Archive for January, 2017

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 31, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

jesus-heals-a-woman-of-faith

Jesus heals and restores because He loves us and wants to set us free. Why suffer in silence with our afflictions? Why suffer with our sins? Why allow the cares of the world to drain us of our life? Why say if only I had faith?

Cry out to the Lord, reach out to Him with your heartfelt prayers. Touch Him with your open heart and He will heal you. He will set you free! And even if you should fall asleep, rest in His peace for He shall restore you to life everlasting.

Jesus will never abandon us so let us keep the faith ever growing in His love. And let us work towards building His Kingdom by sharing His great love and commandments with all. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 12:1-4

With so many witnesses in a great cloud on every side of us, we too, then, should throw off everything that hinders us, especially the sin that clings so easily, and keep running steadily in the race we have started. Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne. Think of the way he stood such opposition from sinners and then you will not give up for want of courage. In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death.

Gospel
Mark 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside. Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.’ Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.
Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years; after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she spent all she had without being any the better for it, in fact, she was getting worse. She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak. ‘If I can touch even his clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I shall be well again.’ And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. Immediately aware that power had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’ But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.’
While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?’ But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith.’ And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha, kum!’ which means, ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up.’ The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 30, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

christhealingdemoniac

We bind ourselves with fetters and chains with the cares of the World. When we seek honour and self glory. When we live in sin and debauchery seeking only to fulfil our every desire. Giving in to the many sins and temptations that the lures of the world calls us to. Soon we find ourselves trapped in confusion, loneliness and disarray. We seek to scatter as we are ourselves are scattered!

Blessed indeed are we to have a loving and merciful Lord. For when we turn our hearts back to Him, He will never ever turn His back on us. He will liberate and restore us so that we can live as One in Him.

We are then called to share the love and mercy we received from Him with others, so that they too might be liberated and restored. We honour and follow Him not by private devotions but by sharing in the joy of the Gospel. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 11:32-40

Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets – these were men who through faith conquered kingdoms, did what is right and earned the promises. They could keep a lion’s mouth shut, put out blazing fires and emerge unscathed from battle. They were weak people who were given strength, to be brave in war and drive back foreign invaders. Some came back to their wives from the dead, by resurrection; and others submitted to torture, refusing release so that they would rise again to a better life. Some had to bear being pilloried and flogged, or even chained up in prison. They were stoned, or sawn in half, or beheaded; they were homeless, and dressed in the skins of sheep and goats; they were penniless and were given nothing but ill-treatment. They were too good for the world and they went out to live in deserts and mountains and in caves and ravines. These are all heroes of faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had made provision for us to have something better, and they were not to reach perfection except with us.

Gospel
Mark 5:1-20

Jesus and his disciples reached the country of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake, and no sooner had Jesus left the boat than a man with an unclean spirit came out from the tombs towards him. The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him any more, even with a chain; because he had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broken the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him. All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and fell at his feet and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? Swear by God you will not torture me!’ – For Jesus had been saying to him, ‘Come out of the man, unclean spirit.’ ‘What is your name?’ Jesus asked. ‘My name is legion,’ he answered ‘for there are many of us.’ And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the district.

Now there was there on the mountainside a great herd of pigs feeding, and the unclean spirits begged him, ‘Send us to the pigs, let us go into them.’ So he gave them leave. With that, the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand pigs charged down the cliff into the lake, and there they were drowned. The swineherds ran off and told their story in the town and in the country round about; and the people came to see what had really happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his full senses – the very man who had had the legion in him before – and they were afraid. And those who had witnessed it reported what had happened to the demoniac and what had become of the pigs. Then they began to implore Jesus to leave the neighbourhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to be allowed to stay with him. Jesus would not let him but said to him, ‘Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you.’ So the man went off and proceeded to spread throughout the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 29, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Blessed Path:Scott Hahn Reflects on the
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
 
Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
Psalm 146:6-10
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Matthew 5:1-12

In the readings since Christmas, Jesus has been revealed as the new royal son of David and Son of God. He is sent to lead a new exodus that brings Israel out of captivity to the nations and brings all the nations to God.

As Moses led Israel from Egypt through the sea to give them God’s law on Mount Sinai, Jesus too has passed through the waters in baptism. Now, in today’s Gospel, He goes to the mountain to proclaim a new law—the law of His Kingdom.

The Beatitudes mark the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to Abraham—that through his descendants all the nations of the world would receive God’s blessings (see Genesis 12:3; 22:18).

Jesus is the son of Abraham (see Matthew 1:1). And through the wisdom He speaks today, He bestows the Father’s blessings upon “the poor in spirit.”

God has chosen to bless the weak and lowly, those foolish and despised in the eyes of the world, Paul says in today’s Epistle. The poor in spirit are those who know that nothing they do can merit God’s mercy and grace. These are the humble remnant in today’s First Reading—taught to seek refuge in the name of the Lord.

The Beatitudes reveal the divine path and purpose for our lives. All our striving should be for these virtues—to be poor in spirit; meek and clean of heart; merciful and makers of peace; seekers of the righteousness that comes from living by the law of Kingdom.

