On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Does all the things we have come from the Lord our God? If so then why do we hold on so tightly to what we have such that it is very difficult for us to let go? Yes not all of us are rich, in fact it is pointless to compare our wealth with others for we are rich in many different ways. Question really is how much are we willing to give up for our Lord? For our sisters and brothers? Can we leave behind physical, emotional, sentimental ties behind to follow our Lord? Knowing that even while we may be little in numbers, wisdom, gifts and talents; when we offer up all we have He will multiply them. Great is our God and with Him nothing is impossible!

We fret and worry over inconsequential worldly things, when our only concern should be; how are we living in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and working to build His Kingdom?

Lord Here I am to do Your will, uphold me in Your strennght that I may do great things to glorify Your name. Amen

First reading

Judges 6:11-24 ·
‘Peace be with you; have no fear; you will not die’

The angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah which belonged to Joash of Abiezer. Gideon his son was threshing wheat inside the winepress to keep it hidden from Midian, when the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘The Lord is with you, valiant warrior!’ Gideon answered him, ‘Forgive me, my lord, but if the Lord is with us, then why is it that all this is happening to us now? And where are all the wonders our ancestors tell us of when they say, “Did not the Lord bring us out of Egypt?” But now the Lord has deserted us; he has abandoned us to Midian.’
At this the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength now upholding you, and you will rescue Israel from the power of Midian. Do I not send you myself?’ Gideon answered him, ‘Forgive me, my lord, but how can I deliver Israel? My clan, you must know, is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least important in my family.’ The Lord answered him, ‘I will be with you and you shall crush Midian as though it were a single man.’ Gideon said to him, ‘If I have found favour in your sight, give me a sign that it is you who speak to me. I beg you, do not go away until I come back. I will bring you my offering and set it down before you.’ And he answered, ‘I will stay until you return.’
Gideon went away and prepared a young goat and made unleavened cakes with an ephah of flour. He put the meat into a basket and the broth into a pot, then brought it all to him under the terebinth. As he came near, the angel of the Lord said to him, ‘Take the meat and unleavened cakes, put them on this rock and pour the broth over them.’ Gideon did so. Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff in his hand and touched the meat and unleavened cakes. Fire sprang from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened cakes, and the angel of the Lord vanished before his eyes. Then Gideon knew this was the angel of the Lord, and he said, ‘Alas, my Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!’ The Lord answered him, ‘Peace be with you; have no fear; you will not die.’ Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it The-Lord-is-Peace.

Gospel

Matthew 19:23-30
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you solemnly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ When the disciples heard this they were astonished. ‘Who can be saved, then?’ they said. Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he told them ‘this is impossible; for God everything is possible.’
Then Peter spoke. ‘What about us?’ he said to him ‘We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’


There is a time for God and there is a time to earn a living so that I my family and I shall not want; when I no longer choose to or am able to work, then I will serve Him. The soonest perhaps will be when my children are all grown and living on their own. I will then devote all my time to God.

So while you were so busy with your work where was the Lord your God? Where was He in all the much needed holidays taken? One day in a foreign church to fulfill the ‘obligation’?Whom were you praying to in your ‘spare’ time? Will you be offering your version of ‘first fruits’ at your retirement? Will you even be able to serve then? Will you be caring for the old and sick when you are old and sick yourself? Will you be teaching children about the faith when you have not grown in your own faith? Your very own children were watching you all those years they were growing up, what will they have learnt from you?

Keeping the commandments of our Lord is only the start, we are called to grow in Holiness and to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. And if we are only perfected through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ then should we not do all we can now to grow in our relationship with Him? So that when the sufferings and pain come to perfect us, we will face them with joy in our hearts.

Lord Jesus You are my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want. Amen

First reading

Judges 2:11-19 ·
The Lord appoints judges to rescue the men of Israel

The sons of Israel did what displeases the Lord, and served the Baals. They deserted the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from the gods of the peoples round them. They bowed down to these; they provoked the Lord; they deserted the Lord to serve Baal and Astarte. Then the Lord’s anger flamed out against Israel. He handed them over to pillagers who plundered them; he delivered them to the enemies surrounding them, and they were not able to resist them. In every warlike venture, the hand of the Lord was there to foil them, as the Lord had warned, as the Lord had sworn to them. Thus he reduced them to dire distress.
Then the Lord appointed judges for them, and rescued the men of Israel from the hands of their plunderers. But they would not listen to their judges. They prostituted themselves to other gods, and bowed down before these. Very quickly they left the path their ancestors had trodden in obedience to the orders of the Lord; they did not follow their example. When the Lord appointed judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and rescued them from the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived, for the Lord felt pity for them as they groaned under the iron grip of their oppressors. But once the judge was dead, they relapsed and behaved even worse than their ancestors. They followed other gods; they served them and bowed before them, and would not give up the practices and stubborn ways of their ancestors at all.

