Archive for November, 2017

On Today’s Gospel 

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


While we live in the world we cannot separate ourselves from all that is tainted in it. We can however avoid using it for any evil. We must never forget our fidelity to the Lord our God of whom we worship alone.

By His saving grace we have joy in the hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord. This joy we have ought to be shared with all who have yet to know Him. But who would listen if we live, lives of duplicity? Our words and actions must be one and in His love.

Jesus it is my desire to love and serve You alone. Help me overcome my shortcomings so that all I say and do may be pleasing to You. Amen

First reading
Romans 16:3-9,16,22-27

My greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked death to save my life: I am not the only one to owe them a debt of gratitude, all the churches among the pagans do as well. My greetings also to the church that meets at their house.
Greetings to my friend Epaenetus, the first of Asia’s gifts to Christ; greetings to Mary who worked so hard for you; to those outstanding apostles Andronicus and Junias, my compatriots and fellow prisoners who became Christians before me; to Ampliatus, my friend in the Lord; to Urban, my fellow worker in Christ; to my friend Stachys; Greet each other with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
I, Tertius, who wrote out this letter, greet you in the Lord. Greetings from Gaius, who is entertaining me and from the whole church that meets in his house. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends his greetings; so does our brother Quartus.
Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel
Luke 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him. He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Who’s wisdom do we seek?
Our own? The world’s or the Lord our God’s infinite wisdom?

Yes it is important to know and learn the ways of the world, but not live as one of the World. For we are God our Father’s children and hence are called children of light. The one true light of the world, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ has come so that we might never again live in darkness. And so while we are wise to the ways of the world, let us be wiser in all that is to be found in the Lord our God alone. Amen

First reading
Romans 15:14-21

My brothers, I am quite certain that you are full of good intentions, perfectly well instructed and able to advise each other. The reason why I have written to you, and put some things rather strongly, is to refresh your memories, since God has given me this special position. He has appointed me as a priest of Jesus Christ, and I am to carry out my priestly duty by bringing the Good News from God to the pagans, and so make them acceptable as an offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit.
I think I have some reason to be proud of what I, in union with Christ Jesus, have been able to do for God. What I am presuming to speak of, of course, is only what Christ himself has done to win the allegiance of the pagans, using what I have said and done by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus all the way along, from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have preached Christ’s Good News to the utmost of my capacity. I have always, however, made it an unbroken rule never to preach where Christ’s name has already been heard. The reason for that was that I had no wish to build on other men’s foundations; on the contrary, my chief concern has been to fulfil the text: Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand.

Gospel
Luke 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.” Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”
Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?” “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty.” To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”
‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Water and blood from the side of Christ Jesus our Saviour gave birth to our Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Through Him we are saved.

Through His Church, the Holy Sacrament, the precious sacraments we have the grace of healing, reconciliation and abundant nourishment. And it through us, His Church that His living water flows outward to touch the rest of the World. Are you not then an instrument of His wonderful grace?

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

First reading
Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12

The angel brought me to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. . He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’

Gospel
John 2:13-22

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Yes indeed there is a cost to discipleship. Simply to love the Lord God with all your heart, strength, mind and soul and to love our neighbour as Jesus loved us.

To love God with our all is to never put anything or anyone, even family before Him. No compromising on our morals, virtues and on our obedience to Him for their sake. Then to love our fellowmen just as we love ourselves and with the love of Christ. We do this by carrying our cross, the willingness to sacrifice and do what is necessary to carry out His Will for us.

Lord I have counted the cost and gladly carry my cross to follow You. Amen

First reading
Romans 13:8-10

Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. All the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.

Gospel
Luke 14:25-33

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Each and everyone one of us are born unique in our own way, yet all of us are greatly loved by God our Father. And each of us are called to use the gifts, talents, best suited to us and given freely so that we might do His Will. To build His Kingdom on the foundation of love;for Him and for one another.

What joy it is to serve the Lord, to experience His great love, peace and to witness the transformation of all touched by His grace working through us. Such is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet!

