Archive for February, 2017

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Many will approach the altar of the Lord with great reverence even love. But approach it nonetheless empty handed. No offering of any acts of love done in His name the past week. Of reconciling with a sister or brother. No communion sacrifice of not grumbling, complaining or scolding. Of bringing someone closer to God our Father. Of helping or caring for the sick and the poor. Of sharing the gifts and talents you received outside of your work place for the community and building of God’s Kingdom. Where then is Holy Communion? Where then is the Eucharist of thanksgiving?

Let us remember that at the end of every Eucharistic Celebration we are sent to share the gospel with others, to love and offer peace in His mighty name,our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Then our labour of love and sacrifice will be pleasing to the Lord our God.

O Lord our God, grant us your grace, courage and wisdom to be missionary and evangelistic. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 35:2-15

A man multiplies offerings by keeping the Law; he offers communion sacrifices by following the commandments.
By showing gratitude he makes an offering of fine flour, by giving alms he offers a sacrifice of praise.
Withdraw from wickedness and the Lord will be pleased,
withdraw from injustice and you make atonement. Do not appear empty-handed in the Lord’s presence; for all these things are due under the commandment.
A virtuous man’s offering graces the altar, and its savour rises before the Most High.
A virtuous man’s sacrifice is acceptable, its memorial will not be forgotten.
Honour the Lord with generosity, do not stint the first-fruits you bring. Add a smiling face to all your gifts,
and be cheerful as you dedicate your tithes.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously as your means can afford; for the Lord is a good rewarder, he will reward you seven times over.
Offer him no bribe, he will not accept it, do not put your faith in an unvirtuous sacrifice; since the Lord is a judge who is no respecter of personages.

Gospel
Mark 10:28-31

‘What about us?’ Peter asked Jesus. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land– not without persecutions– now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Have you praised, thanked and given glory to God our Father today? Every day? When was the last time? Was it by your own accord or in a group setting?

For we praise and worship Him not because we have to but because we desire and want to. Not simply by our lips but by our inner conversion and actions. And we would surely and truly want to because He liberates us from our sins when we turn to Him with contrite hearts. He pours out His mercy and grace upon us, so much so that we sing His praise and glory with joy in our hearts.

Do not seek wealth, riches and comforts. For all of these are shortlived. Seek first the Kingdom of the Lord our God. And you would have found the greatest treasure, nothing else matters.

Lord Jesus guide me, as I strive for Holiness in You. For all is possible with You. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 17:20-28

To those who repent, God permits return, and he encourages those who were losing hope. Return to the Lord and leave sin behind, plead before his face and lessen your offence.
Come back to the Most High and turn away from iniquity,
and hold in abhorrence all that is foul. Who will praise the Most High in Sheol, if the living do not do so by giving glory to him?
To the dead, as to those who do not exist, praise is unknown only those with life and health can praise the Lord.

How great is the mercy of the Lord, his pardon on all those who turn towards him!

Gospel
Mark 10:17-27

Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Do Not Be Anxious: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings ;
Isaiah 49:14–15
Psalm 62:2–3, 6–9
1 Corinthians 4:1–5
Matthew 6:24–24

We are by nature prone to be anxious and troubled about many things.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus confronts us with our most common fears. We are anxious mostly about how we will meet our material needs—for food and drink; for clothing; for security for tomorrow.

Yet in seeking security and comfort, we may unwittingly be handing ourselves over to servitude to “mammon,” Jesus warns. “Mammon” is an Aramaic word that refers to money or possessions.

Jesus is not condemning wealth. Nor is he saying that we shouldn’t work to earn our daily bread or to make provisions for our future.

It is a question of priorities and goals. What are we living for? Where is God in our lives?

Jesus insists that we need only to have faith in God and to trust in his Providence.

The readings this Sunday pose a challenge to us. Do we really believe that God cares for us, that he alone can provide for all our needs?

Do we believe that he loves us more than a mother loves the infant at her breast, as God himself promises in this week’s beautiful First Reading? Do we really trust that he is our rock and salvation, as we sing in the Psalm?

Jesus calls us to an intense realism about our lives. For all our worrying, none of us change the span of our days. None of us has anything that we have not received as a gift from God (see 1 Cor. 4:7).

St. Paul reminds us in the Epistle that when the Lord comes he will disclose the purposes of every heart.

We cannot serve both God and mammon. We must choose one or the other. Our faith cannot be partial. We must put our confidence in him and not be shaken by anxiety.

Let us resolve today to seek his Kingdom and his holiness before all else—confident that we are beloved sons and daughters, and that our Father in heaven will never forsake us.

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Blessed be the Lord our God, now and forever. Blessed are we to be called God’s children.

Blessed are we who leans on Him for counsel and wisdom. For He is the source of all good. Through Him we think with our hearts.

Blessed are we who recognizes that everyone born into the world is a child of His and embraces each one with a warm welcome.

Blessed are we who strive for Holiness each and everyday. For Jesus walks alongside us.

