Archive for September, 2017

-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Posted: September 30, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Humble Path: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Readings:
Ezekiel 18:25-28
Psalm 25:4-9
Philippians 2:1-11
Matthew 21:28-32

Echoing the complaint heard in last week’s readings, today’s First Reading again presents protests that God isn’t fair. Why does He punish with death one who begins in virtue but falls into iniquity, while granting life to the wicked one who turns from sin?

This is the question that Jesus takes up in the parable in today’s Gospel.

The first son represents the most heinous sinners of Jesus’ day—tax collectors and prostitutes—who by their sin at first refuse to serve in the Lord’s vineyard, the kingdom. At the preaching of John the Baptist, they repented and did what is right and just. The second son represents Israel’s leaders – who said they would serve God in the vineyard, but refused to believe John when he told them they must produce good fruits as evidence of their repentance (see Matthew 3:8).

Once again, this week’s readings invite us to ponder the unfathomable ways of God’s justice and mercy. He teaches His ways only to the humble, as we sing in today’s Psalm. And in the Epistle today, Paul presents Jesus as the model of that humility by which we come to know life’s true path.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he sings a beautiful hymn to the Incarnation. Unlike Adam, the first man, who in his pride grasped at being God, the New Adam, Jesus, humbled himself to become a slave, obedient even unto death on the Cross (see Romans 5:14). In this He has shown sinners—each one of us—the way back to the Father. We can only come to God, to serve in His vineyard, the Church, by having that same attitude as Christ.

This is what Israel’s leaders lacked. In their vainglory, they presumed their superiority—that they had no further need to hear God’s Word or God’s servants.

But this is the way to death, as God tells Ezekiel today. We are always to be emptying ourselves, seeking forgiveness for our sins and frailties, confessing on bended knee that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We must always stay prepared that as Christians living out faith there will be challenges, trials and tribulations. Everything will not always be rosy but keep the faith for the Lord is with us!

He will protect and guide us through it and we will rise up with Him stronger than ever before. Be faithful as He the Lord our God is ever faithful.

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

First reading
Zechariah 2:5-9,14-15

Raising my eyes, I saw a vision. It was this: there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked him, ‘Where are you going?’ He said, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to find out her breadth and her length.’ And then, while the angel who was talking to me stood still, another angel came forward to meet him. He said to him, ‘Run, and tell that young man this, “Jerusalem is to remain unwalled, because of the great number of men and cattle there will be in her. But I – it is the Lord who speaks – I will be a wall of fire for her all round her, and I will be her glory in the midst of her.”’

Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion; for I am coming to dwell in the middle of you – it is the Lord who speaks.

Many nations will join the Lord, on that day; they will become his people.

Gospel
Luke 9:43-45

At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: “The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.”’ But they did not understand him when he said this; it was hidden from them so that they should not see the meaning of it, and they were afraid to ask him about what he had just said.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


How wonderful it would be to sing with the angels and the heavenly hosts on High, Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God the most High!

And so each and everyone of us has been assigned a guardian angel to help us on our journey into Holiness. Such a shame if we do heed their soft promptings or recognise their presence in our lives. Then there are God’s Archangels whom He has been sent through His mighthy power and grace St Michael “who is like God” St Gabriel “God’s strength” and St Raphael “God’s remedy” who paved the way of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ who reigns with God our Father and the Holy Spirit.

Let us rejoice for the Risen Lord has saved us from the clutches of death, so that one day soon we will sing in one voice with the angels and saints to the Glory of our triune God. Amen

St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael pray for us…

First reading
Daniel 7:9-10,13-14

As I watched:

Thrones were set in place
and one of great age took his seat. His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool.
His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire.
A stream of fire poured out,
issuing from his presence.
A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
A court was held and the books were opened.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence.
On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Gospel
John 1:47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Is Jesus the Lord of your life?

So You have heard the wonders of our Lord Jesus Christ in the testimonies of others. It may have even have perplexed you to think why have you not had an such an experience of Him? Or if you have then what changed that you seemed to have lost it? Question really is have you actively sought Jesus out? Were you contrite, desired to be forgiven, healed and to be restored as a son/daughter of the Lord your God? To be one with Him in communion? Or did you think nothing more of it and turned back to your lack lustre life? Looking for love in all the wrong places.

Jesus come into the temple of my heart and stay with me. That I may bring You glory now and forever. Amen

First reading
Haggai 1:1-8

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, high commissioner of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, as follows, ‘The Lord of Hosts says this, “This people says: The time has not yet come to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. (And the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows:) Is this a time for you to live in your panelled houses, when this House lies in ruins? So now, the Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. You have sown much and harvested little; you eat but never have enough, drink but never have your fill, put on clothes but do not feel warm. The wage earner gets his wages only to put them in a purse riddled with holes. So go to the hill country, fetch wood, and rebuild the House: I shall then take pleasure in it, and be glorified there, says the Lord.”’

