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.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

We are all sinners in need for love and mercy. And so we should not try to see perfection in others for we will be surely be disappointed. We all have shortcomings one way or another. If we continue to only find and look into the faults in one another we will become bitter and soon find ourselves isolated.

Turn to the Lord our God who alone is perfect. With contrite hearts let Him take away our sins and purify us. Through Him we will look upon one another with eyes of love and mercy. We will be able to see the good in all that we meet. Together with all our imperfections we will work to build His Kingdom. Christ will make straight our crooked lines. Amen

First reading

2 Kings 17:5-8,13-15,18
There was none left, but the tribe of Judah only

The king of Assyria invaded the whole country and, coming to Samaria, laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah on the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
This happened because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshipped other gods, they followed the practices of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed for them.
And yet through all the prophets and all the seers, the Lord had given Israel and Judah this warning, ‘Turn from your wicked ways and keep my commandments and my laws in accordance with the entire Law I laid down for your fathers and delivered to them through my servants the prophets.’ But they would not listen, they were more stubborn than their ancestors had been who had no faith in the Lord their God. They despised his laws and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the warnings he had given them. They pursued emptiness, and themselves became empty through copying the nations round them although the Lord had ordered them not to act as they did. For this, the Lord was enraged with Israel and thrust them away from him. There was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

Gospel

Matthew 7:1-5
Do not judge, and you will not be judged

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.’

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Posted: June 23, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

He Must Increase:

Scott Hahn Reflects
on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Readings:

Is 49:1–6
Ps 139:1–3, 13–15
Acts 13:22–26
Lk 1:57–66, 80

The people in this week’s Gospel are frightened and amazed by the mysterious events surrounding the birth of John. Only his mother and father, Elizabeth and Zechariah, know what this child will be. John the Baptist was fashioned in secret, knit by God in his mother’s womb, as we sing in this Sunday’s Psalm. From the womb he was set apart, formed to be God’s servant, as Isaiah declares in this week’s First Reading.
The whole story of John’s birth is thick with Old Testament echoes, especially echoes of the story of Abraham. God appeared to Abraham and promised that his wife would bear him a son; He announced the son’s name and the role Isaac would play in salvation history (Genesis 17:1, 16, 19).
The same thing happened to Zechariah and Elizabeth. Through His angel, God announced John’s birth to this righteous yet barren couple. He made them call John a special name—and told them the special part John would play in fulfilling His plan for history (Luke 1:5–17).
As Paul says in today’s Second Reading, John was to herald the fulfillment of all God’s promises to the children of Abraham (Luke 1:55, 73). John was to bring the word of salvation to all the people of Israel. More than that, he was to be a light to the nations—to all those groping in the dark for God.
We often associate John with his fiery preaching (Matthew 3:7–12). But there was a deep humility at the heart of his mission. Paul alludes to that when he quotes John’s words about not being worthy to unfasten the sandals of Christ’s feet. John said, “[Christ] must increase. I must decrease” (John 3:30).
We must have that same attitude as we seek to follow Jesus. The repentance John preached was a turning away from sin and selfishness and a turning of our whole hearts to the Father.
We must decrease so that, like John, we can grow strong in the Spirit until Christ is made manifest in each of us.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Do not be mistaken, we are not called to live carefree lives depending wholly on God our Father’s providence. If we love the Lord our God then we need to be obedient unto Him. Listen to His will for each and everyone of us.

When we work, we work for His glory, in fact in all that we do, we should do it well, so as to glorify Him. And indeed all we will ever need to build His Kingdom will be provided for. For our relationship with our Lord is one of great love and friendship. Just as Jesus laid down His life for us. So too do we become more willing to lay down our life for Him and for one anothre.

O Lord my God I have set my heart on Your Kingdom. Let all be done according to Your will. Amen

First reading

2 Chronicles 24:17-25
‘You have deserted the Lord: now he deserts you’

After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came to pay court to the king, and the king now turned to them for advice. The Judaeans abandoned the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, for the worship of sacred poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem. He sent them prophets to bring them back to the Lord, but when these gave their message, they would not listen. The spirit of God took possession of Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said, ‘God says this, “Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord to no good purpose? You have deserted the Lord, now he deserts you.”’ They then plotted against him and by order of the king stoned him in the court of the Temple of the Lord. King Joash, forgetful of the kindness that Jehoiada, the father of Zechariah, had shown him, killed Jehoiada’s son who cried out as he died, ‘The Lord sees and he will avenge!’
When a year had gone by, the Aramaean army made war on Joash. They reached Judah and Jerusalem, and executed all the officials among the people, sending back to the king at Damascus all that they had plundered from them. Though the Aramaean army had by no means come in force, the Lord delivered into its power an army of great size for having deserted him, the God of their ancestors.
The Aramaeans treated Joash as he had deserved, and when they retired they left him a very sick man; and his officers, plotting against him to avenge the death of the son of Jehoiada the priest, murdered him in his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the Citadel of David, though not in the tombs of the kings.