The path the Lord sets before us today is one of trials and persecution. But He promises comfort in our mourning and a great reward.

The Kingdom we have inherited is no earthly territory, but the promised land of heaven. It is Zion where the Lord reigns forever. And, as we sing in today’s Psalm, its blessings are for those whose hope is in the Lord.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 28, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Do you love Jesus and have a desire to follow Him? Are assured by the promises of the Lord our God fulfilled through Jesus Christ our Saviour?
Are you comforted in knowing that amidst all trials and challenges Jesus is by your side? Do you believe in the truth that He is present in the most Holy Eucharist and that He is with us through the end of time?

Then join with me in praise and worship for the Lord our God for our faith is alive and strong. And we will one day be united with Him in paradise.

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

First reading
Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19

Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen. It was for faith that our ancestors were commended.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going. By faith he arrived, as a foreigner, in the Promised Land, and lived there as if in a strange country, with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. They lived there in tents while he looked forward to a city founded, designed and built by God.
It was equally by faith that Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise would be faithful to it. Because of this, there came from one man, and one who was already as good as dead himself, more descendants than could be counted, as many as the stars of heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore.
All these died in faith, before receiving any of the things that had been promised, but they saw them in the far distance and welcomed them, recognising that they were only strangers and nomads on earth. People who use such terms about themselves make it quite plain that they are in search of their real homeland. They can hardly have meant the country they came from, since they had the opportunity to go back to it; but in fact they were longing for a better homeland, their heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, since he has founded the city for them.
It was by faith that Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He offered to sacrifice his only son even though the promises had been made to him and he had been told: It is through Isaac that your name will be carried on. He was confident that God had the power even to raise the dead; and so, figuratively speaking, he was given back Isaac from the dead.

Gospel
Mark 4:35-41

With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’

Posted: January 27, 2017 by CatholicJules in Photos

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 27, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The living God of love, my creator embraces me each and every day. From the moment I awake to the time I lay asleep His grace is upon me. Even when I have sinned against Him, He calls out to me to return to His warm embrace.

And so I must choose daily, if I want my actions or even inaction to offend Him the one that I love. I must strive to be faithful, to grow in my faith, virtues and love. So that I may bear fruit by leading others into the shelter of His embrace.

Never give in to temptation, never give up. Grow in faith, knowledge, wisdom and love. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 10:32-39

Remember all the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days; sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to insults and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way. For you not only shared in the sufferings of those who were in prison, but you happily accepted being stripped of your belongings, knowing that you owned something that was better and lasting. Be as confident now, then, since the reward is so great. You will need endurance to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.

Only a little while now, a very little while, and the one that is coming will have come; he will not delay. The righteous man will live by faith, but if he draws back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.

You and I are not the sort of people who draw back, and are lost by it; we are the sort who keep faithful until our souls are saved.

Gospel
Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 26, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The more we desire to live in the light of the Lord, to love and serve Him;the more the graces we receive and the opportunities to do so.

No one can say I don’t know how or what to say unless they are living in darkness, secret or otherwise. For the joy of those living in the light cannot be contained. And one is compelled to share in that joy. Every trial received is an opportunity to live more fully in His love and light.

Lead us continue to strive for Holiness and remain steadfast in faith and in His love. Amen

St Timothy and St Titus pray for us…

First reading
2 Timothy 1:1-8

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus in his design to promise life in Christ Jesus; to Timothy, dear child of mine, wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Night and day I thank God, keeping my conscience clear and remembering my duty to him as my ancestors did, and always I remember you in my prayers; I remember your tears and long to see you again to complete my happiness. Then I am reminded of the sincere faith which you have; it came first to live in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I have no doubt that it is the same faith in you as well.
That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy.

Gospel
Mark 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Would you bring in a lamp to put it under a tub or under the bed? Surely you will put it on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
He also said to them, ‘Take notice of what you are hearing. The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given– and more besides; for the man who has will be given more; from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’

Posted: January 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Photos

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Most of us are very headstrong and set in our ways. With the knowledge and experience we have acquired over the years we are convicted in our thoughts. But how many of us can truly say it is the Lord who guides me in everything I say and do? I am ever learning His ways and there is always more to learn;for everything good comes from Him.

Go to Jesus as you are, open your heart and be transformed. Be reconciled to the Lord your God. Through baptism you are cleansed of sin, and anointed with gifts of grace to live fully alive in Him. To be His disciples, to love and to serve. And we can do great things in His name.

