On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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To allow ourselves to experience and to be fully embraced by the mercy of the Lord our God is what changes us from within and transforms us more fully in His image. This only happens when we give ALL of ourselves to Him. We are given new names as we will one day be received in Heaven. So then our transformation becomes apparent when our hearts looks upon and sees our brethren who are in need of God’s mercy and love. We are able to become the wonderful instruments as we are called for, of His grace. We are tireless in this pursuit as we journey on in His strength, peace and love. In a sense we share in His mercy without sacrifice.

The new Passover from death into life, from sinfulness into Holiness has been given to us through the precious blood of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. This Supreme gift of life, the source and summit of our faith in the Holy Eucharist. In which we experience Heaven on Earth through the divine presence of the Lord our God and partake in the Heavenly Banquet in which we receive His divinity into our very being. How great indeed is Our God! To nourish and sustain us as we make our pilgrim journey back to Him. Yet many are still blind to this, God’s very own revelation. That is why there is no proper preparation of body, mind and spirit before attending the Eucharistic Celebration, no ‘dressing up’ as to put on the wedding garment. Many will mutter under their breath, “O the Lord is loving and understanding, He knows and sees my heart and He will understand.” Really? Are you not taking the Lord Your God for granted? Why do you think there were explicit details and preparation for the first passover? Who was it that gave those details for the preparation?

Jesus my saviour You want mercy not sacrifice. Let your will be done through me. Amen

St Philip Minh and companions pray for us….

First reading

Exodus 11:10-12:14
The institution of the Passover

Moses and Aaron worked many wonders in the presence of Pharaoh. But the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn, and he did not let the sons of Israel leave his country.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt:
‘This month is to be the first of all the others for you, the first month of your year. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, “On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock, one for each family: one animal for each household. If the household is too small to eat the animal, a man must join with his neighbour, the nearest to his house, as the number of persons requires. You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal. It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old; you may take it from either sheep or goats. You must keep it till the fourteenth day of the month when the whole assembly of the community of Israel shall slaughter it between the two evenings. Some of the blood must then be taken and put on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten. That night, the flesh is to be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but roasted over the fire, head, feet and entrails. You must not leave any over till the morning: whatever is left till morning you are to burn. You shall eat it like this: with a girdle round your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand. You shall eat it hastily: it is a passover in honour of the Lord. That night, I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike, and I shall deal out punishment to all the gods of Egypt, I am the Lord! The blood shall serve to mark the houses that you live in. When I see the blood I will pass over you and you shall escape the destroying plague when I strike the land of Egypt. This day is to be a day of remembrance for you, and you must celebrate it as a feast in the Lord’s honour. For all generations you are to declare it a day of festival, for ever.”’

Gospel

Matthew 12:1-8
The Son of Man is master of the sabbath

Jesus took a walk one sabbath day through the cornfields. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them. The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath.’ But he said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God and how they ate the loaves of offering which neither he nor his followers were allowed to eat, but which were for the priests alone? Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the sabbath day the Temple priests break the sabbath without being blamed for it? Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple. And if you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The name of God was withheld from Jacob even when he pleaded, instead his very own name was changed to Israel. God claimed him as His own just as He proclaimed the Lord God as His. Steadfast was his faith in the Lord our God that it changed him from within. Are we deserving then to know the Holy name of God? For to know His name is to have entered into a very intimate relationship with Him. And through this wonderful relationship with Him we have an all powerful ally who leads us through difficulties, challenges , obstacles and into the promised land of milk and honey.

Yet what do many of us do with the almighty name of the Lord of God? We often abuse it, misuse and justify misusing it! We cheapen the most precious relationship we might and could have. Jesus! Oh God! God d*mn! etc. There is no excuse for this! Some even have the audacity to tell little children who point out that it is wrong, saying it’s okay let us agree to disagree; you will have a different view when you grow up. At least the little child with that child-like faith in the Lord our God is assured a place in heaven, where will you be? Perhaps at the other end of the divide mocking His Holy name with the rest of your unholy friends! Turn away from your sinfulness now! For your sins will be too great for you to bear and it will devour you into the abyss. Yes we all face difficulties and trials in life in varied degrees, but through the suffering and with the grace of God we will overcome them. There is no reason or excuse to give in to sin and temptation hoping for a moment of relief or reprieve of the burdens you carry.