Gospel

Matthew 6:24-34
Do not worry about tomorrow: your holy Father knows your needs

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.
‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith? So do not worry; do not say, “What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?” It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

We spend our whole lives wanting to be in control of everything and everyone although we may never declare this to be true. We then hold on tightly to all we have while wanting more all the time. If we continue this chosen path we will find ourselves empty and alone. Death for us is a certainty.

Let us turn all our desires, passion instead to loving, serving the Lord our God and one another. For through Christ Jesus alone will we have peace, love, joy and above all eternal life with Him. Avert our eyes from sin and sinful temptations so that the light of Christ within us can burn ever so brightly for all the world to see. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20
Saved from the massacre, the true king is anointed by the high priest

When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah learned that her son was dead, she promptly did away with all those of royal stock. But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, secretly took away Jehoash, her brother’s son, from among the sons of the king who were being murdered, and put him with his nurse in the sleeping quarters; in this way she hid him from Athaliah, and he was not put to death. He stayed with her for six years, hidden in the Temple of the Lord, while Athaliah governed the country.
In the seventh year, Jehoiada sent for the commanders of hundreds of the Carians and of the guards, and had them brought to him in the Temple of the Lord. He made a pact with them and, putting them under oath, showed them the king’s son.
The commanders of hundreds did everything as Jehoiada the priest had ordered. They brought their men, those coming off duty on the sabbath together with those mounting guard on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. The priest equipped the commanders of hundreds with King David’s spears and shields which were in the Temple of the Lord. The guards formed up, each man with his weapon in his hand, from the south corner to the north corner of the Temple, surrounding the altar and the Temple.’ Then Jehoiada brought out the king’s son, put the crown and armlets on him, and he anointed him king. They clapped their hands and shouted, ‘Long live the king!’
Athaliah, on hearing the shouts of the people made for the Temple of the Lord where the people were. When she saw the king standing there beside the pillar, as the custom was, with the captains and trumpeters at the king’s side, and all the country people rejoicing and sounding trumpets, Athaliah tore her garments and shouted, ‘Treason, treason!’ Then Jehoiada the priest gave the order to the army officers: ‘Take her outside the precincts and put to death anyone who follows her.’ ‘For,’ the priest had reasoned, ‘she must not be put to death in the Temple of the Lord.’ They seized her, and when she had reached the palace through the Entry of the Horses, she was put to death there.
Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and king and people, by which the latter undertook to be the people of the Lord; and also between king and people. All the country people then went to the temple of Baal and demolished it; they smashed his altars and his images and killed Mattan, priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
The priest posted sentries to guard the Temple of the Lord. All the country people were delighted, and the city made no move. And they put Athaliah to death in the royal palace.

Gospel

Matthew 6:19-23
Store up treasure for yourselves in heaven

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and woodworms destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworms destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be all darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkness, what darkness that will be!’

On Today’s Gospel

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

“Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus forgave us from the cross.

Yet how many people have we wronged? How many of those did we regret using profanities, harsh words and regretted our terrible actions? What if there were no forgiveness either from God, ourselves or others? Broken relationships remain broken unto death! Let us ask ourselves, is this the Lord’s way? Is this the kind of life we want for ourselves and for our children?

If not then through the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ let us forgive everyone their sins against us. Family, friends, colleagues, strangers, priests, clergy and so on….For then we know that we too will be forgiven by our loving Father in Heaven.

Then we can strive for Holiness as we pray, listen to our Lord’s word and live according to His word and will for us.

Lord Jesus, I want to leave behind as I return to You; a legacy of bringing those who were lost back to You and to have led everyone into a deep personal relationship with You. Through You, with You and in You. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 48:1-15
The spirit of Elijah fills Elisha

The prophet Elijah arose like a fire, his word flaring like a torch.
It was he who brought famine on the people, and who decimated them in his zeal.
By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heavens, he also, three times, brought down fire.
How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah!
Has anyone reason to boast as you have? –
rousing a corpse from death, from Sheol by the word of the Most High; dragging kings down to destruction, and high dignitaries from their beds; hearing reproof on Sinai, and decrees of punishment on Horeb;
anointing kings as avengers, and prophets to succeed you; taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses; designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob,
Happy shall they be who see you, and those who have fallen asleep in love; for we too will have life.

Elijah was shrouded in the whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit;
throughout his life no ruler could shake him, and no one could subdue him.
No task was too hard for him, and even in death his body prophesied.
In his lifetime he performed wonders, and in death his works were marvellous.

