Archive for August, 2016

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 31, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


How long must we be fed? How long will it take for us to be convinced of our faith in Jesus enough to get up and start building the Kingdom of God our Father?

Some are very concerned about who the celebrant is before attending the Eucharistic Celebration. Others who will be giving the homily? Who will be taking over as Parish priest? If there is a Parish event who is involved before I think of contributing or participating. Which group is leading the Life in the Spirit Seminar? Are we then ourselves a spiritual people? Whom do we serve? Whose Will do we honour and obey?

Does Simon’s mother-in-law not inspire us? That when the Lord removed what ailed her, she got up and served them without delay. Likewise having our many sins lifted from us, how can we not rise up to serve Him? To use all the gifts and talents we have in building His Kingdom. By leading and carrying if we have to; the crippled, the lame, blind, aged and every child of God to the gates of Heaven.

Our pilgrim journey home will be trying as it will be challenging. Let us never forget to go into the quiet, so that the Lord can give us rest and peace. For He listens to our prayers and answers them. Through His refreshing grace we rise to continue the journey back to Him. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Brothers, I myself was unable to speak to you as people of the Spirit: I treated you as sensual men, still infants in Christ. What I fed you with was milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it; and indeed, you are still not ready for it since you are still unspiritual. Isn’t that obvious from all the jealousy and wrangling that there is among you, from the way that you go on behaving like ordinary people? What could be more unspiritual than your slogans, ‘I am for Paul’ and ‘I am for Apollos’?

After all, what is Apollos and what is Paul? They are servants who brought the faith to you. Even the different ways in which they brought it were assigned to them by the Lord. I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow. Neither the planter nor the waterer matters: only God, who makes things grow. It is all one who does the planting and who does the watering, and each will duly be paid according to his share in the work. We are fellow workers with God; you are God’s farm, God’s building.

Gospel
Luke 4:38-44

Leaving the synagogue Jesus went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. Leaning over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to wait on them.

At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them. Devils too came out of many people, howling, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’ And he continued his preaching in the synagogues of Judaea.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The gift of faith shows us the way to the heart of our Heavenly Father. Yet we deprive ourselves of the deep meaningful relationship we are meant to have with Him. By refusing to spend a little of what we have an abundance of and given to us; Time in prayer.

Instead our hearts and minds are preoccupied with the worries and ways of the World. In search of reprieve we turn to the entertainment the world offers. Slowly but surely we will have our own lives sucked out of us. Do we want to live as puppets enslaved by our sins? Let us always turn to our Lord Jesus Christ who will free us.

Life in the spirit is not one without challenges. However it is one filled with the grace of God. We are never alone for we dwell with and in the Lord. Peace and joy are ours to receive and to share with all we meet. So let us pray always, giving our Lord praise and thanks. Glory be to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 2:10-16

The Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God. After all, the depths of a man can only be known by his own spirit, not by any other man, and in the same way the depths of God can only be known by the Spirit of God. Now instead of the spirit of the world, we have received the Spirit that comes from God, to teach us to understand the gifts that he has given us. Therefore we teach, not in the way in which philosophy is taught, but in the way that the Spirit teaches us: we teach spiritual things spiritually. An unspiritual person is one who does not accept anything of the Spirit of God: he sees it all as nonsense; it is beyond his understanding because it can only be understood by means of the Spirit. A spiritual man, on the other hand, is able to judge the value of everything, and his own value is not to be judged by other men. As scripture says:Who can know the mind of the Lord, so who can teach him?But we are those who have the mind of Christ.

Gospel
Luke 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.

In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all. Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’ And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Human thinking is such that we depend on knowledge, logic and our own human experience to drive us. And from this is the largest part of the information we share with others. Truth then can sometimes be philosophical.

So much is lost when we do not engage with the true knowledge and infinite wisdom of God our Father. Which goes beyond our understanding, logic and rational thinking. Such that we grasp only a little of the mysteries revealed to us and yet it grows with our dwelling on them. Such is the divine power of our Lord. And through the Holy Spirit we are empowered to share the truth and glory of Him that sends us. So that all may be saved through the knowledge and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Cut off from the vine we whither and die. Connected to the vine and yet murdered for its sake, we will live forever. This is the promise of the Resurrection fulfilled in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

St John the Baptist pray for us.

First reading
1 Corinthians 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers, it was not with any show of oratory or philosophy, but simply to tell you what God had guaranteed. During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the crucified Christ. Far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great ‘fear and trembling’ and in my speeches and the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God.

Gospel
Mark 6:17-29

Herod sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.