Gospel
Luke 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was being done by Jesus; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Our merciful and ever loving God continues to send His chosen ones to tend to the lost, the sick, poor, downtrodden;the sheep of His flock. To proclaim the good news of His heavenly Kingdom so that all may have joy and His peace in their hearts.

We are the chosen ones He sends! Yes we who are sinners ourselves. Weak and lacking in many ways. However it is through His grace we are sent. He will provide and equip us with all that we need. We must go in faith and love for the lord our God who loves us dearly. Then we will experience the Glory of God in whom we minister to.

Jesus my Lord cleanse me and I will be whiter than snow. Change me in Your love and send me to do Your Will. Amen

First reading
Ezra 9:5-9

At the evening sacrifice I, Ezra, came out of my stupor and falling on my knees, with my garment and cloak torn, I stretched out my hands to the Lord my God, and said:
‘My God, I am ashamed, I blush to lift my face to you, my God. For our crimes have increased, until they are higher than our heads, and our sin has piled up to heaven. From the days of our ancestors until now our guilt has been great; on account of our crimes we, our kings and our priests, were given into the power of the kings of other countries, given to the sword, to captivity, to pillage and to shame, as is the case today. But now, suddenly, the Lord our God by his favour has left us a remnant and granted us a refuge in his holy place; this is how our God has cheered our eyes and given us a little respite in our slavery. For we are slaves; but God has not forgotten us in our slavery; he has shown us kindness in the eyes of the kings of Persia, obtaining permission for us to rebuild the Temple of our God and restore its ruins, and he has found us safety and shelter in Judah and in Jerusalem.’

Gospel
Luke 9:1-6

Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let it be from there. As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere.

A PRAYER FOR STILLNESS

Posted: September 26, 2017 by CatholicJules in Prayers

A wonderful and deeply moving prayer by Fr Ron which should be prayed often….

Fr RON ROLHEISER,OMI

A PRAYER FOR STILLNESS
SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Be still and know that I am God. Scripture assures us that if we are still we will come to know God, but arriving at stillness is easier said than done. As Blaise Pascal once stated, “All the miseries of the human person come from the fact that no one can sit still for one hour.” Achieving stillness seems beyond us and this leaves us with a certain dilemma, we need stillness to find God, but we need God’s help to find stillness. With this in mind, I offer a prayer for stillness.

God of stillness and of quiet …

Still the restlessness of my youth: still that hunger that would have me be everywhere, that hunger to be connected to everyone, that wants to see and taste all that is, that robs me of peace on a Friday night. Quiet those grandiose dreams that want me to stand out, to be special. Give me the grace to live more contentedly inside my own skin.

Still the fever I inhale from all the energy that surrounds me, that makes my life feel small. Let me know that my own life is enough, that I need not make an assertion of myself, even as the whole world beckons this of me from a million electronic screens. Give me the grace to sit at peace inside my own life.

Still my sexuality, order my promiscuous desires, my lusts, my polymorphous aching, my relentless need for more intimacy. Quiet and order my earthy desires without taking them away. Give me the grace to see others without a selfish sexual color.

Still my anxiety, my heartaches, my worries, and stop me from always being outside the present moment. Let each day’s worries be sufficient onto themselves. Give me the grace to know that you have pronounced my name in love, that my name written in heaven, that I am free to live without anxiety.

Still my unrelenting need to be busy all the time, to occupy myself, to be always planning for tomorrow, to fill every minute with some activity, to seek distraction rather than quiet. Give me themes with age. Soothe the unacknowledged anger I feel from not achieving much of what I’ve wanted in life, the failure that I feel in the face of all that I’ve left untried and unfinished.

Still in me the bitterness that comes from failure. Save me from the jealousy that comes unbidden as I begrudgingly accept the limits of my life. Give me the grace to accept what circumstance and failure have dealt me. Still in me the fear of my own shadow, the fear I feel in the face of the powerful, dark forces that unconsciously threaten me. Give me the courage to face my darkness as well as my luminosity. Give me the grace to not be fearful before my own complexity.

Still in me the congenital fear that I’m unloved, that I’m unlovable, that love has to be earned, that I need to be more worthy. Silence in me the nagging suspicion that I’m forever missing out, that I’m odd, an outsider, that things are unfair, and that I’m not being respected and recognized for who I am. Give me the grace to know that I’m a beloved child of a God whose love need not be earned.

Still in me my false fear of you, my propensity for a misguided piety, my need to treat you like a distant and feared dignitary rather than as a warm friend. Give me the grace to relate to you in a robust way, as a trusted friend with whom I can jest, wrestle, and relate to in humor and intimacy.

Still my unforgiving thoughts, the grudges I nurse from my past, from the betrayals I’ve suffered, from the negativity and abuses I’ve been subject to. Quiet in me the guilt I carry from my own betrayals.

