Archive for July, 2013

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 31, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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All of us sinners congregate in Holy Mother Church to worship and honour our loving Father.  Through the one Holy Sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; we who are contrite of heart can be transformed, cleansed, made new, holy and righteous before the living Word of God.  At every Eucharistic Celebration and every time we listen to the Word of God, we should be transformed, to live out the Word which draws us ever closer to the Kingdom of God.

Let us pray for all those who today are still obstinate in holding on to worldliness. Who refuse to change, to be transformed. Who hold to the view that ‘I come to see what the Church can do for me’ not ‘What I can do for my Holy Mother Church’ Who are disrespectful to God and His Church by word, deed, manner,dress and action. Whose lives lead others away instead of drawing them closer to God. May the seed of love and truth be planted in their hearts and take root before it is too late.

Let all of us by virtue of our baptism, lead others to the heavenly Kingdom by the way we lead our lives. Always ready to share the Gospels, the living Word of God; The Old Testament in light of the New and the New Testament in light of the Old. God’s loving plan of salvation for us fulfilled! Amen.

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:47–53

Jesus said to the disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Experiencing the presence of God in our lives, what greater treasure is there? The joy of the discovery, the peace and love that follows; would we not give everything we own to hold on to it?

While we still breathe the air of our existence there lurks evil waiting to pounce, to relieve us of this great treasure. Will we not discreetly keep it close to our hearts? Or do we out of vainglory boast out loud as to have it stripped away from us?

What more precious gift is there than the Son Of God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? The living Word of God, always revealed to us anew, daily in Holy Scripture. The Word made flesh; of whom we partake in the Eucharist that gives eternal life.

I want nothing and hold on to nothing of this world my Lord, my God. With Your Holy Spirit; give me always the wisdom, courage and strength to renounce all that is not of You, so that I may be pleasing in Your eyes; to love and serve You all the days of my life. Amen.

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:44–46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Time and time again our loving Lord Jesus calls us to repentance. To love and live out our lives in sanctity, in His Peace. Are we listening? All we that we need to do is cry out to Him with contrite hearts and He will come to set us free.

Yet many hold on to their base desires allowing the wiles of the devil to ensnare them. Thinking they always have time, never questioning “what If tomorrow never comes for me?”

Through the powerful intercession of our blessed mother Mary, with the angels and Saints may we never lose our God. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:36–43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”


From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop

Our Lord’s words teach us that though we labor among the many distractions of this world, we should have but one goal. For we are but travelers on a journey without as yet a fixed abode; we are on our way, not yet in our native land; we are in a state of longing, not yet of enjoyment. But let us continue on our way, and continue without sloth or respite, so that we may ultimately arrive at our destination.

Martha and Mary were sisters, related not only by blood but also by religious aspirations. They stayed close to our Lord and both served him harmoniously when he was among them. Martha welcomed him as travelers are welcomed. But in her case, the maidservant received her Lord, the invalid her Savior, the creature her Creator, to serve him bodily food while she was to be fed by the Spirit. For the Lord willed to put on the form of a slave, and under this form to be fed by his own servants, out of condescension and not out of need. For this was indeed condescension, to present himself to be fed; since he was in the flesh he would indeed be hungry and thirsty.

Thus was the Lord received as a guest who came unto his own and his own received him not; but as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God, adopting those who were servants and making them his brothers, ransoming the captives and making them his co-heirs. No one of you should say: “Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!” Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says: Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.

But you, Martha, if I may say so, are blessed for your good service, and for your labors you seek the reward of peace. Now you are much occupied in nourishing the body, admittedly a holy one. But when you come to the heavenly homeland will you find a traveler to welcome, someone hungry to feed, or thirsty to whom you may give drink, someone ill whom you could visit, or quarreling whom you could reconcile, or dead whom you could bury?

No, there will be none of these tasks there. What you will find there is what Mary chose. There we shall not feed others, we ourselves shall be fed. Thus what Mary chose in this life will be realized there in all its fullness; she was gathering fragments from that rich banquet, the Word of God. Do you wish to know what we will have there? The Lord himself tells us when he says of his servants, Amen, I say to you, he will make them recline and passing he will serve them.

