Archive for June, 2017

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: June 30, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


God our ever loving Father blesses His people abundantly. He gathers us all unto Himself. He is our God and we are His people.

Through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we enter into an everlasting covenantal relationship in His love. Jesus liberates us from our sins, we are healed restored. By our baptism we become holy children of God so loved by our Heavenly Father.

Lord Jesus, heal me, restore what is lacking that I may serve You faithfully. Amen

First reading
Genesis 17:1,9-10,15-22

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am El Shaddai. Bear yourself blameless in my presence, and I will make a Covenant between myself and you. You on your part shall maintain my Covenant, yourself and your descendants after you, generation after generation. Now this is my Covenant which you are to maintain between myself and you, and your descendants after you: all your males must be circumcised.’
God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah. I will bless her and moreover give you a son by her. I will bless her and nations shall come out of her; kings of peoples shall descend from her.’ Abraham bowed to the ground, and he laughed, thinking to himself, ‘Is a child to be born to a man one hundred years old, and will Sarah have a child at the age of ninety?’ Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, let Ishmael live in your presence!’ But God replied, ‘No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son whom you are to name Isaac. With him I will establish my Covenant, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him. For Ishmael too I grant you your request: I bless him and I will make him fruitful and greatly increased in numbers. He shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. But my Covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear you at this time next year.’ When he had finished speaking to Abraham God went up from him.

Gospel
Matthew 8:1-4

After Jesus had come down from the mountain large crowds followed him. A leper now came up and bowed low in front of him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘if you want to, you can cure me.’ Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’ And his leprosy was cured at once. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Mind you do not tell anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses, as evidence for them.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


There is none more Faithful then our ever living Lord and God. Who watches over His people with great love and tender mercy.

They faithful rejoice as they have been set free to love and serve Him and one another. The power of the Lord is upon those who do His will and live in His love.

His faithful disciples knew and understood this. And so no matter what challenges lay ahead even death. They knew for certain that our faithful God will never abandon them. True life awaits the faithful.

So as one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church we pray together with the intercession of the Saints especially St Peter and St Paul that we may all be reunited in heaven. Amen

First reading
Acts 12:1-11

King Herod started persecuting certain members of the Church. He beheaded James the brother of John, and when he saw that this pleased the Jews he decided to arrest Peter as well. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread, and he put Peter in prison, assigning four squads of four soldiers each to guard him in turns. Herod meant to try Peter in public after the end of Passover week. All the time Peter was under guard the Church prayed to God for him unremittingly.
On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with double chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison. Then suddenly the angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. ‘Get up!’ he said ‘Hurry!’ – and the chains fell from his hands. The angel then said, ‘Put on your belt and sandals.’ After he had done this, the angel next said, ‘Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.’ Peter followed him, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed through two guard posts one after the other, and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him. It was only then that Peter came to himself. ‘Now I know it is all true’ he said. ‘The Lord really did send his angel and has saved me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were so certain would happen to me.’

Second reading
2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-18

My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.
The Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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: June 28, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


What are the fruits do we offer the Lord our God? What changes have we made that bears fruit for the Lord and our community, family?

Have we brought anyone closer to Jesus? How many? Have we discipled anyone? Are we disciples ourselves? Have we brought the joy and healing of our Lord to sick? The poor? The disabled? The outcast?
Have we brought the joy of the Gospel to liberate the hearts of the downtrodden?

Our Heavenly Father through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ has offered us a loving covenantal relationship with Him filled with abundant graces and blessings. Through our faithfulness we will bear fruit.

Let us stay focused and steady the course in the direction He lead us. Amen

First reading
Genesis 15:1-12,17-18

It happened that the word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, ‘Have no fear, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.’
‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘what do you intend to give me? I go childless…’ Then Abram said, ‘See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir.’ And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, ‘He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood.’ Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.
‘I am the Lord’ he said to him ‘who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldaeans to make you heir to this land.’ ‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘how am I to know that I shall inherit it?’ He said to him, ‘Get me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon.’ He brought him all these, cut them in half and put half on one side and half facing it on the other; but the birds he did not cut in half. Birds of prey came down on the carcases but Abram drove them off.
Now as the sun was setting Abram fell into a deep sleep, and terror seized him. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, there appeared a smoking furnace and a firebrand that went between the halves. That day the Lord made a Covenant with Abram in these terms:

‘To your descendants I give this land, from the wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the river Euphrates.’

Gospel
Matthew 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We have many choices to make in life. Many are ones that lead us closer to God and others in the opposite direction. The easier ones, those in which the world chooses are generally the ones that looks good on the surface but often leads to turmoil. Would it not be better to pray, discern and allow the Lord to direct us?

Jesus was clear that we should enter by the narrow gate, for through it we are purified, made holy. He will guide us into the way of truth. For He offers us life to the full.

Lord Jesus make me Holy and let me lead those you have called to holiness. Amen

First reading
Genesis 13:2,5-18

Abram was a very rich man, with livestock, silver and gold. Lot, who was travelling with Abram, had flocks and cattle of his own, and tents too. The land was not sufficient to accommodate them both at once, for they had too many possessions to be able to live together. Dispute broke out between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and those of Lot’s. (The Canaanites and the Perizzites were then living in the land.) Accordingly Abram said to Lot, ‘Let there be no dispute between me and you, nor between my herdsmen and yours, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land open before you? Part company with me: if you take the left, I will go right; if you take the right, I will go left.’
Looking round, Lot saw all the Jordan plain, irrigated everywhere – this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah– like the garden of the Lord or the land of Egypt, as far as Zoar. So Lot chose all the Jordan plain for himself and moved off eastwards. Thus they parted company: Abram settled in the land of Canaan; Lot settled among the towns of the plain, pitching his tents on the outskirts of Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were vicious men, great sinners against the Lord.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted company with him, ‘Look all round from where you are towards the north and the south, towards the east and the west. All the land within sight I will give to you and your descendants for ever. I will make your descendants like the dust on the ground: when men succeed in counting the specks of dust on the ground, then they will be able to count your descendants! Come, travel through the length and breadth of the land, for I mean to give it to you.’
So Abram went with his tents to settle at the Oak of Mamre, at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Gospel
Matthew 7:6,12-14

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.
‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Leave your mindsets, your personal frame of references, your past, behind you. Take up your cross and follow me. I will show you the way, the truth and the life.
For unless You see one another through my eyes, my heart and my mind your judgement is impaired. Seek first to build your relationship with me through my word, prayer and allow my graces to fill your hearts. Only then will you truly be in communion with me and with one another.

