    ‘The upright man is law-abiding and honest; he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the House of Israel, does not seduce his neighbour’s wife or sleep with a woman during her periods. He oppresses no one, returns pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, his clothes to the naked. He never charges usury on loans, takes no interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between man and man, keeps my laws and sincerely respects my observances – such a man is truly upright. It is the Lord who speaks.

    ‘But if anyone has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, then this son shall certainly not live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will have to die, and his blood be on his own head.

    House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!’

Gospel

Matthew 19:13-15

Do not stop the little children coming to me

People brought little children to Jesus, for him to lay his hands on them and say a prayer. The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 12, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Fidelity to our spouse is also fidelity to the Lord our God for was it not three who entered into full communion on our Wedding day? Two became One united with the Lord our God in Holy Matrimony. Yet we do often dwell on this fact but instead give in temptations of mind and body that separates from Him.

Even those who remain unmarried are called into a chaste intimate spousal relationship with our ever loving and merciful Lord and God. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness. Lam 3:22-23

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Amen

(Isa 25:1)

First reading

Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63

I clothed you with my own splendour but you made yourself a prostitute

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, “The Lord says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins. No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born.

    ‘“I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live, and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you – it is the Lord who speaks – and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour – it is the Lord who speaks.

    ‘“You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers. But I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever. And so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:3-12

Husband and wife are no longer two, but one body

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’

    They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of fornication – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’

    The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 11, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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By our sins we were stuck with a debt we could not pay! We were trapped with no where to go and no where to escape like slaves in captivity. We were blind to the Lord our God’s goodness because we exiled ourselves from Him. Even then while we were sinners God our Father sent His only begotten Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to pay the debt we could not pay. To free us from the bondages of Sin and to live free in His love by death and resurrection.

Have we then taken His love and mercy for granted? When we refuse to forgive those who owe us by their sins against us? The hurts and pains they may have caused us? Who have momentarily robbed us of our peace of mind and joy in our hearts? Our Lord suffered and died a most heinous, painful death for us yet He forgave us from the cross! Can we do any less for our brethren? Can we withhold forgiveness?

Let us turn to the Lord so that His mercy and grace will be upon us. By His death and the power of His resurrection we are already set free and that means we too are set free from any unforgiveness of heart when we choose to live fully in His love. Amen

Saint Clare Pray for us….

First reading

Ezekiel 12:1-12 ·

The oracle of exile against the whole House of Israel

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels. You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking. As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’

    I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched.

    The next morning the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing? Say, “The Lord says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living.” Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment.” Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:21-19:1

‘How often must I forgive my brother?’

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.

    ‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’

    Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and he left Galilee and came into the part of Judaea which is on the far side of the Jordan.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 10, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Here is a secret for you revealed to those who love the Lord with all their hearts, mind, strength and soul and has given their all for the Lord and their brethren. They possess the power and light of our Lord’s resurrection within them and the more of the gifts and graces they give away to all those in need, the more they receive all for the Glory of God our Heavenly Father.

They are living examples of what the Lord’s means when He says, “Unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.

Lord Jesus I desire to yield a rich harvest for You and so into Your hands I commend my Spirit. Amen

Saint Laurence Pray for us… 

First reading

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 ·

God loves a cheerful giver

Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you – he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten.

    The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one.

Gospel

John 12:24-26

If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvest

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you, most solemnly,

unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

it remains only a single grain;

but if it dies,

it yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it;

anyone who hates his life in this world

will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me,

wherever I am, my servant will be there too.

If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 9, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We declare that we are children of God our Father so loved by Him and yet how many of us with childlike innocence calls Him Dad? Daddy? Papa? Pa?

Daddy I love you, be with me throughout the day, I love to be in Your presence as I listen to your Word, it fills me with joy and is sweet to taste! Dad as worried I am about the day ahead, I take comfort that you will be see me through it and will provide that all I need. For nothing or no one can separate me from your love through Christ Jesus your Son. I desire nothing more than to draw closer to you this and every day; and to share Your love with all that I meet.  Amen

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) Pray for us… 

First reading

Ezekiel 2:8-3:4 ·

He gave me the scroll to eat and it was as sweet as honey

I, Ezekiel, heard a voice speaking. It said, ‘You, son of man, listen to the words I say; do not be a rebel like that rebellious set. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’ I looked. A hand was there, stretching out to me and holding a scroll. He unrolled it in front of me; it was written on back and front; on it was written ‘lamentations, wailings, moanings.’ He said, ‘Son of man, eat what is given to you; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.’ I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you.’ I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.

    Then he said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14

Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me

The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.

    ‘See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.

    ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 8, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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If we so desire to see the glory of God in our midst then it is only fitting that we are fully obedient unto to the Lord our God. For to see His glory it must be our One goal to glorify Him by our every word and action.

We must humble ourselves at all times especially in the face of adversity and challenges. We shall not seek nor demand immediate justice but patiently await our Lord’s justice. For we know that in all things surrendered and lifted up to our Lord He will provide. For He keeps us as the apple of His eye and hides us in the shadow of His wings wondrously showing His steadfast love.  Amen

Saint Dominic pray for us….

First reading

Ezekiel 1:2-5,24-28

Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of the Lord

On the fifth of the month – it was the fifth year of exile for King Jehoiachin – the word of the Lord was addressed to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldaeans, on the bank of the river Chebar.

    There the hand of the Lord came on me. I looked; a stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with light around it, a fire from which flashes of lightning darted, and in the centre a sheen like bronze at the heart of the fire. In the centre I saw what seemed four animals. They looked like this. They were of human form. I heard the noise of their wings as they moved; it sounded like rushing water, like the voice of Shaddai, a noise like a storm, like the noise of a camp; when they halted, they folded their wings, and there was a noise.

    Above the vault over their heads was something that looked like a sapphire; it was shaped like a throne and high up on this throne was a being that looked like a man. I saw him shine like bronze, and close to and all around him from what seemed his loins upwards was what looked like fire; and from what seemed his loins downwards I saw what looked like fire, and a light all round like a bow in the clouds on rainy days; that is how the surrounding light appeared. It was something that looked like the glory of the Lord. I looked, and prostrated myself.

Gospel

Matthew 17:22-27

‘They will put the Son of Man to death’

One day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men; they will put him to death, and on the third day he will be raised to life again.’ And a great sadness came over them.

    When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel came to Peter and said, ‘Does your master not pay the half-shekel?’ ‘Oh yes’ he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when he replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’


Faith of Our Fathers: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 18:6–9

Psalm 33:1, 12, 18–22

Hebrews 11:1–2, 8–19

Luke 12:35–40

We are born of the faith of our fathers, descending from a great cloud of witnesses whose faith is attested to on every page of Scripture (see Hebrews 12:1). We have been made His people, chosen for His own inheritance, as we sing in this Sunday’s Psalm.

The Liturgy this week sings the praises of our fathers, recalling the defining moments in our “family history.” In the Epistle, we remember the calling of Abraham; in the First Reading we relive the night of the Exodus and the summons of the holy children of Israel.

Our fathers, we are told, trusted in the Word of God, put their faith in His oaths. They were convinced that what He promised, He would do.

None of them lived to see His promises made good. For it was not until Christ and His Church that Abraham’s descendants were made as countless as the stars and sands (see Galatians 3:16–17, 29). It was not until His Last Supper and the Eucharist that “the sacrifice . . . the divine institution” of that first Passover was truly fulfilled.

And now we too await the final fulfillment of what God has promised us in Christ. As Jesus tells us in this week’s Gospel, we should live with our loins girded—as the Israelites tightened their belts, cinched up their long robes and ate their Passover standing, vigilant and ready to do His will (see Exodus 12:11; 2 Kings 4:29).

The Lord will come at an hour we do not expect. He will knock on our door (see Revelation 3:20), inviting us to the wedding feast in the better homeland, the heavenly one that our fathers saw from afar, and which we begin to taste in each Eucharist.

As they did, we can wait with “sure knowledge,” His Word like a lamp lighting our path (see Psalm 119:105). Our God is faithful, and if we wait in faith, hope in His kindness, and love as we have been loved, we will receive His promised blessing and be delivered from death.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 6, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Abba Father had commanded that we listen to His Son the Chosen One. How well then have we listened to Him?

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” Lk 10:27

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jn 13:34


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt 28:9-20

Are all that we meet throughout the course of the day, week, months and year loved? Do they feel loved by us? Have they seen our love put into action for them? Do they experience joy in their hearts when they see us coming? How many are now our Lord’s disciples by our love, sacrifice and guidance?

For if we have listened and obeyed then we are truly living transfigured lives in the light of our resurrected Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 ·

His robe was white as snow

As I watched:

Thrones were set in place

and one of great age took his seat.

His robe was white as snow,

the hair of his head as pure as wool.

His throne was a blaze of flames,

its wheels were a burning fire.

A stream of fire poured out,

issuing from his presence.

A thousand thousand waited on him,

ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

A court was held

and the books were opened.

I gazed into the visions of the night.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,

one like a son of man.

