On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 20, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Most if not all of us suffer from concupiscence as a result of original sin. Still it does not excuse us from giving in into temptation and sin. For we must never forget our Baptism, our call to Holiness as children of God our Heavenly Father. We must strive each and everyday to grow in Holiness through prayer, the Word of God and to exercise acts of mercy in all that we say and do for others. We are therefore outward looking in glorifying the Lord by our lives.

With today’s technology, we have far too easy access to information, graphics, pictures, advertisements and much more from all around the world. And whether we intended to see/look or not we might easily chance upon pornography, sexual images, even manuals and ‘cookbooks’ to do evil. We must resist with all our might! That is to close it off immediately and turn to our Lord for His grace to overcome any lingering thoughts from these. We should ask ourselves this fundamental question, whom or what do we love more? The sin before us or the Lord our God?

Once again we are reminded to stand ready for we truly do not know the hour of our Lord’s return. He who died for love of us and to save us from our sins, wills that each and everyone of us should be with Him in paradise. Amen

First reading

Romans 6:12-18 ·

Make every part of your body a weapon fighting on the side of God

You must not let sin reign in your mortal bodies or command your obedience to bodily passions, you must not let any part of your body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin; you should, instead, offer yourselves to God, and consider yourselves dead men brought back to life; you should make every part of your body into a weapon fighting on the side of God; and then sin will no longer dominate your life, since you are living by grace and not by law.

    Does the fact that we are living by grace and not by law mean that we are free to sin? Of course not. You know that if you agree to serve and obey a master you become his slaves. You cannot be slaves of sin that leads to death and at the same time slaves of obedience that leads to righteousness. You were once slaves of sin, but thank God you submitted without reservation to the creed you were taught. You may have been freed from the slavery of sin, but only to become ‘slaves’ of righteousness.

Gospel

Luke 12:39-48

The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

    Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, 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 unfaithful.

    The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 19, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In the twinkling of an eye the year is soon coming to a close. How sad it is if we have taken the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for granted. How sad indeed if we had fallen to sin but chose instead to remain oblivious, instead of seeking reconciliation with Him who patiently waits to set us free. For we were made to live life to full in His love, not to whither and die in our sins.

Wake up! All you who have fallen asleep! Advent is fast approaching and it is time to stay awake! Let us be penitent for our shortcomings and turn our hearts back to Jesus. For we truly do not know the hour when He will come again. But if we stand ready to greet Him when He comes, surely we will partake in our Master’s joy whose mercy, peace and love abounds!

Lord Jesus I stand ready to serve You and my brethren, come into my life Lord Jesus Come. Amen

First reading

Romans 5:12,15,17-21

Divine grace, coming through Jesus Christ, came as an abundant free gift

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned; but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of failing, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel

Luke 12:35-38

Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 18, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Yes indeed we have much to learn from and to emulate this great Saint whose feast day we celebrate! St Luke the Evangelist. A doctor who was learned and renowned to have healed many of bodily sickness, was also a healer of spirit through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He saw the face of Christ only through eye witness accounts and yet he lived in always in His presence, for He preached the Gospel message of Christ with great vigour and zeal to the gentiles, Greeks as well as Jews.

While he was not one of the seventy-two sent out in today’s Gospel, he did all that was commanded by our Lord Jesus in it and carried the torch of Christ forwards, passing it on such that our Lord’s loving fire spread throughout the ends of the earth! 

Saint Luke pray for us, so that like you we burn with zeal and conviction in sharing the Gospel to all. Amen

First reading

2 Timothy 4:10-17

Only Luke is with me

Demas has deserted me for love of this life and gone to Thessalonika, Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia; only Luke is with me. Get Mark to come and bring him with you; I find him a useful helper in my work. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and the scrolls, especially the parchment ones. Alexander the coppersmith has done me a lot of harm; the Lord will repay him for what he has done. Be on your guard against him yourself, because he has been bitterly contesting everything that we say.

    The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Gospel

Luke 10:1-9

Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.”’


Cup of Salvation: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 53:10-11

Psalm 33:4-5,18-20,22

Hebrews 4:14-16

Mark 10:35-45

The sons of Zebedee hardly know what they’re asking in today’s Gospel. They are thinking in terms of how the Gentiles rule, of royal privileges and honors.

But the road to Christ’s kingdom is by way of His Cross. To share in His glory, we must be willing to drink the cup that He drinks.

The cup is an Old Testament image for God’s judgment. The wicked would be made to drink this cup in punishment for their sins (see Psalm 75:9Jeremiah 25:1528Isaiah 51:17). But Jesus has come to drink this cup on behalf of all humanity. He has come to be baptized—which means plunged or immersed—into the sufferings we all deserve for our sins (compare Luke 12:50).

In this He will fulfill the task of Isaiah’s suffering servant, whom we read about in today’s First Reading.

Like Isaiah’s servant, the Son of Man will give His life as an offering for sin, as once Israel’s priests offered sacrifices for the sins of the people (see Leviticus 5:17–19).

Jesus is the heavenly high priest of all humanity, as we hear in today’s Epistle. Israel’s high priests offered the blood of goats and calves in the temple sanctuary. But Jesus entered the heavenly sanctuary with His own blood (see Hebrews 9:12).

And by bearing our guilt and offering His life to do the will of God, Jesus ransomed “the many”—paying the price to redeem humanity from spiritual slavery to sin and death.

He has delivered us from death, as we rejoice in today’s Psalm.

We need to hold fast to our confession of faith, as today’s Epistle exhorts us. We must look upon our trials and sufferings as our portion of the cup He promised to those who believe in Him (see Colossians 1:24). We must remember that we have been baptized into His passion and death (see Romans 6:3).

In confidence, let us approach the altar today, the throne of grace, at which we drink the cup of His saving blood (see Mark 14:23–24).


The free gift of faith in the Lord our God has been given to everyone and again here I declare that Jesus is truly for everyone! And as in all things there is a beginning, so while the revelation of this truth was first made known to our Jewish brethren; God our Father’s promise of salvation through His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is for all who comes to believe in Him! God has no favourites. (Rm 2:11)

The Lord indeed remembers His covenant for ever. For His blood of the covenant, was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. “God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant forever. The Son is his Father’s definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him” (CCC para 73).

Are we Children of God our faithful Father then reflecting His faithfulness in all that we say and do? Are we ourselves faithful to Him whom so loved us that He gave us His only begotten Son to die for sins so that we shall not perish but have hope of eternal life with Him through the light of His Son’s resurrection?

Let us declare this day that if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  Amen (RM 14:8)

First reading

Romans 4:13,16-18 ·

Abraham hoped and believed and became the father of many nations

The promise of inheriting the world was not made to Abraham and his descendants on account of any law but on account of the righteousness which consists in faith. That is why what fulfils the promise depends on faith, so that it may be a free gift and be available to all of Abraham’s descendants, not only those who belong to the Law but also those who belong to the faith of Abraham who is the father of all of us. As scripture says: I have made you the ancestor of many nations – Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist.

    Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars.

Gospel

Luke 12:8-12

If you declare yourselves for me, I will declare myself for you

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of the angels. But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels.

    ‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

    ‘When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 15, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Holy Communion with the Lord our God is not a weekly affair but a daily one. For separated from Him we have no life! That is why we must resist sin and sinful living.

We remain One Body in Him through Holy Eucharist for that is why He gives freely of Himself to us. So that receiving Him through divine grace we are nourished and strengthened to resist all evil and to live life to the full in Him. If we cannot receive Him at Holy Eucharist daily now, then we can still remain in full union with Him through His Word, prayer and by living in the Spirit; resisting with all our might unspiritual things.

Lord Jesus cover me with Your precious Blood, cleanse me so that I may be white as snow and protect me from all evil. So that I may live freely to do Your Will always. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:22-27 ·

The Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words

From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.

    The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

Gospel

John 15:1-8

I am the vine, you are the branches

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I am the true vine,

and my Father is the vinedresser.

Every branch in me that bears no fruit

he cuts away,

and every branch that does bear fruit

he prunes to make it bear even more.

You are pruned already,

by means of the word that I have spoken to you.

Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,

but must remain part of the vine,

neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine,

you are the branches.

Whoever remains in me, with me in him,

bears fruit in plenty;

for cut off from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me

is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;

these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,

and they are burnt.

If you remain in me

and my words remain in you,

you may ask what you will

and you shall get it.

It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,

and then you will be my disciples.’


Jesus is indeed for everyone!  No one is excluded whether it be race, language, culture or religion! Yes religion, for whosoever comes to believe in Him even if they come from a different faith background they too shall have hope of eternal life through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. No sin too great that He would spurn the sinner, for great is His mercy and love for the contrite of heart and spirit.

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice. (Isaiah 42:3)

But woe to the proud of heart, the LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5) Be wary all who act Holy but lead others not into Holiness. Woe to You if you are found to be guilty of preventing any child of God our Heavenly Father from entering into His Kingdom by your words and deeds! Let us remember that the Lord our God Wills that we should love one another as He loves us.

Save us Saviour of the world, for by Your Cross and Resurrection You have set us free! Amen

First reading

Romans 3:21-30 ·

It is the same justice of God that comes to Jew and pagan alike

God’s justice that was made known through the Law and the Prophets has now been revealed outside the Law, since it is the same justice of God that comes through faith to everyone, Jew and pagan alike, who believes in Jesus Christ. Both Jew and pagan sinned and forfeited God’s glory, and both are justified through the free gift of his grace by being redeemed in Christ Jesus who was appointed by God to sacrifice his life so as to win reconciliation through faith. In this way God makes his justice known; first, for the past, when sins went unpunished because he held his hand, then, for the present age, by showing positively that he is just, and that he justifies everyone who believes in Jesus.