Turn to Jesus instead who waits for you, all you who are burdened and heavy laden. He the Lord our God will set you free and give you the much needed rest. Truly learn from Him, and be humble of heart. Peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you my dear sisters and brothers in Christ. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Exodus 3:13-20 ·
God reveals his name to Moses

Moses, hearing the voice of God coming from the middle of the bush, said to him, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.
‘Go and gather the elders of Israel together and tell them, “The Lord, the God of your fathers, has appeared to me, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; and he has said to me: I have visited you and seen all that the Egyptians are doing to you. And so I have resolved to bring you up out of Egypt where you are oppressed, into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land where milk and honey flow.” They will listen to your words, and with the elders of Israel you are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has come to meet us. Give us leave, then, to make a three days’ journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifice to the Lord our God.” For myself, knowing that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless he is forced by a mighty hand, I shall show my power and strike Egypt with all the wonders I am going to work there. After this he will let you go.’

Gospel

Matthew 11:28-30
My yoke is easy and my burden light

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.’


The mystery of God our Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is not something to be learnt through study of books or attending lectures. It is not knowledge we acquire to wield for personal glory. It is revealed to us through an encounter with our living God. Through the Incarnation the great abounding love of the Lord of God for us is unveiled in the burning heart of Jesus. An all encompassing fire which envelops us in a gentle embrace that does no harm but instead fills our heart with heavenly peace, love and joy.

When we remain in awe of this wonderful magnificent power of God through this loving encounter, we know that come what may as a personal mission for Him, He will be by our side to lead the way. For if we rely on our own human strength little if anything can be accomplished. But with the divine strength of the Lord our God nothing is impossible.

O Glorious God and Saviour we praise You and Thank You for the precious gift of Yourself to us. To this very day we encounter You in a loving exchange through the Holy Eucharist. And when we sit at Your feet before the Blessed Sacrament! Alleluia Alleluia Amen.

First reading

Exodus 3:1-6,9-12 ·
The burning bush

Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said, ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’
Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am,’ Moses answered. ‘Come no nearer,’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your fathers,’ he said, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.
And the Lord said, ‘The cry of the sons of Israel has come to me, and I have witnessed the way in which the Egyptians oppress them, so come, I send you to Pharaoh to bring the sons of Israel, my people, out of Egypt.’
Moses said to God, ‘Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ ‘I shall be with you,’ was the answer ‘and this is the sign by which you shall know that it is I who have sent you… After you have led the people out of Egypt, you are to offer worship to God on this mountain.’

Gospel

Matthew 11:25-27
You have hidden these things from the wise and revealed them to little children

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’


We see in today’s reading and many places in scripture of what happens when we let go of what we hold dearly, even our sorrows, pain and surrender it into the Hands of God. He can turn all curses into blessings! He received into His hands the child Moses and returned him to his mother to be suckled. Life thought to be lost, is restored and to the fullest. We also learn what happens when we take matters into our hands and mete out justice according to our own will. For nothing is hidden from the Lord our God, and His justice will prevail. So too will His mercy on the repentant sinner.

What use are our lofty ideas and thoughts of Holiness to gain entry into Heaven? When our hearts, minds and actions do not change. We have no inner conversion, retreat after retreat, formation after formation, mass after mass! No discipline to put into practice what we have learnt. The Lord may have touched us in a deep profound way, but then we choose to lose that new connection through inertia! Simply refusing to carry our cross to follow Him. This will lead eventually to a greater tragedy of falling back into old habits and sins. Will we have time tomorrow to repent and turn back? What if tomorrow never comes for us?

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God have mercy on me a sinner. Help me make the change today Lord, that I may grow in Holiness to love and serve you as I should. Amen

Our Lady of Mount Carmel pray for me….

First reading

Exodus 2:1-15 ·
Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses among the bulrushes

