Image  —  Posted: February 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections, Photos

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The promise of new life is given to all who wait patiently on the Lord. The great and powerful sign of His love and new life can been seen as we gaze upon the wood of the cross in which our Lord Jesus Christ hung for us. He became for us the tree of life. The sign of our hope and redemption. When we see this through the eyes of faith, we can begin to live fully in rightful praise and worship of the Lord our God.

The Lord is touching you today, open your eyes, what do you see? Do you not see Him carrying the cross to calvary for you? He is touching you again, what do you see? Do you not see the glory of the Risen Lord present before you telling you not to return to your old ways, sin no more and share His love with all?

In my darkness you came O Lord and Your redeeming light shone upon me! I see you Lord, I see You. What joy it is to live in Your love. Amen

First reading

Genesis 8:6-13,20-22 †
The dove returns

At the end of forty days Noah opened the porthole he had made in the ark and he sent out the raven. This went off, and flew back and forth until the waters dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove, to see whether the waters were receding from the surface of the earth. The dove, finding nowhere to perch, returned to him in the ark, for there was water over the whole surface of the earth; putting out his hand he took hold of it and brought it back into the ark with him. After waiting seven more days, again he sent out the dove from the ark. In the evening, the dove came back to him and there it was with a new olive-branch in its beak. So Noah realised that the waters were receding from the earth. After waiting seven more days he sent out the dove, and now it returned to him no more.
It was in the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life, in the first month and on the first of the month, that the water dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the hatch of the ark and looked out. The surface of the ground was dry!
Noah built an altar for the Lord, and choosing from all the clean animals and all the clean birds he offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelt the appeasing fragrance and said to himself, ‘Never again will I curse the earth because of man, because his heart contrives evil from his infancy. Never again will I strike down every living thing as I have done.

‘As long as earth lasts,
sowing and reaping,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
shall cease no more.’

Gospel

Mark 8:22-26
The blind man was cured and could see everything distinctly

Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, ‘Can you see anything?’ The man, who was beginning to see, replied, ‘I can see people; they look like trees to me, but they are walking about.’ Then he laid his hands on the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly. And Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Do not allow sin to fester nor allow it to remain in your heart. Or you will be swept away and drowned. Rather step unto the Ark and the covenantal love of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord will embrace you. He will save you from the destructive torrents of sin.

There are many who carry sin with them, their hearts are far from God. Yet they justify themselves and their actions through eloquent words. They seek your support and buy-in to their ‘world’ cloaked in darkness. Some are charming about their ways and highly infectious. Be on guard! As Christ warned against the yeast of these ‘Pharisees’.

Always remember the love of our Lord Jesus Christ in whom our church is built upon. The Bread of Life who gives abundantly of Himself. Filled with His grace let us embark on our voyage to eternity with Him. Amen

First reading

Genesis 6:5-8,7:1-5,10
Noah’s Ark

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that the thoughts in his heart fashioned nothing but wickedness all day long. The Lord regretted having made man on the earth, and his heart grieved. ‘I will rid the earth’s face of man, my own creation,’ the Lord said ‘and of animals also, reptiles too, and the birds of heaven; for I regret having made them.’ But Noah had found favour with the Lord.
The Lord said to Noah, ‘Go aboard the ark, you and all your household, for you alone among this generation do I see as a good man in my judgement. Of all the clean animals you must take seven of each kind, both male and female; of the unclean animals you must take two, a male and its female (and of the birds of heaven also, seven of each kind, both male and female), to propagate their kind over the whole earth. For in seven days’ time I mean to make it rain on the earth for forty days and nights, and I will rid the earth of every living thing that I made.’ Noah did all that the Lord ordered.
Seven days later the waters of the flood appeared on the earth.

Gospel

Mark 8:14-21
Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod

The disciples had forgotten to take any food and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them this warning, ‘Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ And they said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you not yet understand? Have you no perception? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear? Or do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ They answered, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ And they answered, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Are you still without perception?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Without proper disposition, reverence and right worship of the Lord our God, then what we offer Him is superficial, out of duty then of love. Hence begs the question on what is our relationship with Him? If we truly love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul then would we not offer Him the best we have?

The Pharisees were given many signs pointing to the Messiah who would come to save them. And when He came to live among them they could not see Him for who He was. Their hearts, minds and souls were not ready to receive Him. They were full of themselves and thought they could earn their way to heaven by observances! Hence they looked but did not see!

