Archive for February, 2017

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.’

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.’

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.’