Blessed be the Lord our God. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 17:1-13

The Lord fashioned man from the earth, to consign him back to it. He gave them so many days’ determined time, he gave them authority over everything on earth.
He clothed them with strength like his own, and made them in his own image. He filled all living things with dread of man, making him master over beasts and birds.
He shaped for them a mouth and tongue, eyes and ears, and gave them a heart to think with. He filled them with knowledge and understanding,
and revealed to them good and evil.
He put his own light in their hearts to show them the magnificence of his works.
They will praise his holy name,
as they tell of his magnificent works. He set knowledge before them, he endowed them with the law of life.
Their eyes saw his glorious majesty, and their ears heard the glory of his voice. He said to them, ‘Beware of all wrong-doing’; he gave each a commandment concerning his neighbour. Their ways are always under his eye, they cannot be hidden from his sight.

Gospel
Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The call to holiness is also a call to faithfulness. Faithfulness to the Lord our God and faithfulness in our relationships.

None is more faithful than the Lord our God. For He will never abandon us. In good times and in bad, sickness and in health till death reunite. And so we who married, are called to that same faithfulness;as we journey with our spouse towards holiness. The sacred union between God, man and woman is to be cherished.

What a friend with have in Jesus! So to love and honour our relationship with Him, let us strive to be that same friend for others. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 6:5-17

A kindly turn of speech multiplies a man’s friends, and a courteous way of speaking invites many a friendly reply.
Let your acquaintances be many, but your advisers one in a thousand.
If you want to make a friend, take him on trial, and be in no hurry to trust him; for one kind of friend is only so when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
Another kind of friend will fall out with you and to your dismay make the quarrel public, and a third kind of friend will share your table,
but not stand by you in your day of trouble: when you are doing well he will be your second self, ordering your servants about; but if ever you are brought low he will turn against you and will hide himself from you. Keep well clear of your enemies, and be wary of your friends.
A faithful friend is a sure shelter, whoever finds one has found a rare treasure. A faithful friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth. A faithful friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one.
Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a man is, so is his friend.

Gospel
Mark 10:1-12

Jesus came to the district of Judaea and the far side of the Jordan. And again crowds gathered round him, and again he taught them, as his custom was. Some Pharisees approached him and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’ Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Yes the Lord our God is merciful, patient loving and kind. But we are fools if we take Him for granted. For just as powerfully as He loves, so does He detest sin in all its forms.

If you truly love the Lord your God then you’re soul will yearn to be reconciled to Him. It will not be patient for it cannot bear to offend the source of life. Be reconciled and be grateful.

For just as our Lord is compassionate, so too must we be compassionate to one another. Especially to those who honour and serve Him. Let us continue to strive for Holiness and lead one another towards Holiness of life in Him.

Jesus salt and light of the World, grant me the grace to follow You. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 5:1-10

Do not give your heart to your money, or say, ‘With this I am self-sufficient.’ Do not be led by your appetites and energy
to follow the passions of your heart. And do not say, ‘Who has authority over me?’
for the Lord will certainly be avenged on you.
Do not say, ‘I sinned, and what happened to me?’ for the Lord’s forbearance is long.
Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin. And do not say, ‘His compassion is great, he will forgive me my many sins’;
for with him are both mercy and wrath, and his rage bears heavy on sinners. Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord’s wrath will blaze out, and at the time of vengeance you will be utterly destroyed. Do not set your heart on ill-gotten gains, they will be of no use to you on the day of disaster.

Gospel
Mark 9:41-50

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid, how can you season it again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: February 22, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We are all called to lead one another into the Kingdom of God our Heavenly Father. But some have been called to lead a larger flock. Blessed are they who respond without hesitation for they trust fully in the Lord their God.

Blessed are these leaders who emulate St Peter; whose heart was set on following Jesus. Who was opened to receiving the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, through faith proclaimed the Son of God our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Blessed are these prayerful leaders who unite their flock upon the rock of our one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Today as we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St Peter, let us pray for unity across all languages, culture and traditions. That we sing one song of praise and glory to our ever living Lord and God. And as we fix our gaze upon Jesus Christ our Lord, we profess one faith forever and ever. Amen

First reading
1 Peter 5:1-4

Now I have something to tell your elders: I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and with you I have a share in the glory that is to be revealed. Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. Never be a dictator over any group that is put in your charge, but be an example that the whole flock can follow. When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the crown of unfading glory.

Gospel
Matthew 16:13-19

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

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: February 22, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We are all called to lead one another into the Kingdom of God our Heavenly Father. But some have been called to lead a larger flock. Blessed are they who respond without hesitation for they trust fully in the Lord their God.

Blessed are these leaders who emulate St Peter; whose heart was set on following Jesus. Who was opened to receiving the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, through faith proclaimed the Son of God our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Blessed are these prayerful leaders who unite their flock upon the rock of our one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Today as we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St Peter, let us pray for unity across all languages, culture and traditions. That we sing one song of praise and glory to our ever living Lord and God. And as we fix our gaze upon Jesus Christ our Lord, we profess one faith forever and ever. Amen

First reading
1 Peter 5:1-4

Now I have something to tell your elders: I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and with you I have a share in the glory that is to be revealed. Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. Never be a dictator over any group that is put in your charge, but be an example that the whole flock can follow. When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the crown of unfading glory.

