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.’
,

Christmas Reflection

Posted: December 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Meditations

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
Christian, remember your dignity

Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.

No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.

In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.

And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to his people on earth as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvelous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

My Blessed 2017 Journey 

Posted: December 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

2017 has been a most memorable year for me. It is a year of great faith for me personally as well as the most trying and challenging in which my faith was tested on many levels. The best way to sum it up is replacing ‘love’ with ‘faith’ written in a poem.

“Faith can soar to the highest pinnacle of ecstasy, it can also crumble to the very depths of excruciating misery. Faith from deep within Christ, is inspiring, exhilarating even intoxicating. However succumbing to worldly thoughts and values, the body mind it will devour leaving a tragic ending”

The year began on a high note, as I was involved in a discipling program and a keystone in our Parish called Development. Was also blessed to be voted as an office bearer for my EMHC ministry to begin in 2018. I had planned and written out a two year program for the latter and was looking forward to see it come to fruition.

The Lord also blessed me with an opportunity to be a participant in the dawn Eucharist at Easter. We covered the full readings of Easter and the highlight for me was the experience of full submersion baptism. Which called to mind our first, once for all time baptism. Then the highpoint of the dawn Eucharist itself receiving our resurrected Lord deep into our being.

After Easter however, due to change of spiritual direction everything changed. I stepped down and left EMHC and later was compelled to leave the development keystone as well which was later dissolved completely. Troubling indeed when I had sacrificed the last seven years of my life to dedicated service even though there were numerous times, I felt that the burden was too heavy to bear.

Feeling lost, the Lord led me to the ‘Labourers in the vineyard retreat’ which not only restored my wounded soul but renewed and invigorated my zeal to serve the Lord. Only thing is I was to wait on Him.

I drew confidence from some loving members of our parish community who invited me to serve along side them in their respective ministries. I was also deeply touched to be called upon to help startup a new parish initiative called ‘Bible Apostolate.’ The Lord’s direction however was to continue to wait on Him as a new initiative on an archdiocese level was soon to take shape. I am still prayerfully waiting as it will begin proper in 2018.

Then in the later part of this year was another great blessing of being called to attend the’ Watchmen retreat’ The Lord woke me up by speaking directly to me through His shepherd and His prophets. He both humbled me and enkindled within me a fire to serve Him more profoundly.

To end the year He brought me back to the basics by leading me once again to the ‘Four steps retreat’ so that I might never lose my way again. It was also wonderful to embrace the family team conducting the retreat.

Thank You Lord Jesus for the familial ties built over the years through the various communitues in and through You. Lord be with me now and always.

Glory and Praise to the Holy Trinity forever and ever. Amen

Love Of God

Posted: December 25, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

An Advent reflection 

Posted: December 24, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Sharing from a Sister who attended the watchmen retreat”.

Peace be with you all.
I’ve not been very watchful during Advent. Yet our Lord in His loving mercy, doesn’t allow me to run away.
I am prompted to share the following with you all. It is rather long but I’m unable to shorten it though I tried. 👇🏻

If Jesus had really been born on 25 Dec, then today Mother Mary and Joseph would be travelling around in Bethlehem.
 Contemplating the situation, I imagined how tiring and uncomfortable it must have been for Mother Mary, a pregnant lady nearly due for delivery.  I also thought of St Joseph’s anxiety as he went from inn to inn to find a room;  how he would have felt as a young man who simply wanted his wife to have a comfortable bed to deliver her baby.  And Mary our Mother, she must have prayed to our Father to provide a solution.
Why did God our Father allow the Mother of His Son to experience such discomfort and anxiety? If His plan was for Jesus to be born in a manger, then just lead them there, or tell Joseph in a dream. It would be easier and less stressful. After all, when we do His Will, aren’t things supposed to fall into place smoothly?
As I wondered what thoughts Mary might have had at that point of time and how she might have felt, I was reminded of Ecclesiasticus 39: “All the works of the Lord are good, and he will supply every want in due time. You must not say “This is worse than that” for everything will prove its value in time ”
With that scripture,  I was awakened.

It is not for me to question; instead, I must dwell on the awesomeness of our Father who chose simple shepherds as the first witnesses of His Son’s birth and I must wonder at the faith of these shepherds who were blessed to hear the first Gloria sung by “a great throng of heavenly hosts” and who acted without hesitation to do as asked. When the shepherds told Mary what they had heard, she treasured what they said and “pondered them in her heart”.
As I sing the Gloria tonight it will be with greater conviction than ever before because I believe in my heart, that all the heavenly hosts and especially Mary our Mother will be there with us singing and praising our Lord and our God. And I praise Him for awakening me to watch and to grow.
Fellow watchmen, let’s all rejoice as the shepherds did, glorifying and praising God our Father for all we have heard and seen.

