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.’