Archive for June, 2018

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: June 30, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Arise!: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 1:13–15, 2:23–24
Psalm 30:2, 4–6, 11–13
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13–15
Mark 5:21–24, 35–43

God, who formed us in His imperishable image, did not intend for us to die, we hear in today’s First Reading. Death entered the world through the devil’s envy and Adam and Eve’s sin; as a result, we are all bound to die.
But in the moving story in today’s Gospel, we see Jesus liberate a little girl from the possession of death.
On one level, Mark is recounting an event that led the disciples to understand Jesus’ authority and power over even the final enemy, death (1 Corinthians 15:26). On another level, however, this episode is written to strengthen our hope that we too will be raised from the dead, along with all our loved ones who sleep in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:18).
Jesus commands the girl to “Arise!”—using the same Greek word used to describe His own Resurrection (Mark 16:6). And the consoling message of today’s Gospel is that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. If we believe in Him, even though we die, we will live (John 15:25–26).
We are called to have the same faith as the parents in the Gospel today—praying for our loved ones, trusting in Jesus’ promise that even death cannot keep us apart. Notice the parents follow Him even though those in their own house tell them there is no hope, and even though others ridicule Jesus’ claim that the dead have only fallen asleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).
Already in Baptism we’ve been raised to new life in Christ. And the Eucharist, like the food given to the little girl today, is the pledge that He will raise us on the last day. We should rejoice, as we sing in today’s Psalm, that He has brought us up from the netherworld, the pit of death. And, as Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle, we should offer our lives in thanksgiving for this gracious act, imitating Christ in our love and generosity for others.

CG-LOL

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

I am still very much in awe of the Lord’s hand in our prayer meeting last night. In only the second meeting this loving community bared their souls and shared their pain and challenges. I am certain they felt our Lord Jesus’s healing touch one way or another. As He gently made His presence known.

The desire of the community to pray and intercede for others not present with us, was a testimony to the Lord’s love in us all.

May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless all loving communities gathered in His name. And may we all continue to grow in love and deepen our relationship with Him. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

We profess our faith once more at every at every Eucharistic Celebration, together with the centurion, “Lord I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” Do we however do so with humility and contrite spirits? Do we cry out to Him for mercy for our heinous sins against Him and one another? And so can we hearJesus our Lord’s response to us?

“I will come myself to cure you.” In His great mercy and love for us He will heal and restore us. He will set us free from our bondages of sin. So that we can live fully in Him.

Let us then sisters and brothers claim this promise of our Lord Jesus Christ. By turning our backs to sin and temptations. Let us be obedient to His word and will for us. So as to live in His Peace, love and joy. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Lamentations 2:2,10-14,18-19
Cry aloud to the Lord, daughter of Zion

Beth
The Lord has pitilessly destroyed all the homes of Jacob;in his displeasure he has shattered the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; he has thrown to the ground, he has left accursed the kingdom and its rulers.

Yod
Mutely they sit on the ground,the elders of the daughter of Zion; they have put dust on their heads,and wrapped themselves in sackcloth.
The virgins of Jerusalem hang their heads down to the ground.

Kaph
My eyes wasted away with weeping,my entrails shuddered,my liver spilled on the ground at the ruin of the daughters of my people, as children, mere infants, fainted in the squares of the Citadel.

Lamed
They kept saying to their mothers,‘Where is the bread?’ as they fainted like wounded men in the squares of the City,
as they poured out their souls on their mothers’ breasts.

Mem
How can I describe you, to what compare you, daughter of Jerusalem? Who can rescue and comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion?
For huge as the sea is your affliction;who can possibly cure you?

Nun
The visions your prophets had on your behalf were delusive, tinsel things,
they never pointed out your sin,to ward off your exile.
The visions they proffered you were false, fallacious, misleading.

Sade
Cry aloud, then, to the Lord,groan, daughter of Zion;let your tears flow like a torrent,day and night; give yourself no relief,grant your eyes no rest.

Qoph
Up, cry out in the night-time, in the early hours of darkness;pour your heart out like water
before the Lord.
Stretch out your hands to him for the lives of your children who faint with hunger at the entrance to every street.

