Archive for September, 2016

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Do not remain stubborn any longer. Do not allow your pride or your finite wisdom to blind you to the glory of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. For the almighty and ever living God wants to give you life to the full!

Be humble, repent and accept the grace of Jesus who will breathe new life into you. Do not live in the shadows any longer, come into the light through the Sacrament of reconciliation. Be nourished by the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Be one with Him as we are united as one through Him.

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

First reading
Job 38:1,12-21,40:3-5

From the heart of the tempest the Lord gave Job his answer. He said:

Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning or sent the dawn to its post, telling it to grasp the earth by its and shake the wicked out of it,when it changes the earth to sealing and dyes it as a man dyes clothes stealing the light from wicked men and breaking the arm raised to strike?

Have you journeyed all the way to the sources of the sea,
or walked where the Abyss is deepest?Have you been shown the gates of or met the janitors of Shadowland? Have you an inkling of the extent of the earth?

Tell me all about it if you have!
Which is the way to the home of the light, and where does darkness live? You could then show them the way to their proper places, ;or put them on the path to where they live!

If you know all this, you must have been born with them,
you must be very old by now!

Job replied to the Lord:

My words have been frivolous: what can I reply? I had better lay my finger on my lips.I have spoken once… I will not speak again; more than once… I will add nothing.

Gospel 
Luke 10:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And still, it will not go as hard with Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell.‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Today as we celebrate the feast day of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael who are mentioned in scripture by name; we also call to mind our own guardian Angels. Whose primary job is to guard and guide us. Who is like God? The power of God and our God who heals are manifested in the Archangels names and deeds. And they draw us closer into a deeper understanding of God our Father’s love for us. Likewise our powerful allies, our guardian angels will help us every step of the way.

Let us remember that by our baptism into our Lord Jesus Christ, we are all called to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. And so together with the Angels and the Saints we shall sing God’s praises and glory. Let us pray that one day soon we will all be reunited in Heaven. 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.

Gospel
John 1:47-51

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: September 28, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Indeed the Lord our God is merciful, loving and kind. There is no doubt about it. However no one should ever take His benevolence for granted. We must know our rightful place and be reverent at all times before Him.

It is our hearts He wants to transform for it is there He seeks to dwell. Wanting to follow Him in words is lip-service unless we put our hands and feet into action.

Leave the spiritually dead behind and move on quickly to save as many souls as we can in the limited time we have. Let us build His kingdom with our hearts, minds and with great joy.

We who have made up our minds to follow Jesus, must move forwards in His peace and the Holy Spirit will guide us every step of the way. Never should we look back always keeping our eyes focused on Him; as He leads us closer each day into His Kingdom. Amen

First reading
Job 9:1-13,14-16

Job spoke to his friends:

Indeed, I know it is as you say:
how can man be in the right against God? If any were so rash as to challenge him for reasons, one in a thousand would be more than they could answer.

His heart is wise, and his strength is great: who then can successfully defy him? He moves the mountains, though they do not know it; he throws them down when he is angry.

He shakes the earth, and moves it from its place, making all its pillars tremble. The sun, at his command, forbears to rise, and on the stars he sets a seal. He and no other stretched out the skies, and trampled the Sea’s tall waves.The Bear, Orion too, are of his making, the Pleiades and the Mansions of the South.

His works are great, beyond all reckoning, his marvels, past all counting. Were he to pass me, I should not see him, nor detect his stealthy movement. Were he to snatch a prize, who could prevent him, or dare to say, ‘What are you doing?’ God never goes back on his anger, Rahab’s minions still lie at his feet.

How dare I plead my cause, then, or choose arguments against him? Suppose I am in the right, what use is my defence? For he whom I must sue is judge as well. If he deigned to answer my citation, could I be sure that he would listen to my voice?

Gospel
Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’

Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Who among us does not feel the pain of rejection? Very few can stoically bear injustices, mistreatments or being humiliated. It is right and good to cry out to the Lord in such trying times. To lament over all that pains us. And He our merciful Lord and God will surely hear us.

Do not give in to the temptation of pride or allow yourself to be filled with indignation. Continue instead to remain steadfast in prayer, be healed through the sacraments and receive the graces to persevere and be filled with His peace and joy.

For the Lord our God has a plan for us. And it is good. Amen

First reading
Job 3:1-3,11-17,20-23

Job broke the silence and cursed the day of his birth. This is what he said:

May the day perish when I was born, and the night that told of a boy conceived.Why did I not die new-born, not perish as I left the womb?

Why were there two knees to receive me,two breasts for me to suck? Had there not been, I should now be lying in peace, wrapped in a restful slumber, with the kings and high viziers of earth who build themselves vast vaults, or with princes who have gold and to spare
and houses crammed with silver.

Or put away like a still-born child that never came to be, like unborn babes that never see the light. Down there, bad men bustle no more, there the weary rest.

Why give light to a man of grief? Why give life to those bitter of heart, who long for a death that never comes, and hunt for it more than for a buried treasure? They would be glad to see the grave mound and shout with joy if they reached the tomb.

Why make this gift of light to a man who does not see his way,
whom God baulks on every side?

Gospel
Luke 9:51-56

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Stripped of worldly attachments including want of honour, power and wealth; the faithful will see and hear God.
And we the children of God our Father will be cared for. Our only concern then will be to glorify Him by serving and caring for one another.