Still in me all that’s wounded, unresolved, bitter, and unforgiving. Give the quiet that comes from forgiveness.

Still in me my doubts, my anxieties about your existence, about your concern, and about your fidelity. Calm inside me the compulsion to leave a mark, to plant a tree, to have a child, to write a book, to create some form of immortality for myself. Give me the grace to trust, even in darkness and doubt, that you will give me immortality.

Still my heart so that I may know that you are God, that I may know that you create and sustain my every breath, that you breathe the whole universe into existence every second, that everyone, myself no less than everyone else, is your beloved, that you want our lives to flourish, that you desire our happiness, that nothing falls outside your love and care, and that everything and everybody is safe in your gentle, caring hands, in this world and the next.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Are we proud to be called Christians? Do we live up to our name? Do we strive for Holiness and represent Christ Jesus our Lord in all we say and do?

Why do you call Him Lord, Lord but do not what He says? The Lord makes it clear in today’s Gospel that if we want to belong to His family then we must listen to the Word of God and put it into practice. For there is no love without action and there is no act of love without sacrifice.

Let us be Christians fully alive in our faith, working together as one body to bring our Lord and God glory. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Ezra 6:7-8,12,14-20

King Darius wrote to the satrap of Transeuphrates and his colleagues: ‘Leave the high commissioner of Judah and the elders of the Jews to work on this Temple of God; they are to rebuild this Temple of God on its ancient site. This, I decree, is how you must assist the elders of the Jews in the reconstruction of this Temple of God: the expenses of these people are to be paid, promptly and without fail, from the royal revenue – that is, from the tribute of Transeuphrates. May the God who causes his name to live there overthrow any king or people who dares to defy this and destroy the Temple of God in Jerusalem! I, Darius, have issued this decree. Let it be obeyed to the letter!’
The elders of the Jews prospered with their building, inspired by Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished the building in accordance with the order of the God of Israel and the order of Cyrus and of Darius. This Temple was finished on the twenty-third day of the month of Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. The Israelites – the priests, the Levites and the remainder of the exiles – joyfully dedicated this Temple of God; for the dedication of this Temple of God they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs and, as a sacrifice for sin for the whole of Israel, twelve he-goats, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel. Then they installed the priests according to their orders in the service of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, as is written in the Book of Moses.
The exiles celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Levites, as one man, had purified themselves; all were pure, so they sacrificed the passover for all the exiles, for their brothers the priests and for themselves.

Gospel
Luke 8:19-21

The mother and the brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Can you hear the word of God speaking to your heart?

Or do you think you’ve heard all you needed to hear and so can hear no more? You do not actively seek His counsel, wisdom or strength and are happy to cope with what you have.

How then can you build His church up? The one body of Christ.

Our light can only shine brightly when our lives are centred on Christ Jesus our Saviour. When we seek to be nourished by Him, are empowered through His Spirit and Word can we build His Kingdom.

O God come to our assistance, Lord make haste to help us. Amen

First reading
Ezra 1:1-6

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord that was spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom: ‘Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; he has ordered me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah to build the Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel – he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, wherever he lives, be helped by the people of that place with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, as well as voluntary offerings for the Temple of God which is in Jerusalem.”’
Then the heads of families of Judah and of Benjamin, the priests and the Levites, in fact all whose spirit had been roused by God, prepared to go and rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem; and all their neighbours gave them every assistance with silver, gold, goods, cattle, quantities of costly gifts and with voluntary offerings of every kind.

Gospel
Luke 8:16-18

Jesus said to the crowds:
‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’


First and Last: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Readings
Isaiah 55:6-9
Psalm145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Philippians 1:20-24, 27
Matthew 20:1-16

The house of Israel is the vine of God, who planted and watered it, preparing the Israelites to bear fruits of righteousness (see Isaiah 5:7; 27:2-5).

Israel failed to yield good fruits and the Lord allowed His vineyard, Israel’s kingdom, to be overrun by conquerors (see Psalm 80:9-20). But God promised that one day He would replant His vineyard and its shoots would blossom to the ends of the earth (see Amos 9:15; Hosea 14:5-10).

This is the biblical backdrop to Jesus’ parable of salvation history in today’s Gospel. The landowner is God. The vineyard is the kingdom. The workers hired at dawn are the Israelites, to whom He first offered His covenant. Those hired later in the day are the Gentiles, the non-Israelites, who, until the coming of Christ, were strangers to the covenants of promise (see Ephesians 2:11-13). In the Lord’s great generosity, the same wages, the same blessings promised to the first-called, the Israelites, will be paid to those called last, the rest of the nations.

This provokes grumbling in today’s parable. Doesn’t the complaint of those first laborers sound like that of the older brother in Jesus’ prodigal son parable (see Luke 15:29-30)? God’s ways, however, are far from our ways, as we hear in today’s First Reading. And today’s readings should caution us against the temptation to resent God’s lavish mercy.