    So what becomes of our boasts? There is no room for them. What sort of law excludes them? The sort of law that tells us what to do? On the contrary, it is the law of faith, since, as we see it, a man is justified by faith and not by doing something the Law tells him to do. Is God the God of Jews alone and not of the pagans too? Of the pagans too, most certainly, since there is only one God.

Gospel

Luke 11:47-54

You have not gone in yourselves and have prevented others who wanted to

Jesus said: ‘Alas for you who build the tombs of the prophets, the men your ancestors killed! In this way you both witness what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building.

    ‘And that is why the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will slaughter and persecute, so that this generation will have to answer for every prophet’s blood that has been shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the sanctuary.” Yes, I tell you, this generation will have to answer for it all.

    ‘Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves, and have prevented others going in who wanted to.’

    When he left the house, the scribes and the Pharisees began a furious attack on him and tried to force answers from him on innumerable questions, setting traps to catch him out in something he might say.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 13, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Can we go a day reserving our judgement of others? Can we stop criticising them in our thoughts, in our minds or in our words? Yet we want to be above criticism, beyond reproach! Heaven forbid if we are judged poorly! We would never allow ourselves to be the brunt of gossip but gossiping about anyone else is harmless banter for us. In today’s readings, we hear the repercussions that will take place if we do not repent of our ways.

If we engage in any of the actions above then our hearts are far from the Lord our God. For if we are dwelling each day in His love, Word and Will for us then our hearts will be at peace. We will love without judgement and freely without reservation. For it is our hearts desire that for each and everyday, we love mercy, act justly as we walk humbly with Lord our God.

Lord Jesus come dwell in my heart, let me be One with You always. Amen

First reading

Romans 2:1-11 ·

Do you think you will escape God’s judgement?

No matter who you are, if you pass judgement you have no excuse. In judging others you condemn yourself, since you behave no differently from those you judge. We know that God condemns that sort of behaviour impartially: and when you judge those who behave like this while you are doing exactly the same, do you think you will escape God’s judgement? Or are you abusing his abundant goodness, patience and toleration, not realising that this goodness of God is meant to lead you to repentance? Your stubborn refusal to repent is only adding to the anger God will have towards you on that day of anger when his just judgements will be made known. He will repay each one as his works deserve. For those who sought renown and honour and immortality by always doing good there will be eternal life; for the unsubmissive who refused to take truth for their guide and took depravity instead, there will be anger and fury. Pain and suffering will come to every human being who employs himself in evil – Jews first, but Greeks as well; renown, honour and peace will come to everyone who does good – Jews first, but Greeks as well. God has no favourites.

Gospel

Luke 11:42-46

You overlook justice and the love of God

The Lord said to the Pharisees: ‘Alas for you Pharisees! You who pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and overlook justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without leaving the others undone. Alas for you Pharisees who like taking the seats of honour in the synagogues and being greeted obsequiously in the market squares! Alas for you, because you are like the unmarked tombs that men walk on without knowing it!

    A lawyer then spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘when you speak like this you insult us too.’

    ‘Alas for you lawyers also,’ he replied ‘because you load on men burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not move a finger to lift.’


Let us always seek the mind, heart, and wisdom of the Lord our God through His Word. For He truly is the way, the truth and the life. Let us not allow our minds to wander into fallacies for it is easily tainted by the ways of the World. For human logic without the guiding grace of God often leads to self indulgence and thereafter self destruction. Let our minds not be darkened as we pray earnestly for His precious blood to protect us. Yes we have been given powerful minds, when fully united with that of our Lord and to His Will for us, glorifies Him and leads to abounding race for everyone.

Let us this day, give thanks, glory and praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! As we honour and glorify Him by living our lives in the light of His resurrection, now and forevermore. Amen

First reading

Romans 1:16-25

These people knew God and failed to honour him

I am not ashamed of the Good News: it is the power of God saving all who have faith – Jews first, but Greeks as well – since this is what reveals the justice of God to us: it shows how faith leads to faith, or as scripture says: The upright man finds life through faith.

    The anger of God is being revealed from heaven against all the impiety and depravity of men who keep truth imprisoned in their wickedness. For what can be known about God is perfectly plain to them since .God himself has made it plain. Ever since God created the world his everlasting power and deity – however invisible – have been there for the mind to see in the things he has made. That is why such people are without excuse: they knew God and yet refused to honour him as God or to thank him; instead, they made nonsense out of logic and their empty minds were darkened. The more they called themselves philosophers, the more stupid they grew, until they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for a worthless imitation, for the image of mortal man, of birds, of quadrupeds and reptiles. That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments and the practices with which they dishonour their own bodies, since they have given up divine truth for a lie and have worshipped and served creatures instead of the creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen!

Gospel

Luke 11:37-41

Give thanks for what you have and it will all be clean

Jesus had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at the table. The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal. But the Lord said to him, ‘Oh, you Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness. Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too? Instead, give alms from what you have and then indeed everything will be clean for you.’


Today’s responsorial psalm not posted here, is key to fully grasping the Lord’s word for us in the reading and the Gospel. For the Lord indeed has made know His salvation! (The Lord has made known his salvation )

The Word was made flesh and dwelled amongst us and so God Himself came down to save us! The one and only sign we will ever need in this lifetime and in the life to come, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For through Him alone we have hope of eternal life with God our Heavenly Father. And this overwhelmingly joyous message must be shared with all men, women and children around the world so that all who repent and believe in Jesus will share eternal life with Him. For again, all mankind are created in His likeness and image. Therefore we are all God our Heavenly Father’s children destined to be with Him for all eternity. Amen

First reading

Romans 1:1-7

Our apostolic mission is to preach the obedience of faith to all pagan nations

From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus who has been called to be an apostle, and specially chosen to preach the Good News that God promised long ago through his prophets in the scriptures.

    This news is about the Son of God who, according to the human nature he took was a descendant of David: it is about Jesus Christ our Lord who, in the order of the spirit, the spirit of holiness that was in him, was proclaimed Son of God in all his power through his resurrection from the dead. Through him we received grace and our apostolic mission to preach the obedience of faith to all pagan nations in honour of his name. You are one of these nations, and by his call belong to Jesus Christ. To you all, then, who are God’s beloved in Rome, called to be saints, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send grace and peace.

Gospel

Luke 11:29-32

As Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign

The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them:

    ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’


Wisdom and Riches: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Psalm 90:12–17

Hebrews 4:12–13

Wisdom 7:7–11

Mark 10:17–30

The rich young man in today’s Gospel wants to know what we all want to know—how to live in this life so that we might live forever in the world to come. He seeks what today’s Psalm calls “wisdom of heart.”

He learns that the wisdom he seeks is not a program of works to be performed or behaviors to be avoided. As Jesus tells him, observing the commandments is essential to walking the path of salvation—but it can only get us so far.

The Wisdom of God is not precepts, but a person—Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Wisdom whose Spirit was granted to Solomon in today’s First Reading. Jesus is the Word of God spoken of in today’s Epistle. And Jesus, as He reveals Himself to the rich man today, is God.

In Jesus we encounter Wisdom, the living and effective Word of God. As He does with the rich man today, He looks upon each of us with love. That look of love, that loving gaze, is a personal invitation—to give up everything to follow Him.

Nothing is concealed from His gaze, as we hear in the Epistle. In His fiery eyes, the thoughts of our hearts are exposed, and each of us must render an account of our lives (see Revelation 1:14).

We must have the attitude of Solomon, preferring Wisdom to all else, loving Him more than even life itself. This preference, this love, requires a leap of faith. We will be persecuted for this faith, Jesus tells His disciples today. But we must trust in His promise—that all good things will come to us in His company.

What, then, are the “many possessions” that keep us from giving ourselves totally to God? What are we clinging to—material things, comfort zones, relationships? What will it take for us to live fully for Christ’s sake and the sake of the Gospel?

Let us pray for the wisdom to enter into the kingdom of God. With the Psalmist, let us ask Him, “Teach us.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 9, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Yes all of us, not one of us will be spared from judgement by the Lord our God of Heaven and on earth. When we do not know! Yesterday at my community prayer meeting a member shared that she had just returned from a wake of  fifteen year old girl who was faithful and full of life before she mysteriously fell sick and returned to our Lord.  Then I recalled a visit to the columbarium where I chanced upon the inscriptions of babies, toddlers and youths! Death does not distinguish between the ages. Should we then wait in fear?

No! We turn with all our hearts to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He who makes all things new will renew the face of the earth when He comes again. We turn to Him now so that we will be transfigured by His merciful grace to live in the light of His resurrection. And if we die, we know without an inkling of doubt that we will rise again in Him. Let us cherish the Word of God made flesh and keep His Word and will of us, just as Mary our Blessed Mother did. For it is written that she ‘treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart’ (Luke 2.19) Let then rejoice for we are the just in the Lord! Amen

First reading

Joel 4:12-21 ·

The day of the Lord is near; sun and moon grow dark

The Lord says this:

‘Let the nations rouse themselves, let them march

to the Valley of Jehoshaphat,

for I am going to sit in judgement there

on all the nations round.

Put the sickle in:

the harvest is ripe;

come and tread:

the winepress is full,

the vats are overflowing,

so great is their wickedness!’

Host on host

in the Valley of Decision!

For the day of the Lord is near

in the Valley of Decision!

Sun and moon grow dark,

the stars lose their brilliance.

The Lord roars from Zion,

makes his voice heard from Jerusalem;

heaven and earth tremble.

But the Lord will be a shelter for his people,

a stronghold for the sons of Israel.

‘You will learn then that I am the Lord your God,

dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain.

Jerusalem will be a holy place,

no alien will ever pass through it again.’

When that day comes,

the mountains will run with new wine

and the hills flow with milk,

and all the river beds of Judah

will run with water.

A fountain will spring from the house of the Lord

to water the wadi of Acacias.

Egypt will become a desolation,

Edom a desert waste

on account of the violence done to the sons of Judah

whose innocent blood they shed in their country.