He came to the one of great age

and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred sovereignty,

glory and kingship,

and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty

which shall never pass away,

nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Gospel

Luke 9:28-36

Jesus is transfigured before them

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray. As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning. Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ – He did not know what he was saying. As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’ And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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It is the Lord who deals death and life. Det 32:39

And He has given us His Blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins so that we have hope of eternal life with Him. Matt 26:28

Are we then fulfilling the claim that we are His disciples by taking up our cross to follow Him? Have we embraced wholeheartedly that we will truly rise with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when die?

Yes indeed the first step is to die to ourselves, so as to live fully in His presence. To renounce all that is not of Him and to grow in Holiness. But how have we laid down our lives for others for His namesake? What corporal and spiritual acts of mercy have we performed yesterday and today? Not 5, 10 years ago! How many souls have been redeemed by our sacrifice?

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Amen (Rm 14:8)

First reading

Nahum 2:1,3,3:1-3,6-7

Israel restored; Nineveh ruined

See, over the mountains the messenger hurries!

‘Peace!’ he proclaims.

Judah, celebrate your feasts,

carry out your vows,

for Belial will never pass through you again;

he is utterly annihilated.

Yes, the Lord is restoring the vineyard of Jacob

and the vineyard of Israel.

For the plunderers had plundered them,

they had broken off their branches.

Woe to the city soaked in blood,

full of lies,

stuffed with booty,

whose plunderings know no end!

The crack of the whip!

The rumble of wheels!

Galloping horse,

jolting chariot,

charging cavalry,

flash of swords,

gleam of spears…

a mass of wounded,

hosts of dead,

countless corpses;

they stumble over the dead.

I am going to pelt you with filth,

shame you, make you a public show.

And all who look on you will turn their backs on you and say,

‘Nineveh is a ruin.’

Could anyone pity her?

Where can I find anyone to comfort her?

Gospel

Matthew 16:24-28

Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?

    ‘For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour. I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 4, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Do you know Jesus? How deep is your relationship with Him? Are you walking daily in His presence? If someone comes up to you today and asks you who is Jesus for you. what will your answer be?

Will any part of your answer be, “He speaks to me every day and I know His will for me?” “I have dignity, integrity and I am a saint through my baptism in Him” “I will gladly go through suffering, trials and challenges if I can draw closer to Him and perhaps glorify Him by going through them for His namesake.” “Jesus my Lord walks with me now and for all eternity. Amen

Saint John Mary Vianney Pray for us….

First reading

Jeremiah 31:31-34 ·

I will write my Law in their hearts

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. It is the Lord who speaks. No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother, ‘Learn to know the Lord!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest – it is the Lord who speaks – since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-23

You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said, ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’ Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

    From that time Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The perennial question we often ask is if the Lord our God is all good why does He permit evil? Why does He allow His children to fall into sickness and often death? The thing is are we asking the right question to begin with? If we look into the first reading we have our answer. God our Father loves with an everlasting love! “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

So the real question then should be, who caused sin and all calamity it brings to enter into our world to begin with? And are we then praying fervently, persistently in His presence interceding on behalf of our children, family, community and the world for the power and light of our Lord’s Resurrection to dispel the darkness? Have we begun to realise that we called to beacons of His light? To heal the world as we go out to make disciples of all nations.

By His own choice the Father made us His children by the message of the truth, so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he created. James1:18

First reading

Jeremiah 31:1-7 ·

You shall be rebuilt, virgin of Israel

I will be the God of all the clans of Israel – it is the Lord who speaks – they shall be my people.

The Lord says this:

They have found pardon in the wilderness,

those who have survived the sword.

Israel is marching to his rest.

The Lord has appeared to him from afar:

I have loved you with an everlasting love,

so I am constant in my affection for you.

I build you once more; you shall be rebuilt,

virgin of Israel.

Adorned once more, and with your tambourines,

you will go out dancing gaily.

You will plant vineyards once more

on the mountains of Samaria

the planters have done their planting:

they will gather the fruit.

Yes, a day will come when the watchmen shout

on the mountains of Ephraim,

‘Up! Let us go up to Zion,

to the Lord our God!’

For the Lord says this:

Shout with joy for Jacob!

Hail the chief of nations!

Proclaim! Praise! Shout:

‘The Lord has saved his people,

the remnant of Israel!’

Gospel

Matthew 15:21-28

The Canaanite woman debates with Jesus and saves her daughter

Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’ He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 2, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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When are you going to embrace the fact that you are a child of God so loved by Your Heavenly Father? You are chosen, a royal priesthood, a member of a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Pet 2:9

Yes indeed you should be living in the powerful light of our Lord’s resurrection and yet you still see yourself as inadequate, lacking; and still mourning after your sins and sins to come! Have you forgotten that the price was paid and victory already won for us by His life, death and resurrection? See how in today’s Gospel that you too are able to ‘walk on water’ if you only have faith and are focused on Jesus. And again that you too will sink when you start looking inwardly and rely on your own strength. How deep is your faith? And not faith alone, but faith put into action.

Wake up! For we are all meant to be living fully in the light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in Him will do the works He had been doing, and they will do even greater things than those. Jn 14:12 Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 30:1-2,12-15,18-22

Your wound is incurable but I will heal you

The word addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord: the Lord, the God of Israel says this: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

Yes, the Lord says this:

Your wound is incurable,

your injury past healing.

There is no one to care for your sore,

no medicine to make you well again.

All your lovers have forgotten you,

they look for you no more.

Yes, I have struck you as an enemy strikes,

with harsh punishment

so great is your guilt, so many your sins.

Why bother to complain about your wound?

Your pain is incurable.

So great is your guilt, so many your sins,

that I have done all this to you.

The Lord says this:

Now I will restore the tents of Jacob,

and take pity on his dwellings:

the city shall be rebuilt on its ruins,

the citadel restored on its site.

From them will come thanksgiving

and shouts of joy.

I will make them increase, and not diminish them,

make them honoured, and not disdained.

Their sons shall be as once they were,

their community fixed firm in my presence,

and I will punish all their oppressors.

Their prince will be one of their own,

their ruler come from their own people.

I will let him come freely into my presence

and he can come close to me;

who else, indeed, would risk his life

by coming close to me? – it is the Lord who speaks.

And you shall be my people and I will be your God.

Gospel

Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus walks on the water

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’

    Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him, begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were completely cured.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 1, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How wonderful it must be to prophesy in the name of the Lord? To declare freedom by the Lord for all sins so that all who listen are comforted, that they will no longer face the consequences of their words and actions. No! Woe to false prophets who preach such nonsense only to win a following for themselves!

For the Lord indeed wants to set His people free all their sins but they must repent fully of them in their hearts and turn back to Him in humility so that His mercy and love can be outpoured upon them.

Great His love for us all that He wills for us to be nourished as we draw close to Him. Of the loaves and fishes He said “Bring them here to me” He then gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass. Matt 14:18-19 All were nourished by God our Father’s abounding love through Jesus His Son. Amen

Saint Alphonsus Mary de’ Liguori pray for us…

First reading

Jeremiah 28:1-17

Jeremiah and the lying prophet Hananiah

At the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, a Gibeonite, spoke as follows to Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord in the presence of the priests and of all the people. ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says this, “I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. In two years’ time I will bring back all the vessels of the Temple of the Lord which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon carried off from this place and took to Babylon. And I will also bring back Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who have gone to Babylon – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, I am going to break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”’

    The prophet Jeremiah then replied to the prophet Hananiah in front of the priests and all the people there in the Temple of the Lord. ‘I hope so’ the prophet Jeremiah said. ‘May the Lord do so. May he fulfil the words that you have prophesied and bring the vessels of the Temple of the Lord and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon. Listen carefully, however, to this word that I am now going to say for you and all the people to hear: From remote times, the prophets who preceded you and me prophesied war, famine and plague for many countries and for great kingdoms; but the prophet who prophesies peace can only be recognised as one truly sent by the Lord when his word comes true.’

    The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it. In front of all the people Hananiah then said, ‘The Lord says this, “This is how, two years hence, I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and take it off the necks of all the nations.”’ At this, the prophet Jeremiah went away.

    After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke which he had taken off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah the word of the Lord was addressed to Jeremiah, ‘Go to Hananiah and tell him this, “The Lord says this: You can break wooden yokes? Right, I will make them iron yokes instead! For the Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: An iron yoke is what I now lay on the necks of all these nations to subject them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. They will be subject to him; I have even given him the wild animals.”’

    The prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, ‘Listen carefully, Hananiah: the Lord has not sent you; and thanks to you this people are now relying on what is false. Hence – the Lord says this, “I am going to throw you off the face of the earth: you are going to die this year since you have preached apostasy from the Lord.”’

    The prophet Hananiah died the same year, in the seventh month.

Gospel

Matthew 14:13-21

The feeding of the five thousand

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.

18th Sunday In Ordinary Time

Posted: July 30, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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The Fool’s Vanity: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21–23

Psalm 90:3–4, 5–6, 12–13, 14, 17

Colossians 3:1–5, 9–11

Luke 12:13–21

Trust in God—as the Rock of our salvation, as the Lord who made us His chosen people, as our shepherd and guide. This should be the mark of our following of Jesus.

