Archive for March 10, 2018

This Lenten journey for me has been by far the most difficult in the last five years. Up to last year it was wonderful and always brought me closer to the Lord come Easter. This year’s journey was a real struggle with the increase workload in the office and spiritual dryness.

The only thing that really kept me going was the two Catholic communities I belong too and have the honour and privilege of serving. And of course realising I sorely needed constant spiritual nourishment, I would go to great lengths and distances to attend the Eucharistic Celebration as often and regularly as I can.

Then I was given the opportunity to write intercessory prayers based on our Holy father’s 2018 Lenten Message for a short one hour segment in our Archdiocese 24hr Adoration of our Lord. Busy as I was, I struggled and wrote out 13 prayers. But it turned out that there were themes and 12 scripture passages that the prayers should naturally come out from deep reflection. And I had basically two and a half days balance to do them as required. It was a challenge and sacrifices had to be made, in so doing I managed to complete them. Then I was asked if I was available to recite them after the scripture passage was proclaimed. I was more than happy to serve in any capacity. Praise the Lord all went well. Apparently there were about three power trips before I came, one after our session and two more in between. Then I was asked if I could chant and would be willing to lead the divine mercy prayer session. I shuddered at the thought because I do not pray it regularly and have only done so twice before at funerals. Somehow one of the dear ladies got a printout of the prayers and handed it to me. So I decided to just trust in the Lord and go with it! Praise the Lord for the many seasoned prayer warriors of the divine mercy in the congregation for our voices filled the cathedral with such ardour.

As I prayed quietly alone after, I received overwhelming consolations. Thank You Jesus! Lent towards Easter is looking up already…

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Living in the Light: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fourth Sunday of Lent


2 Chr 36:14–16, 19–23
Ps 137:1–6
Eph 2:4–10
Jn 3:14–21

The Sunday readings in Lent have been showing us the high points of salvation history—God’s covenant with creation in the time of Noah; His promises to Abraham; the law He gave to Israel at Sinai.

In today’s First Reading, we hear of the destruction of the kingdom established by God’s final Old Testament covenant—the covenant with David (see 2 Samuel 7; Psalm 89:3).

His chosen people abandoned the law He gave them. For their sins, the temple was destroyed, and they were exiled in Babylon. We hear their sorrow and repentance in the exile lament we sing as today’s Psalm.

But we also hear how God, in His mercy, gathered them back, even anointing a pagan king to shepherd them and rebuild the temple (see Isaiah 44:28–45:1, 4).

God is rich in mercy, as today’s Epistle teaches. He promised that David’s kingdom would last forever, and that David’s son would be His Son and rule all nations (see 2 Samuel 7:14–15; Psalm 2:7–9). In Jesus, God keeps that promise (see Revelation 22:16).

Moses lifted up the serpent as a sign of salvation (see Wisdom 16:6–7; Numbers 21:9). Now Jesus is lifted up on the Cross to draw all people to himself (see John 12:32).

Those who refuse to believe in this sign of the Father’s love condemn themselves—as the Israelites in their infidelity brought judgment upon themselves.

But God did not leave Israel in exile, and He does not want to leave any of us dead in our transgressions. We are God’s handiwork, saved to live as His people in the light of His truth.

Midway through this season of repentance, let us again behold the Pierced One (see John 19:37) and rededicate ourselves to living the “good works” that God has prepared us for.

Intercessory Prayers
Based on 12 themes (from Pope Francis’s 2018 Lenten message) & their respective Scripture verse are:

1. “Love growing cold”
Matthew 24:12

Father of Mercy, forgive us our sins. Sin prevents us from loving You and one another as we should. It hardens our hearts and we become cynical and cold. Be with us when we struggle to make the right decisions. Help us to put You first in our lives and turn away from temptations that can lead down the wrong path. Amen

2. “The snake charmers in our lives”
2 Tim 4:3-4

Lord we are often drawn to quick fixes and solutions to our problems.
Many have been led astray to false teachings and become convinced by others that doctrines of our faith are man made. Some are led to believe in superstitious practices. While others are convinced by others to see that all they have in life they obtain through their own personal accomplishments. Fortify our hearts Lord as we pray; Make us to know your ways, O Lord; teach us your paths. Lead us in your truth, and teach us, for you are the God of our salvation; for you we wait all day long. (ps 24:4) Amen

3. “False prophets”
Matthew 7:15-20

Guard our hearts Lord against the deceptions of those who seek to lead us astray. Help us to see them as they are really are. We lift up to You those who are innocent of heart and more susceptible to manipulation. Help us all to stay awake and to be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. So that we may properly discern Your will for us. Now and forever Amen

4. “Charlatan relationships”
2 Peter 3:17-18

Heavenly Father we are Your children whom You created with great love. Each of us are unique and special in Your eyes. Prevent us from deceiving ourselves and others in pretending we are someone else and living out a lie. Let us all live authentic lives according to Your will for us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

5. “Vanity, the trust in appearance”
Ecclesiasticus 11:2, 5-6

So many people tend to stifle their God-given talents.  Others scorn their appearance, unable to look past their outer shell to see their inner beauty.  Help us not only to recognize our self-worth, Lord but to see the value and beauty in others. Help us all to be happy with ourselves – because everything we are is a reflection of You. Grant us the loving humility to serve one another as You would have us. For all we are and all that we have is from You. Amen.