But Judah will be inhabited for ever,

Jerusalem from age to age.

‘I will avenge their blood and let none go unpunished’,

and the Lord shall make his home in Zion.

Gospel

Luke 11:27-28

‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’

As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’


Yes we all should look on the bright side of things but the only bright side that we should be looking upon is in the hope that is to be found in the light of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! For truly darkness has overcome many parts and will continue to do so if the world does not repent and turn to our Lord.

As is stands many facing the pandemic are dying because their leaders are doing nothing or not enough! Often times it is greed rather than hopelessness in doing what is right! Then we have the advocacy of abortion by pro choice movements, advocacy for same sex marriages while human trafficking, prostitution and child labour continue to thrive. What about genocide? Or simply the abandonment of those in dire poverty!

Let pray fervently for the conversion of sinners but most of all that our very own sinful hearts be changed from within, so that we may live pious lives fully alive in His light and love. For the sake of Your Son’s sorrowful passion dearest Heavenly Father, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen

First reading

Joel 1:13-15,2:1-2 ·

Let all tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming

Priests, put on sackcloth and lament.

Ministers of the altar, wail.

Come, pass the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God.

For the house of our God has been deprived of oblation and libation.

Order a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly; elders, call together all the inhabitants of the country to the house of the Lord your God.

Cry out to the Lord, ‘Oh, what a day!

For the day of the Lord is near,

it comes as a devastation from Shaddai.’

Sound the trumpet in Zion, give the alarm on my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming,

yes, it is near.

Day of darkness and gloom, day of cloud and blackness.

Like the dawn there spreads across the mountains a vast and mighty host,

such as has never been before, such as will never be again

to the remotest ages.

Gospel

Luke 11:15-26

The finger of God has overtaken you

When Jesus had cast out a devil, some of the people said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils. Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.

    ‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.

    ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, “I will go back to the home I came from.” But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up by being worse than he was before.’


‘Let what you have said be done to me.’ Mary our Blessed Mother accepted the Word of God revealed to her by the angel Gabriel. Through her fiat, Emmanuel ‘God with us’ was born.  The incarnate Word of God redeemed us by His life, death and resurrection and so through Him, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we have hope of eternal life with Him.

When our Lord ascended into Heaven, our Blessed Mother Mary prayed continuously with His Apostles and likewise today she prays continuously with us and for us. We have been Blessed to be able to unite ourselves with her more fully in prayer, when we pray the Holy Rosary. For she always leads us closer and deeper into the heart of Jesus her son.

Oh Our Lady of the Rosary, our dearest Blessed Mother pray for us….

First reading

Acts 1:12-14 ·

The apostles all joined in continuous prayer with Mary, the mother of Jesus

After Jesus was taken up into heaven the apostles went back from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. All these joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Gospel

Luke 1:26-38

‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’

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.


God our Father in Heaven is indeed of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, relenting from evil. And all our lives are precious to Him. For it is He who gave us life! Are we then to judge who lives or who dies? We cry out in contrition to Him for mercy when we have sinned and we are forgiven. Are we to withhold mercy from those who have sinned against us?

The teaching of Jesus on how to pray in Luke’s Gospel is short and sweet and yet there is much depth in this simple prayer. Like all children who love, cherish and honour their fathers we simply cry out Father! And we honour Him not in words but in living our lives in obedience to His Will for us. For He is Holy and the creator of Heaven and on earth, His Kingdom come. We humbly request to be nourished body, mind and soul and for our sins to be forgiven, so that we may walk fully in His light. As we too promise to be merciful to those who have sinned against us. May His grace be upon us to protect all us from evil as we resist all forms of temptation in the world. Amen

First reading

Jonah 4:1-11 ·

Jonah is angry at God’s mercy

Jonah was very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘Ah, Lord, is not this just as I said would happen when I was still at home? That was why I went and fled to Tarshish: I knew that you were a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, relenting from evil. So now, Lord, please take away my life, for I might as well be dead as go on living.’ The Lord replied, ‘Are you right to be angry?’

    Jonah then went out of the city and sat down to the east of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God arranged that a castor-oil plant should grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head and soothe his ill-humour; Jonah was delighted with the castor-oil plant. But at dawn the next day, God arranged that a worm should attack the castor-oil plant – and it withered.

    Next, when the sun rose, God arranged that there should be a scorching east wind; the sun beat down so hard on Jonah’s head that he was overcome and begged for death, saying, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living.’ God said to Jonah, ‘Are you right to be angry about the castor-oil plant?’ He replied, ‘I have every right to be angry, to the point of death.’ The Lord replied, ‘You are only upset about a castor-oil plant which cost you no labour, which you did not make grow, which sprouted in a night and has perished in a night. And am I not to feel sorry for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’

Gospel

Luke 11:1-4

How to pray

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’

    He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray:

‘“Father, may your name be held holy,

your kingdom come;

give us each day our daily bread,

and forgive us our sins,

for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us.

And do not put us to the test.”’


walter#2, 1/3/70, 12:35 PM, 8C, 7704×10771 (838+606), 150%, paintings, 1/10 s, R72.3, G61.8, B75.5

Will we have time to repent and turn our hearts back to our Lord? One thing we all know for sure is that time passes by so swiftly. Before we know it our time here is up and what will we have to show for all our busyness in this life? Did we live only for ourselves? What fruits did we  bear for our Lord? How many souls have we saved? Did we have peace of mind? Were we filled with the peace, love and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ? And did we share it with others?

To live our lives in full union with the Lord our God we must turn away from sin and listen to His Word and Will for us. We can only do so by sitting at His feet to listen attentively to Him. We do this through prayer and contemplation as we enter into His presence. Only then can we go out each day to love and serve our brethren as we are called to do by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore families, communities, ministries cannot thrive unless they come together to pray regularly and dwell in His presence. To be nourished and filled with His peace, love, joy and to receive the graces needed for their mission.

Come dwell in my heart dear Jesus. Amen

First reading

Jonah 3:1-10 ·

The Ninevites repent, and God spares them

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

Gospel

Luke 10:38-42

Martha works; Mary listens

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 4, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We who have experienced the Lord our God’s love and mercy know that He has no favourites. For otherwise how could you and I be saved?

And He had commanded us to love one another as He loved us. How then should we put that love into action?

We must love everyone without prejudice! It may be Muslim he sends our way to love, Hindu, Buddhist,  Sikh, Protestant and so on. In all of them we must see Christ and love them with all our heart. For all of them too are His Children! That is why we are called to love even our enemies and to do good to those who hate us. (Matt 5:44)

Obedient to His call to love we become instruments of His grace and we bring life through conversion of hearts to Him. Amen

St Francis of Assisi pray for us….

First reading

Jonah 1:1-2:1,11

Jonah flees from his call

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah son of Amittai:

    ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and inform them that their wickedness has become known to me.’ Jonah decided to run away from the Lord, and to go to Tarshish. He went down to Joppa and found a ship bound for Tarshish; he paid his fare and went aboard, to go with them to Tarshish, to get away from the Lord. But the Lord unleashed a violent wind on the sea, and there was such a great storm at sea that the ship threatened to break up. The sailors took fright, and each of them called on his own god, and to lighten the ship they threw the cargo overboard. Jonah, however, had gone below and lain down in the hold and fallen fast asleep. The boatswain came upon him and said, ‘What do you mean by sleeping? Get up! Call on your god! Perhaps he will spare us a thought, and not leave us to die.’ Then they said to each other, ‘Come on, let us draw lots to find out who is responsible for bringing this evil on us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell to Jonah. Then they said to him, ‘Tell us, what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country? What is your nationality?’ He replied, ‘I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.’ The sailors were seized with terror at this and said, ‘What have you done?’ They knew that he was trying to escape from the Lord, because he had told them so. They then said, ‘What are we to do with you, to make the sea grow calm for us?’ For the sea was growing rougher and rougher. He replied, ‘Take me and throw me into the sea, and then it will grow calm for you. For I can see it is my fault this violent storm has happened to you.’ The sailors rowed hard in an effort to reach the shore, but in vain, since the sea grew still rougher for them. They then called on the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, do not let us perish for taking this man’s life; do not hold us guilty of innocent blood; for you, the Lord, have acted as you have thought right.’ And taking hold of Jonah they threw him into the sea; and the sea grew calm again. At this the men were seized with dread of the Lord; they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

    The Lord had arranged that a great fish should be there to swallow Jonah; and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. The Lord spoke to the fish, which then vomited Jonah on to the shore.

Gospel

Luke 10:25-37

The good Samaritan

There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’

    But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’


What God Has Joined: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Genesis 2:18–24

Psalm 128:1–6

Hebrews 2:9–11

Mark 10:2–16

In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a trick question.

The “lawfulness” of divorce in Israel was never an issue. Moses had long ago allowed it (see Deuteronomy 24:1–4). But Jesus points His enemies back before Moses, to “the beginning,” interpreting the text we hear in today’s First Reading.

Divorce violates the order of creation, He says. Moses permitted it only as a concession to the people’s “hardness of heart”—their inability to live by God’s covenant Law. But Jesus comes to fulfill the Law, to reveal its true meaning and purpose, and to give people the grace to keep God’s commands.

Marriage, He reveals, is a sacrament, a divine, life-giving sign. Through the union of husband and wife, God intended to bestow His blessings on the human family—making it fruitful, multiplying it until it filled the earth (see Genesis 1:28).

That’s why today’s Gospel moves so easily from a debate about marriage to Jesus’ blessing of children. Children are blessings the Father bestows on couples who walk in His ways, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

Marriage also is a sign of God’s new covenant. As today’s Epistle hints, Jesus is the new Adam—made a little lower than the angels, born of a human family (see Romans 5:14; Psalm 8:5–7). The Church is the new Eve, the “woman” born of Christ’s pierced side as He hung in the sleep of death on the Cross (see John 19:34; Revelation 12:1–17).