Gospel

Matthew 6:7-15
How to pray

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one.

‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Authentic discipleship of our Lord Jesus Christ comes from love of God and neighbour. Hence a disciple is obedient unto the Lord and strives to follow His will be it through spiritual guidance or direction.

To grow deeper in love and discipleship, there are three main spiritual exercises which are essential as they are vital for growth. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving. And Jesus speaks to us on how this is to be done in today’s Gospel.

In our desire to love and serve Him with all our heart, mind, strength and soul; we will be given the grace to do great things in His name for His kingdom. Amen

First reading

2 Kings 2:1,6-14
Elijah is taken up to heaven

This is what happened when the Lord took Elijah up to heaven in the whirlwind: Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, Elijah said, ‘Elisha, please stay here, the Lord is only sending me to the Jordan.’ But he replied, ‘As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ And they went on together.
Fifty of the brotherhood of prophets followed them, halting some distance away as the two of them stood beside the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water; and the water divided to left and right, and the two of them crossed over dry-shod. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Make your request. What can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ Elisha answered, ‘Let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ ‘Your request is a difficult one’ Elijah said. ‘If you see me while I am being taken from you, it shall be as you ask; if not, it will not be so.’ Now as they walked on, talking as they went, a chariot of fire appeared and horses of fire, coming between the two of them; and Elijah went up to heaven in the whirlwind. Elisha saw it, and shouted, ‘My father! My father! Chariot of Israel and its chargers!’ Then he lost sight of him, and taking hold of his clothes he tore them in half. He picked up the cloak of Elijah which had fallen, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
He took the cloak of Elijah and struck the water. ‘Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ he cried. He struck the water, and it divided to right and left, and Elisha crossed over.

Gospel

Matthew 6:1-6,16-18
Your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 19, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Listen to the Lord’s call to repent of your sins. There is no sin too heinous that He will not forgive, if you humble yourself and turn to Him.

It is only through Him that we can love others the way we ought to. We will neither be petty nor vindictive. We will always be ready to forgive and remember that we have forgiven just as we remember that we ourselves were forgiven our sins by the Lord our God.

We do not seek perfection in others for we know that we ourselves are far from perfect. Yet together we will strive for perfection in Jesus our Lord, for through Him alone we have the grace for Holiness. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 21:17-29
The punishment of Ahab and Jezebel foretold

After the death of Naboth, the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Up! Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, in Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard; he has gone down to take possession of it. You are to say this to him, “the Lord says this: You have committed murder; now you usurp as well. For this – and the Lord says this – in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too.”’ Ahab said to Elijah, ‘So you have found me out, O my enemy!’ Elijah answered, ‘I have found you out. For your double dealing, and since you have done what is displeasing to the Lord, I will now bring disaster down on you; I will sweep away your descendants, and wipe out every male belonging to the family of Ahab, fettered or free in Israel. I will treat your House as I treated the House of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah, for provoking my anger and leading Israel into sin. (Against Jezebel the Lord spoke these words: The dogs will eat Jezebel in the Field of Jezreel.) Those of Ahab’s family who die in the city, the dogs will eat; and those who die in the open country, the birds of the air will eat.’
And indeed there never was anyone like Ahab for double dealing and for doing what is displeasing to the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the most abominable way, adhering to idols, just as the Amorites used to do whom the Lord had dispossessed for the sons of Israel.
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments and put sackcloth next his skin and fasted; he slept in the sackcloth; he walked with slow steps. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; I will bring the disaster down on his House in the days of his son.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:43-48
Pray for those who persecute you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 18, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

When things do not go according to what we want or planned do we then sulk and wallow into bitterness? Or allow wickedness to takeover by manipulation? We have excluded God in our lives by these thoughts and deeds.

The Lord invites us go deeper into our relationship with Him. By offering the wicked no resistance, that is not to further fall into the trap of fighting as to kill or be killed. Whether physically or spiritually. Instead live and fight with weapons of love if not today then another. For we are called to love and lead others to love of Him.

Jesus give me the courage and strength to overcome evil with love. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 21:1-16
Ahab covets Naboth’s vineyard and Jezebel has him killed

