Archive for May, 2018


We decided today to attend the novena devotion at 11am St Alphonsus Church affectionately known as Novena Church. I wanted to go much earlier as I desired to go for the Sacrament of reconciliation before we left for our short family holiday next week.

However we only managed to reach the church at about 1030hrs. My wife and daughter went to the statue of our Lady to say a short prayer, while I reserved some seats for us. I was a little disappointed as they did not have a reconciliation session after the 1100hrs service. Then I saw Fr Peter Wee walk by and quickly ran after him requesting for the Sacrament. He kindly obliged and gave me
some very encouraging advice in the process. I must say he gave me the most lengthy penance I had ever been given in my life, part of it was to offer it up as prayers for the sick which I gladly did.

After the service we went to the religious store and I purchased a book, candles, some items for Hannah my daughter and a small beautiful statue of St Michael the Archangel. However we could not find a priest anywhere to bless them. They were probably out of early lunch. Again I was a little disappointed as it would have been nice to have a redemptorist priest bless the items not that it really mattered.

We walked to Novena square for lunch and Hannah decided that we should eat at Han’s. Midway through our lunch who should walk in and sit behind us? Fr Simon Tan from Novena Church. I asked if he could kindly bless the items we bought from church, again he readily obliged in the middle of Han’s restaurant. He jokingly said he did not think anyone would recognise him out of collar and that he too needed to eat outside once in a while. What a blessed day indeed to have such graces and blessings bestowed upon us. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

I am a sinner and I need you my sister and brother to pray for me. To help me stay on track on my pilgrim journey back home.

No I am not shy to declare this fact and neither should you be. For though I strive each day for Holiness, the flesh is sometimes weak and like you I too need help to stay focused on our Lord. To be reminded that I am a child of God so loved by God my Father. And that I should not lose my childlike innocence by allowing sin to overcome me. Therefore as we are all children of God our loving Father, it is our duty to look out for one another and lead one another safely back home to Him.

So let us continue to pray for one another and continue to embrace one another in the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

James 5:13-20
A good man’s heartfelt prayer has great power

If any one of you is in trouble, he should pray; if anyone is feeling happy, he should sing a psalm. If one of you is ill, he should send for the elders of the church, and they must anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him. The prayer of faith will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up again; and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, and this will cure you; the heartfelt prayer of a good man works very powerfully. Elijah was a human being like ourselves – he prayed hard for it not to rain, and no rain fell for three-and-a-half years; then he prayed again and the sky gave rain and the earth gave crops.
My brothers, if one of you strays away from the truth, and another brings him back to it, he may be sure that anyone who can bring back a sinner from the wrong way that he has taken will be saving a soul from death and covering up a great number of sins.

Gospel

Mark 10:13-16
It is to such as these little children that the kingdom of God belongs

People were bringing little children to Jesus, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

On Today’s Gospel

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

How can we live in a world that has no honesty, fidelity or integrity? That is why it has to begin with us! We who call ourselves Christians are called to a higher standard because we serve a loving God who is faithful.

No one should question our decision or commitment for whatever choices we make they know we will stand by them. For those who did not know prior then they will know by our actions and our love that it is Jesus Christ whom we adore and serve.

Yes we are all called to faithfulness to God our Father and it is through this faithfulness in Him that we commit to being faithful to one another as well. For all our relationships are sanctified by the Lord our God. This is what it means to be in Holy Communion. When we are one Body in Him. Amen

First reading

James 5:9-12
Do not ask for judgement, or you may receive it

Do not make complaints against one another, brothers, so as not to be brought to judgement yourselves; the Judge is already to be seen waiting at the gates. For your example, brothers, in submitting with patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord; remember it is those who had endurance that we say are the blessed ones. You have heard of the patience of Job, and understood the Lord’s purpose, realising that the Lord is kind and compassionate.
Above all, my brothers, do not swear by heaven or by the earth, or use any oaths at all. If you mean ‘yes’, you must say ‘yes’; if you mean ‘no’, say ‘no.’ Otherwise you make yourselves liable to judgement.

Gospel

Mark 10:1-12
What God has united, man must not divide

Jesus came to the district of Judaea and the far side of the Jordan. And again crowds gathered round him, and again he taught them, as his custom was. Some Pharisees approached him and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’ Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Why hoard up your wealth for two or three lifetimes when you cannot take it with you when you die? Why not be life giving while you live and live in the hope of an eternal life with a life giving God?

