On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Let us not take the love and mercy of our Heavenly Father for granted! When will we come to our senses and see the goodness and abundance in which He provides for us. Not so in luxuries but the fullness and richness of life filled with peace, joy and love in our hearts.

Many still will take all they can get from Him, then stray to lead wanton, decadent lifestyles. Their search for happiness never ends and soon enough they find only misery. For some it will be too late before they wake up to the reality of it all. Yes indeed the Lord is slow to anger and merciful but do not wait to the very end to turn back to Him. Come now as you are, sinful wretched and sorrowful. He will embrace you with His loving arms, heal and restore you.

Finally for those who are already serving Him with love in your heart for Him and for neighbour, then you are truly living in His presence. For there will Never ever be resentment in your heart come what may. For you know that you are truly and greatly loved by your Heavenly Father. 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

Luke 15:1-3,11-32
The prodigal son

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:
‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.
‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”
‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 22, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Those who are jealous of others for whatever reasons possess hearts which are empty, more importantly they are far from the Lord our God. If only they would come to the realisation that God our Father loves them so much and uniquely there will be no room whatsoever for jealousy. For it will be filled with God’s abundant love.

Instead they sometimes choose to allow their jealousy to consume them, that they fall into greater sin. How many then can only see the faults in others? How many get angry when their ‘enemies’ garner more attention and popularity? How many stoop to dishonour those they dislike when they are not present with their unfettered tongues? How many pieces of silver have they sold their own fellow brother and sister in Christ by writing them off in their hearts? Have they then not rejected Christ Himself?

Come now let us turn our hearts to Jesus and be healed of any jealousy, any sense of feeling unloved or feeing inadequate. Let the love of Christ Jesus our Lord embrace and consume us. So that we can be free to live fully in His love and light this very day. Amen

First reading

Genesis 37:3-4,12-13,17-28 †
Let us kill him: then we shall see what becomes of his dreams

Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons, for he was the son of his old age, and he had a coat with long sleeves made for him. But his brothers, seeing how his father loved him more than all his other sons, came to hate him so much that they could not say a civil word to him.
His brothers went to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem. Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘Are not your brothers with the flock at Shechem? Come, I am going to send you to them.’ So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them they made a plot among themselves to put him to death. ‘Here comes the man of dreams’ they said to one another. ‘Come on, let us kill him and throw him into some well; we can say that a wild beast devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams.’
But Reuben heard, and he saved him from their violence. ‘We must not take his life’ he said. ‘Shed no blood,’ said Reuben to them ‘throw him into this well in the wilderness, but do not lay violent hands on him’ – intending to save him from them and to restore him to his father. So, when Joseph reached his brothers, they pulled off his coat, the coat with long sleeves that he was wearing, and catching hold of him they threw him into the well, an empty well with no water in it. They then sat down to eat.
Looking up they saw a group of Ishmaelites who were coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum, tragacanth, balsam and resin, which they were taking down into Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, ‘What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do any harm to him. After all, he is our brother, and our own flesh.’ His brothers agreed.
Now some Midianite merchants were passing, and they drew Joseph up out of the well. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty silver pieces, and these men took Joseph to Egypt.

Gospel

Matthew 21:33-43,45-46
This is the landlord’s heir: come, let us kill him

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:

It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?

‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Time passes very swiftly for everyone. You may not remember anything from when you were a babe, but certainly you will remember bits of your early childhood, the invincible teenage years and now look at you now! What have you done to please the Lord your God? How has your faith and relationship with Him grown? Have you helped those He had put unto your path? Or have you been oblivious? Caught up in living your life to the ‘fullest’. Never looking past your immediate family, concerned only with yours and their comfort and security. There is still time you say well here is the truth, there is NOT!

For time belongs to God alone and time for us only exists in His presence. The rich, wealthy and powerful have no names for the Lord only remembers the names of the poor and the poor in spirit, who hunger and thirst for Him. So while we are on this short pilgrim journey let us turn heavenward and look upon the stars as Abraham our Father did. To recognise God our Father’s children; our dear sisters and brothers in which we are called to look after and care for till one day soon, we are all reunited in His Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord God Almighty Father, thy will alone be done. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 17:5-10
A curse on the man who puts his trust in man and turns from the Lord

The Lord says this:

‘A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, who relies on things of flesh,whose heart turns from the Lord.
He is like dry scrub in the wastelands: if good comes, he has no eyes for it, he settles in the parched places of the wilderness,
a salt land, uninhabited.

‘A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord,
with the Lord for his hope.
He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it feels no alarm,
its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit.