Lord Jesus, I trust in You. Lead me now and always. Amen

First reading
Genesis 12:1-9

The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your family and your father’s house, for the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing.

‘I will bless those who bless you:
I will curse those who slight you.
All the tribes of the earth
shall bless themselves by you.’

So Abram went as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had amassed and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set off for the land of Canaan, and arrived there.
Abram passed through the land as far as Shechem’s holy place, the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘It is to your descendants that I will give this land.’ So Abram built there an altar for the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the mountainous district east of Bethel, where he pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. Then Abram made his way stage by stage to the Negeb.

Gospel
Matthew 7:1-5

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.’

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: June 24, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Be Not Afraid: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35
Romans 5:12-15
Matthew 10:26-33

Our commitment to Christ will be put to the test.

We will hear whispered warnings and denunciations, as Jeremiah does in today’s First Reading. Even so-called friends will try to trap and trip us up.

For His sake we will bear insults and be made outcasts—even in our own homes, we hear in today’s Psalm.

As Jeremiah tells us, we must expect that God will challenge our faith in Him, and probe our minds and hearts, to test the depths of our love.

“Do not be afraid,” Jesus assures us three times in today’s Gospel.

Though He may permit us to suffer for our faith, our Father will never forget or abandon us. As Jesus assures us today, everything unfolds in His Providence, under His watchful gaze—even the falling of the tiniest sparrow to the ground. Each one of us is precious to Him.

Steadfast in this faith, we must resist the tactics of Satan. He is the enemy who seeks the ruin of our soul in Gehenna, or hell.

We are to seek God, as the Psalmist says. Zeal for the Lord’s house, for the heavenly kingdom of the Father, should consume us, as it consumed Jesus (see Jn 2:17). As Jesus bore the insults of those who blasphemed God, so should we (see Rom 15:3).

By the gracious gift of himself, Jesus bore the transgressions of the world, Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. In rising from the dead, He has shown us that God rescues the life of the poor, that He does not spurn His own when they are in distress. In His great mercy, He will turn toward us, as well. He will deliver us from the power of the wicked.

That is why we proclaim His name from the housetops, as Jesus tells us. That is why we sing praise and offer thanksgiving in every Eucharist. We are confident in Jesus’ promise—that we who declare our faith in Him before others will be remembered before our heavenly Father.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


A light within the world, yes witnesses are we. To bear the light of Christ, for all the world to see.

This hymn serves as a reminder of our calling. The same one of whom our beloved St John the Baptist whose birthday we celebrate today was called to. He heralded the coming of Jesus our Saviour and sought to turn the hearts of fathers to their children. The same way Christ unites God our Father’s children to Him.

Let us pray to St John the Baptist to intercede for us so that we might be courageous in heralding the promises to be found in the Gospel, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 49:1-6

Islands, listen to me, pay attention, remotest peoples.
The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.

He made my mouth a sharp sword, and hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me into a sharpened arrow, and concealed me in his quiver.

He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel) in whom I shall be glorified’; while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain,
I have exhausted myself for nothing’ and all the while my cause was with the Lord my reward with my God.

I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord, my God was my strength.

And now the Lord has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him:

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’

Second reading
Acts 13:22-26

Paul said: ‘God deposed Saul and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”
‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you.’

Gospel
Luke 1:57-66,80

The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.
Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’, and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.
Meanwhile the child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The message of God our Father’s great love for us through the life, death and resurrection of His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ may be simple. Even repetitious to some, but it does not take away the profundity or measure by which our human minds are able to fathom.

Through His love for us, Jesus gives us life in full measure. And when life’s dreary challenges takes a hold on us, He calls us to Him to free us and restore us completely. This is the power of His love in which we do nothing on our own to merit it but that He, the Lord our God gives of Himself freely to us.

Jesus my Lord by the power of Your love, I consecrate myself to Your most sacred heart. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Deuteronomy 7:6-11

Moses said to the people: ‘You are a people consecrated to the Lord your God; it is you that the Lord our God has chosen to be his very own people out of all the peoples on the earth.
‘If the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, it was not because you outnumbered other peoples: you were the least of all peoples. It was for love of you and to keep the oath he swore to your fathers that the Lord brought you out with his mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know then that the Lord your God is God indeed, the faithful God who is true to his covenant and his graciousness for a thousand generations towards those who love him and keep his commandments, but who punishes in their own persons those that hate him. He is not slow to destroy the man who hates him; he makes him work out his punishment in person. You are therefore to keep and observe the commandments and statutes and ordinances that I lay down for you today.’

Second reading
1 John 4:7-16

My dear people,
let us love one another
since love comes from God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed
when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another. No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in Him and he is living in us
because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify
that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.

Gospel
Matthew 11:25-30

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Are there false prophets amongst us? Those who preach a different Jesus?different spirit? Surely no… Unfortunately such folks do exist. For as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. For their focus are on persons not the Lord our God.