Like the Gentiles, many will be allowed to enter the kingdom late, after having spent most of their days idling in sin.

But even these can call upon Him and find Him near, as we sing in today’s Pslam. We should rejoice that God has compassion on all whom He has created. This should console us, too, especially if we have loved ones who remain far from the vineyard.

Our task is to continue laboring in His vineyard. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, let us conduct ourselves worthily, struggling to bring all men and women to the praise of His name.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


One precious seed of love, the living Word of God given freely. How are you to receive it?

The right response to receiving it in the manner it ought to be received can only be love. Not of feeling but of a willing sacrifice to honour, love and serve the Lord our God. To prepare our heart, mind and soul to receive Him through the sacraments. To be fertile in thought, word and deed. To be obedient to His Word and His Will. Only then will we be fruitful.

Lord help me be a Holy and living sacrifice acceptable to You. Amen

St Pio pray for us…

First reading
1 Timothy 6:13-16

Before God the source of all life and before Christ, who spoke up as a witness for the truth in front of Pontius Pilate, I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,who at the due time will be revealed by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all, the King of kings and the Lord of Lords, who alone is immortal, whose home is in inaccessible light, whom no man has seen and no man is able to see: to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.

Gospel
Luke 8:4-15

With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:
‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, ‘The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that

they may see but not perceive,listen but not understand.

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


When there is no humility there is no true love of the Lord. Likewise with integrity for the truth of the Lord. How then can people of faith come together as One to build His Kingdom?

Just as men have their roles to play in kingdom building, women have an integral part to play of no less importance or dignity. Their sacrifice, resourcefulness and dedication are traits of the grace that has been bestowed on them. Together as one we glorify the Lord our God by our living sacrifice for Him and for one another. Amen

First reading
1 Timothy 6:2-12

This is what you are to teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit– with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit. Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, let us be content with that. People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction. ‘The love of money is the root of all evils’ and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.
But, as a man dedicated to God, you must avoid all that. You must aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith and win for yourself the eternal life to which you were called when you made your profession and spoke up for the truth in front of many witnesses.

Gospel
Luke 8:1-3

Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.

Posted: September 21, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Like Matthew in today’s Gospel, Jesus is calling us to follow Him. To turn away from the darkness, hopelessness, emptiness of what the world offers and follow Him. To walk in His light and in His ways.

All of us in one way or another has been touched by the word of the God. How do we respond to the grace that calls us to Him? Stand up sisters and brothers and follow Him. Your lives will be changed forever. You will experience His peace, love and joy. Your loving acceptance draws others to Him. Just as Matthew did at the table with the Lord, tax collectors and sinners gathered round Him.

We are all unique in our Lord’s eyes and have been given different gifts and talents. Through Him we form One body in Him. Let us use our gifts, talents charisms, to build up His Kingdom. Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

Gospel
Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Jesus is the Lord of Lords, the King of kings! He came down from heaven to be with us, died for our sins and rose from the dead claiming victory over death for us. He ascended into heaven and will return again. Accept, embrace, cherish and live the truth of our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord!

Cast your doubts and unbelief aside and open your hearts to Him and be touched. We who have experienced the Lord can attest to the wonder and awe of His glory in our very own lives and those of others.

Playtime is over, time to get serious about your faith. Open your minds to Him and be healed. Open your souls to Him and let Him fill you with His grace. Live the fullness of life only to be found in Him.

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

First reading
1 Timothy 3:14-16

At the moment of writing to you, I am hoping that I may be with you soon; but in case I should be delayed, I wanted you to know how people ought to behave in God’s family– that is, in the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is very deep indeed:

He was made visible in the flesh, attested by the Spirit,
seen by angels, proclaimed to the pagans, believed in by the world, taken up in glory.

Gospel
Luke 7:31-35

Jesus said to the people:
‘What description can I find for the men of this generation? What are they like? They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market-place:

‘“We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges,
and you wouldn’t cry.”

‘For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet Wisdom has been proved right by all her children.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


All of us Christians are called to a higher standard simply because we represent our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Knowing and accepting this in faith are we then to continue to do as we please?

How can we share in the wonderful message that God has visited His people and walks with us if He does not dwell in our heart? If what we say and do whether inside or outside does not reflect well on our Lord and does not give Him glory. If His great compassion and love for His flock are not manifested through us.