St Paul pray for us. Amen

First reading
Acts 22:3-16

Paul said to the people, ‘I am a Jew and was born at Tarsus in Cilicia. I was brought up here in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was taught the exact observance of the Law of our ancestors. In fact, I was as full of duty towards God as you are today. I even persecuted this Way to the death, and sent women as well as men to prison in chains as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify, since they even sent me with letters to their brothers in Damascus. When I set off it was with the intention of bringing prisoners back from there to Jerusalem for punishment.
‘I was on that journey and nearly at Damascus when about midday a bright light from heaven suddenly shone round me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” I answered: Who are you, Lord? and he said to me, “I am Jesus the Nazarene, and you are persecuting me.” The people with me saw the light but did not hear his voice as he spoke to me. I said: What am I to do, Lord? The Lord answered, “Stand up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told what you have been appointed to do.” The light had been so dazzling that I was blind and my companions had to take me by the hand; and so I came to Damascus.
‘Someone called Ananias, a devout follower of the Law and highly thought of by all the Jews living there, came to see me; he stood beside me and said, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” Instantly my sight came back and I was able to see him. Then he said, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Just One and hear his own voice speaking, because you are to be his witness before all mankind, testifying to what you have seen and heard. And now why delay? It is time you were baptised and had your sins washed away while invoking his name.”’

Gospel
Mark 16:15-18

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 24, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Attending Sunday Eucharist, daily mass, frequently going for the Sacrament of reconciliation; will and must change us. For our Lord laid down His life for us so that we could be liberated from Sin. By His death and resurrection we can live anew in Him. He has poured out His grace upon us and continues to do so through the gift of the Sacraments.

Why then are we still critical of others? Still engaging in gossip, speaking life taking words doing harmful acts? Giving in to sexual temptations, greed and pride?

The crux of the problem is we have not surrendered our life up to God. We think surrender in this instance means we ‘lose’ instead of rightfully gaining a life in abundance with the Lord our God. We have life to the full when we align our wills with His. To die with Him is to rise with Him. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 10:1-10

Since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. Instead of that, the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what he said, on coming into the world:

You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin; then I said, just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book, ‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’

Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Gospel
Mark 3:31-35

The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 23, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Are we waiting for Christ Jesus our Lord? And by waiting are we staying awake?

Yes He has sacrificed Himself once for all to save us from sins but are we active participants in our salvation? Are we living lives we are called to? Seeking Holiness? Striving at Oneness with Him and one another?

Jesus gave us the most precious gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist so that we are partakers of the divine life. Do we cherish this gift with great reverence and receive often?

Let us stand ready, united in Him in prayer and service. Guided by the Holy Spirit as we journey onwards towards our Heavenly inheritance. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 9:15,24-28

Christ brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.

Gospel
Mark 3:22-30

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either– it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 21, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

History Redeemed: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
 

Readings:
Isaiah 8:23-9:3
Psalm 27:1,4,13-14
1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17
Matthew 4:12-23
 

Today’s Liturgy gives us a lesson in ancient Israelite geography and history.

Isaiah’s prophecy in today’s First Reading is quoted by Matthew in today’s Gospel. Both intend to recall the apparent fall of the everlasting kingdom promised to David (see 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Psalm 89; Psalm 132:11-12).

Eight centuries before Christ, that part of the kingdom where the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali lived was attacked by the Assyrians and the tribes were hauled off into captivity (see 2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26).

It marked the beginning of the kingdom’s end. It finally crumbled in the sixth century B.C., when Jerusalem was seized by Babylon and the remaining tribes were driven into exile (see 2 Kings 24:14).

Isaiah prophesied that Zebulun and Naphtali, the lands first to be degraded, would be the first to see the light of God’s salvation. Jesus today fulfills that prophecy—announcing the restoration of David’s kingdom at precisely the spot where the kingdom began to fall.

His gospel of the Kingdom includes not only the twelve tribes of Israel but all the nations—symbolized by the “Galilee of the Nations.” Calling His first disciples, two fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, He appoints them to be “fishers of men”—gathering people from the ends of the earth.

They are to preach the gospel, Paul says in today’s Epistle, to unite all peoples in the same mind and in the same purpose—in a worldwide kingdom of God.

By their preaching, Isaiah’s promise has been delivered. A world in darkness has seen the light. The yoke of slavery and sin, borne by humanity since time began, has been smashed.

And we are able now, as we sing in today’s Psalm, to dwell in the house of the Lord, to worship Him in the land of the living

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 21, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The masterpiece of the Lord God’s loving plan for the Eucharist and the salvation of His Children was intricately woven long before we finally saw the big picture. And even then more is revealed each time we dwell and contemplate on the mystery.

Through His loving sacrifice of Himself for us, we are restored, renewed and fully alive to love and serve with joy. To love and serve not only the living God but the least of our brethren.

All our loving words and actions must be accompanied by sacrifice. For it is only through sacrifice that they are purified. The world who does not yet know our Lord Jesus Christ will think us mad and may even rebuke or insult us for spending so much time and effort in the service of Him and brethren. The Lord says to us “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Lord Jesus I take up my cross and follow You. Amen

​First reading
Hebrews 9:2-3,11-14

There was a tent which comprised two compartments: the first, in which the lamp stand, the table and the presentation loaves were kept, was called the Holy Place; then beyond the second veil, an innermost part which was called the Holy of Holies.

But now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men’s hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holiness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God.

Gospel
Mark 3:20-21

Jesus went home, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 20, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Glory and Praise to God our Heavenly Father. Through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ all promises have been fulfilled. We are sealed in His love, we are His children.

