On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 13, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What makes people searching turn to the Christian faith? Apart from the truth to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is the Christian way of life. We can thank our dedicated sisters and brothers living out their Christian faith in love and humility that inspired many to enquire more and be led to Jesus.

We all have a higher calling as Christians to constantly say no to sin and the wiles of the world. To live exemplary lives in Christ for one another, so as to beacons of His love. And our light shines most brightly by putting our hands and feet to the service of the least of our brethren.

There is no room for complaint in our hearts as it has been filled to the brim by the overflowing love of the Lord our God. We do not seek recognition or glory for ourselves, our only desire is to glorify the Lord our God by our lives. For our hope is that at the very end, we will dine with Him at the Heavenly Banquet. Amen

First reading

Titus 2:1-8,11-14
You must preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine

It is for you to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine. The older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and constancy. Similarly, the older women should behave as though they were religious, with no scandal-mongering and no habitual wine-drinking – they are to be the teachers of the right behaviour and show the younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children, how they are to be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and do as their husbands tell them, so that the message of God is never disgraced. In the same way, you have got to persuade the younger men to be moderate and in everything you do make yourself an example to them of working for good: when you are teaching, be an example to them in your sincerity and earnestness and in keeping all that you say so wholesome that nobody can make objections to it; and then any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us. You see, God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.

Gospel

Luke 17:7-10
You are merely servants

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 12, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What sort of leadership would you want for your Church? People who are creative, those who have hearts for the poor, the marginalised, the outcasts. Great administrative skills and those with gifts and talents suited for the tasks ahead. All these are good! But it takes dedicated, God fearing men and women who are single minded after the heart of Christ Jesus to drive the church forwards. So while we may have the best people, without leadership centred on Christ we have zero! For either nothing gets done or there will be little or no growth.

While not everyone are called to be leaders, we are called to obedience in Christ Jesus. There can be no duplicity in our lives. We must strive for Holiness and lead others towards the same. Mercy and love must flow from our hearts. We must forgive always and remember we have forgiven. We must work to grow in our faith through deepening our relationship with Jesus. We can only do so by knowing and living His Word and will for us.

Holy spirit Lord, guide us as we journey forth, towards our heavenly inheritance. Amen

First reading

Titus 1:1-9
Appoint elders of irreproachable character

From Paul, servant of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ to bring those whom God has chosen to faith and to the knowledge of the truth that leads to true religion; and to give them the hope of the eternal life that was promised so long ago by God. He does not lie and so, at the appointed time, he revealed his decision, and, by the command of God our saviour, I have been commissioned to proclaim it. To Titus, true child of mine in the faith that we share, wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our saviour.
The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to get everything organised there and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you: that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character; he must not have been married more than once, and his children must be believers and not uncontrollable or liable to be charged with disorderly conduct. Since, as president, he will be God’s representative, he must be irreproachable: never an arrogant or hot-tempered man, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor out to make money; but a man who is hospitable and a friend of all that is good; sensible, moral, devout and self-controlled; and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on for both expounding the sound doctrine and refuting those who argue against it.

Gospel

Luke 17:1-6
If your brother does wrong, reprove him

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Obstacles are sure to come, but alas for the one who provides them! It would be better for him to be thrown into the Sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves!
If your brother does something wrong, reprove him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him.’
The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.’


Today is a very blessed day indeed! I wrote a letter to my daughter who turns seven today wishing her and reminding her that Jesus loves her and He will be at her side always. Finished it at 5:30 am before reflecting on this Sunday’s readings once again.

Later the Stewards of the Banquet were meeting at 8:15am for our reflection and prayer session before serving the 9:15am EC.

As I was in the Adoration room, I started reflecting on our Lord’s generosity and love. How He gave up His life for us without reservation. How through the readings we can see through His eyes that it is not what goods we give but the generosity of our love for, with and in Him.

It calls to mind that if we say we love Him with all our heart, mind and strength then what is the expression of that love for Him? How generous are we when it comes to loving our neighbour as a result of our love for Him? Just like both the widows in Today’s readings they gave their all. In the first however Elijah elevates the widow to service and instead of charity she is shown the abundant love and mercy of God. We can even recall in a different reading how Jesus showed His great love and mercy to another widow; the widow of nain.

Last night Fr Julian opened our eyes to see another great and wonderful widow of love. Our Blessed Mother Mary. She was very likely already a widow at the wedding feast at Cana when she interceded for the wedding couple. The exchange between Jesus and His mother can be seen in a new light when He told her that His hour was not up. He was the sole bread winner after his father Joseph’s death and watched over his mother by his carpentry. Who will provide for her once he goes on his mission? Mary in faith knew that the almighty and loving Father in heaven will never abandon her and will provide for all that she needs. And so in her instruction to the servants to do as her son tells them, she is giving her all!

Before I left the room another inspiration came to mind. How are we husbands loving our wives? How are we leading them closer to God? How are we leading them to heaven? Are we spiritually dead and have left them as widows?