Sweet Jesus, my Lord, raise me from the spiritual dead, so that I may be alive in serving You and my brethren always. Amen

Dearest Mother Mary pray for me…

First reading
1 Timothy 3:1-13

Here is a saying that you can rely on: To want to be a presiding elder is to want to do a noble work. That is why the president must have an impeccable character. He must not have been married more than once, and he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher; not a heavy drinker, nor hot-tempered, but kind and peaceable. He must not be a lover of money. He must be a man who manages his own family well and brings his children up to obey him and be well-behaved: how can any man who does not understand how to manage his own family have responsibility for the church of God? He should not be a new convert, in case pride might turn his head and then he might be condemned as the devil was condemned. It is also necessary that people outside the Church should speak well of him, so that he never gets a bad reputation and falls into the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons must be respectable men whose word can be trusted, moderate in the amount of wine they drink and with no squalid greed for money. They must be conscientious believers in the mystery of the faith. They are to be examined first, and only admitted to serve as deacons if there is nothing against them. In the same way, the women must be respectable, not gossips but sober and quite reliable. Deacons must not have been married more than once, and must be men who manage their children and families well. Those of them who carry out their duties well as deacons will earn a high standing for themselves and be rewarded with great assurance in their work for the faith in Christ Jesus.

Gospel
Luke 7:11-17

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Prayer should be easy but it is not. For many struggle and for many reasons. While sin is a major obstacle to prayer there is an underlining sense of skepticism in many. Why should God answer my prayers? I feel nothing, experience nothing so why pray?

First question that should be asked is, do you pray only to get something? Or is prayer a means to an intimate conversation with the Lord our God? To hear His Word and Will for us? An elevation of our faith in His love for us? Prayer unites us with God and by that union we are united through Him. There is no prayer without faith.

Holy Spirit guide me in my prayer, my thoughts, words, actions this day and every day. Amen

First reading
1 Timothy 2:1-8

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone;– petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving;– and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and;– I am telling the truth and no lie;– a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.
In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

Gospel
Luke 7:1-10

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Posted: September 16, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Debt We Owe: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Readings:
Sirach 27:30-28:7
Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
Romans 14:7-9
Matthew 18:21-35

Mercy and forgiveness should be at the heart of the Christian life.

Yet, as today’s First Reading wisely reminds us, often we cherish our wrath, nourish our anger, refuse mercy to those who have done us wrong. Jesus, too, strikes close to home in today’s Gospel, with His realistic portrayal of the wicked servant who won’t forgive a fellow servant’s debt, even though his own slate has just been wiped clean by their Master.

It can’t be this way in the kingdom, the Church. In the Old Testament, “seven” is frequently a number associated with mercy and the forgiveness of sins. The just man sins seven times daily; there is a seven-fold sprinkling of blood for atonement of sins (see Proverbs 24:6; Leviticus 16). But Jesus tells Peter today that we must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven times. That means every time.

We are to be merciful as our Father in heaven is merciful (see Luke 6:36; Matthew 5:48). But why? Why does Jesus repeatedly warn that we can’t expect forgiveness for our trespasses unless we’re willing to forgive others their trespasses against us?

Because, as Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle, we are the Lord’s. Each of us has been purchased by the blood of Christ shed for us on the cross (see Revelation 5:9). As we sing in today’s Psalm, though we deserved to die for our sins, He doesn’t deal with us according to our crimes. The mercy and forgiveness we show to others should be the heartfelt expression of our gratitude for the mercy and forgiveness shown to us.

This is why we should remember our last days, set our enmities aside, and stop judging others. We know that one day we will stand before the judgment seat and give account for what we’ve done with the new life given to us by Christ (see Romans 14:10,12).

So we forgive each other from the heart, overlook each other’s faults, and await the crown of His kindness and compassion.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


All of us are sinners and fall short one way or another. But our merciful and patient Lord welcomes us each time we fall, embraces us, heals us and fills us with His grace so that we can walk in His light.

We must however strive not to fall again and we can succeed if we listen and act on His Word. In doing so we build our relationship with Him. And with it comes the fruits of our labour. We are better children, parents, spouses, leaders and so on. We become so because Jesus dwells in our hearts. We have built upon Him.

Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
1 Timothy 1:15-17

Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who would later have to trust in him to come to eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel
Luke 6:43-49

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.
‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?
‘Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them– I will show you what he is like. He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built. But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations: as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!’

Posted: September 15, 2017 by CatholicJules in Photos

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Our Lord died as a man for our sins and our Blessed Mother shared in His suffering by dying in her spirit. Hence her heart was pierced by the sword, in one sense by our sins.

Our Lady of sorrows perfect model of faith and sacrifice, shows us by her lived example what it means to love. How we can die to ourselves and take up our cross to follow Her Son;our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Always ready to be in service in those in need.

Let us turn away from self centred lives and sin. And through the intercession of our Blessed Mother we shall walk blameless towards Holiness. Amen

First reading
1 Timothy 1:1-2,12-14

From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus appointed by the command of God our saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, true child of mine in the faith; wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his service even though I used to be a blasphemer and did all I could to injure and discredit the faith. Mercy, however, was shown me, because until I became a believer I had been acting in ignorance; and the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus.

Gospel
John 19:25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


What do you see when you gaze upon a crucifix? Are you disgusted? horrified? disturbed? Or so accustomed you see nothing at all?

