Archive for February, 2013

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 23, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

love-your-enemies

Do we only love those who are from the same country, nation or religion? Do we love exclusively? We are called to love in spite of, despite of… yet isn’t it too hard? Isn’t it too difficult to love those who have wronged us? To love those who have hurt us terribly? To love those who persecute us?

Yet is it not true that we hope and pray, even expect God to love us in spite of….despite of…to love us regardless?

Who is our greatest role model on love? Is it not our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ? He who was tortured, spat upon, taunted, nailed, hung on a cross and yet forgave us from that very cross we hung Him?

We do Not pray for evildoers who commit atrocities for fun or evil’s sake but why do we pray for those who persecute us? Why did Saint Stephen pray for those who stoned him? Isn’t it because his persecutors have yet to have known Christ? Isn’t it true that we sometimes persecute others because we have not yet come to faith or were rash in doing so?

We through our sufferings and struggles can be perfected in Christ so that we too can love as God loves us and be merciful as God our Father is merciful towards us. Only then can we be assured; when we cry out to our Heavenly Father, “Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who have trespass against us.” Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 5:43–48

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 22, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

casaereaPhi

caesarea philippi

Who is Jesus for you? Is He just an extraordinary man that existed in history for you? Was He simply a prophet? Was He just a charismatic leader? Was He just a crazy fanatic able to convince so many? Have you truly encountered Him? Do you have a relationship with Him? If you do not, why?

Can you, like Peter cry out “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” ? If we truly have a relationship with Him, we can readily and easily cry out, “My Lord, My God, you are my all in all!”

Jesus founded His one true Church upon His rock, Peter and He said that His Church will stand forever. Do we say this in the creed with conviction? Do we acknowledge our one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? Do we hold and treasure the sacred traditions and sacraments?

Let us sing to the Lord with all our hearts and soul!

Hail Redeemer, King divine!
Priest and Lamb, the throne is thine;
King, whose reign shall never cease,
Prince of everlasting peace.

Angels, saints and nations sing :
“Praise be Jesus Christ our King;
Lord of life, earth, sky and sea,
King of love on Calvary!”

King most holy, King of truth,
guard the lowly, guide the youth;
Christ the King of glory bright,
be to us eternal light.

Shepherd-king, o’er mountains steep
homeward bring the wandering sheep;
shelter in one royal fold
states and kingdoms, new and old.

Crimson streams, O King of grace,
drenched thy thorn-crowned head and face;
floods of love’s redeeming tide
tore thy hands, thy feet, and side.

Eucharistic King, what love
draws thee daily from above,
clad in signs of bread and wine :
feed us, lead us, keep us thine!

King, whose name creation thrills,
rule our hearts, our minds, our wills;
till in peace, each nation rings
with thy praises, King of kings.

Sing with joy in ev’ry home :
“Christ our King, thy kingdom come!
To the King of ages, then,
honour, glory, love : Amen!”

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

churchnotchurches

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 21, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Is there anything greater than prayer where there is a meeting of hearts between men, women and their one eternal God?

What is our prayer? Do our prayers flow from our lips to God’s ear? Does God speak to us when we pray? Do we even listen? Are our prayers ordered to the will of God our Father?

When we pray for things that will nourish us and give us life or give life to others? Will He not answer? When we pray for things that are bad or harmful to us or in our limited vision may destroy the fabric of love in our lives, do we expect Him to fulfill them?

If  we are not fair in our dealings and that which is honest, lovely and of good report among men, can we expect to receive good things from God?

Our asking, our prayers should be rooted in love, to be followed by action hence the knocking on the door which we have put up by our sins.  Our desire for God, our seeking Him out, to be transformed, to be changed, to live and to love; We will surely find Him there waiting to embrace us!

GOSPEL Matthew 7:7–12

7 “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12 So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 20, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Are we still waiting to see a miracle or to hear a loud booming voice in the sky before we have faith? Do we not see God’s hand in our lives? Do we not hear Him speaking to us daily? Do we set aside some quiet time to be with Him? Why?