Naboth of Jezreel had a vineyard close by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria, and Ahab said to Naboth, ‘Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden, since it adjoins my house; I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will give you its worth in money.’ But Naboth answered Ahab, ‘The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors!’
Ahab went home gloomy and out of temper at the words of Naboth of Jezreel, ‘I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.’ He lay down on his bed and turned his face away and refused to eat. His wife Jezebel came to him. ‘Why are you so dispirited’ she said ‘that you will not eat?’ He said, ‘I have been speaking to Naboth of Jezreel; I said: Give me your vineyard either for money or, if you prefer, for another vineyard in exchange. But he said, “I will not give you my vineyard.”’ Then his wife Jezebel said, ‘You make a fine king of Israel, and no mistake! Get up and eat; cheer up, and you will feel better; I will get you the vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel myself.’
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, sending them to the elders and nobles who lived where Naboth lived. In the letters she wrote, ‘Proclaim a fast, and put Naboth in the forefront of the people. Confront him with a couple of scoundrels who will accuse him like this, “You have cursed God and the king.” Then take him outside and stone him to death.’
The men of Naboth’s town, the elders and nobles who lived in his town, did what Jezebel ordered, what was written in the letters she had sent them. They proclaimed a fast and put Naboth in the forefront of the people. Then the two scoundrels came and stood in front of him and made their accusation, ‘Naboth has cursed God and the king.’ They led him outside the town and stoned him to death. They then sent word to Jezebel, ‘Naboth has been stoned to death.’ When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, ‘Get up! Take possession of the vineyard which Naboth of Jezreel would not give you for money, for Naboth is no longer alive, he is dead.’ When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth of Jezreel and take possession of it.

Gospel

Matthew 5:38-42
Offer the wicked man no resistance

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.’

Happy Father’s Day

Posted: June 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Photos

Today we honour and thank the Lord our God for gracing us with His guardians our human fathers who strive to shepherd their families to greater holiness and love in Him. We include in our prayers our Holy father Pope Francis, our Bishops, priests. We also call to mind St Joseph our model for fatherhood. And we remember in our prayers all fathers who have returned home to our Lord.

Thank You Heavenly Father for your continued blessings upon all Fathers. We Your children wish You a Happy Father’s Day! Amen

Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted: June 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Tree of Righteousness:

Scott Hahn Reflects
on the Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Readings:

Ezekiel 17:22–24
Psalm 92:2–3, 13–14, 15–16
2 Corinthians 5:6–10
Mark 4:26–34

In the cryptic message of the prophet Ezekiel, long centuries before the Lord’s coming, God gave His people reason to hope. Ezekiel glimpsed a day when the Lord God would place a tree on a mountain in Israel, a tree that would “put forth branches and bear fruit.” Who could have predicted that the tree would be a cross on the hill of Calvary, and that the fruit would be salvation?

Ezekiel foresees salvation coming to “birds of every kind”—thus, not just to the people of Israel, but also to the Gentiles, who will “take wing” through their new life in Christ. God indeed will “lift high the lowly tree,” as He solemnly promises.

Such salvation surpasses humanity’s most ambitious dreams. And so we express our gratitude in the psalm: “Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.” It is indeed good, and better still to give thanks with praise. The psalmist speaks of those who are just upon the earth, but looks to God as the source and measure of justice, of righteousness. Like Ezekiel, he evokes the image of a flourishing tree to describe the lives of the just. The image, again, suggests the Cross as the measure of righteousness.

The Cross is a sign of contradiction to those who would rather “flourish” in worldly terms. As St. Paul emphasizes to the Corinthians, we need courage. Our faith makes us strong and it is proved in our deeds. He reminds us that we will be judged by the ways our faith manifests itself in works: “so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.”

God Himself will empower the works He expects from us, though we freely choose to correspond to His grace. In the prophetic oracles, He scattered the seed that sprang up and became the mustard tree, large enough to accommodate all the birds of the sky, just as Ezekiel had seen. He gave
this doctrine to His disciples in terms they were able to understand, and He provided a full explanation. In the sacraments He provides still more: the grace of faith and the courage we need to live in the world as children of God.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

If we truly love the Lord our God and are living in His love then even our answers or replies to others will reflect our relationship with Him.

No one can say we have not heard the Lord’s calling. For we have all been called to discipleship. The only difference between each one is our response to His call. Have we shut our ears? Have we procrastinated? Have we let inertia take over? Have we decided it was in all our minds? That we are not ready? Or have we responded yes Lord, let it be done according to Your will. Let us meditate on the Lord’s word taken from Luke 9:62

“Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Lord here I am, use me! Amen

First reading

1 Kings 19:19-21
Elisha leaves the plough to follow Elijah

Leaving Mount Horeb, Elijah came on Elisha son of Shaphat as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he himself being with the twelfth. Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you’ he said. Elijah answered, ‘Go, go back; for have I done anything to you?’ Elisha turned away, took the pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the plough for cooking the oxen, then gave to his men, who ate. He then rose, and followed Elijah and became his servant.

Gospel

Matthew 5:33-37
Do not swear: say ‘Yes’ if you mean Yes, ‘No’ if you mean No

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne; or by the earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great king. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the evil one.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Be faithful and obedient unto the Lord your God always, as He Himself is faithful and ever loving. And in our hour of need His peace will come upon us like a gentle breeze embracing us through His presence.