By our baptism we are inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have an indelible mark conferred upon us as we enter into a covenantal relationship with the Lord our God. We are His children. Jesus who was, who is and who is to come will lead us to everlasting life with Him. Let us then be ourselves signs of His love today and every day. Amen

First reading

Genesis 4:1-15,25
The mark of Cain

The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. ‘I have acquired a man with the help of the Lord’ she said. She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for the Lord, while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast. The Lord asked Cain, ‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head? But if you are ill disposed, is not sin at the door like a crouching beast hungering for you, which you must master?’ Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out’; and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.
The Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I do not know’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’ ‘What have you done?’ the Lord asked. ‘Listen to the sound of your brother’s blood, crying out to me from the ground. Now be accursed and driven from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. When you till the ground it shall no longer yield you any of its produce. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth.’ Then Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. See! Today you drive me from this ground. I must hide from you, and be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!’ ‘Very well, then,’ the Lord replied ‘if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken for him.’ So the Lord put a mark on Cain, to prevent whoever might come across him from striking him down.
Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth, ‘because God has granted me other offspring’ she said ‘in place of Abel, since Cain has killed him.’

Gospel

Mark 8:11-13
No sign shall be given to this generation

The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.

Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted: February 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Rich in Poverty: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Readings:

Jeremiah 17:5–8
Psalm 1:1–4, 6
1 Corinthians 15:12, 16–20
Luke 6:17, 20–26

The blessings and woes we hear in today’s Gospel mark the perfection of all the wisdom of the Old Testament.
That wisdom is summed up with marvelous symmetry in today’s First Reading and Psalm: Each declares that the righteous—those who hope in the Lord and delight in His Law—will prosper like a tree planted near living waters. The wicked, who put their “trust in human beings,” are cursed to wither and die.

Jesus is saying the same thing in the Gospel. The rich and poor are, for Him, more than members of literal economic classes. Their material state symbolizes their spiritual state.

The rich are “the insolent” of today’s Psalm, boasting of their self-sufficiency, the strength of their flesh, as Jeremiah says in the First Reading. The poor are the humble, who put all their hope and trust in the Lord.
We’ve already seen today’s dramatic imagery of reversal in Mary’s “Magnificat.” There, too, the rich are cast down while the hungry are filled and the lowly exalted (see Luke 1:45–55 also 16:19–31).

That’s the upside-down world of the Gospel: in poverty we gain spiritual treasure unimaginable; in suffering and even dying “on account of the Son of Man,” we find everlasting life.

The promises of the Old Testament were promises of power and prosperity—in the here and now. The promise of the New Covenant is joy and true freedom even amid the misery and toil of this life. But not only that. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, we’re to be pitied if our hope is “for this life only.”

The blessings of God mean that we’ll laugh with the thanksgiving of captives released from exile (see Psalm 126:1–2), feast at the heavenly table of the Lord (see Psalm 107:3–9), “leap for joy” as John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb (see Luke 6:23;1:41, 44), and rise with Christ, “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Our loving God will never abandon you because of His great love for you. So while there are consequences for your sins and penance to be done it is only so that you can grow in love, faith and Holiness. We must therefore own up to our sins and turn to Jesus with contrite hearts and He will free us from our sins to live in His love. He will embrace us and clothe us with ‘skins’, His grace so that we can live in the warmth of His love. He restores for us the way to eternal life with Him.

Our loving Lord and saviour Jesus Christ knew that on our pilgrim journey back that we run on empty. So again in His great love for us He nourished us of Himself, in the Holy Eucharist. Filling us with His grace and love. We partake of the bread of life, so that we can move onward to share in His love now and forever. Amen

First reading

Genesis 3:9-24 †
The expulsion from the Garden of Eden

The Lord God called to the man. ‘Where are you?’ he asked.
‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’
‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’
The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’
Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’
The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,

‘Be accursed beyond all cattle,
all wild beasts.
You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust
every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other:
you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel.’

To the woman he said:

‘I will multiply your pains in childbearing,
you shall give birth to your children in pain.
Your yearning shall be for your husband,
yet he will lord it over you.’

To the man he said, ‘Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,

‘Accursed be the soil because of you.
With suffering shall you get your food from it
every day of your life.
It shall yield you brambles and thistles,
and you shall eat wild plants.
With sweat on your brow
shall you eat your bread,
until you return to the soil,
as you were taken from it.
For dust you are
and to dust you shall return.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live. The Lord God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on. Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live for ever.’ So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Gospel

Mark 8:1-10
The feeding of the four thousand

A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Evil lurks and seeks to trap those on the journey towards Holiness. Planting seeds of doubt, wanton suggestions, playing on our unfettered desires. Many desire power but not the responsibility to wield it with loving care. Yes the Lord our God desires that we be like Him but how can we be like Him, apart from Him? Those who live in sin cannot hear Him nor can they open their lips to praise His Holy name. Those who have fallen and returned to Him can attest that being apart from the Lord our God is more painful than anything!

Still our loving Saviour comes to us when we call out to Him with contrite hearts. “Be opened!” He commands… Be free from your sins, be opened to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, to receive my precious body and blood. Then go glorify the Lord your God by your lives!

Thank You Abba Father, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit. Glory and Praise to You now and forever. Amen

First reading

Genesis 3:1-8 †
The fall of man

The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Gospel

Mark 7:31-37
‘He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak’

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’