Archive for January, 2017

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.