Faithfulness to God is when we choose to love Him over all temptations and sin. We turn to Him either in prayer or through His word in moments of weakness. We seek to dwell in His presence always. Because we choose to be faithful, we remain in His love and by His love we love and are faithful to one another.

Lord guide me in faithfulness and love. So that I may remain always in Your presence to hear Your sweet gentle voice. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 19:9,11-16
The Lord was not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice came to him, which said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I am filled with jealous zeal for the Lord of Hosts, because the sons of Israel have deserted you, broken down your altars and put your prophets to the sword. I am the only one left and they want to kill me.’
‘Go,’ the Lord said, ‘go back by the same way to the wilderness of Damascus. You are to go and anoint Hazael as king of Aram. You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:27-32
If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell.
‘It has also been said: Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal. But I say this to you: everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 14, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We are all in need of our Lord’s mercy, love especially forgiveness for our many sins against Him. And by His great love for us, He pours out His mercy and grace upon us when we humbly turn to Him in our prayers. Yet to fully love Him and to live fully in His Love we need to be merciful and forgiving ourselves. This is what sets our hearts free.

Yes there are times we may be hurt deeply and find it difficult to forgive. Turn to the Lord and He will heal you and through His divine grace and love, you will be set free to forgive. For all things are possible with the Lord our God.

Lord me live fully in Your love, according to your will. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 18:41-46
‘A cloud no bigger than a man’s hand’

Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go back, eat and drink; for I hear the sound of rain.’ While Ahab went back to eat and drink, Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel and bowed down to the earth, putting his face between his knees. ‘Now go up,’ he told his servant ‘and look out to the sea.’ He went up and looked. ‘There is nothing at all’ he said. ‘Go back seven times’ Elijah said. The seventh time, the servant said, ‘Now there is a cloud, small as a man’s hand, rising from the sea.’ Elijah said, ‘Go and say to Ahab, “Harness the chariot and go down before the rain stops you.”’ And with that the sky grew dark with cloud and storm, and rain fell in torrents. Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel. The hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and tucking up his cloak he ran in front of Ahab as far as the outskirts of Jezreel.

Gospel

Matthew 5:20-26
Anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 12, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What are the idols in your life? What is it that possess your heart and minds? It is wealth, honour,fame,sex, drugs, alcohol, games? That which you pursue day after day and yet are no closer to contentment. Oftentimes hurting yourself in the process and running on empty.

Turn away from sin and come before the Lord your God. For it is truly in Jesus Christ alone that we have peace and joy in our hearts. Following His commandments to love is what sets us free. For by doing so we live in His love. It is our duty to guide and lead one another unto the right path to greater holiness.

O dearest Saint Anthony intercede for me, that I may be granted your eloquence and humble desire to lead everyone closer to Jesus so that one day soon we may all partake in our heavenly inheritance. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 18:20-39
Elijah vanquishes the priests of Baal

Ahab called all Israel together and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah stepped out in front of all the people. ‘How long’ he said ‘do you mean to hobble first on one leg then on the other? If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.’ But the people never said a word. Elijah then said to them, ‘I, I alone, am left as a prophet of the Lord, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty. Let two bulls be given us; let them choose one for themselves, dismember it and lay it on the wood, but not set fire to it. I in my turn will prepare the other bull, but not set fire to it. You must call on the name of your god, and I shall call on the name of mine; the god who answers with fire, is God indeed.’ The people all answered, ‘Agreed!’ Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose one bull and begin, for there are more of you. Call on the name of your god but light no fire.’ They took the bull and prepared it, and from morning to midday they called on the name of Baal. ‘O Baal, answer us!’ they cried, but there was no voice, no answer, as they performed their hobbling dance round the altar they had made. Midday came, and Elijah mocked them. ‘Call louder,’ he said ‘for he is a god: he is preoccupied or he is busy, or he has gone on a journey; perhaps he is asleep and will wake up.’ So they shouted louder and gashed themselves, as their custom was, with swords and spears until the blood flowed down them. Midday passed, and they ranted on until the time the offering is presented; but there was no voice, no answer, no attention given to them.
Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come closer to me’, and all the people came closer to him. He repaired the altar of the Lord which had been broken down. Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, ‘Israel shall be your name’, and built an altar in the name of the Lord. Round the altar he dug a trench of a size to hold two measures of seed. He then arranged the wood, dismembered the bull, and laid it on the wood. Then he said, ‘Fill four jars with water and pour it on the holocaust and on the wood’; this they did. He said, ‘Do it a second time’; they did it a second time. He said, ‘Do it a third time’; they did it a third time. The water flowed round the altar and the trench itself was full of water. At the time when the offering is presented, Elijah the prophet stepped forward. ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel,’ he said ‘let them know today that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, that I have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, the Lord, are God and are winning back their hearts.’
Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the holocaust and wood and licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this they fell on their faces. ‘The Lord is God,’ they cried, ‘the Lord is God.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:17-19
I have not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to complete them

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 12, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We cannot stay hidden or remain inward looking. Otherwise we will slowly whither. For we are children of the light and must therefore shine for the world to see. It is through our love, service and sharing of the word that the world will know of our loving Lord and God.