Gospel

Matthew 8:5-17
‘I am not worthy to have you under my roof: give the word, and my servant will be healed’

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven; but the subjects of the kingdom will be turned out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’ And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go back, then; you have believed, so let this be done for you.’ And the servant was cured at that moment.
And going into Peter’s house Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He cast out the spirits with a word and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:

He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Today as we call to mind, two heroic Martyrs of our faith;Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, we want to remember them for the lives they led. The many sacrifices they made for their fellowmen for the sake of the Gospel. They inspired and led many not only into a deep relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ but into discipleship.

Their obedience to the Lord and steadfast faith are exemplary. Because of this our Lord Jesus Christ was close to them, always at their side. No matter what came their way, they knew with unflinching faith that their master would say to them,”Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Dear Jesus my Lord, I am with many shortcomings. Help me overcome them as I strive to be your disciple, in mind, word, body and spirit. Amen

St Peter and St Paul pray for us. Amen

First reading

Acts 12:1-11
‘Now I know the Lord really did save me from Herod’

King Herod started persecuting certain members of the Church. He beheaded James the brother of John, and when he saw that this pleased the Jews he decided to arrest Peter as well. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread, and he put Peter in prison, assigning four squads of four soldiers each to guard him in turns. Herod meant to try Peter in public after the end of Passover week. All the time Peter was under guard the Church prayed to God for him unremittingly.
On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with double chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison. Then suddenly the angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. ‘Get up!’ he said ‘Hurry!’ – and the chains fell from his hands. The angel then said, ‘Put on your belt and sandals.’ After he had done this, the angel next said, ‘Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.’ Peter followed him, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed through two guard posts one after the other, and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him. It was only then that Peter came to himself. ‘Now I know it is all true’ he said. ‘The Lord really did send his angel and has saved me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were so certain would happen to me.’

Second reading

2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-18
All there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me

My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.
The Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-19
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Do not live a pretentious ‘Holy’ life. Duplicity will only bring you grief. Be genuine and loving in all things little or big for the Lord sees all. Many who serve or work in the church may think they have earned their salvation though this is far from the truth. We are called to Holiness, by His Word and in our deeds. How loving and forgiving we have been to our brethren especially in times trials and tribulations.

Let us be earnest and strive each day to deeper our relationship with the Lord our God. Be obedient unto Him, listen to His word as we faithfully carry our cross to follow our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus my Lord, You search me and You know me. Let me be found living in Your love always. Guide me all the days of my life. Amen

First reading

2 Kings 24:8-17
The first deportation into captivity in Babylon

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan, from Jerusalem. He did what is displeasing to the Lord, just as his father had done.
At that time the troops of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon himself came to attack the city while his troops were besieging it. Then Jehoiachin king of Judah surrendered to the king of Babylon, he, his mother, his officers, his nobles and his eunuchs, and the king of Babylon took them prisoner. This was in the eighth year of King Nebuchadnezzar.
The latter carried off all the treasures of the Temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace, and broke up all the golden furnishings that Solomon king of Israel had made for the sanctuary of the Lord, as the Lord had foretold. He carried off all Jerusalem into exile, all the nobles and all the notables, ten thousand of these were exiled, with all the blacksmiths and metalworkers; only the poorest people in the country were left behind. He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, as also the king’s mother, his eunuchs and the nobility of the country; he made them all leave Jerusalem for exile in Babylon. All the men of distinction, seven thousand of them, the blacksmiths and metalworkers, one thousand of them, all of them men capable of bearing arms, were led into exile in Babylon by the king of Babylon.
The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in succession to him, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Gospel

Matthew 7:21-29
The wise man built his house on a rock

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you evil men!
‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’
Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority, and not like their own scribes.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Do not be disheartened that you have sinned against the Lord our God. It is in our active search for Him that we find Him and through His goodness we become aware of our sins against Him and our brethren. He is ready to forgive and embrace us when we turn back to Him.