‘The heart is more devious than any other thing,
perverse too: who can pierce its secrets?
I, the Lord, search to the heart, I probe the loins,
to give each man what his conduct and his actions deserve.’

Gospel

Luke 16:19-31
Dives and Lazarus

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”
‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.” “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

It is very good indeed to want to take up the leadership role. To be counted as one who led the flock of the Lord our God into His Heavenly fold. However how many truly have this goal in their hearts? How many are willing to suffer and die if need be for the sake of His sheep? To be fully obedient to the Lord our God and His Church and to accept the good counsel of the Holy Spirit which may lead us in an entirely different direction from what we planned?

The voices of the world grow louder each day and they demand to have leaders stand up for their causes. To legalise abortion, same sex marriages, to have female priests serve in the churches, to allow human cloning and so on. Even some ‘leaders’ in the church are enticed into gaining popularity by agreeing with them. When will they heed the word of God who says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Lord Jesus if Your call is for me to be a leader then mould me and make me one after Your own heart. To serve and not to be served. To lay down my life if need be for You and my brethren, all for Your Glory alone. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 18:18-20
My enemies are digging a pit for me

‘Come on,’ they said, ‘let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah; the priest will not run short of instruction without him, nor the sage of advice, nor the prophet of the word. Come on, let us hit at him with his own tongue; let us listen carefully to every word he says.’

Listen to me, O Lord,
hear what my adversaries are saying.
Should evil be returned for good?
For they are digging a pit for me.
Remember how I stood in your presence to plead on their behalf, to turn your wrath away from them.

Gospel

Matthew 20:17-28
They will condemn the Son of Man to death

Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one side and said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.’
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came 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.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Today is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother, foster father of Jesus. I chose his name for my confirmation and his is the middle name for both my sons.

Why? Because although he appears silent in the Gospels he speaks volumes by his obedience, faith and most of all his love put into action for his family and by extension the family of God our Father. A humble carpenter by trade, a loving husband, a doting father who strived to keep his family safe. His faith in God was unwavering in spite of the challenges and hardship he had to face. Truly a model I want to follow! He bore his own cross silently just as his son would eventually do.

St Joseph pray for us… Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14,16 †
The Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David

The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: “When your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

Second reading

Romans 4:13,16-18,22 †
Abraham hoped, and he believed

The promise of inheriting the world was not made to Abraham and his descendants on account of any law but on account of the righteousness which consists in faith. That is why what fulfils the promise depends on faith, so that it may be a free gift and be available to all of Abraham’s descendants, not only those who belong to the Law but also those who belong to the faith of Abraham who is the father of all of us. As scripture says: I have made you the ancestor of many nations – Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist.
Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars. This is the faith that was ‘considered as justifying him.’

Gospel

Matthew 1:16,18-21,24
How Jesus Christ came to be born

Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Blessed be the Lord our God who is compassionate. Who is patiently waiting for us to repent of our sins and return to Him. For without His compassion we are indeed doomed to an empty life of misery.

Today we hear the call for us to be compassionate just as our Heavenly Father is compassionate. And yet while we want our Lord to be compassionate with us, we are often not compassionate with one another. Shouting and screaming at others when things don’t go our way. Punishing our children severely over the smallest things. Not reaching out to those who hunger and thirst. Those who are sick and need to be tended to.

We need the grace of God upon us so that we can be loving and compassionate as He is. Therefore let us always turn back to Him, seek His forgiveness, be nourished and stand ready to serve those in need of our tender loving care. Amen

First reading

Daniel 9:4-10
Yours is the integrity, Lord; ours the shame

O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you. To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.

Gospel

Luke 6:36-38
Grant pardon, and you will be pardoned

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’


Peace everyone, today I did a recording of my sharing on Today’s readings and Gospel with my fellow stewards of the Banquet unscripted and unedited so if you’re interested to listen here it is…
😊🙏🏼❤️

Listen to Personal reflection on the 2nd Sun of Lent by Julian Tan 17 #np on #SoundCloud

By the way I missed out on sharing that the promise of God is indeed fulfilled in Abraham he is afterall Father of the Jews who believe in the One God, us Christians and the Muslims therefore billions round the globe and across the centuries! Praise God!

Then there is another thing about the revelation of our Risen Lord in His resurrected body. Today there is a fixation with zombies and vampires, in a sense which is satanic since it shows the opposite of what eternal life looks like. Zombies and vampires represent the distortion, the hideous side. The latter thirst for blood of humans to live as immortals. Jesus on the other hand gives us His blood and body, an unbloody sacrifice which gives us eternal life with Him. And we will rise in Him with resurrected bodies glowing with the glory of God. Amen