Through our faith we have the hope the world longs for. Many have plunged into darkness for they see their circumstances as dire and hopeless. But we know and care share that through the mercy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ salvation is at hand.

Let us go out into the world with courage and boldly shine the light of Christ for the world to see by the way we live our lives in Him. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 17:7-16
The widow gives food to Elijah, and is fed

The stream in the place where Elijah lay hidden dried up, for the country had no rain. And then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, ‘Up and go to Zarephath, a Sidonian town, and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to give you food.’ So he went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks; addressing her he said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’ he said ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel:

“Jar of meal shall not be spent, jug of oil shall not be emptied, before the day when the Lord sends

rain on the face of the earth.”’

The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.

Gospel

Matthew 5:13-16
Your light must shine in the sight of men

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 11, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Happy are we who live in the light of our Lord, who do His will always. No matter how hard or challenging it gets for they know His grace, peace, love and the Holy Spirit is upon them always. That is why they choose to love first always.

Let us use the gifts and talents we have been given to lead others to the love of our Lord Jesus Christ through the relationship we have in Him.

St Barnabas pray for us. Amen

First reading

Acts 11:21-26,13:1-3
He was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith

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.’
In the church at Antioch the following were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast, the Holy Spirit said, ‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.’ So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Gospel

Matthew 5:1-12
How happy are the poor in spirit

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn:they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven: this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.’.


Leading one another into the sacred.

We all have a responsibility to help one another grow in our faith and in the deeper understanding of our Catholic traditions that draw us deeper into the sacred. Profoundly in the Eucharist celebration that is celebrated on hallowed ground.

So then when is it ever appropriate to dress down in Church in which Christ the Lord our God is most profoundly present especially in the blessed sacrament? When is it ever ok to stand in the sanctuary, before the altar of sacrifice or tabernacle and take selfies, wefies or group photos? How do we honour the Lord our God if we make no distinction or observe no reverence for what is sacred?

If we make the effort to learn about sacred liturgy it will draw us into a deeper appreciation and participation in the Eucharistic Celebration in which heaven and earth unites. Every gesture, posture, proclamations, responses and prayers lead us into Holy Communion with the Lord our God and one another.

We must keep ourselves constantly updated to learn and understand what is appropriate in the Eucharistic Celebration, the whys as well as the why nots. For example we should not clap our hands during the EC. Or while it would appear that we are one loving community when we hold hands while praying the our Father, it is not an appropriate gesture for the Eucharistic Celebration. We will find that over the years many had written to the Vatican to find out if it could be allowed and the answer had been consistently No. Another NO NO is the laity should never adopt the ouran position which is reserved only for consecrated ordained priests.

If we profess we love Jesus and that we are one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, then we must be obedient unto Christ Jesus, our Pope His vicar and His Holy Church. We must never cease to learn and grow in our faith. Amen

Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted: June 9, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Promised One:

Scott Hahn Reflects
on the Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Readings:

Gn 3:9–15
Ps 130:1–2, 3–4, 5–6, 7–8
2 Cor 4:13–5:1
Mk 3:20–35

In today’s Gospel Jesus has just been healing and casting out demons in Galilee. Along with the crowds, who flock to Him so that He can’t even take a break to eat, come people who do not understand what He is doing. Even His friends think He has lost His mind and needs to be taken away for a while. But the scribes who came down from Jerusalem are not just honestly mistaken; they accuse Him of being possessed by the prince of demons.

The reality is just the opposite. Jesus is revealing Himself as the one promised in our First Reading. He is the seed of the woman who has come to crush the head of the demonic serpent. In the parable of the strong man, Jesus reveals that He has come not just to punish the devil but to free those bound by him. As St. Bede explains, “The Lord has also bound the strong man, that is, the devil: which means, He has restrained him from seducing the elect, and entering into his house, the world; He has spoiled his house, and His goods, that is men, because He has snatched them from the snares of the devil, and has united them to His Church.”

The scribes blaspheme by attributing this work of the Holy Spirit to demons. Jesus adds a statement that shocks us at first: “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness.” That does not mean that there are any limits to the mercy of God (CCC 1864). Rather, the only sin that cannot be forgiven is the deliberate refusal to accept the mercy offered through the Holy Spirit.