Gospel

Matthew 19:16-22
If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own

There was a man who came to Jesus and asked, ‘Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one alone who is good. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said, ‘Which?’ ‘These:’ Jesus replied ‘You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not bring false witness. Honour your father and mother, and: you must love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these. What more do I need to do?’ Jesus said, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard these words he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Consuming Fire: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Jeremiah 38:4–6, 8–10
Psalm 40:2–4, 18
Hebrews 12:1–4
Luke 12:49–53

Our God is a consuming fire, the Scriptures tell us (see Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24). And in this week’s Gospel, Jesus uses the image of fire to describe the demands of discipleship.

The fire He has come to cast on the earth is the fire that He wants to blaze in each of our hearts. He made us from the dust of the earth (see Genesis 2:7) and filled us with the fire of the Holy Spirit in Baptism (see Luke 3:16).

We were baptized into His death (see Romans 6:3). This is the baptism our Lord speaks of in the Gospel this week. The baptism with which He must be baptized is His passion and death, by which He accomplished our redemption and sent forth the fire of the Spirit on the earth (see Acts 2:3).

The fire has been set, but it is not yet blazing. We are called to enter deeper into the consuming love of God. We must examine our consciences and our actions, submitting ourselves to the revealing fire of God’s Word (see 1 Corinthians 3:13).

In our struggle against sin, we have not yet resisted to the point of shedding our own blood, Paul tells us in this week’s Epistle. We have not undergone the suffering that Jeremiah suffers in the First Reading this week.

But this is what true discipleship requires. To be a disciple is to be inflamed with the love of the God. It is to have an unquenchable desire for holiness and zeal for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.
Being His disciple does not bring peace in the false way that the world proclaims peace (see Jeremiah 8:11). It means division and hardship. It may bring us to conflict with our own flesh and blood.

But Christ is our peace (see Ephesians 2:14). By His Cross He has lifted us up from the mire of sin and death—as He will rescue the prophet Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 38:10).
And as we sing in the Psalm this week, we trust in our deliverer.


God our loving Father dotes on us His children always looking out for us to keep us safe. All He asks of us is that we love one another, be obedient and faithful unto Him. For He wills only the best for us which is to live life to the full in Him.

Which father’s heart will not break when he’s child says to him, I don’t want you, I want another father! I don’t care what you say and I choose to live my life in sin! It’s my choice! Yes indeed it is our choice to make whether we want to honour God our Heavenly Father or Not.

O Heavenly Father I am your little child so loved by you. Forgive me all my sins, and I am truly sorry for having offended you in the past. Let me always run back into Your loving embrace. Let me live my life in the light of Your Son my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Such that I will proclaim Your love and message of salvation to all I meet; as I declare with conviction ”As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’’ Amen

First reading

Joshua 24:14-29
‘The Lord is a holy God, a jealous God’

Joshua said to all the people, ‘Fear the Lord and serve him perfectly and sincerely; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’
The people answered, ‘We have no intention of deserting the Lord and serving other gods! Was it not the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery, who worked those great wonders before our eyes and preserved us all along the way we travelled and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed? What is more, the Lord drove all those peoples out before us, as well as the Amorites who used to live in this country. We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’
Then Joshua said to the people, ‘You cannot serve the Lord, because he is a holy God, he is a jealous God who will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you desert the Lord to follow alien gods he in turn will afflict and destroy you after the goodness he has shown you.’ The people answered Joshua, ‘No; it is the Lord we wish to serve.’ Then Joshua said to the people, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.’ They answered, ‘We are witnesses.’ ‘Then cast away the alien gods among you and give your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel!’ The people answered Joshua, ‘It is the Lord our God we choose to serve; it is his voice that we will obey.’
That day, Joshua made a covenant for the people; he laid down a statute and ordinance for them at Shechem. Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a great stone and set it up there, under the oak in the sanctuary of the Lord, and Joshua said to all the people, ‘See! This stone shall be a witness against us because it has heard all the words that the Lord has spoken to us: it shall be a witness against you in case you deny your God.’ Then Joshua sent the people away, and each returned to his own inheritance.
After these things Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died; he was a hundred and ten years old.

