On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 23, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

There is no right time to do the right thing. We do the right thing always just as we live our Christian values all the time. We do so because we are loved by our Heavenly Father and because of our loving relationship with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit we live out our calling through the gifts and charisms we have been given.

And so we are able to recognise the Lord our God in the love shown by our fellow Christian brothers and sisters around the world. We must continue to strive for unity as our Lord deems that we should be One. Even when faced with rejection or difficulty, let us choose to love and be the first to do so. Amen

First reading

James 4:13-17
You cannot know what will happen tomorrow

Here is the answer for those of you who talk like this: ‘Today or tomorrow, we are off to this or that town; we are going to spend a year there, trading, and make some money.’
You never know what will happen tomorrow: you are no more than a mist that is here for a little while and then disappears. The most you should ever say is: ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we shall still be alive to do this or that.’ But how proud and sure of yourselves you are now! Pride of this kind is always wicked. Everyone who knows what is the right thing to do and doesn’t do it commits a sin.

Gospel

Mark 9:38-40
You must not stop anyone from working miracles in my name

John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

We look at Adam and Eve and think to ourselves, No we would never do what they did. And yet we do likewise nonetheless. When we choose our careers and ambitions above all else. When we decide on our own what is best for us. When we give in to temptation and sin to satisfy our desires. When we choose not to heed our Christian call to love and be holy. When there is little or no time for prayer or to be in His presence.

How then can we truly love our family let alone friend or neighbour? For to love them as we ought to, can only come from our love of the Lord our God. For God is love, life giving liberating love. A love that wills the good in another. For by His love we become little to ourselves and our love grows bigger for others. By His love we can love the stranger amongst us and welcome them as His children our brethren.

Lord teach me to love as You do. Amen

First reading

James 4:1-10
Resist the devil and he will run away

Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you haven’t got it; so you are prepared to kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force. Why you don’t have what you want is because you don’t pray for it; when you do pray and don’t get it, it is because you have not prayed properly, you have prayed for something to indulge your own desires.
You are as unfaithful as adulterous wives; don’t you realise that making the world your friend is making God your enemy? Anyone who chooses the world for his friend turns himself into God’s enemy. Surely you don’t think scripture is wrong when it says: the spirit which he sent to live in us wants us for himself alone? But he has been even more generous to us, as scripture says: God opposes the proud but he gives generously to the humble. Give in to God, then; resist the devil, and he will run away from you. The nearer you go to God, the nearer he will come to you. Clean your hands, you sinners, and clear your minds, you waverers. Look at your wretched condition, and weep for it in misery; be miserable instead of laughing, gloomy instead of happy. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.

Gospel

Mark 9:30-37
Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me

Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 21, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What sort of faith do you have? Is it one centred on your personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ? Or something else altogether?

No one who claims to have faith in Jesus can go about doing as they please. For to have faith in our Lord is to love Him. And to love Him is to put that love into action for Him and for our brethren. We persevere through prayer, even times of fasting. Our little sacrifices for the love of brethren and of a Him will be lifted up and sanctified.

Let us strive to be faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Mary Blessed Mother of our church, pray for us. Amen

First reading

James 3:13-18
Show wisdom and avoid ambition

If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions. But if at heart you have the bitterness of jealousy, or a self-seeking ambition, never make any claims for yourself or cover up the truth with lies – principles of this kind are not the wisdom that comes down from above: they are only earthly, animal and devilish. Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.

Gospel

Mark 9:14-29
Help the little faith I have!

When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’

Pentecost Sunday

Posted: May 19, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

A New Wind:

Scott Hahn Reflects
on Pentecost Sunday

Readings:

Acts 2:1–11
Ps 104:1, 24, 29–31, 34
1 Cor 12:3–7, 12–13
Jn 20:19–23

The giving of the Spirit to the new people of God crowns the mighty acts of the Father in salvation history.
The Jewish feast of Pentecost called all devout Jews to Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God’s chosen people in the covenant Law given to Moses at Sinai (Leviticus 23:15–21; Deuteronomy 16:9–11).
In today’s First Reading, the mysteries prefigured in that feast are fulfilled in the pouring out of the Spirit on Mary and the Apostles (Acts 1:14).
The Spirit seals the new law and new covenant brought by Jesus, written not on stone tablets but on the hearts of believers, as the prophets promised (Jeremiah 31:31–34; 2 Corinthians 3:2–8; Romans 8:2).
The Spirit is revealed as the life-giving breath of the Father, the Wisdom by which He made all things, as we sing in today’s Psalm.
In the beginning, the Spirit came as a “mighty wind” sweeping over the face of the earth (Genesis 1:2). And in the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit again comes as “a strong, driving wind” to renew the face of the earth.
As God fashioned the first man out of dust and filled him with His Spirit (Genesis 2:7), in today’s Gospel we see the New Adam become a life-giving Spirit, breathing new life into the Apostles (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47).
Like a river of living water, for all ages He will pour out His Spirit on His body, the Church, as we hear in today’s Epistle (John 7:37–39).
We receive that Spirit in the sacraments, being made a “new creation” in Baptism (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).
Drinking of the one Spirit in the Eucharist (1 Corinthians 10:4), we are the first fruits of a new humanity—fashioned from out of every nation under heaven, with no distinctions of wealth or language or race, a people born of the Spirit.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 19, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We all have different roles to play in building our Lord’s kingdom. All we need to do is be faithful and obedient to His will for us. We should not concern ourselves what others are doing or not doing. If we just focus on what we are called to do then we will all work in harmony towards our shared objectives.

It is our Lord Jesus that unites us and sets us free to share in His love. We are never alone in our endeavours. And while some of us need to undergo suffering there is promise of new life with Him.

Lord be with me now and forever. Amen

First reading

Acts 28:16-20,30-31
In Rome, Paul proclaimed the kingdom of God without hindrance from anyone

On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him.
After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, ‘Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty; but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any accusation to make against my own nation. That is why I have asked to see you and talk to you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.’
Paul spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete freedom and without hindrance from anyone.

Gospel

John 21:20-25
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and we know that his testimony is true

Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’ Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.’ The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, ‘He will not die’, but, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come.’
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true.
There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 18, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How much do we truly love the Lord our God? Do we place an enconomical value? Or some kind of measure? If we do then the widow’s mite, the finding of the lost coin, the prodigal son and many like these will make no sense whatsoever. We will sound more like Judas lamenting over the wastage of the jar of expensive ointment on the feet of Jesus. Jesus whom we claim to adore with all our heart, mind and soul!

Yet hear His call to discipleship. Are you willing to give me all your love? Total and selfless? To love the least of your brethren as I the Lord have loved you?
Then put to action your love for me and feed my lambs. Feed my sheep.

Lord I place myself at your feet, command me as You will. Amen

First reading

Acts 25:13-21
‘I ordered Paul to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar’

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. Their visit lasted several days, and Festus put Paul’s case before the king. ‘There is a man here’ he said ‘whom Felix left behind in custody, and while I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews laid information against him, demanding his condemnation. But I told them that Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge. So they came here with me, and I wasted no time but took my seat on the tribunal the very next day and had the man brought in. When confronted with him, his accusers did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected; but they had some argument or other with him about their own religion and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive. Not feeling qualified to deal with questions of this sort, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be tried there on this issue. But Paul put in an appeal for his case to be reserved for the judgement of the august emperor, so I ordered him to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar.’

Gospel

John 21:15-19
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep

Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

‘I tell you most solemnly,
when you were young
you put on your own belt
and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.’

In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’

Love

Posted: May 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections, Photos