Through the union of Christ and the Church as “one flesh,” God’s plan for the world is fulfilled (see Ephesians 5:21–32). Eve was “mother of all the living” (see Genesis 3:20). And in Baptism, we are made sons and daughters of the Church, children of the Father, heirs of the eternal glory He intended for the human family in the beginning.

The challenge for us is to live as children of the kingdom, growing up ever more faithful in our love and devotion to the ways of Christ and the teachings of His Church.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 2, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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“For I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.”

Do you pray to your guardian Angel? If not why not?

Know this, that they are Blessings from God our Heavenly Father sent for our protection and to guide us on our pilgrim journey home to Him. And when we have lost our way and have strayed far from the presence of our Lord through our grievous sins, they continually intercede for us in His presence! And they strive to lead us back into His merciful arms.

Blessed are you, Holy Angel, since in His love for me, God has chosen you to take care of my life, you who from the first moment of my existence has never abandoned me, who day and night assists me to turn away from evil and help me to do good.

I give you thanks for what you have already done for me, and I ask you to continue to protect me. Be my help in my needs, my consolation in my sorrows, my support in my discouragements, defend me against the enemies of my salvation, remove from me the opportunities to sin, obtain for me the grace to be faithful and docile to you.

But above all, protect me at the hour of death, and do not leave me until you have brought me to my Lord.

O my guardian angel, since in his love the Lord has entrusted me to you, enlighten me, guide me, keep me and govern me.’ Amen

First reading

Baruch 4:5-12,27-29 ·

Take courage, my children, call on God

Take courage, my people,

constant reminder of Israel.

You were sold to the nations,

but not for extermination.

You provoked God;

and so were delivered to your enemies,

since you had angered your creator

by offering sacrifices to demons, not to God.

You had forgotten the eternal God who reared you.

You had also grieved Jerusalem who nursed you,

for when she saw the anger fall on you

from God, she said:

Listen, you neighbours of Zion:

God has sent me great sorrow.

I have seen my sons and daughters taken into captivity,

to which they have been sentenced by the Eternal.

I had reared them joyfully;

in tears, in sorrow, I watched them go away.

Do not, any of you, exult over me,

a widow, deserted by so many;

I suffer loneliness because of the sins of my own children,

who turned away from the Law of God.

Take courage, my children, call on God:

he who brought disaster on you will remember you.

As by your will you first strayed away from God,

so now turn back and search for him ten times as hard;

for as he brought down those disasters on you,

so will he rescue you and give you eternal joy.

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10

Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me

The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.’


We do not have to wait for our death to experience hell on earth, we can experience  degrees of the effects of it by choosing to live a sinful lifestyle and disobeying the Lord our God. Emptiness, anxiety, stress! Seeking peace of mind and not finding it, looking for happiness in the world only to find it is fleeting. Feeling sick often even though we might not necessarily be ill. A void within us we cannot seem to fill.

While there is still time, turn back to the Lord with all your heart and be reconciled!

We Children of God our Heavenly Father were created in His likeness and image; and are meant to live fully in His love, peace and joy. For God so loved the world, He gave us His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life! Therefore let us turn to Jesus always and through His mercy and love we will be free to live in the love, peace and joy of our Heavenly Father.

Save us Saviour of the world for by Your Cross and Resurrection, You have set us free. Amen

St. Therese of Lisieux your sense of commitment in living as an obedient child of God led you to a profound experience of the love of God and of neighbour. You never had an easy life, but did live it with a great sense of peace and joy. Pray for us that we might live as faithfully as you. Amen

First reading

Baruch 1:15-22 ·

We have been disobedient to the Lord our God

Integrity belongs to the Lord our God; to us the look of shame we wear today, to us, the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, to our kings and princes, our priests, our prophets, as to our ancestors, because we have sinned in the sight of the Lord, have disobeyed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God telling us to follow the commandments which the Lord had ordained for us. From the day when the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until today we have been disobedient to the Lord our God, we have been disloyal, refusing to listen to his voice. And so the disasters, and the curse which the Lord pronounced through his servant Moses the day he brought our fathers out of Egypt to give us a land where milk and honey flow, have seized on us, disasters we experience today. Despite all the words of those prophets whom he sent us, we have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God, but, each following the dictates of his evil heart, we have taken to serving alien gods, and doing what is displeasing to the Lord our God.

Gospel

Luke 10:13-16

Anyone who rejects me rejects the one who sent me

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘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, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And still, it will not go as hard with Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell.

    ‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.’


Is it easy to resist sin? To be humble before the Lord in all things as we go about our daily lives? To look out for opportunities to lay down our life for another?

NO!  It is far easier to live according to our own wills.

Yet we the faithful will wake each morning desiring to sit in the Lord’s presence eager to hear His Word and Will for us. We cherish His Word for we know it alone gives us peace, joy and love such that the World cannot give. We are willing to struggle through the course of the day to live according to His Word and again His Will for us! For when the day is over we know we can rest in the peace, love and joy of our Lord.

That is why if we call ourselves His disciples, then we will look for every opportunity to share His love, peace and joy with everyone that we meet, especially those who do not know Him yet. Evangelisation for us is not a word or some applied form of methodology but a means to love and to share in the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

St Jerome pray for us….

First reading

Nehemiah 8:1-12 ·

All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law

When the seventh month came, all the people gathered as one man on the square before the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses which the Lord had prescribed for Israel. Accordingly Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, consisting of men, women, and children old enough to understand. This was the first day of the seventh month. On the square before the Water Gate, in the presence of the men and women, and children old enough to understand, he read from the book from early morning till noon; all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.

    Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden dais erected for the purpose. In full view of all the people – since he stood higher than all the people – Ezra opened the book; and when he opened it all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people raised their hands and answered, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and, face to the ground, prostrated themselves before the Lord. And Ezra read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense, so that the people understood what was read.

    Then Nehemiah – His Excellency – and Ezra, priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people, said to all the people, ‘This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not be mournful, do not weep.’ For the people were all in tears as they listened to the words of the Law.

    He then said, ‘Go, eat the fat, drink the sweet wine, and send a portion to the man who has nothing prepared ready. For this day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your stronghold.’ And the Levites calmed all the people, saying, ‘Be at ease; this is a sacred day. Do not be sad.’ And all the people went off to eat and drink and give shares away and begin to enjoy themselves since they had understood the meaning of what had been proclaimed to them.

Gospel

Luke 10:1-12

Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.” I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 29, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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God of all things visible and invisible! We have been blessed with guardian angels who work tirelessly to watch, guard and protect us. Yet many of us never neglect to acknowledge their presence let alone pray to them to guide us into the lengths, breadths, height and depths of the everlasting love of God our Heavenly Father.

We may pray to St Michael the Archangel for protection from evil but do we pray to him ‘who is like God’ to show us how to follow more closely the Will of God for us? Do we pray to St Gabriel who places the Lord our God above all else as Champion and have been sent on mission to reveal His heart to mere mortals, do we pray to him to help us hear more fully God’s messages for us? Do we pray to St Raphael to intercede for us, so that the healing power of God may be upon us and our loved ones? 

Today as we celebrate the feast day of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, let us pray that through their intercession, together with all the Angels and Saints we may all be one day reunited together in Heaven. Amen

St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael pray for us…

First reading

Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 ·

His robe was white as snow

As I watched:

Thrones were set in place

and one of great age took his seat.

His robe was white as snow,

the hair of his head as pure as wool.

His throne was a blaze of flames,

its wheels were a burning fire.

A stream of fire poured out,

issuing from his presence.

A thousand thousand waited on him,

ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

A court was held

and the books were opened.

I gazed into the visions of the night.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,

one like a son of man.

He came to the one of great age

and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred sovereignty,

glory and kingship,

and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty

which shall never pass away,

nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Gospel

John 1:47-51

You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

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: September 28, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Is the Lord our God with you? Are you walking in His presence?

Do people genuinely seek you out because they enjoy your company? Are they eager to hear you share your testimonies to the Lord in your life?

Is the Lord our God with you? Are you walking in His presence?

Do folks see you as a man (woman) of God? Are they drawn to follow you as they know you will lead them to Him?

Is the Lord our God with you? Are you walking in His presence?

Do people see you as someone who gentle, patient and merciful?

Is the Lord our God with you? Are you walking in His presence?

Are you an inspiration for others to grow in faith and Holiness? Do they turn to you for prayers or help when they have a need?

Is the Lord our God with you? Are you walking in His presence?

When they look upon, do they see the face of Christ?

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; 

Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 

Where there is injury, pardon; 

Where there is doubt, faith; 

Where there is despair, hope; 

Where there is darkness, light; 

And where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console; 

To be understood, as to understand; 

To be loved, as to love; 

For it is in giving that we receive, 

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 

And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. 

Amen.

First reading

Zechariah 8:20-23

Many peoples and great nations will come to seek the Lord of Hosts

The Lord of Hosts says this:

    ‘There will be other peoples yet, and citizens of great cities. And the inhabitants of one city will go to the next and say, “Come, let us go and entreat the favour of the Lord, and seek the Lord of Hosts; I am going myself.” And many peoples and great nations will come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the Lord.’

    The Lord of Hosts says this:

    ‘In those days, ten men of nations of every language will take a Jew by the sleeve and say, “We want to go with you, since we have learnt that God is with you.”’

Gospel

Luke 9:51-56

Jesus sets out for Jerusalem

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.


See the heart of the Lord our God in today’s first reading. He wills that we live to a ripe old age in His peace, love and joy. That there be a renewal through our young as they grow up playing and laughing. That His faithfulness and integrity shines through us as we worship Him with the same faithfulness and integrity.

