22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 27, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

To Go Up Higher: 
Scott Hahn Reflects on the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Psalm 68:4-7,10-11
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24
Luke 14:1, 7-14

We come to the wedding banquet of heaven by way of humility and charity. This is the fatherly instruction we hear in today’s First Reading, and the message of today’s Gospel.

Jesus is not talking simply about good table manners. He is revealing the way of the kingdom, in which the one who would be greatest would be the servant of all (see Luke 22:24-27).

This is the way He showed us, humbling Himself to come among us as a man (see Philippians 2:5-8), as one who serves, as the bearer of glad tidings to the poor (see Luke 4:18).

This is the way, too, that the Father has shown us down through the ages—filling the hungry, sending the rich away empty, lifting up the lowly, pulling down the proud (see Luke 1:52-53).

We again call to mind the Exodus in today’s Psalm—how in His goodness the Lord led the Israelites from imprisonment to prosperity, rained down bread from heaven, made them His inheritance, becoming a “Father of orphans.”

We now too have gained a share of His inheritance. We are to live humbly, knowing we are are not worthy to receive from His table (see Luke 6:7; 15:21). We are to give alms, remembering we were ransomed from sin by the price of His blood (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

The Lord promises that if we are humble we will be exalted and find favor with God; that if we are kind to those who can never repay us, we will atone for sins, and find blessing in the resurrection of the righteous.

We anticipate the fulfillment of those promises in every Eucharist, today’s Epistle tells us. In the Mass, we enter the festal gathering of the angels and the firstborn children of God, the liturgy of the heavenly Jerusalem in which Jesus is the high priest, the King who calls us to come up higher (see Proverbs 25:6-7).

On Today’s Gospel  

Posted: August 27, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We are all chosen children of God. Given many graces and talents to build His Kingdom. Not to use our gifts to Lord it over another. Or to flatter ourselves into thinking we are better than anyone else.

It is in humble service of our Lord Jesus and our brethren; that we realise by giving our all we receive much more than we could ever hope for.

But many still are not willing to use the gifts and talents they have received. Some are too lazy, self absorbed while others do not think they have any gifts or talents to begin with. If only they would say yes in faith and try they would see their gifts multiplied by our Lord!

Jesus guide my heart, my mind, my soul and in everything I do. So that one day I may hear You say to me, “Come my dear and faithful servant, come share in Your Lord’s happiness.” Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen;– those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything. The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God’s doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says:if anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord.

Gospel
Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.

‘The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.”

‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.” But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 26, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

The good news of our salvation which happened through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; may indeed be strange and difficult to grasp but it is a reality. One which we ourselves experience in a very tangible way through the encounter with the living God.

And so what is the oil that keeps the light of Christ burning deep within us and for others? We have not one but many, can we then say we have run out? We have the living word of God to be reflected, pondered upon and lived. The Holy Eucharist, Sacrament of reconciliation, prayer, fasting when there is a need, almsgiving. Preaching, teaching and sharing in Jesus name. Loving one another as He loved us.

My Jesus my Christ as we await Your return. We gladly trim our wick and oil our lamps. That one day soon we will attend Your Heavenly Banquet as You promised. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 1:17-25

Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God’s wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach. And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel
Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 25, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


A Day passes so quickly by and each day is very important. For it is precious as it is limited, and our individual days are numbered. How did we spend our day? Did we give glory to God our Father? Did we praise and thank Him for His graces and blessings each day? Did we care for His sheep and His lambs? Did we protect the innocent? Did we tend to the sick and hungry? Did we fortify our dwelling place? Did we perform an honest day’s work? Did we pray?

Or did we do just as we pleased? Take shortcuts and perform our paid duties without honesty or integrity. Play mindless games all day long or choose to be entertained as much as we can through online media, television or cinema through the day? Only seeking personal satisfaction and gratification.

Jesus my Christ my Lord, fortify my very being by Your grace. So that through You and with You I will be found each day doing all that is pleasing to God our Heavenly Father. Help me to remain steadfast in faith and in Your love. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 1:1-9

I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.

I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.

Gospel
Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? ‘Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 24, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Too busy, too preoccupied, too many things to worry about. Cannot change my schedule for even a day. How can I be expected to make time when I have very little ones to care for? The Lord understands, He is asking us, can you not spare me an hour of your time?

Many still don’t get it, the hour He asks for has never been for Him. It is for the love of us that He makes this request. To experience His love, peace and grace upon us. Those of us who do, can vouch for the rest, on all we receive through and in Him.  How we are rejuvenated and eager to going back to serving Him, our family. 
There are many still searching for God, for peace for meaning in their lives. We are called to invite them to “Come and see..” Come and experience what we have. Come and be filled with the joy of having a relationship with Him. Come and witness the Glory of God in our lives.

Lord Jesus I am Your disciple, let me be a witness to and for Your glory. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 21:9-14

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel
John 1:45-51

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 23, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We reap what we sow. If we sow seeds of virtues, love of God, love of neighbour then we will bear fruit pleasing to God our Father. Whatever is inside our hearts will be shown outwardly. No manner of hiding can conceal the truth. If it is the light of Christ within us so will it shine through our face, our thoughts, words and actions. And if it is darkness that grows within us, so too will that be brought to light.

Let us stand firm in our faith that has been given to us by our loving God, our Heavenly Father. Let us guide one another in truth and righteousness. Let us lead one another in humble adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ. And let pray confidently that one day soon we will be reunited with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. Amen

First reading
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3,14-17

To turn, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in this way.

It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and the Rebel, the Lost One, has appeared. Through the Good News that we brought he called you to this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

Gospel
Matthew 23:23-26

Jesus said, ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who pay your tithe of mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law;– justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practised, without neglecting the others. You blind guides! Straining out gnats and swallowing camels!

‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance. Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 22, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Unassuming, humble, loving, gentle and kind. Qualities of many you possess O dearest mother and we strive for. Many your virtues sweet mother, of them your obedience to God our Heavenly Father. You are truly Blessed and through you with have been Blessed with the Prince of peace; our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

O Queen of Heaven, our dearest Mother obtain for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may be wise with your wisdom, understand with your understanding, know with your knowledge, prudent with your prudence, patient with your patience, courageous with your fortitude and desire justice ardently for everyone with the all consuming desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus your son. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 9:1-6

The people that walked in darkness
has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.

You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase; they rejoice in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time, as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.

For the yoke that was weighing on him, the barb across his shoulders,
the rod of his oppressor, these you break as on the day of Midian.

For all the footgear of battle, every cloak rolled in blood, is burnt, and consumed by fire.

For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him:

Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,
Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.

Gospel
Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.