Gospel

Matthew 19:13-15
Do not stop the little children coming to me

People brought little children to Jesus, for him to lay his hands on them and say a prayer. The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.


I prefer not to have free will so that I may always do as the Lord bids me to do. To be Holy and chaste of heart. But without free will how will I love Him unconditionally? How will I love Him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength?

Because of His great love for us, the Lord our God has given the freedom to choose to love and follow Him. But over the centuries and throughout history we had made very bad, terrible choices and had turned away from Him. Cursed to live in sin He came to turn our curses into blessings, to free us from all bondages. He laid down His life for us so that we may live. He alone has been faithful, merciful and loving. Traits we look for in a spouse, yet how faithful, merciful and loving are we ourselves? How then can we be faithful to God and declare we love Him when we cannot be faithful, merciful and loving to our own spouses; and by extension family and friends. How are we faithful to our sisters and brothers in Christ not in our presence?

Fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ is fidelity to His one Body. What God has united, men must not divide! Let us choose always to be faithful to our calling through Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

Joshua 24:1-13
I gave you a land where you never toiled, vineyards and olive-groves you never planted

Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem; then he called the elders, leaders, judges and scribes of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to all the people:
‘The Lord, the God of Israel says this, “In ancient days your ancestors lived beyond the River – such was Terah the father of Abraham and of Nahor – and they served other gods. Then I brought your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan. I increased his descendants and gave him Isaac. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave the mountain country of Seir as his possession. Jacob and his sons went down into Egypt. Then I sent Moses and Aaron and plagued Egypt with the wonders that I worked there. So I brought you out of it. I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, and you came to the Sea; the Egyptians pursued your ancestors with chariots and horsemen as far as the Sea of Reeds. There they called to the Lord, and he spread a thick fog between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea go back on them and cover them. You saw with your own eyes the things I did in Egypt. Then for a long time you lived in the wilderness, until I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan; they made war on you and I gave them into your hands; you took possession of their country because I destroyed them before you. Next, Balak son of Zippor the king of Moab arose to make war on Israel, and sent for Balaam son of Beor to come and curse you. But I would not listen to Balaam; instead, he had to bless you, and I saved you from his hand.
‘“When you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho, those who held Jericho fought against you, as did the Amorites and Perizzites, the Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I put them all into your power. I sent out hornets in front of you, which drove the two Amorite kings before you; this was not the work of your sword or your bow. I gave you a land where you never toiled, you live in towns you never built; you eat now from vineyards and olive-groves you never planted.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:3-12
Husband and wife are no longer two, but one body

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’
They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of fornication – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’
The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’

He Has Shown you..

Posted: August 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys


Why do so many around the globe have such a devotion to our Blessed Mother Mary? What is so special about this woman other than that she had given birth to our Lord Jesus Christ? What does it mean for us that she was assumed into heaven? Is it simply an assumption?

Well where do we begin? In the beginning I suppose, where a little girl was born without original sin! The immaculate conception through the almighty and powerful grace of God. A grace filled girl born after the heart of God our Father who devoted her life to living out her call to holiness. Then when an opportunity came for her to glorify God our Father with all her heart, mind and soul, she said Yes to His Will for her to be the mother of His only begotten Son. She surrendered herself fully to Him and allowed herself to be filled completely with the Holy Spirit. Love of God our Father was born into the world, the light for all nations. Dearest Mother, praised the Lord our God with all her grateful, grace filled heart! She praised and worshipped Him such that to this very day her canticle is sung every evening at vespers. Blessed Mother Mary dedicated her life to bringing Jesus up caring for him with every breath, every fibre of her being. Her firstborn and only son was consecrated to God our Father for His purpose alone. For her extraordinary role the deepest thoughts of many hearts are revealed to her such that a sword would pierce her soul. A reality as she stood at the cross of her beloved son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and an on-going one throughout the ages. Then towards the end of His life we hear our Lord’s deep affectionate love for us in the words, ”mother behold your son, son behold your mother.” The shared maternal love of God through our Blessed Mother outpoured for the whole world!

Today we celebrate the Assumption of our Blessed Mother for we know that Our Blessed Mother through the almighty grace and love of the Lord our God was taken up wholly body and soul into heaven. By His resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ had opened the gates of heaven for his mother and for us all. Amen

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10 ·
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman adorned with the sun

The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready.
Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ.’

Second reading

1 Corinthians 15:20-26 ·
Christ will be brought to life as the first-fruits and then those who belong to him

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.

Gospel

Luke 1:39-56
The Almighty has done great things for me

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
And Mary said:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.