On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 25, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

If we want to compare ourselves with others which we should not, lest we see them as a benchmark to see how we are progressing; then let us compare ourselves with the saints now in heaven. Have we grown in holiness? Are we leading virtuous lives? Are we more loving and merciful? Are we attentive to the needs of others? Do others see the light of Christ within us?

The Word of God was always near and dear to the hearts of our beloved Saints who exemplified His Word through their loving works of mercy. They cared tenderly for the least of their brethren whom they saw as Jesus Himself.

Sisters and brothers, we may still be very far off on our journey towards sainthood, but let us encouraged one another. As we take little steps in the right direction on the narrow path. Let our Lord’s Word be a lamp unto our feet. Amen

First reading

Proverbs 21:1-6,10-13
On wickedness and virtue

Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of the Lord,who turns it where he pleases.

A man’s conduct may strike him as upright,the Lord, however, weighs the heart.

To act virtuously and with justice is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eye, proud heart, lamp of the wicked, nothing but sin.

The hardworking man is thoughtful, and all is gain;too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.

To make a fortune with the help of a lying tongue, such the idle fantasy of those who look for death.

The wicked man’s soul is intent on evil,he looks on his neighbour with dislike.

When a mocker is punished, the ignorant man grows wiser,when a wise man is instructed he acquires more knowledge.

The Just One watches the house of the wicked:he hurls the wicked to destruction.

He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry shall himself plead and not be heard.

Gospel

Luke 8:19-21
‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God’

The mother and the brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 24, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Most live their lives as though the Lord our God is absent. They become impatient with their children, spouses, family members, community. They delay to tend to their needs as inertia sets in. And unchecked may lead to violent tendencies when their own wants and needs are not met. How then can we expect love of neighbour? Where is the love in anything they say and do? Absent while the Lord is ‘absent’?

The Lord our God is present all the time. Those who know this will not tarry. Even though they themselves may be tired, they will move for love of Him and neighbour. They do not live lives of duplicity and strive for Holiness. The light of Christ shines within them and so they become beacons of His love and grace.

Lord Jesus let me always live in Your presence, now and forever. Amen

First reading

Proverbs 3:27-34
The Lord blesses the home of the virtuous

My son, do not refuse a kindness to anyone who begs it, if it is in your power to perform it.

Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go away! Come another time! I will give it you tomorrow’, if you can do it now.
Do not plot harm against your neighbour as he lives unsuspecting next door.
Do not pick a groundless quarrel with a man who has done you no harm.
Do not emulate the man of violence, never model your conduct on his; for the wilful wrong-doer is abhorrent to the Lord, who confides only in honest men.
The Lord’s curse lies on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the virtuous.
He mocks those who mock, but accords his favour to the humble.

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 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

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.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We reap what we sow. What it boils down to is our choice. Do we choose to put the Lord our God first in our lives or allow the world to rule it? Some examples of the latter would be to watch television, play games over family prayer and reflection. Skip community prayer meetings for leisurely activitues. So again we reap what we sow.

The Word of God gives life, loving and living the word in our lives bears fruit for us, our family, our community, our church and all who share in it. We become more and more like our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ in our words and actions. And so choosing to die in Him we will rise in Him.

Plant your word deep into my being Lord, so that I may always bear fruit for You. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 15:35-37,42-49
The resurrected body is heavenly by nature

Someone may ask, ‘How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?’ They are stupid questions. Whatever you sow in the ground has to die before it is given new life and the thing that you sow is not what is going to come; you sow a bare grain, say of wheat or something like that, It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised it embodies the spirit.
If the soul has its own embodiment, so does the spirit have its own embodiment. The first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul; but the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, first the one with the soul, not the spirit, and after that, the one with the spirit. The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. As this earthly man was, so are we on earth; and as the heavenly man is, so are we in heaven. And we, who have been modelled on the earthly man, will be modelled on the heavenly man.

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.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

We will all come to the realisation that we have to rely on one another’s gifts and talents in order to accomplish targets and goals with finesse. This is especially so if we are to give glory to God in building His kingdom. The key as St Paul shares with us is to do so in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Bearing with one another. For me as for many, selflessness is the greatest obstacle. What is in it for me? Why must I sacrifice my time? Why must I do more than the others? Why must I suffer? Why should I do so for strangers?

Maturity in Christ is in embracing the knowledge that He gave Himself totally and completely for the love of us by dying on the cross. So that we might be liberated from our sins and certain death. By His example we are called to love one another especially the stranger and least of our brethren amongst us. We can do so by growing and deepening our relationship with Him through His Word. Living according to His will for us and striving for Holiness.

Then together with our master, we will rejoice with every soul we have touched through His grace and led to His kingdom. We will bear fruit as we are called to do. Amen

St Matthew pray for us..

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 tol 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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest. This is the call of our loving Saviour who wants to set you free from all the sins you carry. What is your response? Continue to wallow in your misery? Try to break free by your own strength and efforts? Why continue to walk in circles? Seek out our Lord on your knees, weeping for your sins. He will heal, restore and sanctify you.

For Jesus knows your capability and capacity to love. He will transform you to become powerful instruments of His grace. Who better to spread the Gospel of God’s love then the sinner who once was lost but now is found. Who was without hope or love but now is filled with joy and Peace.

Lord Jesus I know without a doubt that you truly love me a sinner with all your heart. Let me be the disciple you want me to be. So that I may teach transgressors your ways and lead them to your abounding love. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
I preached what the others preach, and you all believed

Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything.
Well then, in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it.
I am the least of the apostles; in fact, since I persecuted the Church of God, I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless. On the contrary, I, or rather the grace of God that is with me, have worked harder than any of the others; but what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.

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 19, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Have you encountered a stubborn, opinionated, disobedient child in your lifetime? Refusing to listen to reason or to be embraced by loving, nurturing hands? Take a good look in the mirror for if you do not have a loving relationship with the Lord your God then you are that very child!

Then there are children who have responded to the call to service because they had encountered the Lord. Some however have not grounded themselves on His Word but have relied on their own limited knowledge, gifts and talents to serve. Others do the bare minimum for their faith. How can you share hope, faith and love in and for the Lord, when you have little or none of these present in your own lives?

Lord Jesus to know you is to love you. To love you fills me with hope and peace. Let my faith grow in your love. Nourish me with your Word, that filled with your love I may serve you and my brethren faithfully. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
The supremacy of charity

Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them.
If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.
Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.
In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Gospel

Luke 7:31-35
‘We played the pipes, and you wouldn’t dance’

Jesus said to the people:
‘What description can I find for the men of this generation? What are they like? They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market-place:

‘“We played the pipes for you,
and you wouldn’t dance;
we sang dirges,
and you wouldn’t cry.”

‘For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet Wisdom has been proved right by all her children.’