Archive for December, 2017

Year End, Year beginning

Posted: December 31, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections, Prayers

How fitting that the year should end with the feast day of the Holy Family. A reminder that each and everyone of us is born into a family to love and be loved. A holy and sacred bond consecrated unto God.

We by our baptism, are set apart, new born in holiness into and one with the family of the Holy Trinity. One in Union with Jesus our Lord and Saviour. One in Union with St Joseph, our Blessed Mother, all the angels and saints. One Holy Family!

So as the year draws close to an end and moves into a new year of faith, hope and love. Let us as one united family Praise and Thank our ever living God ; for His abundant blessings and graces outpoured on us, our families and loved ones.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. One God forever and ever. Amen

We claim a grace filled 2018 in our Lord Jesus Christ as the day begins where all life begins, in a mother’s womb. How fitting then that we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, mother of God. Dearest blessed mother pray for us. Hail Mary….

Feast of the Holy Family

Posted: December 31, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Our True Home:

Readings:

Sirach 3:2-6,12-14
Psalm 128:1-2,3,4-5
Colossians 3:12-21
Luke 2:22-40

Why did Jesus choose to become a baby born of a mother and father and to spend all but His last years living in an ordinary human family? In part, to reveal God’s plan to make all people live as one “holy family” in His Church (see 2 Corinthians 6:16-18).

In the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, God reveals our true home. We’re to live as His children, “chosen ones, holy and beloved,” as the First Reading puts it.

The family advice we hear in today’s readings—for mothers, fathers and children—is all solid and practical. Happy homes are the fruit of our faithfulness to the Lord, we sing in today’s Psalm. But the Liturgy is inviting us to see more, to see how, through our family obligations and relationships, our families become heralds of the family of God that He wants to create on earth.

Jesus shows us this in today’s Gospel. His obedience to His earthly parents flows directly from His obedience to the will of His heavenly Father. Joseph and Mary aren’t identified by name, but three times are called “his parents” and are referred to separately as his “mother” and “father.” The emphasis is all on their “familial” ties to Jesus. But these ties are emphasized only so that Jesus, in the first words He speaks in Luke’s Gospel, can point us beyond that earthly relationship to the Fatherhood of God.

In what Jesus calls “My Father’s house,” every family finds its true meaning and purpose (see Ephesians 3:15). The Temple we read about in the Gospel today is God’s house, His dwelling (see Luke 19:46). But it’s also an image of the family of God, the Church (see Ephesians 2:19-22;Hebrews 3:3-6;10:21).

In our families we’re to build up this household, this family, this living temple of God. Until He reveals His new dwelling among us, and says of every person: “I shall be his God and he will be My son” (see Revelation 21:3,7).

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Yes indeed the World has many distractions to offer, those who feel they have worked very hard to earn a living and just need a break will turn to them more readily. We move from one season to the next with pomp festivities. Soon before we realise it we are at a new year. Unless the days are filled with the love of God in our hearts we are running on empty.

God who is faithful is asking for our faithfulness. Just like Anna who dedicated her life to service of the Lord our God. What joy it was for her to witness the promised saviour of the world. The experience of having the living God with us is what moves us to share it with all who will listen just as Anna did.

Lord Jesus let Your will be done in my life. Amen

First reading
1 John 2:12-17

Observance of the will of God

I am writing to you, my own children, whose sins have already been forgiven through his name;
I am writing to you, fathers,
who have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning;
I am writing to you, young men, who have already overcome the Evil One;
I have written to you, children, because you already know the Father;
I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one
who has existed since the beginning; I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and God’s word has made its home in you, and you have overcome the Evil One.
You must not love this passing world or anything that is in the world.
The love of the Father cannot be in any man who loves the world, because nothing the world has to offer – the sensual body, the lustful eye,
pride in possessions– could ever come from the Father
but only from the world;
and the world, with all it craves for, is coming to an end; but anyone who does the will of God remains for ever.

Gospel
Luke 2:36-40

There was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The light of the world has come to dispel all darkness so that we children of the light can live free in His love.

Apart from sin, the greatest obstacle to living in the light is unforgiveness. Deep hurts and inner wounds seem impossible to heal and so many hold on to the anger even hatred of the person who caused them. This self imprisonment causes darkness to prevail.