There are many still living very shallow lives. They want others to think they are holy and living honest lives. Yet there is no peace within them or their families. Others choose parts of their faith they hold to be true and reject the others either on their own or by the influence of others. Then there are those in authority, by their hurtful words and actions drive others away perhaps unaware. What is to be said about those who spread propaganda or fake news about faith. Simply where are the fruits of all these people? Are they leading anyone closer to our Lord Jesus Christ? Are they loving and merciful? Do they bring joy and hope?

Lord Jesus let me always follow Your way and Your truth. For You are the life I seek. Amen

First reading

2 Kings 22:8-13,23:1-3
The Book of the Law is found in the Temple of the Lord

The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Temple of the Lord.’’’ And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it. Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him as follows, ‘Your servants’ he said ‘have melted down the silver which was in the Temple and have handed it over to the masters of works attached to the Temple of the Lord.’ Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book’; and Shaphan read it aloud in the king’s presence.
On hearing the contents of the Book of the Law, the king tore his garments, and gave the following order to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s minister: ‘Go and consult the Lord, on behalf of me and the people, about the contents of this book that has been found. Great indeed must be the anger of the Lord blazing out against us because our ancestors did not obey what this book says by practising everything written in it.’
The king then had all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem summoned to him, and the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, priests, prophets and all the people, of high or low degree. In their hearing he read out everything that was said in the book of the covenant found in the Temple of the Lord. The king stood beside the pillar, and in the presence of the Lord he made a covenant to follow the Lord and keep his commandments and decrees and laws with all his heart and soul, in order to enforce the terms of the covenant as written in that book. All the people gave their allegiance to the covenant.

Gospel

Matthew 7:15-20
You will be able to tell them by their fruits

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

The Lord our God is faithful to those who are faithful and obedient unto Him. He is our hope against all odds! He will never abandon us.

So then we must always choose the narrow path which leads to Him. Even when the world beckons for us to join them on the wider road. The easier one where we live it up and let live. Thinking that our future is bright even though it is only an Illusion. For life away from the Lord our God is shortlived.

So we must choose our battles with weapons of faith. Leave evil men and women alone to their own device. Lest they open their hearts to hear His word. Christ Jesus our Lord sees and knows all, He only wants what is best for us. And He has sent His holy spirit to guide us. Let us be docile to His promptings. Amen

First reading

2 Kings 19:9-11,14-21,31-36
The Lord protects Jerusalem from Sennacherib and the Assyrians

Sennacherib, King of the Assyrians, sent messengers to Hezekiah saying, ‘Tell this to Hezekiah king of Judah, “Do not let your God on whom you are relying deceive you, when he says: Jerusalem shall not fall into the power of the king of Assyria. You have learnt by now what the kings of Assyria have done to every country, putting them all under the ban. Are you likely to be spared?’
Hezekiah took the letter from the hands of the messenger and read it; he then went up to the Temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. Hezekiah said this prayer in the presence of the Lord, ‘O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, enthroned on the cherubs, you alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth, you have made heaven and earth.

‘Give ear, Lord, and listen. Open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words of Sennacherib
who has sent to insult the living God.

‘It is true, O Lord, that the kings of Assyria have exterminated all the nations, they have thrown their gods on the fire, for these were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, and hence they have destroyed them. But now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, I pray you, and let all the kingdoms of the earth know that you alone are God, the Lord.’
Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah. ‘The Lord, the God of Israel,’ he said, ‘says this, “I have heard the prayer you have addressed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria.” Here is the oracle that the Lord has pronounced against him:

‘“She despises you, she scorns you, the virgin, daughter of Zion;
she tosses her head behind you,the daughter of Jerusalem.”
‘This, then, is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
‘“He will not enter this city, he will let fly no arrow against it, confront it with no shield, throw up no earthwork against it.
By the road that he came on he will return; he shall not enter this city. It is the Lord who speaks.
I will protect this city and save it for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”’

That same night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. Sennacherib struck camp and left; he returned home and stayed in Nineveh.

Gospel

Matthew 7:6,12-14
Treat others as you would like them to treat you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.
‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’