Archive for February, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 28, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Can you drink the Lord’s cup? The same cup that dear mother Theresa and many, if not all the Saints before her did. The cup of suffering, for Christ and for others.

If I say that I am serving the Lord and our brethren then it should never be about who I am or what I have achieved. How recognised I am for my efforts or how I should be treated with special dignity. It is through the emptying of self that I can be filled with His grace to serve others more fully. It is about embracing suffering for His sake and for my brethren. To effect change for His glory by my sacrifice, humility and commitment.

Lord let me drink the cup according to Your will. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 18:18-20
My enemies are digging a pit for me

‘Come on,’ they said, ‘let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah; the priest will not run short of instruction without him, nor the sage of advice, nor the prophet of the word. Come on, let us hit at him with his own tongue; let us listen carefully to every word he says.’

Listen to me, O Lord,
hear what my adversaries are saying.
Should evil be returned for good?
For they are digging a pit for me.
Remember how I stood in your presence to plead on their behalf,
to turn your wrath away from them.

Gospel

Matthew 20:17-28
They will condemn the Son of Man to death

Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one side and said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.’
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 27, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Have your heart grown cold? To the needs of those under you? Be it your own family, community or to the stranger? Are you deaf to the cries of those who have no means to fend for themselves? To the call for charity and almsgiving? Has the slogans of the world on self preservation and rising to the top dulled your heart? Have you been blinded that you see money as the only means to wealth, success and happiness?

The Lord is calling us all to humble service of Him and especially for one another. A call to greater and deeper Holy communion. To be the best Christ centred leader we can be by our words and actions.

Let us never forget that whatever we do to the least of our brethren we do unto Him. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 1:10,16-20
Cease to do evil; learn to do good

Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the command of our God, you people of Gomorrah.

‘Wash, make yourselves clean.
Take your wrong-doing out of my sight.
Cease to do evil.
Learn to do good, search for justice, help the oppressed, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow.

‘Come now, let us talk this over, says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

‘If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth.
But if you persist in rebellion, the sword shall eat you instead.’

Gospel

Matthew 23:1-12
They do not practise what they preach

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 26, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

God our Father is faithful, merciful and loving. He sent His only Begotten Son so that sin could be lifted from us so that we can be with Him fully. To be as He is, Holy, faithful, merciful and loving.

We must first recognise that we have are sinners and have sinned. Not just what we have done but what we have failed to do. Sins of omission which include failing to forgive others, failing to live out the Gospel, failing to care for the sick and needy that come out way. In essence failing to be faithful, merciful and loving.

Lord Jesus help us to be more like You. To be compassionate as our Heavenly Father is compassionate. Amen

First reading

Daniel 9:4-10
Yours is the integrity, Lord; ours the shame

O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you. To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.

Gospel

Luke 6:36-38
Grant pardon, and you will be pardoned

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’

Second Sunday of Lent 

Posted: February 24, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Bonds Loosed: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday of Lent 

Readings:
Gn 22:1–2, 9–13, 15–18
Ps 116:10, 15–19
Rom 8:31–34
Mk 9:2–10

The Lenten season continues with another story of testing. Last Sunday, we heard the trial of Jesus in the desert. In this week’s First Reading, we hear of how Abraham was put to the test.

The Church has always read this story as a sign of God’s love for the world in giving His only begotten son.

In today’s Epistle, Paul uses exact words drawn from this story to describe how God, like Abraham, did not withhold His only Son, but handed Him over for us on the Cross (see Romans 8:32; Genesis 22:12,16).

In the Gospel today, too, we hear another echo. Jesus is called God’s “beloved Son”—as Isaac is described as Abraham’s beloved firstborn son.

These readings are given to us in Lent to reveal Christ’s identity and to strengthen us in the face of our afflictions.

Jesus is shown to be the true son that Abraham rejoiced to see (see Matthew 1:1; John 8:56). In His Transfiguration, He is revealed to be the “prophet like Moses” foretold by God—raised from among their own kinsmen, speaking with God’s own authority (see Deuteronomy 18:15,19).

Like Moses, He climbs the mountain with three named friends and beholds God’s glory in a cloud (see Exodus 24:1, 9, 15). He is the one prophesied to come after Elijah’s return (see Sirach 48:9–10; Malachi 3:1, 23–24).

And, as He discloses to the Apostles, He is the Son of Man sent to suffer and die for our sins (see Isaiah 53:3).

As we sing in today’s Psalm, Jesus believed in the face of His afflictions, and God loosed Him from the bonds of death (see Psalm 116:3).

His rising should give us the courage to face our trials, to offer ourselves totally to the Father—as He did, as Abraham and Isaac did.

Freed from death by His death, we come to this Mass to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and to renew our vows—as His servants and faithful ones.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Are you living your Christian calling?

By virtue of our baptism we are indeed a consecrated people unto the Lord our God. We have a higher calling and purpose, which sets us apart from non believers and any other religions. That is to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Even if we never arrive completely we must strive at it continually. This means much sacrifice; to live out a heroic Christian life for others. To be merciful and loving as our Lord is even when we are hurt or wounded. To exercise corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Are we Christian enough?

Lord Jesus be with us always. Help us stay true to our calling. Amen

First reading

Deuteronomy 26:16-19
You will be a people consecrated to the Lord

Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
‘You have today made this declaration about the Lord: that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice. And the Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments; then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:43-48
Pray for those who persecute you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

How would feel to see your loved one whither and die? To see the light once bright, dimmed and slowly snuffed out. This is what sin and continued living in sin will do to you. Great is the love of God our Father has for us that He does not want to see us perish. The call for repentance is an urgent one and He welcomes embraces the repentant sinner.

Jesus our Lord came to help us overcome sin and save us through His divine intervention. All we need do is turn to Him. Such is His mercy and love. We in turn are called to be merciful and loving to our brethren. For whatever we do to the least of our brethren we do unto Him.

Let us pray for one another and for our families that we may all be Reunited in heaven. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 18:21-28
I prefer to see the wicked man renounce his wickedness and live

Thus says the Lord:
‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:20-26
Anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Today we rejoice with all the churches around the world, that we have an unbroken line of St Peter our first Pope. That Jesus Christ, Son of the living God our Lord and saviour reigns in our hearts and minds. We praise, bless and thank Him for the continued graces ourpoured through the Holy Sacraments of the Church He established through St Peter and the Apostles.

We have a Church still alive today because of the sacrifices, perseverance and dedication of those who are called to serve Christ and our Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Through the blood of the Martyrs our Church grew. Are we ourselves then ready to lay down our lives for God’s kingdom? To love and serve with all our hearts, minds and soul. Amen

Let us offer one Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory be…for the intentions of our Pope Francis.

First reading

1 Peter 5:1-4
Watch over the flock, not simply as a duty but gladly

Now I have something to tell your elders: I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and with you I have a share in the glory that is to be revealed. Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. Never be a dictator over any group that is put in your charge, but be an example that the whole flock can follow. When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the crown of unfading glory.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-19
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’