There was a man of the tribe of Levi who had taken a woman of Levi as his wife. She conceived and gave birth to a son and, seeing what a fine child he was, she kept him hidden for three months. When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him; coating it with bitumen and pitch, she put the child inside and laid it among the reeds at the river’s edge. His sister stood some distance away to see what would happen to him.
Now Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe in the river, and the girls attending her were walking along by the riverside. Among the reeds she noticed the basket, and she sent her maid to fetch it. She opened it and looked, and saw a baby boy, crying; and she was sorry for him. ‘This is a child of one of the Hebrews’ she said. Then the child’s sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and find you a nurse among the Hebrew women to suckle the child for you?’ ‘Yes, go’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her; and the girl went off to find the baby’s own mother. To her the daughter of Pharaoh said, ‘Take this child away and suckle it for me. I will see you are paid.’ So the woman took the child and suckled it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter who treated him like a son; she named him Moses because, she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’
Moses, a man by now, set out at this time to visit his countrymen, and he saw what a hard life they were having; and he saw an Egyptian strike a Hebrew, one of his countrymen. Looking round he could see no one in sight, so he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. On the following day he came back, and there were two Hebrews, fighting. He said to the man who was in the wrong, ‘What do you mean by hitting your fellow countryman?’ ‘And who appointed you’ the man retorted, ‘to be prince over us, and judge? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Moses was frightened. ‘Clearly that business has come to light’ he thought. When Pharaoh heard of the matter he would have killed Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and made for the land of Midian.

Gospel

Matthew 11:20-24
It will not go as hard with Sodom on Judgement Day as with you

Jesus began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent.
‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. And still, I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgement day with Tyre and Sidon as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Power not tempered with love will often lead to its own destruction. Better if there is recognition that our power if having any at all is given, by the Lord our God from above. And tempered with His love will bring only peace, comfort, mercy and love.

Still many choose to exact power over others insisting that they should bend their wills towards their very own. My way or the highway! Where is Christ Jesus in all their bravado? Where is the mercy, love and compassion? That is why if a family is not centred on the values of Christian living placing Christ first above all things and all persons then that family will eventually fall apart. Likewise for community and church. If we do not welcome the prophets amongst us, how will we hear the message of the Lord our God meant for our ears? How will hearts of stone ever be changed into flesh? How will we see the wonders of His hand in the beauty that surround us? How will we feels His great love for us?

Our mission begins with carrying our Cross to follow our Master, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Only true humble servitude can we effect change in the lives of many who do not yet know Him. Amen

First reading

Exodus 1:8-14,22 ·
The Egyptians force the sons of Israel into slavery

There came to power in Egypt a new king who knew nothing of Joseph. ‘Look,’ he said to his subjects ‘these people, the sons of Israel, have become so numerous and strong that they are a threat to us. We must be prudent and take steps against their increasing any further, or if war should break out, they might add to the number of our enemies. They might take arms against us and so escape out of the country.’ Accordingly they put slave-drivers over the Israelites to wear them down under heavy loads. In this way they built the store-cities of Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. But the more they were crushed, the more they increased and spread, and men came to dread the sons of Israel. The Egyptians forced the sons of Israel into slavery, and made their lives unbearable with hard labour, work with clay and with brick, all kinds of work in the fields; they forced on them every kind of labour.
Pharaoh then gave his subjects this command: ‘Throw all the boys born to the Hebrews into the river, but let all the girls live.’

Gospel

Matthew 10:34-11:1
It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.
‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.
‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.
‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.


Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 13, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

What We Must Do: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Deuteronomy 30:10–14
Psalm 69:14, 17, 30–31, 33–34, 36–37
Colossians 1:15–20
Luke 10:25–37

We are to love God and our neighbor with all the strength of our being, as the scholar of the Law answers Jesus in this week’s Gospel.

This command is nothing remote or mysterious—it’s already written in our hearts, in the book of Sacred Scripture. “You have only to carry it out,” Moses says in this week’s First Reading.

Jesus tells His interrogator the same thing: “Do this and you will live.”

The scholar, however, wants to know where he can draw the line. That’s the motive behind his question: “Who is my neighbor?”

In his compassion, the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable reveals the boundless mercy of God—who came down to us when we were fallen in sin, close to dead, unable to pick ourselves up.

Jesus is “the image of the invisible God,” this week’s Epistle tells us. In Him, the love of God has come very near to us. By the “blood of His Cross”—by bearing His neighbors’ sufferings in His own body, being Himself stripped and beaten and left for dead—He saved us from bonds of sin, reconciled us to God and to one another.

Like the Samaritan, He pays the price for us, heals the wounds of sin, pours out on us the oil and wine of the sacraments, entrusts us to the care of His Church, until He comes back for us.

Because His love has known no limits, ours cannot either. We are to love as we have been loved, to do for others what He has done for us—joining all things together in His Body, the Church.

We are to love like the singer of this week’s Psalm—like those whose prayers have been answered, like those whose lives have been saved, who have known the time of His favor, have seen God in His great mercy turn toward us.

This is the love that leads to eternal life, the love Jesus commands today of each of us—“Go and do likewise.”