On Today’s Gospel

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

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How many of us can relate to Saint Martha when she welcomed Jesus into her home and served Him while Mary her sister sat at His feet. Perhaps she too would rather have just sat at His feet to listen and be with Him. But someone had to care and look after the needs of their guest. After all to love Him is to serve Him.

Problem is, like Saint Martha at that time, we too often lose sight of whom we serve. We get so caught up in the work itself that we may even view others as obstacles if not hindrances. Sometimes jealousy can set it thinking we are doing so much more while others reap the benefits of our labour having done less or nothing.

Instead of it being a privilege to serve Jesus, it becomes a duty, even a chore. If only we had remained focussed on Jesus we would have found, not only was the burden light, peace and love followed us throughout what needed to be done.

In today’s Gospel we see just how much faith St Martha had in Jesus! She left her mourning behind and hurried out to meet Him. She did not presume to know or understand at that time that Jesus had divine power on His own but had full faith in Him and that God looked favourably upon Him.  Jesus so loved her that He not only revealed, but allowed her to attest in faith, His power over death. The Holy Spirit spoke through her when she spoke, “You are the Christ, the son of God who is to come into the world.”

Saint Martha, pray for us that we might serve Jesus better. Help us to overcome our distractions and worries to listen to his words and be present to him this day. Amen  

MEMORIAL

SAINT MARTHA

Gospel       John 11:19–27

And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”

 

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Posted: July 28, 2013 by CatholicJules in Photos

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July 28th 2013 – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 27, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Asked and Answered

Readings:
Genesis 18:20-32
Psalm 138:1-3, 6-8
Colossians 2:12-14
Luke 11:1-13


Though we be “but dust and ashes,” we can presume to draw near and speak boldly to our Lord, as Abraham dares in this week’s First Reading.

But even Abraham – the friend of God (see Isaiah 41:8), our father in the faith (see Romans 4:12) – did not know the intimacy that we know as children of Abraham, heirs of the blessings promised to his descendants (see Galatians 3:7,29).

The mystery of prayer, as Jesus reveals to His disciples in this week’s Gospel, is the living relationship of beloved sons and daughters with their heavenly Father.  Our prayer is pure gift, made possible by the “good gift” of the Father – the Holy Spirit of His Son. It is the fruit of the New Covenant by which we are made children of God in Christ Jesus (see Galatians 4:6-7; Romans 8:15-16).

Through the Spirit given to us in Baptism, we can cry to Him as our Father – knowing that when we call He will answer.

Jesus teaches His disciples to persist in their prayer, as Abraham persisted in begging God’s mercy for the innocent of Sodom and Gomorrah.

For the sake of the one just Man, Jesus, God spared the city of man from destruction (see Jeremiah 5:1; Isaiah 53), “obliterating the bond against us,” as Paul says in this week’s Epistle.

On the Cross, Jesus bore the guilt of us all, canceled the debt we owed to God, the death we deserved to die for our transgressions. We pray as ones who have been spared, visited in our affliction, saved from our enemies.

We pray always a prayer of thanksgiving, which is the literal meaning of Eucharist. We have realized the promise of this week’s Psalm: We worship in His holy temple, in the presence of angels, hallowing His name.

In confidence we ask, knowing that we will receive, that He will bring to completion what He has done for us – raising us from the dead, bringing us to everlasting life along with Him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 26, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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The seed of evil has been planted, for there are indeed false prophets among us who hold to and teach very similar doctrines although theirs hold no truth. They claim to proclaim God’s word leading the flock away with their own interpretation and understanding of scripture.

Some among us who are lacking in faith and a deeper relationship with Jesus and His Church may easily fall prey to their human sensibilities. Then there are those who have simply fallen away from faith through temptations, others unresolved hurts and pains which they blame God for and yet others who choose not to believe.

Our merciful and loving Father is waiting patiently for all of us who have gone astray to return to His fold. Through the powerful saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for their safe return. Amen.

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:24–30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Do we prepare ourselves to receive the Word of God? Or are we just about hearing it? Or just to see if it applies to us and if it can help us in anyway? Do we yet acknowledge that it is a gift from God?

What good is it to go up and receive a gift with our hands in our pocket? Or hands behind our backs? Or hands folded across our chest? Or with soiled hands?