An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

On the Journey… 

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

​I need not be perfect, even if I should fumble He is with me.  What then should I fear? For when I am in communion with Him His divine grace fills me that is all I need. 
This is the strong message of His mercy and love for me and for you my brethren.  
I first heard it through the fiery homily of Father Terence on Wed during the anniversary of the consecration of our parish, Eucharist Celebration. Then again during and after the morning Eucharist Celebration where he reconciled a brother in Christ with me.  The message was very strong at the IRCC inter-faith dialogue session where I fumbled a tiny bit during my presentation but was filled with His peace.  And lastly today after this morning’s Eucharistic Celebration where I was randomly called up to give testimony before the congregation on my journey in life with the Holy Spirit.  Thanks and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ for the opportunity, love and support. Amen

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 27, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

To Go Up Higher: 
Scott Hahn Reflects on the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Psalm 68:4-7,10-11
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24
Luke 14:1, 7-14

We come to the wedding banquet of heaven by way of humility and charity. This is the fatherly instruction we hear in today’s First Reading, and the message of today’s Gospel.

Jesus is not talking simply about good table manners. He is revealing the way of the kingdom, in which the one who would be greatest would be the servant of all (see Luke 22:24-27).

This is the way He showed us, humbling Himself to come among us as a man (see Philippians 2:5-8), as one who serves, as the bearer of glad tidings to the poor (see Luke 4:18).

This is the way, too, that the Father has shown us down through the ages—filling the hungry, sending the rich away empty, lifting up the lowly, pulling down the proud (see Luke 1:52-53).

We again call to mind the Exodus in today’s Psalm—how in His goodness the Lord led the Israelites from imprisonment to prosperity, rained down bread from heaven, made them His inheritance, becoming a “Father of orphans.”

We now too have gained a share of His inheritance. We are to live humbly, knowing we are are not worthy to receive from His table (see Luke 6:7; 15:21). We are to give alms, remembering we were ransomed from sin by the price of His blood (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

The Lord promises that if we are humble we will be exalted and find favor with God; that if we are kind to those who can never repay us, we will atone for sins, and find blessing in the resurrection of the righteous.

We anticipate the fulfillment of those promises in every Eucharist, today’s Epistle tells us. In the Mass, we enter the festal gathering of the angels and the firstborn children of God, the liturgy of the heavenly Jerusalem in which Jesus is the high priest, the King who calls us to come up higher (see Proverbs 25:6-7).

On Today’s Gospel  

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


We are all chosen children of God. Given many graces and talents to build His Kingdom. Not to use our gifts to Lord it over another. Or to flatter ourselves into thinking we are better than anyone else.

It is in humble service of our Lord Jesus and our brethren; that we realise by giving our all we receive much more than we could ever hope for.

But many still are not willing to use the gifts and talents they have received. Some are too lazy, self absorbed while others do not think they have any gifts or talents to begin with. If only they would say yes in faith and try they would see their gifts multiplied by our Lord!

Jesus guide my heart, my mind, my soul and in everything I do. So that one day I may hear You say to me, “Come my dear and faithful servant, come share in Your Lord’s happiness.” Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen;– those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything. The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God’s doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says:if anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord.

Gospel
Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.

‘The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.”

‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.” But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 26, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

The good news of our salvation which happened through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; may indeed be strange and difficult to grasp but it is a reality. One which we ourselves experience in a very tangible way through the encounter with the living God.

And so what is the oil that keeps the light of Christ burning deep within us and for others? We have not one but many, can we then say we have run out? We have the living word of God to be reflected, pondered upon and lived. The Holy Eucharist, Sacrament of reconciliation, prayer, fasting when there is a need, almsgiving. Preaching, teaching and sharing in Jesus name. Loving one another as He loved us.

My Jesus my Christ as we await Your return. We gladly trim our wick and oil our lamps. That one day soon we will attend Your Heavenly Banquet as You promised. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 1:17-25

Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God’s wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach. And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel
Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


A Day passes so quickly by and each day is very important. For it is precious as it is limited, and our individual days are numbered. How did we spend our day? Did we give glory to God our Father? Did we praise and thank Him for His graces and blessings each day? Did we care for His sheep and His lambs? Did we protect the innocent? Did we tend to the sick and hungry? Did we fortify our dwelling place? Did we perform an honest day’s work? Did we pray?

Or did we do just as we pleased? Take shortcuts and perform our paid duties without honesty or integrity. Play mindless games all day long or choose to be entertained as much as we can through online media, television or cinema through the day? Only seeking personal satisfaction and gratification.

Jesus my Christ my Lord, fortify my very being by Your grace. So that through You and with You I will be found each day doing all that is pleasing to God our Heavenly Father. Help me to remain steadfast in faith and in Your love. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 1:1-9

I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.

I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.

Gospel
Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? ‘Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 24, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Too busy, too preoccupied, too many things to worry about. Cannot change my schedule for even a day. How can I be expected to make time when I have very little ones to care for? The Lord understands, He is asking us, can you not spare me an hour of your time?

Many still don’t get it, the hour He asks for has never been for Him. It is for the love of us that He makes this request. To experience His love, peace and grace upon us. Those of us who do, can vouch for the rest, on all we receive through and in Him.  How we are rejuvenated and eager to going back to serving Him, our family. 
There are many still searching for God, for peace for meaning in their lives. We are called to invite them to “Come and see..” Come and experience what we have. Come and be filled with the joy of having a relationship with Him. Come and witness the Glory of God in our lives.

