Archive for March, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

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

It is strange indeed that some of us are drawn to darkness. We do and say things thinking that the veil of darkness will hide our deeds and thoughts. The Lord sees everything even before they come to light. And unless we turn back to Him, we will shrink back into greater darkness.

It is easy to declare our love for the Lord, even claiming that we will lay down our lives for Him. Yet how many times have we disowned Him when we chose entertainment over prayer? Magazines over scripture? pornography over fixing our gaze on Him? Gossip over breaking and sharing the word? Our very own wants over the needs of others.

The light of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ has come to lead us out of darkness. Let us lead steadfast lives as children of the light. Striving to be true disciples of Jesus, to be the light for others. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 49:1-6
I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth

Islands, listen to me,
pay attention, remotest peoples.
The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.

He made my mouth a sharp sword, and hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me into a sharpened arrow, and concealed me in his quiver.

He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel) in whom I shall be glorified’; while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain, I have exhausted myself for nothing’; and all the while my cause was with the Lord, my reward with my God.
I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord, my God was my strength.

And now the Lord has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him:

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’

Gospel

John 13:21-33,36-38
‘What you are going to do, do quickly’

While at supper with his disciples, Jesus was troubled in spirit and declared, ‘I tell you most solemnly, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, wondering which he meant. The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus; Simon Peter signed to him and said, ‘Ask who it is he means’, so leaning back on Jesus’ breast he said, ‘Who is it, Lord?’ ‘It is the one’ replied Jesus ‘to whom I give the piece of bread that I shall dip in the dish.’ He dipped the piece of bread and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’ None of the others at table understood the reason he said this. Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’, or telling him to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. Night had fallen.
When he had gone Jesus said:

‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified,
and in him God has been glorified.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will in turn glorify him in himself,
and will glorify him very soon.

‘My little children,
I shall not be with you much longer.
You will look for me,
And, as I told the Jews,
where I am going, you cannot come.’

Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.’ Peter said to him, ‘Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ ‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘I tell you most solemnly, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Our gentle Lord came to liberate us from sin. To lead us out of darkness into the light. To restore our bruised souls and to heal our wounds. Woe to those who seek to snuff out the light of His faithful. To those who try to steal what rightfully belongs to the Lord our God.

We say we love Jesus and want to follow Him. Have we anointed His feet by our good works? Have we brought His peace and brought comfort to those in need? By our acts of mercy have we perfumed the air which leads to our Lord Jesus Christ?

Let us remain steadfast especially during this Holy week. To be faithful in heart and mind. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 42:1-7
Here is my chosen one in whom my soul delights

Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations.

He does not cry out or shout aloud, or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed, nor quench the wavering flame.

Faithfully he brings true justice;he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
he who created the heavens and spread them out, who gave shape to the earth and what comes from it,
who gave breath to its people and life to the creatures that move in it:

‘I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right; I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations, ‘to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.’

Gospel

John 12:1-11
‘She had to keep this scent for the day of my burial’

Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there; Martha waited on them and Lazarus was among those at table. Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot – one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him – said, ‘Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he was in charge of the common fund and used to help himself to the contributions. So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone; she had to keep this scent for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.’
Meanwhile a large number of Jews heard that he was there and came not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well, since it was on his account that many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus.

Passion Sunday 

Posted: March 24, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Darkness at Noon: Scott Hahn Reflects on Passion Sunday

Readings:

Is 50:4–7
Ps 22:8–9, 17–20, 23–24
Phil 2:6–11
Mk 14:1–15:47

Crowned with thorns, our Lord is lifted up on the Cross, where He dies as “King of the Jews.” Notice how many times He is called “king” in today’s Gospel—mostly in scorn and mockery.

As we hear the long accounts of His Passion, at every turn we must remind ourselves—He suffered this cruel and unusual violence for us.

He is the Suffering Servant foretold by Isaiah in today’s First Reading. He reenacts the agony described in today’s Psalm, and even dies with the first words of that Psalm on His lips (see Psalm 22:1).

Listen carefully for the echoes of this Psalm throughout today’s Gospel—as Jesus is beaten, His hands and feet are pierced; as His enemies gamble for His clothes, wagging their heads, mocking His faith in God’s love, His faith that God will deliver Him.

Are we that much different from our Lord’s tormenters? Often, don’t we deny that He is King, refusing to obey His only commands that we love Him and one another? Don’t we render Him mock tribute, pay Him lip service with our half-hearted devotions?

In the dark noon of Calvary, the veil in Jerusalem’s temple was torn. It was a sign that by His death Jesus destroyed forever the barrier separating us from the presence of God.

He was God and yet humbled Himself to come among us, we’re reminded in today’s Epistle. And despite our repeated failures, our frailty, Jesus still humbles Himself to come to us, offering us His body and blood in the Eucharist.

His enemies never understood: His kingship isn’t of this world (see John 18:36). He wants to write His law, His rule of life on our hearts and minds.

As we enter Holy Week, let us once more resolve to give Him dominion in our lives. Let us take up the cross He gives to us—and confess with all our hearts, minds, and strength, that truly this is the Son of God.

A Prayer written before the Blessed Sacrament

Posted: March 24, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Prayers

After dropping my daughter off for Cathechism class, I went to the Adoration room and started writing this prayer….