The loving Word of God is truly a gift! It does not discriminate nor does it ever alienate. It is however, only a gift for all who would listen. And listen we must; not just with our ears but with our heart; to be consumed into our very being. The Word is a precious gift of God, it is a living Word.  It teaches, it guides, it directs, it transforms, it moves us into action, it breathes new life. Lord Jesus let me alway be ready to receive Your Word the way You would have me receive it. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:18–23

“Hear then the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Too often we hear ourselves say that human nature dictates that to command respect among your peers you must possess great wealth and be a leader among men. We may even go so far as to say, we must strike fear in their hearts. It is far better to be feared than to be loved.

And yet the greatest leader that ever lived was a servant king! Servitude with and in Jesus is the only way which truly liberates us. It is a choice to love, to serve Him in all whom we meet. We leave human nature behind and take on the nature of Jesus. We become shepherds of all and for all and are never seen as such or felt as such. All that we do is for the glory of God our Father. Amen.

GOSPEL
Matthew 20:20–28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Why have we gone through life without the Word taking root? Without transforming us from within and with out?

Today I share a little short, true story that the grace of God allows me to. Brandon (not his real name) has two little Sisters. Together with two other boys of the same age, a younger boy and their parents we gather fortnightly to share the Word in fellowship. In the beginning he was boisterous and self centred. When it usually came his turn for sharing he turns meek and non-participative.

Months later as we share the great love we receive through the sacraments; reconciliation, the Eucharist, the Word of God, how we can and will be transformed through the love of Christ by our surrender to Him. By our active participation… Brandon listens and does…

Today when he sees his fellow schoolmates who attends our fellowship, he greets them with the peace of Christ. During fellowship he is eager to share his take on the Gospel reading of the day and how Jesus had touched him during the week. He is now seen by his peers a kind thoughtful and respectful boy. He is truly an example for his little Sisters. See his fruits!

Praise be our Lord Jesus Christ!

Glory be to the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:1–9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Do we not often have a myopic view on who are the members in our family? We often compartmentalise them into immediate, extended, Church, friends, colleagues and others. We may even behave, act, and love differently across the groups. Sometimes we treat friends better than our family and vice versa.

Today our Lord reminds us that we have a higher calling and that is all of us who are doing the Will of our Heavenly Father are to love and serve Him by loving and serving one another. A participative Christ centred community of disciples building the Kingdom of God. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 12:46–50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

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How many of us today are still asking for a sign or signs? “Please Lord show me a sign that you are real?” We either openly or secretly cry out.

What greater sign can there be? Then the cross in which He hung for the love of us. What greater sign can there be? Then the love of Himself in which He gives us in the Eucharist. What greater sign can there be? Then His Word which transforms us, that we experience His love, His Peace. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 12:38–42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.”

July 21st 2013 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 20, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Waiting on the Lord

Readings:
Genesis 18:1-10
Psalm 15:2-5
Colossians 1:24-28
Luke 10:38-42


God wants to dwell with each of us personally, intimately – as the mysterious guests once visited Abraham’s tent, as Jesus once entered the home of Mary and Martha.

By his hospitality in this week’s First Reading, Abraham shows us how we are to welcome the Lord into our lives. His selfless service of his divine guests (see Hebrews 13:1) stands in contrast to the portrait of Martha drawn in this week’s Gospel.

Where Abraham is concerned only for the well-being of his guests, Martha speaks only of herself – “Do you not care that my sister has left me by myself…Tell her to help me.” Jesus’ gentle rebuke reminds us that we risk missing the divine in the mundane, that we can fall into the trap of believing that God somehow needs to be served by human hands (see Acts 17:25).

Our Lord comes to us, not to be served but to serve (see Matthew 20:28). He gave His life that we might know the one thing we need, the “better part” which is life in the fellowship of God.

Jesus is the true Son promised today by Abraham’s visitors (see Matthew 1:1). In Him, God has made an everlasting covenant for all time, made us blessed descendants of Abraham (see Genesis 17:19,21; Romans 4:16-17, 19-21).

The Church now offers us this covenant, bringing to completion the word of God, the promise of His plan of salvation, what Paul calls “the mystery hidden for ages.”

