On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: April 27, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We have the Word of life, we have received the bread of life. Let all doubt pass. For our Lord and God speaks now to our hearts. And we who have opened our hearts and minds to Him can listen to Him.

The truth has come to us to set us free! If we reject Him, then we choose to remain in the darkness of our sins. Let us choose instead to die to our sins and rise up with Jesus Christ our Risen Lord. Let us share in the joy of His Resurrection. Amen

First reading
Acts 5:27-33

When the officials had brought the apostles in to face the Sanhedrin, the high priest demanded an explanation. ‘We gave you a formal warning’ he said ‘not to preach in this name, and what have you done? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and seem determined to fix the guilt of this man’s death on us.’ In reply Peter and the apostles said, ‘Obedience to God comes before obedience to men; it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a tree. By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
This so infuriated them that they wanted to put them to death.

Gospel
John 3:31-36

John the Baptist said to his disciples:

‘He who comes from above is above all others; he who is born of the earth is earthly himself
and speaks in an earthly way.
He who comes from heaven
bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, even if his testimony is not accepted;
though all who do accept his testimony are attesting the truthfulness of God, since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words:
God gives him the Spirit without reserve.
The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to him.
Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: April 26, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


How will those who do not know Jesus, come to know Him if we do not share the wonderful news of new life in Him? Our loving God who came to unite us with Him so that we might be saved.

Our hearts are set free to share the Risen Lord with others. To gently lead them from the darkness into the light. So that they too can be a beacon for others.

Let us all who call Jesus our Lord and God, boldly proclaim our Risen King to all. Amen

First reading
Acts 5:17-26

The high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol.
But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach.
When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin – this was the full Senate of Israel – and sent to the gaol for them to be brought. But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported, ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’ When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what this could mean. Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘At this very moment’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men and fetched them. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.

Gospel
John 3:16-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’

Posted: April 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Photos

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Whom do you serve? Are you self serving? Are your interests alone first; be it work, family, leisure? Are you a disciple of Christ Jesus?

For a disciple puts the Lord God above all things. And if He or she is truly a child after God’s heart then to serve Him would be to serve His children, our fellow sisters and brothers. With the same deep reverence and love of Him.

Signs and wonders will follow the fruits of our labour. For it is the mighty name of Jesus we lead others into their Heavenly inheritance. All Glory and honour be to our Heavenly Father, His son our Risen Lord and to the Holy Spirit our advocate, and mighty counsellor. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
1 Peter 5:5-14

All wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble. Bow down, then, before the power of God now, and he will raise you up on the appointed day; unload all your worries on to him, since he is looking after you. Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.
I write these few words to you through Silvanus, who is a brother I know I can trust, to encourage you never to let go this true grace of God to which I bear witness.
Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark.
Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Gospel
Mark 16:15-20

Jesus showed himself to the Eleven, and said to them: ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’
And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Do not let your hearts be troubled. Be not afraid for we have a powerful advocate from on high. Who listens to the cries of Faithful in prayer and is swift to come to our aid.

Spirit speaks to spirit as flesh speaks to flesh. Therefore we must be rooted in the Word and prayer to hear and be heard. Even then merciful and loving is the Lord who hears the heart of His child crying out to Him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Acts 4:23-31

As soon as Peter and John were released they went to the community and told them everything the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard it they lifted up their voice to God all together. ‘Master,’ they prayed ‘it is you who made heaven and earth and sea, and everything in them; you it is who said through the Holy Spirit and speaking through our ancestor David, your servant:

Why this arrogance among the nations, these futile plots among the peoples?
Kings on earth setting out to war, princes making an alliance,
against the Lord and against his Anointed.

‘This is what has come true: in this very city Herod and Pontius Pilate made an alliance with the pagan nations and the peoples of Israel, against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, but only to bring about the very thing that you in your strength and your wisdom had predetermined should happen. And now, Lord, take note of their threats and help your servants to proclaim your message with all boldness, by stretching out your hand to heal and to work miracles and marvels through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked; they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God boldly.

Gospel
John 3:1-8

There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leading Jew, who came to Jesus by night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.’ Jesus answered:

‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’

Nicodemus said, ‘How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’ Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God: what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do not be surprised when I say:
You must be born from above.
The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’

Divine Mercy Sunday

Posted: April 22, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

His Mercy Endures:Scott Hahn Reflects on Divine Mercy Sunday.

Readings:

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31
 

We are children of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Through this wondrous sign of His great mercy, the Father of Jesus has given us new birth, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

Today’s First Reading sketches the “family life” of our first ancestors in the household of God (see 1 Peter 4:17). We see them doing what we still do—devoting themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, meeting daily to pray and celebrate “the breaking of the bread.”

The Apostles saw the Lord. He stood in their midst, showed them His hands and sides. They heard His blessing and received His commission—to extend the Father’s mercy to all peoples through the power and Spirit He conferred upon them.

We must walk by faith and not by sight, must believe and love what we have not seen (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet the invisible realities are made present for us through the devotions the Apostles handed on.

Notice the experience of the risen Lord in today’s Gospel is described in a way that evokes the Mass.

Both appearances take place on a Sunday. The Lord comes to be with His disciples. They rejoice, listen to His Word, receive the gift of His forgiveness and peace. He offers His wounded body to them in remembrance of His Passion. And they know and worship Him as their Lord and their God.

Thomas’ confession is a vow of faith in the new covenant. As promised long before, in the blood of Jesus we can now know the Lord as our God and be known as His people (see Hosea 2:20-25).

This confession is sung in the heavenly liturgy (see Revelation 4:11). And in every Mass on earth we renew our covenant and receive the blessings Jesus promised for those who have not seen but have believed.

In the Mass, God’s mercy endures forever, as we sing in today’s Psalm. This is the day the Lord has made—when the victory of Easter is again made wonderful in our eyes

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We have the Lord our God with us always. For by His life death and resurrection He has reconciled us with God our Father. And so with joy filled in our hearts we proclaim that Jesus Christ is our Lord, our Risen King!

We will not be silenced for it is the truth that sets us free. We have Jesus alone to judge us at the end of our lives. Let us be counted among the living, whose lives are made righteous through our ever deepening relationship with Him.

With His love in our hearts let us proclaim the Kingdom of God to all. Amen

First reading
Acts 4:13-21

The rulers, elders and scribes were astonished at the assurance shown by Peter and John, considering they were uneducated laymen; and they recognised them as associates of Jesus; but when they saw the man who had been cured standing by their side, they could find no answer. So they ordered them to stand outside while the Sanhedrin had a private discussion. ‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘It is obvious to everybody in Jerusalem that a miracle has been worked through them in public, and we cannot deny it. But to stop the whole thing spreading any further among the people, let us caution them never to speak to anyone in this name again.’
So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John retorted, ‘You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God. We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.’ The court repeated the warnings and then released them; they could not think of any way to punish them, since all the people were giving glory to God for what had happened.

Gospel
Mark 16:9-15

Having risen in the morning on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had cast out seven devils. She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them. But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him.
After this, he showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way into the country. These went back and told the others, who did not believe them either.
Lastly, he showed himself to the Eleven themselves while they were at table. He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And he said to them, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.’