And amongst us His children He has anointed some to tend to His flock. To teach, preach and liberate from evil. Not all of whom are called to priesthood and yet through their faithfulness they posses the same gifts, though some gifts are reserved for priests alone.

All of us however are to share in the good news and joy of the Gospel. We belong to one another, for we are one on Christ Jesus and so must help one another grow in Holiness;to lead one another into the Heavenly Kingdom.

Let us always say, “Here I am Lord, I’ve come to do Your Will.” Amen

First reading
Hebrews 8:6-13

We have seen that Christ has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it. And in fact God does find fault with them; he says:

See, the days are coming– it is the Lord who speaks– when I will establish 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 abandoned that covenant of mine, and so I on my side deserted them. 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.
I will put my laws into their minds and write them 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, since I will forgive their iniquities and never call their sins to mind.

By speaking of a new covenant, he implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears.

Gospel
Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up into the hills and summoned those he wanted. So they came to him and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils. And so he appointed the Twelve: Simon to whom he gave the name Peter, James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges or ‘Sons of Thunder’; then Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray him.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 19, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Did Jesus come to heal alone? Yet many find faith in Him only when they are in need of healing for themselves or their loved ones. Still He opens up His arms to embrace them, for great is His mercy and love for us all.

Christ our Saviour paid our debts in full, one He did not owe simply for the love of us who could not pay. And He continues to intercede for us, so that with contrite hearts and spirit we are reconciled to God our Heavenly Father who sent Him.

Yes Jesus came to gather His people unto Himself. He heals, saves and restores us to the image and likeness of which we were born into;Children of God our Heavenly Father.

Glory praise and thanks be to You, O Lord our God Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 7:25-8:6

The power of Jesus to save is utterly certain, since he is living for ever to intercede for all who come to God through him.
To suit us, the ideal high priest would have to be holy, innocent and uncontaminated, beyond the influence of sinners, and raised up above the heavens; one who would not need to offer sacrifices every day, as the other high priests do for their own sins and then for those of the people, because he has done this once and for all by offering himself. The Law appoints high priests who are men subject to weakness; but the promise on oath, which came after the Law, appointed the Son who is made perfect for ever.
The great point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind. He has his place at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens, and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting which the Lord, and not any man, set up. It is the duty of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so this one too must have something to offer. In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are others who make the offerings laid down by the Law and these only maintain the service of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities. For Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
We have seen that he has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises.

Gospel
Mark 3:7-12

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 18, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We are called to live out righteous lives following our Lord’s commandments and we will have peace in hearts and in our days. Righteousness and peace are one with the Lord our God. That is why there is no peace in self righteousness.

Jesus teaches and shows us that there is no special day set aside to do good. Every day we must strive to love our neighbour by our actions. To lead them to Him so that they might be restored and reconciled

Jesus teach me to love as You love. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 7:1-3,15-17

You remember that Melchizedek, king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, went to meet Abraham who was on his way back after defeating the kings, and blessed him; and also that it was to him that Abraham gave a tenth of all that he had. By the interpretation of his name, he is, first, ‘king of righteousness’ and also king of Salem, that is, ‘king of peace’; he has no father, mother or ancestry, and his life has no beginning or ending; he is like the Son of God. He remains a priest for ever. This becomes even more clearly evident when there appears a second Melchizedek, who is a priest not by virtue of a law about physical descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it was about him that the prophecy was made: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.

Gospel
Mark 3:1-6

Jesus went again into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 17, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


At every turn,the challenges we find in life can overwhelm us. We might easily be discouraged and think that all is in vain. Giving up and giving in to sin would seem an enticing reprieve. Instead hold fast to the promises of Christ. Be still and allow Him to take over. For He is The Way , The Truth and The Life!

When we realize then that every Eucharist Celebration especially the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration is a gift of love to us, so that we might experience His great mercy, healing and love. To be nourished and given rest. To have His peace upon us. Would we ever approach the throne of grace over than in awe, reverence and grateful thanksgiving?

Glory and Praise to the Lord our God. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 6:10-20

God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the saints. Our one desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same earnestness to the end, to the perfect fulfilment of our hopes, never growing careless, but imitating those who have the faith and the perseverance to inherit the promises.
When God made the promise to Abraham, he swore by his own self, since it was impossible for him to swear by anyone greater: I will shower blessings on you and give you many descendants. Because of that, Abraham persevered and saw the promise fulfilled. Men, of course, swear an oath by something greater than themselves, and between men, confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God wanted to make the heirs to the promise thoroughly realise that his purpose was unalterable, he conveyed this by an oath; so that there would be two unalterable things in which it was impossible for God to be lying, and so that we, now we have found safety, should have a strong encouragement to take a firm grip on the hope that is held out to us. Here we have an anchor for our soul, as sure as it is firm, and reaching right through beyond the veil where Jesus has entered before us and on our behalf, to become a high priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.

