Time and time again we hear how the spoken Word of God breathes life to where there is none. How it turns hearts from stone into flesh. Brings about renewal and change otherwise thought impossible.

Yet many still refuse to embrace and live the Word of God in their lives. They choose instead to live out their days as closet Christians (Catholics). Happy to simply attend the Eucharistic Celebration as an obligation then go about their week trying their best to avoid sin and temptations. Is this the life the Lord our God wants for us?

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (Jn 10:10) says the Lord and so we must open our hearts to receive our Risen Lord Jesus Christ deep into our very being. We should then desire to live in His light by being the light for others. And soon we will become great instruments of His grace and mercy so that those who live in darkness will be lead into the light of Christ. This is how we truly live grace filled lives to the full. Through Him, with Him and in Him. 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 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Prudent Stewards: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Amos 8:4–7
Psalm 113:1–2, 4–6, 7–8
1 Timothy 2:1–8
Luke 16:1–13

The steward in today’s Gospel confronts the reality that he can’t go on living the way he has been. He is under judgment. He must give account for what he has done.
The exploiters of the poor in today’s First Reading are also about to be pulled down, to be thrust from their stations (see Isaiah 22:19). Servants of mammon or money, they’re so in love with wealth that they reduce the poor to objects; they despise the new moons and sabbaths—the observances and holy days of God (see Leviticus 23:24; Exodus 20:8).

Their only hope is to follow the steward’s path. He is no model of repentance. But he makes a prudent calculation—to use his last hours in charge of his master’s property to show mercy to others, to relieve their debts.

He is a child of this world, driven by a purely selfish motive—to make friends and be welcomed into the homes of his master’s debtors. Yet his prudence is commended as an example to us, the children of light (see 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Ephesians 5:8). We too must realize, as the steward does, that what we have is not honestly ours, but in truth belongs to another, our Master.
All the mammon in the world could not have paid the debt we owe our Master. So He paid it for us. He gave His life as a ransom for all, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

God wants everyone to be saved, even kings and princes, even the lovers of money (see Luke 16:14). But we cannot serve two masters. By His grace, we should choose to be, as we sing in today’s Psalm, “servants of the Lord.”

We serve Him by using what He has entrusted us with to give alms, to lift the lowly from the dust and dunghills of this world. By this we will gain what is ours and be welcomed into eternal dwellings, the many mansions of the Father’s house (see John 14:2).


Ah how I wish I could declare like St Paul, that I am a prisoner in the Lord! Then I will not demand to be treated fairly. To be included or affirmed! To be recognised and thanked. To be loved in return for having loved!

Being His prisoner would liberate me from the cares of this world! I can face all hardship, trials and tribulations for I am not alone. My Lord is yoked with me!

I am a sinful man not worthy yet to be called a prisoner of my Lord Jesus Christ, so I turn to Him for His mercy and grace. That one day soon I will mature in my faith and in the fullness of Christ my Lord Himself. 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 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.’


Image  —  Posted: September 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Memory Book


Praying and going for regular Mass and Adoration does not make one Holy and so there is no need. A praying community does not help in spiritual growth, if members do not come for meetings we must find out the ‘real’ reason why they do not and change ourselves first. These are words from a brother serving in ministry for more than ten years and still serving! What keeps him going is when parishioners smile at him from time to time. Then there are those who congregate for drinks and merry making and part of their activity is to gossip about church members who are ‘unholy’ or who have appeared ‘Holy’ but have sinned greatly by cheating, stealing or having affairs. Really? So we can see clearly how the struggles with the early Church communities in the days of St Paul are prevalent today and very likely in the ages to come.

Yes indeed we are all sinners and because we are all sinners it is all the more we need our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives! That is why we strive for holiness by praying, by learning the will of God for us through His Word, by sitting by His feet before the Blessed Sacrament, by receiving Him and many graces through the reception of Holy Eucharist. So then we can grow and draw closer to Him each time. Yes we may fall from time to time yet we know He is patiently waiting for us when we seek Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to minister to us and set us free. We must therefore be outward looking in our faith, to reach out to others and to be there for others so as to lead them closer to Christ. Never ever neglecting the poor and those living in the peripheries.

In today’s Gospel although we hear little of the women mentioned they were all dedicated women of faith who devoted their lives in serving our Lord and the community. What little they must have had on their own yet they offered it all up. Women such as these, together with our Blessed Mother continue to be great models for us to follow. They carry their crosses in love for our Lord and for their fellow sisters and brothers. 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.

An inspiration to share with all who are serving in Ministry

Posted: September 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Prayers

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. (Rm 16:17)

What does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (Deu 10:12)

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim 2-5)

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
( Hebrews 10:24–25)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.(Heb 12:14)

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , , ,

O Lord why do you love me so?

All those years You gently called me home to You and I walked on further away in silence. For had I responded I would have said” Leave me alone I want to live my life my own way!”

O Lord why do you love me so?

And so I ‘loved’ and lived a sinful life exploring the many forms of sexual delights. Unbridled tongue wielded as I pleased. Who was I? But one shrouded in my own mystery.

O Lord why do you love me so?

The further I travelled down the wide open road the harder my heart became. The seven daily Sins were my companions! Who could love me now? When I did know or understand love? Love is something you say or ‘do’ to get what you want!

O Lord why do you love me so?

Troubled, restless, despairing at my loss of my identity retaining only a shred of sanity and a tiny morsel of human dignity, I found myself at Your feet before the Blessed Sacrament weeping for all I had done and all I had failed to do. Then I set my gaze upon You and saw that You loved me and had never stopped! I was liberated from a debt I could not pay! You O Lord are Love!

I no longer ask “O Lord why do you love me so?” But instead ask, “Lord have I loved You more this day.” Amen

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 exhaling 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.’