My reflections for 4th Sunday of Advent 

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

My reflections for the 4th Sunday of Advent

We often times have very good intentions and want to do things that seemingly would please the Lord. Instead of seeking His will for us and waiting on Him to guide our steps. Do this frequently enough, we may become compromised and become spiritually narcisstic. “I will not sit at the table with sinners because the Lord is telling me that I am set apart to do great things for Him.” Really? Is this truly what the Lord wants? Or does He intend that you lead them out of their sinful ways? Even the prophet Nathan thought David’s idea to build the Lord’s house was good one. But as the Lord says it clearly my ways are not your ways! Instead the Lord tells David His plans for Him and makes him a promise which the Jews held to and wrote down about five hundred years later to remind themselves even after the Davidic empire appeared to be totally wipe out. That the throne of David will be restored.

St Paul a scholar through the Holy Spirit recognised the fulfillment of the promises of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lord of all nations and so we should proclaim Him with great fervour to all non believers so that they too will have hope of eternal life.

Mary our Mother does not question the greeting nor the message from God, but accepted in obedience and full trust in the Lord our God even though she would not have understood the mystery yet to be revealed. In her purity she was chosen to be the living tabernacle of our Lord. Do we not see that we too are called to be likewise at every Eucharist? So that our Lord Jesus Christ can dwell in us. The Holy Spirit can live in us powerfully.

Another powerful message from the passage is that God can turn all curses into blessings. We who lead dry barren lives, who feel that we are at our wits end or that time for change is fleeting and hopeless, He the Lord can give us new life! For nothing is impossible for God. The new life we bring forth can become a powerful testimony of His great love and mercy.

Glory be to God in the highest. Amen
*Update 24 Dec *

In the homily today I heard another dimension of the first reading. David had it in his heart to do something good for the Lord His God, and God our Father knew the purity of his intentions, He however had other plans for David and will never be out done in goodness. His promises to David was beyond his imagination. God alone is wisdom so let us pray for His wisdom to rule our hearts. Amen

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Posted: December 23, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Mystery Kept Secret: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Readings:
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

What is announced to Mary in today’s Gospel is the revelation of all that the prophets had spoken. It is, as Paul declares in today’s Epistle, the mystery kept secret since before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:9; 3:3-9).

Mary is the virgin prophesied to bear a son of the house of David (see Isaiah 7:13-14). And nearly every word the angel speaks to her today evokes and echoes the long history of salvation recorded in the Bible.

Mary is hailed as the daughter Jerusalem, called to rejoice that her king, the Lord God, has come into her midst as a mighty savior (see Zephaniah 3:14-17).

The One whom Mary is to bear will be Son of “the Most High”—an ancient divine title first used to describe the God of the priest-king Melchizedek, who brought out bread and wine to bless Abraham at the dawn of salvation history (see Genesis 14:18-19).

He will fulfill the covenant God makes with His chosen one, David, in today’s First Reading. As we sing in today’s Psalm, He will reign forever as highest of the kings of the earth, and He will call God “my Father.” As Daniel saw the Most High grant everlasting dominion to the Son of Man (see Daniel 4:14; 7:14), His kingdom will have no end.

He is to rule over the house of Jacob—the title God used in making His covenant with Israel at Sinai (see Exodus 19:3), and again used in promising that all nations would worship the God of Jacob (see Isaiah 2:1-5).

Jesus has been made known, Paul says today, to bring all nations to the obedience of faith. We are called with Mary today to marvel at all that the Lord has done throughout the ages for our salvation. And we, too, must respond to this Annunciation with humble obedience—that His will be done, that our lives be lived according to His word.

On Today’s Gospel

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


We are in a sense back to where we were at the beginning of Advent as we are just before the eve of Christmas. Stay awake and prepare the way for the Lord!

Let us then rise up to the call, to be new spiritual Elijahs, new spiritual John the baptists! To bring about reconciliation. To encourage one another to turn away from sins as we lead each other towards the promised land; our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. United with Him forever.

Lord I know that your hand is upon me. And I will serve You faithfully. Amen

First reading
Malachi 3:1-4,23-24

The Lord God says this: Look, I am going to send my messenger to prepare a way before me. And the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple; and the angel of the covenant whom you are longing for, yes, he is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be welcomed by the Lord as in former days, as in the years of old.
Know that I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before my day comes, that great and terrible day. He shall turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the hearts of children towards their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.