Like the Israelites we recall in this week’s Psalm Response, we have made an exodus, passing through the waters of Baptism, freeing us from our bondage to sin. We too are on a pilgrimage to a promised homeland, the Lord in our midst, feeding us heavenly bread, giving us living waters to drink (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

We must take care to guard against the folly that befell the Israelites, that led them to quarrel and test God’s goodness at Meribah and Massah.

We can harden our hearts in ways more subtle but no less ruinous. We can put our trust in possessions, squabble over earthly inheritances, kid ourselves that what we have we deserve, store up treasures and think they’ll afford us security and rest.

All this is “vanity of vanities,” a false and deadly way of living, as this week’s First Reading tells us.

This is the greed that Jesus warns against in this week’s Gospel. The rich man’s anxiety and toil expose his lack of faith in God’s care and provision. That’s why Paul calls greed “idolatry” in the Epistle this week. Mistaking having for being, possession for existence, we forget that God is the giver of all that we have, we exalt the things we can make or buy over our Maker (see Romans 1:25).

Jesus calls the rich man a “fool”—a word used in the Old Testament for someone who rebels against God or has forgotten Him (see Psalm 14:1).

We should treasure most the new life we have been given in Christ and seek what is above, the promised inheritance of heaven. We have to see all things in the light of eternity, mindful that He who gives us the breath of life could at any moment—this night even—demand it back from us.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 30, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Simply hearing the Truth and accepting it brings forth life. Rejecting the Truth will lead us to face consequences and eventually death. What is Truth? Pilate and many have asked the same question then and today.

Jesus gave us the answer, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jn 14:6

How then are we living this reality in our very own lives?

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Ps 25:5 Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 26:11-16,24

‘This man has spoken to us in the name of the Lord’

The priests and prophets addressed the officials and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’

    Jeremiah, however, replied to the people as follows:

    ‘The Lord himself sent me to say all the things you have heard against this Temple and this city. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of the Lord your God: if you do, he will relent and not bring down on you the disaster he has pronounced against you. For myself, I am as you see in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its citizens, since the Lord has truly sent me to you to say all these words in your hearing.’

    The officials and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, ‘This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.’

    Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Gospel

Matthew 14:1-12

The beheading of John the Baptist

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 29, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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O Lord my God, I welcome You with a hospitable heart modelled after St. Martha. Come dwell in the temple of my soul! I truly renounce all my sinful ways and if there be any sinfulness left in me, I bid You to come purify and make me whole.

You truly are the Resurrection and the life! For You through You alone I have been set free to live life to the full. I have peace and love and joy in my heart. You are Christ, the Son of God sent; so that I may have life eternal with God my Heavenly Father.

If I should die then let me die in service of You and of brethren, for I my hope and faith is in You; and You will raise me on the last day. Amen Alleluia!

Saint Martha pray for us….

First reading

Jeremiah 26:1-9 ·

Jeremiah preaches in the Temple of the Lord and is threatened with death

At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘The Lord says this: Stand in the court of the Temple of the Lord. To all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of the Lord you must speak all the words I have commanded you to tell them; do not omit one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intended for their misdeeds. Say to them, “The Lord says this: If you will not listen to me by following my Law which I put before you, by paying attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send so persistently to you, without your ever listening to them, I will treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’

    The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of the Lord. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets seized hold of him and said, ‘You shall die! Why have you made this prophecy in the name of the Lord, “This Temple will be like Shiloh, and this city will be desolate, and uninhabited”?’ And the people were all crowding round Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord.

Gospel

John 11:19-27

I am the resurrection and the life

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, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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It is important to recollect where we have been in the past and how we are now journeying ever deeper in our relationship with our the Lord our God as we forwards towards our Heavenly abode. Recollection is an opportunity to dwell on the goodness of God our loving Father in every aspect of our lives. This awareness should propel us into deeper praise and worship of our Potter, our creator, our Father!

Let us harden not our hearts as we repent of our many sins, while we are still malleable and docile to His soft promptings. Let the grace and mercy of our Lord and Jesus Christ be upon us all as we go forth as true beacons of His light. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 18:1-6

When the clay goes wrong, the potter starts afresh

The word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘Get up and make your way down to the potter’s house; there I shall let you hear what I have to say.’ So I went down to the potter’s house; and there he was, working at the wheel. And whenever the vessel he was making came out wrong, as happens with the clay handled by potters, he would start afresh and work it into another vessel, as potters do. Then this word of the Lord was addressed to me, ‘House of Israel, can not I do to you what this potter does? – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine, House of Israel.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:47-53

The fishermen collect the good fish and throw away those that are no use

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 27, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Do not lose hope or be discouraged for the Lord our God is always with us. When you have discovered the greatest treasure of encountering our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are moved to start a deep personal relationship, then know that the Spirit of God is dwelling within you.

Things which may have been a norm in your life will become distasteful. Excessive partying, drinking, smoking, pornography, vulgarities, sexual banters and innuendos and much, much more! You may feel ostracized by family and friends as you grow in holiness. Again do not lose hope or be discouraged for the Lord who is with you will lead you to like minded Christians on the same journey as you are. Being part of a community in Christ is what leads all of us to greater Communion with and in Him. Giving up your previous lifestyle for the Lord brings you into a more fulfilling one filled with His joy and peace. Will there still be trials and challenges? Yes of course, but we will face them unafraid for they will not overcome us; because the Lord is with us. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 15:10,16-21 ·

They will not overcome you, because I am with you

‘Woe is me, my mother, for you have borne me

to be a man of strife and of dissension for all the land.

I neither lend nor borrow,

yet all of them curse me.

‘When your words came, I devoured them:

your word was my delight

and the joy of my heart;

for I was called by your name,

Lord, God of Hosts.

I never took pleasure in sitting in scoffers’ company;

with your hand on me I held myself aloof,

since you had filled me with indignation.

Why is my suffering continual,

my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?

Do you mean to be for me a deceptive stream

with inconstant waters?’

To which the Lord replied,

‘If you come back,

I will take you back into my service;

and if you utter noble, not despicable, thoughts,

you shall be as my own mouth.

They will come back to you,

but you must not go back to them.

I will make you

a bronze wall fortified against this people.

They will fight against you

but they will not overcome you,

because I am with you

to save you and to deliver you

– it is the Lord who speaks.

I mean to deliver you from the hands of the wicked

and redeem you from the clutches of the violent.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:44-46

He sells everything he owns and buys the field

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

    ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Indeed Lord You are our hope!

I have not forgotten the vision You gave me when I was on retreat. In that vision I was joyfully running swiftly alongside You through a wheat field. Then we stopped and You turned to ask me if I saw the darnel in the field. I answered that I did not know how to tell one from the other, as I have never even seen wheat up close before. Your reply was neither did You see the darnel in the field!

You O Lord are all loving and merciful. While we still have time Lord, forgive us our many sins. Remove all that is not of You Lord, wash us clean and renew our hearts. So that we may go forth to glorify You by all that we say and do. Amen

Saint Joachim and Saint Anne Pray for us…

First reading

Jeremiah 14:17-22

We confess our wickedness; you, God, are our hope

The Lord said to me:

Say this word to the people:

‘Tears flood my eyes

night and day, unceasingly,

since a crushing blow falls on the daughter of my people,

a most grievous injury.

If I go into the countryside,

there lie men killed by the sword;

if I go into the city,

I see people sick with hunger;

even prophets and priests

plough the land: they are at their wit’s end.’

‘Have you rejected Judah altogether?

Does your very soul revolt at Zion?

Why have you struck us down without hope of cure?

We were hoping for peace – no good came of it!

For the moment of cure – nothing but terror!

Lord, we do confess our wickedness

and our fathers’ guilt:

we have indeed sinned against you.

For your name’s sake do not reject us,

do not dishonour the throne of your glory.

Remember us; do not break your covenant with us.

Can any of the pagan Nothings make it rain?

Can the heavens produce showers?

No, it is you, Lord.

O our God, you are our hope,

since it is you who do all this.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:36-43

As the darnel is gathered up and burnt, so it will be at the end of time

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!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 25, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We see and want the glory of being with and serving alongside Jesus but often deny the price we need to pay for that Glory! For Christ Himself came to be serve and not to be served and paid the highest price; of suffering and dying on the Cross so that we may live free from sin. He who is God showed us by example through His humanity how it is we must serve, when He got down to wash the feet of His disciples. If the Lord of lords, King of kings can do this who are we? Are we greater than He who laid down His life for us?

In order for us to grow in Spiritual maturity we need to receive the baptism of fire which only comes from putting true love into action in the service of the Lord our God and of our brethren.

Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done. For Yours is the honour and glory forever. Amen

Saint James Pray for us…

First reading

2 Corinthians 4:7-15 ·

Such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us

We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

    But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke – we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.

Gospel

Matthew 20:20-28

‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’

The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’

    When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the 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 be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’


Asked and Answered: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Genesis 18:20–32

Psalm 138:1–36–8

Colossians 2:12–14

Luke 11:1–13

Though we be “but dust and ashes,” we can presume to draw near and speak boldly to our Lord, as Abraham dares to do in this week’s First Reading.