Let us Christians unite, stand hand in hand in prayer and in the fortitude of our faith in Christ Jesus as we battle against the evil in the world. Amen

First reading
Job 1:6-22

One day the Sons of God came to attend on the Lord, and among them was Satan. So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Round the earth,’ he answered ‘roaming about.’ So the Lord asked him, ‘Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth: a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Yes,’ Satan said ‘but Job is not God-fearing for nothing, is he? Have you not put a wall round him and his house and all his domain? You have blessed all he undertakes, and his flocks throng the countryside. But stretch out your hand and lay a finger on his possessions: I warrant you, he will curse you to your face.’ ‘Very well,’ the Lord said to Satan ‘all he has is in your power. But keep your hands off his person.’ So Satan left the presence of the Lord.

On the day when Job’s sons and daughters were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job. ‘Your oxen’ he said ‘were at the plough, with the donkeys grazing at their side, when the Sabaeans swept down on them and carried them off. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The fire of God’ he said ‘has fallen from the heavens and burnt up all your sheep, and your shepherds too: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The Chaldaeans,’ he said ‘three bands of them, have raided your camels and made off with them. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘Your sons and daughters’ he said ‘were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, when suddenly from the wilderness a gale sprang up, and it battered all four corners of the house which fell in on the young people. They are dead: I alone escaped to tell you.’

Job rose and tore his gown and shaved his head. Then falling to the ground he worshipped and said:

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I shall return. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord!’

In all this misfortune Job committed no sin nor offered any insult to God.

Gospel
Luke 9:46-50

An argument started between the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side and then said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.’
John spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘we saw a man casting out devils in your name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘You must not stop him: anyone who is not against you is for you.’

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 24, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

​A Great Chasm: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Amos 6:1, 4-7
Psalm 146:7-10
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Luke 16:19-31

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

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

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

The rich man symbolizes Israel’s failure to keep the Old Covenant, to heed the commandments of Moses and the prophets. This is the sin of the rulers in today’s First Reading. Born to the nation God favored first, they could claim Abraham as their father. But for their failure to give – their inheritance is taken away.
The rulers are exiled from their homeland. The rich man is punished with an exile far greater—eternity with a “great chasm” fixed between himself and God.
In this world, the rich and powerful make a name for themselves (see Genesis 11:4) and dine sumptuously, while the poor remain anonymous, refused an invitation to their feasts.

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

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

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

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

LTW Community

Posted: September 24, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Those of you thinking of starting your own neighbourhood or small Christian communites may want to consider some or all of these….

Sharing with you a little on our SCC which is now five years old.

​💟Living The Word Community💟
We are a community built upon the rock which is Christ Jesus. Our foundation is one of faith, trust, humility, love and accountability to one another.

Here are the rules we live by:

1. Our Community belongs to the Holy Trinity.

2. We come together to pray as one, break the Word and strive to live the Word in our daily lives.

3. We make ourselves present not for ourselves but for one another. (Ecclesial)

4. Wherever we are gathered together, we are gathered in Jesus’s name and the ground we are gathered upon becomes sacred ground for open sharing.

5. We bring something to the table no matter how little or small to share in fellowship.

6. We are outward looking always seeking to share with others the love and fraternal bonds we have grown into by the grace of God our Father.

7. We work to deepen our faith by learning and sharing with one another what we have learnt. Our desire to grow never ends.

8. We are a community that affirms one another and encourages one another to use the gifts and charisms we have been given.

9. We must continually renew ourselves in Jesus through the frequent reception of the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.

10. We are one body in Christ. Something which we must always ponder deeply over and hold dear to our hearts. Especially during trials and challenges. The cross we bear is the cross of Christ our Saviour.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We have been all given a youthful and vibrant spirit even though for some of us it may be trapped in an old person’s body. So that we might all give glory and praise to God our Father by the way we live out our lives. And we must choose if we want to serve the Lord and our brethren with zeal and love or to give in to our passions and live for ourselves.

There is no resurrection without the cross, and so we must bear our crosses as we journey onward. So that we too can rise with Him, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. That is how we live our new life in Him day to day; till we are a. reunited in Heaven. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8

Rejoice in your youth, you who are young; let your heart give you joy in your young days. Follow the promptings of your heart and the desires of your eyes.

But this you must know: for all these things God will bring you to judgement.

Cast worry from your heart,
shield your flesh from pain.

Yet youth, the age of dark hair, is vanity. And remember your creator in the days of your youth, before evil days come and the years approach when you say, ‘These give me no pleasure’, before sun and light and moon and stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; the day when those who keep the house tremble and strong men are bowed; when the women grind no longer at the mill, because day is darkening at the windows and the street doors are shut; when the sound of the mill is faint, when the voice of the bird is silenced, and song notes are stilled, when to go uphill is an ordeal and a walk is something to dread.

Yet the almond tree is in flower, the grasshopper is heavy with food and the caper bush bears its fruit, while man goes to his everlasting home. And the mourners are already walking to and fro in the street before the silver cord has snapped, or the golden lamp been broken, or the pitcher shattered at the spring, or the pulley cracked at the well, or before the dust returns to the earth as it once came from it, and the breath to God who gave it.

Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. All is vanity.

Gospel
Luke 9:43-45

At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.’ But they did not understand him when he said this; it was hidden from them so that they should not see the meaning of it, and they were afraid to ask him about what he had just said.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Many of us can take comfort in today’s readings. For amidst all our anxieties and insecurities facing the future, God our Father has a plan for us. Not to do us harm but to prosper us.

And so as we toil each day to provide food for ourselves and our families, let us remember that we are also working towards building up His Kingdom. Let us remain steadfast and focused on our Lord Jesus Christ who is the same living Lord and God yesterday, today and for all eternity.

Jesus we praise You and we love You. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:

A time for giving birth,
a time for dying;
a time for planting,
a time for uprooting what has been planted.

A time for killing,
a time for healing;
a time for knocking down,
a time for building.

A time for tears,
a time for laughter;
a time for mourning,
a time for dancing.

A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them up; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing.

A time for searching,
a time for losing;
a time for keeping,
a time for throwing away.

A time for tearing,
a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent,
a time for speaking.

A time for loving,
a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace.

What does a man gain for the efforts that he makes? I contemplate the task that God gives mankind to labour at. All that he does is apt for its time; but though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.

Gospel
Luke 9:18-22

One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.
‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


If Jesus is in the centre of our lives all else is of no consequence.

Turn back to God our Father. Take responsibility for your words and actions. Be contrite, do not allow your sins, misdeeds against another, come back and haunt you. Seek reconciliation in humility and love and you will be forgiven just as you forgive.

Life comes to a fleeting end for those who live apart from Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour. For He alone is the light, the truth and the way to eternal life. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. Vanity of vanities. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity! For all his toil, his toil under the sun, what does man gain by it?

A generation goes, a generation comes, yet the earth stands firm for ever. The sun rises, the sun sets; then to its place it speeds and there it rises. Southward goes the wind, then turns to the north; it turns and turns again; back then to its circling goes the wind. Into the sea all the rivers go, and yet the sea is never filled, and still to their goal the rivers go. All things are wearisome. No man can say that eyes have not had enough of seeing, ears their fill of hearing. What was will be again; what has been done will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun. Take anything of which it may be said, ‘Look now, this is new.’ Already, long before our time, it existed. Only no memory remains of earlier times, just as in times to come next year itself will not be remembered.

Gospel
Luke 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was being done by Jesus; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: September 21, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Jesus invites us sinners to follow Him. What is this invitation about and what does it entail? Well first we need to exercise our free will and respond to Jesus in action. With that His peace is upon us and His redemptive grace liberates us from our bonds. We have entered into the most wonderful relationship with our Lord and God. No other relationships will ever come close.

And since every one of us is a unique child of God our Father. We have each been given a mix of many gifts and talents according to His Will for us. So that we can reach out to our sisters and brothers in the world inviting to come, share in the graces we have received through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

St Matthew pray for us.

First reading
Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

Gospel
Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus was walking on he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

My little sharing at the New Wine Conference 2016 

Posted: September 20, 2016 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

https://youtu.be/pYPyonJ57R8

On Today’s Gospel

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


It is not what we think of ourselves that matters. It is what God our Father thinks and sees through our actions. 

How then does He look upon us? How have we progressed? What must we do? Well the Lord our God speaks to us all the time. He moulds us through the many He sends, the good, the very good and even the bad. For there are times when need it to grow ever closer to Him. We  who hears His Word through prayer, scripture and a listening ear in His presence know what we must do. 

O Lord, my master grant that I may always have a heart and mind opened to Your Word and Will for me. So that I will draw closer to You each passing day by my actions of love for the least of my brethren. Amen 

First Reading
Proverbs 21:1-6,10-13

Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of the Lord,who turns it where he pleases.

A man’s conduct may strike him as upright, the Lord, however, weighs the heart.

To act virtuously and with justice is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eye, proud heart, lamp of the wicked, nothing but sin.

The hardworking man is thoughtful, and all is gain;too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.

To make a fortune with the help of a lying tongue, such the idle fantasy of those who look for death.

The wicked man’s soul is intent on evil, he looks on his neighbour with dislike.

When a mocker is punished, the ignorant man grows wiser,when a wise man is instructed he acquires more knowledge.

The Just One watches the house of the wicked: he hurls the wicked to destruction.

He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry shall himself plead and not be heard.

Gospel
Luke 8:19-21

The mother and the brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’

Deeper Forgiveness

Posted: September 19, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Journeying through the year of Mercy deeply reflecting on Compassion, Mercy and Forgiveness has been fruitful.

I have come to realisation that we all have need of mercy and forgiveness at one time or another. We had turned to our loving Father pleading that He be compassionate and merciful for the many sins against Him. We prayed through the Psalms that He blot out our offences and remember Not our sins. How can we then say to our brother or sister ok I forgive but I will never forget? How can we withhold our forgiveness when Jesus did not withhold His forgiveness and forgave all of us as He hung from the cross?

Personally I had suffered personal attacks of character assassination through gossip, been hurt and disillusioned with three very close friends beginning late last year and early this year. I was angered, hurt and saddened all at the same time. I prayed for the strength to forgive and the fortitude to let it all go.