6. “Evil presented as good”
Wisdom 2:5-9

Jesus You are the Lord of Lords, king of Kings. Rule then in our hearts. Prevent us from being distracted by the wiles of the world seeking to ruin our souls. Too often we want only to increase our wealth and material comforts. To have impersonal relationships even so much as objectifying one another. Help us to stay awake and remain steadfast to the truth to be found in You, to remember that that all things will eventually pass away. But Your word and love will remain now and forever. Amen

7. “Hearts gone cold”
Ezekiel 36:27

In this Holy hour dear Jesus we praise, Bless and thank God our Father for the gift of You. You poured out Your great love for us from the cross of which You hung. So that that we might live our life to the fullest without sin. Take away then from our hearts all that is not of You. Remove the stains of sin from our souls. Open our eyes to see more clearly the deceptions of the world that takes us away from You. Let Your light shine brightly in and through us that we may live our lives according to Your will and inspire others to do likewise. All Glory be Yours now and forever. Amen

8. “Charity destroyed by the greed of money”
Mark 4:19

Heavenly Father, give us the strength to overcome temptations of leading sinful lives of earthly desires and material gains, which only leads us away from You. Do not allow our eyes to be closed to the poor and needy. Send Your Holy Spirit to fill us with your everlasting love and grant us the courage to build Your Kingdom here on earth with abundant love and compassion for others. So that all can see Your face in us. Amen

9. “Violence from uncertainties”
2 Tim 3:1-5

Prince of peace our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, we pray earnestly for You to rule in our hearts and the hearts of all in this world. We live in troubled times where there is much violence and hatred in many parts of the world. Because there is sin there is much lawlessness. You alone can turn all curses into blessings. Have mercy Lord and touch the hearts of those tainted by sin, so that there may have a conversion. Let Your peace reign once more. Amen

10. “Love gone cold in a community”
Romans 16:17

How can we heed Your commandment to love one another when we do not see Your face in our brother or sister let alone in the stranger we meet? For to truly be in communion with You is to be in communion with one another. Grant us the courage and humility needed to put aside our differences. To strive for unity, to be one as You and our Heavenly are one. Amen

11. “Creation, witness to destruction”
Genesis 4:9-11

Lord God of all creation, You are source of all life. To love as You do is to will the good in another. Help us to remain steadfast in Your love. In anger and frustration we tend to lose ourselves and while we may not take away physical life we may still kill the spirit of another by our harsh words and actions. Sin such as these can spiral out of control which ultimately leads to our destruction. Lord Jesus we choose love for You over any and all sin. Amen

12. “New fire at Easter”
Isaiah 61:1-2

Praise be to You our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You came so that we could have life to the full in You. You bring hope when there is none. You set us free from sin so that we can live in peace, joy and holiness. Thank You dear Lord for this grace filled Lenten season, for us to reorder our lives towards You. So that come Easter the flame within us will burn with renewed zeal for the love of You as we share in the fire of Your love with all that we meet. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What does a humble contrite heart look like?

Is it one that prides itself for living an upright life. Goes for the sacraments regularly and yet judges others on their sins.

Or is a humble contrite heart one which is broken from offending the Lord our God whom He or she loves and who knows is greatly loved by Him. For not just having done sinful things but for failing to live His command to love. Not just failing to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength but for failing to love one another by our thoughts words and actions.

Lord Jesus I stand before You with a heart which is broken. Broken for continuing to sin against You. And for not loving my neighbour as I should have. For not being in humble in my service of You and my brethren. Lord forgive me a sinner, help me to be better and do better. Amen

First reading

Hosea 5:15-6:6
What I want is love, not sacrifice and holocausts

The Lord says this:

They will search for me in their misery.
‘Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds; after a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence.
Let us set ourselves to know the Lord; that he will come is as certain as the dawn his judgement will rise like the light, he will come to us as showers come,
like spring rains watering the earth.’

What am I to do with you, Ephraim?
What am I to do with you, Judah?
This love of yours is like a morning cloud, like the dew that quickly disappears.
This is why I have torn them to pieces by the prophets, why I slaughtered them with the words from my mouth, since what I want is love, not sacrifice;
knowledge of God, not holocausts.


Luke 18:9-14

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else: ‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.” The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’