But even Abraham—the friend of God (see Isaiah 41:8), our father in the faith (see Romans 4:12)—did not know the intimacy that we know as children of Abraham, heirs of the blessings promised to his descendants (see Galatians 3:729).

The mystery of prayer, as Jesus reveals to His disciples in this week’s Gospel, is the living relationship of beloved sons and daughters with their heavenly Father. Our prayer is pure gift, made possible by the “good gift” of the Father—the Holy Spirit of His Son. It is the fruit of the New Covenant by which we are made children of God in Christ Jesus (see Galatians 4:6–7Romans 8:15–16).

Through the Spirit given to us in Baptism, we can cry to Him as our Father—knowing that when we call He will answer.

Jesus teaches His disciples to persist in their prayer, as Abraham persisted in begging God’s mercy for the innocent of Sodom and Gomorrah.

For the sake of the one just Man, Jesus, God spared the city of man from destruction (see Jeremiah 5:1; Isaiah 53), “obliterating the bond against us,” as Paul says in this week’s Epistle.

On the Cross, Jesus bore the guilt of us all. He canceled the debt we owed to God, the death we deserved to die for our transgressions. We pray as ones who have been visited in our affliction and saved from our enemies, as ones who have been spared.

We pray always a prayer of thanksgiving, which is the literal meaning of “Eucharist.” We have realized the promise of this week’s Psalm: we worship in His holy temple, in the presence of angels, hallowing His name.

In confidence we ask, knowing that we will receive, that He will bring to completion what He has done for us—raising us from the dead, bringing us to everlasting life along with Him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 23, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Why do onlookers see us as a ritualistic, religious folk and seem to avoid us at all cost? If you were on the outside looking in what would you see?

Would you see a welcoming place with doors wide open and people eager to greet and welcome you? Are parishioners happily engaged in conversations outside of Mass, or when they send their kids for Catechism? Do friends gather in their homes to praise, worship, testify and share the Gospel with one another or at the very least do they do this by zoom? Are those serving the Church alive with joy in their hearts and bearing fruit for the Lord? Are they eager to attend meetings where the Lord is alive in their hearts and present? Are they excited about planning and executing events through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to bring everyone closer to the Lord our God? Are many flocking to the Church to be healed and set free from sin through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

If not then is the Lord truly with us? We may not be as bad as those mentioned in today’s first reading but are we any better? Yes we are all sinners but how many of us are striving to be saints as we are called to be?

In Your mercy Lord let change begin with me. Fill me with Your grace and Holy Spirit and let me glorify You by my life. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 7:1-11 ·

Reform your behaviour and I will stay here with you, says the Lord

The word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord:

    ‘Go and stand at the gate of the Temple of the Lord and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who come in by these gates to worship the Lord. The Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will stay with you here in this place. Put no trust in delusive words like these: This is the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Lord! But if you do amend your behaviour and your actions, if you treat each other fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow (if you do not shed innocent blood in this place), and if you do not follow alien gods, to your own ruin, then here in this place I will stay with you, in the land that long ago I gave to your fathers for ever. Yet here you are, trusting in delusive words, to no purpose! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow alien gods that you do not know? – and then come presenting yourselves in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe – safe to go on committing all these abominations! Do you take this Temple that bears my name for a robbers’ den? I, at any rate, am not blind – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 13:24-30

Let them both grow till the harvest

Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 22, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Are we disciples truly in love with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as St Mary Magdalen was? If so then…

Are we the first in the presence of our Lord in any meeting, scheduled or unscheduled? Do we seek Him out eagerly with all our heart, yearning to be of service to Him and our brethren? Do we weep and are repentant of our sins which lead us away from Him? Are we attentive to His every word and Will for us? Do we obediently and with unwavering faith, carry out His commands to share the good news with our brethren and to love them as He loves us?

I sought You Jesus whom my heart loves. And I found You whom my heart loves! Amen

Saint Mary Magdalen Pray for us…

First reading

Song of Songs 3:1-4 ·

I found him whom my heart loves

The bride says this:

On my bed, at night, I sought him

whom my heart loves.

I sought but did not find him.

So I will rise and go through the City;

in the streets and in the squares

I will seek him whom my heart loves.

I sought but did not find him.

The watchmen came upon me

on their rounds in the City:

‘Have you seen him whom my heart loves?’

Scarcely had I passed them

when I found him whom my heart loves.

Gospel

John 20:1-2,11-18

‘Mary, go and find the brothers and tell them’

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’

    Meanwhile Mary stayed outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, still weeping, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away’ she replied ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognise him. Jesus said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.’ Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 21, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We can experience Heaven here on earth because of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit we are able to see, touch, feel the presence of the Lord our God; even listen to His voice as we live out our daily lives.

Why then are so many still oblivious to this fact? Why do their faith come and go like leaky cisterns? Why then are many are serving dutifully in Church to fulfil an obscure sense of duty to the Lord our God; rather than doing so with hope of glorifying him by their joyful service of Him and brethren? Why are so many still not in community to praise, honour, worship and listen attentively to Him through His Word building His Kingdom together?

Let us ask ourselves how have we grown in faith, love and our relationship with Jesus and one another? Are we living a life in the Spirit?

Jesus our loving Lord, source of all life; You offer us the wellspring of living water and so we cry out to You as the woman at the well did. “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” Jn 4:15

Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 2:1-3,7-8,12-13 ·

I brought you to a fertile country and you defiled it

The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying, ‘Go and shout this in the hearing of Jerusalem:

‘“The Lord says this:

I remember the affection of your youth,

the love of your bridal days:

you followed me through the wilderness,

through a land unsown.

Israel was sacred to the Lord,

the first-fruits of his harvest;

anyone who ate of this had to pay for it,

misfortune came to them –

it is the Lord who speaks.”

‘I brought you to a fertile country

to enjoy its produce and good things;

but no sooner had you entered than you defiled my land,

and made my heritage detestable.

The priests have never asked, “Where is the Lord?”

Those who administer the Law have no knowledge of me.

The shepherds have rebelled against me;

the prophets have prophesied in the name of Baal,

following things with no power in them.

‘You heavens, stand aghast at this,

stand stupefied, stand utterly appalled

– it is the Lord who speaks.

Since my people have committed a double crime:

they have abandoned me,

the fountain of living water,

only to dig cisterns for themselves,

leaky cisterns

that hold no water.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:10-17

Prophets and holy men longed to hear what you hear

The disciples went up to Jesus and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled:

You will listen and listen again, but not understand,

see and see again, but not perceive.

For the heart of this nation has grown coarse,

their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes,

for fear they should see with their eyes,

hear with their ears,

understand with their heart,

and be converted

and be healed by me.

‘But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 20, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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“I am not worthy to hold Jesus in my hands!” My reply to the Parish Priest who told me I should join the Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion. Then the Lord spoke to me through him, “The fact that you know you are not worthy, makes you worthy.”  Now as I look back at this beginning 12 years ago and what I have managed to accomplish over the years for Him I am in awe. Who knew that this rugged introvert would be able to share the word of God and bring others closer to the Lord? That he would be able start three different communities in the Lord and off shoots which started their very own. What are some lessons learnt?

  • The Lord our God does not call us to be successful, only obedient to His call for us.
  • He qualifies us for any and all tasks according to His Will.
  • He already made us worthy through His life, death and resurrection.
  • The Holy Spirit is the light switch which dispels all darkness in an instant, pray and listen to Him always.
  • The Word of God is power, strength and life! Embrace the joy of the Gospel every day.

Jesus let my love for You bear fruit now and always. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 1:1,4-10 ·

Go and say whatever I command you and do not fear

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of a priestly family living at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin.

    The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

before you came to birth I consecrated you;

I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.’

I said, ‘Ah, Lord; look, I do not know how to speak: I am a child!’

But the Lord replied,

‘Do not say, “I am a child.”

Go now to those to whom I send you

and, say whatever I command you.

Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to protect you –

it is the Lord who speaks!’

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me:

‘There! I am putting my words into your mouth.

Look, today I am setting you

over nations and over kingdoms,

to tear up and to knock down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:1-9

A sower went out to sow

Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.

    He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 19, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The message in today’s Gospel is clear we who are baptized as children of God our Heavenly must do His Will. Only then do we have an true familial relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and with one another. Can we ever say that we do not know His will for us? At the very least, He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God. Micah 6:8

Let us take some time to reflect on who is our brother, sister and mother? Are they only in our immediate family? Our church? Ministry and community? Do we recognize as such the cashier at the grocery mart? The waiter and waitresses at the diners? The old lady or old man selling tissues at the train station? The disabled struggling to get in and out of the taxis? Are our eyes opened to see the fellow child of God in them? Baptized or Not!?

Our Good all merciful and loving Shepherd; Our Lord Jesus Christ has led us, His flock to pasture. Led us then with His mercy and grace Shepherd all our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers into His Kingdom by our love. Amen

First reading

Micah 7:14-15,18-20 ·

Have pity on us one more time

With shepherd’s crook, O Lord, lead your people to pasture,

the flock that is your heritage,

living confined in a forest

with meadow land all around.

