Archive for April, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 30, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Can you fathom being able to see the faith in another and through that very faith bring about healing through our Lord Jesus Christ? How wonderful indeed it is to witness the glory of God!

And yet this is not something far fetched or out of our reach. For the same grace given to St Paul and the same workings of the Holy Spirit is offered to us. For it is through our faithful obedience to His Word and will for us that our love and light shines brightly. Our loving God is dwelling in our hearts and we are children of His grace.

Thank You Heavenly Father, thank You Lord Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit for making Your home in us. Amen

First reading

Acts 14:5-18
We have come with good news to turn you to the living God

Eventually with the connivance of the authorities a move was made by pagans as well as Jews to make attacks on the apostles and to stone them. When the apostles came to hear of this, they went off for safety to Lycaonia where, in the towns of Lystra and Derbe and in the surrounding country, they preached the Good News.
A man sat there who had never walked in his life, because his feet were crippled from birth; and as he listened to Paul preaching, he managed to catch his eye. Seeing that the man had the faith to be cured, Paul said in a loud voice, ‘Get to your feet – stand up’, and the cripple jumped up and began to walk.
When the crowd saw what Paul had done they shouted in the language of Lycaonia, ‘These people are gods who have come down to us disguised as men.’ They addressed Barnabas as Zeus, and since Paul was the principal speaker they called him Hermes. The priests of Zeus-outside-the-Gate, proposing that all the people should offer sacrifice with them, brought garlanded oxen to the gates. When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening they tore their clothes, and rushed into the crowd, shouting, ‘Friends, what do you think you are doing? We are only human beings like you. We have come with good news to make you turn from these empty idols to the living God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that these hold. In the past he allowed each nation to go its own way; but even then he did not leave you without evidence of himself in the good things he does for you: he sends you rain from heaven, he makes your crops grow when they should, he gives you food and makes you happy.’ Even this speech, however, was scarcely enough to stop the crowd offering them sacrifice.

Gospel

John 14:21-26
The Advocate, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be one who loves me; and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

Judas – this was not Judas Iscariot – said to him, ‘Lord, what is all this about? Do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’ Jesus replied:

‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words. And my word is not my own: it is the word of the one who sent me.
I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Facing rejection in whom we believe and proclaim to be our Lord and God is surety. For not everyone who listens can be moved and touched by the truth of the message. Their hearts and minds must be opened to receive Jesus. This does not mean we stop trying it, even if we face ridicule, for it is the sake of Christ that we do so. For He Wills that all be saved.

How wonderful and marvelous it is to be instruments of His grace! For He will provide all that we need and the Holy Spirit will guide us. It is such a blessing to witness the change in people’s lives when they become filled with the presence of the Lord. When they in turn give testimony of His peace, love and joy in their hearts.

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

First reading

Acts 13:44-52
Since you have rejected the word of God, we must turn to the pagans

The next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:

I have made you a light for the nations,
so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’

It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.
But the Jews worked upon some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city and persuaded them to turn against Paul and Barnabas and expel them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Gospel

John 14:7-14
To have seen me is to have seen the father

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?

‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me
will perform the same works as I do myself,
he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask for anything in my name,
I will do it.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! For we have hope of eternal life through our Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Do not worry about your impending death on earth, instead make right your relationship with the Lord your God who wills that you be alive with Him in heaven. Be merciful to your neighbour and the stranger just as you have need of our Lord’s mercy. Trust the Lord your God with all your heart for His is faithful to all who are faithful. Surrender your will to Him and He will prosper you with His grace filled plans for you.

Lord Jesus I trust in You. Amen

First reading

Acts 13:26-33
God has fulfilled his promise by raising Jesus from the dead

Paul stood up in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:
‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you. What the people of Jerusalem and their rulers did, though they did not realise it, was in fact to fulfil the prophecies read on every sabbath. Though they found nothing to justify his death, they condemned him and asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree and buried him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem: and it is these same companions of his who are now his witnesses before our people.
‘We have come here to tell you the Good News. It was to our ancestors that God made the promise but it is to us, their children, that he has fulfilled it, by raising Jesus from the dead. As scripture says in the second psalm: You are my son: today I have become your father.’

Gospel

John 14:1-6
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me;so that where I am you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

God our Father indeed wills that we all be saved and so He sent His Son to save us. Divine mercy, grace and love is upon us through Him. Jesus had commissioned His disciples to share His love and mercy to the nations, so that through these instruments of His grace, others too can be made disciples to do likewise.

Filled with the Holy spirit many are eloquent sharers of His message of love. Inspiring, loving and attracting many to become true followers of Christ Jesus. We must never forget that no servant is greater than the master, no messenger greater than the one who sent Him. And so our devotion and dedication belong to the Lord our God alone.