As Jesus said, you will know the tree by its fruits. Do we want to embrace changes which leads us further away from the Lord? Done in the name of efficiency and effectiveness? Or should we instead embrace changes that lead us closer to Him even if it is the narrow road we have to travel.

We should all pray as Jesus taught us, to put the Lord our God above all things, to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. To seek His Kingdom and His Will for us. To be nourished by Him so that we can carry out His Will with peace and joy. And for the humility and strength to be forgiving, merciful and loving as He the Lord our God is.

Glory be to the Holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 11:1-11

I only wish you were able to tolerate a little foolishness from me. But of course: you are tolerant towards me. You see, the jealousy that I feel for you is God’s own jealousy: I arranged for you to marry Christ so that I might give you away as a chaste virgin to this one husband. But the serpent, with his cunning, seduced Eve, and I am afraid that in the same way your ideas may get corrupted and turned away from simple devotion to Christ. Because any new-comer has only to proclaim a new Jesus, different from the one that we preached, or you have only to receive a new spirit, different from the one you have already received, or a new gospel, different from the one you have already accepted– and you welcome it with open arms. As far as I can tell, these arch-apostles have nothing more than I have. I may not be a polished speechmaker, but as for knowledge, that is a different matter; surely we have made this plain, speaking on every subject in front of all of you.
Or was I wrong, lowering myself so as to lift you high, by preaching the gospel of God to you and taking no fee for it? I was robbing other churches, living on them so that I could serve you. When I was with you and ran out of money, I was no burden to anyone; the brothers who came from Macedonia provided me with everything I wanted. I was very careful, and I always shall be, not to be a burden to you in any way, and by Christ’s truth in me, this cause of boasting will never be taken from me in the regions of Achaia. Would I do that if I did not love you? God knows I do.

Gospel
Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one.

‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


When we do anything, do we do it from the heart and love of God? Or do we do it to be affirmed by men?

If we call ourselves disciples will our church meetings be without the word of God proclaimed and shared? Will our meetings only be about tasks? Will the prayers and formation be shortened so that we can all rush home?

How much funds have we raised specifically for the poor? Have we given generously from our pockets and of our time to serve the needy as well as the poor in spirit? Thin sowing means thin reaping indeed!

Lord Jesus have mercy on us, help us to be better disciples. Let our love for You be put into action for so as to build Your Kingdom. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 9:6-11

Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you– he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten.
The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one, and, made richer in every way, you will be able to do all the generous things which, through us, are the cause of thanksgiving to God.

Gospel
Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: June 20, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Poverty of heart, mind and spirit and charitably working towards building His Kingdom is where you will surely find the Lord our God.

For Jesus came to make us rich through His poverty.
So that by and through His grace we will have love and charity for our enemies.

We are all called to Holiness, to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 8:1-9

Now here, brothers, is the news of the grace of God which was given in the churches in Macedonia; and of how, throughout great trials by suffering, their constant cheerfulness and their intense poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity. I can swear that they gave not only as much as they could afford, but far more, and quite spontaneously, begging and begging us for the favour of sharing in this service to the saints and, what was quite unexpected, they offered their own selves first to God and, under God, to us.
Because of this, we have asked Titus, since he has already made a beginning, to bring this work of mercy to the same point of success among you. You always have the most of everything– of faith, of eloquence, of understanding, of keenness for any cause, and the biggest share of our affection– so we expect you to put the most into this work of mercy too. It is not an order that I am giving you; I am just testing the genuineness of your love against the keenness of others. Remember how generous the Lord Jesus was: he was rich, but he became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of his poverty.

Gospel
Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

Posted: June 19, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: June 19, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


A disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ rejoices even when faced with challenges and trials for it is a call to greater Holiness.

Christians are called therefore to higher standards. Our faith must rise beyond the shallow waters. There are no longer good times or bad times for all things are in our Lord’s time.

So we set our face as flint amidst mockery and abuse for our strength is in the Lord. We heed His call to perform corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. Then we can proclaim Him as Lord of our lives. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 6:1-10

As his fellow workers, we beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation.
We do nothing that people might object to, so as not to bring discredit on our function as God’s servants. Instead, we prove we are servants of God by great fortitude in times of suffering: in times of hardship and distress; when we are flogged, or sent to prison, or mobbed; labouring, sleepless, starving. We prove we are God’s servants by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by a spirit of holiness, by a love free from affectation; by the word of truth and by the power of God; by being armed with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left, prepared for honour or disgrace, for blame or praise; taken for impostors while we are genuine; obscure yet famous; said to be dying and here are we alive; rumoured to be executed before we are sentenced; thought most miserable and yet we are always rejoicing; taken for paupers though we make others rich, for people having nothing though we have everything.

Gospel
Matthew 5:38-42

Jesus said, ‘You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.’

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ  

Posted: June 17, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Word of the ‘Living Father’Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ  

Readings:

Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
John 6:51-58

The Eucharist is given to us as a challenge and a promise. That’s how Jesus presents it in today’s Gospel.

He doesn’t make it easy for those who hear Him. They are repulsed and offended at His words. Even when they begin to quarrel, He insists on describing the eating and drinking of His flesh and blood in starkly literal terms.

Four times in today’s reading, Jesus uses a Greek word—trogein—that refers to a crude kind of eating, almost a gnawing or chewing (see John 6:54,56,57,58).

He is testing their faith in His Word, as today’s First Reading describes God testing Israel in the desert.

The heavenly manna was not given to satisfy the Israelites’ hunger, as Moses explains. It was given to show them that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

In today’s Psalm, too, we see a connection between God’s Word and the bread of life. We sing of God filling us with “finest wheat” and proclaiming his Word to the world.

In Jesus, “the living Father” has given us His Word come down from heaven, made flesh for the life of the world.

