Archive for July, 2016

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 30, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Fool’s Vanity:

Scott Hahn Reflects on the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Luke 12:13-21

Trust in God—as the Rock of our salvation, as the Lord who made us His chosen people, as our shepherd and guide. This should be the mark of our following of Jesus.

Like the Israelites we recall in this week’s Psalm, we have made an exodus, passing through the waters of Baptism, freeing us from our bondage to sin. We too are on a pilgrimage to a promised homeland, the Lord in our midst, feeding us heavenly bread, giving us living waters to drink (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

We must take care to guard against the folly that befell the Israelites, that led them to quarrel and test God’s goodness at Meribah and Massah.

We can harden our hearts in ways more subtle but no less ruinous. We can put our trust in possessions, squabble over earthly inheritances, kid ourselves that what we have we deserve, store up treasures and think they’ll afford us security, rest.

All this is “vanity of vanities,” a false and deadly way of living, as this week’s First Reading tells us.

This is the greed that Jesus warns against in this week’s Gospel. The rich man’s anxiety and toil expose his lack of faith in God’s care and provision. That’s why Paul calls greed “idolatry” in the Epistle this week. Mistaking having for being, possession for existence, we forget that God is the giver of all that we have, we exalt the things we can make or buy over our Maker (see Romans 1:25).

Jesus calls the rich man a “fool”—a word used in the Old Testament for someone who rebels against God or has forgotten Him (see Psalm 14:1).

We should treasure most the new life we have been given in Christ and seek what is above, the promised inheritance of heaven. We have to see all things in the light of eternity, mindful that He who gives us the breath of life could at any moment—this night even—demand it back from us.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: July 30, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Let us face the truth in our lives. We have been giving excuses for our sinful choices. And sin encompasses not just what we have done but what we have failed to do. Let us not add to our sin by condemning those who speak the truth to us. For it takes great courage to speak up for the truth, and all these can only come from the Lord.

Lord harden not my heart to the truth. Be patient and merciful Lord as I do choose to live in Your light and love. Give me the courage and strength to always speak up for the Truth. Amen

First reading
Jeremiah 26:11-16,24

The priests and prophets addressed the officials and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Jeremiah, however, replied to the people as follows:

‘The Lord himself sent me to say all the things you have heard against this Temple and this city. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of the Lord your God: if you do, he will relent and not bring down on you the disaster he has pronounced against you. For myself, I am as you see in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its citizens, since the Lord has truly sent me to you to say all these words in your hearing.’

The officials and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, ‘This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.’

Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Gospel
Matthew 14:1-12

Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus, and said to his court, ‘This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’

Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. For John had told him, ‘It is against the Law for you to have her.’ He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet. Then, during the celebrations for Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and so delighted Herod that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked. Prompted by her mother she said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head, here, on a dish.’ The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her, and sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl who took it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 29, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The nature of sin is such that it seeks to blind and deafen us so that we do not see the wonders of our Lord and hear His Word. The life we choose through the tempter would in all appearance seem good. Even our senses of sight, taste, smell etc. might savour the ‘good’ in them. And yet its path surely leads us to death.

Only the living Word of God, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ gives life! Let us receive Him in steadfast faith as St Martha did. For through Him alone can we experience the joy of His Resurrection and live life to the full. Together with St Martha let us proclaim Christ, the Son of God who was, who is and who will come again. Amen

St Martha pray for us….

First reading
Jeremiah 26:1-9

At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘The Lord says this: Stand in the court of the Temple of the Lord. To all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of the Lord you must speak all the words I have commanded you to tell them; do not omit one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intended for their misdeeds. Say to them, “The Lord says this: If you will not listen to me by following my Law which I put before you, by paying attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send so persistently to you, without your ever listening to them, I will treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’

The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of the Lord. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets seized hold of him and said, ‘You shall die! Why have you made this prophecy in the name of the Lord, “This Temple will be like Shiloh, and this city will be desolate, and uninhabited”?’ And the people were all crowding round Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord.

Gospel
John 11:19-27

Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection and the life.

If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Do you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: July 28, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Mould me Lord, mould me into Your masterpiece. Be patient with me Lord and know that I am slowly but surely trusting and letting go of myself into Your loving hands. Have mercy on me for the times I am stubborn and go my own way. You are my Potter Lord and I am Your clay.

