Archive for January, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 24, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The ever living word of God which brings life is given freely to you without charge. How have you received this precious word?

Are you even attentive? Or has the world and all it has to offer stolen all the time from you? Is your heart clouded with rocks and thorns? Heavy burdened with the cares and wiles of the world. That the little you receive on a Sunday is soon lost by Monday morning.

Have you instead set aside time for prayer nurturing, tilling, enriching the soil of your heart? Preparing to receive the life giving word of God deep into your very soul. So that His presence in your life will bring forth a bountiful harvest.

Jesus, Son of the living God, let your word dwell in me forever. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 7:4-17

The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today, but have always led a wanderer’s life in a tent. In all my journeying with the whole people of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of Israel my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” This is what you must say to my servant David, “the Lord of Hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’
Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.

Gospel

Mark 4:1-20

Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen! Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’
He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 23, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Do we possess grateful hearts? Grateful to the Lord our God for His abundant blessings upon us? Grateful that He is present in our lives?

Otherwise we will only see what we do not have. Grow bitter and inward looking. Let us instead rejoice in the Lord, our saviour Jesus Christ! Praise and worship Him with all our hearts and not just in a charismatic prayer meeting but always and anywhere. With the joy of Him in our lives we are outward looking, we begin to see one another more clearly; as truly sisters and brothers in Him.

Let us encourage one another as we strive to do God our Father’s will through His son, our Lord and brother Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 6:12-15,17-19

David went and brought the ark of God up from Obed-edom’s house to the Citadel of David with great rejoicing. When the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fat sheep. And David danced whirling round before the Lord with all his might, wearing a linen loincloth round him. Thus David and all the House of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with acclaim and the sound of the horn. They brought the ark of the Lord in and put it in position inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered holocausts before the Lord, and communion sacrifices. And when David had finished offering holocausts and communion sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Hosts. He then distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israelites, men and women, a roll of bread to each, a portion of dates, and a raisin cake. Then they all went away, each to his own house.

Gospel

Mark 3:31-35

The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Do we come together as one united family under Christ Jesus our Lord? For this can only take place when we are one in prayer, mind, body and spirit; with Christ as our centre.

Then there will be no bickering, accusations, power struggles and wanting to accomplish individual goals. We will have different ideas and ways but all working together towards one objective. To love, serve our Lord and one another. In cooperation, through the works of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible.

Lord Jesus, let all things be done according to Your will. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 5:1-7,10

All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron. ‘Look’ they said ‘we are your own flesh and blood. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, “You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.
David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years. He reigned in Hebron over Judah for seven years and six months; then he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
David and his men marched on Jerusalem against the Jebusites living there. These said to David, ‘You will not get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off.’ (That is to say: David will never get in here.) But David captured the fortress of Zion, that is, the Citadel of David.
David grew greater and greater, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, was with him.

Gospel

Mark 3:22-30

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Following Him: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Jonah 3:1-5,10
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

The calling of the brothers in today’s Gospel evokes Elisha’s commissioning by the prophet Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:19-21).

As Elijah comes upon Elisha working on his family’s farm, so Jesus sees the brothers working by the seaside. And as Elisha left his mother and father to follow Elijah, so the brothers leave their father to come after Jesus.

Jesus’ promise—to make them “fishers of men”—evokes Israel’s deepest hopes. The prophet Jeremiah announced a new exodus in which God would send “many fishermen” to restore the Israelites from exile, as once He brought them out of slavery in Egypt (see Jeremiah 16:14-16).

By Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection, this new exodus has begun (see Luke 9:31). And the Apostles are the first of a new people of God, the Church—a new family, based not on blood ties, but on belief in Jesus and a desire to do the Father’s will (see John 1:12-13; Matthew 12:46-50).

From now on, even our most important worldly concerns—family relations, occupations, and possessions—must be judged in light of the gospel, Paul says in today’s Epistle.

The first word of Jesus’ gospel—repent—means we must totally change our way of thinking and living, turning from evil, doing all for the love of God.

And we should be consoled by Nineveh’s repentance in today’s First Reading. Even the wicked Nineveh could repent at Jonah’s preaching. And in Jesus we have a greater prophet than Jonah (see Matthew 12:41). God has come as our savior to show sinners the way, as we sing in today’s Psalm. This should give us hope—that loved ones who remain far from God will find compassion if they turn to Him.

But we, too, must continue along the path of repentance—striving daily to pattern our lives after His.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

My food is to do the will of God my Father. Can we say and do likewise? Who is in charge of your life?

Those not walking the walk or talking the talk of faith deeply rooted in Christ, will not understand the dedication which comes from the joy of serving the Lord our God. Those on the journey striving to walk in the light who die to themselves, know and understand the beauty of sacrifice for the Lord. They will mourn the loss of the martyrs before us, but rejoice in their rising to new life with Christ.

Jesus let me be obedient unto You, now and always. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 1:1-4,11-12,17,19,23-27

David returned from his rout of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came from the camp where Saul had been, his garments torn and earth on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did homage. ‘Where do you come from?’ David asked him. ‘I have escaped from the Israelite camp’ he said. David said to him, ‘What happened? Tell me.’ He replied, ‘The people have fled from the battlefield and many of them have fallen. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead too.’
Then David took hold of his garments and tore them, and all the men with him did the same. They mourned and wept and fasted until the evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the people of The Lord and for the House of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
Then David made this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan.