Gospel
Luke 1:57-66

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

On Today’s Gospel 

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


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour. Both Hannah and our Blessed Mother magnified the Lord their God by their prayer and their actions. Hannah by trusting and presenting her only son for service to the Lord our God. And our Blessed Mother by bringing forth salvation into the world through her son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Let us too sing God’s praises by sharing the good news of our salvation and by the way we lead our lives as disciples of Jesus. Amen

First reading
1 Samuel 1:24-28

When Hannah had weaned the infant Samuel, she took him up with her together with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the temple of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was with them. They slaughtered the bull and the child’s mother came to Eli. She said, ‘If you please, my lord. As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. This is the child I prayed for, and the Lord granted me what I asked him. Now I make him over to the Lord for the whole of his life. He is made over to the Lord.’
There she left him, for the Lord.

Gospel
Luke 1:46-56

Mary said:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name, and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm, he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy – according to the promise he made to our ancestors– of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

When love was born

Posted: December 21, 2017 by CatholicJules in Videos/Audio

We sang this in worship, which was so beautiful because it leads you deeper into the meaning of Christmas

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Oh what joy it is to be in the presence of the Lord. Our hearts leap out to greet Him as He fills us with His love and peace. So too do we take great comfort in the presence of our Blessed Mother who walks with us through every difficulty.

To live in the presence of the Lord however we must strive for Holiness, to constantly purify our hearts and to live modest lives. And we are able to do so through living sacramental lives. Frequent reconciliation and if possible daily reception of the Holy Eucharist.

The promise of our salvation has been fulfilled through our Lord Jesus Christ let our spirits magnify Him through the way we live our lives. Amen

First reading
Song of Songs 2:8-14

I hear my Beloved.
See how he comes
leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My Beloved is like a gazelle,
like a young stag.

See where he stands
behind our wall.
He looks in at the window,
he peers through the lattice.

My Beloved lifts up his voice,
he says to me, ‘Come then, my love, my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth.
The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance.
Come then, my love, my lovely one, come.
My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the coverts of the cliff, show me your face,
let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.’

Gospel
Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

The love of the Lord our God is such that He loved us while we were sinners. Even today He communicates His love to us across varied signs and wonders. Are we blind to them?

There is no greater sign of His love for us then our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. No other religion has God come down to be born into the human race so as to be one with and live among His people. To embrace, heal and forgive them their many sins against Him and one another. So that when our hearts are turned back to Him we have hope of eternal life.

O Mary our Blessed Mother pray for us that we will always be obedient to the will of God our Father; to be instruments of His grace when called upon just as you are always. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 7:10-14

The Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.’ ‘No,’ Ahaz answered ‘I will not put the Lord to the test.’
Then Isaiah said:

‘Listen now, House of David:
are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men
without trying the patience of my God, too?
The Lord himself, therefore,
will give you a sign.
It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Imnanuel,   a name which means “God-is-with-us.”’

Gospel
Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

Just do it…

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


This is a phrase that when is actually put into practice will draw you closer to Him and the community centred on Christ

On Today’s Gospel 

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


God of life we are waiting for You!

For it is our Lord Jesus Christ who brings life and liberation, our salvation. Foreshadowing His coming we hear of how the Lord our God brought forth life when there was none. Born into families these heroic lives were brought forth to liberate His people and to turn them back to Him. Such is the love of God our Father for us.

So now sisters and brothers, are we not called to lead such heroic lives?

Here I am Lord, use me! Amen

First reading
Judges 13:2-7,24-25

There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, called Manoah. His wife was barren, she had borne no children. The angel of the Lord appeared to this woman and said to her, ‘You are barren and have had no child. But from now on take great care. Take no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean. For you will conceive and bear a son. No razor is to touch his head, for the boy shall be God’s nazirite from his mother’s womb. It is he who will begin to rescue Israel from the power of the Philistines.’ Then the woman went and told her husband, ‘A man of God has just come to me; his presence was like the presence of the angel of God, he was so majestic. I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not reveal his name to me. But he said to me, “You will conceive and bear a son. From now on, take no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy shall be God’s nazirite from his mother’s womb to his dying day.”’
The woman gave birth to a son and called him Samson. The child grew, and the Lord blessed him; and the spirit of the Lord began to move him.