As once He came to Abraham, Mary and Martha, Christ now comes to each of us in Word and Sacrament. As we sing in this week’s Psalm: He will make His dwelling with those who keep His Word and practice justice (see also John 14:23).

If we do these things we will not be anxious or disturbed, will not have our Lord taken from us. We will wait on the Lord, who told Abraham and tells each of us: “I will surely return to you.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

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How wicked and evil are the designs of men that for some, plot evil against another. Some simply cry for attention, for status to be recognised above all, to stand out. Others a bruised ego, hurt pride or woundedness entertain further disordered thoughts of ‘vindication’. Yet is there hope for a change of heart? For healing? For restoration?

Merciful and loving is our Lord and God that a broken spirit and contrite heart He will not spurn! O let us turn back to Him before our hearts are cast in stone!

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 12:14–21

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Do we grow in our faith as to understand the Spirit of the laws of God and our Church thereby understanding them as written in love? Or do we hold obstinately to our own views of what should and should not be?

Do we love our brethren always first, as to be concerned for their souls, for their physical and spiritual needs or are we more concerned about the problems, the discomforts and the scandals our errant brethren may cause?

What a joyous day indeed is the Lord’s day! In worship and thanksgiving we remember as made present the one Holy Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus who established for us the one and everlasting covenant. We celebrate the resurrection of our Lord who conquered death so that we may live. Do we observe this special day in love and reverence for our loving Father or do we simply schedule it in as a ‘must do’ but according to our time and to what is most convenient for  us and for our family?

GOSPEL
Matthew 12:1–8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 17, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Have we put on the yoke of Christ or the yoke of the world?

Everyone is called to labour of love and to labour for love. To not do so, is to deny our very existence for we were created in love, in the likeness and image of God our Father.

The yoke of Christ is custom-made from loving hands for us, that it is fashioned to fit us snugly and comfortably . And we can bear His burden for He gives us none too great to bear. If it gets a little heavy He is there to shoulder on with us. And if we are weary He will give us rest. Amen

Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ!

GOSPEL Matthew 11:28–30

Jesus said:“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 17, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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When we think we know all we have to know about our faith; When we think we know more than what was revealed to others through the Holy Spirit or when we think we know all there is to know about Jesus or our Heavenly Father; we have stopped growing, we have stopped loving.

Only when we open our hearts and minds like that of a child’s insatiable desire for knowledge and truth, can we know our Lord, our God.

To know our Lord is to love Him. To love Him is to constantly seek Him. To seek Him is to find Him through His Word. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 11:25–27

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”


COMMUNION

See (C) the Eucharist; is in the beginning (o) and at the end(o) . The alpha and the omega. It is you (u) and I (i) together with our fellowmen(mX2) on earth as in heaven.  Loving and serving our Lord and neighbours(nX2)

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 15, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Are we not to turn away from our sinful pasts? Are we not to reconcile ourselves with our Father who loves us? Inspite of our wickedness or what evil we had done. Despite how we have failed to live out best possible lives, according to His Will for us. Our loving Father is calling us back to Him.

Great rejoicing there will be, for when the repentant sinner who comes home! But let us take heed! For we know not when the door to come home will be closed. That is why Jesus is upset and mourns for the sinner who refuses to turn back to God, for the harsh reality is that the door will be shut for all eternity. How painful it must be to be separated from our loving Father.

Through the intercession of our blessed mother Mary and all the Saints, may we never lose our God. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 11:20–24

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 15, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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How many of us have either family and friends who have lapsed in their faith or are of a different religion or belief? How many of these have either kept their distance or who are antagonistic towards us simply because of our faith in Jesus? How many have encouraged us to leave our faith or tried to use our faith against us?

What are we to do? First and foremost we need to acknowledge Jesus as our sovereign Lord. Above all and above all things. No one can ever love us more than He. We need to grow in our faith and love. We must learn that we can bear all burdens and suffering for His yoke is easy and we bear not alone. We must be forgiving, loving and seek to serve Him by serving our brethren. Only then, by the way we lead our lives, with Him, through Him and in Him can we hope to bring our family, friends and all who would listen into faith.