Instead, we must imitate those who sat at Jesus’ feet. For, as He said, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 9, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What do we or our families gain by a watered down faith? This is a very real problem this day in which many pick and choose what they want to believe. Faith of convenience! Instead of faith in the way, the truth and the life, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Jesus showed us the way by His faithfulness to God our Father. He always walked the narrow path to follow the will of His Father and St Paul in his letter to Timothy guides us in the way we should live out our faith by his own example. In all things let us choose to love, not as an emotion but in action for the love of the our Lord and God and our neighbour.

O blessed Mother, help us to contemplate more deeply the word of Your Son Jesus Christ, that we may live always in His love. Amen

First reading

2 Timothy 4:1-8
I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; it is time for me to be gone

Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I put this duty to you, in the name of his Appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching. The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life’s work, in thoroughgoing service.
As 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.

Gospel

Luke 2:41-51
Mary stored up all these things in her heart

Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have, you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’
‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied. ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’ But they did not understand what he meant.
He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 8, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Today as we celebrate the Solemnity of the sacred heart of Jesus let us dwell deeply on the great love of the Lord our God for us.

No living person can ever love us the way the living God loved us even in his humanity. We rejected, spat, tormented and humiliated him yet he still loved us. We beat, scourge, tortured, crucified and pierced him yet he still loved us. We abandoned him in his greatest hour of need yet he still loved us. He forgave to the very end as he hung upon the cross for our sins. Through His sacred heart divine mercy and love flows upon His Church, His flock.

Thank You Jesus my Lord and my God! For it is by Your grace and love for me that I can truly love as You do. Pour out your Spirit on us all Lord so that through Your sacred heart we may always love one another as You love us. Amen

First reading

Hosea 11:1,3-4,8-9
I will not give rein to my fierce anger, for I am God, not man

Listen to the word of the Lord:

When Israel was a child I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.
I myself taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in my arms; yet they have not understood that I was the one looking after them.
I led them with reins of kindness, with leading-strings of love.
I was like someone who lifts an infant close against his cheek;
stooping down to him I gave him his food.

Ephraim, how could I part with you?
Israel, how could I give you up?
How could I treat you like Admah, or deal with you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils from it,
my whole being trembles at the thought.
I will not give rein to my fierce anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again, for I am God, not man: I am the Holy One in your midst and have no wish to destroy.

Second reading
Ephesians 3:8-12,14-19
The love of Christ is beyond all knowledge

I, Paul, who am less than the least of all the saints have been entrusted with this special grace, not only of proclaiming to the pagans the infinite treasure of Christ but also of explaining how the mystery is to be dispensed. Through all the ages, this has been kept hidden in God, the creator of everything. Why? So that the Sovereignties and Powers should learn only now, through the Church, how comprehensive God’s wisdom really is, exactly according to the plan which he had had from all eternity in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is why we are bold enough to approach God in complete confidence, through our faith in him; This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

Gospel

John 19:31-37
Out of his pierced side there came out blood and water

It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:

Not one bone of his will be broken; and again, in another place scripture says:

They will look on the one whom they have pierced.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 6, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How we yearn to hear our Lord saying to us, “You my son, my daughter are not far from the kingdom of God.” Yet all who truly love Him and strive through the struggles of the day to follow His ways and love our neighbour will surely hear Him say those very words.

For by His divine grace we will succeed in reaching our final destination of eternal life with Him. This was His divine love plan for us when Jesus came to liberate us from sin by His death and resurrection. So let us die in Him so that we might rise with and in Him.

O Faithful ever loving God, guide me so that I may always be faithfully Yours now and forever. Amen

First reading

2 Timothy 2:8-15

Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal – but they cannot chain up God’s news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it.
Here is a saying that you can rely on:

If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful,
for he cannot disown his own self.

Remind them of this; and tell them in the name of God that there is to be no wrangling about words: all that this ever achieves is the destruction of those who are listening. Do all you can to present yourself in front of God as a man who has come through his trials, and a man who has no cause to be ashamed of his life’s work and has kept a straight course with the message of the truth.

Gospel

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 6, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Even as the season of Eastertide is over we must continue to live in the joy of the Risen Lord who has saved us from death. To do this we must live in the spirit by avoiding sin at all cost, praying as one family and living according to His word and not of the world.

Then we will be able to spread the joy of the Gospel with vigour and courage. For we go forth filled with His grace and love at every Eucharistic Celebration.