Let them pasture in Bashan and Gilead

as in the days of old.

As in the days when you came out of Egypt

grant us to see wonders.

What god can compare with you: taking fault away,

pardoning crime,

not cherishing anger for ever

but delighting in showing mercy?

Once more have pity on us,

tread down our faults,

to the bottom of the sea

throw all our sins.

Grant Jacob your faithfulness,

and Abraham your mercy,

as you swore to our fathers

from the days of long ago.

Gospel

Matthew 12:46-50

My mother and my brothers are anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven

Jesus was speaking to the crowds when his mother and his brothers appeared; they were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him. But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 18, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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If we continue to live our lives according to our own wills and not unite our wills with that of the Lord our God ‘s then how can we hope to see His signs and wonders? The signs and wonders of His love which He wants to manifest in both our lives and that of our brothers and sisters.

We cannot say we love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul when we do not have time to hear His word and dwell in His presence. If we do not praise and worship Him each and every day with all our heart. When we do not strive for Holiness, purity of heart and mind over sin and temptation. We convince ourselves that just by looking is not sinning instead of turning our eyes away. And that it is okay for us to lash out aggressively with hurtful even vulgar words when we are rightfully angry.  How then are we acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with the Lord our God? How then can we hope to see His signs and wonders?

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner. Heavenly Father, Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen

First reading

Micah 6:1-4,6-8 ·

The Lord asks only this: to act justly, to love tenderly, to walk humbly

Listen to what the Lord is saying:

Stand up and let the case begin in the hearing of the mountains

    and let the hills hear what you say.

Listen, you mountains, to the Lord’s accusation,

    give ear, you foundations of the earth,

for the Lord is accusing his people,

    pleading against Israel:

My people, what have I done to you,

    how have I been a burden to you? Answer me.

I brought you out of the land of Egypt,

    I rescued you from the house of slavery;

I sent Moses to lead you,

    with Aaron and Miriam.

– ‘With what gift shall I come into the Lord’s presence

    and bow down before God on high?

Shall I come with holocausts,

    with calves one year old?

Will he be pleased with rams by the thousand,

    with libations of oil in torrents?

Must I give my first-born for what I have done wrong,

    the fruit of my body for my own sin?’

– What is good has been explained to you, man;

    this is what the Lord asks of you:

only this, to act justly,

    to love tenderly

    and to walk humbly with your God.

Gospel

Matthew 12:38-42

There is something greater than Solomon here

Some of the scribes and Pharisees spoke up. ‘Master,’ they said ‘we should like to see a sign from you.’ He replied, ‘It is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the sea-monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.’


Waiting on the Lord: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Readings:

Genesis 18:1–10

Psalm 15:2–5

Colossians 1:24–28

Luke 10:38–42

God wants to dwell with each of us personally, intimately—as the mysterious guests once visited Abraham’s tent, as Jesus once entered the home of Mary and Martha.

By his hospitality in this week’s First Reading, Abraham shows us how we are to welcome the Lord into our lives. His selfless service of his divine guests (see Hebrews 13:1) stands in contrast to the portrait of Martha drawn in this week’s Gospel.

Where Abraham is concerned only for the well-being of his guests, Martha speaks only of herself—”Do you not care that my sister has left me by myself . . . ? Tell her to help me.” Jesus’ gentle rebuke reminds us that we risk missing the divine in the mundane, that we can fall into the trap of believing that God somehow needs to be served by human hands (see Acts 17:25).

Our Lord comes to us not to be served but to serve (see Matthew 20:28). He gave His life that we might know the one thing we need, the “better part,” which is life in the fellowship of God.

Jesus is the true Son promised today by Abraham’s visitors (see Matthew 1:1). In Him, God has made an everlasting covenant for all time; He has made us blessed descendants of Abraham (see Genesis 17:1921Romans 4:16–1719–21).

The Church now offers us this covenant, bringing to completion the word of God, the promise of His plan of salvation, what Paul calls “the mystery hidden for ages.”

As once He came to Abraham, Martha, and Mary, Christ now comes to each of us in Word and Sacrament. As we sing in this week’s Psalm: He will make His dwelling with those who keep His Word and practice justice (see also John 14:23).

If we do these things, we will not be anxious or disturbed. We will not have our Lord taken from us. We will wait on the Lord, Who told Abraham and Who tells each of us: “I will surely return to you.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 16, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Such is the love and mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that He will not break the crushed reed, nor put out the smouldering wick! All of us who are crushed by our very own iniquities and sin. Let us therefore repent and turn our hearts back to Him while we still can.

For many even ‘Christians’ fall into sin and plot evil and injustices on those they have the power to do so. Forcing staff to leave so they can bring in people close and dear to them, under the guise of office transformation or new direction. Scheming and bickering over inheritance issues. Paying workers below the minimum wage. Injustices against the poor and uneducated. There are indeed too many misdeeds against our neighbours to list and yet the heaven cries out on their behalf!

Change must start with you and me. Let us call upon the mercy of Lord and allow the blazing fire of His love to transform us. So that we may become powerful beacons of His love and mercy for others. Amen

First reading

Micah 2:1-5 ·

The plotters of evil will not escape

Woe to those who plot evil,

who lie in bed planning mischief!

No sooner is it dawn than they do it

– their hands have the strength for it.

Seizing the fields that they covet,

they take over houses as well,

owner and house they confiscate together,

taking both man and inheritance.

So the Lord says this:

Now it is I who plot

such mischief against this breed

as your necks will not escape;

nor will you be able to walk proudly,

so evil will the time be.

On that day they will make a satire on you,

sing a dirge and say,

‘We are stripped of everything;

my people’s portion is measured out and shared,

no one will give it back to them,

our fields are awarded to our despoiler.’

Therefore you will have no one

to measure out a share

in the community of the Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 12:14-21

He cured them all but warned them not to make him known

The Pharisees went out and began to plot against Jesus, discussing how to destroy him.

    Jesus knew this and withdrew from the district. Many followed him and he cured them all, but warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:

Here is my servant whom I have chosen,

my beloved, the favourite of my soul.

I will endow him with my spirit,

and he will proclaim the true faith to the nations.

He will not brawl or shout,

nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.

He will not break the crushed reed,

nor put out the smouldering wick

till he has led the truth to victory:

in his name the nations will put their hope.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 15, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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All Scripture points us to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Even before He came down from Heaven and was incarnate, the Lord our God sent instruments of His healing grace when God our Father’s children cried out to Him; and they were restored. Now that Jesus has ascended into Heaven whom shall He send when His flock cry out to Him? If not you and me then who?

Are we living in the Spirit under the Authority of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Because if we truly are living as we are called to then as our Lord said, “

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Jn14:12 For all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Jesus Matt 28:18

And so the question for us today is are we living as true disciples of Jesus? If not then how can we obey His command to go make disciples of all nations when we are not living the life of a disciple ourselves. When we doubt that we can heal and restore in His name?

Jesus I cry out to You, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Amen

Mark 9:24

Saint Bonaventure Pray for us….

First reading

Isaiah 38:1-6,21-22,7-8

The Lord hears Hezekiah’s prayer and heals him

Hezekiah fell ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, ‘The Lord says this, “Put your affairs in order, for you are going to die, you will not live.”’ Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and addressed this prayer to the Lord, ‘Ah, Lord, remember, I beg you, how I have behaved faithfully and with sincerity of heart in your presence and done what is right in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah shed many tears.

    Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, ‘Go and say to Hezekiah, “The Lord, the God of David your ancestor, says this: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will cure you: in three days’ time you shall go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. I will save you from the hands of the king of Assyria, I will protect this city.”’

    ‘Bring a fig poultice,’ Isaiah said, ‘apply it to the ulcer and he will recover.’ Hezekiah said, ‘What is the sign to tell me that I shall be going up to the Temple of the Lord?’ ‘Here’ Isaiah replied ‘is the sign from the Lord that he will do what he has said. Look, I shall make the shadow cast by the declining sun go back ten steps on the steps of Ahaz.’ And the sun went back the ten steps by which it had declined.

Gospel

Matthew 12:1-8

The Son of Man is master of the sabbath

Jesus took a walk one sabbath day through the cornfields. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them. The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath.’ But he said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God and how they ate the loaves of offering which neither he nor his followers were allowed to eat, but which were for the priests alone? Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the sabbath day the Temple priests break the sabbath without being blamed for it? Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple. And if you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 14, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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With a humble contrite spirit let us approach our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For we know we cannot do it all alone, we need His grace, mercy and peace. Our battle with the forces of darkness and evil is a tedious one but we know will overcome them all through the power and light of Jesus our resurrected Lord!

His soft gentle voice calls out to us today, “Come to me and I will give you rest”

Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Rm 8:35 ) Let us therefore stand convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rm 8:38-39)

In thee my soul finds rest O Lord. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 26:7-9,12,16-19 ·

‘Awake and exult, all you who lie in the dust’

The path of the upright man is straight,

you smooth the way of the upright.