Far fetched? Then turn to look into the lives of those who are living the Word and His Will in their lives. How they have cast aside their self importance and humbly seek to love and serve others first whether family, friend or stranger! They see the child of God that they are in one another regardless of race, language or religion. The only pride they have is to do right by the Lord their God by acting justly, by loving mercy and seeking each day to walk humbly with Him. See then how they thrive in His mercy and love bringing joy to others by their lives! You may have seen glimpses of this in your very own lives when you chose to walk in His light. It is time to make a decision, if you are willing to lay down your life completely for Him and for your brethren?

Here I am Lord! I come to do Your Will. Amen

First reading

Zechariah 8:1-8

The Lord will return to Zion

The word of the Lord of Hosts was addressed to me as follows:

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.

I am burning with jealousy for Zion,

with great anger for her sake.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.

I am coming back to Zion

and shall dwell in the middle of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be called Faithful City

and the mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the Holy Mountain.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.

Old men and old women will again sit down

in the squares of Jerusalem;

every one of them staff in hand

because of their great age.

And the squares of the city will be full

of boys and girls

playing in the squares.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.

If this seems a miracle

to the remnant of this people (in those days),

will it seem one to me?

It is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.

Now I am going to save my people

from the countries of the East

and from the countries of the West.

I will bring them back

to live inside Jerusalem.

They shall be my people

and I will be their God

in faithfulness and integrity.’

Gospel

Luke 9:46-50

The least among you all is the greatest

An argument started between the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side and then said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.’

    John spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘we saw a man casting out devils in your name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘You must not stop him: anyone who is not against you is for you.’

Twenty-sixth Sunday Ordinary Time

Posted: September 25, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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To Belong to Christ: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-sixth Sunday Ordinary Time

Readings:

Numbers 11:25–29

Psalm 19:8,10,12–14

James 5:1–6

Mark 9:38–48

Today’s Gospel begins with a scene that recalls a similar moment in the history of Israel, the episode recalled in today’s First Reading. The seventy elders who receive God’s Spirit through Moses prefigure the ministry of the Apostles.

Like Joshua in the First Reading, John makes the mistake of presuming that only a select few are inspired and entrusted to carry out God’s plans. The Spirit blows where it wills (see John 3:8), and God desires to bestow His Spirit on all the people of God in every nation under heaven (see Acts 2:5, 38).

God can and will work mighty deeds through the most unexpected and unlikely people. All of us are called to perform even our most humble tasks, such as giving a cup of water, for the sake of His name and the cause of His kingdom.

John believes he is protecting the purity of the Lord’s name. But, really, he’s only guarding his own privilege and status. It’s telling that the Apostles want to shut down the ministry of an exorcist. Authority to drive out demons and unclean spirits was one of the specific powers entrusted to the Twelve (see Mark 3:14–15; 6:7, 13).

Cleanse me from my unknown faults, we pray in today’s Psalm. Often, like Joshua and John, perhaps without noticing it, we cloak our failings and fears under the guise of our desire to defend Christ or the Church.

But as Jesus says today, instead of worrying about who is a real Christian and who is not, we should make sure that we ourselves are leading lives worthy of our calling as disciples (see Ephesians 1:4).

Does the advice we give, or the example of our actions, give scandal—causing others to doubt or lose faith? Do we do what we do with mixed motives instead of seeking only the Father’s will? Are we living, as this Sunday’s Epistle warns, for our own luxury and pleasure while neglecting our neighbors?

We need to keep meditating on His Law, as we sing in today’s Psalm. We need to pray for the grace to detect our failings and to overcome them.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 25, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Truly if we are living the Word of God in our lives we will not want of anything. We will wake each day desiring only to hear the Word of God and His Will for us as we go about the labours of the day. For His Word give us comfort, peace, love and joy! For a child of God our Heavenly Father living in the spirit and in the light of the resurrection will have ears opened to hear, eyes opened to see the marvels of the Lord our God; and a heart opened to receive His love.

See and hear the love of God yourselves in today’s reading and Gospel!

Why do we need to build walls for our protection? When the Lord our God Himself will be our wall of fire, He will be our glory in the midst of us. In His great love for us, the Lord our God laid down His life for us to settle the debt we could not pay. And it is through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ alone that we have hope of eternal life with Him.

Let us spend this day in great admiration pondering on the awesome love of God our Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit for us. Amen

First reading

Zechariah 2:5-9,14-15

‘I will be the glory of Jerusalem’

Raising my eyes, I saw a vision. It was this: there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked him, ‘Where are you going?’ He said, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to find out her breadth and her length.’ And then, while the angel who was talking to me stood still, another angel came forward to meet him. He said to him, ‘Run, and tell that young man this, “Jerusalem is to remain unwalled, because of the great number of men and cattle there will be in her. But I – it is the Lord who speaks – I will be a wall of fire for her all round her, and I will be her glory in the midst of her.”’

Sing, rejoice,

daughter of Zion;

for I am coming

to dwell in the middle of you

– it is the Lord who speaks.

Many nations will join the Lord,

on that day;

they will become his people.

Gospel

Luke 9:43-45

They were afraid to ask him what he meant

At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: “The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.”’ But they did not understand him when he said this; it was hidden from them so that they should not see the meaning of it, and they were afraid to ask him about what he had just said.


In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us. Amen Alleluia!

Do you know without a doubt that the Lord is with you this day and every day? Does His spirit remain with you and around the others in your family, community and Church? Then why are you afraid? Why are you not doing more by taking up leadership? Or getting involved in changing the lives of those around you through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? If you are not prepared to suffer for His namesake then how then can you declare with conviction to others that He is the Christ of God!? How can you say that He is the Lord of lord, King of kings in your life?

The Lord our God, creator of Heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; all the treasures of the World belong to Him alone! And yet have you not taken the time to ponder and ask Him, Lord what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? That the greatest treasure you desire is that of my heart.

Forgive me Lord for not having had the courage to stand firm in my love for You as You are firm in Your love for me. I am prepared to lay down my life for You and for my brethren, for to die to myself is to rise to new life in You. Amen

First reading

Haggai 1:15-2:9

‘The new glory of this Temple is to surpass the old’

In the second year of King Darius, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows, ‘You are to speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high commissioner of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people. Say this, “Who is there left among you that saw this Temple in its former glory? And how does it look to you now? Does it seem nothing to you? But take courage now, Zerubbabel – it is the Lord who speaks. Courage, High Priest Joshua son of Jehozadak! Courage, all you people of the country! – it is the Lord who speaks. To work! I am with you – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks – and my spirit remains among you. Do not be afraid! For the Lord of Hosts says this: A little while now, and I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations and the treasures of all the nations shall flow in, and I will fill this Temple with glory, says the Lord of Hosts. Mine is the silver, mine the gold! – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks. The new glory of this Temple is going to surpass the old, says the Lord of Hosts, and in this place I will give peace – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.”’

Gospel

Luke 9:18-22

‘You are the Christ of God’

One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.

    ‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’


Many of us would have had many opportunities to draw closer to the Lord our God. Some through a member of the family, Community, others through retreats and formation talks. I am quite certain that everyone, had at one time or another been prompted through the Holy Spirit to be more faithful to the Word of God, to live piously and to be bold in our endeavours; to live in the light of His resurrection so as to Glory Him by our lives.

What happened then to our zeal for our Lord? Did we lose it to the distractions of the world? Did we squander our time on personal pleasures? Perhaps we had fallen to sin and refused to listen to the call for repentance? Whatever our reasons for falling behind and remaining where we are, the Lord is reminding us today that it is not too late for us to rebuild the House: (our body the temple of the Holy Spirit) I shall then take pleasure in it, and be glorified there, says the Lord.” We need never be anxious to see Jesus for He is waiting patiently for us. To forgive us our sins and to lead us to the fulness of life in Him.

Lord have mercy on me, create in me a clean heart and put your steadfast spirit with me so that I may glorify Your name now and forever. Amen

St Pio pray for us…..

First reading

Haggai 1:1-8

‘Rebuild the House’

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, high commissioner of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, as follows, ‘The Lord of Hosts says this, “This people says: The time has not yet come to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. (And the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows:) Is this a time for you to live in your panelled houses, when this House lies in ruins? So now, the Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. You have sown much and harvested little; you eat but never have enough, drink but never have your fill, put on clothes but do not feel warm. The wage earner gets his wages only to put them in a purse riddled with holes. So go to the hill country, fetch wood, and rebuild the House: I shall then take pleasure in it, and be glorified there, says the Lord.”’

Gospel

Luke 9:7-9

‘John? I beheaded him; so who is this?’

Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was being done by Jesus; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 22, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Mark Chapter 6 – Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff— no bread, no bag, no money in their belts — 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

Luke Chapter 10
The Return of the Seventy-Two
17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

It is time for us to go and seek out our Lord’s lost sheep and to bring them back into the fold. To share His great love for all and to bring about healing and reconciliation. For too many have been left to wander in the ‘wilderness’ of the pandemic searching for respite from the drudgery of living in their empty world. Many too have turned to sinful distractions and have been enslaved to them.

God our Heavenly Father never forgets or abandons His Children in their slavery. He so loved the world that He gave us His only Begotten Son.  That whomever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. So with courage and great confidence in the promises of Christ let us go as our dear Lord commanded us; To make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything He has commanded us. And surely He is with us always, to the very end of the age. Amen

First reading

Ezra 9:5-9

‘God has not forgotten us in our slavery’

At the evening sacrifice I, Ezra, came out of my stupor and falling on my knees, with my garment and cloak torn, I stretched out my hands to the Lord my God, and said:

    ‘My God, I am ashamed, I blush to lift my face to you, my God. For our crimes have increased, until they are higher than our heads, and our sin has piled up to heaven. From the days of our ancestors until now our guilt has been great; on account of our crimes we, our kings and our priests, were given into the power of the kings of other countries, given to the sword, to captivity, to pillage and to shame, as is the case today. But now, suddenly, the Lord our God by his favour has left us a remnant and granted us a refuge in his holy place; this is how our God has cheered our eyes and given us a little respite in our slavery. For we are slaves; but God has not forgotten us in our slavery; he has shown us kindness in the eyes of the kings of Persia, obtaining permission for us to rebuild the Temple of our God and restore its ruins, and he has found us safety and shelter in Judah and in Jerusalem.’