Gospel
Matthew 16:13-19

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

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We have a faithful, ever loving and merciful God. Who loves us so deeply He gave wholly of Himself. If we held this truth in our hearts would we ever have any doubt? Would we tire of serving the Lord our God? Would we ever feel alone and abandoned? Would fear be able to grip our hearts? Would we ever react with anger or aggression?

Jesus had told us that we should welcome little children in His name. Did he literally mean toddlers? Well in a sense many of us are still toddlers in our faith but most importantly we are children of God our Father. So again knowing this truth will we not welcome and care for the stranger in our midst? Afterall our Lord did say, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren , you do it to Me.”

Jesus my Lord, my joy is fulfilled in You. Do thou increase in me while I must decrease. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 2:1-11

My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.
Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honoured at the end of your days.
Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust him and he will uphold you, follow a straight path and hope in him.
You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not turn aside in case you fall. You who fear the Lord, trust him, and you will not be baulked of your reward.
You who fear the Lord hope for good things, for everlasting happiness and mercy.
Look at the generations of old and see: who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or who ever feared him steadfastly and was left forsaken? Or who ever called out to him, and was ignored?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful, he forgives sins, and saves in days of distress.

Gospel
Mark 9:30-37

After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: February 20, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys


All strength, courage and wisdom comes to those who have faith in the Lord our God, Creator of Heaven and earth. It is through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord that we are redeemed, healed made holy. How deep is your faith?

Are you able to testify to the glory of God in Your life? Or are you struck dumb when asked about your faith? Do you hear the word of God speaking to you or are your ears shut by sin? Do you desire to sing God’s praises to all regardless of the circumstance or are you more likely to give in to anger and rage; with vulgarities and spiteful words foaming at the mouth? Do you seek communion with the Lord or do you distance yourself from Him? Are you fervent in prayer, trusting fully in the Lord’s providence or do you doubt ave question Him?

Lord Jesus you are my light and salvation. In You I trust. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10

All wisdom is from the Lord, and it is his own for ever. The sand of the sea and the raindrops, and the days of eternity, who can assess them? The height of the sky and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss, who can probe them? Before all other things wisdom was created, shrewd understanding is everlasting.

For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered? Her resourceful ways, who knows them? One only is wise, terrible indeed, seated on his throne, the Lord.

He himself has created her, looked on her and assessed her, and poured her out on all his works to be with all mankind as his gift, and he conveyed her to those who love him.

Gospel
Mark 9:14-29

When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 18, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Holy as God:Scott Hahn Reflects on the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings :
Leviticus 19:1–2, 17–18
Psalm 103:1–4, 8, 10, 12–13
1 Corinthians 3:16–23
Matthew 5:38–48

We are called to the holiness of God. That is the extraordinary claim made in both the First Reading and Gospel this Sunday.

Yet how is it possible that we can be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect?

Jesus explains that we must be imitators of God as his beloved children (Eph. 5:1–2).

As God does, we must love without limit—with a love that does not distinguish between friend and foe, overcoming evil with good (see Rom. 12:21).

Jesus himself, in his Passion and death, gave us the perfect example of the love that we are called to.

He offered no resistance to the evil—even though he could have commanded twelve legions of angels to fight alongside him. He offered his face to be struck and spit upon. He allowed his garments to be stripped from him. He marched as his enemies compelled him to the Place of the Skull. On the cross he prayed for those who persecuted him (see Matt. 26:53–54, 67; 27:28, 32; Luke 23:34).

In all this he showed himself to be the perfect Son of God. By his grace, and through our imitation of him, he promises that we too can become children of our heavenly Father.

God does not deal with us as we deserve, as we sing in this week’s Psalm. He loves us with a Father’s love. He saves us from ruin. He forgives our transgressions.

He loved us even when we had made ourselves his enemies through our sinfulness. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (see Rom. 5:8).

We have been bought with the price of the blood of God’s only Son (see 1 Cor. 6:20). We belong to Christ now, as St. Paul says in this week’s Epistle. By our baptism, we have been made temples of his Holy Spirit.

And we have been saved to share in his holiness and perfection. So let us glorify him by our lives lived in his service, loving as he loves. 

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe. (Jn 20:29) Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see God.(Mt 5:8)

Only through the eyes of faith will we see God. With a contrite heart, spirit and a desire to walk in Holiness, we will walk in His light. For Jesus beloved Son of our Heavenly Father, has redeemed us through His passion, death and resurrection. Through Him we are transformed, we are transfigured so that we too can dwell in Him; as He dwells in us.