Surrender everything to the our Lord Jesus Christ instead and be set free. He will heal you and fill your heart with His Peace and joy. For nothing is impossible with the Lord our God. Turn to our Blessed Mother in your difficulty and struggles, she will intercede for you for she is our mother who will always stand by us.

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

First reading
1 John 2:3-11

We can be sure that we know God only by keeping his commandments.
Anyone who says, ‘I know him’, and does not keep his commandments,
is a liar, refusing to admit the truth.
But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him.
We can be sure that we are in God only when the one who claims to be living in him is living the same kind of life as Christ lived.
My dear people, this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you, but an old commandment that you were given from the beginning, the original commandment which was the message brought to you.
Yet in another way, what I am writing to you, and what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his, is a new commandment; because the night is over and the real light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the dark.
But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light
and need not be afraid of stumbling; unlike the man who hates his brother and is in the darkness, not knowing where he is going, because it is too dark to see.

Gospel
Luke 2:22-35

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord– observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord– and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’

As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected– and a sword will pierce your own soul too– so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’

On Today’s Gospel 

Posted: December 28, 2017 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Today is the feast of The Holy Innocents, we recall the first Martyrs for Christ Jesus.

What caused the shedding of blood of these innocent children? Was it not to hold on to power and honour? Afraid that riches and wealth will be lost? The want and need to live a certain lifestyle without compromise or sacrifice? To live for oneself forsaking all others. In this day and age in which the Holy Innocents are still being martyed is through Abortion! This is what it means to live in the shadow of darkness. Soon it will envelop our whole being and death is upon us.

Jesus Christ our Lord and light of all nations had come to take away the darkness of sin in our lives. Let us turn to Him so that we can live sanctified life giving lives in and through Him. Amen

First reading
1 John 1:5-2:2

This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ, and the message that we are announcing to you:
God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.
If we say that we are in union with God while we are living in darkness, we are lying because we are not living the truth.
But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light,
we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves and refusing to admit the truth;
but if we acknowledge our sins, then God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and purify us from everything that is wrong.
To say that we have never sinned is to call God a liar
and to show that his word is not in us.

I am writing this, my children, to stop you sinning;
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, who is just; he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and not only ours, but the whole world’s.

Gospel
Matthew 2:13-18

After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

I called my son out of Egypt.

Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loudly lamenting: it was Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they were no more.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The readings of today reminds me of the beautiful hymn ‘Wood of the Cradle’ which recognises how our dear Saviour’s birth, death and resurrection is one complete act for our salvation for the great love of us.

St John the Apostle and Evangelist whose feast we celebrate today had an intimate relationship with our Lord. And invites us to have that same relationship in which he deeply loved our Lord; and knew that he too was deeply loved by our Lord. This comes through clearly in both His writings and how He lived His life for the Lord.

Let us share in his peace, love and joy of living a life centred on our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

St John pray for us…

First reading
1 John 1:1-4

Something which has existed since the beginning,
that we have heard,
and we have seen with our own eyes;
that we have watched
and touched with our hands:
the Word, who is life–
this is our subject.
That life was made visible:
we saw it and we are giving our testimony,
telling you of the eternal life
which was with the Father and has been made visible to us.
What we have seen and heard
we are telling you
so that you too may be in union with us,
as we are in union
with the Father
and with his Son Jesus Christ.
We are writing this to you to make our own joy complete.

Gospel
John 20:2-8

On the first day of the week Mary of Magdala came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’
So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Yesterday we celebrated the love of God through Jesus Christ coming down from heaven to live among us. Today we celebrate the love of the first soldier of Christ, St Stephen who lays down His life for the Lord His God and for us; he is then received into heaven.

Yes Jesus has opened heaven for us and we can climb up the stairway of love only through and in His love. And one of the greatest obstacle we will face which prevents us from entering into eternal life is unforgiveness!

Let us be filled with Holy spirit and lead inspired lives worthy of the promises of Christ. So that one day when our life comes to an end we can pray with all the Saints before us, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’Amen

First reading
Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59

Stephen was filled with grace and power and began to work miracles and great signs among the people. But then certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, some from Cyrene and Alexandria who were members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, and others from Cilicia and Asia. They found they could not get the better of him because of his wisdom, and because it was the Spirit that prompted what he said. They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

Gospel
Matthew 10:17-22

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.’
,