Archive for August, 2012

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn

A Choice to Make

Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-23
Ephesians 5:21-32
John 6:60-69

This Sunday’s Mass readings conclude a four-week meditation on the Eucharist.

The 12 apostles in today’s Gospel are asked to make a choice—either to believe and accept the new covenant He offers in His body and blood, or return to their former ways of life.

Their choice is prefigured by the decision Joshua asks the 12 tribes to make in today’s First Reading.

Joshua gathers them at Shechem—where God first appeared to their father Abraham, promising to make his descendants a great nation in a new land (see Genesis 12:1-9). And he issues a blunt challenge—either renew their covenant with God or serve the alien gods of the surrounding nations.

We too are being asked today to decide whom we will serve. For four weeks we have been presented in the liturgy with the mystery of the Eucharist—a daily miracle far greater than those performed by God in bringing the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

He has promised us a new homeland, eternal life, and offered us bread from heaven to strengthen us on our journey. He has told us that unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood we will have no life in us.

It is a hard saying, as many murmur in today’s Gospel. Yet He has given us the words of eternal life.

We must believe, as Peter says today, that He is the Holy One of God, who handed himself over for us, gave His flesh for the life of the world.

As we hear in today’s Epistle, Jesus did this that we might be sanctified, made holy, through the water and word of baptism by which we enter into His new covenant. Through the Eucharist, He nourishes and cherishes us, making us His own flesh and blood, as husband and wife become one flesh.

Let us renew our covenant today, approaching the altar with confidence that, as we sing in today’s Psalm, the Lord will redeem the lives of His servants.

An act of love is remaining silent even though our egos desires to speak.

An act of love is a decision to love even before seeing, hearing or touching.

An act of love is to always welcome the stranger in our midst.

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn

Wisdom’s Feast

Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm 34:2-3, 10-15
Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:51-58

The Wisdom of God has prepared a feast, we hear in today’s First Reading.

We must become like children (see Matthew 18:3-4) to hear and accept this invitation. For in every Eucharist, it is the folly of the cross that is represented and renewed.

To the world, it is foolishness to believe that the crucified Jesus rose from the dead. And for many, as for the crowds in today’s Gospel, it is foolishness—maybe even madness—to believe that Jesus can give us His flesh to eat.

Yet Jesus repeats himself with gathering intensity in the Gospel today. Notice the repetition of the words “eat” and “drink,” and “my flesh” and “my blood.” To heighten the unbelievable realism of what Jesus asks us to believe, John in these verses uses, not the ordinary Greek word for eating, but a cruder term, once reserved to describe the “munching” of feeding animals.

The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 1:18-25). In His foolish love, He chooses to save those who believe that His flesh is true food, His blood, true drink.

Fear of the Lord, the desire to live by His will, is the beginning of true wisdom, Paul says in today’s Epistle (see Proverbs 9:10). And as we sing in today’s Psalm, those who fear Him shall not want for any good thing.

Again today in the liturgy, we are called to renew our faith in the Eucharist, to forsake the foolishness of believing only what we can see with our eyes.

We approach, then, not only an altar prepared with bread and wine, but the feast of Wisdom, the banquet of heaven—in which God our savior renews His everlasting covenant and promises to destroy death forever (see Isaiah 25:6-9).

Let us make the most of our days, as Paul says, always, in the Eucharist, giving thanks to God for everything in the name of Jesus, the bread c0me down from heaven.

Am I blessed? Does Jesus listen when I pray? Can He really use a sinner like me?

YES…..YES….a resouding YES! Praise the Lord! Here is a little testimony of testimonies of how Jesus has acted in my life recently,  though I must say I have not been dilligent in giving Him glory in the other many, many,many numerous instances in which He had….

Last Saturday during a healing mass and adoration of the blessed Sacrament, while I was praying I received a message which I posted here on this blog two posts ago.  At the same time I was praying for my Aunty Veronica who had been admitted on Friday I believe for some blockage in the intestine.  On two separate occasions during the whole healing prayer session at the precise instance I had prayed for my Aunt by name, the leader Joseph Fernandez (from the Gloria Patri Ministry) announced on the microphone “Some of you are now praying for your family members, know that the Lord has heard your prayer.” 