Alas, the glory of Israel has been slain on your heights!
How did the heroes fall?
Saul and Jonathan, loved and lovely, neither in life, nor in death, were divided.
Swifter than eagles were they, stronger were they than lions.
O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul who clothed you in scarlet and fine linen, who set brooches of gold
on your garments.
How did the heroes fall
in the thick of the battle?
O Jonathan, in your death I am stricken,
I am desolate for you, Jonathan my brother.
Very dear to me you were, your love to me more wonderful than the love of a woman.
How did the heroes fall
and the battle armour fail?

Gospel

Mark 3:20-21

Jesus went home, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 19, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Who has the Lord anointed and appointed to shepherd His flock in today’s context? Are they not our priests? Yes they have are far from perfect, weak in some areas and even possess their own fair share of idiosyncrasies. However they are Anointed by the Lord our God. Pray for them for their burdens are not light…

“Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” ps 105:15 Hence we should never seek to kill them by our thoughts, words and actions. No matter what they have done. They will answer to the Lord themselves. As for us disciples of Jesus Christ our Lord, we will serve Him and one another as we are called to do. Anointed to serve in another light.

Lord Jesus guide our every step. Anen

First reading

1 Samuel 24:3-21

Saul took three thousand men chosen from the whole of Israel and went in search of David and his men east of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheepfolds along the route where there was a cave, and went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were sitting in the recesses of the cave; David’s men said to him, Today is the day of which the Lord said to you, “I will deliver your enemy into your power, do what you like with him.”’ David stood up and, unobserved, cut off the border of Saul’s cloak. Afterwards David reproached himself for having cut off the border of Saul’s cloak. He said to his men, ‘The Lord preserve me from doing such a thing to my lord and raising my hand against him, for he is the anointed of the Lord.’ David gave his men strict instructions, forbidding them to attack Saul.
Saul then left the cave and went on his way. After this, David too left the cave and called after Saul, ‘My lord king!’ Saul looked behind him and David bowed to the ground and did homage. Then David said to Saul, ‘Why do you listen to the men who say to you, “David means to harm you”? Why, your own eyes have seen today how the Lord put you in my power in the cave and how I refused to kill you, but spared you. “I will not raise my hand against my lord,” I said “for he is the anointed of the Lord.” O my father, see, look at the border of your cloak in my hand. Since I cut off the border of your cloak, yet did not kill you, you must acknowledge frankly that there is neither malice nor treason in my mind. I have not offended against you, yet you hunt me down to take my life. May the Lord be judge between me and you, and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be laid on you. (As the old proverb says: Wickedness goes out from the wicked, and my hand will not be laid on you.) On whose trail has the king of Israel set out? On whose trail are you in hot pursuit? On the trail of a dead dog! On the trail of a single flea! May the Lord be the judge and decide between me and you; may he take up my cause and defend it and give judgement for me, freeing me from your power.’
When David had finished saying these words to Saul, Saul said, ‘Is that your voice, my son David?’ And Saul wept aloud. ‘You are a more upright man than I,’ he said to David ‘for you have repaid me with good while I have repaid you with evil. Today you have crowned your goodness towards me since the Lord had put me in your power yet you did not kill me. When a man comes on his enemy, does he let him go unmolested? May the Lord reward you for the goodness you have shown me today. Now I know you will indeed reign and that the sovereignty in Israel will be secure in your hands.’

Gospel

Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up into the hills and summoned those he wanted. So they came to him and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils. And so he appointed the Twelve: Simon to whom he gave the name Peter, James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges or ‘Sons of Thunder’; then Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 18, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Seek affirmation from the Lord your God alone for His approval of your thoughts, words and deeds grants you eternal rewards. Seeking affirmation elsewhere is empty vain glory which leads to pride, envy and bitterness. For there is always want for more.

Bring all sinful desires to the Lord along with all your woundedness for Jesus saves;heals, restores and makes whole. It pleases the Lord our God that all saints whether in the making should pray and intercede for one another. To will the good in another and He is quick to answer their prayer.

Jesus, son of the living God most high, make me humble and holy just as You are Holy. Amen

First reading

1 Samuel 18:6-9,19:1-7

On their way back, as David was returning after killing the Philistine, the women came out to meet King Saul from all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing to the sound of tambourine and lyre and cries of joy; and as they danced the women sang:

‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.’

Saul was very angry; the incident was not to his liking. ‘They have given David the tens of thousands,’ he said ‘but me only the thousands; he has all but the kingship now.’ And Saul turned a jealous eye on David from that day forward.
Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants of his intention to kill David. Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, held David in great affection; and so Jonathan warned David; ‘My father Saul is looking for a way to kill you,’ he said ‘so be on your guard tomorrow morning; hide away in some secret place. Then I will go out and keep my father company in the fields where you are hiding, and will talk to my father about you; I will find out what the situation is and let you know.’
So Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father; he said, ‘Let not the king sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you, and what he has done has been greatly to your advantage. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it yourself and rejoiced; why then sin against innocent blood in killing David without cause?’ Saul was impressed by Jonathan’s words and took an oath, ‘As the Lord lives, I will not kill him.’ Jonathan called David and told him all these things. Then Jonathan brought him to Saul, and David attended on him as before.

Gospel

Mark 3:7-12

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known.