O sweet Jesus I come before You in humble Adoration of You. I kneel in awe of Your presence in the Blessed Sacrament. That You O Lord my God have chosen this form to be present to me so that I can see You as You minister to me. Mere words cannot express my heartfelt gratitude for the love and Graces You bestow on me while in Your loving presence. In the silence of my heart I hear Your gentle voice speak to me and I hear You clearly though not in audible terms. I hear the voice of my shepherd, I know You and I follow You. In this great loving exchange I am disappointed with myself for not having spent an hour with You regularly. Perhaps I have not loved You enough as I should. Still I feel Your loving embrace envelop me and I find myself resting in Your peace. You are the way, the truth and the life. Jesus my Lord. You are the way, the truth and the life. Jesus my Lord. Love You with all my heart, mind and soul. Jesus my Lord. Love You with all my heart, mind and soul. Jesus my Lord. Amen

When I picked my daughter up she showed me what she had done in class…

On Today’s Gospel

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

Praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ.

For through evil and sin there is disunity, disorder, chaos and mayhem. People living for themselves.

In His great mercy and love for us, God our Father sent His Son. Our Saviour Jesus Christ came to heal and liberate us from our sins. By His death and resurrection He gathers the faithful unto Himself. We are one in Union with Him. He dwells in us as we dwell in Him.

Let us always bear in mind His great act of love for us, that we can live in His peace forever. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 37:21-28
I will bring them home and make them one nation

The Lord says this: ‘I am going to take the sons of Israel from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them together from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil. I shall make them into one nation in my own land and on the mountains of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and their filthy practices and all their sins. I shall rescue them from all the betrayals they have been guilty of; I shall cleanse them; they shall be my people and I will be their God. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my observances, respect my laws and practise them. They will live in the land that I gave my servant Jacob, the land in which your ancestors lived. They will live in it, they, their children, their children’s children, for ever. David my servant is to be their prince for ever. I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them. I shall resettle them and increase them; I shall settle my sanctuary among them for ever. I shall make my home above them; I will be their God, they shall be my people. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord, the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them for ever.’

Gospel

John 11:45-56
Jesus was to die to gather together the scattered children of God

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what Jesus did believed in him, but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. ‘Here is this man working all these signs’ they said ‘and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy the Holy Place and our nation.’ One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, ‘You do not seem to have grasped the situation at all; you fail to see that it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.’ He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prophecy that Jesus was to die for the nation – and not for the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God. From that day they were determined to kill him. So Jesus no longer went about openly among the Jews, but left the district for a town called Ephraim, in the country bordering on the desert, and stayed there with his disciples.
The Jewish Passover drew near, and many of the country people who had gone up to Jerusalem to purify themselves looked out for Jesus, saying to one another as they stood about in the Temple, ‘What do you think? Will he come to the festival or not?’

On Today’s Gospel

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

When we sin, continue to live in sin we become blind, deaf and dumb to the word and works of the Lord our God. For we have chosen not to see, hear or act on the will of God our Father.

Words alone unaccompanied by the heart, hands and feet in service of the Gospels does nothing for the Lord and whom we serve. But through sacrifice, when all are put into service of the Lord and our brethren, much fruit will we bear. For unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone ; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Lord Jesus, You on our side, no one can defeat us. Be with us always as we strive to be in humble servitude of You and our fellow man. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 20:10-13
He has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men

Jeremiah said:

I hear so many disparaging me,‘“Terror from every side!” Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’
All those who used to be my friends watched for my downfall, ‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error.
Then we will master him
and take our revenge!’
But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero; my opponents will stumble, mastered, confounded by their failure;everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.
But you, O Lord of Hosts, you who probe with justice, who scrutinise the loins and heart,
let me see the vengeance you will take on them,
for I have committed my cause to you.
Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men.

Gospel

John 10:31-42
They wanted to stone Jesus, but he eluded them

The Jews fetched stones to stone him, so Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.’ Jesus answered:

‘Is it not written in your Law:
I said, you are gods?
So the Law uses the word gods
of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected.
Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world,
“You are blaspheming,”
because he says, “I am the son of God.”
If I am not doing my Father’s work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’

They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them.
He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising. Many people who came to him there said, ‘John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true’; and many of them believed in him.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Children learn from their parents, in their early years they pick up on words, actions, behaviors even mannerisms. What then have we passed on to them? Have we been growing in our faith and relationship with the Lord our God. Have been responsible in teaching our children about the love of God: How we should love and honour Him by our lives? Or are we instead passing on sinful behaviors and selfish attitudes?

If we call ourselves children of God our Father then we must strive to be faithful as Father Abraham was. We must learn the ways of God our Father through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For only through Him can we live in His love and experience His peace; most of all the joy of humble servitude.

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

First reading

Genesis 17:3-9
Abraham, the father of a multitude of nations

Abram bowed to the ground and God said this to him, ‘Here now is my covenant with you: you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. You shall no longer be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a multitude of nations. I will make you most fruitful. I will make you into nations, and your issue shall be kings. I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land you are living in, the whole land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity, and I will be your God.’

Gospel

John 8:51-59
Your father Abraham saw my Day and was glad

Jesus said to the Jews:

‘I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word
will never see death.’

The Jews said, ‘Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’ Jesus answered:

‘If I were to seek my own glory that would be no glory at all; my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, “He is our God” although you do not know him.
But I know him, and if I were to say: I do not know him, I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves.
But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word.
Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my Day; he saw it and was glad.’

The Jews then said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
before Abraham ever was, I Am.’

At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.