Slowly but surely through deep prayer and reflection I managed to forgive them in my heart. I could not see however any chance of reconciliation since they were not on speaking terms with me. I decided that regardless the situation I would offer them up at every Eucharist, praying for their healing and well being.

After about three months one of them came up to me after the Saturday morning Eucharist gave me hug and made peace. The following week on Sunday morning the second one crossed paths with me outside the confessional we hugged and made peace. The next week I received a message through a friend that the third one wanted to meet up on Sunday to make peace. I was astounded and in awe of the mysterious Grace of God which was working in our lives.

I took to prayer immediately thanking the Lord for His great love, compassion and the graces of His divine mercy which flows from His heart. He then spoke this message to my heart, “A disciple of mine should only concern himself with the saving of a soul. Be it an errant or lost one. There is nothing more precious to me. And it should be just as precious to you as your soul is to me.”

My lord and God, my Jesus, thank you for this profound message. Help me to live it out according to Your Will. Amen

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Many think that to live humbly in service of the Lord is to live inconspicuously as possible. While it may be true for the few whose hearts thrive to be in the limelight; it is not so for all. We must never hide or live in the shadows.

As children of God our Father, we are children of the light. And so must live in the light. Bringing the light of Jesus Christ our Lord to all whom we meet. It is the in the light of our actions that we bring Glory to God our Heavenly Father.

Lord Jesus give me the courage, wisdom and strength to boldly proclaim Your love for all in word and deed. Amen

First reading
Proverbs 3:27-34

My son, do not refuse a kindness to anyone who begs it, if it is in your power to perform it. Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go away! Come another time! I will give it you tomorrow’, if you can do it now.

Do not plot harm against your neighbour as he lives unsuspecting next door.

Do not pick a groundless quarrel with a man who has done you no harm. Do not emulate the man of violence, never model your conduct on his; for the wilful wrong-doer is abhorrent to the Lord, who confides only in honest men. The Lord’s curse lies on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the virtuous.

He mocks those who mock, but accords his favour to the humble.

Gospel
Luke 8:16-18

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’

#jesus4everyone

Posted: September 18, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

©

Personal Reflection 

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

I concluded my sharing at the New Wine Conference 2016 with this… 


#jesus4everyone

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 17, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Prudent Stewards:Scott Hahn Reflects on the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Amos 8:4-7
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Luke 16:1-13
 

The steward in today’s Gospel confronts the reality that he can’t go on living the way he has been. He is under judgment, must give account for what he has done.

The exploiters of the poor in today’s First Reading are also about to be pulled down, thrust from their stations (see Isaiah 22:19). Servants of mammon or money, they’re so in love with wealth that they reduce the poor to objects, despise the new moons and Sabbaths—the observances and holy days of God (see Leviticus 23:24; Exodus 20:8).

Their only hope is to follow the steward’s path. He is no model of repentance. But he makes a prudent calculation—to use his last hours in charge of his master’s property to show mercy to others, to relieve their debts.

He is a child of this world, driven by a purely selfish motive—to make friends and be welcomed into the homes of his master’s debtors. Yet his prudence is commended as an example to us, the children of light (see 1 Thessalonians 5:5;Ephesians 5:8). We too must realize, as the steward does, that what we have is not honestly ours, but what in truth belongs to another, our Master.

All the mammon in the world could not have paid the debt we owe our Master. So He paid it for us, gave His life as a ransom for all, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

God wants everyone to be saved, even kings and princes, even the lovers of money (see Luke 16:14). But we cannot serve two Masters. By his grace, we should choose to be, as we sing in today’s Psalm—”servants of the Lord.”

We serve Him by using what He has entrusted us with to give alms, to lift the lowly from the dust and dunghills of this world. By this we will gain what is ours, be welcomed into eternal dwellings, the many mansions of the Father’s house (see John 14:2). 

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We like the seeds must die before new life can spring up. But the dying to oneself must be accompanied by action which will lead to growth. Hence we must first begin by clearing the ground of any obstacles to growth. We do this by removing the rocks of sin through the Sacrament of reconciliation. We let the graces of God flow into our hearts like soil which is prepared. Then we toil and plant the seeds which will sprout virtues. We continue to nurture it with the Word of God and the frequent reception of Holy Eucharist. Soon we will bear fruit pleasing to God our Father.

Let us strive each day to live and love in the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 15:35-37,42-49

Someone may ask, ‘How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?’ They are stupid questions. Whatever you sow in the ground has to die before it is given new life and the thing that you sow is not what is going to come; you sow a bare grain, say of wheat or something like that, It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised it embodies the spirit.
If the soul has its own embodiment, so does the spirit have its own embodiment. The first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul; but the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, first the one with the soul, not the spirit, and after that, the one with the spirit. The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. As this earthly man was, so are we on earth; and as the heavenly man is, so are we in heaven. And we, who have been modelled on the earthly man, will be modelled on the heavenly man.

Gospel
Luke 8:4-15

With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:
‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, ‘The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that they may see but not perceive,
listen but not understand.

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.’

On Today’s 

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


Quite a few are already counting down the days to Christmas. (never mind Advent) Not everyone remembers Christmas in awe that God came to save His people. Instead for them it’s a magical season for singing carols, giving, receiving gifts and Santa.