Lord Jesus grant me the grace to walk in Your light. So that one day soon, I might walk with You in paradise. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 11:1-7

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 is by faith that we understand that the world was created by one word from God, so that no apparent cause can account for the things we can see.
It was because of his faith that Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain, and for that he was declared to be righteous when God made acknowledgement of his offerings. Though he is dead, he still speaks by faith.
It was because of his faith that Enoch was taken up and did not have to experience death: he was not to be found because God had taken him. This was because before his assumption it is attested that he had pleased God. Now it is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and rewards those who try to find him.
It was through his faith that Noah, when he had been warned by God of something that had never been seen before, felt a holy fear and built an ark to save his family. By his faith the world was convicted, and he was able to claim the righteousness which is the reward of faith.

Gospel
Mark 9:2-13

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean. And they put this question to him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True,’ he said ‘Elijah is to come first and to see that everything is as it should be; yet how is it that the scriptures say about the Son of Man that he is to suffer grievously and be treated with contempt? However, I tell you that Elijah has come and they have treated him as they pleased, just as the scriptures say about him.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


One cannot climb the highest mountain or skyscraper to reach and touch God. Neither can one hope to be with Him through physical means. One can only ascend to Him through holiness.

Coming together with a single exclusive purpose for segregating and fortifying will always be short-lived. For true unity, Oneness comes by uniting ourselves with the Lord our God.

Before we can truly be one, individually we must place God our Father and brethren above ourselves. To carry our cross is to live and love as Christ did. Amen

First reading
Genesis 11:1-9

Throughout the earth men spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary. Now as they moved eastwards they found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.’ (For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen). ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us build ourselves a town and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered about the whole earth.’
Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. ‘So they are all a single people with a single language!’ said the Lord. ‘This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.’ The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.

Gospel
Mark 8:34-9:1

Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? And indeed what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ And he said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We live in the providence of God our Father who promised He will never abandon us…(Isiah 49:15)

How many would allow sin to drive us to the point of murdering someone? Taking a life? And yet do we not take life away when we critize someone harshly? When we belittle and use abusive words on them? Indeed words can cut as it can kill the soul.

We have been given dominion over the earth, are we protecting it? Do we care for the environment as we should? Do we care for the animals, plants and trees? Do we slaughter or reap only what we need? Do we voice our concerns over environmental issues?

Who do you say Jesus Christ is to you? If you say He is my Lord and my God, are you taking up your cross to follow Him? Do you expect to have a trouble free, cushy life?

Jesus You are my Lord, the Son of the living God and my Master, let Your will for me be done. Amen

First reading
Genesis 9:1-13

God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. Be the terror and the dread of all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven, of everything that crawls on the ground and all the fish of the sea; they are handed over to you. Every living and crawling thing shall provide food for you, no less than the foliage of plants. I give you everything, with this exception: you must not eat flesh with life, that is to say blood, in it. I will demand an account of your life-blood. I will demand an account from every beast and from man. I will demand an account of every man’s life from his fellow men.

‘He who sheds man’s blood
shall have his blood shed by man, for in the image of God
man was made.

‘As for you, be fruitful, multiply, teem over the earth and be lord of it.’
God spoke to Noah and his sons, ‘See, I establish my Covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you: everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth. I establish my Covenant with you: no thing of flesh shall be swept away again by the waters of the flood. There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again.’
God said, ‘Here is the sign of the Covenant I make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all generations: I set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth.’

Gospel
Mark 8:27-33

Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’ And they told him. ‘John the Baptist,’ they said ‘others Elijah; others again, one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter spoke up and said to him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: February 15, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


From the cleansing waters of our baptism, we enter into a covenantal new life with the Lord our God. Let us make a fragrant offering of our lives by our love, to Him in thanksgiving.

Sin by it’s very nature blinds us to the love of God. It robs us from seeing His goodness in all things and persons.

It is therefore highly important that we lead others to Jesus. And we must go often before Him ourselves. Through the sacrament of reconciliation He heals us and gives us the grace not to sin again. For some of us and the nature of our sin we might need more time to overcome it permanently. By His healing grace we will come to see that we can choose to love Him over the sin; and sin no more.

Praise be our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

First reading
Genesis 8:6-13,20-22

At the end of forty days Noah opened the porthole he had made in the ark and he sent out the raven. This went off, and flew back and forth until the waters dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove, to see whether the waters were receding from the surface of the earth. The dove, finding nowhere to perch, returned to him in the ark, for there was water over the whole surface of the earth; putting out his hand he took hold of it and brought it back into the ark with him. After waiting seven more days, again he sent out the dove from the ark. In the evening, the dove came back to him and there it was with a new olive-branch in its beak. So Noah realised that the waters were receding from the earth. After waiting seven more days he sent out the dove, and now it returned to him no more.
It was in the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life, in the first month and on the first of the month, that the water dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the hatch of the ark and looked out. The surface of the ground was dry!
Noah built an altar for the Lord, and choosing from all the clean animals and all the clean birds he offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelt the appeasing fragrance and said to himself, ‘Never again will I curse the earth because of man, because his heart contrives evil from his infancy. Never again will I strike down every living thing as I have done.

‘As long as earth lasts,
sowing and reaping,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
shall cease no more.’

