Archive for May, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 31, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

O dearest blessed mother, come visit me. Come fill me with your grace, so that I may love as you do. And when you do come I know you will bring your Son my Lord with you. For He is never far from you.

You magnified the Lord Your God through your obedience, humility, in every word and deed. Help me so that I may do likewise.

Teach me dearest mother to be more loving, self giving. That I may bring the joy of Christ with me as I share His love with all I meet.

Thank you loving mother for your continued intercession for me and my loved ones. Praise and glory be to Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Feast

First reading

Zephaniah 3:14-18
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel, shout aloud!
Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has repealed your sentence; he has driven your enemies away.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;
you have no more evil to fear.

When that day comes, word will come to Jerusalem: Zion, have no fear, do not let your hands fall limp.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior.
He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.

Gospel

Luke 1:39-56
The Almighty has done great things for me

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
And Mary said:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

Greet One another with a Holy kiss

Posted: May 30, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

2 Cor 13:12

We should never take for granted what we have built and should continue to greet one another with an offering of the peace of Christ and a warm hug. This comes from a relationship built upon our rock Christ Jesus. For it is only through His love that we are able to do so. Many who might have thought it awkward in the beginning have begun to realise and appreciate the depth of growing in His love through these small acts of love for one another. This is a truth that not everyone will grasp or embrace but it is a truth nonetheless. ❤️

On Today’s Gospel

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

Are you willing to lay down your life for another even if figuratively speaking? To humble yourself in the service of and for the good in another? And yet our Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life for us by being tortured, who died for our sins and later conquered death by rising so that we might rise in Him.

Christian leadership must therefore be modeled after Christ. To be great in the eyes of the Lord our God is to be a slave to all in His love. Can you drink this cup? Amen

First reading

1 Peter 1:18-25
You were ransomed by the precious blood of Christ, the spotless lamb

Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you from the useless way of life your ancestors handed down was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ; who, though known since before the world was made, has been revealed only in our time, the end of the ages, for your sake. Through him you now have faith in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory for that very reason – so that you would have faith and hope in God.
You have been obedient to the truth and purified your souls until you can love like brothers, in sincerity; let your love for each other be real and from the heart – your new birth was not from any mortal seed but from the everlasting word of the living and eternal God. All flesh is grass and its glory like the wild flower’s. The grass withers, the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains for ever. What is this word? It is the Good News that has been brought to you.

Gospel

Mark 10:32-45
The Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many

The disciples were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ahead of them; they were in a daze, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once more taking the Twelve aside he began to tell them what was going to happen to him: ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans, who will mock him and spit at him and scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.’
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’
When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called 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 become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 29, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How painful it must have been to long for and pine for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And yet it was revealed to the faithful prophets that He would indeed come but not in their lifetime. Still they preached it with zeal, hope and joy in their hearts. Extraordinary yes because the spirit of Christ was in them.

What about us? Many of us are still moping about, struggling and moving from one sin to another. Is this how a liberated child of God our Father should live? No! We live in joyful times where the Lord has brought to fulfillment all He had promised. We His faithful are thereby called to live out obedient holy lives. And we are able to do so through His grace, peace, love and joy which lives in us. For His spirit lives in us!

The choice to leave all attachments behind and follow Him is ours to make. While there will indeed be challenges, trials and tribulations ahead, we know that one day soon we will be reunited with in Him in paradise. Jesus I choose You. Amen

First reading

1 Peter 1:10-16
Put your trust in the grace that is coming to you

It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching so hard for; their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you. The Spirit of Christ which was in them foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them, and they tried to find out at what time and in what circumstances all this was to be expected. It was revealed to them that the news they brought of all the things which have now been announced to you, by those who preached to you the Good News through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, was for you and not for themselves. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.
Free your minds, then, of encumbrances; control them, and put your trust in nothing but the grace that will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Do not behave in the way that you liked to before you learnt the truth; make a habit of obedience: be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you, and scripture says: Be holy, for I am holy.