An early Church Father once said that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. If our Lord had not Risen from the dead as He said He would then Christianity would not exist. But because He did the story of our salvation had been fulfilled. We have been saved from our sins and have new life in Him.

And so let us to out to share in the good news, being hospitable to all with the love of Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Now if Christ raised from the dead is what has been preached, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself cannot have been raised, and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and your believing it is useless; indeed, we are shown up as witnesses who have committed perjury before God, because we swore in evidence before God that he had raised Christ to life. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins. And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.
But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

Gospel
Luke 8:1-3

Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.

On Today’s Gospel

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


Doubt no more! Start believing and living the new life in Jesus Christ for which you have been given. The precious living Word of God has been entrusted to us to share in the joy of the Gospel. And all who hold it dear to their hearts in prayer, reflection and contemplation will proudly and joyfully proclaim it to others. For Christ is alive in them and they are living testimonies of the living God among us.

Dearest mother of Christ Jesus and mother of us all. O dearest Blessed Mother you wept for your innocent Son who was tortured and died on the Cross for our sins. Even in unimaginable agony of heart you bravely stood with Him to the very end. Stand now with us and intercede for our souls that we may always remain pure and pleasing to God our Father. Through Your loving Son our Lord Jesus Christ may we all be reunited in Heaven. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you– believing anything else will not lead to anything. Well then, in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it.

I am the least of the apostles; in fact, since I persecuted the Church of God, I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless. On the contrary, I, or rather the grace of God that is with me, have worked harder than any of the others; but what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.

Gospel
John 19:25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

On Today’s Gospel 

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

No one can ever say that God does not love him or her. No one can ever say He does not know or understand our pain and suffering. For the greatest sign of His love for us is our Lord Jesus Christ hung on the cross for us. Once used an emblem of suffering and shame has become us for us a sign of redemption; victory over death and sin. Through Him and Him alone we are saved.

And so sisters and brothers wear your crucifixes proudly! For today as we exalt the Holy Cross. We proclaim to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord! And God our Father’s plan for salvation of us is completed in Him. Through the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ we are raised to new life in Him. Amen

https://youtu.be/jwVdWjbnSFQ

First reading
Numbers 21:4-9

On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’

At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Second reading
Philippians 2:6-11

His state was divine,
yet Christ Jesus did not cling
to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave and became as men are; and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.

But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all other names so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel
John 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.

For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: September 13, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

First reading
Numbers 21:4-9

On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’
At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Second reading
Philippians 2:6-11

His state was divine,
yet Christ Jesus did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave
and became as men are;
and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.

But God raised him high
and gave him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel
John 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Truly we know how blessed we are when we recognise the gifts and talents of all around us. How each and everyone is unique in their own way and yet are gathered together to give Him glory by our service. And each of us are not limited by the gifts we have, for we who have much are given yet more. So Yes be ambitious for the higher gifts so that you may be used to gather more and give Him greater Glory!

Like Christ who had great compassion for the hopeless, the lonely and the poor. Let us too breathe new life of Christ our Saviour unto their hearts. Bringing His grace and healing by journeying with them. So that everyone of us can declare with one voice, God has visited His people. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27-31

Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.

Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts. Now you together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it. In the Church, God has given the first place to apostles, the second to prophets, the third to teachers; after them, miracles, and after them the gift of healing; helpers, good leaders, those with many languages. Are all of them apostles, or all of them prophets, or all of them teachers? Do they all have the gift of miracles, or all have the gift of healing? Do all speak strange languages, and all interpret them? Be ambitious for the higher gifts.

Gospel
Luke 7:11-17

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


In our busyness have we forgotten the reason for our gathering as a community? Of what it means to be in communion with Jesus and our sisters and brothers? Are we quick to jump straight into a meeting to address and solve issues instead of beginning with prayer and adoration of our Lord of whom we are gathered.

In the Eucharistic Celebration are we late to come in and the first to leave before the celebrant. What does it say about our love and reverence for God? What does it say about our love if any for our community of sisters and brothers in Christ whom we are in Holy ‘communion’ with? Is it OK to talk in the church hall just before, during and immediately after the Eucharist Celebration? Are we not on sacred ground? Should we not be praying instead? Whom have we put our faith in? Where is the faith we proudly recite in the Creed?

We have been given the most precious gift of our Lord Jesus Christ in Holy Eucharist. The source and summit of our faith. And while we are truly not worthy to receive Him, it is He alone who makes us worthy. Let us honour and cherish our Lord Jesus by always remembering that it is He who unites us all. Through Him we are one and we must stand together as one in all we say and do. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 11:17-26,33

On the subject of instructions, I cannot say that you have done well in holding meetings that do you more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you all come together as a community, there are separate factions among you, and I half believe it – since there must no doubt be separate groups among you, to distinguish those who are to be trusted. The point is, when you hold these meetings, it is not the Lord’s Supper that you are eating, since when the time comes to eat, everyone is in such a hurry to start his own supper that one person goes hungry while another is getting drunk. Surely you have homes for eating and drinking in? Surely you have enough respect for the community of God not to make poor people embarrassed? What am I to say to you? Congratulate you? I cannot congratulate you on this.

For this is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death, So to sum up, my dear brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for one another.

