While In Adoration

Posted: October 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Sat 20th October 2018

While in Adoration this late morning as I was praying and lifting the prayer intentions of those who have requested prayers; for my own family and communities. I was prompted to pray for the conversion and repentance of those who have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit before they are eternally dammed.

Earlier that morning just before the Eucharistic Celebration began as I was reflecting on the Gospel, this inspiration came to mind; that if someone were to ask you how does one blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Simply share this….

The Holy Spirit is the combined love of God the Father and God the Son. By rejecting the mercy and love of the Holy trinity, You are rejecting the One living God. That in short is blaspheming against the Holy spirit.

According to John Paul II, the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit “consists…in refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the cross. If man rejects the ‘convincing concerning sin’ which comes from the Holy Spirit,” he is in essence rejecting the “redemptive power of Christ’s blood” (46). And this “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness [of sin],” and correspondingly the person claims the right to “persist in evil” (46).

So as I prayed for all those who knowingly or unknowingly have done so, I was then led to see the total opposite…..

“Blessed are those who allow the Holy Spirit to over shadow them as Mary our Blessed Mother did” a voice in my head proclaimed. To allow the love of our Lord Jesus to grow more deeply within us. To dwell within us. To bring His Peace, love and joy within us to all we meet along the way. So that they might be born into new life with Him. Then we all shall be consecrated unto Him by the Holy Spirit. We are His people and He is our God, now and forever. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

What is missing in many of our many Church communities today is true communion. Many come for meetings as individuals hoping to be in the company of someone familiar. Perhaps it is the warm feeling of belonging to a church group trying to do good that keeps them coming back. How long will this last?

In order for communities such as these to grow in love and communion there must be the coming together to share in the Word. Praying together not as individuals. Getting to know one another personally, families, friends, joys even sorrows. We must be ready to affirm one another, encourage and support one another on our journey together. To be inclusive and never exclusive. Only then are we in communion with Christ Jesus our Lord and with one another. Exponential growth in faith and love is to be expected. We become alive in the spirit and emboldened to share Jesus’s love with everyone. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 1:15-23
Paul’s prayer for the enlightenment of the faithful

I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and the love that you show towards all the saints, have never failed to remember you in my prayers and to thank God for you. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.

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 19, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How wonderful it is to know that we are all very precious and so loved by God our Father. Not it any abstract sense but in a very tangible way through His beloved Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Yet there are many who seek to rob us of our heavenly inheritance. By poisoning our minds against God, His church and even one another. Some not realising that they themselves have been robbed by giving up their free will to choose to mock Him and His church. Then there are those who in the guise of a holy exterior lead others astray by their sullied thoughts, words and actions. They spread the modern day yeast of the Pharisees! Then there is the world at large who sells happiness for all, live and let live, never mind that it goes against moral laws or values. ‘Survival is for the fittest’ in this ‘dog eat dog world’ we live in. All these threats are real and if we do not ground ourselves in the Word and love of our Lord then, well there will be hell to pay.

We the faithful, have nothing to fear. For the promises of God our Father has been fulfilled through Jesus. And He is calling and gathering all who have been scattered back unto Him. To embrace us all with His love and to set us free from the bonds of sin. So that we no longer live as victims but as victors in Him our Risen Lord. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 1:11-14
You have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit

It is in Christ that we were claimed as God’s own,
chosen from the beginning,
under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will;
chosen to be,
for his greater glory,
the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.
Now you too, in him,
have heard the message of the truth and the good news of your salvation,
and have believed it;
and you too have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise,
the pledge of our inheritance
which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own, to make his glory praised.

Gospel

Luke 12:1-7
Not one sparrow is forgotten in God’s sight

The people had gathered in their thousands so that they were treading on one another. And Jesus began to speak, first of all to his disciples. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees – that is, their hypocrisy. Everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed on the housetops.
‘To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. I will tell you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid: you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

You may be surprised to learn that when you simply say “Peace be with you” to a fellow Catholic you may get varied responses even at times negative ones. Yes while the norm would be to give the same greeting back, some are not sure how to respond. Others even question your intention, or who are you to offer peace and why you think they need it. Do you then stop offering the Lord’s peace to them? Should you stop sharing the Gospel message of His love when met with resistance? Do you feel alone in the endeavour?

We are never alone nor do we have anything to fear. For we have been given a powerful ally, the Holy Spirit to accompany us on our journey. He will send companions our way when needed. All we need to do, is to be faithful and obedient to the Lord our God who loves us dearly. Who desires that all be with Him in His kingdom. Hence we are sent to share in the message of His love through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. 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.”’

Lunch Opposite A Brother in Christ

Posted: October 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

After the lunchtime Eucharistic Celebration I rushed off to Tampines to have a quick lunch before going for a medical appointment back in Woodlands.

The hawker centre was crowded, so I asked a gentleman seated alone if the opposite seat was taken? He motioned for me to take the seat. I placed my small shoulder bag on the table and went to get my food. I was about to finish when I noticed he was still seated even though he had finished and his tray was cleared.

Then just as I finished he spoke asking me which Church I was from? What a curious question since my crucifix was in my shirt. I answered that my Parish was Church of St Anthony and asked him which Church he was from. Initially I thought he was going to mention some protestant church but instead he shared that he was from OLPS Our Lady of Perpetual Succor. I then asked how he knew I was a fellow Catholic? He replied that he saw me making the sign of the cross and praying before I ate just as he had done.

When I learned he was a Filipino and serving as an Extraordinary Eucharistic minister of Holy Communion, we both dropped a few names and found out that we had some friends in common. JJ Aldaba, Gerry Falsado etc. As I had to rush off for my appointment we became Facebook friends to keep in touch.

Praise the Lord for a wonderful encounter with a brother in Christ.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Giving in to our passions and desires often lead us away from the love of Christ. Who wills that we live freely in His love. For it allows sin to invade our souls and hold us captive. Captive by our desire for honour and recognition. Our insatiable sexual desire. Our want of wealth and prestige. For power and glory. Where is our love for God and neighbour in all this?

We are all made in the likeness and image of God. We therefore share the same spirit, the same ‘DNA’ if you will. Therefore can you not see then there we are made to love and care for one another? Not to use and abuse one another! Or to lead one another into sin!

We can love because He our Lord Jesus Christ first loved us. By His love we are set free. To live in the Spirit, life in its fullness. Amen

First reading
Galatians 5:18-25
To belong to Christ, crucify all self-indulgence

If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.
Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.

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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

God’s law is written in our hearts. From our birth into life with Jesus we have been made new for Holiness. Therefore we must strive always to remain steadfast in His truth and love.

What good is it to portray a holy exterior but within us we are filled with envy, malice, sexual wantonness, deceit, greed, selfishness, pridefulness, unforgiveness and so on. Our Lord sees and knows all. There is nothing we can hide from Him. That which we think we can hide from Him, will only suffocate us. Slowly but surely we will meet with permanent death.

Turn back to Him while there is still time. For Jesus our Lord does not look upon the grievous sins you have committed but on your heart’s desire to repent and to be reconciled with Him. For nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

Galatians 5:1-6
It is faith, not the Law, that justifies us

When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. It is I, Paul, who tell you this: if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all. With all solemnity I repeat my warning: Everyone who accepts circumcision is obliged to keep the whole Law. But if you do look to the Law to make you justified, then you have separated yourselves from Christ, and have fallen from grace. Christians are told by the Spirit to look to faith for those rewards that righteousness hopes for, since in Christ Jesus whether you are circumcised or not makes no difference – what matters is faith that makes its power felt through love.

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.’