Gospel
Luke 1:5-25

In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood, and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron. Both were worthy in the sight of God, and scrupulously observed all the commandments and observances of the Lord. But they were childless: Elizabeth was barren and they were both getting on in years.
Now it was the turn of Zechariah’s section to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense there. And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying.
Then there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense. The sight disturbed Zechariah and he was overcome with fear. But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you must name him John. He will be your joy and delight and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink. Even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the disobedient back to the wisdom that the virtuous have, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.’
Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is getting on in years.’ The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel who stand in God’s presence, and I have been sent to speak to you and bring you this good news. Listen! Since you have not believed my words, which will come true at their appointed time, you will be silenced and have no power of speech until this has happened.’ Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were surprised that he stayed in the sanctuary so long. When he came out he could not speak to them, and they realised that he had received a vision in the sanctuary. But he could only make signs to them, and remained dumb.
When his time of service came to an end he returned home. Some time later his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept to herself. ‘The Lord has done this for me’ she said ‘now that it has pleased him to take away the humiliation I suffered among men.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Jesus draws everyone unto Himself. Those scattered by evil and sin can find their way through Him. That is why He came, to bring salvation to a people with no integrity. To teach them and to show them the way to the Father. He is the way, the truth and the life.

Through ordinary people like you and me servants of the Lord obedient unto Him;the almighty God came down to dwell with us. For these humble servants knew in their hearts that even if they knew nothing else; that the Lord had a plan for them not to do them harm but to prosper them and their families. Hence no task was impossible for God who called on them and was with them. Amen

St Joseph and our Blessed Mother pray for us.

First reading
Jeremiah 23:5-8

See, the days are coming– it is the Lord who speaks– when I will raise a virtuous Branch for David, who will reign as true king and be wise, practising honesty and integrity in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved and Israel dwell in confidence.
And this is the name he will be called:
The-Lord-our integrity.

So, then, the days are coming– it is the Lord who speaks– when people will no longer say, “As the Lord lives who brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt!” but, “As the Lord lives who led back and brought home the descendants of the House of Israel out of the land of the North and from all the countries to which he had dispersed them, to live on their own soil.”

Gospel
Matthew 1:18-24

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.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home.

Third Sunday of Advent 

Posted: December 16, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

One Who is Coming: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday of Advent 

Readings:
Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11
Luke 1:46-50, 53-54
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28

The mysterious figure of John the Baptist, introduced in last week’s readings, comes into sharper focus today. Who he is, we see in today’s Gospel, is best understood by who he isn’t.

He is not Elijah returned from the heavens (see 2 Kings 2:11), although like him he dresses in the prophet’s attire (see Mark 1:6; 2 Kings 1:8) and preaches repentance and judgment (see 1 Kings 18:21; 2 Chronicles 21:12-15).

Not Elijah in the flesh, John is nonetheless sent in the spirit and power of Elijah to fulfill his mission (see Luke 1:17; Malachi 3:23-24).

Neither is John the prophet Moses foretold, although he is a kinsman and speaks God’s word (see Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 6:14). Nor is John the Messiah, though he has been anointed by the Spirit since the womb (see Luke 1:15, 44).

John prepares the way for the Lord (see Isaiah 40:3). His baptism is symbolic, not sacramental. It is a sign given to stir our hearts to repentance.

John shows us the One upon whom the Spirit remains (see John 1:32), the One who fulfills the promise we hear in today’s First Reading (see Luke 4:16-21). Jesus’ bath of rebirth and the Spirit opens a fountain that purifies Israel and gives to all a new heart and a new Spirit (see Zechariah 13:1-3; Ezekiel 36:24-27; Mark 1:8; Titus 3:5).

John comes to us in the Advent readings to show us the light, that we might believe in the One who comes at Christmas. As we sing in today’s Responsorial, the Mighty One has come to lift each of us up, to fill our hunger with bread from heaven (see John 6:33, 49-51).

And as Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle, we should rejoice, give thanks, and pray without ceasing that God will make us perfectly holy in spirit, soul, and body—that we may be blameless when our Lord comes.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Stay awake to the word of the Lord, hear His call to holiness and prepare our hearts to receive Him. For all who do so can fall asleep in His love.

The spirit of Elijah lives on as it did in St John the Baptist. We are called to be that voice in the wilderness preparing the way of the Lord. Turning hearts back to Him, as we rejoice in the glory of our salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.

You are my way, truth and life. Jesus my Lord. Amen

First reading
Ecclesiasticus 48:1-4,9-12

The prophet Elijah arose like a fire,his word flaring like a torch.
It was he who brought famine on the people,
and who decimated them in his zeal.
By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heavens,he also, three times, brought down fire.
How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah!
Has anyone reason to boast as you have?
Taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses; designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob,
Happy shall they be who see you, and those who have fallen asleep in love.