Gospel
Luke 7:1-10

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

On being called… 

Posted: September 11, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

​Why me? Lord I ask?
Why not you? The Lord tells me.

I’m not highly learned, I say.
And yet you hear me speaking to you, says the Lord.

I’m not Holy enough and have fallen many times.
Have I not picked you up each time and forgiven you? Now go share my mercy with others.

Lord forgive me for starting this same conversation with you each time you call on me.
I have loved and forgiven you even before you uttered a word.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 10, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Seeking the Lost:
Scott Hahn Reflects on the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

The episode in today’s First Reading has been called “Israel’s original sin.” Freed from bondage, born as a people of God in the covenant at Sinai, Israel turned aside from His ways, fell to worshipping a golden calf.

Moses implores God’s mercy, as Jesus will later intercede for the whole human race, as He still pleads for sinners at God’s right hand and through the ministry of the Church.

Israel’s sin is the sin of the world. It is your sin and mine. Ransomed from death and made His children in Baptism, we fall prey to the idols of this world. We remain a “stiff-necked people,” resisting His will for us like an ox refuses the plowman’s yoke (see Jeremiah 7:26).

Like Israel, in our sin we push God away, reject our divine sonship. Once He called us “my people” (see Exodus 3:10; 6:7). But our sin makes us “no people,” people He should, in justice, disown (see Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Peter 2:10).

Yet in His mercy, He is faithful to the covenant He swore by His own self in Jesus. In Jesus, God comes to Israel and to each of us—as a shepherd to seek the lost (see Ezekiel 34:11-16), to carry us back to the heavenly feast, the perpetual heritage promised long ago to Abraham’s children.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” Paul cries in today’s Epistle. These are the happiest words the world has ever known. Because of Jesus, as Paul himself can testify, even the blasphemer and persecutor can seek His mercy.

As the sinners do in today’s Gospel, we draw near to listen to Him. In this Eucharist, we bring Him the acceptable sacrifice we sing of in today’s Psalm—our hearts, humbled and contrite.

In the company of His angels and saints, we rejoice that He has wiped out our offense, celebrate with Him—that we have turned from the evil way that we might live (see Ezekiel 18:23). 

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Today as we reflect on the first reading and the Gospel, let us deeply reflect on what it means to in Communion with the Holy Trinity. How we are then in communion with one another through our Lord Jesus Christ. How deeply we should love and cherish the most precious gift of the Holy Eucharist. Attend daily if possible the Eucharist Celebration so as to receive and be received by Jesus Christ our Lord. So that we might go forth and be fruitful.

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

First reading
1 Corinthians 10:14-22

My dear brothers, you must keep clear of idolatry. I say to you as sensible people: judge for yourselves what I am saying. The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf. Look at the other Israel, the race, where those who eat the sacrifices are in communion with the altar. Does this mean that the food sacrificed to idols has a real value, or that the idol itself is real? Not at all. It simply means that the sacrifices that they offer they sacrifice to demons who are not God. I have no desire to see you in communion with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take your share at the table of the Lord and at the table of demons. Do we want to make the Lord angry; are we stronger than he is?

Gospel
Luke 6:43-49

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.
‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?
‘Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them– I will show you what he is like. He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built. But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations: as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We know this to be true that it is, it far easier to see the faults in others and with greater clarity. Our very own are few, obscure or at least we like to think so. Our ‘mission’ as we see it, is to correct the faults of all so that they might have a chance for a better life and afterlife. How far from the truth it is for us who are blind!

To see clearly our true mission, we need to be a people whose hearts are pining to do the will of God our Father of Whom we love dearly.

Day after day, night after night we spend time in prayer, deeply reflecting on His Word. Pondering over our daily words to others, our labour, our actions and inactions. Asking for Mercy when we have sinned against the One we love and praying for the grace to do better.

It is in this loving humility of wanting to serve our Lord Jesus Christ, that we not only know it but live out our mission. To bring the joy of the Gospel to everyone. That the light of Christ may shine upon them as it shines on and through us. Welcoming home our sisters and brothers. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-27

I do not boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which has been put into my hands. Do you know what my reward is? It is this in my preaching, to be able to offer the Good News free, and not insist on the rights which the gospel gives me.
So though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could. For the weak I made myself weak. I made myself all things to all men in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings.
All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win. All the fighters at the games go into strict training; they do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither. That is how I run, intent on winning; that is how I fight, not beating the air. I treat my body hard and make it obey me, for, having been an announcer myself, I should not want to be disqualified.

Gospel
Luke 6:39-42

Jesus told a parable to the disciples, ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

We are all God our Father’s holy people, His children. Born into the world to be a blessing for one and all. We are all unique and have been given great gifts and talents for our specific roles. And we know and live them out by being in communion with the Holy Trinity.

Our perfect role model has and always will be our blessed Mother Mary. She was born into a modest and humble home and lived out her life in love, service and obedience of God our Heavenly Father. Though we hear little of her, yet each and every time that we do; she magnifies the Lord our God with every little word and deed. She brought forth the salvation of the world wholeheartedly through the Holy Spirit by her will in communion with God our Father. Truly blessed are we that the woman blessed among women would be become the mother of us all.

