Archive for September, 2013

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Lord I come before You now with a humble heart desiring truly to serve You only according to Your Will. Let me never lose sight that it is You my Jesus that I serve. For it is in my fallen nature to sometimes crave recognition or even a position of influence or power.

Thank You Lord, for the powerful reminder of what it means to be a child of God. To be free from the lustful desires of the World. To be innocent, pure and reliant on Your Good Counsel and providence. On us, You bestow Your Graces abundantly.

I am reminded also of Your great love for us, for by Your incarnation You came to us as a babe. A clear message that You did not come to judge, but to save us. And likewise I too should not condemn but to assist in Your name, in saving our Heavenly Father’s Children; my brethren. To seek always to bring those who desire to follow You, closer to the deeper relationship You desire through Your Church. Sweet Jesus be my guide always. Amen

GOSPEL
Luke 9:46–50

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

September 29th 2013 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 28, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

September 29th 2013 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Great Chasm

Readings:
Amos 6:1, 4-7
Psalm 146:7-10
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Luke 16:19-31 (see also ‘Who is the Rich Man’)


The rich and powerful are visited with woe and exile in today’s Liturgy – not for their wealth but for their refusal to share it; not for their power but for their indifference to the suffering at their door.

The complacent leaders in today’s First Reading feast on fine foods and wines, reveling while the house of Joseph, the kingdom of Israel (see Amos 5:6), collapses around them.

The rich man in today’s Gospel also lives like a king – dressed in royal purple and fine linen (see 1 Maccabees 8:14).

The rich man symbolizes Israel’s failure to keep the Old Covenant, to heed the commandments of Moses and the prophets. This is the sin of the rulers in today’s First Reading. Born to the nation God favored first, they could claim Abraham as their father. But for their failure to give – their inheritance is taken away.

The rulers are exiled from their homeland. The rich man is punished with an exile far greater – eternity with a “great chasm” fixed between himself and God.

In this world, the rich and powerful make a name for themselves (see Genesis 11:4) and dine sumptuously, while the poor remain anonymous, refused an invitation to their feasts.

But notice that the Lord today knows Lazarus by name, and Joseph in his sufferings – while the leaders and the rich man have no name.

Today’s Liturgy is a call to repentance – to heed the warning of One who was raised from the dead. To lay hold of the eternal life He promises, we must pursue righteousness, keep the commandment of love, as Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle.

“The Lord loves the just,” we sing in today’s Psalm.

And in this Eucharist we have a foretaste of the love that will be ours in the next life – when He will raise the lowly to the heavenly banquet with Abraham and the prophets (see Luke 13:28), where we too will rest our heads on the bosom of our Lord (see John 13:23).

‘Who is the Rich Man’

Very few of us can be numbered among the rich and the powerful who have the power to exploit the poor.

So how are we to apply to our own lives the readings for the 25th and 26th Sundays in Ordinary Time (Cycle C), which are so preoccupied with questions of social justice, wealth and poverty?

These readings remind us that the law of love (see John 15:12; Romans 13:8) means that each of us in some way will be judged by the mercy we show to the poor.

As the rich man learns in the parable of Lazarus – the distance between ourselves and God in the next life may be the distance we put between ourselves and the poor in this life (see Matthew 25:31-46; James 2:8,14-17).

But we also need to hear these readings in context of the Gospel message in recent months. Recall that among the stories we’ve heard is that of the teacher who wanted to know, “Who is my neighbor?” (see Luke 10:25-37) and of the rich fool who tried to store up earthly treasures (see Luke 12:13-21).

We may not be “rich men” or exploiters of the poor, but each of us should take to heart the persistent message of the Liturgy – that what we have and desire to have can separate us from God and our neighbor; that our possessions can come to possess us; that true riches are to be found in sharing what we have with the poor; and that this will gain us what we truly desire – the inheritance of treasure in heaven.

On Today’s Gospel

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

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Thank You Jesus for the many blessings showered on my family and me. Thank You for allowing us to witness Your glory today and everyday.

May we stand ready when suffering befalls so that we can unite our sufferings with Yours at the cross and with all the sufferings of our brethren in the world. May our suffering never be in vain; but bring us closer to You. Amen.

GOSPEL
Luke 9:43b–45

While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

On Today’s Gospel

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

whodoyousay

If someone asked me a few years ago, “Who is Jesus? And who is he to you?”  I would most likely have given them a historical account of You. I may even have thrown in a few phrases learnt from Catechism, like “He is the Son of God…” “A messiah sent to save us from sins” “He died on the cross for us so that we may live.”  All said with conviction and yet hidden behind a smile would lie a little secret skepticism, not from unbelief but an untrained and unschooled mind. Deep in my heart I knew that I would never need to go elsewhere to search for the truth, no other faith could ever come close. Sadly all the treasures I would ever need in this lifetime lay before me and yet I was blind to it all. I was deaf to Your Word and a mute as one not able to sing Your praises.