Gospel
Matthew 17:10-13

As they came down from the mountain the disciples put this question to Jesus, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True;’ he replied ‘Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be; however, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognise him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands.’ The disciples understood then that he had been speaking of John the Baptist.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


We have all heard the call to Holiness, the call to community, to unity with and in the Lord, what then is our response?

Do we ignore the call? Go back to being lukewarm in our faith? Having more important things to do and turning to the Lord only in dire need?

Or do we respond with open hearts knowing full well that it is His great love for us that He calls. And He has plans that will prosper us not harm us in any way.

Lord I am here for You. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 48:17-19

Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is good for you, I lead you in the way that you must go. If only you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like a river,
your integrity like the waves of the sea.
Your children would have been numbered like the sand, your descendants as many as its grains.
Never would your name have been cut off or blotted out before me.

Gospel
Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘What description can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place:

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

‘For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom has been proved right by her actions.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


St John the Baptist preached repentance to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. A message still fresh for our time, amidst the violence and chaos still found in the world. For our Redeemer desires to lead His flock home to eternal pastures, to be with Him.

To grow deeper in our faith and relationship with Him. St John of the Cross preached that we need to embrace our cross, through the many trials, tribulations and sufferings; we draw closer to Jesus by our deeper contemplation of Him. He is with us through our all.

Glory and Praise to You my Lord Jesus Christ. Now and forever. Amen
St John of the Cross pray for us…

First reading
Isaiah 41:13-20

I, the Lord, your God,
I am holding you by the right hand; I tell you, ‘Do not be afraid, I will help you.’

Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm, Israel, puny mite.’
I will help you– it is the Lord who speaks– the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.

See, I turn you into a threshing sled, new, with doubled teeth; you shall thresh and crush the mountains, and turn the hills to chaff.

You shall winnow them and the wind will blow them away, the gale will scatter them.
But you yourself will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The poor and needy ask for water, and there is none,
their tongue is parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

I will make rivers well up on barren heights, and fountains in the midst of valleys; turn the wilderness into a lake, and dry ground into waterspring.

In the wilderness I will put cedar trees, acacias, myrtles, olives.
In the desert I will plant juniper, plane tree and cypress side by side; so that men may see and know, may all observe and understand that the hand of the Lord has done this that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Gospel
Matthew 11:11-15

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm. Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading; and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Merciful and loving is the Lord our God. He is the alpha and omega. The beginning and the end. Yet His love for us His faithful is without end. Near restful waters He leads us and revives our souls.

He is the living water which nourishes and gives us strength. We who serve Him faithfully will never tire. For we are yoked to Him whom we draw all we have and need.

Jesus my Lord, my God thank you for loving me. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 40:25-31

‘To whom could you liken me and who could be my equal?’ says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look.
Who made these stars
if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name?
So mighty is his power, so great his strength, that not one fails to answer.

How can you say, Jacob,
how can you insist, Israel,
‘My destiny is hidden from the Lord, my rights are ignored by my God’?
Did you not know?
Had you not heard?

The Lord is an everlasting God, he created the boundaries of the earth.
He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming.
He gives strength to the wearied, he strengthens the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary, youths may stumble, but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles.
They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire.

Gospel
Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

My little Angel… 

Posted: December 12, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

12 Dec 2017 – After having breakfast with my six year old daughter, I decided to bring her to the zoo. Left home at about 1025hrs and spent about 5 hours there. Tracked about 12000 steps in total. After having something light at the coffee shop and buying dinner in advance we got home about 4pm. Was feeling exhausted and a little queasy. Hannah complained about having a headache so I gave her some medication.

Was thinking of having an early night when my little angel asked if we could go to church for mass! Tried to convince her that we could go tomorrow and that I was feeling unwell. But she was adamant that we go. I took it that the Lord wanted me to go since I had planned to go in the morning. Besides He knew I needed to see Him in reconciliation.

When we got to church, we stopped at the Grotto to pray a Hail Mary. As I was about to leave, Hannah called me back as she was not done. She prayed for mummy and her brothers safe return from their respective trips. And added I want to kiss and hug mummy because I miss her so much. Mummy was on a mission trip to Sri Lanka returning only Saturday. While her brothers were returning on Sunday from a holiday in Korea.

Managed to do a reconciliation before the devotion to St Anthony began followed by the Eucharistic Celebration. I am truly blessed and pray that Hannah will continue to be faithful throughout her life.

Glory be to the Holy Trinity. Amen

On Today’s Gospel 

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


As we journey through to the third week of Advent we will find greater temptations to stray away from the narrow path. The Lord is reminding us to prepare the way for Him in our hearts and the hearts of others. For He wants to embrace us and keep us close to Him.