Gospel
Mark 2:23-28

One sabbath day Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry– how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’
And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’

A little on church unity 

Posted: January 16, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

A little On Church Unity
————————————-
Do we stop loving the priest and Levite who walked past the man in need of help? Do we stop loving the elder brother who refused to join in the celebration of the homecoming of his younger brother? Do we stop loving the nine lepers who offered no thanks? Do we stop loving Simon who was critical of Mary being a sinner in his house?

Would Jesus stop loving any of these? Whom did He come for?

And yet we ourselves are often critical of them? For their lack of love, their lack of faith? Have we forgotten that we were perhaps at one time or another very much like some of them?

So we should never be discouraged with the attitude of those still very new in their journey nor should we walk away on our own from our Church family.

Flawed as we are, sinners that we are, we are loved and blessed our Heavenly Father who sent His Son Jesus to break the bonds that scatter us. We are united and can stand united through Him alone.

Let us pay heed to what the Lord had spoken to us through His word….

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Corinthians 1:10

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. Romans 16:17

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. Romans 14:1

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13 

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15:5

Amen

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 16, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


What is our role as ‘priest’ through our baptism;for our family, our friends and our community?

It is to reconcile them with the Lord our God. We are the bridge for which their path becomes clear. All of us as one body in Christ should then lead one another into life of Holiness through and with Him.

Let us, who have new life in Him never turn back and decide only to follow our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 5:1-10

Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel
Mark 2:18-22

One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’

Posted: January 14, 2017 by CatholicJules in Photos

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 14, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Perfect Offering:Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
 
Isaiah 49:3,5-6
Psalm 40:2,4,7-10
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34

Jesus speaks through the prophet Isaiah in today’s First Reading.

He tells us of the mission given to Him by the Father from the womb: “‘You are My servant,’ He said to Me.”

Servant and Son, our Lord was sent to lead a new exodus —to raise up the exiled tribes of Israel, to gather and restore them to God. More than that, He was to be a light to the nations, that God’s salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (see Acts 13:46-47).

Before the first exodus, a lamb was offered in sacrifice and its blood painted on the Israelites’ door posts. The blood of the lamb identified their homes and the Lord “passed over” these in executing judgment on the Egyptians (see Exodus 12:1-23,27).

In the new exodus, Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” as John beholds Him in the Gospel today (see 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Our Lord sings of this in today’s Psalm. He has come, He says, to offer His body to do the will of God (see Hebrews 10:3-13).

The sacrifices, oblations, holocausts, and sin-offerings given after the first exodus had no power to take away sins (see Hebrews 10:4). They were meant not to save but to teach (see Galatians 3:24). In offering these sacrifices, the people were to learn self-sacrifice—that they were made for worship, to offer themselves freely to God and to delight in His will.

Only Jesus could make that perfect offering of himself. And through His sacrifice, He has given us ears open to obedience, made it possible for us to hear the Father’s call to holiness, as Paul says in today’s Epistle.

He has made us children of God, baptized in the blood of the Lamb (see Revelation 7:14). And we are to join our sacrifice to His, to offer our bodies—our lives—as living sacrifices in the spiritual worship of the Mass (see Romans 12:1).

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 14, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Judgement should and is reserved for the Lord our God alone. For in His great mercy and love for us, He had come to save us sinners. He alone knows and can see into the depths of the heart of man.

What we may see with human eyes as rotten and ‘evil’ He can see and hear the cry for help. He sees the heart desiring conversion but is trapped by the world. And He comes to free us so that we have life to the full in Him.

O Lord Jesus I hear Your call to follow You. I desire nothing else, here I am Lord! Amen

First reading
Hebrews 4:12-16

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.
Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

Gospel
Mark 2:13-17

Jesus went out to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 13, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Our Heavenly Father Wills that all His children, we will be with Him for all eternity. Our free will given out of love, allows us to choose for ourselves if we want that reality. For in making that choice we are choosing to be obedient, to strive amidst great challenges to remain steadfast in faith and love. We must help one another remain so through the sharing of our faith and love of our Lord who reigns in our hearts. This is only to be found in community, one body,one Church.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ our bondages to sin has been broken, for He has come to reconcile us with Him, through Him and in Him. Let our renewed faith lead others to Him. Let us carry those crippled by sin to Him so that seeing our faith, He will restore what was lost.

Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the World. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 4:1-5,11

Be careful: the promise of reaching the place of rest that God had for the Israelites still holds good, and none of you must think that he has come too late for it. We received the Good News exactly as they did; but hearing the message did them no good because they did not share the faith of those who listened. We, however, who have faith, shall reach a place of rest, as in the text: And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. God’s work was undoubtedly all finished at the beginning of the world; as one text says, referring to the seventh day: After all his work God rested on the seventh day. The text we are considering says: They shall not reach the place of rest I had for them. We must therefore do everything we can to reach this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of disobedience and be lost.

Gospel
Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, word went round that he was back; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves, ‘How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?’ Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, ‘Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven” or to say, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’– he turned to the paralytic;– ‘I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.’ And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 12, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The journey towards Holiness is fraught with challenges. Each day we awake to fight the good fight. Striving not to allow our hearts to harden through sin. Hence we must arm ourselves through prayer and the Word given to nourish and strengthen us.