On Sunday through facebook my cousin informed all of us whom had been praying for her mum that she would be discharged the very next day! Praise the Lord.

Back to the Saturday of the healing mass, I had brought the whole family that is my two young sons, my baby daughter of nine months and my darling wife.  My wife was struggling to keep our little girl quiet and had to leave the auditorium ( basement level ) frequently to do so.  Outside the auditorium however it is not air-conditioned and so it got pretty hot real quick especially when she was trying to feed our daughter.  So she went up to the ground level where she met Valarie from the Church office who had just closed up for the day but offered to open the office for a spell so she could feed our daughter in the air-conditioned office. Praise the Lord!

Then a lady stood by the doorway peering in looking a little perplexed.  Valarie asked if she needed help on something of which she replied she was looking for Holy communion for the sick for her husband.  He was bed ridden as a result of an accident involving a lorry hitting his bicycle. According to her she had come to both the church’s offices to fill up some forms for this service but no one had gotten back to her for more than a month. My wife offered to pass her contact details on to me so that arrangements could be made swiftly.  For those who haven’t really been following my blog, she passed it on to me because I happen to be serving as a an Extraordinary Minister Of Holy Communion. Coincidence? I beg to differ…..Praise the Lord! I made arrangements with the wife to bring Jesus to him the following Sunday.

Today my wife and I made our way to their home after attending the 1115am Eucharistic Celebration.  It started to drizzle as we reached the bus stop, so I handed my wife a small umbrella which I had gone back into my home just as I was leaving this morning, just so that I could bring it  ‘just in case’ ? Praise the Lord! Then I had a vision of sorts, that if I walked past the bus stop to the traffic light junction and waited on the opposite side, I would be able to flag down a blue cab.  So I told my wife and we did just that….and lo and behold a blue cab arrived! Praise the Lord!

We made our way up to the home and I proceeded into his bedroom to read the Gospel and administer Holy Communion for the sick to him.  It was great to be able to serve the Lord and my brother in Christ who was faithfully waiting for Jesus.  Praise the Lord!

So my sisters and brothers in Christ as Jesus says in John 10:27

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 


 Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Take and Eat

1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalm 34:2-9
Ephesians 4:30-5:2
John 6:41-51

Sometimes we feel like Elijah in today’s First Reading. We want to lie down and die, keenly aware of our failures, that we seem to be getting no better at doing what God wants of us.

We can be tempted to despair, as the prophet was on his forty-day journey in the desert. We can be tempted to “murmur” against God, as the Israelites did during their forty years in the desert (see Exodus 16:2,7,8; 1 Corinthians 10:10).

The Gospel today uses the same word, “murmur,” to describe the crowds, who reenact Israel’s hardheartedness in the desert.

Jesus tells them that prophecies are being fulfilled in Him, that they are being taught by God. But they can’t believe it. They can only see His flesh, that He is the “son” of Joseph and Mary.

Yet if we believe, if we seek Him in our distress, He will deliver us from our fears, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

At the altar in every Eucharist, the angel of the Lord, the Lord himself (see Exodus 3:1-2), touches us. He commands us to take and eat His flesh given for the life of the world (see Matthew 26:26).

This taste of the heavenly gift (see Hebrews 6:4-5) comes to us with a renewed command—to get up and continue on the journey we began in baptism, to the mountain of God, the kingdom of heaven.

He will give us the bread of life, the strength and grace we need—as He fed our spiritual ancestors in the wilderness and Elijah in the desert.

So let us stop grieving the Spirit of God, as Paul says in today’s Epistle, in another reference to Israel in the desert (see Isaiah 63:10).

Let us say to God as Elijah did, “Take my life.” Not in the sense of wanting to die. But in giving ourselves as a sacrificial offering—loving Him as He has loved us, on the cross and in the Eucharist.