He is the shepherd who will look for us when we stray, let us then cry out to Him with contrite hearts. So that He can lead us home. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 40:1-11

Consolations from the heart of Jerusalem

‘Console my people, console them’ says your God.
‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her
that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low.
Let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice commands, ‘Cry!’ and I answered, ‘What shall I cry?’”
– ‘All flesh is grass
and its beauty like the wild flower’s.
The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on them.
(The grass is without doubt the people.)
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.’

Go up on a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Shout without fear,
say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’

Here is the Lord coming with power, his arm subduing all things to him.
The prize of his victory is with him,
his trophies all go before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Gospel
Matthew 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


The Lord has come to redeem us! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Through the intercession of the saints in heaven and on earth many of us have been healed and set free to live, love and serve the Lord our God with joy.

For many of us were paralysed by our sins. We were held hostage by sinful desires and pleasures. Leading selfish lives heading no where. Jesus has set us free by forgiving our sins. Let us bring others to Him so that they too can be set free.

Lord Jesus forgive us, our many sins. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 35:1-10

The return of the redeemed through desert

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom, let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.

The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God.

Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look, your God is coming, vengeance is coming, the retribution of God; he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy;for water gushes in the desert streams in the wastelandthe scorched earth becomes a lake,the parched land springs of water.

The lairs where the jackals used to live become thickets of reed and papyrus…

And through it will run a highway undefiled which shall be called the Sacred Way; the unclean may not travel by it, nor fools stray along it.

No lion will be there
nor any fierce beast roam about it, but the redeemed will walk there, for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.

They will come to Zion shouting for joy, everlasting joy on their faces; joy and gladness will go with them and sorrow and lament be ended.

Gospel
Luke 5:17-26

Jesus was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing. Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’– he said to the paralysed man– ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

On belonging

Posted: December 10, 2017 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Have you felt the love of belonging to the body of Christ regardless of your geolocation or background?

I felt it in my most recent WhatsApp conversation.

Me: Peace dear, I indicated that I was attending the four steps retreat next Sat on Facebook. Do I still need to register?

Sister Himaya : Praise the lord! No need, I always count you in even if you don’t register 😊

Second Sunday of Advent

Posted: December 9, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Straighten the Path: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday of Advent

Readings:
Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11
Psalm 85:9-14
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Our God is coming. The time of exile—the long separation of humankind from God due to sin—is about to end. This is the good news proclaimed in today’s liturgy.

Isaiah in today’s First Reading promises Israel’s future release and return from captivity and exile. But as today’s Gospel shows, Israel’s historic deliverance was meant to herald an even greater saving act by God—the coming of Jesus to set Israel and all nations free from bondage to sin, to gather them up and carry them back to God.

God sent an angel before Israel to lead them in their exodus towards the promised land (see Exodus 23:20). And He promised to send a messenger of the covenant, Elijah, to purify the people and turn their hearts to the Father before the day of the Lord (see Malachi 3:1, 23–24).

John the Baptist quotes these, as well as Isaiah’s prophecy, to show that all of Israel’s history looks forward to the revelation of Jesus. In Jesus, God has filled in the valley that divided sinful humanity from Himself. He has reached down from heaven and made His glory to dwell on earth, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

He has done all this, not for humanity in the abstract, but for each of us. The long history of salvation has led us to this Eucharist, in which our God again comes and our salvation is near. And each of us must hear in today’s readings a personal call. Here is your God, Isaiah says. He has been patient with you, Peter says in today’s Epistle.

Like Jerusalem’s inhabitants in the Gospel, we have to go out to Him, repenting our sins, all the laziness and self-indulgence that make our lives a spiritual wasteland. We have to straighten out our lives, so that everything we do leads us to Him.

Today, let us hear the beginning of the Gospel and again commit ourselves to lives of holiness and devotion.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Can you remember a time when you did not know the Lord? Had not encountered Him? Even as a cradle Catholic? What was your life like? Was it not empty constantly needing to be filled with something yet always found lacking? Peace of mind was constantly sought.

Then through instruments of His grace, the people He sent your way. You heard His word, the good news of salvation. The kingdom of God opened for you and how you were deeply touched and moved into conversion. How you were given much needed healing. Now you able to listen to the voice of the Lord who guides you.

Today you are called to be an instrument of the very graces you received. Go Therefore and make disciples of all nations. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26

Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more. He will be gracious to you when he hears your cry; when he hears he will answer. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, follow it.’ He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. Your cattle will graze, that day, in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat a salted fodder, winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter– like the light of seven days in one– on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people and heals the bruises his blows have left.