Gospel
Mark 8:22-26

Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, ‘Can you see anything?’ The man, who was beginning to see, replied, ‘I can see people; they look like trees to me, but they are walking about.’ Then he laid his hands on the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly. And Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’


Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the dedication of the Cathedral of The Good Shepherd.

And we remember with great reverence that the Church is consecrated unto God, a temple built on living stones. And it is the good shepherd Himself our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ who gathers His people together.

We are the pilgrim church on earth reflecting our Church in Heaven. The altar will be used to celebrate the one Holy sacrifice of Jesus in which His body and is ourpoured for us all. It is our Lord Jesus Christ who unites us through the Holy Eucharist, we become one body in Him. One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Amen

First reading
1 Kings 8:22-23,27-30

In the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord and, stretching out his hands towards heaven, said, ‘O Lord, God of Israel, not in heaven above nor on earth beneath is there such a God as you, true to your covenant and your kindness towards your servants when they walk wholeheartedly in your way. Yet will God really live with men on the earth? Why, the heavens and their own heavens cannot contain you. How much less this house that I have built! Listen to the prayer and entreaty of your servant, O Lord my God; listen to the cry and to the prayer your servant makes to you today. Day and night let your eyes watch over this house, over this place of which you have said, “My name shall be there.” Listen to the prayer that your servant will offer in this place.

‘Hear the entreaty of your servant and of Israel your people as they pray in this place. From heaven where your dwelling is, hear; and, as you hear, forgive.’

Gospel
Matthew 16:13-19

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

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Do not sadden our loving Lord with unrepentant hearts. He sees and knows the doom we are heading for by our choices.

We are made good, righteous, loving and kind. To live in His love, a life to the full. And it is in His providence we thrive. Why would we need to worry about food, clothing or shelter?

Beware of the corruption that men and women employ to their own self serving end. Take care not to be tainted by ways of the world. Place all your faith and trust in the Lord your God alone. For His righteousness and love is unwavering. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10

I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created.

When the LORD saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved.
So the LORD said: “I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created, and not only the men, but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air, for I am sorry that I made them.” But Noah found favor with the LORD.
Then the LORD said to Noah: “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just. Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs, a male and its mate; and of the unclean animals, one pair, a male and its mate; likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs, a male and a female, and of all the unclean birds, one pair, a male and a female. Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth. Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth every moving creature that I have made.” Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him.
As soon as the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

Gospel
Mark 8:14-21

Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. When he became aware of this he said to them, “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?” They answered him, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Children are a blessing from God. And we children of God our Father, must strive for Holiness and lead one another into Holiness.

Never allow sin to fester in our hearts. Instead bring the sin in all its names to the Lord, pride, jealousy, lust, gluttony, sloth, selfishness, rage and all that turns away from Him. Let Jesus take it away from you and fill you with His light. Otherwise doom lurks to strike.

Let us offer our best to the Lord always and our all. For in His great mercy and love He provides for us all. In communion with Him we already know all we need to know. Amen

First reading
Genesis 4:1-15,25

The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. ‘I have acquired a man with the help of the Lord’ she said. She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for the Lord, while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast. The Lord asked Cain, ‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head? But if you are ill disposed, is not sin at the door like a crouching beast hungering for you, which you must master?’ Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out’; and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.
The Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I do not know’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’ ‘What have you done?’ the Lord asked. ‘Listen to the sound of your brother’s blood, crying out to me from the ground. Now be accursed and driven from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. When you till the ground it shall no longer yield you any of its produce. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth.’ Then Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. See! Today you drive me from this ground. I must hide from you, and be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!’ ‘Very well, then,’ the Lord replied ‘if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken for him.’ So the Lord put a mark on Cain, to prevent whoever might come across him from striking him down.
Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth, ‘because God has granted me other offspring’ she said ‘in place of Abel, since Cain has killed him.’

Gospel
Mark 8:11-13

The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.

Jesus I Adore You (Sonnet) 

Posted: February 11, 2017 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 11, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Affair of the Heart:
Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Sirach 15:15–20
Psalm 119:1–2, 4–5, 17–18, 33–34
1 Corinthians 2:6–10
Matthew 5:17–37

Jesus tells us in the Gospel this week that he has come not to abolish but to “fulfill” the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets.

His Gospel reveals the deeper meaning and purpose of the Ten Commandments and the moral Law of the Old Testament. But his Gospel also transcends the Law. He demands a morality far greater than that accomplished by the most pious of Jews, the scribes and Pharisees.

Outward observance of the Law is not enough. It is not enough that we do not murder, commit adultery, divorce, or lie.

The law of the new covenant is a law that God writes on the heart (see Jer. 31:31–34). The heart is the seat of our motivations, the place from which our words and actions proceed (see Matt. 6:21; 15:18–20).

Jesus this week calls us to train our hearts, to master our passions and emotions. And Jesus demands the full obedience of our hearts (see Rom. 6:17). He calls us to love God with all our hearts, and to do his will from the heart (see Matt. 22:37; Eph. 6:6)

God never asks more of us than we are capable. That is the message of this week’s First Reading. It is up to us to choose life over death, to choose the waters of eternal life over the fires of ungodliness and sin.