Yet as the Israelites grumbled in the desert, many in today’s Gospel cannot accept that Word. Even many of Jesus’ own followers abandon Him after this discourse (see John 6:66). But His words are Spirit and life, the words of eternal life (see John 6:63,67).

In the Eucharist we are made one flesh with Christ. We have His life in us and have our life because of Him. This is what Paul means in today’s Epistle when He calls the Eucharist a “participation” in Christ’s body and blood. We become in this sacrament partakers of the divine nature (see 1 Peter 2:4).

This is the mystery of the faith that Jesus asks us to believe. And He gives us His promise: that sharing in His flesh and blood that was raised from the dead, we too will be raised up on the last day.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Let us not judge one another by human standards for we will all be found wanting. Instead let us strive for Holiness and be looked upon by the Lord our God’s standards.

Let us represent our Saviour Jesus Christ in all we say and do so that His great love and mercy will shine through us. Then what ever comes from our lips will be truth spoken alone for His glory.

Lord Jesus let your light shine through us. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 5:14-21

The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead; and the reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.
From now onwards, therefore, we do not judge anyone by the standards of the flesh. Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now. And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.

Gospel
Matthew 5:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne; or by the earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great king. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the evil one.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Do you love our Lord Jesus Christ who gives us life more or the sins that we hold on to or give in to readily? Is the price of your precious soul worth much more than the Sin?

The Lord knows we are weak and fragile and so gives us the grace, strength and fortitude to remain faithful when we turn to Him. The power of His Resurrection which liberates us death and sin is upon us. So we can proclaim with joy in our hearts the new life to be found in Him.

Lord Jesus we choose to turn away from sin and to be faithful to the Gospel. Grant us the necessary graces. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 4:7-15

We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke – we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.

Gospel
Matthew 5:27-32

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell.
‘It has also been said: Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal. But I say this to you: everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Let us ask ourselves today what prevents us from encountering our Lord in a deep personal way? Why is it for some there is little or any growth in faith?

Are we intellectually blocking ourselves from experience the graces when our hearts are connected?

Are we just going through the motions of a Eucharistic or personal daily prayer life, instead of spending quiet time with the Lord? Pondering and reflecting on His Word?

Is our faith a personal one or one that has community in mind? Have you performed corporal and spiritual acts of mercy?

Is there unforgiveness in our hearts? Unforgiveness can come in various forms, are we refusing to acknowledge and lift it up to the Lord?

We need to seek the light of His face which shines upon us. For His light shines through the darkest soul and dispels the dark; it illumines hearts and minds. Turn to Jesus and His Spirit will set you free. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 3:15-4:1,3-6

Even today, whenever Moses is read, the veil is over their minds. It will not be removed until they turn to the Lord. Now this Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit.
Since we have by an act of mercy been entrusted with this work of administration, there is no weakening on our part. If our gospel does not penetrate the veil, then the veil is on those who are not on the way to salvation; the unbelievers whose minds the god of this world has blinded, to stop them seeing the light shed by the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For it is not ourselves that we are preaching, but Christ Jesus as the Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. It is the same God that said, ‘Let there be light shining out of darkness’, who has shone in our minds to radiate the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, the glory on the face of Christ.

Gospel
Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples, If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


God’s law has been written on our hearts and so no one can claim ignorance. In fact to love Him and His living Word made flesh we are already embracing His laws. For the pursuit of loving Him more deeply is also an increased desire to do His will more fully.

Jesus our Lord and saviour has breathed His spirit of life into us and because of it we have life to the fullest in Him. We did nothing to merit this for it was God our Father who first loved us.

So let us continue to remain steadfast in His love as we declare thy Kingdom come on earth as in Heaven. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 3:4-11

Before God, we are confident of this through Christ: not that we are qualified in ourselves to claim anything as our own work: all our qualifications come from God. He is the one who has given us the qualifications to be the administrators of this new covenant, which is not a covenant of written letters but of the Spirit: the written letters bring death, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the administering of death, in the written letters engraved on stones, was accompanied by such a brightness that the Israelites could not bear looking at the face of Moses, though it was a brightness that faded, then how much greater will be the brightness that surrounds the administering of the Spirit! For if there was any splendour in administering condemnation, there must be very much greater splendour in administering justification. In fact, compared with this greater splendour, the thing that used to have such splendour now seems to have none; and if what was so temporary had any splendour, there must be much more in what is going to last for ever.

Gospel
Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


How often when the Church needs and calls for help, will the answer be let me discern first, check my schedule, check with family, I’ll come if I can. It is not easy to say Yes some of the time, let alone all of the time. The question really is if God calls us, should we say no?

We are not sent empty handed, the Lord grants us the grace needed to answer and carry out our calling. Be sure however that whatever we do for the Lord, comes from the Lord. Only then will your light shine in the sight of men who seeing your good works will give glory and Praise to God.

O beloved St Anthony, you are a light of Christ who shone brightly through your good works. Intercede for us that we might do likewise. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

​First reading
2 Corinthians 1:18-22

I swear by God’s truth, there is no Yes and No about what we say to you. The Son of God, the Christ Jesus that we proclaimed among you – I mean Silvanus and Timothy and I – was never Yes and No: with him it was always Yes, and however many the promises God made, the Yes to them all is in him. That is why it is ‘through him’ that we answer Amen to the praise of God. Remember it is God himself who assures us all, and you, of our standing in Christ, and has anointed us, marking us with his seal and giving us the pledge, the Spirit, that we carry in our hearts.

Gospel
Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: June 12, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Loving God with all our heart and loving one another the way Jesus loved us. This gives us an idea of the cross we must bear. For love put to action is demanding.