Lord Jesus be our light and our guide as we take up our cross and follow You. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 10:34C11:1

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter–in–law against her mother–in–law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple– amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.

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Posted: July 14, 2013 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures

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July 14th 2013 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 13, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

What We Must Do

Readings:
Deuteronomy 30:10-14
Psalm 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37
Colossians 1:15-20
Luke 10:25-37


We are to love God and our neighbor with all the strength of our being, as the scholar of the Law answers Jesus in this week’s Gospel.

This command is nothing remote or mysterious – it’s already written in our hearts, in the book of sacred Scripture. “You have only to carry it out,” Moses says in this week’s First Reading.

Jesus tells His interrogator the same thing: “Do this and you will live.”

The scholar, however, wants to know where he can draw the line. That’s the motive behind his question: “Who is my neighbor?”

In his compassion, the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable reveals the boundless mercy of God – who came down to us when we were fallen in sin, close to dead, unable to pick ourselves up.

Jesus is “the image of the invisible God,” this week’s Epistle tells us. In Him, the love of God has come very near to us. By the “blood of His Cross” – by bearing His neighbors’ sufferings in His own body, being himself stripped and beaten and left for dead – He saved us from bonds of sin, reconciled us to God and to one another.

Like the Samaritan, He pays the price for us, heals the wounds of sin, pours out on us the oil and wine of the sacraments, entrusts us to the care of His Church, until He comes back for us.

Because His love has known no limits, ours cannot either. We are to love as we have been loved, to do for others what He has done for us – joining all things together in His Body, the Church.

We are to love like the singer of this week’s Psalm – like those whose prayers have been answered, like those whose lives has been saved, who have known the time of His favor, have seen God in His great mercy turn toward us.

This is the love that leads to eternal life, the love Jesus commands today of the scholar, and of each of us – “Go and do likewise.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 12, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Today Jesus teaches us a little more about discipleship and of God our Father’s great love for us.

To truly love and serve our Lord, our God is to allow Him to dwell and rule in our hearts, in our minds, in our soul. It is a daily choice to remain humble and loving servants faithfully tending to His flock. To stroll bare with Him as when Adam and Eve did in Eden. For our God sees all and knows all.

God our ever loving Father is ever watchful over His children, whether we stumble on our own accord or whether we are tripped. He is aware of everything that goes on in our life. So great is His love for us, He sent His Only Son to save us from eternal death. Let us glorify Him, in all that we say and do. Amen.

GOSPEL
Matthew 10:24–33

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 11, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Why go through so much grief, facing opposition, oppression and persecution? All in the name of Jesus, our faith? Isn’t the real question though, can we live a lie? Rather a life of lies? So what is the truth then?

The Truth has come to set us free. From sin, inner turmoil, anxieties, depression, fear, loneliness even death. The Truth has come to prepare us for eternal life with our ever loving Father. Jesus brings new life, new hope, Peace and Love.

The Holy Spirit teaches and guides in all truth and armed we can withstand and defend against the blows of the often cruel, sharp even loose tongues.

Do we then go seeking out all those who would challenge our faith? Seeking Martyrdom? NO… Martyrdom if it ever comes to that, should be a result of our love, of our faith in Christ; not a cause. Let us be wise as serpents, faultless and harmless as doves. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 10:16–23

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and Spirit the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 11, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Why do some of us cringe in fear when we hear the word evangelisation? Or feel that it is beyond us to share let alone preach our faith? How is it then when we receive a windfall, gift or fantastic news we cannot wait to share it with our family and friends? Sometimes the happiness is so great we might even share it with strangers? What greater gift is there than our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ? What greater love and peace can we ever hope to have than what we have in Him? How then can we not want to burst at the seams to share Him with others?

When we have a project or a mission, do we not worry if we have enough in the budget set aside to complete it? The means and the expertise to carry it out? Our Lord Jesus is sending all of us out on a mission to share the Good News with others.  What do you think the budget for this mission is? Do you think He will send us out unprepared? With zero gifts and talents? Why do we even need or ever have a need to worry? With God with us, who can be against us?

In our mission, we are to bring the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ with us. Do we need to be fearful of rejection? Who are they truly rejecting when they reject us?

Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see Him who has called us to His kingdom. (Rule of Saint Benedict)

GOSPEL
Matthew 10:7–15

7 And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. 9 Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, salute it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 10, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Have we yet come to the realization that we too are called by Name to share the Gospel message with others? Especially our fallen brethren who have lost their way and their faith? We are all born into new life by our baptism and by that very fact we are all Kingdom builders; for indeed the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!

Let us then walk in faith and in Christ to proclaim the good news, bringing with us healing, hope, the peace and love of Jesus to all we meet. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 10:1–7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’“

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 9, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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How can we praise and glorify God when our lips are sealed by our sinfulness? The devil uses all his trickery and deceit to lure and keep us away from God. “You are not good enough!” “There’s always tomorrow “”Enjoy life while you can, then when you are good and ready you can always go for confession.” “Jesus loves only good children.”Christian faith is stifling, old fashioned and brutally rigid!” his voice in the world tells us. So sisters and brothers, do we allow ourselves to continue to submit to the lordship of the devil?

So loving is our Lord Jesus that He sees the goodness in our hearts, no matter how faint or minute. He wants to heal us, to transform us.  “Come let me embrace you with my love, I know how sorry you are. Come follow me, as we journey home to our Heavenly Father.”

Jesus is calling for us all to be shepherds like Him, for others; so that they too may find their way to Him. Many are crying out to know Him, to love Him, to be loved by Him. To be healed, to live life to the fullest. Let us respond to His call and let us pray for one another that all our hearts may be opened to be filled with His grace and strength as we declare, “Yes Lord here I am ready to serve!” Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 9:32–38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 8, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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If we would not be reverent before our Lord Jesus, or appeal to Him in humility, or in acknowledgement of our weaknesses and sinfulness, do we really expect our Lord to answer our prayers?

Are we lukewarm in our faith? Are we ‘faithful’ or ‘faith-filled’ only when we have a dire need? Do we have a mob mentality where we listen and act in call of the loudest voice? The voice of the world? Or are we truly disciples ever faithful, ever watchful for our Lord and swift to act in His name?

Jesus my Lord, my God, You are the author of life! In love for us, You came to offer us new life and life to the full.  Through Your grace, may we always be faithful to You and Your call. Amen.

GOSPEL
Matthew 9:18–26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.

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Posted: July 7, 2013 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures, Prayers

JesusIPray

July 7th 2013 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 6, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Harvest Time

Readings:
Isaiah 66:10-14
Psalm 66:1-7,16,20
Galatians 6:14-18
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20


Jesus has a vision in this week’s Gospel – Satan falling like lightning from the sky, the enemy vanquished by the missionary preaching of His Church.

Sent out by Jesus to begin gathering the nations into the harvest of divine judgment (see Isaiah 27:12-13; Joel 4:13), the 70 are a sign of the continuing mission of the Church.

Carrying out the work of the 70, the Church proclaims the coming of God’s kingdom, offers His blessings of peace and mercy to every household on earth – “every town and place He intended to visit.”

Our Lord’s tone is solemn today. For in the preaching of the Church “the kingdom of God is at hand,” the time of decision has come for every person. Those who do not receive His messengers will be doomed like Sodom.

But those who believe will find peace and mercy, protection and nourishment in the bosom of the Church, the Mother Zion we celebrate in this week’s beautiful First Reading, the “Israel of God” Paul blesses in this week’s Epistle.

The Church is a new family of faith (see Galatians 6:10) in which we receive a new name that will endure forever (see Isaiah 66:22), a name written in heaven.

In this week’s Psalm we sing of God’s “tremendous deeds among men” throughout salvation history. But of all the works of God, none has been greater than what He has wrought by the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Changing the sea into dry land was but an anticipation and preparation for our passing over, for what Paul calls the “new creation.”

And as the exodus generation was protected in a wilderness of serpents and scorpions (see Deuteronomy 8:15), He has given His Church power now over “the full force of the Enemy.” Nothing will harm us as we make our way through the wilderness of this world, awaiting the Master of the harvest, awaiting the day when all on earth will shout joyfully to the Lord, sing praise to the glory of His name.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 5, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Are we mournful Catholics? Do we not instead rejoice at every Sunday eucharistic celebration? Giving our God thanks and praise!? Our Lord and saviour conquered death so that we may have new life in a Him. Are we not to celebrate our salvation? Our redemption?

