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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.’