O dearest Blessed Mother, we wish you a happy birthday. Thank you for your love and constant intercession. And for always leading us to your Son, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary -Feast

First reading
Micah 5:1-4

The Lord says this:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
the least of the clans of Judah,
out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel; his origin goes back to the distant past, to the days of old. The Lord is therefore going to abandon them till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.

Then the remnant of his brothers will come back to the sons of Israel. He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the Lord, with the majesty of the name of his God.

They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power to the ends of the land. He himself will be peace.

Gospel
Matthew 1:1-16,18-23

A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother, Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram was the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother, Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother, Obed was the father of Jesse; and Jesse was the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Azariah, Azariah was the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah; and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon took place.

After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor was the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob; and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.

This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 7, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


In the beautitudes given by our dearest Lord, we can hear both the underlying and overlying call of the novum mandatum; the new commandment, to love one another as He loves us. But always first to love our God, our heavenly Father with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength and with all our soul.

We must ensure that we should never love our family, friends or anything in this world in such a way they become idols for us. This will separate us from the deep experience of remaining in God’s love. This will prevent us from serving the least of our brethren as we are all called to do. We should hate and prevent it from ever happening.

Lord Jesus let me die in Your arms. So that I may rise to new life in You now and forever. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 7:25-31

About remaining celibate, I have no directions from the Lord but give my own opinion as one who, by the Lord’s mercy, has stayed faithful. Well then, I believe that in these present times of stress this is right: that it is good for a man to stay as he is. If you are tied to a wife, do not look for freedom; if you are free of a wife, then do not look for one. But if you marry, it is no sin, and it is not a sin for a young girl to get married. They will have their troubles, though, in their married life, and I should like to spare you that.
Brothers, this is what I mean: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Gospel
Luke 6:20-26

Fixing his eyes on his disciples Jesus said:

‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Never forget the mercy and love the Lord Jesus had bestowed upon you. You who were groping in the darkness of sin. Starving for meaning to life? Thirsty for living water. 

You were restored and given new life in Him. Called to be saints, children of our Heavenly Father. And He called you by name to be part of that community of saints, so as to lead the way for all His children around the world. 

If you remember as you should, your own humble beginnings. Then you will not seek honour for yourself, power and glory. You will be available for your community and not a slave to routine. To be for them an instrument of God’s grace and healing touch.  And everything that you say and do will be to do God our Father’s will so as to glorify Him alone. 

Jesus my Lord, lead me your disciple always. Amen 

First reading
1 Corinthians 6:1-11

How dare one of your members take up a complaint against another in the law courts of the unjust instead of before the saints? As you know, it is the saints who are to ‘judge the world’; and if the world is to be judged by you, how can you be unfit to judge trifling cases? Since we are also to judge angels, it follows that we can judge matters of everyday life; but when you have had cases of that kind, the people you appointed to try them were not even respected in the Church. You should be ashamed: is there really not one reliable man among you to settle differences between brothers and so one brother brings a court case against another in front of unbelievers? It is bad enough for you to have lawsuits at all against one another: oughtn’t you to let yourselves be wronged, and let yourselves be cheated? But you are doing the wronging and the cheating, and to your own brothers.

You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God. These are the sort of people some of you were once, but now you have been washed clean, and sanctified, and justified through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God.

Gospel
Luke 6:12-19

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Sexual immorality is on the rise because of easy access to pornography. And pornography causes the sickening of the mind and withering of the soul. What is abnormal and detestable seems normal since there are so many blackened souls engaged in it. No! Do not allow the poison to enter, do not allow access to it. For it takes only a little bit, a little while to take control. Remain focused on the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. Turn to Him all you who have fallen and He will restore you and make you whole again.

There is no reason to withhold mercy and care for another. There is no right time but the present! Let us carry our crosses joyfully as we minister to all in need. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 5:1-8

I have been told as an undoubted fact that one of you is living with his father’s wife. This is a case of sexual immorality among you that must be unparalleled even among pagans. How can you be so proud of yourselves? You should be in mourning. A man who does a thing like that ought to have been expelled from the community. Though I am far away in body, I am with you in spirit, and have already condemned the man who did this thing as if I were actually present. When you are assembled together in the name of the Lord Jesus, and I am spiritually present with you, then with the power of our Lord Jesus he is to be handed over to Satan so that his sensual body may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

The pride that you take in yourselves is hardly to your credit. You must know how even a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, then, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Gospel
Luke 6:6-11

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’ Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 3, 2016 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Counting the Cost:Scott Hahn Reflects on the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Readings:
Wisdom 9:13-18
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-17
Philemon 1:9-10, 12-17
Luke 14:25-33
 

Like a king making ready for battle or a contractor about to build a tower, we have to count the cost as we set out to follow Jesus. 

Our Lord today is telling us upfront the sacrifice it will take. His words aren’t addressed to His chosen few, the Twelve, but rather to the “great crowds” – to “anyone,” to “whoever” wishes to be His disciple.

That only makes His call all the more stark and uncompromising. We are to “hate” our old lives, renounce all the earthly things we rely upon, to choose Him above every person and possession. Again He tells us that the things we have – even our family ties and obligations – can become an excuse, an obstacle that keeps us from giving ourselves completely to Him (see Luke 9:23-26, 57-62).

Jesus brings us the saving Wisdom we are promised in today’s First Reading. He is that saving Wisdom. 