Gospel

Mark 10:28-31
Whoever has left everything for the sake of the gospel will be repaid

At that time Peter began to tell Jesus, ‘What about us? We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Can we attain heaven on our own? Simply No. Yet heaven is opened for us who believe and follow our Lord Jesus Christ who had opened the gates for us by His death and resurrection.

Why then do many hold on to the security and comforts the world offers instead of turning to the Lord our God the source of all life? Do they not see that holding on to their wealth is at its core, idolatry? Through Jesus our Lord we are freed children of God our Father. Let nothing bind us then to this world, so that we return to Him, body, mind and spirit. All this is made possible for us by God our loving Father. Amen

First reading

1 Peter 1:3-9
You did not see Christ, yet you love him

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons, by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens. Through your faith, God’s power will guard you until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the end of time. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though you may for a short time have to bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that, when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have been tested and proved like gold – only it is more precious than gold, which is corruptible even though it bears testing by fire – and then you will have praise and glory and honour. You did not see him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.

Gospel

Mark 10:17-27
Give everything you own to the poor, and follow me

Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’

I Am Community

Posted: May 27, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

I AM Community…

Some time back I gave a short talk about being a loving, growing community. I began with sharing that the first community is the Holy Trinity. Three persons One God in an all loving, giving relationship. One in which all communities should emulate while they dwell on and in the mystery. Therefore a simple statement as I Am Community has greater depth in meaning and application.

A Community therefore can only grow in love if it responds to the call to love by the Holy Trinity.

How is that love expressed?

1. By making a commitment to come together in the presence of the Lord to pray and testify to His love.

2. To share our vulnerabilities and our hopes in the Risen Lord knowing that we do so on sacred ground bound in love for one another.

3. Putting aside all judgements of one another looking to the strengths that each of one poseseses instead of the weaknesses. Affirming one another while encouraging, nurturing the growth of our God given talents and gifts.

4. To always be outward looking as we spread the love we receive through our sharing in His love and to invite others to do the same.

5. To remain steadfast in prayer for one another and to fast when there are occasions that calls for fasting for one another.

6. To encourage one another to grow in our love and relationship with our Lord through His living Word.

7. To help and encourage one another to live His word in our lives.

I AM Community and so am I in Him. Are you? ❤️

Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Posted: May 26, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Family of Love:

Scott Hahn Reflects
on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Readings:

Dt 4:32–34, 39–40
Ps 33:4–6, 9, 18–20, 22
Rom 8:14–17
Mt 28:16–20

Last Sunday, we celebrated the sending of the Spirit, which sealed God’s new covenant and made a new creation.

In this new creation, we live in the family of God, who has revealed Himself as a Trinity of love. We share in His divine nature through His Body and Blood (2 Peter 1:4). This is the meaning of the three feasts that cap the Easter season—Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi.

These feasts should be intimate reminders of how deeply God loves us, how He chose us, from before the foundation of the world, to be His children (Ephesians 1:4–5).

Today’s readings illuminate how all God’s words and works were meant to prepare for the revelation of the Trinity and God’s blessing in Jesus Christ—the blessing we inherited in Baptism and renew in each Eucharist.

By God’s word the heavens and earth were filled with His kindness, we sing in today’s Psalm. Out of love, God called Abraham and chose his descendants to be His own people, Moses says in today’s First Reading (Deuteronomy 4:20,37). Through the Israelites, He revealed to the nations that He alone is Lord and there is no other.

In Jesus, God’s word took flesh as a son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). And Jesus reveals in the Gospel today that the one God is Father, Son, and Spirit, and that He desires to make all people His own.
As He led Israel out of Egypt, God freed us from slavery, Paul says in today’s Epistle. As He adopted Israel (Romans 9:4), He gives us the Spirit by which we can know Him as “Our Father.”
As God’s heirs, we receive the commissions of Moses and Jesus today. We are to fix our hearts on Him and to observe all that He has commanded. The Eucharist is His pledge—that He will be with us until the end, that He will deliver us from death to live forever in the promised land of His kingdom.