Gospel

Luke 9:1-6

‘Take nothing for the journey’

Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let it be from there. As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere.


Regardless of race, culture, language or religion we all belong to the Human race. Yet do we of the human race recognize one another as fellow children of God our Heavenly Father? If we all say that we do, then why are there so many in world who feel isolated, alone and in some instances ostracized for being different? Are we Christian if we choose to only flock together with fellow Christians in any given setting? Do we mingle only we those we are comfortable with? What about the stranger in our midst?

Where would we be if Jesus did not seek us out? Us as in the ‘Matthews’ of the world? What hope would we have to be made whole? To be healed and transfigured so as to live fully in His love, peace and joy! But because our Lord is all merciful, patient and loving, we have been born again through Him. We have been reconciled to God our Heavenly Father and have hope of eternal life with Him. We have also been graced with different gifts, and yet we have one goal and that is to lead one another into our Heavenly inheritance. We do so by bearing with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Embracing for all time that we are One Body, One Spirit in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour.

I hear You calling me to follow You dear Jesus, mould me to be more like You. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13

We are all to come to unity, fully mature in the knowledge of the Son of God

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

    Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

Gospel

Matthew 9:9-13

It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick

As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

    While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’


For quite a long while this pandemic robbed us of our places of worship! But just as in today’s reading our Lord, the God of Heaven had provided us ways of ‘rebuilding’ or rather adapting to new measures so that we can once come together to worship and receive Him sacramentally.  Indeed what marvels the Lord worked for us! Zoom and many other video conferencing software has united all of us around the world; such that Communion, our One Body with and in Him has greater depth for us.

And so are we grateful? Is the fire of our faith set aflame? Such that we have renewed zeal is to glorify the Lord, giving Him thanks and praise by shining His light for all to see. By our love and through our service of others!

Lord Jesus open our ears to hear Your soft promptings that we may live more fully,  according to Your will for us; as we seek always to glorify You by our lives. Amen

First reading

Ezra 1:1-6

Cyrus king of Persia frees the Jews to return to Jerusalem

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord that was spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom: ‘Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; he has ordered me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah to build the Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel – he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, wherever he lives, be helped by the people of that place with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, as well as voluntary offerings for the Temple of God which is in Jerusalem.”’

    Then the heads of families of Judah and of Benjamin, the priests and the Levites, in fact all whose spirit had been roused by God, prepared to go and rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem; and all their neighbours gave them every assistance with silver, gold, goods, cattle, quantities of costly gifts and with voluntary offerings of every kind.

Gospel

Luke 8:16-18

Anyone who has will be given more

Jesus said to the crowds:

    ‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’

Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Posted: September 18, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Servant of All: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 2:12,17-20

Psalm 54:3-8

James 3:16-4:3

Mark 9:30-37

In today’s First Reading, it’s like we have our ears pressed to the wall and can hear the murderous grumblings of the elders, chief priests, and scribes—who last week Jesus predicted would torture and kill Him (see Mark 8:31; 10:33–34).

The liturgy invites us to see this passage from the Book of Wisdom as a prophecy of the Lord’s Passion. We hear His enemies complain that “the Just One” has challenged their authority, reproached them for breaking the law of Moses, for betraying their training as leaders and teachers.

And we hear chilling words that foreshadow how they will mock Him as He hangs on the Cross: “For if the Just One be the Son of God, He will . . . deliver Him . . . ” (compare Matthew 27:41–43).

Today’s Gospel and Psalm give us the flip side of the First Reading. In both, we hear of Jesus’ sufferings from His point of view. Though His enemies surround Him, He offers Himself freely in sacrifice, trusting that God will sustain Him.

But the Apostles today don’t understand this second announcement of Christ’s Passion. They begin arguing over issues of succession—over who among them is greatest, who will be chosen to lead after Christ is killed.

Again they are thinking not as God but as human beings (see Mark 8:33). And again Jesus teaches the Twelve—the chosen leaders of His Church—that they must lead by imitating His example of love and self-sacrifice. They must be “servants of all,” especially the weak and the helpless —symbolized by the child He embraces and places in their midst.

This is a lesson for us, too. We must have the mind of Christ, who humbled Himself to come among us (see Philippians 2:5–11). We must freely offer ourselves, making everything we do a sacrifice in praise of His name.

As James says in today’s Epistle, we must seek wisdom from above, desiring humility, not glory, and in all things be gentle and full of mercy.25

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 18, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Our Lord is indeed patient, merciful, generous and kind. Whether we deserve or are ready to receive it, He casts seeds of love through His word upon us. How is it then that our hearts are still not fertile enough to receive and bear fruit? Have we not understood that bearing fruit is not a suggestion or recommendation but a duty for us all?

Many of us have encountered the Lord and have been transformed by His loving grace. And as we have journeyed on in His love, we have become noble and of generous heart. At the very least our hearts have become bigger than it was in the past and our capacity to love has increased. Why then have we not bore much fruit? The answer perhaps lies in our lack of perseverance! We give up too easily when faced with uncertainty and in the face of adversity. Our desire for self preservation is greater than our need to bear witness to Christ Jesus our Lord by the carrying our cross. We are not yet fully prepared to suffer His namesake. For truly unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.

Lord Jesus grant me the fortitude, courage and strength to die to myself each day so as to rise in the light of Your resurrection. To take up my cross, follow You and yield a harvest worthy of You. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 6:13-16

I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told

Before God the source of all life and before Christ, who spoke up as a witness for the truth in front of Pontius Pilate, I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who at the due time will be revealed

by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all,

the King of kings and the Lord of lords,

who alone is immortal,

whose home is in inaccessible light,

whom no man has seen and no man is able to see:

to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.

Gospel

Luke 8:4-15

The parable of the sower

With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:

    ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’

    His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, ‘The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that

they may see but not perceive,

listen but not understand.

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.’


The key to unlock the treasure of today’s reading and Gospel is to be found in our response to the responsorial Psalm “How happy are the poor in Spirit; theirs is the Kingdom of God!”

For indeed in today’s Gospel we hear how the women who accompanied Jesus gave all they had to give out of their own resources. Women in that time had little or no standing yet they offered their all to Jesus and His Apostles. How blessed they were to be rich in the fullness of Christ! The Kingdom of God were theirs to be had.

Today’s first reading teaches us how we should remain steadfast to the Truth, the Way and the Life our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and to avoid being tempted by the riches of the world which corrupts. We should continue to strive for holiness, be filled with faith and love, patient and gentle.

Lord Jesus while we may be poor in Spirit, we are rich in Your love, peace and joy. Grant us the grace to lead one another into Your Kingdom by our love. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 6:2-12

We brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it

This is what you are to teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit – with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit. Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, let us be content with that. People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction. ‘The love of money is the root of all evils’ and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.

    But, as a man dedicated to God, you must avoid all that. You must aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith and win for yourself the eternal life to which you were called when you made your profession and spoke up for the truth in front of many witnesses.

Gospel

Luke 8:1-3

The women who accompanied Jesus

Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.


We are all sinners in need of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for through Him alone we have hope of perfection and eternal salvation. And it is foolish of us if we should look upon the sins of others thinking we have not sinned as greatly and are more deserving of our Lord’s company. For even the tiniest speck of sin is great against the immaculate purity of our perfect Lord and God!

That is why all the Saints who have gone before us showed great love for Jesus and for their neighbour. They lived and breathed His commandments to love. For they were humbled in knowing without an inkling of doubt just how much they were loved and that their sins were forgiven by Him who died for love of them. They desired each day to wake and walk in the light of His Resurrection.

Let us therefore continue to strive and encourage one another to be Holy as the Lord our God is Holy. So that one day soon we will rejoice with the Saints in Heaven. Amen

Pope St Cornelius and St Cyprian pray for us.

First reading

1 Timothy 4:12-16

Be an example to all the believers

Do not let people disregard you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity. Make use of the time until I arrive by reading to the people, preaching and teaching. You have in you a spiritual gift which was given to you when the prophets spoke and the body of elders laid their hands on you; do not let it lie unused. Think hard about all this, and put it into practice, and everyone will be able to see how you are advancing. Take great care about what you do and what you teach; always do this, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

Gospel

Luke 7:36-50

Her many sins have been forgiven, or she would not have shown such great love

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

    When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’

    Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 15, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Let us start this day with prayer….

O God, who willed that, when your Son was lifted high on the Cross, his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering, grant that your Church, participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ, may merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever. Amen

Yesterday we exalted the Holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was incarnate by the Holy Spirit, of the Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God and became Man. Who for love of us died on the Cross to redeem us of our sins. And at that very Cross in which our Saviour hung, stood Our Lady of Sorrows his mother. And once again for love of us he gave her to us to be our Mother! To nurture, guide and love us into Heaven. By her own deep sorrows she shows us how we can unite our very own sorrows and sufferings with her Son’s, for the redemption of the World. Mary our Mother, will never abandon us and continues to intercede for us, so that we might be made worthy of the promises of her Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Our Lady of Sorrows pray for us…

First reading

1 Timothy 3:14-16 ·

The mystery of our religion is very deep

At the moment of writing to you, I am hoping that I may be with you soon; but in case I should be delayed, I wanted you to know how people ought to behave in God’s family – that is, in the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is very deep indeed:

He was made visible in the flesh,

attested by the Spirit,

seen by angels,

proclaimed to the pagans,

believed in by the world,

taken up in glory.

Gospel

John 19:25-27

‘Woman, this is your son’

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.


The Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Feast

Today we pause and ponder on the great love of God for us as we exalt the Holy Cross. For it was by the Holy Cross that the gates of Heaven were opened for us. Through the Holy Cross we have hope of eternal life, for our salvation was paid for by our loving Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who was crucified, died and was buried for love of us. On the third He rose again and took His seat at the right hand of God our Heavenly Father. God came down Himself as man, to lay His life down for love of us, so as to pay the debt we could not repay!

By this Holy Cross we can unite our sufferings for the redemption of souls as we are made whole, One with Him and in Him.

We adore You O Christ,

and we bless You;

Because by Your cross

You have redeemed the World. Amen

First reading

Numbers 21:4-9 ·

If anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked up at the bronze serpent and lived

On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’

    At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Gospel

John 3:13-17

God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘No one has gone up to heaven

except the one who came down from heaven,

the Son of Man who is in heaven;

and the Son of Man must be lifted up

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,

so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,

so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost

but may have eternal life.

For God sent his Son into the world

not to condemn the world,

but so that through him the world might be saved.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 13, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Prayer is not simply intercession. There are many forms of prayer and ways to pray, but unless we know who we are and our place before an almighty living God, we make will make no headway in our spiritual journey.

Prayer is a means by which we enter into the presence of the Lord our God with complete trust and reverence. For the greater part it is  about listening to His Word and will for us. Filled with His immense love and peace for us, our hearts cry out in thanksgiving and praise as we honour and worship Him. We entrust our needs and the needs of others by laying them at the feet of Jesus, praying only that His will be done in all of them.  There are greater depths, insights and wonders to prayer, as we will discover onwards in our journey of faith.

Let us be mindful that it is the heart of Jesus that we desire each time we enter into prayer. And that we should seek to pray often together as One with and in Him. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 2:1-8

Pray for everyone to God, who wants everyone to be saved

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and – I am telling the truth and no lie – a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.

    In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

Gospel

Luke 7:1-10

Give the word, and my servant will be healed

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 11, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Following the Messiah: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 50:4-9

Psalm 116:1-6, 8-9

James 2:14-18

Mark 8:27-35

In today’s Gospel, we reach a pivotal moment in our walk with the Lord. After weeks of listening to His words and witnessing His deeds, along with the disciples we’re asked to decide who Jesus truly is.

Peter answers for them, and for us, too, when he declares: “You are the Messiah.” Many expected the Messiah to be a miracle worker who would vanquish Israel’s enemies and restore the kingdom of David (see John 6:15).

Jesus today reveals a different portrait. He calls Himself the Son of Man, evoking the royal figure Daniel saw in his heavenly visions (see Daniel 7:13–14). But Jesus’ kingship is not to be of this world (see John 18:36). And the path to His throne, as He reveals, is by way of suffering and death.

Jesus identifies the Messiah with the suffering servant that Isaiah foretells in today’s First Reading. The words of Isaiah’s servant are Jesus’ words—as He gives Himself to be shamed and beaten, trusting that God will be His help. We hear our Lord’s voice again in today’s Psalm, as He gives thanks that God has freed Him from the cords of death.

As Jesus tells us today, to believe that He is the Messiah is to follow His way of self-denial—losing our lives to save them in order to rise with Him to new life. Our faith, we hear again in today’s Epistle, must express itself in works of love (see Galatians 5:6).

Notice that Jesus questions the Apostles today “along the way.” They are on the way to Jerusalem, where the Lord will lay down His life. We, too, are on a journey with the Lord.

We must take up our cross, giving to others and enduring all our trials for His sake and the sake of the Gospel.

Our lives must be an offering of thanksgiving for the new life He has given us until that day when we reach our destination and walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Catholicjules.net

Posted: September 11, 2021 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Today as I look back, I want to thank and give praise to God for having given me the opportunity to do my little bit in sharing my faith and His Word through this blog. Praise and Glory be His alone!

Catholicjules.net was born 10 years ago when I started truly growing in my faith. Before its birth, I had started blogging a few years earlier under the moniker Juleslife and the title of my Blog was ‘Living Life With A Passion’ which had a garnered a decent enough following. But as I started growing in love with my Lord, I found that truly living life with a passion and in the fullness of life itself, is only to be found in a deep personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

And so with great desire, I wanted to share this truth with others. So I began posting my faith journey both on WordPress as well as on Facebook and started the sharing the links with both family and friends. Needless to say that in the beginning year or so, I had very few followers and wondered if I should continue. Well I prayed about it and decided that the whole idea to begin with was simply to share the faith and of my journey into greater faith. And so if just someone out there in the world was inspired or comforted then that would be enough!

If memory serves me right it was only towards the end of 2012 that I began my personal daily reflections ‘On Today’s Gospel’ and did this from Monday to Saturdays. This of course still continues to this very day. For Sundays, that is on my day of ‘rest’, I would always post Dr Scott Hahn’s Sunday Reflections. Just so you know,  posting everyday six days a week, is not without its many challenges. I had persevered to do so even while on holiday overseas, at retreats, in sickness and in health. And continued to do so even though there were many, many, many, times I just did not feel like doing it! Or having sinned found it extremely difficult to share my reflections without feeling like a hypocrite! Each time however I would pray and entrust everything to Jesus asking Him for His mercy and grace to continue. I would pray to the Holy Spirit to guide me and inspire me, that whatever I shared would be according to His Word and Will for me to share. I am deeply aware of this great responsibility. For always in the back of my mind, I envision myself before the Lord upon my return home to Him, and He asks of me this very question, “I have asked you to feed my sheep and lambs have you fed them well?” I would like to be able to answer “YES Lord I have!” And then to hear Him say to me, “Well done my good and faithful servant, come dine with your master.”

Do pray for me dear sisters and brothers in Christ, that I may continue to share the light of Christ with all. Amen

Here are some of the statistics for Catholicjules.net

Here is a list of the countries who have visited the blog from Jan till Sept 2021

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 11, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What many of us lack is discipline! Did know that the first seven letters of the word discipline is also used to spell Disciple? And for very good reason don’t you think? For how can we be disciples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ if we lack self control, discipline to listen, be faithful and obey His Word for us.  Today the Lord reminds us, ‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say? And what did Jesus say? What were His commandments? He told us that we must be fruitful and apart from loving the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul we must love one another as He loved us.

So what are we doing in order to be fruitful? Have we tilled and enriched the soil of our hearts? By daily, listening attentively to His Word and Will for us? By entering into His presence through prayer and communion? Are we  giving Him thanks and praise? Do we have kind words and thoughts which we share with our brethren? Are we building our relationship with Him and with one another upon our Rock, our Lord and Saviour?

Or are we instead tearing down foundations by our floods of emotions! With Anger, spitefulness, foul thoughts and vile language. Criticising and insulting others, murdering their spirit. Do we plant deceitful ideas against others to defame and destroy their reputations? Do we gossip in the guise of relieving our own stress? Do we then expect mercy when we are anything but merciful!

Yes the Lord our God is indeed patient, merciful and kind but do we really want to take Him for granted?! Woe to us if we do for we will have no peace, love or joy in our hearts.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God have mercy on me a sinner. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 1:15-17

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who would later have to trust in him to come to eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel

Luke 6:43-49

Whoever hears me builds his house on a rock

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.

    ‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?

    ‘Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them – I will show you what he is like. He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built. But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations: as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 10, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Let us spend this day reflecting on our own discipleship after our Master, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For a true disciple of His is a maker of disciples, that is to say the mark of a true disciple is one who has discipled others into following Him. If I am holy then how many are now holy as a result of my holiness? If I am prayerful, how many have I led to prayerfulness? If I go out to the peripheries and seek out the poor and the downtrodden, how many are following in my stead?

Disciples of Christ may lead others, but knows deep in their hearts that they are being led by Him who loves them. While they in the knowledge of their imperfections, they strive for perfection through Him who perfects them. They act justly, love mercy and their greatest desire each day is to walk humbly with their God!

Open my eyes always Lord, to the wonders of Your love! Grant that in Your grace, I shall lead my brethren into walking in Your presence now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 1:1-2,12-14 ·

I used to be a blasphemer, but the mercy of God was shown me

From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus appointed by the command of God our saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, true child of mine in the faith; wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his service even though I used to be a blasphemer and did all I could to injure and discredit the faith. Mercy, however, was shown me, because until I became a believer I had been acting in ignorance; and the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus.

Gospel

Luke 6:39-42

Can the blind lead the blind?

Jesus told a parable to the disciples: ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.’


What can we learn from one another if we have egos larger than ourselves? When we think that wisdom comes with age and experience and the young has nothing to offer us? How are we to bear with one another and forgive when we let our pride and hurts rule our hearts? Who are our enemies? In many cases it is members of our own families, the very people that are hardest to love and yet we must love them! And the greatest enemy in opposition to love is ourselves!

I am an enemy of love when I cannot bear the humility of carrying the cross for Jesus who hung on the cross for love of me. He forgave me my many heinous sins from the cross, yet would I choose to withhold forgiveness for those who have sinned against me? I am an enemy of love when I judge, condemn and drive people far away from me. I am an enemy of love when I bear false witness, gossip and plant seeds of despair. I am an enemy of love when I cannot love my enemies. And so if God is love and I choose not to love, then I am an enemy of God!

Lord Jesus have mercy one me for the many times I have chosen not to love and forgive. Have mercy Lord on all those who have sinned against me. Through your mercy, love and grace I choose to forgive them with all my heart. Teach me how to love as You love me and my brethren. Amen

First reading

Colossians 3:12-17

Be clothed in love

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.

    Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Gospel

Luke 6:27-38

Love your enemies

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

    ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’


On this feast day of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother, whom we love and honour. We see that even today’s readings and Gospel, it shows us God our loving Father’s  plan for our salvation. The Word incarnate was brought forth through the immaculate womb of His chosen daughter, Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother.