Weighed down by many earthly concerns, the burdens of our body and its needs, we could never see beyond the things of this world, could never detect God’s heavenly design and intention. So in His mercy He sent us His Spirit, His Wisdom from on High, to make straight our path to Him. 

Jesus himself paid the price for to free us from the sentence imposed on Adam, which we recall in today’s Psalm (see Genesis 2:7; 2:19). No more will the work of our hands be an affliction, no more are we destined to turn back to dust. 

Like Onesimus in today’s Epistle, we have been redeemed, given a new family and a new inheritance, made children of the father, brothers and sisters in the Lord. 

We are free now to come after Him, to serve Him – no longer slaves to the ties of our past lives. In Christ, all our yesterdays have passed. We live in what the Psalm today beautifully describes as the daybreak of His kindness. For He has given us wisdom of heart, taught us to number our days aright. 

On Today’s Gospel 

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


What good is our righteousness? If we do not feed the hungry, tend to the sick or share our joy of the Risen Lord with those who are lonely or without hope. What good is our wealth if we hoard it for ourselves; only to find out that at the end by that selfish act we have bought for ourselves damnation? What good is our pride if it brings no glory to God our Father?

Let us instead be found in humble service of the Lord our God. To care for and lead the children of God our Father into His Heavenly Kingdom.

Jesus Christ my Lord and my God. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 4:6-15

Take Apollos and myself as an example and remember the maxim: ‘Keep to what is written.’ It is not for you, so full of your own importance, to go taking sides for one man against another. In any case, brother, has anybody given you some special right? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given, how can you boast as though it were not? Is it that you have everything you want– that you are rich already, in possession of your kingdom, with us left outside? Indeed I wish you were really kings, and we could be kings with you! But instead, it seems to me, God has put us apostles at the end of his parade, with the men sentenced to death; it is true– we have been put on show in front of the whole universe, angels as well as men. Here we are, fools for the sake of Christ, while you are the learned men in Christ; we have no power, but you are influential; you are celebrities, we are nobodies. To this day, we go without food and drink and clothes; we are beaten and have no homes; we work for our living with our own hands. When we are cursed, we answer with a blessing; when we are hounded, we put up with it; we are insulted and we answer politely. We are treated as the offal of the world, still to this day, the scum of the earth.

I am saying all this not just to make you ashamed but to bring you, as my dearest children, to your senses. You might have thousands of guardians in Christ, but not more than one father and it was I who begot you in Christ Jesus by preaching the Good News.

Gospel
Luke 6:1-5

One sabbath Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath day?’ Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry how he went into the house of God, took the loaves of offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which only the priests are allowed to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We must constantly be renewed in Christ Jesus our Lord. For it is through Him, the Word of God made flesh that we have new life! Our salvation history has been fulfilled in Him. And we must never forget the past that revealed the truth in the new. The same way Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. Yet both are the beginning, the end and new beginning of our salvation.

Let us celebrate with joy our new and renewed life in Jesus. And be led as to when it is time for us to fast and when it is time for us to rejoice and celebrate. Being sensitive and docile to the promptings of the Spirit that leads us. So that we may always give glory to God our Father in everything. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 4:1-5

People must think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one should be found worthy of his trust. Not that it makes the slightest difference to me whether you, or indeed any human tribunal, find me worthy or not. I will not even pass judgement on myself. True, my conscience does not reproach me at all, but that does not prove that I am acquitted: the Lord alone is my judge. There must be no passing of premature judgement. Leave that until the Lord comes; he will light up all that is hidden in the dark and reveal the secret intentions of men’s hearts. Then will be the time for each one to have whatever praise he deserves, from God.

Gospel
Luke 5:33-39

The Pharisees and scribes said to Jesus, ‘John’s disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees too, but yours go on eating and drinking.’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely you cannot make the bridegroom’s attendants fast while the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come, the time for the bridegroom to be taken away from them; that will be the time when they will fast.’

He also told them this parable, ‘No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak; if he does, not only will he have torn the new one, but the piece taken from the new will not match the old.

‘And nobody puts new wine into old skins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and then run out, and the skins will be lost. No; new wine must be put into fresh skins. And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. “The old is good” he says.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

If only we sought the wisdom of God first in everything we say and do, oh how wonderful our speech and acts will surely be! But all too often we allow our egoes to soar presuming we know better. We also draw conclusions from our ‘vast’ past experiences. We do not allow for others to speak nor will we listen to their thoughts and insights. How then can we listen to the word of God? What if in His wisdom He chose the meek to speak to us?

They pressed around Jesus to listen to the Word of God and so must we do likewise. Put aside our wisdom and experience so that we can listen to Him say “Put out into deep….” Only then can we truly experience and be a witness to the miracle we are meant to be a part of.

We sisters and brothers are called to cast the all loving and embracing net of Christ so as to welcome God our Father’s children into the Family. Glory and Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 3:18-23

Make no mistake about it: if any one of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must learn to be a fool before he really can be wise. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As scripture says:The Lord knows wise men’s thoughts: he knows how useless they are;or again:God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise.So there is nothing to boast about in anything human: Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life and death, the present and the future, are all your servants; but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

Gospel
Luke 5:1-11

Now Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats– it was Simon’s;– and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.

When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.