On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: May 24, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Those who have experienced the love of God our Father, know exactly what it means to be a child so loved by Him. But there are many who have not yet encountered Him and are searching. Unless we guide them into the way, the truth and the life, they might look in all the wrong places.

While we must be tactful, we must also be bold and courageous in our proclamation of the truth.
For we carry the spirit of truth within us by the workings of the Holy Spirit.

Glory and Praise be to the Holy Trinity. Amen

First reading
Acts 17:15,22-18:1

Paul’s escort took him as far as Athens, and went back with instructions for Silas and Timothy to rejoin Paul as soon as they could.
So Paul stood before the whole Council of the Areopagus and made this speech:
‘Men of Athens, I have seen for myself how extremely scrupulous you are in all religious matters, because I noticed, as I strolled round admiring your sacred monuments, that you had an altar inscribed: To An Unknown God. Well, the God whom I proclaim is in fact the one whom you already worship without knowing it.
‘Since the God who made the world and everything in it is himself Lord of heaven and earth, he does not make his home in shrines made by human hands. Nor is he dependent on anything that human hands can do for him, since he can never be in need of anything; on the contrary, it is he who gives everything – including life and breath – to everyone. From one single stock he not only created the whole human race so that they could occupy the entire earth, but he decreed how long each nation should flourish and what the boundaries of its territory should be. And he did this so that all nations might seek the deity and, by feeling their way towards him, succeed in finding him. Yet in fact he is not far from any of us, since it is in him that we live, and move, and exist, as indeed some of your own writers have said:

“We are all his children.”

‘Since we are the children of God, we have no excuse for thinking that the deity looks like anything in gold, silver or stone that has been carved and designed by a man.
‘God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant, but now he is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent, because he has fixed a day when the whole world will be judged, and judged in righteousness, and he has appointed a man to be the judge. And God has publicly proved this by raising this man from the dead.’
At this mention of rising from the dead, some of them burst out laughing; others said, ‘We would like to hear you talk about this again.’ After that Paul left them, but there were some who attached themselves to him and became believers, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman called Damaris, and others besides.
After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

Gospel
John 16:12-15

Jesus said:

‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine. Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said:
All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: May 23, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Even in the face of great adversity it is good to sing God’s praises. For great is His compassion and love that He will make a way for us.

By cooperating with the Holy Spirit sent to guide us, we become instruments of His grace. Hearts are transformed, and new believers are formed in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Come Holy Spirit dwell in me. Amen

First reading
Acts 16:22-34

The crowd joined in and showed their hostility to Paul and Silas, so the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be flogged. They were given many lashes and then thrown into prison, and the gaoler was told to keep a close watch on them. So, following his instructions, he threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Late that night Paul and Silas were praying and singing God’s praises, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the prison to its foundations. All the doors flew open and the chains fell from all the prisoners. When the gaoler woke and saw the doors wide open he drew his sword and was about to commit suicide, presuming that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted at the top of his voice, ‘Don’t do yourself any harm; we are all here.’ The gaoler called for lights, then rushed in, threw himself trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas, and escorted them out, saying, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They told him, ‘Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, and your household too.’ Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all his family. Late as it was, he took them to wash their wounds, and was baptised then and there with all his household. Afterwards he took them home and gave them a meal, and the whole family celebrated their conversion to belief in God.

Gospel
John 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Now I am going to the one who sent me. Not one of you has asked, “Where are you going?”
Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this.
Still, I must tell you the truth:
it is for your own good that I am going because unless I go,
the Advocate will not come to you; but if I do go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin, and about who was in the right, and about judgement: about sin: proved by their refusal to believe in me;
about who was in the right: proved by my going to the Father and your seeing me no more; about judgement: proved by the prince of this world being already condemned.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: May 22, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

A sign of a true believer of our Lord Jesus Christ is the respond to the call to communion by the Holy Spirit. Such are the Charisms displayed in the actions of the believer for His flock.

So too are we called to be witnesses to the power and glory of our resurrected Lord. To share in the good news of the Gospel. In doing so we must be prepared that it will not always be smooth sailing. We are likely to face rejection.

However we can rest assured that Jesus will be with us always. Amen

First reading
Acts 16:11-15

Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day for Neapolis, and from there for Philippi, a Roman colony and the principal city of that particular district of Macedonia. After a few days in this city we went along the river outside the gates as it was the sabbath and this was a customary place for prayer. We sat down and preached to the women who had come to the meeting. One of these women was called Lydia, a devout woman from the town of Thyatira who was in the purple-dye trade. She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptised she sent us an invitation: ‘If you really think me a true believer in the Lord,’ she said ‘come and stay with us’; and she would take no refusal.

Gospel
John 15:26-16:4

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘When the Advocate comes,
whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,
he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the outset.

‘I have told you all this that your faith may not be shaken.
They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy duty for God.
They will do these things
because they have never known
either the Father or myself.
But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes
you may remember that I told you.’