Never should we forget, no matter how hurt, injured, sick or overwhelmed that Jesus wants to heal and embrace us. We need only turn to Him in faith.

Jesus my protector, my saviour, my love. How can I not share the joy of having this wonderful relationship with You? Bless Your Holy name. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 3:7-14

The Holy Spirit says: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts, as happened in the Rebellion, on the Day of Temptation in the wilderness, when your ancestors challenged me and tested me, though they had seen what I could do for forty years. That was why I was angry with that generation and said: How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways! And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. Take care, brothers, that there is not in any one of your community a wicked mind, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we shall remain co-heirs with Christ only if we keep a grasp on our first confidence right to the end.

Gospel
Mark 1:40-45

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 11, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


How can I not fall in love with Jesus? He is my confidante, my counselor, my greatest and truest friend. He knows me better than I know myself and have helped me overcome my many sinful inclinations. He is there along side me in my most painful moments and trials. He comforts me and gives me rest.

He has healed me body and soul. And have heard my prayers for healing of others. He has saved me many times from the clutches of the evil one and bid that I do the same for my brethren.

He teaches, guides and shows me how to share with others His great love, mercy; an opportunity to witness and make a difference in their lives.

Jesus my Lord, my God, my friend. Be with me always I pray. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 2:14-18

Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, Christ too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could take away all the power of the devil, who had power over death, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself descent from Abraham. It was essential that he should in this way become completely like his brothers so that he could be a compassionate and trustworthy high priest of God’s religion, able to atone for human sins. That is, because he has himself been through temptation he is able to help others who are tempted.

Gospel
Mark 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue, Jesus went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew. Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told him about her straightaway. He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils. The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another; he also cast out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.
In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. Simon and his companions set out in search of him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.’ And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out devils.

On The Job Training on Development

Posted: January 10, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

While attending a training this is what I have learnt through personal reflection and observation apart from the topics convered.

  • With humility comes grace.
  • If you cannot take criticism you hamper your own growth.
  • Remarks and comments can either be life giving or life taking.
  • Avoid retaliatory remarks or comments they serve a different master.
  • Aversions to things can and must be changed to serve a higher purpose for the Lord.
  • Oneness is not an ideal, it must be sought after by all through unitive prayer and Adoration. Individuals coming together collectively is mere fellowship.
  • A disciple never thinks it is someone else’s responsibility or job. For He/she has said yes to Christ.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 10, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Why do we call ourselves children of God and yet are fearful? Afraid to speak and share the great mercy and love of God our Heavenly Father? That we do not know enough. Why is that? That we are not ready or worthy?

We have Jesus, living God and He lived amongst us as man. To show us that we can be united with and through Him. Through the Sacraments He instituted we have unity with our senses, we see with our eyes as we see with our hearts. Jesus truly is Lord of all, the Holy One of God. Son of the Father and Son of Man.

Through our deepening relationship with Him, He has given us the authority to go and make disciples of all nations. And to teach them after their baptism all that He has commanded. Let us fear no longer. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 2:5-12

God did not appoint angels to be rulers of the world to come, and that world is what we are talking about. Somewhere there is a passage that shows us this. It runs: What is man that you should spare a thought for him, the son of man that you should care for him? For a short while you made him lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and splendour. You have put him in command of everything. Well then, if he has put him in command of everything, he has left nothing which is not under his command. At present, it is true, we are not able to see that everything has been put under his command, but we do see in Jesus one who was for a short while made lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and splendour because he submitted to death; by God’s grace he had to experience death for all mankind.
As it was his purpose to bring a great many of his sons into glory, it was appropriate that God, for whom everything exists and through whom everything exists, should make perfect, through suffering, the leader who would take them to their salvation. For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why he openly calls them brothers in the text: I shall announce your name to my brothers, praise you in full assembly.

Gospel
Mark 1:21-28

Jesus and his followers went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘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 unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 9, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


The Lord our God came to be with us through humble beginnings. Born without sin yet humbly subjected Himself to a Baptism of repentance. In the river Jordan where sins were left behind. He was submerged, a sign of Him who would take upon on Himself the sins of the world. Then He rose out of the water as He would later rise from the dead, signifying new life with the Heavenly Father. Abba in Heaven acknowledged and affirmed Him as His beloved Son. As we have become His children through our very own baptism.

By our baptism we are set free to love and live in Him. A mystery revealed yet one to be cherished and pondered upon often.

All praise and Glory be Yours O Lord our God. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7

Thus says the Lord:

Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations.

He does not cry out or shout aloud, or make his voice heard in the streets. He does not break the crushed reed, nor quench the wavering flame.

Faithfully he brings true justice; he will neither waver, nor be crushed until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.

I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right; I have taken you by the hand and formed you; I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations to open the eyes of the blind to free captives from prison and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.

