On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 14, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

St John the Baptist preached repentance to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. A message still fresh for our time, amidst the violence and chaos still found in the world. For our Redeemer desires to lead His flock home to eternal pastures, to be with Him.

To grow deeper in our faith and relationship with Him. St John of the Cross preached that we need to embrace our cross, through the many trials, tribulations and sufferings; we draw closer to Jesus by our deeper contemplation of Him. He is with us through our all.

Glory and Praise to You my Lord Jesus Christ. Now and forever. Amen
St John of the Cross pray for us…

First reading
Isaiah 41:13-20

I, the Lord, your God,
I am holding you by the right hand; I tell you, ‘Do not be afraid, I will help you.’

Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm, Israel, puny mite.’
I will help you– it is the Lord who speaks– the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.

See, I turn you into a threshing sled, new, with doubled teeth; you shall thresh and crush the mountains, and turn the hills to chaff.

You shall winnow them and the wind will blow them away, the gale will scatter them.
But you yourself will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The poor and needy ask for water, and there is none,
their tongue is parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

I will make rivers well up on barren heights, and fountains in the midst of valleys; turn the wilderness into a lake, and dry ground into waterspring.

In the wilderness I will put cedar trees, acacias, myrtles, olives.
In the desert I will plant juniper, plane tree and cypress side by side; so that men may see and know, may all observe and understand that the hand of the Lord has done this that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Matthew 11:11-15

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm. Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading; and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 13, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Merciful and loving is the Lord our God. He is the alpha and omega. The beginning and the end. Yet His love for us His faithful is without end. Near restful waters He leads us and revives our souls.

He is the living water which nourishes and gives us strength. We who serve Him faithfully will never tire. For we are yoked to Him whom we draw all we have and need.

Jesus my Lord, my God thank you for loving me. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 40:25-31

‘To whom could you liken me and who could be my equal?’ says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look.
Who made these stars
if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name?
So mighty is his power, so great his strength, that not one fails to answer.

How can you say, Jacob,
how can you insist, Israel,
‘My destiny is hidden from the Lord, my rights are ignored by my God’?
Did you not know?
Had you not heard?

The Lord is an everlasting God, he created the boundaries of the earth.
He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming.
He gives strength to the wearied, he strengthens the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary, youths may stumble, but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles.
They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire.

Matthew 11:28-30

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.’

My little Angel… 

Posted: December 12, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

12 Dec 2017 – After having breakfast with my six year old daughter, I decided to bring her to the zoo. Left home at about 1025hrs and spent about 5 hours there. Tracked about 12000 steps in total. After having something light at the coffee shop and buying dinner in advance we got home about 4pm. Was feeling exhausted and a little queasy. Hannah complained about having a headache so I gave her some medication.

Was thinking of having an early night when my little angel asked if we could go to church for mass! Tried to convince her that we could go tomorrow and that I was feeling unwell. But she was adamant that we go. I took it that the Lord wanted me to go since I had planned to go in the morning. Besides He knew I needed to see Him in reconciliation.

When we got to church, we stopped at the Grotto to pray a Hail Mary. As I was about to leave, Hannah called me back as she was not done. She prayed for mummy and her brothers safe return from their respective trips. And added I want to kiss and hug mummy because I miss her so much. Mummy was on a mission trip to Sri Lanka returning only Saturday. While her brothers were returning on Sunday from a holiday in Korea.

Managed to do a reconciliation before the devotion to St Anthony began followed by the Eucharistic Celebration. I am truly blessed and pray that Hannah will continue to be faithful throughout her life.

Glory be to the Holy Trinity. Amen

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 12, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

As we journey through to the third week of Advent we will find greater temptations to stray away from the narrow path. The Lord is reminding us to prepare the way for Him in our hearts and the hearts of others. For He wants to embrace us and keep us close to Him.

He is the shepherd who will look for us when we stray, let us then cry out to Him with contrite hearts. So that He can lead us home. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 40:1-11

Consolations from the heart of Jerusalem

‘Console my people, console them’ says your God.
‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her
that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low.
Let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice commands, ‘Cry!’ and I answered, ‘What shall I cry?’”
– ‘All flesh is grass
and its beauty like the wild flower’s.
The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on them.
(The grass is without doubt the people.)
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.’

Go up on a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Shout without fear,
say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’

Here is the Lord coming with power, his arm subduing all things to him.
The prize of his victory is with him,
his trophies all go before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Matthew 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘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: December 11, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The Lord has come to redeem us! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Through the intercession of the saints in heaven and on earth many of us have been healed and set free to live, love and serve the Lord our God with joy.

For many of us were paralysed by our sins. We were held hostage by sinful desires and pleasures. Leading selfish lives heading no where. Jesus has set us free by forgiving our sins. Let us bring others to Him so that they too can be set free.

Lord Jesus forgive us, our many sins. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 35:1-10

The return of the redeemed through desert

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom, let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.

The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God.

Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look, your God is coming, vengeance is coming, the retribution of God; he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy;for water gushes in the desert streams in the wastelandthe scorched earth becomes a lake,the parched land springs of water.

The lairs where the jackals used to live become thickets of reed and papyrus…

And through it will run a highway undefiled which shall be called the Sacred Way; the unclean may not travel by it, nor fools stray along it.

No lion will be there
nor any fierce beast roam about it, but the redeemed will walk there, for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.

They will come to Zion shouting for joy, everlasting joy on their faces; joy and gladness will go with them and sorrow and lament be ended.

Luke 5:17-26

Jesus was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing. Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” 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 paralysed man– ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

On belonging

Posted: December 10, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Have you felt the love of belonging to the body of Christ regardless of your geolocation or background?

I felt it in my most recent WhatsApp conversation.

Me: Peace dear, I indicated that I was attending the four steps retreat next Sat on Facebook. Do I still need to register?

Sister Himaya : Praise the lord! No need, I always count you in even if you don’t register 😊

Second Sunday of Advent

Posted: December 9, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Straighten the Path: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11
Psalm 85:9-14
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Our God is coming. The time of exile—the long separation of humankind from God due to sin—is about to end. This is the good news proclaimed in today’s liturgy.

Isaiah in today’s First Reading promises Israel’s future release and return from captivity and exile. But as today’s Gospel shows, Israel’s historic deliverance was meant to herald an even greater saving act by God—the coming of Jesus to set Israel and all nations free from bondage to sin, to gather them up and carry them back to God.

God sent an angel before Israel to lead them in their exodus towards the promised land (see Exodus 23:20). And He promised to send a messenger of the covenant, Elijah, to purify the people and turn their hearts to the Father before the day of the Lord (see Malachi 3:1, 23–24).

John the Baptist quotes these, as well as Isaiah’s prophecy, to show that all of Israel’s history looks forward to the revelation of Jesus. In Jesus, God has filled in the valley that divided sinful humanity from Himself. He has reached down from heaven and made His glory to dwell on earth, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

He has done all this, not for humanity in the abstract, but for each of us. The long history of salvation has led us to this Eucharist, in which our God again comes and our salvation is near. And each of us must hear in today’s readings a personal call. Here is your God, Isaiah says. He has been patient with you, Peter says in today’s Epistle.

Like Jerusalem’s inhabitants in the Gospel, we have to go out to Him, repenting our sins, all the laziness and self-indulgence that make our lives a spiritual wasteland. We have to straighten out our lives, so that everything we do leads us to Him.

Today, let us hear the beginning of the Gospel and again commit ourselves to lives of holiness and devotion.