On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 7, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

O loving and ever living Lord, my God. I thank and praise You for the gift of my life living in You.
I thank You for the gift of my baptism, for I too can drink of the living water and not thirst. When my spirit droops a little, I have You to lift me up.

I worship, praise, thank and love You with all my heart, all my strength and all my soul. You are my rock, my comfort and it is You alone who give me rest and strengthen me.

I stand ready Lord, to serve You and my brethren, guide me according to Your Will. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 40:25-31

‘To whom could you liken me and who could be my equal?’ says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look.
Who made these stars
if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name?
So mighty is his power, so great his strength, that not one fails to answer.

How can you say, Jacob, how can you insist, Israel, ‘My destiny is hidden from the Lord, my rights are ignored by my God’? Did you not know? Had you not heard?

The Lord is an everlasting God, he created the boundaries of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming.
He gives strength to the wearied, he strengthens the powerless. Young men may grow tired and weary, youths may stumble,but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles. They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire.

Gospel
Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus exclaimed, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 6, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Never allow sin to rob you of the oasis to be found in the Lord our God. For the weight of sin weigh heavy for each and every one has a price and consequence. It will blind, deafen and maime so that reconciliation seems impossible.

Never be discouraged nor should you fear. For such is the tender, merciful love of our Lord that He seeks you out. Cry out to Him and He will come. He will liberate you from all snares, embrace and carry you home with Him.  And all of heaven will rejoice.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 40:1-11

‘Console my people, console them’ says your God. ‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Make a straight highway for our God across the desert. Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low. Let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice commands, ‘Cry!’
and I answered, ‘What shall I cry?’”
– ‘All flesh is grass
and its beauty like the wild flower’s. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on them. (The grass is without doubt the people.) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.’

Go up on a high mountain,
joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem. Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’

Here is the Lord coming with power, his arm subduing all things to him. The prize of his victory is with him, his trophies all go before him. He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Gospel
Matthew 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 5, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Through Jesus we truly have life. For I can remember the dry weary desert of a live lived without Him. Through the powerful sacrament of reconciliation all my burdens were lifted. Jesus freed me, and then I could hear, see, touch and feel Him. Praise You Jesus, thank You Jesus.

But even today many still will not go for the Sacrament of reconciliation. They say the same thing uttered by the scribes and Pharisees long ago, “who can forgive sins but God?” Yet is it not God who said to His Apostles, His Priests, whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven?” Is it then not the power of God through His Priests that reconciles us to Himself?

Let us the laity too, perform our priestly duty. Like the men who carried the paralyzed man on the bed. Let us too in faith bring those who are paralyzed, frozen spiritually to Jesus. So that He will heal them and set them free to praise God. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 35:1-10

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom, let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.

The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God.

Strengthen all weary hands,
steady all trembling knees
and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look, your God is coming,
vengeance is coming, the retribution of God; he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongues of the dumb sing for for water gushes in the streams in the wasteland the scorched earth becomes a lake the parched land springs of water.

The lairs where the jackals used to live become thickets of reed and papyrus…

And through it will run a highway undefiled which shall be called the Sacred Way; the unclean may not travel by it,
nor fools stray along it.

No lion will be there nor any fierce beast roam about it, but the redeemed will walk there,
for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.

They will come to Zion shouting for joy, everlasting joy on their faces; joy and gladness will go with them
and sorrow and lament be ended.

Gospel
Luke 5:17-26

Jesus was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing. Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’;– he said to the paralysed man– ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

Second Sunday in Advent

Posted: December 3, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Kingdom ComeScott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday in Advent

Readings:
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Romans 15:4-9
Matthew 3:1-12

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” John proclaims. And the Liturgy today paints us a vivid portrait of our new king and the shape of the kingdom He has come to bring.

The Lord whom John prepares the way for in today’s Gospel is the righteous king prophesied in today’s First Reading and Psalm. He is the king’s son, the son of David—a shoot from the root of Jesse, David’s father (see Ruth 4:17).

He will be the Messiah, anointed with the Holy Spirit (see 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Kings 1:39; Psalm 2:2), endowed with the seven gifts of the Spirit—wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

He will rule with justice, saving the poor from the ruthless and wicked. His rule will be not only over Israel—but will extend from sea to sea, to the ends of the earth. He will be a light, a signal to all nations. And they will seek Him and pay Him homage.