Yes all of us are invited to partake in the heavenly banquet. But the invitation is lost on those who refuse to put the Lord our God first in their lives. Amen

First reading
Romans 12:5-16

All of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other. Our gifts differ according to the grace given us. If your gift is prophecy, then use it as your faith suggests; if administration, then use it for administration; if teaching, then use it for teaching. Let the preachers deliver sermons, the almsgivers give freely, the officials be diligent, and those who do works of mercy do them cheerfully.
Do not let your love be a pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as much as brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other. Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of spirit. If you have hope, this will make you cheerful. Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying. If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care.
Bless those who persecute you: never curse them, bless them. Rejoice with those who rejoice and be sad with those in sorrow. Treat everyone with equal kindness; never be condescending but make real friends with the poor. Do not allow yourself to become self-satisfied.

Gospel
Luke 14:15-24

One of those gathered round the table said to Jesus, ‘Happy the man who will be at the feast in the kingdom of God!’ But he said to him, ‘There was a man who gave a great banquet, and he invited a large number of people. When the time for the banquet came, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come along: everything is ready now.” But all alike started to make excuses. The first said, “I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies.” Yet another said, “I have just got married and so am unable to come.”
‘The servant returned and reported this to his master. Then the householder, in a rage, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” “Sir” said the servant “your orders have been carried out and there is still room.” Then the master said to his servant, “Go to the open roads and the hedgerows and force people to come in to make sure my house is full; because, I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet.”’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Indeed God our Father is merciful and kind. He loves us still even when we do not deserve to be loved. For the many heinous sins committed against Him and our brethren. Forgiving and restoring us when we turn back to Him through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. How great is our God!

How can we not repay Him by being merciful to all those around us? To give them freely from our heart expecting only to glorify the Lord and to offer it all to Him in thanksgiving.

Glory be to the Holy Trinity. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Romans 11:29-36

God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice.
Just as you changed from being disobedient to God, and now enjoy mercy because of their disobedience, so those who are disobedient now– and only because of the mercy shown to you– will also enjoy mercy eventually. God has imprisoned all men in their own disobedience only to show mercy to all mankind.
How rich are the depths of God – how deep his wisdom and knowledge– and how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods! Who could ever know the mind of the Lord? Who could ever be his counsellor? Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything?
All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory for ever! Amen.

Gospel
Luke 14:12-14

Jesus said to his host, one of the leading Pharisees, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 4, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Calling the Fathers: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Malachi 1:14-2:2, 8-10
Psalm 131:1-3
1 Thessalonians 2:7-9, 13
Matthew 23:1-12

Though they were Moses’ successors, the Pharisees and scribes exalted themselves and made their mastery of the law a badge of social privilege. Worse, they lorded the law over the people (see Matthew 20:25). Like the priests Malachi condemns in today’s First Reading, they caused many to falter and be closed off from God.

In a word, Israel’s leaders failed to be good spiritual fathers of God’s people. Moses was a humble father figure, preaching the law but also practicing it—interceding and begging God’s mercy and forgiveness of the people’s sins (see Exodus 32:9-14; Psalm 90).

And Jesus reminds us today that all fatherhood—in the family or in the people of God—comes from the our Father in heaven (see Ephesians 3:15).

He doesn’t mean we’re to literally call no man “father.” He himself referred to Israel’s founding fathers (see John 7:42); the Apostles taught about natural fatherhood (see Hebrews 12:7-11) and described themselves as spiritual fathers (see 1 Corinthians 4:14-16)

The fatherhood of the Apostles and their successors, the Church’s priests and bishops, is a spiritual paternity given to raise us as God’s children. Our fathers give us new life in Baptism, and feed us the spiritual milk of the Gospel and the Eucharist (see 1 Peter 2:2-3). That’s why Paul, in today’s Epistle, can also compare himself to a nursing mother.

God’s fatherhood likewise transcends all human notions of fatherhood and motherhood. Perhaps that’s why the Psalm chosen for today includes one of the rare biblical images of God’s maternal care (see Isaiah 66:13).

His only Son has shown us the Father (see John 14:9) coming to gather His children as a hen gathers her young (see Matthew 23:37). We’re all brothers and sisters, our Lord tells us today. And all of us—even our spiritual fathers—are to trust in Him, humbly, like children on our mothers’ laps.