Gospel
Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. John tried to dissuade him. ‘It is I who need baptism from you’ he said ‘and yet you come to me!’ But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands.’ At this, John gave in to him.
As soon as Jesus was baptised he came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And a voice spoke from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’

Feast of the Epiphany

Posted: January 7, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

A King to Behold: 
Scott Hahn Reflects on the Feast of the Epiphany

Readings:
Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:-12,7-8, 10-13
Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6
Matthew 2:1-12
 

An “epiphany” is an appearance. In today’s readings, with their rising stars, splendorous lights and mysteries revealed, the face of the child born on Christmas day appears.

Herod, in today’s Gospel, asks the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah is to be born. The answer Matthew puts on their lips says much more, combining two strands of Old Testament promise – one revealing the Messiah to be from the line of David (see 2 Samuel 2:5), the other predicting “a ruler of Israel” who will “shepherd his flock” and whose “greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth” (see Micah 5:1-3).

Those promises of Israel’s king ruling the nations resound also in today’s Psalm. The psalm celebrates David’s son, Solomon. His kingdom, we sing, will stretch “to the ends of the earth,” and the world’s kings will pay Him homage. That’s the scene too in today’s First Reading, as nations stream from the East, bearing “gold and frankincense” for Israel’s king.

The Magi’s pilgrimage in today’s Gospel marks the fulfillment of God’s promises. The Magi, probably Persian astrologers, are following the star that Balaam predicted would rise along with the ruler’s staff over the house of Jacob (see Numbers 24:17).

Laden with gold and spices, their journey evokes those made to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba and the “kings of the earth” (see 1 Kings 10:2,25; 2 Chronicles 9:24). Interestingly, the only other places where frankincense and myrrh are mentioned together are in songs about Solomon (see Song of Songs 3:6, 4:6,14).

One greater than Solomon is here (see Luke 11:31). He has come to reveal that all peoples are “co-heirs” of the royal family of Israel, as today’s Epistle teaches.

His manifestation forces us to choose: Will we follow the signs that lead to Him as the wise Magi did? Or will we be like those priests and the scribes who let God’s words of promise become dead letters on an ancient page?

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 7, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Jesus is Lord.

No evil can touch or disturb us, who follow Christ our Lord. Know that this is true for we can testify to it by witnessing the conversion and transformation of many who had walked in darkness.

Everything we need to build the kingdom of God is provided for and He provides abundantly and always the best. For great is His mercy and love for us.

Dearest mother, Queen of heaven continue to intercede for us. That we might be the new wine poured out for all, so that one day soon we might share in the Heavenly inheritance that awaits us. Amen

First reading
1 John 5:14-21

We are quite confident that if we ask the Son of God for anything, and it is in accordance with his will, he will hear us; and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us, we know that we have already been granted what we asked of him.
If anybody sees his brother commit a sin that is not a deadly sin, he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner – not those who commit a deadly sin; for there is a sin that is death, and I will not say that you must pray about that.
Every kind of wrong-doing is sin, but not all sin is deadly.

We know that anyone who has been begotten by God does not sin, because the begotten Son of God protects him, and the Evil One does not touch him.
We know that we belong to God,but the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
We know, too, that the Son of God has come, and has given us the power to know the true God.
We are in the true God, as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God,this is eternal life. Children, be on your guard against false gods.

Gospel
John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said ‘Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’, and they filled them to the brim. ‘Draw some out now’ he told them ‘and take it to the steward.’ They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said; ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.’
This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 6, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Is our faith a huge fairytale of sorts? Something made up for the weak minded to follow? How then can anyone explain the phenomenon of having learned men, women, scholars together with the so called ‘weak minded’ laying down their lives for our faith? Having their blood spilled?

Jesus, through the water and blood outpoured from His side had blessed us with His one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. And it’s growth and reach spread further and wider by the blood of the Martyrs. For Jesus the Son of God, Son of Man who promised eternal life with Him and our Heavenly Father; rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.

All of us who have encountered our living Lord and God will testify that while we were dead in our sins, He gave new life in Him and a foretaste of Heaven through the Holy Eucharist.

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

First reading
1 John 5:5-13

Who can overcome the world? Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood, not with water only, but with water and blood; with the Spirit as another witness–
since the Spirit is the truth–
so that there are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and all three of them agree. We accept the testimony of human witnesses, but God’s testimony is much greater, and this is God’s testimony, given as evidence for his Son. Everybody who believes in the Son of God has this testimony inside him;
and anyone who will not believe God is making God out to be a liar, because he has not trusted the testimony God has given about his Son. This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son; anyone who has the Son has life, anyone who does not have the Son does not have life.

I have written all this to you so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God may be sure that you have eternal life.

Gospel
Mark 1:6-11

In the course of his preaching John said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 5, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


How do we see God? How do we experience Him in our daily lives?

Jesus invites us to follow Him, to come and see with the eyes of faith. For through prayer, discipleship through acts of love and mercy we experience His immense love for us. By laying down His life for us, we have been set free to love and be loved, the Lord our God and our brethren.

Do not remain in sin! Do not allow the busyness of life overwhelm you. Do not seek happiness and comforts through material things or that of this world. Do not place anyone, anything, even yourself above the Lord our God!