In Him, all the tribes of the earth will find blessing. The covenant promise to Abraham (see Genesis 12:3), renewed in God’s oath to David (see Psalm 89:4,28), will be fulfilled in His dynasty. And His name will be blessed forever.

In Christ, God confirms His oath to Israel’s patriarchs, Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. But no longer are God’s promises reserved solely for the children of Abraham. The Gentiles, too, will glorify God for His mercy. Once strangers, in Christ they will be included in “the covenants of promise” (see Ephesians 2:12).

John delivers this same message in the Gospel. Once God’s chosen people were hewn from the rock of Abraham (see Isaiah 51:1-2). Now, God will raise up living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5)—children of Abraham born not of flesh and blood but of the Spirit.

This is the meaning of the fiery baptism He brings—making us royal heirs of the kingdom of heaven, the Church.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 3, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Too many in the world are without hope, comfort and healing. They live out their lives in darkness slowly withering away. Why?

Perhaps some of us still think that in today’s Gospel it was only the Apostles who were sent to proclaim the Good news of God’s Kingdom and bring healing. But in actual fact by our confirmation and after every Eucharistic Celebration we are continually sent into the world to do likewise. And if each and everyone of us went out in faith, nourished and equipped through the graces received in the Sacraments; then the light of Christ would shine through the hearts of His people. The World as we know it will be a much brighter one where peace and love reigns.

We can only offer what we receive. We can only receive when our hands and hearts are open to receive. They are only opened when we decide, desire that His Word and Will come first in our lives. We seek to deepen our relationship with Him through prayer and His living Word in scripture.

First reading
Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26

Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more. He will be gracious to you when he hears your cry; when he hears he will answer. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, follow it.’ He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. Your cattle will graze, that day, in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat a salted fodder, winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter– like the light of seven days in one– on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people and heals the bruises his blows have left.

Lord Jesus, here I am. Use me. Amen

Gospel
Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 2, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Why do we lose sight of the glory of the Lord in our lives? Why do we allow temptations to distract us? Giving in to sin blinds us and robs us of eternal light. So each time we find ourselves in that situation we should ask ourselves, do we love sin more or Jesus?

Jesus our healer and deliverer has come to restore our sight. To restore our broken relationship which was a consequence of sin. So let us cry out on faith to Him to have mercy on us. For He will heal our contrite hearts so that we can live in His light now and forever.

O Holy Spirit protect and guide us, so that we may always walk the path of righteousness. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 29:17-24

The Lord says this:

In a short time, a very short time, shall not Lebanon become fertile land and fertile land turn into forest?
The deaf, that day, will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord even more and the poorest exult in the Holy One of Israel; for tyrants shall be no more, and scoffers vanish, and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil: those who gossip to incriminate others,
those who try at the gate to trip the arbitrator and get the upright man’s case dismissed for groundless reasons.

Therefore the Lord speaks,
the God of the House of Jacob,
Abraham’s redeemer: No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
no more shall his face grow pale, for he shall see what my hands have done in his midst,
he shall hold my name holy.
They will hallow the Holy One of Jacob, stand in awe of the God of Israel. Erring spirits will learn wisdom and murmurers accept instruction.

Gospel
Matthew 9:27-31

As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, ‘Take care that no one learns about this.’ But when they had gone, they talked about him all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 1, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys


How do I do the will of my Heavenly Father when I don’t know it? Well why don’t you know it?

He speaks to us everyday and most powerfully when we listen to Him in prayer. And through His living Word. His will is written on our open hearts to receive Him. For this is what it means to build upon the rock.

Many are serving in the name of Jesus but are not serving with His mind and heart. And unless we serve others with His mind and heart, calling out the name of Jesus will not save us.

Lord Jesus be by guide always, so that all I say and do may be pleasing to God our Heavenly Father. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 26:1-6

That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us. Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one
whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace, because she trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is the everlasting Rock; he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel; he brings it down, brings it down to the ground,
flings it down in the dust: the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.

Gospel
Matthew 7:21,24-27

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. ‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’