Archive for January, 2013

On Today’s Gospel…

Posted: January 30, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

the-parable-of-the-sower

 

Are we to be counted among the many eager to hear the word of God? Do we have that longing to receive the word, live the word and share the word?

God gives sight and understanding to those who seek for them, do we read the Gospels or hear it as it is read with an open mind and heart ordered towards God? Do we spend time reflecting on His word and His will for us spoken through it?  If we cannot hear or understand the word, do we examine our conscience? Our life choices? Do we realise that our sins hamper our  ability to listen and to live the word?

The fruits we bear are a result of our daily struggles to love, to sacrifice for, to listen and to live the Word. This can be seen in the numbers sown in others both directly and indirectly.  We are NOT called to convert others but only to sow the seed, so that God our Father can do the rest….Are we sowing as we should?

GOSPEL

Mark 4:1–20

1 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil; 6 and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10 And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; 12 so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.” 13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them. 16 And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

On Today’s Gospel…

Posted: January 30, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

lampunderbushel

Is the Good News, the Word of God meant to be a secret? Are the parables meant to remain just parables? A mystery? Do we not listen with hearts made pure? To discern the message for us? Are we selfishly keeping the Good news to ourselves? Or are we sharing it? Are we the light for others? Do we let the light of Christ shine bright through us?

Do we let the Holy Spirit guide us in our interpretation of the Gospel? Or do we fit our own ideas and interpretation to admonish or teach others?

The more faithful we are to hear the truth and share the truth, we increase in our virtues and are abundantly fruitful and blessed. Praise the Lord our God!

Gospel Mark 4:21-25

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

A Lamp under a Bushel Basket

21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. 25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 29, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Do we spend time in prayer listening for what our Father wants for us? Do we shut our ears when the task seems daunting, exhausting or even appears impossible?

Do we truly understand what it means to be part of God’s family? Do we love and respect our fathers, mothers and siblings in Christ? Do we genuinely care for them?   Do we realise to be in God’s family means love and sacrifice on our part?

God’s family is where I and want to belong!

Let us pray…

Lord Jesus, in our weakness we often fall prey to our own wants and desires. Help us with your strength, teach us authentic love for our brothers and sisters. We ask this in Your precious name. Amen

GOSPEL Mark 3:31–35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

On Today’s Gospel…

Posted: January 28, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

jesus_devils

Are we not able to see the good in others? Do we need to find fault just to prove something?

Do we try everyday to be more loving at home? Showing respect for one another? Respecting one another? Respecting the privacy and little treasures of our family members? Always willing to serve before being served? Trying at all costs to maintain the peace at home?

Do we understand what it entails to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit? To blaspheme against the Holy Trinity? To remain unrepentant?  Impenitent? To say why bother when God cannot forgive me?

Let us cry out to the Lord our God, “Teach me your paths, my God, make me walk in your truth.” Amen

GOSPEL
Mark 3:22–30

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Be-elzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house.
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

January 27th 2013 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 26, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

New Day Dawns

Readings:
Nehemiah 8:2-6,10
Psalms 19:8-10,15
1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21


 

The meaning of today’s Liturgy is subtle and many-layered.

We need background to understand what’s happening in today’s First Reading.

Babylon having been defeated, King Cyrus of Persia decreed that the exiled Jews could return home to Jerusalem. They rebuilt their ruined temple (see Ezra 6:15-17) and under Nehemiah finished rebuilding the city walls (see Nehemiah 6:15).

The stage was set for the renewal of the covenant and the re-establishment of the Law of Moses as the people’s rule of life. That’s what’s going on in today’s First Reading, as Ezra reads and interprets (see Nehemiah 8:8) the Law and the people respond with a great “Amen!”

Israel, as we sing in today’s Psalm, is rededicating itself to God and His Law. The scene seems like the Isaiah prophecy that Jesus reads from in today’s Gospel.

Read all of Isaiah 61. The “glad tidings” Isaiah brings include these promises: the liberation of prisoners (61:1); the rebuilding of Jerusalem, or Zion (61:3-4; see also Isaiah 60:10); the restoration of Israel as a kingdom of priests (61:6; Exodus 19:6) and the forging of an everlasting covenant (61:8; Isaiah 55:3). It sounds a lot like the First Reading.

Jesus, in turn, declares that Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in Him. The Gospel scene, too, recalls the First Reading. Like Ezra, Jesus stands before the people, is handed a scroll, unrolls it, then reads and interprets it (compare Luke 4:16-17,21 and Nehemiah 8:2-6,8-10).

We witness in today’s Liturgy the creation of a new people of God. Ezra started reading at dawn of the first day of the Jewish new year (see Leviticus 23:24). Jesus too proclaims a “sabbath,” a great year of Jubilee, a deliverance from slavery to sin, a release from the debts we owe to God (see Leviticus 25:10).

The people greeted Ezra “as one man.” And, as today’s Epistle teaches, in the Spirit the new people of God – the Church – is made “one body” with Him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 25, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

image

We are called to share the most wonderful news in our lifetime, the message of God’s love for us and our salvation! Why would such a fantastic message be so hard too share?  Ite ad evangelium domini nuntiandum ‘Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord’..

Know that when we go in Faith to do so, we too even to this day can bear witness to the power of the Lord that works through us. We see, signs, wonders and miracles from our Lord our God!

GOSPEL Mark 16:15–18

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

On Today’s Gospel..

Posted: January 24, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

jesus-teaching-beside-sea

Jesus is Lord of all nations! He draws everyone to Him, the sick, the lonely, the oppressed, people with addictions, people hungry for the word….If non believers upon hearing the Good news can leave everything behind in search of Him, to be witness to Him, to be healed by Him. What does it say of us Christians who would not take the time to spend an hour with Him?

If unclean spirits who do not want to have anything to do with Jesus Christ our Lord acknowledges His sovereignty, His divinity by throwing themselves before Him and crying out His title. What does it say about us who would not bend a knee to Him? Who would not be reverent in body, mind, spirit and demeanour in His presence? Will not praise Him for all He has done for us? or even Call out His name?

Jesus strictly orders the unclean spirits not to make Him known! Can we preach the Good news of salvation or share our faith with others if we ourselves are not cleansed or made pure? Or strive daily to lead a Holy and righteous life?  How would you react if someone bears testimony to Christ our Lord then a while later you witness the same person in a fit of anger, screaming and shouting or curses under His/Her breath? Or instead openly flirts with another? Would you say they bear witness to the truth?

(Ps. 50:16) For God said to the sinner, Why do you preach my laws? A sinner is forbidden to preach the Lord, lest any one listening to his preaching should follow him in his error, for the devil is an evil master, who always mingles false things with true, that the semblance of truth may cover the witness of fraud…

Let us pray…..

Lord Jesus Christ, You who are the truth, the light and the way, have  mercy on us, cleanse us of our sins,  make us white as snow so that we may bear witness to You and Your truth. That we may be the light for others who live in darkness and teach transgressors your ways. We ask this in Your Holy name. Amen

GOSPEL
Mark 3:7–12

7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him; 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.