There will indeed be hardships, challenges and trials. So too will there be consolations, invaluable graces.

Jesus my Lord, I bear the lessons of the beatitudes in mind as I journey closer towards You. Amen

First reading
2 Corinthians 1:1-7

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, one of the brothers, to the church of God at Corinth and to all the saints in the whole of Achaia. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a gentle Father and the God of all consolation, who comforts us in all our sorrows, so that we can offer others, in their sorrows, the consolation that we have received from God ourselves. Indeed, as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so, through Christ, does our consolation overflow. When we are made to suffer, it is for your consolation and salvation. When, instead, we are comforted, this should be a consolation to you, supporting you in patiently bearing the same sufferings as we bear. And our hope for you is confident, since we know that, sharing our sufferings, you will also share our consolations.

Gospel
Matthew 5:1-12

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven: this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.’

Recollection

Posted: June 11, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Recollection on my Birthday

Recalling in awe and amazement how the Lord has fast tracked my faith life in the last 7 years.

Summary

1. Placed in me a growing desire to learn more after realising I knew so little about Eucharist during my eldest First Holy Communion programme.
2. Called to service as Extraordinary Communion Minister of Holy Communion.
3. Called to journey through LISS.
4. Called to deepen my faith in the Holy Eucharist by facilitating the FHC program.
5. Called to deepen my faith and love for Jesus and the Holy Spirit through the Four Steps Retreat.
6. Called to help facilitate LISS from time to time.
7. Given opportunities to serve as an altar server, doubling up as communion minister.
8. Given opportunities to proclaim the word as a Lector.
9. Give opportunities to be Animator for choir
10. Called to start a neighbourhood group.
11. Called to start a blog
12. Called to start a Facebook page (currently with 12k followers around the globe)
13. Called to facilitate confirmation program for two young adults.
14. Called to deeper discipleship through burning bush, RISS and other such programs.
15. Called to leadership.
16. Called to mentor others into discipleship
17. Called to journey with CPS small Christian community.
18. Neighbour group transforms into small Christian community.
19. Called to share the faith through talks and personal testimonies
20. Guiding those who desire to serve into ministry.
21. Planning and development for the future.

I am indeed grateful, thankful and humble by the many blessings and Graces ourpoured by the Holy Trinity. I Pray that whatever I am called to do will be strictly the Lord’s will for me, and that it may be done in a way pleasing to Him, the Lord my God. Amen

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Give thanks and praise to God at all times!

Through the service and love of Him, His flock especially the poor. Give thanks and praise to God at all times!

Through almsgiving from the heart. Give thanks and praise to God at all times!

Through giving Your all for the love of the Lord your God, in everything you say and do. Give thanks and praise to God at all times!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Tobit 12:1,5-15,20

When the feasting was over, Tobit called his son Tobias and said, ‘My son, you ought to think about paying the amount due to your fellow traveller; give him more than the figure agreed on.’ So Tobias called his companion and said, ‘Take half of what you brought back, in payment for all you have done, and go in peace.’
Then Raphael took them both aside and said, ‘Bless God, utter his praise before all the living for all the favours he has given you. Bless and extol his name. Proclaim before all men the deeds of God as they deserve, and never tire of giving him thanks. It is right to keep the secret of a king, yet right to reveal and publish the works of God. Thank him worthily. Do what is good, and no evil can befall you.
‘Prayer with fasting and alms with right conduct are better than riches with iniquity. Better to practise almsgiving than to hoard up gold. Almsgiving saves from death and purges every kind of sin. Those who give alms have their fill of days; those who commit sin and do evil, bring harm on themselves.
‘I am going to tell you the whole truth, hiding nothing from you. I have already told you that it is right to keep the secret of a king, yet right too to reveal in worthy fashion the works of God. So you must know that when you and Sarah were at prayer, it was I who offered your supplications before the glory of the Lord and who read them; so too when you were burying the dead. When you did not hesitate to get up and leave the table to go and bury a dead man, I was sent to test your faith, and at the same time God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord.
‘Now bless the Lord on earth and give thanks to God. I am about to return to him above who sent me.’

Gospel
Mark 12:38-44

In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’
He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Trials, challenges, anxieties, come in different forms but hits us more squarely when it is about family or loved ones. We must always hold on to our faith and trust in the Lord our God. For He is with us through it all.

What uplifting joy it is when all is well with our loved ones. Do we not first and without reservation give Glory to the Lord?! For in all things it is right to give Him thanks and praise. One who truly loves the Lord our God with all his/her heart will always be prepared to proclaim what the Lord has done for them to all who will listen.

Jesus Son of God our heavenly Father, I am what I am today because of You. Let everything I say and do bring You glory. Have mercy for my shortcomings. Amen

First reading
Tobit 11:5-17

Anna was sitting, watching the road by which her son would come. She was sure at once it must be he and said to the father, ‘Here comes your son, with his companion.’
Raphael said to Tobias before he reached his father, ‘I give you my word that your father’s eyes will open. You must put the fish’s gall to his eyes; the medicine will smart and will draw a filmy white skin off his eyes. And your father will be able to see and look on the light.’
The mother ran forward and threw her arms round her son’s neck. ‘Now I can die,’ she said ‘I have seen you again.’ And she wept. Tobit rose to his feet and stumbled across the courtyard through the door. Tobias came on towards him (he had the fish’s gall in his hand). He blew into his eyes and said, steadying him, ‘Take courage, father!’ With this he applied the medicine, left it there a while, then with both hands peeled away a filmy skin from the corners of his eyes. Then his father fell on his neck and wept. He exclaimed, ‘I can see, my son, the light of my eyes!’ And he said:

‘Blessed be God!
Blessed be his great name!
Blessed be all his holy angels!
Blessed be his great name for evermore! For he had scourged me and now has had pity on me
and I see my son Tobias.’