Feast of the Transfiguration Of Our Lord
Readings Today

First reading
Daniel 7:9-10,13-14

Second reading
2 Peter 1:16-19

Mark 9:2-10

Personal Reflection

In today’s Gospel we see how Peter, James and John witness the transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They are given the opportunity to bear witness to Christ’s divinity. To stand in the presence of the vision had by Daniel who prophesied the Lord’s coming to the Father to be conferred dominion over us His children. The law and prophesy represented by Moses and Elijah, together with our Saviour Jesus Christ points to us the direction of our salvation in Him.

Are our hearts opened to Him? Are we ready and willing to be transfigured? To be made pure? To be changed from ordinary water into wine as at the wedding feast in Cana? To bow down to our Sovereign King so that we may receive Him in our hearts and minds?

Are we still looking through worldly eyes, hence not yet able to comprehend what we see in the Eucharistic Celebration? Similar to how Saint Peter first reacted at the transfiguration…asking to build three tabernacles, not yet able to see that the three cannot be separated but are as one in heaven?

Let us pray….

O God, whom no eye has ever seen, you have revealed your glory in the transfigured face of your Son. Through his voice, you have spoken your Word to us. Give light to our eyes; make us attentive to the Gospel, for in baptism we have become His brothers and sisters and your children. Hear us through this same beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives with you and The Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen


While In Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Posted: August 5, 2012 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

“When you are burdened, my love will lift you up,
When you are sick, my love can heal you,
When you are suffering, my love is with you as I am.
Remain in my steadfast love and when you die,
you will be set free to rise in new life with me.”


Thank you sweet Jesus for your gentle reminder….

04 Aug 2012

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn 

Endurance Test

Exodus 16:2–4, 12–15
Psalm 78:3–4, 23–25, 54
Ephesians 4:17, 20–24
John 6:24–35

The journey of discipleship is a life-long exodus from the slavery of sin and death to the holiness of truth in Mount Zion, the promised land of eternal life.

The road can get rough. And when it does, we can be tempted to complain like the Israelites in this week’s First Reading.
We have to see these times of hardship as a test of what is in our hearts, a call to trust God more and to purify the motives for our faith (Deuteronomy 8:2–3).

As Paul reminds us in this week’s Epistle, we must leave behind our old self-deceptions and desires and live according to the likeness of God in which we are made.

Jesus tells the crowd in this week’s Gospel that they are following him for the wrong reasons. They seek him because he filled their bellies. The Israelites, too, were content to follow God so long as there was plenty of food.

Food is the most obvious of signs—because it is the most basic of our human needs. We need our daily bread to live. But we cannot live by this bread alone. We need the bread of eternal life that preserves those who believe in him (Wisdom 16:20, 26).

The manna in the wilderness, like the bread Jesus multiplied for the crowd, was a sign of God’s Providence—that we should trust that he will provide.

These signs pointed to their fulfillment in the Eucharist, the abundant bread of angels we sing about in this week’s Psalm.

This is the food that God longs to give us. This is the bread we should be seeking. But too often we don’t ask for this bread. Instead we seek the perishable stuff of our every day wants and anxieties. In our weakness we think these things are what we really need.

We have to trust God more. If we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, all these things will be ours as well (Matthew 6:33).

Jeremiah 14:17-22

Matthew 13:44-46

Personal Reflection

In today’s first reading we learn that discipleship is wrought with hardship and often times persecution, to spread the Good news of the Lord sometimes entails despise from some. Do we throw our hands up in defeat? Do we walk away? Do we wallow and turn to sin instead? Or do we lift it up to the Lord?

God our faithful Father says this to us….thus says the LORD:
“If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze;they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the LORD. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.”

In today’s Gospel we are reminded of some of our personal experiences in which we discovered the treasures of the living Word of God that leads us to His Kingdom. The richness of both the Old and the New Testament which emboldens us to lead our life to the fullest in Christ. The love, peace and joy we receive is so overwhelming that we would do anything to hold to the treasure. We realise that to hold on is also to hide it from the enemy that wants to swoop down and take it from us, or to hide it within our hearts, to be detached from the business of this life. Are we living the life that we are called to live? Are we willing to entrust our lives to the Lord?