Lord Jesus I am Your disciple, let me be a witness to and for Your glory. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 21:9-14

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel
John 1:45-51

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 23, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We reap what we sow. If we sow seeds of virtues, love of God, love of neighbour then we will bear fruit pleasing to God our Father. Whatever is inside our hearts will be shown outwardly. No manner of hiding can conceal the truth. If it is the light of Christ within us so will it shine through our face, our thoughts, words and actions. And if it is darkness that grows within us, so too will that be brought to light.

Let us stand firm in our faith that has been given to us by our loving God, our Heavenly Father. Let us guide one another in truth and righteousness. Let us lead one another in humble adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ. And let pray confidently that one day soon we will be reunited with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. Amen

First reading
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3,14-17

To turn, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in this way.

It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and the Rebel, the Lost One, has appeared. Through the Good News that we brought he called you to this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

Gospel
Matthew 23:23-26

Jesus said, ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who pay your tithe of mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law;– justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practised, without neglecting the others. You blind guides! Straining out gnats and swallowing camels!

‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance. Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 22, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Unassuming, humble, loving, gentle and kind. Qualities of many you possess O dearest mother and we strive for. Many your virtues sweet mother, of them your obedience to God our Heavenly Father. You are truly Blessed and through you with have been Blessed with the Prince of peace; our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

O Queen of Heaven, our dearest Mother obtain for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may be wise with your wisdom, understand with your understanding, know with your knowledge, prudent with your prudence, patient with your patience, courageous with your fortitude and desire justice ardently for everyone with the all consuming desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus your son. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 9:1-6

The people that walked in darkness
has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.

You have made their gladness greater, you have made their joy increase; they rejoice in your presence as men rejoice at harvest time, as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.

For the yoke that was weighing on him, the barb across his shoulders,
the rod of his oppressor, these you break as on the day of Midian.

For all the footgear of battle, every cloak rolled in blood, is burnt, and consumed by fire.

For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him:

Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,
Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.

Gospel
Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 20, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Gateway to Life: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Isaiah 66:18-21
Psalm 117:1, 2
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

Luke 13:22-30
Jesus doesn’t answer the question put to Him in this Sunday’s Gospel. It profits us nothing to speculate on how many will be saved. What we need to know is what He tells us today—how to enter into salvation and how urgent it is to strive now, before the Master closes the door.
Jesus is “the narrow gate,” the only way of salvation, the path by which all must travel to enter the kingdom of the Father (see John 14:6).
In Jesus, God has come—as He promises in this week’s First Reading – to gather nations of every language, to reveal to them His glory.

Eating and drinking with them, teaching in their streets, Jesus in the Gospel is slowly making His way to Jerusalem. There, Isaiah’s vision will be fulfilled: On the holy mountain He will be lifted up (see John 3:14), will draw to Himself bretheren from among all the nations – to worship in the heavenly Jerusalem, to glorify Him for His kindness, as we sing in Sunday’s Psalm.

In God’s plan, the kingdom was proclaimed first to the Israelites and last to the Gentiles (see Romans 1:16; Acts 3:25-26), who in the Church have come from the earth’s four corners to make up the new people of God (see Isaiah 43:5-6; Psalm 107:2-3).
Many however will lose their place at the heavenly table, Jesus warns. Refusing to accept His narrow way they will weaken, render themselves unknown to the Father (see Isaiah 63:15-16).

We don’t want to be numbered among those of drooping hands and weak knees (see Isaiah 35:3). So we must strive for that narrow gate, a way of hardship and suffering – the way of the beloved Son.

As this week’s Epistle reminds us, by our trials we know we are truly God’s sons and daughters. We are being disciplined by our afflictions, strengthened to walk that straight and narrow path—that we may enter the gate, take our place at the banquet of the righteous.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 20, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We have an all powerful, almighty living God. Who is loving and merciful. Whose glory can be seen from age to age everywhere and in all creation. Jesus came to lift the burden of sin from us so that we may live in His love and joy. Who taught and led by example on how to be a servant leader. One which brings glory to God our Heavenly Father by our love and actions; for Him and our brethren.

Let us not serve for personal glory, want of power and honour. Let us will the good of our brothers and sisters and not lay burdens on them. Let our focus only be on building the Heavenly Kingdom for the glory of God our Father. And we shall be lifted up to be with Him forever as He promised. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 43:1-7

The angel took me to the gate, the one facing east. I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I prostrated myself.

The glory of the Lord arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of the Lord fill the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. The voice said, ‘Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the sons of Israel for ever.’

Gospel
Matthew 23:1-12

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.

‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 19, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Praise the Lord God Almighty! For through His living Word we have life.

O breathe on me breath of God, let my soul cry out to You in joy. My drooping spirit rests and is revived in You.

You O Lord loved me first, and by Your love I have been transformed. Through Your divine grace I am able to love beyond my human capacity. Thank You Lord.

I love You Lord Jesus , with all my heart, all my strength and all my soul. Let me be consecrated to You this day and every day. Amen

My First reading
Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.

Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this– it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel
Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 18, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


By our baptism we were cleansed, purified, made Holy. We became sanctified children of God our Heavenly Father.  Called to live out our baptismal promises. And we were given the necessary graces to do so. 

Are we doing so? Or have we turned our backs on them? Too busy with earning a living? Too busy with raising a family? Too busy socialising and trying to climb up the corporate ladder? Attending Sunday Eucharist as an obligation? Receiving the Holy Eucharist unworthily?  Refusing to go for the Sacrament of reconciliation? 

O Lord our God, be merciful to us whose hearts cry out to You for forgiveness. Help us to remain steadfast in faith and in Your love in this challenging times that we live in. Be with us Jesus. You who live and reign with our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen  


First reading
Ezekiel 36:23-28

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord–it is the Lord who speaks– when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.’

Gospel
Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 17, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Many of us want to be ahead in life and there is nothing wrong with striving to be the best we can be. A little competition challenges us to do better. The problem lies when we put ourselves above everyone else. We care little about the interests and well being of anyone else that is if we care at all. It becomes all about our personal glory, health and wealth.

Our merciful and loving Heavenly Father cares for all His children. And He expects that all His children care for one another. All have been given different gifts, talents and we use them to build up His Kingdom. To care for and lead one another home to Him.

Show me my purpose Lord, guide me so that I may always give glory to my Heavenly Father in all that I do for him

First reading
Ezekiel 34:1-11

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them:

‘“Shepherds, the Lord says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock, yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock. You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently. For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far. My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them.

‘“Well then, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. As I live, I swear – it is the Lord who speaks;– since my flock has been looted and for lack of a shepherd is now the prey of any wild animal, since my shepherds have stopped bothering about my flock, since my shepherds feed themselves rather than my flock, in view of all this, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this: I am going to call the shepherds to account. I am going to take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. I shall rescue my sheep from their mouths; they will not prey on them any more.”

‘For the Lord says this: “I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view.”’

Gospel
Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 16, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


As we age how do we turn back the clock? How do we restore our diminishing strength and sight? Did we do enough to deepen our relationship with Jesus for ourselves and for our families? Are our relationships centred on Christ? Do we have hope for life eternal with God our Heavenly Father?

What good then is our wisdom and our wealth? Can we take them to our grave? What good is our name if our legacy does nothing to save souls in Jesus name? How truly ignorant and poor are we?

Lord Jesus whatever time I have left, let it all be for You and my brethren. Provide whatever is necessary for me to bring the many that are lost back to You. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 28:1-10

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, tell the ruler of Tyre, “The Lord says this:

Being swollen with pride, you have said: I am a god; I am sitting on the throne of God, surrounded by the seas.

Though you are a man and not a god, you consider yourself the equal of God.

You are wiser now than Danel; there is no sage as wise as you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence you have amassed great wealth; you have piles of gold and silver inside your treasure-houses.

Such is your skill in trading, your wealth has continued to increase,
and with this your heart has grown more arrogant.

And so, the Lord says this:

Since you consider yourself the equal of God, very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations.

They will draw sword against your fine wisdom, they will defile your glory; they will throw you down into the pit and you will die a violent death surrounded by the seas.

Are you still going to say: I am a god, when your murderers confront you?

No, you are a man and not a god in the clutches of your murderers!

You will die like the uncircumcised
at the hand of foreigners.

For I have spoken–it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel
Matthew 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you solemnly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ When the disciples heard this they were astonished. ‘Who can be saved, then?’ they said. Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he told them ‘this is impossible; for God everything is possible.’

Then Peter spoke. ‘What about us?’ he said to him ‘We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life.

‘Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 15, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Just like a loving parent who sometimes nags a child into action to change or to do good. So does our loving heavenly Father who sends His prophets to us. But soon enough as we continue to shut our ears, the loving call to repentance will stop. We will answer for our continued sins against Him and our brethren.

Hoarding the wealth of the world for ourselves brings us neither peace nor joy. What good is shortlived happiness if it robs us of our Heavenly inheritance?

The more we let go of from our hands, give of ourselves to the Lord and our brethren; the more we receive from Him. That which is invaluable and the wealth of the world cannot purchase.

Lord Jesus in You I have everything. Amen

First Reading
Ezekiel 24:15-24

The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, at a blow I am about to deprive you of the delight of your eyes. But you are not to lament, not to weep, not to let your tears run down. Groan in silence, do not go into mourning for the dead, knot your turban round your head, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard, do not eat the usual food.’ I told this to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening, and the next morning I did as I had been ordered. The people then said to me, ‘Will you not explain what meaning these actions have for us?’ I replied, ‘The word of Yahweh has been addressed to me as follows, “Say to the House of Israel, the Lord Yahweh says this: I am about to profane my sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes, the joy of your hearts. Your sons and daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword. Then you will do as I have done: you will not cover your beards or eat the usual food; you will keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you will not lament or weep but will waste away for your crimes, groaning among yourselves. Thus Ezekiel is a sign for you. You will do exactly what he has done. And when this happens, you will know that I am Lord Yahweh!”