Tobias went into the house, and with a loud voice joyfully blessed God. Then he told his father everything: how his journey had been successful and he had brought the silver back; how he had married Sarah, the daughter of Raguel; how she was following him now, close behind, and could not be far from the gates of Nineveh.
Tobit set off to the gates of Nineveh to meet his daughter-in-law, giving joyful praise to God as he went. When the people of Nineveh saw him walking without a guide and stepping forward as briskly as of old, they were astonished. Tobit described to them how God had taken pity on him and had opened his eyes. Then Tobit met Sarah, the bride of his son Tobias, and blessed her in these words, ‘Welcome, daughter! Blessed be your God for sending you to us, my daughter. Blessings on your father, blessings on my son Tobias, blessings on yourself, my daughter. Welcome now to your own house in joyfulness and in blessedness. Come in, my daughter.’ He held a feast that day for all the Jews of Nineveh.

Gospel
Mark 12:35-37

While teaching in the Temple, Jesus said, ‘How can the scribes maintain that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, moved by the Holy Spirit, said:

The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit at my right hand
and I will put your enemies
under your feet.

David himself calls him Lord, in what way then can he be his son?’ And the great majority of the people heard this with delight.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


It is good to place the Lord our God above all and everything in our lives. To love Him with all our hearts, all our strength, all our mind and our soul. Blessed be His name forever.

Do we remember this in the busyness of our lives? Do we honour Him by our words and actions in the workplace, home, outside in the world or even at Church? From the blessings He bestowed at the altar, do we continue to love our spouses with singleness of heart? Do we love one another as we should?

Lord Jesus I love You. Fill me with Your love so that I may love and serve my brethren in the way You want me to. Amen

First reading
Tobit 6:10-11,7:1,9-14,8:4-9

Raphael and Tobit entered Media and had nearly reached Ecbetana when Raphael said to the boy, ‘Brother Tobias.’ ‘Yes?’ he answered. The angel went on, ‘Tonight we shall be staying with Raguel, who is a kinsman of yours. He has a daughter called Sarah, but apart from Sarah he has no other son or daughter.’
As they entered Ecbatana, Tobias said, ‘Brother Azarias, take me at once to our brother Raguel’s.’ And he showed him the way to the house of Raguel, whom they found sitting beside his courtyard door. They greeted him first, and he replied, ‘Welcome and greetings, brothers.’ And he took them into his house. He said to his wife Edna, ‘How like my brother Tobit this young man is!’ Raguel killed a sheep from the flock, and they gave them a warm-hearted welcome.
They washed and bathed and sat down to table. Then Tobias said to Raphael, ‘Brother Azarias, will you ask Raguel to give me my sister Sarah?’ Raguel overheard the words, and said to the young man, ‘Eat and drink, and make the most of your evening; no one else has the right to take my daughter Sarah – no one but you, my brother. In any case I, for my own part, am not at liberty to give her to anyone else, since you are her next of kin. However, my boy, I must be frank with you: I have tried to find a husband for her seven times among our kinsmen, and all of them have died the first evening, on going to her room. But for the present, my boy, eat and drink; the Lord will grant you his grace and peace.’ Tobias spoke out, ‘I will not hear of eating and drinking till you have come to a decision about me.’ Raguel answered, ‘Very well. Since, as prescribed by the Book of Moses, she is given to you, heaven itself decrees she shall be yours. I therefore entrust your sister to you. From now you are her brother and she is your sister. She is given to you from today for ever. The Lord of heaven favour you tonight, my child, and grant you his grace and peace.’ Raguel called for his daughter Sarah, took her by the hand and gave her to Tobias with these words, ‘I entrust her to you; the law and the ruling recorded in the Book of Moses assign her to you as your wife. Take her; take her home to your father’s house with a good conscience. The God of heaven grant you a good journey in peace.’ Then he turned to her mother and asked her to fetch him writing paper. He drew up the marriage contract, how he gave his daughter as bride to Tobias according to the ordinance in the Law of Moses.
After this they began to eat and drink. The parents, meanwhile, had gone out and shut the door behind them. Tobias rose from the bed, and said to Sarah, ‘Get up, my sister! You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and his protection.’ She stood up, and they began praying for protection, and this was how he began:

‘You are blessed, O God of our fathers; blessed, too, is your name for ever and ever.
Let the heavens bless you
and all things you have made
for evermore.
It was you who created Adam,
you who created Eve his wife
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race was born.
It was you who said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make him a helpmate like himself.”
And so I do not take my sister
for any lustful motive; I do it in singleness of heart.
Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me and bring us to old age together.’

And together they said, ‘Amen, Amen’, and lay down for the night.

Gospel
Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


All of us have periods of darkness in our lives. Some are short but others can span over years. Then there is the suffering which comes in many forms but most of all the helplessness of it all which brings despair.

But why do we choose to despair? When Christ Jesus our light has already come into the world! Emmanuel has brought new life. Turn to Him in prayer and He will comfort you. He will make a way for you. Deepen your relationship with Him and you will hear and know His Word.

Let us always turn to His wisdom to guide us and may almighty God bless us all, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

First reading
Tobit 3:1-11,16-17

Sad at heart, I, Tobit, sighed and wept, and began this prayer of lamentation:

‘You are just, O Lord, and just are all your works.
All your ways are grace and truth, and you are the Judge of the world.

‘Therefore, Lord, remember me, look on me. Do not punish me for my sins or for my heedless faults or for those of my fathers.

‘For we have sinned against you
and broken your commandments; and you have given us over to be plundered, to captivity and death, to be the talk, the laughing-stock and scorn of all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.