Following the path of your judgements,

we hoped in you, O Lord,

your name, your memory are all my soul desires.

At night my soul longs for you

and my spirit in me seeks for you;

when your judgements appear on earth

the inhabitants of the world learn the meaning of integrity.

O Lord, you are giving us peace,

since you treat us

as our deeds deserve.

Distressed, we search for you, O Lord;

the misery of oppression was your punishment for us.

As a woman with child near her time

writhes and cries out in her pangs,

so are we, O Lord, in your presence:

we have conceived, we writhe

as if we were giving birth;

we have not given the spirit of salvation to the earth,

no more inhabitants of the world are born.

Your dead will come to life,

their corpses will rise;

awake, exult,

all you who lie in the dust,

for your dew is a radiant dew

and the land of ghosts will give birth.

Gospel

Matthew 11:28-30

My yoke is easy and my burden light

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 13, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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O God my Heavenly Father, I am indeed your child so loved by You. Thank You for blessing and watching over me. I am in awe of all that You have done in my life and have seen Your mighty yet merciful hand at work each and every day. Thank You most of all for the gift of Your Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the truth, the way and the life. For through and with Him I see You and are in full communion.

Bless and forgive me Abba for my many shortcomings, grant me the wisdom and knowledge to do Your Will alone always. Renew my drooping spirit and enkindle a new fire within me to glorify You all the days of my life. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Isaiah 10:5-7,13-16 ·

Assyria’s arrogance and coming ruin

The Lord of hosts says this:

Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger,

the club brandished by me in my fury!

I sent him against a godless nation;

I gave him commission against a people that provokes me,

to pillage and to plunder freely

and to stamp down like the mud in the streets.

But he did not intend this,

his heart did not plan it so.

No, in his heart was to destroy,

to go on cutting nations to pieces without limit.

For he has said:

‘By the strength of my own arm I have done this

and by my own intelligence, for understanding is mine;

I have pushed back the frontiers of peoples

and plundered their treasures.

I have brought their inhabitants down to the dust.

As if they were a bird’s nest, my hand has seized

the riches of the peoples.

As people pick up deserted eggs

I have picked up the whole earth,

with not a wing fluttering,

not a beak opening, not a chirp.’

Does the axe claim more credit than the man who wields it,

or the saw more strength than the man who handles it?

It would be like the cudgel controlling the man who raises it,

or the club moving what is not made of wood!

And so the Lord of Hosts is going to send

a wasting sickness on his stout warriors;

beneath his plenty, a burning will burn

like a consuming fire.

Gospel

Matthew 11:25-27

You have hidden these things from the wise and revealed them to little children

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 12, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Why live in darkness and sin and when we can live in the light of our Lord’s resurrection? We have been given free will to choose and if we so choose the former then we can be assured that it will only lead to our permanent destruction and death. Not that the Lord our God will this for us but rather our choice has consequences!

If we are tired of groping in the dark, searching for peace, love and happiness in all the wrong places. Then it is time to turn back to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ while we still can. We come before Him just as we are, and He will transform us by His mercy, grace and abundant love for us. We will be set free to live life to the full in Him.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.(PS 51:10) Amen

First reading

Isaiah 7:1-9 ·

Isaiah tells the king not to fear

In the reign of Ahaz son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Razon the king of Aram went up against Jerusalem with Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, to lay siege to it; but he was unable to capture it.

    The news was brought to the House of David. ‘Aram’ they said ‘has reached Ephraim.’ Then the heart of the king and the hearts of the people shuddered as the trees of the forest shudder in front of the wind. The Lord said to Isaiah, ‘Go with your son Shear-jashub, and meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the Fuller’s Field road, and say to him:

‘“Pay attention, keep calm, have no fear,

do not let your heart sink

because of these two smouldering stumps of firebrands,

or because Aram, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah

have plotted to ruin you, and have said:

Let us invade Judah and terrorise it

and seize it for ourselves,

and set up a king there,

the son of Tabeel.

The Lord says this:

It shall not come true; it shall not be.

The capital of Aram is Damascus,

the head of Damascus, Razon;

the capital of Ephraim, Samaria,

the head of Samaria, the son of Remaliah.

Six or five years more

and a shattered Ephraim shall no longer be a people.

But if you do not stand by me,

you will not stand at all.”’

Gospel

Matthew 11:20-24

It will not go as hard with Sodom on Judgement Day as with you

Jesus began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent.

    ‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. And still, I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgement day with Tyre and Sidon as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 11, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Why do we pray to God our Heavenly Father that His Kingdom come, His Will be done when we think or rather we insists we must be in control?

“My daughter is mine, I cannot and will not surrender her to the Will of God.” “I worked hard all my life to provide for my family, I have a car, a home, all that I can ask so why should I surrender it all to God?” “I serve in Church on Sundays and that is enough how can they expect me to attend prayer meetings, ministry meetings and so on, my domestic church comes first!”

Some may even declare “I have resisted all forms of sin and temptation.” But what about the sin of omission? For failing to do what the Lord wants us to do? Not so much what we have done, but what we have failed to do, especially for our brethren! The poor, the sick, the widow, the orphan, those suffering injustice and oppression.

What does it mean then to seek God’s Kingdom first? It is not simply to live in our King’s Domain? In His presence? Is He then truly first in our lives as we claim? Are we truly then worthy of Him? For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11 Why then are we afraid to surrender our all to Him?

Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will. Amen!

First reading

Isaiah 1:10-17 ·

Take your wrongdoing out of my sight

Hear the word of the Lord,

you rulers of Sodom;

listen to the command of our God,

you people of Gomorrah.

‘What are your endless sacrifices to me?

says the Lord.

I am sick of holocausts of rams

and the fat of calves.

The blood of bulls and of goats revolts me.

When you come to present yourselves before me,

who asked you to trample over my courts?

Bring me your worthless offerings no more,

the smoke of them fills me with disgust.

New Moons, sabbaths, assemblies –

I cannot endure festival and solemnity.

Your New Moons and your pilgrimages

I hate with all my soul.

They lie heavy on me,

I am tired of bearing them.

When you stretch out your hands

I turn my eyes away.

You may multiply your prayers,

I shall not listen.

Your hands are covered with blood,

wash, make yourselves clean.

‘Take your wrong-doing out of my sight.

Cease to do evil.

Learn to do good,

search for justice,

help the oppressed,

be just to the orphan,

plead for the widow.’

Gospel

Matthew 10:34-11:1

It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.

    ‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.

    ‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.

    ‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.

    ‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’

    When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.


What We Must Do: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Readings:

Deuteronomy 30:10–14

Psalm 69:141730–3133–3436–37

Colossians 1:15–20

Luke 10:25–37

We are to love God and our neighbor with all the strength of our being, as the scholar of the Law answers Jesus in this week’s Gospel.

This command is nothing remote or mysterious—it’s already written in our hearts, in the book of Sacred Scripture. “You have only to carry it out,” Moses says in this week’s First Reading.

Jesus tells His interrogator the same thing: “Do this and you will live.”

The scholar, however, wants to know where he can draw the line. That’s the motive behind his question, “Who is my neighbor?”

In his compassion, the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable reveals the boundless mercy of God, Who came down to us when we were fallen in sin, close to dead, unable to pick ourselves up.

Jesus is “the image of the invisible God,” this week’s Epistle tells us. In Him, the love of God has come very near to us. By the “blood of His Cross”—by bearing His neighbors’ sufferings in His own body, being Himself stripped and beaten and left for dead—He saved us from the bonds of sin and reconciled us to God and to one another.

Like the Samaritan, He pays the price for us, heals the wounds of sin, pours out on us the oil and wine of the sacraments, and entrusts us to the care of His Church until He comes back for us.

Because His love has known no limits, ours cannot either. We are to love as we have been loved, to do for others what He has done for us, joining all things together in His Body, the Church.

We are to love like the singer of this week’s Psalm—like those whose prayers have been answered, like those whose lives has been saved, who have known the time of His favor, have seen God in His great mercy turn toward us.

This is the love that leads to eternal life, the love Jesus commands today of the scholar and of each of us: “Go and do likewise.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 9, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33 Everything we need to survive but more importantly God our Father’s Kingdom on earth will be opened to us as well and we will indeed see sights and wonders! For what purpose to our end? To be sent into world and lead all those who will listen back to His loving embrace. His Kingdom come His will be done.

We must be of one mind just as we worship the One and Only triune God. One Body, One mind, One Spirit. And so each day we awake in prayer to hear His Word for us so that we might fortify ourselves against the wiles of the devil who seeks to scatter our minds and hearts! Yes even the mention of devil may irk us and cause us to shut our ears as many do not want to believe that he exists. Jesus Himself reminds us today, ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.’

But the thing is what is there for us to be afraid? For so long as our heart seeks the Lord our God, and desires to be with Him in His Kingdom; He is already with us. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had already come to save us from all sin. And so if we fall and are truly repentant then when we turn to Him, He will restore and free us! He will give us the grace to resist sin and temptation so that we can go out into world and help our fellow sisters and brother back unto the righteous path.