Open up your minds, your hearts and you will see the tremendous and awesome love of the Lord our God for us. He paid for us a debt that He did not owe so that we might have life through and with Him. Once looked upon as an emblem of shame has become a sacramental sign of victory! Victory of life over death, good over evil, love over hate.

Today let us sing with one voice and great fervour…

Love lifted on the cross for me:my Lord, my God, my salvation.
Love lifted high to set me free: my Lord, my God, my salvation.

Amen

First reading
Numbers 21:4-9

On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’
At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Gospel
John 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
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.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


What is your desire if not to follow Jesus? What do you seek in life? Everything falls short and is shortlived if it is not to be found in Christ. 

And yes the journey with and in Christ is extremely difficult. We face a daily battle against temptations, sin and our base desires in a disordered world of which we live in. We have to reign in our anger constantly and not lose focus on whom we hold dear. We have to strive in living not for ourselves alone but to serve the least of our brethren. We can rest assure however that we are not alone in this journey for we have one another for love and support. Most of all we have Jesus with us every step of the way to give us the nourishment, strength and grace to continue onwards. Amen 

First reading
Colossians 3:1-11

Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed – and he is your life – you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.
That is why you must kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life: fornication, impurity, guilty passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god; all this is the sort of behaviour that makes God angry. And it is the way in which you used to live when you were surrounded by people doing the same thing, but now you, of all people, must give all these things up: getting angry, being bad-tempered, spitefulness, abusive language and dirty talk; and never tell each other lies. You have stripped off your old behaviour with your old self, and you have put on a new self which will progress towards true knowledge the more it is renewed in the image of its creator; and in that image there is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised or the uncircumcised, or between barbarian and Scythian, slave and free man. There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.

Gospel
Luke 6:20-26

Fixing his eyes on his disciples Jesus said:

‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Do you hear your name being called by the Lord your God? For indeed He is calling you! You in all your imperfection, to serve Him and your brethren here on earth. What will your response be?

Few may say, “Lord I am already serving you and my brethren, why do you call my name again?” Jesus is calling you to deepen your relationship with Him. Strive harder to resist all temptation and sin especially that of pride so that you may serve Him better. And your brethren with greater love and humility.

Our mission is to proclaim Jesus is Lord of all nations and to bring His peace, love and healing to all. Amen

First reading
Colossians 2:6-15

You must live your whole life according to the Christ you have received– Jesus the Lord; you must be rooted in him and built on him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and full of thanksgiving.
Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some second-hand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ.
In his body lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment, in the one who is the head of every Sovereignty and Power.
In him you have been circumcised, with a circumcision not performed by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your body of flesh. This is circumcision according to Christ. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and had not been circumcised: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us all our sins.
He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the cross; and so he got rid of the Sovereignties and the Powers, and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession.

Gospel
Luke 6:12-19

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.
He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


How are we serving the Lord, His people? If indeed we are serving at all. Is it with His time and in His time? With His love and in His love? What is your idea of discipleship? 

How would you feel if you heard a disciple of the Lord say, I have no time? No time for monthly meetings, no time for joint prayer and adoration? I will be able to serve only…. Or can a disciple say sorry I cannot help bring you to the doctor even in an emergency because I have go to Church? 

Let us be more like our master of whom we serve. Who does not wait to do His Father’s Will. Who loves in the present and seeks to heal, to restore. All praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen 

First reading
Colossians 1:24-2:3

It makes me happy to suffer for you, as I am suffering now, and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church. I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to them and to show all the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ. It is for this I struggle wearily on, helped only by his power driving me irresistibly.
Yes, I want you to know that I do have to struggle hard for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for so many others who have never seen me face to face. It is all to bind you together in love and to stir your minds, so that your understanding may come to full development, until you really know God’s secret in which all the jewels of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

Gospel
Luke 6:6-11

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’ Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 9, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

To Win Them Back: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Ezekiel 33:7-9
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
Romans 13:8-10
Matthew 18:15-20