‘Whereas all your decrees are true when you deal with me as my faults deserve, and those of my fathers, since we have neither kept your commandments nor walked in truth before you; so now, do with me as you will; be pleased to take my life from me; I desire to be delivered from earth and to become earth again.
For death is better for me than life. I have been reviled without a cause and I am distressed beyond measure.

‘Lord, I wait for the sentence you will give to deliver me from this affliction. Let me go away to my everlasting home; do not turn your face from me, O Lord.
For it is better to die than still to live in the face of trouble that knows no pity; I am weary of hearing myself traduced.’

It chanced on the same day that Sarah the daughter of Raguel, who lived in Media at Ecbatana, also heard insults from one of her father’s maids. You must know that she had been given in marriage seven times, and that Asmodeus, that worst of demons, had killed her bridegrooms one after another before ever they had slept with her as man with wife. The servant-girl said, ‘Yes, you kill your bridegrooms yourself. That makes seven already to whom you have been given, and you have not once been in luck yet. Just because your bridegrooms have died, that is no reason for punishing us. Go and join them, and may we be spared the sight of any child of yours!’ That day, she grieved, she sobbed, and went up to her father’s room intending to hang herself. But then she thought, ‘Suppose they blamed my father! They will say, “You had an only daughter whom you loved, and now she has hanged herself for grief.” I cannot cause my father a sorrow which would bring down his old age to the dwelling of the dead. I should do better not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to let me die and not live to hear any more insults.’
This time the prayer of each of them found favour before the glory of God, and Raphael was sent to bring remedy to them both. He was to take the white spots from the eyes of Tobit, so that he might see God’s light with his own eyes; and he was to give Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, as bride to Tobias son of Tobit, and to rid her of Asmodeus, that worst of demons. For it was to Tobias before all other suitors that she belonged by right. Tobit was coming back from the courtyard into the house at the same moment as Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was coming down from the upper room.

Gospel
Mark 12:18-27

Some Sadducees – who deny that there is a resurrection – came to him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first married a wife and then died leaving no children. The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same, and none of the seven left any children. Last of all the woman herself died. Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?’
Jesus said to them, ‘Is not the reason why you go wrong, that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the Bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Darkness can befall us at anytime even on the righteous. What would our faith be like then? One that is bitter and resentful? Empty and sorrowful? Or perhaps hopeful and trusting that we will come out stronger and better?

If we listen to the world then we will react according to how the world reacts. Often with suspicion, jealousy, spitefullness, and viewing the service of others as hypocrisy. The Lord instead sees through our hearts, can we not catch a glimpse of how He see others through His eyes? We would behave very differently indeed would we not? For while it is said, His ways are not our ways;we on the other hand can strive to follow in His ways.

Let us not hold on to the things of the world but instead render to the Lord our God what belongs to Him. And we belong to Him, for we are His beloved children. Amen

First reading
Tobit 2:9-14

I, Tobit, took a bath; then I went into the courtyard and lay down by the courtyard wall. Since it was hot I left my face uncovered. I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. White spots then formed, which I was obliged to have treated by the doctors. But the more ointments they tried me with, the more the spots blinded me, and in the end I became blind altogether. I remained without sight four years; all my brothers were distressed; and Ahikar provided for my upkeep for two years, till he left for Elymais.
My wife Anna then undertook woman’s work; she would spin wool and take cloth to weave; she used to deliver whatever had been ordered from her and then receive payment. Now on March the seventh she finished a piece of work and delivered it to her customers. They paid her all that was due, and into the bargain presented her with a kid for a meal. When the kid came into my house, it began to bleat. I called to my wife and said, ‘Where does this creature come from? Suppose it has been stolen! Quick, let the owners have it back; we have no right to eat stolen goods.’ She said, ‘No, it was a present given me over and above my wages.’ I did not believe her, and told her to give it back to the owners (I blushed at this in her presence). Then she answered, ‘What about your own alms? What about your own good works? Everyone knows what return you have had for them.’

Gospel
Mark 12:13-17

The chief priests and the scribes and the elders sent to Jesus some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said. These came and said to him, ‘Master, we know you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’ Seeing through their hypocrisy he said to them, ‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’ They handed him one and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they told him. Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ This reply took them completely by surprise.

Let us pray… 

Posted: June 5, 2017 by CatholicJules in Prayers

  • For the fallen victims and their families, from attacks against humanity around the world. May our Lord embrace them all in His peace and love. May our Blessed Mother comfort the families in their hour of need. And together with her continue to intercede for them. Amen

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:38-39

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: June 5, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


We must always do what is right in God’s eyes. With courage and the zeal for love of Him and neighbour.

Sharing the Gospel truth of our salvation, mercy love of the Lord our God;and the reign of Jesus Christ our Saviour is our collective mission. For by our love and sacrifice will bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God.

So let stand united and steadfast in prayer as we journey onwards doing the Will of our heavenly Father. Amen

First reading
Tobit 1:3,2:1-8

I, Tobit, have walked in paths of truth and in good works all the days of my life. I have given much in alms to my brothers and fellow countrymen, exiled like me to Nineveh in the country of Assyria.
In the reign of Esarhaddon I returned home, and my wife Anna was restored to me with my son Tobias. At our feast of Pentecost (the feast of Weeks) there was a good dinner. I took my place for the meal; the table was brought to me and various dishes were brought. Then I said to my son Tobias, ‘Go, my child, and seek out some poor, loyal-hearted man among our brothers exiled in Nineveh, and bring him to share my meal. I will wait until you come back, my child.’ So Tobias went out to look for some poor man among our brothers, but he came back again and said, ‘Father!’ I answered, ‘What is it, my child?’ He went on, ‘Father, one of our nation has just been murdered; he has been strangled and then thrown down in the market place; he is there still.’ I sprang up at once, left my meal untouched, took the man from the market place and laid him in one of my rooms, waiting until sunset to bury him. I came in again and washed myself and ate my bread in sorrow, remembering the words of the prophet Amos concerning Bethel:

Your feasts will be turned to mourning, and all your songs to lamentation.