Gospel
Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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

See how marvelous and wonderful are the intricate plans of God our Father for the love of us. Our first parents who were created perfect and blameless brought sin and death into the world by their disobedience. Mary born without sin, blameless became for us a new Eve, she is indeed the mother of us all and the living God;Jesus whom she would bring into the world, a new Adam, perfect, Holy without sin. Through Him we have hope of life everlasting.

And so sisters and brothers in Christ. let us model our lives after the new Adam and new Eve who were obedient in every way to the Word and will of God our Father. Let us be guided by the Holy Spirit to live out our lives in union with the Lord our God now and forever. Amen
Dearest blessed mother Mary pray for us…

First reading
Genesis 3:9-15,20

After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, ‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts. You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

Second reading
Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for his own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved, And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will; chosen to be,
for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.

Gospel
Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Unless we put our faith into action, our praise and thanksgiving to the Lord our God means nothing. We have taken His word for granted and chosen what we want to hear and believe.

For it is only a humble heart who worships the Lord with ardour will be able to listen to His voice and follow after Him. A disciple ready to serve in any situation to glorify the Lord’s name. One who is grounded on the living Word of God.

A contrite heart You will not spurn Lord. Put a steadfast spirit within me as I seek to serve You faithfully. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 26:1-6

That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city; to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us. Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace because she trusts in you. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is the everlasting Rock; he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel;
he brings it down, brings it down to the ground, flings it down in the dust: the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.

Gospel
Matthew 7:21,24-27

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Who can love us more deeply? It is the Lord our God.

Who will love us more wholly, without reservation? It is the Lord our God.

Who will pick us up when we fall and clean us off. It is the Lord our God.

Who will tend to our wounds, heal our ailments and set us free? It is the Lord our God.

Who worries for us and sees to our well being? It is the Lord our God.

Let us then be obedient unto Him, listen to His word;strive for Holiness as we build His Kingdom. Now and forever. Amen

First  reading
Isaiah 25:6-10

On this mountain,
the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines,
of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines.
On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away
the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth, for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice
that he has saved us; for the hand of the Lord rests on this mountain.

Gospel
Matthew 15:29-37

Jesus reached the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and he went up into the hills. He sat there, and large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were astonished to see the dumb speaking, the cripples whole again, the lame walking and the blind with their sight, and they praised the God of Israel.
But Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them off hungry, they might collapse on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where could we get enough bread in this deserted place to feed such a crowd?’ Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said ‘and a few small fish.’ Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and he gave thanks and broke them and handed them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected what was left of the scraps, seven baskets full.

On Today’s Gospel 

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


Indeed this day count your blessings and give thanks, glory and praise to God our Father; for His mercy and love ourpoured through His Son, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Through knowledge of Him we have found Peace, love and joy. Through His living Word He nourishes and protects us from all evil.

Let us strive for Holiness, humility and grow in the knowledge of Him who leads us to everlasting life. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots: on him the spirit of the Lord rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
(The fear of the Lord is his breath.)
He does not judge by appearances, he gives no verdict on hearsay, but judges the wretched with integrity, and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.
His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless, his sentences bring death to the wicked.

Integrity is the loincloth round his waist, faithfulness the belt about his hips.

The wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies down with the kid, calf and lion feed together, with a little boy to lead them.
The cow and the bear make friends, their young lie down together.
The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra’s hole; into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand.
They do no hurt, no harm, on all my holy mountain, for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters swell the sea.

That day, the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples. It will be sought out by the nations and its home will be glorious.

Gospel
Luke 10:21-24

Filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said:
‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

On Today’s Gospel 

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


All who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord of Lords, King of Kings, who revere Him shall be saved. For it is only the humble of heart whose eyes are open to the glory of the Lord our God.

Cry out to Him with contrite spirits and He will make haste to save you. He hears the intercessions of His faithful and acts;for He is merciful as He is faithful.

Let us all then give glory to the Lord by the way we lead our lives. Let us walk in His light. Now and forever. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 2:1-5

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In the days to come
the mountain of the Temple of the Lord shall tower above the mountains and be lifted higher than the hills.
All the nations will stream to it, peoples without number will come to it; and they will say:

‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Jacob that he may teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths; since the Law will go out from Zion, and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’

He will wield authority over the nations and adjudicate between many peoples; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles.
Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war.

O House of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Gospel
Matthew 8:5-11

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will 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 this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.’