Are our hearts calling out to the Lord our God? Do we truly seek Him in humility? If we have, we would surely have heard Him call us to repentance whether through His priest, prophets or kings here on earth or even directly to us, be it through our conscience, our physical senses.  He so very much desires to embrace us in His love, to heal us, to fill the void in us.  How can He? If we refuse to let go of our sinful pleasures, sinful desires, greed, empty pride, selfishness, unforgiveness, arrogance, idol worship etc? How can He speak to us if we refuse to listen?

If atheist, even non-Christians have searched and found our true God, why can’t we? We have the fullness of faith and yet do we blind ourselves? Do we intentionally shut our ears?

Jesus! the greatest gift from God! A gift of Himself, a love offering for all. There is no greater gift, there is no greater love! Please! Let us not go on rejecting Him by our sinfulness! Let us embrace Him as He reaches out to us….

Let us sing this prayer….

Sweet heart of Jesus! Fount of Love and Mercy,
Today we come Thy blessings to implore;
O touch our hearts so cold and so ungrateful,
And make them Lord, Thine own for evermore.

Chorus:
Sweet heart of Jesus! We implore;
Oh! Make us love Thee more and more.

Sweet heart of Jesus! Make us know and love Thee,
Unfold to us the treasures of Thy Grace,
That so our hearts, from things of earth uplifted,
May long alone to gaze upon Thy Face.

GOSPEL Luke 11:29–32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

On Today’s Gospel…

Posted: February 19, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

our-father

Do we pray in humility, with intense and fervent application of mind, with pure love and suppliant spirit? When our prayers are ordered to the Will of God, will there be a need for an answer? Do we allow Him to speak to our hearts?

Do we truly acknowledge the Lord our God as Father of us all? Do we honour Him first in our hearts and our will, only then by our lips?

Do we truly treasure the rich and glorious Lord’s prayer with depths which speaks volumes by reciting it slowly, reflecting on every word? The first three petitions give glory and praise to God our Father, do we do so in prayer and deed?

How can the love and mercy of God free us from our sins if we have placed the shackles of unforgiveness of others around our very own necks, hands and feet and by our refusal and obstinacy of our hearts to allow Him to remove them and heal us?

Gospel – Matthew 6:7-15

7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread; 12 And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors; 13 And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

For Reflection

Posted: February 18, 2013 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

“How fortunate we are…to have a God as a model. Are we poor? We have a God who is born in a stable, who lies in a manger. Are we despised? We have a God who led the way, who was crowned with thorns, dressed in a filthy red cloak and treated as a madman. Are we tormented by pain and suffering? Before our eyes we have a God covered with wounds, dying in unimaginable pain. Are we being persecuted? How can we dare complain when have a God who is being put to death by executioners? Finally, we are being tempted by the demon? We have our lovable redeemer:He was also tempted by the demon and was twice taken up by that hellish spirit :therefore, no matter what sufferings, pains, or temptations we are experiencing, we always have, everywhere, our God leading the way for us and assuring us of victory as long as we genuinely desire it.”   – St John Vianney

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 18, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

ByStefan Locner Picture By Stefan Locner
 

The Lord speaks to us of the day of final judgement, we do not and will not know when, are we prepared? Some of us may have tomorrow and more tomorrows, while some of us may not have a tomorrow…. have we made used of the gifts and talents bestowed upon us for the Glory of God our Father?

Have we been loving, lukewarm or distant and even suspicious of others? When we chance upon a needy, helpless person, do we offer our assistance and do all we can to help or do we tell ourselves someone else more qualified, more able will be available? Do we shrug and say I don’t know what to do or what can I do instead of trying? Do we offer prayers instead of a loaf to the hungry?

For unborn children, do we reject the gift from God? For the very young, do we clothe, feed and care for them when they are sick? Do we teach, counsel and guide them? Do we help bring joy to them when there is sadness and despair? Or do we abuse them, curse and are impatient with them?

Are we truly disciples of Jesus? When He walked the earth, He was loving, merciful and kind to all, Jews and Gentiles alike. Are we the same way? Are we holy as our Heavenly Father is holy?

Let us pray…

O God of love and mercy, You sent Your own Son to live among us and die for us, when we were trapped in the ways of sin and death. Through this season of Lent, set your people free from our selfish ways to live Your law of love as disciples of Jesus our Lord. Amen

GOSPEL Matthew 25:31–46

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”