God our Heavenly Father can draw straight with crooked lines. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9) And so by His guiding Hand our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Heb 5:9) If anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him (1 JN 2:5) For it is through Christ alone that we are made perfect.

Dearest Mother by your Immaculate Conception you were chosen to be mother of Christ and mother of us all. Intercede for us dear mother so that we might be perfected through Your Son our Lord Jesus and so be made worthy of His promises. Amen

First reading

Micah 5:1-4

He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the Lord

The Lord says this:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

the least of the clans of Judah,

out of you will be born for me

the one who is to rule over Israel;

his origin goes back to the distant past,

to the days of old.

The Lord is therefore going to abandon them

till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.

Then the remnant of his brothers will come back

to the sons of Israel.

He will stand and feed his flock

with the power of the Lord,

with the majesty of the name of his God.

They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power

to the ends of the land.

He himself will be peace.

Gospel

Matthew 1:1-16,18-23

The ancestry and conception of Jesus Christ

A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,

Perez was the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram was the father of Amminadab,

Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,

Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,

Obed was the father of Jesse;

and Jesse was the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,

Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,

Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,

Joram the father of Azariah,

Azariah was the father of Jotham,

Jotham the father of Ahaz,

Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,

Manasseh the father of Amon,

Amon the father of Josiah;

and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.

Then the deportation to Babylon took place.

After the deportation to Babylon:

Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,

Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,

Abiud the father of Eliakim,

Eliakim the father of Azor,

Azor was the father of Zadok,

Zadok the father of Achim,

Achim the father of Eliud,

Eliud was the father of Eleazar,

Eleazar the father of Matthan,

Matthan the father of Jacob;

and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;

of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.

This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son

and they will call him Emmanuel,

a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 7, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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See Jesus prayed and selected only twelve Apostles to be sent, these were consecrated men set apart to preach the Good news of the Gospel, to heal and cast our demons. They were special, Priests after the Lord’s own heart. I cannot do what they do! I am not so Holy as they were, only priests can follow in His footsteps!

By virtue of our very own baptism, we were consecrated, set apart. To be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. We are likewise sent into the world when we are confirmed! Sent to do what? Well to preach if not then to share the Good news of the Gospel, to heal and cast our demons even, if we are so empowered by Christ to do so. For nothing is impossible for the Lord our God. Do you think He loves His priests more than His flock or vice versa? All of us are called to carry our cross and to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And while we all possess different gifts and talents we all have the same mission!

Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will! Amen

First reading

Colossians 2:6-15

The Lord has brought you to life with him

You must live your whole life according to the Christ you have received – Jesus the Lord; you must be rooted in him and built on him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and full of thanksgiving.

    Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some second-hand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ.

    In his body lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment, in the one who is the head of every Sovereignty and Power.

    In him you have been circumcised, with a circumcision not performed by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your body of flesh. This is circumcision according to Christ. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and had not been circumcised: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us all our sins.

    He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the cross; and so he got rid of the Sovereignties and the Powers, and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession.

Gospel

Luke 6:12-19

Jesus chooses his twelve apostles

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

    He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 6, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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No one likes or wants to suffer but the fact is that throughout the centuries we are and always will be a suffering Church! For this it what it means to take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour who suffered, died and was buried for our sins and on the third day rose again so that we might have eternal life with Him. And so uniting our suffering with His redemptive suffering we are renewed and proclaim by our actions that we have chosen to remain in humble servitude of Him and one another. For our suffering if and when we must suffer is, for Love of Him and for His Holy Church made up of the Children of God.

In Today’s Gospel despite knowing he will face opposition, objections, rejection and even plots of death , Jesus chooses love above everything. He heals the man out of love and teaches by example that the choice to love must come first above all else.

Lord Jesus teach me to love above all. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:24-2:3

God’s message was a mystery hidden for generations

It makes me happy to suffer for you, as I am suffering now, and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church. I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to them and to show all the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ. It is for this I struggle wearily on, helped only by his power driving me irresistibly.

    Yes, I want you to know that I do have to struggle hard for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for so many others who have never seen me face to face. It is all to bind you together in love and to stir your minds, so that your understanding may come to full development, until you really know God’s secret in which all the jewels of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

Gospel

Luke 6:6-11

Is it against the law on the sabbath to save life?

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’ Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 4, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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All Things Well: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 35:4–7

Psalm 146:7–10

James 2:1–5

Mark 7:31–37

The incident in today’s Gospel is recorded only by Mark. The key line is what the crowd says at the end: “He has done all things well.” In the Greek, this echoes the creation story, recalling that God saw all the things He had done and declared them good (see Genesis 1:31).

Mark also deliberately evokes Isaiah’s promise, which we hear in today’s First Reading, that God will make the deaf hear and the mute speak. He even uses a Greek word to describe the man’s condition (mogilalon = “speech impediment”) that’s only found in one other place in the Bible—in the Greek translation of today’s Isaiah passage, where the prophet describes the “dumb” singing.

The crowd recognizes that Jesus is doing what the prophet had foretold. But Mark wants us to see something far greater—that, to use the words from today’s First Reading: “Here is your God.”

Notice how personal and physical the drama is in the Gospel. Our focus is drawn to a hand, a finger, ears, a tongue, spitting. In Jesus, Mark shows us, God has truly come in the flesh.

What He has done is to make all things new, a new creation (see Revelation 21:1–5). As Isaiah promised, He has made the living waters of Baptism flow in the desert of the world. He has set captives free from their sins, as we sing in today’s Psalm. He has come that rich and poor might dine together in the Eucharistic feast, as James tells us in today’s Epistle.

He has done for each of us what He did for that deaf mute. He has opened our ears to hear the Word of God and loosed our tongues that we might sing praises to Him.

Let us then give thanks to our glorious Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Let us say with Isaiah, “Here is our God, He comes to save us.” Let us be rich in faith, that we might inherit the kingdom promised to those who love Him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 4, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Observe a buffet spread at a retreat, how many will wait for children or the elderly to get their food first? Women then men? What about going up a tour bus? Have you seen folks scrambling to secure choicest seats near to the priest giving a talk in an auditorium?  Or wanting only to seat in pews right up front in a Sunday Mass shooing off the ushers? Or what happens when folks stroll in and find their regular seats taken? Have you witness folks making blind to the elderly tottering late into a jam packed Mass? Where is the love for neighbour? Where is the love for Christ? Whom is it that we love, honour and worship?

Are we persevering in our faith when there is bickering amongst ourselves? When we behave uncharitably towards one another? Is there love for the Lord our God in our every thought, word and action? How are we reflecting the love of our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us to that we are able to appear before Him holy, pure and blameless?

Change my heart oh God,

Make it ever true.

Change my heart oh God,

May I be like You. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:21-23 ·

God has reconciled you by Christ’s death in his mortal body

Not long ago, you were foreigners and enemies, in the way that you used to think and the evil things that you did; but now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body. Now you are able to appear before him holy, pure and blameless – as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the Good News, which you have heard, which has been preached to the whole human race, and of which I, Paul, have become the servant.

Gospel

Luke 6:1-5

The Son of Man is master of the sabbath

One sabbath Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath day?’ Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry how he went into the house of God, took the loaves of offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which only the priests are allowed to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’


Had we not adapted and moved with the changes then everything we held fast in the Church would have been swept away by the Pandemic. Yes many have indeed been swept away by its currents  and it is left to us disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, to constantly reach out to them and bring them safely back to shore.

We never took our focus off our Lord and Saviour whom we know with every fibre of our very being, He truly is Lord of all creation; and that through Him alone we shall have new life with and in Him. We the Church are His Body and He is our Head, and the gates of Hades will never prevail over it!

And so we shall suffer for His namesake if we must and face challenges of the world head on. As we persevere to serve Him and one another for His Glory. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:15-20 ·

All things were created through Christ and for Christ

Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God

and the first-born of all creation,

for in him were created

all things in heaven and on earth:

everything visible and everything invisible,

Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers –

all things were created through him and for him.

Before anything was created, he existed,

and he holds all things in unity.

Now the Church is his body,

he is its head.

As he is the Beginning,

he was first to be born from the dead,

so that he should be first in every way;

because God wanted all perfection

to be found in him

and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,

everything in heaven and everything on earth,

when he made peace

by his death on the cross.

Gospel

Luke 5:33-39

When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast

The Pharisees and the scribes said to Jesus, ‘John’s disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees too, but yours go on eating and drinking.’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely you cannot make the bridegroom’s attendants fast while the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come, the time for the bridegroom to be taken away from them; that will be the time when they will fast.’

    He also told them this parable, ‘No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak; if he does, not only will he have torn the new one, but the piece taken from the new will not match the old.

    ‘And nobody puts new wine into old skins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and then run out, and the skins will be lost. No; new wine must be put into fresh skins. And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. “The old is good” he says.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 2, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The Lord calls all of us to discipleship,  which in essence is fidelity to His Word and Will for us. Do you remember your call to discipleship? How on many occasions you felt the Lord call you to a task and how you agonized over whether it was His call or your own mind playing tricks. But the call grew louder as your heart started thumping hard. You then decided to cast away your fears and feelings of inadequacy to move forward with His task for you. Then lo and behold, you look back and saw His grace upon everything. You were His partner, a powerful instrument of His grace in the lives of others! 

This is what happens when we place all our trust and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He will make all things new! All we have to do is say Yes!

“Yes Lord I leave everything behind and I follow You. Lead me Lord.” Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:9-14 ·

God has taken us out of the power of darkness

Ever since the day we heard about you, we have never failed to pray for you, and what we ask God is that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will. So you will be able to lead the kind of life which the Lord expects of you, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects; showing the results in all the good actions you do and increasing your knowledge of God. You will have in you the strength, based on his own glorious power, never to give in, but to bear anything joyfully, thanking the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit the light.

    Because that is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.

Gospel

Luke 5:1-11

They left everything and followed him

Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

    When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.

    When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.