And I wept. When the sun was down, I went and dug a grave and buried him. My neighbours laughed and said, ‘See! He is not afraid any more.’ (You must remember that a price had been set on my head earlier for this very thing.) ‘The time before this he had to flee, yet here he is, beginning to bury the dead again.’

Gospel
Mark 12:1-12

Jesus went on to speak to the chief priests, the scribes and the elders in parables: ‘A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest. He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all. “They will respect my son” he said. But those tenants said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this text of scripture:

It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?

And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.

Pentecost Sunday

Posted: June 3, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

A Mighty Wind:Scott Hahn Reflects on Pentecost Sunday

Readings:
Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13
John 20:19-23
 

The giving of the Spirit to the new people of God crowns the mighty acts of the Father in salvation history.

The Jewish feast of Pentecost called all devout Jews to Jerusalem to celebrate their birth as God’s chosen people, in the covenant Law given to Moses at Sinai (see Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:9-11).

In today’s First Reading the mysteries prefigured in that feast are fulfilled in the pouring out of the Spirit on Mary and the Apostles (see Acts 1:14).

The Spirit seals the new law and new covenant brought by Jesus, written not on stone tablets but on the hearts of believers, as the prophets promised (see 2 Corinthians 3:2-8; Romans 8:2).

The Spirit is revealed as the life-giving breath of the Father, the Wisdom by which He made all things, as we sing in today’s Psalm. In the beginning, the Spirit came as a “mighty wind” sweeping over the face of the earth (see Genesis 1:2). And in the new creation of Pentecost, the Spirit again comes as “a strong, driving wind” to renew the face of the earth.

As God fashioned the first man out of dust and filled him with His Spirit (see Genesis 2:7), in today’s Gospel we see the New Adam become a life-giving Spirit, breathing new life into the Apostles (see 1 Corinthians 15:45,47).

Like a river of living water, for all ages He will pour out His Spirit on His body, the Church, as we hear in today’s Epistle (see also John 7:37-39).

We receive that Spirit in the sacraments, being made a “new creation” in Baptism (see 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). Drinking of the one Spirit in the Eucharist (see 1 Corinthians 10:4), we are the first fruits of a new humanity—fashioned from out of every nation under heaven, with no distinctions of wealth or language or race, a people born of the Spirit.


For Reflection…. 

From a short sharing/talk I did today

On Today’s Gospel 

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


When we find ourselves in tight even uncomfortable situations do we still seek to glorify the Lord? By making the best of the little we have, to share the hope and love we have in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Or do we instead question the cross we have to carry? Even compare what is uniquely ours with that of others?

Let us put all our faith and trust in our Risen Lord and follow Him as He leads us by the Holy Spirit into paradise. Amen

First reading
Acts 28:16-20,30-31

On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him.
After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, ‘Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty; but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any accusation to make against my own nation. That is why I have asked to see you and talk to you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.’
Paul spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete freedom and without hindrance from anyone.

Gospel
John 21:20-25

Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’ Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.’ The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, ‘He will not die’, but, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come.’
This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true.
There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We know that if we want to love and serve the Lord as we should; Then we must do so with all our hearts, all our minds and all our souls. Are these merely words on our lips? Or have they been put into action?

For to follow Jesus is to pick up our cross and follow Him. Which means we must be prepared to lay down our lives for others. Willing to offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God our Father. We must tend to His flock with steadfast faith and love.

And Jesus will be with us always yes to the end of time. Amen

First reading
Acts 25:13-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. Their visit lasted several days, and Festus put Paul’s case before the king. ‘There is a man here’ he said ‘whom Felix left behind in custody, and while I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews laid information against him, demanding his condemnation. But I told them that Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge. So they came here with me, and I wasted no time but took my seat on the tribunal the very next day and had the man brought in. When confronted with him, his accusers did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected; but they had some argument or other with him about their own religion and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive. Not feeling qualified to deal with questions of this sort, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be tried there on this issue. But Paul put in an appeal for his case to be reserved for the judgement of the august emperor, so I ordered him to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar.’

Gospel
John 21:15-19

After Jesus had shown himself to his disciples and eaten with them, he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

‘I tell you most solemnly,
when you were young
you put on your own belt
and walked where you liked;
but when you grow old
you will stretch out your hands,
and somebody else will put a belt round you
and take you where you would rather not go.’

In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Let no one or anything divide us. Not even by one who uses perceived divisions as a tool to divide us. For the scatterer seeks only to scatter. If we are truly of one mind, one spirit and one body in Christ, then evil will never prevail over us.

For the Lord our God has gathered us unto Himself. Through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we are one in communion with Him and the Holy Spirit. And it is His will
for us that we should remain with and in Him for all eternity.

Let us continue to strive for unity that we may be One, just as the Holy Trinity after One. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Acts 22:30,23:6-11

Since the tribune wanted to know what precise charge the Jews were bringing, he freed Paul and gave orders for a meeting of the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin; then he brought Paul down and stood him in front of them. Now Paul was well aware that one section was made up of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, so he called out in the Sanhedrin, ‘Brothers, I am a Pharisee and the son of Pharisees. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.’ As soon as he said this a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was split between the two parties. For the Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, while the Pharisees accept all three. The shouting grew louder, and some of the scribes from the Pharisees’ party stood up and protested strongly, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man. Suppose a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?’ Feeling was running high, and the tribune, afraid that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered his troops to go down and haul him out and bring him into the fortress.
Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.’

Gospel
John 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

‘Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also
who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.