By his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has shown us that it is possible to keep his

  • commandments. In baptism, he has given us his Spirit that his Law might be fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4).The wisdom of the Gospel surpasses all the wisdom of this age that is passing away, St. Paul tells us in the Epistle. The revelation of this wisdom fulfills God’s plan from before all ages.

    Let us trust in this wisdom, and live by his Kingdom law.

    As we do in this week’s Psalm, let us pray that we grow in being better able to live his Gospel, and to seek the Father with all our heart.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The Lord our God seeks us out and calls out to us. For He desires to have an intimate relationship with us. How do we respond?

Do we hide from Him in shame of our sins choosing to distance ourselves? Do we blame others for our fall? Do we live only in the wisdom of guilt and shame?

Our ever loving and merciful Lord has never abandoned us. He clothes us with His mercy and nourishes us of Himself. He desires that one day soon we will reunited in Heaven.

Lord Jesus who takes the sins of the world, I come before you with a humble contrite heart;forgive me my sins. Thank You sweet Jesus for the gift of the Holy Eucharist which strengthens me, that I live more fully in Your love. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Genesis 3:9-24

The Lord God called to the man. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you, you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Be accursed beyond all cattle all wild beasts.

You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life. I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel.’

To the woman he said:

‘I will multiply your pains in childbearing, you shall give birth to your children in pain.
Your yearning shall be for your husband, yet he will lord it over you.’

To the man he said, ‘Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,

‘Accursed be the soil because of you. With suffering shall you get your food from it every day of your life. It shall yield you brambles and thistles, and you shall eat wild plants. With sweat on your brow shall you eat your bread, until you return to the soil, as you were taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live. The Lord God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on. Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live for ever.’ So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Gospel
Mark 8:1-10

A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.

Posted: February 10, 2017 by CatholicJules in Photos

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Do not give in, do not give up! This should be our mantra when it comes to sin. For the evil one will try all ways even the tiniest form of trickery to get us to fall. If he succeeds in getting us to question the commands of the Lord our God then we are doomed without even realizing it.

Sin on its own may look beautiful, desirable and that is why we are attracted to it. But it’s beauty lies only on the surface, once snared we will experience the darkness. We retreat and hide from the light, the Lord our God. Our hearts are closed to Him, we neither hear His word nor can we praise His Him.

Our hope is in Jesus alone, for He came to redeem us so that we can  be reconciled with God our loving Father. Let us turn to Him with contrite hearts each time we fall into temptation and sin; so that once again our souls, minds, hearts are opened to singing God’s praises, listening to His Word and building His kingdom with joy. Amen

First reading
Genesis 3:1-8

The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.” ‘ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Gospel
Mark 7:31-37

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Do not give in, do not give up! This should be our mantra when it comes to sin. For the evil one will try all ways even the tiniest form of trickery to get us to fall. If he succeeds in getting us to question the commands of the Lord our God then we are doomed without even realizing it.

Sin on its own may look beautiful, desirable and that is why we are attracted to it. But it’s beauty lies only on the surface, once snared we will experience the darkness. We retreat and hide from the light, the Lord our God. Our hearts are closed to Him, we neither hear His word nor can we praise His Him.

Our hope is in Jesus alone, for He came to redeem us so that we can  be reconciled with God our loving Father. Let us turn to Him with contrite hearts each time we fall into temptation and sin; so that once again our souls, minds, hearts are opened to singing God’s praises, listening to His Word and building His kingdom with joy. Amen

First reading
Genesis 3:1-8

The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.” ‘ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Gospel
Mark 7:31-37

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We have been given wisdom, intelligence to be caretakers of the world we live in. Are we then virtuous, faithful stewards? Do we mistreat and abuse its creatures and environment?

Women are special and have a very unique irreplaceable role. They have different gifts that complement and at most times complete that of Man. Two become uniquely One. Those blessed with motherhood should indeed be honoured. For by their continued sacrifices and love for their children they reveal the face of Christ. How truly blessed are we if they strive to emulate our Blessed Mother Mary.

Jesus never abandons the faithful. For by His great love for us, He has come to redeemed us all. There are no distinctions, we are all God’s children. Through Jesus our Lord and saviour we are restored, we have life. Amen

First reading
Genesis 2:18-25

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.’ So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed:

‘This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is to be called woman, for this was taken from man.’

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.
Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame in front of each other.

Gospel
Mark 7:24-30

Jesus left Gennesaret and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not pass unrecognised. A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him straightaway and came and fell at his feet. Now the woman was a pagan, by birth a Syrophoenician, and she begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter. And he said to her, ‘The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ But she spoke up: ‘Ah yes, sir,’ she replied ‘but the house-dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps.’ And he said to her, ‘For saying this, you may go home happy: the devil has gone out of your daughter.’ So she went off to her home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: February 8, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We were made perfect to walk in fellowship with our Lord. Everything we need we have through His providence. So too do we have the loving gift of freedom to love, freedom to choose. With this freedom comes great responsibility and a call for obedience to our ever loving Father in Heaven.