As you become more life giving in words, deeds and strive for Holiness; you begin to realise that the smallest of sin is uncomfortable even a heavy burden to carry and intolerable. For even tiniest speck of sin is an abomination in the eyes of an infinitely pure and loving God. Still He is patient and loving towards all sinners. How then can we continue to hurt Him whom we love and who loves us so.

Cleanse me Lord of all sin that I may live always in Your presence. Amen

First reading

James 5:1-6
The Lord hears the cries of those you have cheated

An answer for the rich. Start crying, weep for the miseries that are coming to you. Your wealth is all rotting, your clothes are all eaten up by moths. All your gold and your silver are corroding away, and the same corrosion will be your own sentence, and eat into your body. It was a burning fire that you stored up as your treasure for the last days. Labourers mowed your fields, and you cheated them – listen to the wages that you kept back, calling out; realise that the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. On earth you have had a life of comfort and luxury; in the time of slaughter you went on eating to your heart’s content. It was you who condemned the innocent and killed them; they offered you no resistance.

Gospel

Mark 9:41-50
If your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid, how can you season it again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

There is no right time to do the right thing. We do the right thing always just as we live our Christian values all the time. We do so because we are loved by our Heavenly Father and because of our loving relationship with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit we live out our calling through the gifts and charisms we have been given.

And so we are able to recognise the Lord our God in the love shown by our fellow Christian brothers and sisters around the world. We must continue to strive for unity as our Lord deems that we should be One. Even when faced with rejection or difficulty, let us choose to love and be the first to do so. Amen

First reading

James 4:13-17
You cannot know what will happen tomorrow

Here is the answer for those of you who talk like this: ‘Today or tomorrow, we are off to this or that town; we are going to spend a year there, trading, and make some money.’
You never know what will happen tomorrow: you are no more than a mist that is here for a little while and then disappears. The most you should ever say is: ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we shall still be alive to do this or that.’ But how proud and sure of yourselves you are now! Pride of this kind is always wicked. Everyone who knows what is the right thing to do and doesn’t do it commits a sin.

Gospel

Mark 9:38-40
You must not stop anyone from working miracles in my name

John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

We look at Adam and Eve and think to ourselves, No we would never do what they did. And yet we do likewise nonetheless. When we choose our careers and ambitions above all else. When we decide on our own what is best for us. When we give in to temptation and sin to satisfy our desires. When we choose not to heed our Christian call to love and be holy. When there is little or no time for prayer or to be in His presence.

How then can we truly love our family let alone friend or neighbour? For to love them as we ought to, can only come from our love of the Lord our God. For God is love, life giving liberating love. A love that wills the good in another. For by His love we become little to ourselves and our love grows bigger for others. By His love we can love the stranger amongst us and welcome them as His children our brethren.

Lord teach me to love as You do. Amen

First reading

James 4:1-10
Resist the devil and he will run away

Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you haven’t got it; so you are prepared to kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force. Why you don’t have what you want is because you don’t pray for it; when you do pray and don’t get it, it is because you have not prayed properly, you have prayed for something to indulge your own desires.
You are as unfaithful as adulterous wives; don’t you realise that making the world your friend is making God your enemy? Anyone who chooses the world for his friend turns himself into God’s enemy. Surely you don’t think scripture is wrong when it says: the spirit which he sent to live in us wants us for himself alone? But he has been even more generous to us, as scripture says: God opposes the proud but he gives generously to the humble. Give in to God, then; resist the devil, and he will run away from you. The nearer you go to God, the nearer he will come to you. Clean your hands, you sinners, and clear your minds, you waverers. Look at your wretched condition, and weep for it in misery; be miserable instead of laughing, gloomy instead of happy. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.

Gospel

Mark 9:30-37
Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me

Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 21, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What sort of faith do you have? Is it one centred on your personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ? Or something else altogether?

No one who claims to have faith in Jesus can go about doing as they please. For to have faith in our Lord is to love Him. And to love Him is to put that love into action for Him and for our brethren. We persevere through prayer, even times of fasting. Our little sacrifices for the love of brethren and of a Him will be lifted up and sanctified.

Let us strive to be faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Mary Blessed Mother of our church, pray for us. Amen

First reading

James 3:13-18
Show wisdom and avoid ambition

If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions. But if at heart you have the bitterness of jealousy, or a self-seeking ambition, never make any claims for yourself or cover up the truth with lies – principles of this kind are not the wisdom that comes down from above: they are only earthly, animal and devilish. Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.

Gospel

Mark 9:14-29
Help the little faith I have!

When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’