Here I am Lord, send me. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 6:1-8 ·

Isaiah’s lips cleansed with a burning coal

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord of Hosts seated on a high throne; his train filled the sanctuary; above him stood seraphs, each one with six wings: two to cover its face, two to cover its feet, and two for flying.

    And they cried out to one another in this way,

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

His glory fills the whole earth.’

The foundations of the threshold shook with the voice of the one who cried out, and the Temple was filled with smoke. I said:

‘What a wretched state I am in! I am lost,

for I am a man of unclean lips

and I live among a people of unclean lips,

and my eyes have looked at the King, the Lord of Hosts.’

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding in his hand a live coal which he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. With this he touched my mouth and said:

‘See now, this has touched your lips,

your sin is taken away,

your iniquity is purged.’

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:

‘Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?’

I answered, ‘Here I am, send me.’

Gospel

Matthew 10:24-33

Everything now hidden will be made clear

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘The disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. It is enough for the disciple that he should grow to be like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, what will they not say of his household?

    ‘Do not be afraid of them therefore. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.

    ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.

    ‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 8, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What struck me in today’s passages is that we always have a choice. Whether we want to remain stumbling sinners accepting that is just who we are; or we can choose to remember that we are children so loved  by God our Heavenly Father and walk upright and virtuously in His love. For He has given His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to free us from all sin so that we can walk blameless in His sight.

When we do decide to walk the straight and narrow path. To listen and follow His Word and Will for us then we can be assured that when we speak, the Spirit of God our Father will speak in us.

Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever. Amen

First reading

Hosea 14:2-10

A call to conversion and promise of safety

The Lord says this:

Israel, come back to the Lord your God;

your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.

Provide yourself with words

and come back to the Lord.

Say to him, ‘Take all iniquity away

so that we may have happiness again

and offer you our words of praise.

Assyria cannot save us,

we will not ride horses any more,

or say, “Our God!” to what our own hands have made,

for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.’

– I will heal their disloyalty,

I will love them with all my heart,

for my anger has turned from them.

I will fall like dew on Israel.

He shall bloom like the lily,

and thrust out roots like the poplar,

his shoots will spread far;

he will have the beauty of the olive

and the fragrance of Lebanon.

They will come back to live in my shade;

they will grow corn that flourishes,

they will cultivate vines

as renowned as the wine of Helbon.

What has Ephraim to do with idols any more

when it is I who hear his prayer and care for him?

I am like a cypress ever green,

all your fruitfulness comes from me.

Let the wise man understand these words.

Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning.

For the ways of the Lord are straight,

and virtuous men walk in them,

but sinners stumble.

Gospel

Matthew 10:16-23

The Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves.

    ‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you. ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved. If they persecute you in one town, take refuge in the next; and if they persecute you in that, take refuge in another. I tell you solemnly, you will not have gone the round of the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 7, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In spite of our obstinacy, sinfulness and errant ways we are still very much loved by God our Heavenly Father. So loved are we, that He sent His only begotten Son to save us and draw us back unto Him.

Today Jesus sends us all out on mission. To win back hearts that have wandered far from Him. To bring His peace, love and joy back into their lives. To win back souls heading for destruction by their willful, sinful choices! Do we stand ready to go out in faith dependent only on the Holy Spirit? Are we ready to face rejection for love of Him? Are we ready to receive nothing in return, no recognition, fame or personal glory? Are we then ready to say to Jesus with all our hearts, “Here I am Lord send me!”

Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will. Be with me now and forever. Amen

First reading

Hosea 11:1-4,8-9 ·

I am the Holy One in your midst and have no wish to destroy

Thus says the Lord:

When Israel was a child I loved him,

and I called my son out of Egypt.

But the more I called to them, the further they went from me;

they have offered sacrifice to the Baals

and set their offerings smoking before the idols.

I myself taught Ephraim to walk,

I took them in my arms;

yet they have not understood that I was the one looking after them.

I led them with reins of kindness,

with leading-strings of love.

I was like someone who lifts an infant close against his cheek;

stooping down to him I gave him his food.

Ephraim, how could I part with you?

Israel, how could I give you up?

How could I treat you like Admah,

or deal with you like Zeboiim?

My heart recoils from it,

my whole being trembles at the thought.

I will not give rein to my fierce anger,

I will not destroy Ephraim again,

for I am God, not man:

I am the Holy One in your midst

and have no wish to destroy.

Gospel

Matthew 10:7-15

You received without charge: give without charge

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘As you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge. Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with a few coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or footwear or a staff, for the workman deserves his keep.

    ‘Whatever town or village you go into, ask for someone trustworthy and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, let your peace descend upon it; if it does not, let your peace come back to you. And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet. I tell you solemnly, on the day of Judgement it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom and Gomorrah as with that town.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 6, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How can we be faithful if we live for ourselves? We may say we live for our families, in that we earn a living to provide for them but how and what are we providing for their spiritual life? For their growth in relationship and faith in the Lord our God? Do we belong to a community of praying disciples who encourages and affirms one another through prayer meetings, sharing of the Word and testimonies of living in the joy of the presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

How then can we hope to be faithful when there are so many distractions and temptations in the World. How can we believe that our children will not go astray if we ourselves are easily led astray?

Today’s Gospel is about the calling of the 12 Apostles, but it is also serves as a reminder that in 2022, He is still calling and sending you and me into homes of His lost sheep. All those who have lost their way, who have left the church for whatever reasons. To turn their hearts back to the Lord their God so that they may live free from sin in His love. Then together with them we can go on to make disciples of all nations. Amen

First reading

Hosea 10:1-3,7-8,12 ·

Seek integrity and reap a harvest of kindness

Israel was a luxuriant vine

yielding plenty of fruit.

The more his fruit increased,

the more altars he built;

the richer his land became,

the richer he made the sacred stones.

Their heart is a divided heart;

very well, they must pay for it:

the Lord is going to break their altars down

and destroy their sacred stones.

Then they will say,

‘We have no king

because we have not feared the Lord.’

But what can a king do for us?

Samaria has had her day.

Her king is like a straw drifting on the water.

The idolatrous high places shall be destroyed –

that sin of Israel;

thorn and thistle will grow on their altars.

Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’

and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’

Sow integrity for yourselves,

reap a harvest of kindness,

break up your fallow ground:

it is time to go seeking the Lord

until he comes to rain salvation on you.

Gospel

Matthew 10:1-7

‘Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel’

Jesus summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.

    These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the one who was to betray him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows:

    ‘Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Whom shall the Lord send? If we remain self-centred, inward looking. If we care only for ourselves and our enjoyment. Will He send You and me to build His Kingdom? To save souls? Who then shall He send to lead us home to Him?

If we all decide that our children’s successes are in our hands and so we pave the way for them to only become lawyers, doctors, engineers or scientists then what about Priests and religious? “Well other parents can sacrifice their children if they want to!” Really? What happened to let’s give all glory and praise to our God? Let His Will be done? He is our Lord or lords, King of kings! The reality may actually be we are priests, prophets and kings for ourselves alone.

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us. Amen

First reading

Hosea 8:4-7,11-13 ·

They have sown the wind; they will reap the whirlwind

Thus says the Lord:

They have set up kings, but not with my consent,

and appointed princes, but without my knowledge.

Out of their own silver and gold they have made idols,

which are doomed to destruction.

I spurn your calf, Samaria,

my anger blazes against it.

(How long will it be before they purge themselves of this,

the sons of Israel?)

A workman made the thing,

this cannot be God!

Yes, the calf of Samaria shall go up in flames.

They sow the wind, they will reap the whirlwind;

their wheat will yield no ear,

the ear will yield no flour,

or, if it does, foreigners will swallow it.

Ephraim has built altar after altar,

they have only served him as occasion for sin.

Were I to write out the thousand precepts of my Law for him,

they would be paid no more attention than those of a stranger.

They love sacrificing; right, let them sacrifice!

They love meat; right, let them eat it!

The Lord takes no pleasure in these.

He is now going to remember their iniquity

and punish their sins;

they will have to go back to Egypt.

Gospel

Matthew 9:32-37

The harvest is rich but the labourers are few

A man was brought to Jesus, a dumb demoniac. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed. ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel’ they said. But the Pharisees said, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts out devils.’

    Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.

    And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 4, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Our loving Lord always calls us gently back to faithfulness. For He only desires what is best for us and that only happens when we enter into an intimate relationship with Him. We are able to live life to the full in Him.

However many a time due to our unfaithfulness we feel the life being drained out of us. We feel listless and spiritually dry and often peace of mind eludes. We need to examine our conscience and acknowledge that we have sinned; turn back swiftly to our Lord through penance and reconciliation otherwise we will surely head towards spiritual death. Prayerfully we have time to change our hearts before our ultimate end God willing.

Let us therefore, confidently turn to Jesus so that He can heal and restore us. So that we may once again become the saints we are called to be, Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. Amen

First reading

Hosea 2:16,17-18,21-22 ·

I will betroth you to myself and you will come to know the name of the Lord

It is the Lord who speaks:

I am going to lure her

and lead her out into the wilderness

and speak to her heart.

