Archive for April, 2017

Third Sunday of Easter

Posted: April 29, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Emmaus and Us: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday of Easter

Readings:
Acts 2:14,22-28
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
1 Peter 1:17-21
Luke 24:13-35

We should put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples in today’s Gospel. Downcast and confused they’re making their way down the road, unable to understand all the things that have occurred.

They know what they’ve seen—a prophet mighty in word and deed. They know what they were hoping for—that
He would be the redeemer of Israel. But they don’t know what to make of His violent death at the hands of their rulers.

They can’t even recognize Jesus as He draws near to walk with them. He seems like just another foreigner visiting Jerusalem for the Passover.

Note that Jesus doesn’t disclose His identity until they they describe how they found His tomb empty but “Him they did not see.” That’s how it is with us, too. Unless He revealed himself we would see only an empty tomb and a meaningless death.

How does Jesus make himself known at Emmaus? First, He interprets “all the Scriptures” as referring to Him. In today’s First Reading and Epistle, Peter also opens the Scriptures to proclaim the meaning of Christ’s death according to the Father’s “set plan”—foreknown before the foundation of the world.

Jesus is described as a new Moses and a new Passover lamb. He is the One of whom David sang in today’s Psalm—whose soul was not abandoned to corruption but was shown the path of life.

After opening the Scriptures, Jesus at table took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples—exactly what He did at the Last Supper (see Luke 22:14-20).

In every Eucharist, we reenact that Easter Sunday at Emmaus. Jesus reveals himself to us in our journey. He speaks to our hearts in the Scriptures. Then at the table of the altar, in the person of the priest, He breaks the bread.

The disciples begged him, “Stay with us.” So He does. Though He has vanished from our sight, in the Eucharist—as at Emmaus—we know Him in the breaking of the bread.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: April 29, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We cannot do everything on our own even though it is often tempting to think that others will fall short in what needs to be done. Neither can we hand off important tasks without first coming to prayer and discernment. For in all things big or small, we do well to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. For it is only through the Lord our God that we will see wonderful fruits of our labour.

How comforting it is to have the blessed assurance that in our dark stormy moments of our lives, our Lord Jesus will come to us. To tell us, “Be not afraid, it is I.” I am with you. And we find our anxieties have passed, we have arrived when we need to be filled with His peace.

Jesus be with me always. Amen

First reading
Acts 6:1-7

About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.

Gospel
John 6:16-21

In the evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them, but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: April 28, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys


The winds of change will always continue to blow, but will our faith remain steadfast? Many will rise up and challenge what we stand for. They will rock the foundations we have built upon our Lord Jesus Christ and they will fail. For our hope, strength and fortitude comes from the Lord our God.

He our living God will nourish and strengthen us on our journey. He will pour His graces abundantly upon us who desire to serve Him and our brethren in humble servitude. So that we can continue to build His Heavenly Kingdom.

All power and Glory is Yours alone, my Lord, my God. Amen

First reading
Acts 5:34-42

One member of the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, who was a doctor of the Law and respected by the whole people, stood up and asked to have the apostles taken outside for a time. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin, ‘Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people. There was Theudas who became notorious not so long ago. He claimed to be someone important, and he even collected about four hundred followers; but when he was killed, all his followers scattered and that was the end of them. And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too, and all his followers dispersed. What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.’
His advice was accepted; and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name.
They preached every day both in the Temple and in private houses, and their proclamation of the Good News of Christ Jesus was never interrupted.

Gospel
John 6:1-15

Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee– or of Tiberias– and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.
Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, ‘Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Make the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out to all who were sitting ready; he then did the same with the fish, giving out as much as was wanted. When they had eaten enough he said to the disciples, ‘Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted.’ So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves. The people, seeing this sign that he had given, said, ‘This really is the prophet who is to come into the world.’ Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, escaped back to the hills by himself.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We have the Word of life, we have received the bread of life. Let all doubt pass. For our Lord and God speaks now to our hearts. And we who have opened our hearts and minds to Him can listen to Him.

The truth has come to us to set us free! If we reject Him, then we choose to remain in the darkness of our sins. Let us choose instead to die to our sins and rise up with Jesus Christ our Risen Lord. Let us share in the joy of His Resurrection. Amen

First reading
Acts 5:27-33

When the officials had brought the apostles in to face the Sanhedrin, the high priest demanded an explanation. ‘We gave you a formal warning’ he said ‘not to preach in this name, and what have you done? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and seem determined to fix the guilt of this man’s death on us.’ In reply Peter and the apostles said, ‘Obedience to God comes before obedience to men; it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a tree. By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
This so infuriated them that they wanted to put them to death.

Gospel
John 3:31-36

John the Baptist said to his disciples:

‘He who comes from above is above all others; he who is born of the earth is earthly himself
and speaks in an earthly way.
He who comes from heaven
bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, even if his testimony is not accepted;
though all who do accept his testimony are attesting the truthfulness of God, since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words:
God gives him the Spirit without reserve.
The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to him.
Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


How will those who do not know Jesus, come to know Him if we do not share the wonderful news of new life in Him? Our loving God who came to unite us with Him so that we might be saved.

Our hearts are set free to share the Risen Lord with others. To gently lead them from the darkness into the light. So that they too can be a beacon for others.

Let us all who call Jesus our Lord and God, boldly proclaim our Risen King to all. Amen

First reading
Acts 5:17-26

The high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol.
But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach.
When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin – this was the full Senate of Israel – and sent to the gaol for them to be brought. But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported, ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’ When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what this could mean. Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘At this very moment’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men and fetched them. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.

Gospel
John 3:16-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’

Posted: April 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Photos

On Today’s Gospel

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

Whom do you serve? Are you self serving? Are your interests alone first; be it work, family, leisure? Are you a disciple of Christ Jesus?

For a disciple puts the Lord God above all things. And if He or she is truly a child after God’s heart then to serve Him would be to serve His children, our fellow sisters and brothers. With the same deep reverence and love of Him.

Signs and wonders will follow the fruits of our labour. For it is the mighty name of Jesus we lead others into their Heavenly inheritance. All Glory and honour be to our Heavenly Father, His son our Risen Lord and to the Holy Spirit our advocate, and mighty counsellor. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
1 Peter 5:5-14

All wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble. Bow down, then, before the power of God now, and he will raise you up on the appointed day; unload all your worries on to him, since he is looking after you. Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.
I write these few words to you through Silvanus, who is a brother I know I can trust, to encourage you never to let go this true grace of God to which I bear witness.
Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark.
Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Gospel
Mark 16:15-20

Jesus showed himself to the Eleven, and said to them: ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’
And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.