As Ezekiel is appointed watchman over the house of Israel in today’s first Reading, so Jesus in the Gospel today establishes His disciples as guardians of the new Israel of God, the Church (see Galatians 6:16).
He also puts in place procedures for dealing with sin and breaches of the faith, building on laws of discipline prescribed by Moses for Israel (see Leviticus 19:17-20; Deuteronomy 19:13). The heads of the new Israel, however, receive extraordinary powers—similar to those given to Peter (see Matthew 16:19). They have the power to bind and loose, to forgive sins and to reconcile sinners in His name (see John 20:21-23).
But the powers He gives the apostles and their successors depends on their communion with Him. As Ezekiel is only to teach what he hears God saying, the disciples are to gather in His name and to pray and seek the will of our heavenly Father.
But today’s readings are more than a lesson in Church order. They also suggest how we’re to deal with those who trespass against us, a theme that we’ll hear in next week’s readings as well.
Notice that both the Gospel and the First Reading presume that believers have a duty to correct sinners in our midst. Ezekiel is even told that he will be held accountable for their souls if he fails to speak out and try to correct them.
This is the love that Paul in today’s Epistle says we owe to our neighbors. To love our neighbors as ourselves is to be vitally concerned for their salvation. We must make every effort, as Jesus says, to win our brothers and sisters back, to turn them from the false paths.
We should never correct out of anger, or a desire to punish. Instead our message must be that of today’s Psalm—urging sinner to hear God’s voice, not to harden their hearts, and to remember that He is the one who made us, and the rock of our salvation.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Unless we unite ourselves wholly to the Lord our God, in body, mind and spirit we fool ourselves with grandeur thoughts that we are serving Him. His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways. And unless we seek and love Him with all our heart, mind and soul we remain clueless to the mysteries He wants to reveal and share with us.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour we have been redeemed, let us choose always to turn away from sin and to walk steadfast in His light. Only then can we truly be in full union with Him and be able to serve the least of our brethren. Doing so always with great humility and in His love.

Lord I surrender my heart to You. Let your thoughts be my thoughts and Your words be my words. Let me serve You according to Your will. Amen

First reading
Colossians 1:21-23

Not long ago, you were foreigners and enemies, in the way that you used to think and the evil things that you did; but now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body. Now you are able to appear before him holy, pure and blameless– as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the Good News, which you have heard, which has been preached to the whole human race, and of which I, Paul, have become the servant.

Gospel
Luke 6:1-5

One sabbath Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath day?’ Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry how he went into the house of God, took the loaves of offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which only the priests are allowed to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


O Immaculate Mother my mother, you were chosen to bring forth the true light into the world. Through your humility, obedience and love for the Lord our God your yes brought our salvation into the world. Pray for us mother as we celebrate this special day.

Through the Incarnation, God is with us through the end of time. Jesus Christ our Lord unites us most perfectly with God our Father and the Holy Spirit through the supreme gift of the Holy Eucharist. Pray for us mother as we celebrate this special day.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen

First reading
Micah 5:1-4

The Lord says this:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel; his origin goes back to the distant past, to the days of old.
The Lord is therefore going to abandon them
till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.
Then the remnant of his brothers will come back
to the sons of Israel.
He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the Lord, with the majesty of the name of his God.
They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power to the ends of the land. He himself will be peace.

Gospel
Matthew 1:1-16,18-23

A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother, Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram, Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother, Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,
Obed was the father of Jesse; and Jesse was the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Azariah,
Azariah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah; and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers. Then the deportation to Babylon took place.

After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob;and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.

This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We gladly pray and thank God for our family, community and close friends. But do we do the same for others in various church groups or communities? What about those who have wronged us? Praying for the Lord our God to bless them brings His mercy and love upon us.

For we have an almighty and powerful God, who can turn curses into blessings. Emptiness into fullness. Sorrows into joys.

Leave everything behind, all preconceived ideas, thoughts.experience, your past, present, future all that holds you back and just follow Him. For all we will ever have or ever need is to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading
Colossians 1:9-14

Ever since the day we heard about you, we have never failed to pray for you, and what we ask God is that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will. So you will be able to lead the kind of life which the Lord expects of you, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects; showing the results in all the good actions you do and increasing your knowledge of God. You will have in you the strength, based on his own glorious power, never to give in, but to bear anything joyfully, thanking the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit the light.
Because that is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.

Gospel
Luke 5:1-11


They left everything and followed him

Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.
When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Have you affirmed your sister and brother in Christ lately? Have you thanked God for the work they do in His name? In doing so you give glory to God in recognising His grace and love working through them.

We are all called to be instruments of His healing grace and love. And at every given opportunity we are to proclaim the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so we give glory to God.

Let us give glory, honour and praise to the Lord our God in all we say and do. Amen

First reading
Colossians 1:1-8

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy to the saints in Colossae, our faithful brothers in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
We have never failed to remember you in our prayers and to give thanks for you to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you show towards all the saints because of the hope which is stored up for you in heaven. It is only recently that you heard of this, when it was announced in the message of the truth. The Good News which has reached you is spreading all over the world and producing the same results as it has among you ever since the day when you heard about God’s grace and understood what this really is. Epaphras, who taught you, is one of our closest fellow workers and a faithful deputy for us as Christ’s servant, and it was he who told us all about your love in the Spirit.

Gospel
Luke 4:38-44

Leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. Leaning over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to wait on them.
At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them. Devils too came out of many people, howling, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’ And he continued his preaching in the synagogues of Judaea.

On Today’s Gospel 

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

We live in times where there is a preoccupation with evil, death and destruction. Countries seeking the ruin of others, movies and television capturing the fascinations of many with death, evil spirits, sex and vice.