Gospel
Matthew 19;16-22

And now a man came to him and asked, ‘Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one alone who is good. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus replied, ‘These: You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery You shall not steal. You shall not give false witness. Honour your father and your mother. You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these. What more do I need to do?’ Jesus said, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard these words he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 14, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

O loving and Blessed Mother of us all, you truly are an inspiration for all of us. You who were chosen from the very beginning, humbly accepted all that would come by your Yes. With open eyes and heart without reservation. Many great sacrifices you willingly made with your heart pierced on many occasions. Still you continued to serve the Lord your God with joy in heart and rightfully so. For He is a merciful loving Father whose love for us abounds. Where Your Son went, You followed to the very end. Only to begin Your new life with Him.

Mary our Mother, be with us as You continue to intercede for us. May our lives magnify the Lord who lives and reigns in our hearts. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10

The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail.

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days.

Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.’

Second reading
1 Corinthians 15:20-26

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.

Gospel
Luke 1:39-56

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

And Mary said:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my saviour; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.

Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.

Holy is his name, and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.

He has shown the power of his arm, he has routed the proud of heart.

He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.

He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy – according to the promise he made to our ancestors– of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 13, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Consuming Fire:
Scott Hahn Reflects on the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Jeremiah 38:4–6, 8–10
Psalm 40:2–4, 18
Hebrews 12:1–4
Luke 12:49–53

Our God is a consuming fire, the Scriptures tell us (see Hebrews 12:29;Deuteronomy 4:24).

And in this week’s Gospel, Jesus uses the image of fire to describe the demands of discipleship.

The fire he has come to cast on the earth is the fire that he wants to blaze in each of  our hearts. He made us from the dust of the earth (see Genesis 2:7), and filled us with the fire of the Holy Spirit in baptism (see Luke 3:16).

We were baptized into his death (see Romans 6:3). This is the baptism our Lord speaks of in the Gospel this week. The baptism with which He must be baptized is His passion and death, by which He accomplished our redemption and sent forth the fire of the Spirit on the earth (see Acts 2:3).

The fire has been set, but it is not yet blazing. We are called to enter deeper into the consuming love of God. We must examine our consciences and our actions, submitting ourselves to the revealing fire of God’s Word (see 1 Corinthians 3:13).

In our struggle against sin, we have not yet resisted to the point of shedding our own blood, Paul tells us in this week’s Epistle. We have not undergone the suffering that Jeremiah suffers in the First Reading this week. 

But this is what true discipleship requires. To be a disciple is to be inflamed with the love of God. It is to have an unquenchable desire for holiness and zeal for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.

Being His disciple does not bring peace in the false way that the world proclaims peace (see Jeremiah 8:11). It means division and hardship. It may bring us to conflict with our own flesh and blood.

But Christ is our peace (see Ephesians 2:14). By his cross, he has lifted us up from the mire of sin and death—as he will rescue the prophet Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 38:10).

And as we sing in the Psalm this week, we trust in our deliverer. 

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 13, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Don’t give excuses, blame the generations before us or justify sinful actions. For each and every one of us are accountable for our own sins. We are all individually unique and created in God’s our Father’s Love and image. Let us recognise the child of God in one another.

We must strive to be faithful children, turning away from sin and returning to our Lord Jesus for His grace when we falter. Separated from the Lord our God we have no life.

Ever loving and merciful Lord, look favourably on your servants. Grant us the graces necessary to live faithfully in Your love. That we may all be reunited in Heaven. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows:

‘Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge”?

‘As I live– it is the Lord who speaks– there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel. See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.

The upright man is law-abiding and honest; he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the House of Israel, does not seduce his neighbour’s wife or sleep with a woman during her periods. He oppresses no one, returns pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, his clothes to the naked. He never charges usury on loans, takes no interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between man and man, keeps my laws and sincerely respects my observances–such a man is truly upright. It is the Lord who speaks.

‘But if anyone has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, then this son shall certainly not live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will have to die, and his blood be on his own head.

House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does–it is the Lord who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone–it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!’

Gospel
Matthew 19:13-15

People brought little children to Jesus, for him to lay his hands on them and say a prayer. The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 12, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The most cherished union is that with our living Lord and God! For no one will ever love us more than He. And if we truly cherish our union with Him then we must remain faithful.

If it is His Will that we should marry then we must cherish our spouse and no other. We must cherish our union with and in Him.

Those who remain single for whatever reasons are never alone or ever lonely; for He is faithfully present to His faithful.

Only the unfaithful entertain thoughts of separation. Whose will be done?

Lord keep me faithful, now and forever. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, “The Lord says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins. No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born.

‘“I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live, and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you– it is the Lord who speaks– and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour– it is the Lord who speaks.

‘“You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers. But I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever. And so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done– it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel
Matthew 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’

They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife– I am not speaking of fornication– and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’

The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 11, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


It is by far easier to withhold forgiveness then to forgive without reservation. And yet our merciful Lord has shown us His mercy and forgiveness on countless occasions during the course of our very own lives. He died for us and forgave us from the cross upon which we hung Him by our sins. Who are we to withhold our forgiveness of another?