Then on that most memorable day in the adoration room, when I lay prostrate at Your feet in total surrender.  You answered my prayer to truly know and to love You. You filled me with Your peace and Your love. My eyes were opened to the wonders of You and the Church You established. My ears could finally hear Your voice in the Word, and I understood like never before. My mouth uttered your praises, and I could lift my voice up in prayer and song. And if anyone today asked me the same question, “Who is Jesus? And who is he to you?” I would answer, “He is my Lord and my God!” “He is the Son of the living God, who truly loves all of us and wants us to have a deep meaningful relationship with Him.” Then I would begin if they would allow me, to share with them all the wonders of You my Jesus. Of how You are real today as You were in the beginning of time.

And I would declare with all my heart that You, Lord Jesus are my all in all! And though I will never fully know all there is to know about You for You are an infinite depth of knowledge and love. I will treasure every little bit that I do know of You….Dwell always in my heart, my Lord and my God. Amen

GOSPEL

Luke 9:18–22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

antipas

When did my soul first blacken? Which grave sin placed me on the road of Shadows? Was it lust? Or was it the murder of spirits by my loose vulgar tongue combined with rage? Lord though I couldn’t remember when it happened, I never forgot that there were once at least one or two good church going persons who believed wholeheartedly what You taught. And whom were once in my life…

Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of Your good people and wonder if I could ever have what they seem to have….. Peace. So many times You called out to me but I dared not listen for I thought how could You love a sinner such as I?

Thank You Jesus for loving me the way You do. Thank You for those who had prayed for my return. Thank You for giving me the courage not just to see You, but to seek and find You. Thank You for having mercy on me and transforming me with Your love.

I pray now for all those who have strayed far from You. May they come to know You personally through me, Your many gentle Shepherds or that they respond through Your loving call. And find You as I have; waiting with merciful, gentle and loving arms ready to embrace them. Amen

GOSPEL
Luke 9:7–9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.

On Today’s Gospel

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

jesus-sending-out-disciples

My Lord Jesus Christ, at every Eucharistic celebration you send me out to go into the world to share the Good News, to heal and restore.  Forgive me Lord, for I was not prepared, nor was I truly listening with my heart.

I had a lukewarm faith believing that Your call was meant only for a certain few and that for the rest of us, we could somehow touch others by the way we live our lives as Christians. How wrong was I Lord? How could I expect to touch anyone with a lukewarm faith? If everyone chose to live only by example who will ever hear of Your sweet name? How do I glorify You with my lips sealed? You gave me a complete body, mind and soul should I not offer all of myself up to You?

You empower me Lord Jesus and it is You alone that I need. For when I go in Your name, I go with an assurance that You are with me every step of the way. What will I ever need that You will not provide? When I speak let my words be Your Words, when I think, let Your thoughts by my thoughts. Let me be patient with others as You were patient with me. Let me bring healing in Your name as You have healed me. Let me bring restoration in Your name as You have restored me. Let me bring Your peace, love and joy to all whom I meet; by Your Word Lord, by Your Word. And let me continue to pray for the conversion of all those who obstinately refuse to listen now. For You alone can soften their hearts…..I ask this in Your most Holy name, You who live and reign with the Father and The Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

GOSPEL
Luke 9:1–6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

On Today’s Gospel

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

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When someone would greet me with the term brother in church, I would cringe thinking to myself who is your brother? Fault finding was a norm, he/she doesn’t know how to dress appropriately, he/she is proud and I’m not greeting him/her anymore. The choir is too loud, the wardens are more like prison ones who never learned to smile.

I realised that all this was a result of not having a relationship with You, my Lord, my God. For being part of the body of Christ was a concept not a practice. It is only when my relationship with You grew in love, did my understanding and love for my sisters and brothers in Christ grow too. I started learning to love them; my fellow sinners we, who are all struggling to remain steadfast and faithful.

Those who are irreverent in dressing or demeanor had not yet encountered You in a personal way and it was up to us Your family to patiently and prayerfully facilitate that encounter so that they too can experience the joy of knowing You on a deeper level through Your Word.

Lord Jesus, we are one body in You and You in us. Grant us the wisdom, knowledge and courage to listen to Your Word and to act on it according to Your Will. Amen.

GOSPEL
Luke 8:19–21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”