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Posted: May 20, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Alive in the Spirit: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Readings:
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
1 Peter 3:15-18

John 14:15-21

Jesus will not leave us alone. He won’t make us children of God in Baptism only to leave us “orphans,” He assures us in today’s Gospel (see Romans 8:14-17) .

He asks the Father to give us His Spirit, to dwell with us and keep us united in the life He shares with the Father.

We see the promised gift of His Spirit being conferred in today’s First Reading.

The scene from Acts apparently depicts a primitive Confirmation rite. Philip, one of the first deacons (see Acts 6:5), proclaims the Gospel in the non-Jewish city of Samaria. The Samaritans accept the Word of God (see Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 2:13) and are baptized.

It remains for the Apostles to send their representatives, Peter and John, to pray and lay hands on the newly baptized—that they might receive the Holy Spirit. This is the origin of our sacrament of Confirmation (see Acts 19:5-6), by which the grace of Baptism is completed and believers are sealed with the Spirit promised by the Lord.

We remain in this grace so long as we love Christ and keep His commandments. And strengthened in the Spirit whom Jesus said would be our Advocate, we are called to bear witness to our salvation—to the tremendous deeds that God has done for us in the name of His Son.

In today’s Psalm, we celebrate our liberation. As He changed the sea into dry land to free the captive Israelites, Christ suffered that He might lead us to God, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

This is the reason for our hope—the hope that sustains us in the face of a world that cannot accept His truth, the hope that sustains us when we are maligned and defamed for His name’s sake.

Put to death in the flesh, He was brought to life in the Spirit, Paul tells us today. And as He himself promises: “Because I live, you will live.” 

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: May 20, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

An aspect of discipleship which many find hard is how far are you prepared to go to ‘lay down your life’ for your friends? How painful a sacrifice are you willing to endure? Whether physical, mental, emotional, even financial?
All done for the transformation of hearts, conversion of sinners. For the poor, hungry, lonely, outcasts of society.

Such is the call of discipleship that even after sacrificing much we will need to further endure the persecutions of the world who hates us for whom we serve and stand for. Gossip, jealousy, name calling, false accusations to name a few. Why then go through such hardships?

Simply because while we live in this world, we are not of this world. We belong to God our Father who loves us deeply. And through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour, we have abundance of love and peace which is everlasting. None of which the world has to offer. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us every step of the way. Our joy is complete when we live, love and serve Him. Amen

First reading
Acts 16:1-10

From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.
As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.
So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.
They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.
One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.

Gospel
John 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If the world hates you,
remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice withdrew you from the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well. But it will be on my account that they will do all this,
because they do not know the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: May 19, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The word of God has been entrusted to each and everyone of us to proclaim the Good News. Through the Holy Spirit, many upon hearing it will be delighted to know how deeply God loves them.

To lay our life down for another is to accept with grace and humility the trials, discomforts and challenges that come with loving him/her in Jesus’s name.

Jesus my Lord I heed Your call to love one another. Grant me the grace to bear much fruit for you. Amen

First reading
Acts 15:22-31

The apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them:
‘The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of pagan birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some of our members have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds. They acted without any authority from us; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with Barnabas and Paul, men we highly respect who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written in this letter. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols; from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.’
The party left and went down to Antioch, where they summoned the whole community and delivered the letter. The community read it and were delighted with the encouragement it gave them.

Gospel
John 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘This is my commandment:
love one another, as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall not call you servants any more,
because a servant does not know
his master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me: no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you is to love one another.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The process of discernment takes time and quite often complete when there is affirmation, spiritual direction, inspired scripture, confirmation. When we keep close to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is never far and He will guide us.

Our love for our Lord leads us to turn to the Gospel and to be faithful in striving for Holiness. When we do so our families and fellowships are truly blessed. For our joy is complete in Him whom we love and who loves us. Amen

First reading
Acts 15:7-21

After the discussion had gone on a long time, Peter stood up and addressed the apostles and the elders.
‘My brothers,’ he said ‘you know perfectly well that in the early days God made his choice among you: the pagans were to learn the Good News from me and so become believers. In fact God, who can read everyone’s heart, showed his approval of them by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he had to us. God made no distinction between them and us, since he purified their hearts by faith. It would only provoke God’s anger now, surely, if you imposed on the disciples the very burden that neither we nor our ancestors were strong enough to support? Remember, we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus.’
This silenced the entire assembly, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul describing the signs and wonders God had worked through them among the pagans.
When they had finished it was James who spoke. ‘My brothers,’ he said ‘listen to me. Simeon has described how God first arranged to enlist a people for his name out of the pagans. This is entirely in harmony with the words of the prophets, since the scriptures say:

After that I shall return and rebuild the fallen House of David; I shall rebuild it from its ruins and restore it.
Then the rest of mankind, all the pagans who are consecrated to my name, will look for the Lord,
says the Lord who made this known so long ago.

‘I rule, then, that instead of making things more difficult for pagans who turn to God, we send them a letter telling them merely to abstain from anything polluted by idols, from fornication, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has always had his preachers in every town, and is read aloud in the synagogues every sabbath.’

Gospel
John 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you. Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.’