To forgive from the heart is to be set free to love our neighbour as we should. It does not mean we subject ourselves to more abuse, it only means we forgive the abuser and move on with loving and serving the Lord our God.

If we withhold our forgiveness of others then we withhold forgiveness for ourselves. Our stubbornness of heart only exiles us from our loving Father in Heaven. Darkness over shadows our ability to see the light of the truth.

Lord Jesus let my heart be of flesh and not of stone. And let Your mercy flow through it. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 12:1-12

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels. You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking. As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’

I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched.

The next morning the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing? Say, “The Lord says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living.” Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment.” Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country.’

Gospel
Matthew 18:21-19:1

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.

And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’

Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and he left Galilee and came into the part of Judaea which is on the far side of the Jordan.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 10, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Why do many still say no to the call of the Lord to do more? Not good enough? Not knowledgeable enough? Who decided so?

It is the Lord alone who truly knows what we are each capable of and He gives us more than we have to complete His mission. All we need do is trust in Him and let go. Dying to ourself means rising in Him. Rich indeed is His harvest!

Thank You Jesus for looking upon the best in me and always nurturing me to do better and be better. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you– he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten.

The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one.

Gospel
John 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too.

If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 9, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The living word of God was sent to gather us His children unto Him. To tell us that the Kingdom of God was at hand and that we should repent so as to be saved. Every child of His possesses the key which is purity of heart, innocence and the knowledge that our Heavenly Father’s will provide for all that we need.

Nothing or no one can ever separate us from the love of God, and every lost sheep is never so lost that cannot be found. Great is the mercy and love of our Lord.

Only those who choose to turn their backs to the Lord our God are truly lost.

O guardian angel guide my steps that I may never stray. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 2:8-3:4

I, Ezekiel, heard a voice speaking. It said, ‘You, son of man, listen to the words I say; do not be a rebel like that rebellious set. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’ I looked. A hand was there, stretching out to me and holding a scroll. He unrolled it in front of me; it was written on back and front; on it was written ‘lamentations, wailings, meanings.’ He said, ‘Son of man, eat what is given to you; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.’ I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you.’ I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.

Then he said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.’

Gospel
Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14

The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.

‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 8, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Lord God of all creation, You are truly almighty; omnipotent! Yet You came and walked amongst us. Embraced us with Your healing touch and invite us all into a loving relationship with You. Love lifted on a cross for us; died so that we may live.

You taught us by example how to serve in humility our brethren and our Heavenly Father. So long as it does not go against the Will of our Heavenly Father then we should respect and follow all the laws of the land. Living in harmony with those who have yet to know and worship You.

Lord guide me with Your infinite wisdom. Amen

First reading
Ezekiel 1:2-5,24-28

On the fifth of the month – it was the fifth year of exile for King Jehoiachin– the word of the Lord was addressed to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldaeans, on the bank of the river Chebar.

There the hand of the Lord came on me. I looked; a stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with light around it, a fire from which flashes of lightning darted, and in the centre a sheen like bronze at the heart of the fire. In the centre I saw what seemed four animals. I heard the noise of their wings as they moved; it sounded like rushing water, like the voice of Shaddai, a noise like a storm, like the noise of a camp; when they halted, they folded their wings, and there was a noise.

Above the vault over their heads was something that looked like a sapphire; it was shaped like a throne and high up on this throne was a being that looked like a man. I saw him shine like bronze, and close to and all around him from what seemed his loins upwards was what looked like fire; and from what seemed his loins downwards I saw what looked like fire, and a light all round like a bow in the clouds on rainy days; that is how the surrounding light appeared. It was something that looked like the glory of the Lord. I looked, and prostrated myself.

Gospel
Matthew 17:22-27

One day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men; they will put him to death, and on the third day he will be raised to life again.’ And a great sadness came over them.

When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel came to Peter and said, ‘Does your master not pay the half-shekel?’ ‘Oh yes’ he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when he replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 6, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Faith of Our Fathers: 
Scott Hahn Reflects on the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 18:6-9
Psalm 33:1,12,18-22
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Luke 12:35-40

We are born of the faith of our fathers, descending from a great cloud of witnesses whose faith is attested to on every page of Scripture (see Hebrews 12:1). We have been made His people, chosen for His own inheritance, as we sing in this Sunday’s Psalm.

The Liturgy this week sings the praises of our fathers, recalling the defining moments in our “family history.” In the Epistle, we remember the calling of Abraham; in the First Reading we relive the night of the Exodus and the summons of the holy children of Israel.

Our fathers, we are told, trusted in the Word of God, put their faith in His oaths, convinced that what He promised, He would do.

None of them lived to see His promises made good. For it was not until Christ and His Church that Abraham’s descendants were made as countless as the stars and sands (see Galatians 3:16-17,29). It was not until His Last Supper and the Eucharist that “the sacrifice…the divine institution” of that first Passover was truly fulfilled.