Like all the disciples of Jesus before us, let us welcome Jesus deep into our hearts as we go forth boldly sharing the Kerygma. Amen

First reading

Acts 13:13-25
God has raised up one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour

Paul and his friends went by sea from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem. The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia. Here they went to synagogue on the sabbath and took their seats. After the lessons from the Law and the Prophets had been read, the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message: ‘Brothers, if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation, please do so.’ Paul stood up, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:
‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out, and for about forty years took care of them in the wilderness. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years, he deposed him and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”’

Gospel

John 13:16-20
Whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me

After he had washed the feet of his disciples, Jesus said to them:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the man who sent him.

‘Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly. I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen; but what scripture says must be fulfilled: Someone who shares my table rebels against me.

‘I tell you this now, before it happens,
so that when it does happen you may believe that I am He.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me,
and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 25, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The mark of a disciple of Jesus is the love of Christ he/she embodies, exudes in all words and actions. Their service of the Lord and those they serve comes from embracing tenderly the cross they carry to follow Him. It is the Lord’s humility in dying for us they strive to master.

And the power from on high is given to them to minister to the flock. To do God our Father’s will. Do you know then that you are chosen as well? To be a powerful instrument of His grace and to draw all men and women unto Him.

Let us then my fellow disciples of Jesus, greet one another with love built upon our rock. And encourage one another as we devote our ourselves to loving and serving the Lord by our lives. Amen

First reading

1 Peter 5:5-14
My son, Mark, sends you greetings

All wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble. Bow down, then, before the power of God now, and he will raise you up on the appointed day; unload all your worries on to him, since he is looking after you. Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.
I write these few words to you through Silvanus, who is a brother I know I can trust, to encourage you never to let go this true grace of God to which I bear witness.
Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark.
Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Gospel

Mark 16:15-20
Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News

Jesus showed himself to the Eleven and said to them:
‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’
And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.

On Today’s Gospel

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

What does it mean to be a Christian? Each and everyone of us need to reflect deeply on what it means before we can truly live out our Christian calling.

Do I believe wholeheartedly in the creed I profess every Sunday? Is Jesus Christ my Lord and king in everything I say and do? Am I one with Him in communion? Do others see Christ in me? How many have come to faith in Him by my own faith and love through Him? Do I choose to love above all? Do I reject sin every time? Do I willingly carry my cross to follow Him? Am I devoted?

Lord Jesus let me be a Christian not only in name but through my life in You. Amen

First reading

Acts 11:19-26
They started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Lord Jesus

Those who had escaped during the persecution that happened because of Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but they usually proclaimed the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, who came from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch where they started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus to them as well. The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord.
The church in Jerusalem heard about this and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. There he could see for himself that God had given grace, and this pleased him, and he urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large number of people were won over to the Lord.
Barnabas then left for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. As things turned out they were to live together in that church a whole year, instructing a large number of people. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians.’

Gospel

John 10:22-30
The Father and I are one

It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied:

‘I have told you, but you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness; but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine.
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life;
they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

We live in a world filled with trials and challenges. And therefore many are seeking peace and some form of joy. So they turn to books written by folks who seemed to have found them through their own methods and achievements. Or else they turn to people who offer them at a price. Yet all these are fleeting and will not last. For there is only one way in which to live the fullness of life in joy and peace. That is through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

The Holy spirit speaks to us and guides us to do the will of God. How can we hear Him if our hearts and minds are filled with the cares of the world? If we do not have a relationship with the Lord our God built on the foundation of His Word and through prayer?

God our Father wills that all His children whether they be from different folds to be saved, that is why He sent His only beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us listen to His voice, carry out cross and follow Him. Amen

First reading

Acts 11:1-18
God can grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life

The apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that the pagans too had accepted the word of God, and when Peter came up to Jerusalem the Jews criticised him and said, ‘So you have been visiting the uncircumcised and eating with them, have you?’ Peter in reply gave them the details point by point: ‘One day, when I was in the town of Jaffa,’ he began ‘I fell into a trance as I was praying and had a vision of something like a big sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. This sheet reached the ground quite close to me. I watched it intently and saw all sorts of animals and wild beasts – everything possible that could walk, crawl or fly. Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Now, Peter; kill and eat!” But I answered: Certainly not, Lord; nothing profane or unclean has ever crossed my lips. And a second time the voice spoke from heaven, “What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.” This was repeated three times, before the whole of it was drawn up to heaven again.
‘Just at that moment, three men stopped outside the house where we were staying; they had been sent from Caesarea to fetch me, and the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going back with them. The six brothers here came with me as well, and we entered the man’s house. He told us he had seen an angel standing in his house who said, “Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon known as Peter; he has a message for you that will save you and your entire household.”
‘I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, “John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” I realised then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who was I to stand in God’s way?’
This account satisfied them, and they gave glory to God. ‘God’ they said ‘can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.’

Gospel

John 10:1-10
I am the gate of the sheepfold

Jesus said:
‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’
Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.
So Jesus spoke to them again:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
I am the gate of the sheepfold.
All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them.
I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me will be safe:
he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’