Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Hope in Tribulation: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Daniel 12:1–3
Psalm 16:5, 8–11
Hebrews 10:11–14, 18
Mark 13:24–32

In this, the second-to-the-last week of the Church year, Jesus has finally made it to Jerusalem.

Near to His passion and death, He gives us a teaching of hope—telling us how it will be when He returns again in glory.

Today’s Gospel is taken from the end of a long discourse in which He describes tribulations the likes of which haven’t been seen “since the beginning of God’s creation” (see Mark 13:9). He describes what amounts to a dissolution of God’s creation, a “devolution” of the world to its original state of formlessness and void.

First, human community—nations and kingdoms—will break down (see Mark 13:7–8). Then the earth will stop yielding food and begin to shake apart (13:8). Next, the family will be torn apart from within and the last faithful individuals will be persecuted (13:9–13). Finally, the Temple will be desecrated, the earth emptied of God’s presence (13:14).
In today’s reading, God is described putting out the lights that He established in the sky in the very beginning—the sun, the moon and the stars (see also Isaiah 13:10; 34:4). Into this “uncreated” darkness, the Son of Man, in whom all things were made, will come.
Jesus has already told us that the Son of Man must be humiliated and killed (see Mark 8:31). Here He describes His ultimate victory, using royal-divine images drawn from the Old Testament—clouds, glory, and angels (see Daniel 7:13). He shows Himself to be the fulfillment of all God’s promises to save “the elect,” the faithful remnant (see Isaiah 43:6; Jeremiah 32:37).

As today’s First Reading tells us, this salvation will include the bodily resurrection of those who sleep in the dust. We are to watch for this day, when His enemies are finally made His footstool, as today’s Epistle envisions. We can wait in confidence knowing, as we pray in today’s Psalm, that we will one day delight at His right hand forever.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Faithful are You O Lord our Jesus Christ! For You hear and answer the cries of those faithful and fervent in their prayers. Those who cry out to You in fear, pain and in their woes. You grant comfort, healing, mercy, peace and love. You are our shepherd and we are Your dearly beloved sheep. You will never abandon us.

May our faith and love continue to grow in You. That upon Your return you will find us Faithful, Holy, welcoming and loving one another as You love us. Amen

First reading

3 John 1:5-8
It is our duty to welcome missionaries and contribute our share to their work

My friend, you have done faithful work in looking after these brothers, even though they were complete strangers to you. They are a proof to the whole Church of your charity and it would be a very good thing if you could help them on their journey in a way that God would approve. It was entirely for the sake of the name that they set out, without depending on the pagans for anything; it is our duty to welcome men of this sort and contribute our share to their work for the truth.

Gospel

Luke 18:1-8
The parable of the unjust judge

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

As we are soon approaching Advent the readings of today remind us of the need to stand alert and ready. What state will our Lord find us in if He comes today? Or if we are called back to stand before Him? Will He find us with hearts full of joy and peace because we have loved our neighbour as we should? We have cared for the least of our brethren?

Or will He find us sinful and sorrowful? Many still lukewarm in their faith? Failing to gain the riches of the world, standing empty and forlorn? How much time did you think you have to turn back to the Lord your God? To love and be loved in His love?

Let us pray for one another especially for those who have lost their way. Let us strive for Holiness as we lead one another into His kingdom. And may our hearts always be filled with His love as we care for one another along the way as we journey home. Amen

First reading

2 John 1:4-9
The commandment which you have heard since the beginning is to live a life of love

It has given me great joy to find that your children have been living the life of truth as we were commanded by the Father. I am writing now, dear lady, not to give you any new commandment, but the one which we were given at the beginning, and to plead: let us love one another.
To love is to live according to his commandments: this is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, to live a life of love.
There are many deceivers about in the world, refusing to admit that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They are the Deceiver; they are the Antichrist. Watch yourselves, or all our work will be lost and not get the reward it deserves. If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him: only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.

Gospel

Luke 17:26-37
When the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed

Jesus said to the disciples:
‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The Kingdom of God is at hand. Still kingdom builders that we are must continue with building up God’s Kingdom through acts of love and sacrifice for one another. There is no time like the present to do so for we know not when our time is at end.

In order to follow Christ as we should, we must give up all rights and claims over another; in order to love them as sister and brother of God our Father through Christ Jesus,His Son our Lord. For greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus called us friends, as He laid down His life for us. Can we not do the same for our sister and brother?

Lord thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Amen

First reading

Philemon 1:7-20
He is a slave no longer, but a dear brother in the Lord

I am so delighted, and comforted, to know of your love; they tell me, brother, how you have put new heart into the saints.
Now, although in Christ I can have no diffidence about telling you to do whatever is your duty, I am appealing to your love instead, reminding you that this is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. He was of no use to you before, but he will be useful to you now, as he has been to me. I am sending him back to you, and with him – I could say – a part of my own self. I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the Good News has brought me. However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. I know you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, but it was only so that you could have him back for ever, not as a slave any more, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, as a blood-brother as well as a brother in the Lord. So if all that we have in common means anything to you, welcome him as you would me; but if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, then let me pay for it. I am writing this in my own handwriting: I, Paul, shall pay it back – I will not add any mention of your own debt to me, which is yourself. Well then, brother, I am counting on you, in the Lord; put new heart into me, in Christ.

Gospel

Luke 17:20-25
The kingdom of God is among you

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, Jesus gave them this answer, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, “Look here! Look there!” For, you must know, the kingdom of God is among you.’
He said to the disciples, ‘A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it. They will say to you, “Look there!” or, “Look here!” Make no move; do not set off in pursuit; for as the lightning flashing from one part of heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of Man when his day comes. But first he must suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.’

My Leper’s Prayer…

Posted: November 14, 2018 by CatholicJules in Prayers

🙏🏼 My Leper’s Prayer… 🙏🏼

My sins are always before me, eating away at my soul. Yet every time I cry out to You, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of the living God, have pity on me!” You restore me and show me, just how much You love me often in very subtle ways.

With a grateful heart Lord, I thank You. Praise and glory be to our One triune God!

I’ve come to realise that by praising and giving You thanks with a contrite heart, brings about much healing from within. For without, I am unable to do so. Lord cover me with Your precious blood, let my faith and love in You grow, such that You may find me steadfast in Your love. And may all I say and do be for Your greater glory. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 14, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We should never take the Lord our God for granred! And hold on tightly to His Word which feeds, nourishes; and is our safeguard against evil and sin. For there are far too many distractions in the world that will sooner or later mislead us away from Him, whom loved us despite our iniquities and gave up His life for us.

In His compassionate love for us, Jesus hears our cries and heals us. But unless we have a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving we may be physically healed but remain spiritually dead. For it is only through our heartfelt thanksgiving and Praise of the Lord God; that our spirit ascends to Him fully alive. It is our rightful worship of Him that we live fully in His love. Just as it is our Christian duty to obey the laws of the land so it is our duty to be obedient to the Holy Spirit who guides us into the way of life in Him.

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

First reading

Titus 3:1-7
It was purely by his own compassion that God saved us

Remind your people that it is their duty to be obedient to the officials and representatives of the government; to be ready to do good at every opportunity; not to go slandering other people or picking quarrels, but to be courteous and always polite to all kinds of people. Remember, there was a time when we too were ignorant, disobedient and misled and enslaved by different passions and luxuries; we lived then in wickedness and ill-will, hating each other and hateful ourselves.
But when the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.

Gospel

Luke 17:11-19
No-one has come back to praise God, only this foreigner

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

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.”’