I am going to give her back her vineyards,

and make the Valley of Achor a gateway of hope.

There she will respond to me as she did when she was young,

as she did when she came out of the land of Egypt.

When that day comes – it is the Lord who speaks –

she will call me, ‘My husband’,

no longer will she call me, ‘My Baal.’

I will betroth you to myself for ever,

betroth you with integrity and justice,

with tenderness and love;

I will betroth you to myself with faithfulness,

and you will come to know the Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 9:18-26

‘Your faith has restored you to health’

While Jesus was speaking, up came one of the officials, who bowed low in front of him and said, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.’ Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him. Then from behind him came a woman, who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years, and she touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again.’ Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, ‘Courage, my daughter, your faith has restored you to health.’ And from that moment the woman was well again.

    When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead, she is asleep.’ And they laughed at him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took the little girl by the hand; and she stood up. And the news spread all round the countryside.


Harvest Time: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

 

Readings:

Isaiah 66:10-14

Psalm 66:1-71620

Galatians 6:14-18

Luke 10:1-1217-20

Jesus has a vision in this week’s Gospel: Satan falling like lightning from the sky, the enemy vanquished by the missionary preaching of His Church.

Sent out by Jesus to begin gathering the nations into the harvest of divine judgment (see Isaiah 27:12–13; Joel 4:13), the seventy are a sign of the continuing mission of the Church.

Carrying out the work of the seventy, the Church proclaims the coming of God’s kingdom. She offers His blessings of peace and mercy to every household on earth, “every town and place He intended

to visit.”

Our Lord’s tone is solemn today, for in the preaching of the Church “the kingdom of God is at hand,” the time of decision has come for every person. Those who do not receive His messengers will be doomed like Sodom.

But those who believe will find peace and mercy, protection and nourishment in the bosom of the Church, the Mother Zion we celebrate in this week’s beautiful First Reading, the “Israel of God” Paul blesses in this week’s Epistle.

The Church is a new family of faith (see Galatians 6:10) in which we receive a new name that will endure forever (see Isaiah 66:22), a name written in heaven.

In this week’s Psalm, we sing of God’s “tremendous deeds among men” throughout salvation history. But of all the works of God, none has been greater than what He has wrought by the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Changing the sea into dry land was but an anticipation and preparation for our passing over, for what Paul calls the “new creation.” And as the Exodus generation was protected in a wilderness of serpents and scorpions (see Deuteronomy 8:15), He has given His Church power now over “the full force of the enemy.” Nothing will harm us as we make our way through the wilderness of this world, awaiting the Master of the harvest, awaiting the day when all on earth will shout joyfully to the Lord and sing praise to the glory of His name.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 2, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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When I had a profound encounter with the Lord through the Holy Spirit and had a new found desire to read His Word I turned to two seniors in the faith to guide me on where I should start. One was an elderly leader in the Charismatic movement who has passed on, and the other an established Catholic speaker invited to give us a talk in our Parish who has since left the Catholic Church to pursue his faith in some other Christian denomination. They both shared with conviction the exact same thing, “Don’t even bother with the Old Testament, just concentrate wholly on the New Testament which is more than enough!” Who was I to question these esteemed leaders of the faith? Still it unsettled me even then, for whether Old or New aren’t they both the inspired Word of God? Was I not meant to take their guidance literally? Was the guidance received taken out of context somehow?

Well as I grew deeper in love with Word of God, I find this statement holds true “The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed.” A variation would be the “New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old is revealed in the New” Both Old and New point us in the same direction and that is to the way, the truth and the life; Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came to make all things new. To draw all of us unto Himself and to the heart of God our Heavenly Father.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

First reading

Amos 9:11-15 ·

I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel

It is the Lord who speaks:

‘That day I will re-erect the tottering hut of David,

make good the gaps in it, restore its ruins

and rebuild it as it was in the days of old,

so that they can conquer the remnant of Edom

and all the nations that belonged to me.’

It is the Lord who speaks, and he will carry this out.

‘The days are coming now – it is the Lord who speaks –

when harvest will follow directly after ploughing,

the treading of grapes soon after sowing,

when the mountains will run with new wine

and the hills all flow with it.

I mean to restore the fortunes of my people Israel;

they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them,

plant vineyards and drink their wine,

dig gardens and eat their produce.

I will plant them in their own country,

never to be rooted up again

out of the land I have given them,

says the Lord, your God.’

Gospel

Matthew 9:14-17

When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast

John’s disciples came to him and said, ‘Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunken cloth on to an old cloak, because the patch pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; if they do, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are lost. No; they put new wine into fresh skins and both are preserved.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 1, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We all know what happens when we do not hear the Lord our God speaking to us through His Word. For we have all experienced it at what point or another in our lives! When we chose our ways and our will over His and the choices we made caused our lives to spin out of control. Self indulgent lifestyles, doing as we please not caring about others or the results of our actions. There were other times when all seem quiet in our lives but there was no peace or love in our hearts!

Today as we have embraced the endemic phase many have decided to throw caution in the air to do as they please. Party, Party, Party! And so everyone will have to face the consequences. Where is the mercy within us for others?

Have we lost sight of Christ Jesus our Saviour? Is He still very much present in our lives? He had come for us sinners, to free us from the bondages of sin. So that we can live our lives to the full in His peace and love. Let us turn our hearts back to Him, so that we can hear His word and will for us once again. Let us pray the first few lines of Psalm 119 together….

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,

    who walk according to the law of the Lord.

2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes

    and seek him with all their heart—

3 they do no wrong

    but follow his ways.

4 You have laid down precepts

    that are to be fully obeyed.

5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast

    in obeying your decrees!

6 Then I would not be put to shame

    when I consider all your commands.

7 I will praise you with an upright heart

    as I learn your righteous laws.

8 I will obey your decrees;

    do not utterly forsake me.

Amen

First reading

Amos 8:4-6,9-12 ·

A famine not of bread, but of hearing the word of the Lord

Listen to this, you who trample on the needy

and try to suppress the poor people of the country,

you who say, ‘When will New Moon be over

so that we can sell our corn,

and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?

Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,

by swindling and tampering with the scales,

we can buy up the poor for money,

and the needy for a pair of sandals,

and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat.’

That day – it is the Lord who speaks –

I will make the sun go down at noon,

and darken the earth in broad daylight.

I am going to turn your feasts into funerals,

all your singing into lamentation;

I will have your loins all in sackcloth,

your heads all shaved.

I will make it a mourning like the mourning for an only son,

as long as it lasts it will be like a day of bitterness.

See what days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –

days when I will bring famine on the country,

a famine not of bread, a drought not of water,

but of hearing the word of the Lord.

They will stagger from sea to sea,

wander from north to east,

seeking the word of the Lord

and failing to find it.

Gospel

Matthew 9:9-13

It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick

As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

    While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 30, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Have you gone for the sacrament of reconciliation? You should go for the Lord wants to take away your sins and set you free to live fully in His love. This is what we should be saying to our spouses, our children, family even close friends. And we should never reply to one another, “Mind your own business” or “It is between me and God, I will go when I am ready!” You see it is fundamental duty as Christians so safeguard and safe souls. We are called to be priest, prophets and kings for one another so as to lead everyone into the Kingdom of God our Heavenly Father.

Jesus You came to heal, forgive and set us free. Restore me Lord, that I may give You all the glory, in everything I say and do this and every day. Amen

First reading

Amos 7:10-17 ·

The Lord took me from herding the flock and sent me to prophesy

Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent word to Jeroboam king of Israel as follows. ‘Amos is plotting against you in the heart of the House of Israel; the country can no longer tolerate what he keeps saying. For this is what he says, “Jeroboam is going to die by the sword, and Israel go into exile far from its country.”’ To Amos, Amaziah said, ‘Go away, seer;’ get back to the land of Judah; earn your bread there, do your prophesying there. We want no more prophesying in Bethel; this is the royal sanctuary, the national temple.’ ‘I was no prophet, neither did I belong to any of the brotherhoods of prophets,’ Amos replied to Amaziah ‘I was a shepherd, and looked after sycamores: but it was the Lord who took me from herding the flock, and the Lord who said, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” So listen to the word of the Lord.

‘You say:

‘“Do not prophesy against Israel,

utter no oracles against the House of Isaac.”

‘Very well, this is what the Lord says,

‘“Your wife will be forced to go on the streets,

your sons and daughters will fall by the sword,

your land be parcelled out by measuring line,

and you yourself die on unclean soil

and Israel will go into exile far distant from its own land.”’

Gospel

Matthew 9:1-8

‘Your sins are forgiven; get up and walk’

Jesus got in the boat, crossed the water and came to his own town. Then some people appeared, bringing him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, my child, your sins are forgiven.’ And at this some scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming.’ Knowing what was in their minds Jesus said, ‘Why do you have such wicked thoughts in your hearts? Now, which of these is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he said to the paralytic – ‘get up, and pick up your bed and go off home.’ And the man got up and went home. A feeling of awe came over the crowd when they saw this, and they praised God for giving such power to men.