We need to be transformed at every celebration by the Word and the reception of Jesus into our very being. We cannot hold on to our old sinful lives or our inertia to grow in our faith. God speaks to us everyday, in every Eucharistic celebration. Are we listening? Are we growing? Are we transformed?

GOSPEL
Matthew 9:14–17

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 5, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Jesus Calls Matthew

Are we still waiting for the day or the right time to change? To turn away from a sinful past? Do we feel trapped in that this current way of life is all we know? Have we given up all hope? All hope for change?

Jesus is calling us today……”Come follow me.” He does not place any conditions on us, in fact He offers us His embrace of unconditional love. All we need to do is to make up our mind and respond to His call, “Follow me..”

There is no other God but our One loving and ever living God. Who will sit and eat with us even though we are poor sinners. Merciful is He that He washes us clean with His own precious blood and nourishes us with His divine flesh. What did we do to deserve such love? Nothing…..

What can we ever do to repay You for your great kindness and enormous love for us sweet Jesus? Yet all You ask is that we love God our loving Father with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind  and that we love one another as You have loved us. To extend the mercy we receive to all that we meet. Amen

GOSPEL
Matthew 9:9–13

9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
10 And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 4, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Oh how sin paralyses us! Keeps us transfixed through our guilt and base desires on our rage, lust, envy, pride  unforgiveness, laziness, vengefulness and more. Prevents us from loving and caring. What a painful, pitiful, sorrowful, meaningless life; a life separated from our beloved God.

Our loving Saviour has come so that we can truly become children of God; speaks gently to our contrite hearts “Your sins are forgiven.” “Be bold in your faith and proclaim the Gospel.”

Thank You Lord Jesus for the Sacrament of reconciliation. All Glory be to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

GOSPEL Matthew 9:1–8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, :Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”– he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 3, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Do we doubt only because we seek the truth in what might seem unfathomable? Do we doubt out of jealousy and refuse to open our minds and hearts because we were not present to encounter or share in what others did or had? Do we truly have faith in God? In all things? Can we lose that faith?

For those of us who deeply desire to know and encounter our Lord Jesus, all we really need do is with open hearts cry out to Him, ““I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) And Jesus our Lord, will surely come into our hearts wherever we are, in whatever situation we are in; bringing His Peace and Love.

For those of us who have lost our faith to sin, we need only cry out to our Lord Jesus with a truly contrite and repentant heart “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13) Turning away from sin and being faithful to the Gospels our faith is not only restored but ever growing in love.

How blessed indeed we are who have not seen and yet truly believe! All praise and Glory to you O Lord Jesus Christ!

Let us cherish the gifts of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion that our Lord gave us through the Church He established. That we may always remain in Him as He remains in us. Amen  

3 July 2013 Saint Thomas, Apostle – Feast

GOSPEL John 20:24–29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 2, 2013 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

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I slept but my heart was awake. (SONG 5:2a)

So long as we remain in Christ Jesus what have we to fear? His heart is awake to us always. Like a lost child is overjoyed and comforted at the sight of his/her parents, we can rejoice knowing by our faith that Jesus never even, leaves our side. He is the constant rock in our lives. Through the ups and downs, through it all.

Let this be our cry, our prayer….

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Never will I doubt His love for me. As I remain in Him, He remains in me. Thank you my Lord my God, for my faith, for my hope and my love in You. Amen

GOSPEL Matthew 8:23–27

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 1, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What is it that prevents us from following Jesus? Do we envision hardship? Strife? Poverty? Boredom? A form of slavery? Solitude away from family and friends?

Do we remain spiritually dead? Do we rather prefer chasing rainbows? Or spend our whole lives searching for meaning? Love? Peace? Happiness?

A life with our Lord is the only one which completes us. We have lasting joy, peace, love and true life. We shall not want or need. We find happiness in servitude to God and others, there is meaning to mortal suffering and to life and an abundance of love in all things. We are one with our bridegroom, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

GOSPEL Matthew 8:18–22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”