And we now too await the final fulfillment of what God has promised us in Christ. As Jesus tells us in this week’s Gospel, we should live with our loins girded—as the Israelites tightened their belts, cinched up their long robes and ate their Passover standing, vigilant and ready to do His will (see Exodus 12:11; 2 Kings 4:29).

The Lord will come at an hour we do not expect—will knock on our door (see Revelation 3:20), inviting us to the wedding feast in the better homeland, the heavenly one that our fathers saw from afar, and which we begin to taste in each Eucharist.

As they did, we can wait with “sure knowledge,” His Word like a lamp lighting our path (see Psalm 119:105). Our God is faithful and if we wait in faith, hope in His kindness, and love as we have been loved, we will receive His promised blessing, be delivered from death.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 6, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ was not just a great sign of the sovereign Lord and our God among us. Nor was it just a revelation of a reality to come.

It is what happens when we ourselves are transfigured in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. When we live in His light and leave the darkness of our sinful past behind us. For only then are our hearts and minds illumined. We live and love in the glory of our Risen Lord.

Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ! Who was, who is and who will come again. Amen

First reading
Daniel 7:9-10,13-14

As I watched:

Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat.

His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool.
His throne was a blaze of flames,
its wheels were a burning fire.

A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence. A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

A court was held and the books were opened. And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man.

He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred sovereignty,
glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Second reading
2 Peter 1:16-19

It was not any cleverly invented myths that we were repeating when we brought you the knowledge of the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; we had seen his majesty for ourselves. He was honoured and glorified by God the Father, when the Sublime Glory itself spoke to him and said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour.’ We heard this ourselves, spoken from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have confirmation of what was said in prophecies; and you will be right to depend on prophecy and take it as a lamp for lighting a way through the dark until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds

Gospel
Luke 9:28-36

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray. As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning. Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’;– He did not know what he was saying. As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’ And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 5, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


What are some of the reasons people give for misdeeds? I’m doing it for my family, so they will have a better life. If I don’t do it someone else will. Technically it’s not breaking the law, rules, it’s bending them a ‘little’. No one will get hurt. It’s a golden opportunity which will never come again. So we become rich for a while, what then? We are satisfied for a while, what then? We want more! And so we must do more!

What better life can there be other than to lead holy lives? To remain faithful in the service of God our Father and our brethren. To live the fullness of life only to be found in our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord. And all this is possible by refusing to give in to the ways of the world, to face challenges head on. To do only what is pleasing to God our Heavenly Father according to His Will for us. This is what it means to take up the cross and follow Jesus.

Jesus my Lord, lead the way. I am here to follow You. Amen

First reading
Nahum 2:1,3,3:1-3,6-7

See, over the mountains the messenger hurries!

‘Peace!’ he proclaims. Judah, celebrate your feasts, carry out your vows, for Belial will never pass through you again; he is utterly annihilated.

Yes, the Lord is restoring the vineyard of Jacob and the vineyard of Israel.

For the plunderers had plundered them, they had broken off their branches. Woe to the city soaked in blood, full of lies, stuffed with booty, whose plunderings know no end!

The crack of the whip! The rumble of wheels! Galloping horse, jolting chariot, charging cavalry, flash of swords, gleam of spears…a mass of wounded, hosts of dead, countless corpses; they stumble over the dead.

I am going to pelt you with filth, shame you, make you a public show. And all who look on you will turn their backs on you and say,

‘Nineveh is a ruin.’ Could anyone pity her? Where can I find anyone to comfort her?

Gospel
Matthew 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?

‘For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour. I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 4, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


There are no shortcuts neither are there easy pathways, that will lead us; unto the narrow and straight way to the Lord. By our baptism we have entered into the convenatal promise of the Lord our God. We have been given a ‘map’ a built in ‘GPS system’ in which we know the way home to Him. And through it we see the challenges ahead. As we embark on our journey we often find unseen challenges and trials along the way. However from the very start of our decision to journey on the right path home to Him; He was and is with us every step of the way.

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. He is the promise fulfilled. Through Him we have the laws written on our hearts. Through Him we are Sons and Daughters of God our heavenly Father. Through Him we are one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen

First reading
Jeremiah 31:31-34

See, the days are coming– it is the Lord who speaks– when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. It is the Lord who speaks. No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive– it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother, ‘Learn to know the Lord!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest– it is the Lord who speaks– since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind.

Gospel
Matthew 16:13-23

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

From that time Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 3, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We are His children, the sheep of His flock. And He seeks to bring back those who have wandered far from Him. Those who are lost.

There are many paths that lead to Him. And so even those who do not yet understand but in faith call out to our Lord Jesus, they too shall be heard. Their prayers answered. For it is not knowledge that saves is but faith and our response to His call to enter into a deep wonderful relationship with Him.

Jesus with an unwavering faith I declare my love for You. My Lord and my God. Amen

First reading
Jeremiah 31:1-7

I will be the God of all the clans of Israel– it is the Lord who speaks– they shall be my people.