For He alone is the truth the way and the life. Amen

First reading
1 John 3:11-21

This is the message as you heard it from the beginning:
that we are to love one another; not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One and cut his brother’s throat; cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason, that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you; we have passed out of death and into life, and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers.
If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
This has taught us love–
that he gave up his life for us;and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers. If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him,how could the love of God be living in him?
My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active;only by this can we be certain
that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence, whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence.

Gospel
John 1:43-51

After Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, ‘Follow me.’ Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. 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.’

Posted: January 4, 2017 by CatholicJules in Photos

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 4, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys


I am a child of God.

Although I am a cradle Catholic, I stand in awe and great excitement along side the neophytes post baptism receiving their first Holy Communion. What peace, what joy! I’m no longer a slave to fear and sin. I am a child of God.

Come and see, come dwell with and in me says our Lord Jesus to each and everyone of us. Come and dwell in the mysteries, come listen to my living Word. Receive from me and be born anew. Then share my love with your neighbour.

Thank You Jesus, praise You Jesus. Amen

First reading
1 John 3:7-10

My children, do not let anyone lead you astray: to live a holy life is to be holy just as he is holy; to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil, since the devil was a sinner from the beginning.
It was to undo all that the devil has done that the Son of God appeared. No one who has been begotten by God sins;
because God’s seed remains inside him, he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.

In this way we distinguish the children of God from the children of the devil: anybody not living a holy life and not loving his brother is no child of God’s.

Gospel
John 1:35-42

As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’– which means Teacher–’where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’– which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’– meaning Rock.

COG 

Posted: January 3, 2017 by CatholicJules in Photos

http://bit.ly/2j3Q5vm

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 3, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Have you seen Jesus?

I have;in prayer, through reading and contemplation of the word, through adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, in the Eucharistic Celebration, through the Sacrament of reconciliation, through journeying with the community but most profoundly of all in those who serve Him and His flock faithfully.

For to love your neighbour in spite of the struggle and challenges;is to look upon God through the eyes of faith.

Turn away from sin and together with St John the Baptist we can declare, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” Amen

First reading
1 John 2:29-3:6

You know that God is righteous – then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous has been begotten by him.

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.

Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ. Anyone who sins at all breaks the law,
because to sin is to break the law. Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in him there is no sin; anyone who lives in God does not sin,and anyone who sins has never seen him or known him.

Gospel
John 1:29-34

Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: January 2, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


If we will not dwell in His Word and the mysteries revealed to us, how can we live in the power of the anointing we had all received?

For it is through the anointing that we our desire for His knowledge and wisdom grows within us. The more we learn the more we realize how much more we still do not know for there is no end to to the depth of the knowledge and wisdom of God. The keys to more are in the teaching and sharing of it with all around us. And in humble servitude of others through the love of God in us.

We therefore are forerunners for Christ Jesus our Lord, preparing the way for the reception of Him into the hearts of the children of God our Heavenly Father. Amen

First reading
1 John 2:22-28

The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ–he is the liar, he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son, because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well. Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning: as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you, you will live in the Son and in the Father; and what is promised to you by his own promise is eternal life. This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray. But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything; you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him. Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence,
and not turn from him in shame at his coming.

Gospel
John 1:19-28

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord.’

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you– unknown to you– the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.

Happy Blessed 2017

Posted: January 1, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

​What a wonderful and unique with faith we have that on this blessed day we can wish each other Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! 
Blessed Mary Mother of God, pray for us as we walk this journey in this new year. Amen 

Feast of Mary, Mother of God

Posted: January 1, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Children of God: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Feast of Mary, Mother of God

Readings:

Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21

Today we give thanks to Mary, the Mother of God. Her response to the angel, born of a humble heart, brought us life and salvation in the Child conceived in her womb. 

From before all ages, God had destined her for this decisive role in salvation history. She was to be the woman who in the fullness of time would bear God’s only Son, as Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. 

In times past, God spoke to His chosen people, the Israelites, through prophets (see Hebrews 1:1-2), and imparted His blessings upon them through His priests, as we hear in today’s First Reading. 

But now, He has sent His Son—to reveal His glory and His kingdom, to make His way of salvation known to all nations, as we sing in today’s Psalm. In the Infant lying in the manger, God has shone His face upon us (see John 14:8-9). 

Jesus is made a child of Israel, an heir of God’s covenant with Abraham, by His circumcision in today’s Gospel (see Genesis 17:1-14). And we have been made adopted sons and daughters by Baptism, which is the circumcision of Christ, the true circumcision (see Colossians 2:11; Philippians 3:3). 

As children of God, Paul says today, we are heirs of the Father’s blessings, which He promised to bestow on all peoples through the descendants of Abraham (see Genesis 12:3;22:18; Galatians 3:14). This is the blessing which Aaron imparted to Israel, the people descended from Abraham. And this blessing comes to us through Mary and the Child. 

This is the good news of great joy that the shepherds make known in Bethlehem today (see Luke 2:10). 

Like the shepherds, we too should make haste today to find Jesus with Mary and Joseph, and to glorify God for His blessings. And like Mary, we should keep His word and reflect upon it, letting it dwell richly in our hearts (see Colossians 3:16).