After a wonderful session in reflection and prayer we gathered outside the foyer to pray as one before the EC with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. EMHCs, cantor, Stewards of the Banquet and altar servers. Almost twenty of us! Praise the Lord!

We also started praying together today, at the very end of the Eucharistic Celebration; though we will need to encourage more to stay back to do so. Praise the Lord for surely our fraternal bonds will continue to grow. Amen

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Widows’ Faith: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

1 Kings 1:10–16
Psalm 146:7–10
Hebrews 9:24–28
Mark 12:41–44

We must live by the obedience of faith, a faith that shows itself in works of charity and self-giving (see Galatians 5:6). That’s the lesson of the two widows in today’s liturgy.

The widow in the First Reading isn’t even a Jew, yet she trusts in the word of Elijah and the promise of his Lord. Facing sure starvation, she gives all that she has, her last bit of food—feeding the man of God before herself and her family.

The widow in the Gospel also gives all that she has, offering her last bit of money to support the work of God’s priests in the Temple.
In their self-sacrifice, these widows embody the love that Jesus last week revealed as the heart of the Law and the Gospel. They mirror the Father’s love in giving His only Son, and Christ’s love in sacrificing Himself on the Cross.

Again in today’s Epistle, we hear Christ described as a new high priest and the suffering servant foretold by Isaiah. On the Cross, He made sacrifice once and for all to take away our sin and bring us to salvation (see Isaiah 53:12).

And again we are called to imitate His sacrifice of love in our own lives. We will be judged not by how much we give—for the scribes and the wealthy contribute far more than the widow. Rather, we will be judged by whether our gifts reflect our livelihood, our whole beings, all our heart and soul, mind and strength.

Are we giving all that we can to the Lord—not out of a sense of forced duty, but in a spirit of generosity and love (see 2 Corinthians 9:6–7)?

Do not be afraid, the man of God tells us today. As we sing in today’s Psalm, the Lord will provide for us, as He sustains the widow.

Today, let us follow the widows’ example, doing what God asks, confident that our jars of flour will not grow empty, nor our jugs of oil run dry.

A Little On Proclaiming The Word

Posted: November 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Here’s a little reflection on proclaiming the word of God.

If you want to proclaim the word of God as it should be proclaimed then this is what you will need to do:

  1. You need to first live the Word you are proclaiming. It must be consciously on your mind as you go about your day. The Word must be written on your heart.
  2. You need to read, study the Word and practise to the point that the Word becomes your very own. You are one with the Word you are going to proclaim.
  3. You need a humble and prayerful attitude requesting the Holy Spirit to guide you as you begin, so that every Word you proclaim may touch the ones listening. So as to bring Glory to God.
  4. The Word must flow through you as though God Himself were speaking through you. That is why you are there, to proclaim His Word and not to simply read it aloud.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Let us bring glory always to the Living God, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

For a disciple in our Lord Jesus Christ, riches lie in seeking and finding the kingdom of God. For all we will ever need is to be found in the Lord our God. This is not some fanatical thinking or way of life but a reality in the truth. For He is the truth, the way and the life. And so it is our mission to lead everyone to the truth. The love and mercy of God our Father through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

The riches of the world are fleeting. Just as the happiness and all its empty promises. Yet many are drawn to such riches and are beguiled into greed of it. Where does it end? Till the child of God our Father is lost to the world and all its wiles?

Your ways are not my ways says the Lord our God who looks into our heart. Let Him find us striving for Holiness as we choose the narrow path to His kingdom. Carrying the cross and following our master. Who rules and reigns with God our Father together with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen

First reading

Philippians 4:10-19
With the help of the One who gives me strength, there is nothing I cannot master

It is a great joy to me, in the Lord, that at last you have shown some concern for me again; though of course you were concerned before, and only lacked an opportunity. I am not talking about shortage of money: I have learnt to manage on whatever I have, I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. All the same, it was good of you to share with me in my hardships. In the early days of the Good News, as you people of Philippi well know, when I left Macedonia, no other church helped me with gifts of money. You were the only ones; and twice since my stay in Thessalonika you have sent me what I needed. It is not your gift that I value; what is valuable to me is the interest that is mounting up in your account. Now for the time being I have everything that I need and more: I am fully provided now that I have received from Epaphroditus the offering that you sent, a sweet fragrance – the sacrifice that God accepts and finds pleasing. In return my God will fulfil all your needs, in Christ Jesus, as lavishly as only God can.

Gospel

Luke 16:9-15
Use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him. He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God.’

A daily adventure in His love..

Posted: November 9, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Everyday is a new adventure in His love.

Rushed for morning Eucharist and just as I stepped into the Church Hall Fr Fred led the congregation in the opening hymn as there was trouble with the projector. And almost everyone knew the words to ‘Sing praises to the living God’

Found a seat towards the front and a sweet lady I had just met on Tuesday at the day of recollection, turned and greeted me and I her. She was going to the proclaim the word this morning.

Then after receiving communion and reflecting on the word, I sang to myself, “God is dwelling in my heart…” then lo and behold for the recessional hymn they started singing the same hymn.

Glory to God in the highest!
The day has just stated…..