The Lord says this:

They have found pardon in the wilderness, those who have survived the sword.

Israel is marching to his rest.

The Lord has appeared to him from afar: I have loved you with an everlasting love, so I am constant in my affection for you.

I build you once more; you shall be rebuilt, virgin of Israel.

Adorned once more, and with your tambourines, you will go out dancing gaily.

You will plant vineyards once more on the mountains of Samaria the planters have done their planting: they will gather the fruit.

Yes, a day will come when the watchmen shout on the mountains of Ephraim, ‘Up! Let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God!’

For the Lord says this:

Shout with joy for Jacob!
Hail the chief of nations!
Proclaim! Praise! Shout:

‘The Lord has saved his people, the remnant of Israel!’

Gospel
Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’ He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 2, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Do not wait till it too late and do not refuse to listen to the merciful call of the Lord to repent. For in His love for you, He wants a full life in Him. Separated from Him, You will surely die. Pray that you still have time, for it can run out on you. Turn to Him and be healed!

From the moment we opened our eyes till the time we close them again; everything changes. The only thing constant that does not change is the Lord our God. With this truth in mind and with a steadfast faith how can we not sail smoothly even amidst choppy seas? The problem arises when we lose focus of our Lord Jesus Christ. When the problems and situations become the main focus, we begin to sink. In order for us to remain focused we need to be prayerful then we will find Him always with us.

Jesus my Lord, help me stay focused on You and You alone. Amen

First reading
Jeremiah 30:1-2,12-15,18-22

The word addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord: the Lord, the God of Israel says this: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

Yes, the Lord says this: Your wound is incurable, your injury past healing.

There is no one to care for your sore, no medicine to make you well again.

All your lovers have forgotten you,
they look for you no more.

Yes, I have struck you as an enemy strikes, with harsh punishment so great is your guilt, so many your sins.

Why bother to complain about your wound?

Your pain is incurable.

So great is your guilt, so many your sins, that I have done all this to you.

The Lord says this:

Now I will restore the tents of Jacob, and take pity on his dwellings: the city shall be rebuilt on its ruins, the citadel restored on its site.

From them will come thanksgiving
and shouts of joy.

I will make them increase, and not diminish them, make them honoured, and not disdained.

Their sons shall be as once they were, their community fixed firm in my presence, and I will punish all their oppressors.

Their prince will be one of their own, their ruler come from their own people.

I will let him come freely into my presence and he can come close to me; who else, indeed, would risk his life by coming close to me?– it is the Lord who speaks.

And you shall be my people and I will be your God.

Gospel
Matthew 14:22-36

When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death, he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’

Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him, begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were completely cured.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: August 1, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


‘Live and let live”, “Better to remain silent and hold the peace.” This is what most will choose to do. However the Lord says that we are to speak His truth always. Only then can we build on the foundation of the Lord, so that His peace and joy can reign in our hearts. Never should we prophesy with words of men and only what men want to hear. For we will be held responsible for leading His flock astray.

The Lord in His mercy and compassion will administer to His people who come to Him. Who desire to be healed and transformed. Who seek the truth and want to live in His peace. He the Lord our God nourishes His people.

All praise and Glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
Jeremiah 28:1-17

At the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, a Gibeonite, spoke as follows to Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord in the presence of the priests and of all the people. ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says this, “I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. In two years’ time I will bring back all the vessels of the Temple of the Lord which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon carried off from this place and took to Babylon. And I will also bring back Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who have gone to Babylon– it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, I am going to break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”’

The prophet Jeremiah then replied to the prophet Hananiah in front of the priests and all the people there in the Temple of the Lord. ‘I hope so’ the prophet Jeremiah said. ‘May the Lord do so. May he fulfil the words that you have prophesied and bring the vessels of the Temple of the Lord and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon. Listen carefully, however, to this word that I am now going to say for you and all the people to hear: From remote times, the prophets who preceded you and me prophesied war, famine and plague for many countries and for great kingdoms; but the prophet who prophesies peace can only be recognised as one truly sent by the Lord when his word comes true.’

The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it. In front of all the people Hananiah then said, ‘The Lord says this, “This is how, two years hence, I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and take it off the necks of all the nations.”’ At this, the prophet Jeremiah went away.

After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke which he had taken off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah the word of the Lord was addressed to Jeremiah, ‘Go to Hananiah and tell him this, “The Lord says this: You can break wooden yokes? Right, I will make them iron yokes instead! For the Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: An iron yoke is what I now lay on the necks of all these nations to subject them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. They will be subject to him; I have even given him the wild animals.”’

The prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, ‘Listen carefully, Hananiah: the Lord has not sent you; and thanks to you this people are now relying on what is false. Hence– the Lord says this, “I am going to throw you off the face of the earth: you are going to die this year since you have preached apostasy from the Lord.”’

The prophet Hananiah died the same year, in the seventh month.

Gospel
Matthew 14:13-21

When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.

When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they answered ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.