First Sunday of Advent

Posted: December 2, 2017 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Watch for Him: Scott Hahn Reflects on the First Sunday of Advent 

Readings:
Isaiah 63:16-17, 19
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:33-37

The new Church year begins with a plea for God’s visitation. “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,” the prophet Isaiah cries in today’s First Reading.

In today’s Psalm, too, we hear the anguished voice of Israel, imploring God to look down from His heavenly throne—to save and shepherd His people.

Today’s readings are relatively brief. Their language and “message” are deceptively simple. But we should take note of the serious mood and penitential aspect of the Liturgy today—as the people of Israel recognize their sinfulness, their failures to keep God’s covenant, their inability to save themselves.

And in this Advent season, we should see our own lives in the experience of Israel. As we examine our consciences, can’t we, too, find that we often harden our hearts, refuse His rule, wander from His ways, withhold our love from Him?

God is faithful, Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle. He is our Father. He has hearkened to the cry of His children, coming down from heaven for Israel’s sake and for ours—to redeem us from our exile from God, to restore us to His love.

In Jesus, we have seen the Father (see John 14:8-9). The Father has let His face shine upon us. He is the good shepherd (see John 10:11-15) come to guide us to the heavenly kingdom. No matter how far we have strayed, He will give us new life if we turn to Him, if we call upon His holy name, if we pledge anew never again to withdraw from Him.

As Paul says today, He has given us every spiritual gift—especially the Eucharist and penance—to strengthen us as we await Christ’s final coming. He will keep us firm to the end—if we let Him.

So, in this season of repentance, we should heed the warning—repeated three times by our Lord in today’s Gospel—to be watchful, for we know not the hour when the Lord of the house will return.

On Today’s Gospel 

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

Stand firm, do not be distracted by the call of the world to sin. Even family and friends can be the distraction that leads you away from prayer, away from kingdom building through community, away from the Lord your God.

Stay awake says the Lord. Do not be lulled to sleep by the noise of the world. Do not close your eyes to those in need. Do not allow temptations or bodily desires to lead you astray. Open the eyes of your heart to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ who loves you. Amen

First reading
Daniel 7:15-27

I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through my head alarmed me. So I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him to tell me the truth about all this. And in reply he revealed to me what these things meant. “These four great beasts are four kings who will rise from the earth. Those who are granted sovereignty are the saints of the Most High, and the kingdom will be theirs for ever, for ever and ever.” Then I asked to know the truth about the fourth beast, different from all the rest, very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, eating, crushing and trampling underfoot what remained; and the truth about the ten horns on its head – and why the other horn sprouted and the three original horns fell, and why this horn had eyes and a mouth that was full of boasts, and why it made a greater show than the other horns. This was the horn I had watched making war on the saints and proving the stronger, until the coming of the one of great age who gave judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High, when the time came for the saints to take over the kingdom. This is what he said:

‘The fourth beast
is to be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all other kingdoms.
It will devour the whole earth, trample it underfoot and crush it.
As for the ten horns: from this kingdom will rise ten kings, and another after them; this one will be different from the previous ones and will bring down three kings; he is going to speak words against the Most High, and harass the saints of the Most High.
He will consider changing seasons and the Law,
and the saints will be put into his power for a time, two times, and half a time.
But a court will be held and his power will be stripped from him, consumed, and utterly destroyed.
And sovereignty and kingship, and the splendours of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty and every empire will serve and obey him.’

Gospel
Luke 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

On Today’s 

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


Jesus Christ our Lord had come to take away the sins of the world so that we who choose to follow Him will have eternal life with Him. He will come again on the last day.

Are we truly His followers? Are we watchful and waiting, with eyes focused on Him? Are we merciful and humble in our service to others? Do we share His eternal word which brings life to others? Does the kingdom of God reign in your heart? Are you one with Him?

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

First reading
Daniel 7:2-14

I, Daniel, have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea; four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion with eagle’s wings; and as I looked its wings were torn off, and it was lifted from the ground and set standing on its feet like a man; and it was given a human heart. The second beast I saw was different, like a bear, raised up on one of its sides, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. “Up!” came the command “Eat quantities of flesh!” After this I looked, and saw another beast, like a leopard, and with four bird’s wings on its flanks; it had four heads, and power was given to it. Next I saw another vision in the visions of the night: I saw a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate, crushed and trampled underfoot what remained. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns.
While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts. 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.

The great things the horn was saying were still ringing in my ears, and as I watched, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames. The other beasts were deprived of their power, but received a lease of life for a season and a time.

I gazed into the visions of the night.
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
Luke 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’