Nothing from the outside defines who we are or what we do. We are all children of God our Father. Who we are and what we are about individually is determined by the choices we make. Hence we can live and love as children of God or not.

Lord Jesus come dwell in me, that I may always live in Your love according to Your Will. Amen

First reading
Genesis 2:4-9,15-17

At the time when the Lord God made earth and heaven there was as yet no wild bush on the earth nor had any wild plant yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth, nor was there any man to till the soil. However, a flood was rising from the earth and watering all the surface of the soil. The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being.
The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. The Lord God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it. Then the Lord God gave the man this admonition, ‘You may eat indeed of all the trees in the garden. Nevertheless of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat, for on the day you eat of it you shall most surely die.’

Gospel
Mark 7:14-23

Jesus called the people to him and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
When he had gone back into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Do you not understand either? Can you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot make him unclean, because it does not go into his heart but through his stomach and passes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he pronounced all foods clean.) And he went on, ‘It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Do we recognize how special and unique each and every one of us are individually? What it means to share in the image and likeness of the Lord our God?

We have been given dominion over all the earth, creatures and nourishment in abundance. And so we have a higher purpose and calling. To be fruitful and multiply. To build the Kingdom of God our Heavenly Father. Do we seek instead dominion over one another? To control and Lord ourselves over others? To dictate what we feel is right instead of seeking the will of the Lord our God?

Let us cling to the Word of the Lord our God and His commandments which revolves on love alone. Most of all, let us hold fast to our faith and love for Jesus, who is our Father’s love personified; Forever and ever. Amen

First reading
Genesis 1:20-2:4

God said, ‘Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth within the vault of heaven.’ And so it was. God created great sea-serpents and every kind of living creature with which the waters teem, and every kind of winged creature. God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply upon the earth.’ Evening came and morning came: the fifth day.
God said, ‘Let the earth produce every kind of living creature: cattle, reptiles, and every kind of wild beast.’ And so it was. God made every kind of wild beast, every kind of cattle, and every kind of land reptile. God saw that it was good.
God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.’

God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are upon the whole earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food. To all wild beasts, all birds of heaven and all living reptiles on the earth I give all the foliage of plants for food.’ And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day.
Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their array. On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he had rested after all his work of creating.
Such were the origins of heaven and earth when they were created.

Gospel
Mark 7:1-13

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture:

This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.

You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’ And he said to them, ‘How ingeniously you get round the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition! For Moses said: Do your duty to your father and your mother, and, Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death. But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is Corban (that is, dedicated to God), then he is forbidden from that moment to do anything for his father or mother.” In this way you make God’s word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down. And you do many other things like this.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Before man even existed our loving Lord and God;had planned and brought to life an intricately designed home to dwell in. A heaven on earth with life teeming all around us. As light separates day from night we are called to live as children of the light. And sleep through darkness.

Jesus comes to heal, save and liberate us from sin. So that we can live life to the full on this heavenly ground we walk. And by the faith for which we bring others to Him and not just by inviting Him to come; they are made whole. They are restored and new life begins for them. For not only have they touched, but they were touched by Him who gives life. Amen

First reading
Genesis 1:1-19

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, and God’s spirit hovered over the water.
God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night.’ Evening came and morning came: the first day.
God said, ‘Let there be a vault in the waters to divide the waters in two.’ And so it was. God made the vault, and it divided the waters above the vault from the waters under the vault. God called the vault ‘heaven.’ Evening came and morning came: the second day.
God said, ‘Let the waters under heaven come together into a single mass, and let dry land appear.’ And so it was. God called the dry land ‘earth’ and the mass of waters ‘seas’, and God saw that it was good.
God said, ‘Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with their seed inside, on the earth.’ And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the third day.
God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth.’ And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars. God set them in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth, to govern the day and the night and to divide light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the fourth day.

Gospel
Mark 6:53-56

Having made the crossing, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up. No sooner had they stepped out of the boat than people recognised him, and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, to village, or town, or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were cured.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 4, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Light Breaking Forth:
Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 58:7-10
Psalm 112:4-9
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Matthew 5:13-16
 

Jesus came among us as light to scatter the darkness of a fallen world.

As his disciples, we too are called to be “the light of the world,” he tells us in the Gospel this Sunday (see John 1:4–4, 9; 8:12; 9:5).

All three images that Jesus uses to describe the Church are associated with the identity and vocation of Israel.

God forever aligned his Kingdom with the Kingdom of David and his sons by a “covenant of salt,” salt being a sign of permanence and purity (see 2 Chron. 13:5, 8; Lev. 2:13; Ezek. 43:24).

Jerusalem was to be a city set on a hill, high above all others, drawing all nations towards the glorious light streaming from her Temple (see Isa. 2:2; 60:1–3).

And Israel was given the mission of being a light to the nations, that God’s salvation would reach to the ends of the earth (see Isa. 42:6; 49:6).