How are we staying awake? To the goodness and love of our Lord Jesus Christ? Apart from a personal prayer life and relationship with Him we need to belong to a community centred on Him. So that we can support and encourage one another to draw closer to Him. All working together to glorify the Lord our God by serving Him and our brethren most in need.

Lord Jesus cast out from me all that is not of and from You. And docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit may I serve You faithfully now and forever. Amen

First reading
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6,9-11

You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about ‘times and seasons’, since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it.
But it is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober. God never meant us to experience the Retribution, but to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that, alive or dead, we should still live united to him. So give encouragement to each other, and keep strengthening one another, as you do already.

Gospel
Luke 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all. Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’ And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Why get angry or upset when you hear the call to repentance, the call for correction in some area of your life or the call to holiness; through the people the Lord sends to you?

It is for love of you that He sends them. So that you are given an equal opportunity to gain eternal life with Him. Jesus has come to liberate us from sin and evil. To heal and restore us. To make us whole again and to take us with Him into His Kingdom. Are we humble and obedient as to listen to His voice and follow Him?

Lord Jesus forgive my stubbornness in the past, I am here Lord, use me according to Your will. Amen

First reading
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them; to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.

Gospel
Luke 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’
But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”’
And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’
When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Posted: September 2, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

For Your Life: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Readings:
Jeremiah 20:7-9
Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Romans 12:1-2
Matthew 16:21-27
 

Today’s First Reading catches the prophet Jeremiah in a moment of weakness. His intimate lamentation contains some of the strongest language of doubt found in the Bible. Following God’s call, he feels abandoned. Preaching His Word has brought him only derision and reproach.

But God does not deceive—and Jeremiah knows this. He tests the just (see Jeremiah 20:11–12), and disciplines His children through their sufferings and trials (see Hebrews 12:5–7).

What Jeremiah learns, Jesus states explicitly in today’s Gospel. To follow Him is to take up a cross, to deny yourself—your priorities, preferences, and comforts. It is to be willing to give it all up, even life itself, for the sake of His gospel. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, we have to join ourselves to the Passion of Christ, to offer our bodies—our whole beings—as living sacrifices to God.

By His Cross, Jesus has shown us what Israel’s sacrifices of animals were meant to teach—that we owe to God all that we have.

God’s kindness is a greater good than life itself, as we sing in today’s Psalm. The only thanks we can offer is our spiritual worship—to give our lives to the service of His will (see Hebrews 10:3–11; Psalm 50:14, 23).

Peter doesn’t yet get this in today’s Gospel. As it was for Jeremiah, the cross is a stumbling block for Peter (see 1 Corinthians 1:23). This too is our natural temptation—to refuse to believe that our sufferings play a necessary part in God’s plan.

That’s how people think, Jesus tells us today. But we are called to the renewal of our minds—to think as God thinks, to will what He wills.

In the Mass, we once again offer ourselves as perfect and pleasing sacrifices of praise (see Hebrews 13:15). We bless Him as we live, confident that we will find our lives in losing them, that with the riches of His banquet, our souls will be satisfied.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Invest all you have in the Lord your God to build His Kingdom and the treasures of heaven will be open for you.

What do we own or have that was not given or provided for by the Lord our God? What we do with the gifts are our choice. We can use them to bring Him glory, we can use them for our own or not choose not to use them at all. However choosing to work hard for His glory brings fulfillment, joy and rewards not found in the world.

Leaving everything in the hands of our Lord is not about shirking our responsibilities but allowing Him to fill what is lacking in us so that we can become the best version of ourselves and offer up greater plentiful fruits for Him and for one another.

Jesus I offer You my all, for You are my all in all. Amen

First reading
1 Thessalonians 4:9-11

As for loving our brothers, there is no need for anyone to write to you about that, since you have learnt from God yourselves to love one another, and in fact this is what you are doing with all the brothers throughout the whole of Macedonia. However, we do urge you, brothers, to go on making even greater progress and to make a point of living quietly, attending to your own business and earning your living, just as we told you to.

Gospel
Matthew 25:14-30

You have been faithful in small things: come and join in your master’s happiness

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.
‘The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.”
‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”
‘Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”
‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.” But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Holiness is not achieved in a day, it is a lifelong journey. It is a commitment we must choose to live in and with the Lord so that we remain in communion with the Lord our God and with one another.

And we must choose each and every day to overcome temptations and to do battle with the evil, that is in the world we live in. Let us not be found wanting or falling short of the graces the Lord Himself gives freely to us through the sacraments.

Let us trim away the impurities of the lamp of our hearts so that our light can shine brightly for Him and one another. Amen

First reading
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants, as you learnt from us, and as you are already living it. You have not forgotten the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.
What God wants is for you all to be holy. He wants you to keep away from fornication, and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honourable, not giving way to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God. He wants nobody at all ever to sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral; in other words, anyone who objects is not objecting to a human authority, but to God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Gospel
Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’