And now Lord as You say that I am ready. I will go Lord and share Your love with others. The promise and fulfillment of our Salvation through Your only Begotten Son Jesus. The intricately woven tapestry of the old and the new which brings new life. I will proclaim the glory of the living God among us. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Jeremiah 18:1-6

The word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘Get up and make your way down to the potter’s house; there I shall let you hear what I have to say.’ So I went down to the potter’s house; and there he was, working at the wheel. And whenever the vessel he was making came out wrong, as happens with the clay handled by potters, he would start afresh and work it into another vessel, as potters do. Then this word of the Lord was addressed to me, ‘House of Israel, can not I do to you what this potter does?– it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine, House of Israel.’

Gospel
Matthew 13:47-53

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: July 27, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


There is no greater treasure than the living Word of God revealed through our encounter with the living Lord our God. And we should do well to hold on to it and hide it; not from others but from the evil one that seeks to rob it from us.

The small price to pay for this wonderful treasure is to give everything, our all to the author of life, our Heavenly Father. Who wants not to do us harm but to prosper us. We are given life to the full and as we journey on and remain steadfast; we become Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. We are given the opportunity to share His Word with everyone.

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

First reading
Jeremiah 15:10,16-21

‘Woe is me, my mother, for you have borne me to be a man of strife and of dissension for all the land.

I neither lend nor borrow, yet all of them curse me.

‘When your words came, I devoured them: your word was my delight and the joy of my heart; for I was called by your name, the Lord, God of Hosts.

I never took pleasure in sitting in scoffers’ company; with your hand on me I held myself aloof, since you had filled me with indignation.

Why is my suffering continual, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?

Do you mean to be for me a deceptive stream with inconstant waters?’

To which the Lord replied, ‘If you come back, I will take you back into my service; and if you utter noble, not despicable, thoughts, you shall be as my own mouth.

They will come back to you, but you must not go back to them.

I will make you a bronze wall fortified against this people. They will fight against you but they will not overcome you, because I am with you to save you and to deliver you – it is the Lord who speaks.

I mean to deliver you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the clutches of the violent.’

Gospel
Matthew 13:44-46

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: July 26, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Mercy is for those who desire it, who live it and are merciful themselves.

Do not allow sin to enter into your hearts. Do not allow your ‘friends’ sway you into committing sinful acts or to be a conspirator by saying and doing nothing. Neither be led astray by family who have no relationship with the Lord your God. And most of all, do not allow unforgiveness to rob you of your Heavenly inheritance.

St Joachim, St Anne dutiful loving parents of our dearest Blessed Mother. Pray for us. Amen

First reading
Jeremiah 14:17-22

The Lord said to me:

Say this word to the people:

‘Tears flood my eyes night and day, unceasingly, since a crushing blow falls on the daughter of my people,
a most grievous injury.

If I go into the countryside, there lie men killed by the sword; if I go into the city, I see people sick with hunger; even prophets and priests
plough the land: they are at their wit’s end.’

‘Have you rejected Judah altogether? Does your very soul revolt at Zion? Why have you struck us down without hope of cure?

We were hoping for peace– no good came of it!

For the moment of cure– nothing but terror! the Lord, we do confess our wickedness and our fathers’ guilt: we have indeed sinned against you.

For your name’s sake do not reject us, do not dishonour the throne of your glory. Remember us; do not break your covenant with us.

Can any of the pagan Nothings make it rain? Can the heavens produce showers?

No, it is you, the Lord. O our God, you are our hope, since it is you who do all this.’

Gospel
Matthew 13:36-43

Leaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: July 25, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The highest form of service is to serve without want or need of reward. To serve simply out of love for whom we serve and the desire to do God our Father’s will. This can only come about when we too are dead and buried with Jesus. Only then can we be raised and experience the life that comes from our Lord.

Till then we might serve only with our lips. With partiality or at other times with half hearted vigour. We want to be seen and heard. Mercy and compassion are available only for those who accepts or embraces our way, our thoughts. When the focus should be on our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus my Lord, raise me up as I die in You so that I may serve You and my brethren in Your love. Amen

St James pray for us. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 4:7-15

We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture–I believed, and therefore I spoke– we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.

Gospel
Matthew 20:20-28

The mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’

When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’