The liturgy shows us this week that the Church, and every Christian, is called to fulfill Israel’s mission.

By our faith and good works we are to make the light of God’s life break forth in the darkness, as we sing in this week’s Psalm.

This week’s readings remind us that our faith can never be a private affair, something we can hide as if under a basket.

We are to pour ourselves out for the afflicted, as Isaiah tells us in the First Reading. Our light must shine as a ray of God’s mercy for all who are poor, hungry, naked, and enslaved.

There must be a transparent quality to our lives. Our friends and family, our neighbors and fellow citizens, should see reflected in us the light of Christ and through us be attracted to the saving truths of the Gospel.

So let us pray that we, like St. Paul in the Epistle, might proclaim with our whole lives, “Christ and him crucified.”
 

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: February 4, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We live not for ourselves but in the service of the Lord our God. And He Wills that we lead His people into our Heavenly inheritance purchased by the blood of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Just as we are called to be leaders, we too are servants of the Lord and His chosen leaders for us. It is only in humble service that we give glory to the Lord.

There is much to do and often it can overwhelm us. Hence it is of great importance that we make time to be quiet and rest in the presence of the Lord. To recollect and to be rejuvenated through His grace.

Praise be to the Lord our God, may our works be pleasing to Him,give Him glory, now and forever. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 13:15-17,20-21

Through Christ, let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, a verbal sacrifice that is offered every time we acknowledge his name. Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are sacrifices that please God.
Obey your leaders and do as they tell you, because they must give an account of the way they look after your souls; make this a joy for them to do, and not a grief– you yourselves would be the losers. I pray that the God of peace, who brought our Lord Jesus back from the dead to become the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant, may make you ready to do his will in any kind of good action; and turn us all into whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.

Gospel
Mark 6:30-34

The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The Lord has sent His light through His prophets and Saints all through the ages to dispel the darkness of sin. So that all who turn to Him might lead virtuous fruitful lives.

Yet even as the light of the World walked amongst us many chose to remain in the darkness for they could not bear to let go of their base living of ‘comforts’. They chose instead to kill the voice of reason and of love. They unwittingly chose their own deaths.

Sisters and brothers in Christ, let us strive to live Holy lives encouraging one another as we move along. Let us carry His light with us and pass it on to the stranger,friend,family and all who desire it in their lives. O Holy Spirit be our guide, now and forever. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 13:1-8

Continue to love each other like brothers, and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Keep in mind those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; and those who are being badly treated, since you too are in the one body. Marriage is to be honoured by all, and marriages are to be kept undefiled, because fornicators and adulterers will come under God’s judgement. Put greed out of your lives and be content with whatever you have; God himself has said: I will not fail you or desert you, and so we can say with confidence: With the Lord to help me, I fear nothing: what can man do to me?
Remember your leaders, who preached the word of God to you, and as you reflect on the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever.

Gospel
Mark 6:14-29

King Herod had heard about Jesus, since by now his name was well-known. Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Others said, ‘He is Elijah’; others again, ‘He is a prophet, like the prophets we used to have.’ But when Herod heard this he said, ‘It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead.’
Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Even when darkness threatens to envelop our lives, our country, our world. We can rest in the peace of knowing that the light of all nations, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ is with us today, tomorrow and for all time.

Do we have hearts of service, love, faith and holiness: like that of Simeon and Anna to receive Him fully? He has come to make us worthy and ready to stand before Him, do we go to Him to be reconciled?

How do we present ourselves before the Lord our God at each and every Eucharist? With reverence? Do we come before Him offering our love and commitment to serve? Have we prepared ourselves to receive Him as we are received by Him?

Lord Jesus, I consecrate myself to You this day and everyday. Amen

First reading
Malachi 3:1-4

The Lord God says this: Look, I am going to send my messenger to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by the Lord as in former days, as in the years of old.

Gospel
Luke 2:22-40

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,– observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord– and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’

As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected– and a sword will pierce your own soul too– so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: February 1, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Have you not seen the many wonders, signs and miracles from our Lord that still takes place all around us? Have you not heard the many testimonies of those who have encountered Jesus in their lives? Testimonies from your own family members? Your friends, colleagues? Open your heart, listen and see, so that you will experience His glory through faith.
Do not allow your wilfulness or pride prevent you from coming to Him. And do not allow the cancer of sin to spread and grow, for bitter desolate lives awaits those who refuse to listen.

A humble contrite spirit Jesus will never spurn. So unite your will with His and be healed. And live the joy of new life in Him. Amen

First reading
Hebrews 12:4-7,11-15

In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death.
Have you forgotten that encouraging text in which you are addressed as sons? My son, when the Lord corrects you, do not treat it lightly; but do not get discouraged when he reprimands you. For the Lord trains the ones that he loves and he punishes all those that he acknowledges as his sons. Suffering is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant; but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness. So hold up your limp arms and steady your trembling knees and smooth out the path you tread; then the injured limb will not be wrenched, it will grow strong again.
Always be wanting peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord. Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a whole community.

Gospel
Mark 6:1-6

Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.