Jesus You are the same yesterday, today and forever. And I want you dwell with You now and forever. Amen

First reading

2 Timothy 1:1-3,6-12
God’s gift is the Spirit of power, love and self-control

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus in his design to promise life in Christ Jesus; to Timothy, dear child of mine, wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Night and day I thank God, keeping my conscience clear and remembering my duty to him as my ancestors did, and always I remember you in my prayers. That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy – not because of anything we ourselves have done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, but it has only been revealed by the Appearing of our saviour Christ Jesus. He abolished death, and he has proclaimed life and immortality through the Good News; and I have been named its herald, its apostle and its teacher.
It is only on account of this that I am experiencing fresh hardships here now; but I have not lost confidence, because I know who it is that I have put my trust in, and I have no doubt at all that he is able to take care of all that I have entrusted to him until that Day.

Gospel

Mark 12:18-27
The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob is the God of the living

Some Sadducees – who deny that there is a resurrection – came to him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first married a wife and then died leaving no children. The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same, and none of the seven left any children. Last of all the woman herself died. Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?’
Jesus said to them, ‘Is not the reason why you go wrong, that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the Bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 5, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Everyday we awake to a new beginning and a choice on what we will be offering to the Lord our God this very day. That is if we decide to offer anything at all. Do we then offer our time? Our prayers? Our love by doing His will?

Are we thankful for His grace and the gifts He bestows upon us and our families? How then are we thanking Him? How then are we sharing His love with others as He has called us to do so?

O Lord my God, all I have comes from You. Let my thanks and praise come from serving You and my brethren in Your love. Amen

First reading

2 Peter 3:11-15,17-18
We are waiting for the new heaven and the new earth

You should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace. Think of our Lord’s patience as your opportunity to be saved. You have been warned about this, my friends; be careful not to get carried away by the errors of unprincipled people, from the firm ground that you are standing on. Instead, go on growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory, in time and in eternity. Amen.

Gospel

Mark 12:13-17
Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God

The chief priests and the scribes and the elders sent to Jesus some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said. These came and said to him, ‘Master, we know you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’ Seeing through their hypocrisy he said to them, ‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’ They handed him one and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they told him. Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ This reply took them completely by surprise.

LOL FAMILY CAMP 2018

Posted: June 4, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

Theme – Love or lost

What a blessing to be part of the first ever archdiocese level family camp. Families from different parishes gathered together to experience the love of our Lord and to have fun together.

The youths had several opportunities to reflect as well as bond through their own separate activities. The kids too, those below 12 had some enrichment and lots of fun games to take part in. While the adults re-learnt the great importance of loving one another after God. That is if we love God first in our lives; followed by loving one another, the love for our children will be heightened and the family will be one.

Apart from that it gave me great joy to meet and bond with other families from the other parishes. The greatest joy came from first being given the opportunity as husband and wife to serve at the Eucharistic celebrations, especially on the feast of Corpus Christi. And secondly, being able to share the love of Christ through our faith experiences with one another. By giving hope and encouragement to a mother struggling to bring the family together for prayer. Then sharing with another who was genuinely seeking but not yet finding; the experience and importance of belonging to a community even building up one through faith in Christ.

All of us were truly blessed not only to experience the love of Christ in very tangible ways but to have a wonderful spiritual director who led us very much closer to Him through the love sessions.

I was very much in awe to learn at the end of the camp as we were departing that the lady I had spoken to about community had managed to get three other families staying close by to continue their journey together. One of them was a neophyte! What a blessing indeed to witness the grace of God and the fruits of the camp.

Glory and Praise to God our Father, His son our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 4, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

All that we have comes from the Lord our God. And yet many hoard all they have for themselves. Because of this, greed and selfishness sets in their hearts which often leads to other self indulgent vices even death. This unrepentant way of life is one which rejects our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore He is absent.

Those who respond to His call to love. Will bear much fruit and the more they give away from what they have been given, the more they receive from Him. This is made possible through His divine grace which He pours out on us who seek union with Him. By the foundation of our faith we strive for the virtues and fruits of the Holy Spirit through daily acts of love for Him and for one another.

Jesus You are the Lord of my life. Amen

First reading

2 Peter 1:2-7
You will be able to share the divine nature if you add goodness to your faith

May you have more and more grace and peace as you come to know our Lord more and more.
By his divine power, he has given us all the things that we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself, who has called us by his own glory and goodness. In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice. But to attain this, you will have to do your utmost yourselves, adding goodness to the faith that you have, understanding to your goodness, self-control to your understanding, patience to your self-control, true devotion to your patience, kindness towards your fellow men to your devotion, and, to this kindness, love.

Gospel

Mark 12:1-12
They seized the beloved son, killed him and threw him out of the vineyard

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes and the elders in parables: ‘A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest. He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all. “They will respect my son” he said. But those tenants said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this text of scripture:

It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?

And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Posted: June 2, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Blood of the Covenant:

Scott Hahn Reflects

on the Solemnity of

Corpus Christi

Readings:

Exodus 24:3–8
Psalm 116:12–13, 15–18
Hebrews 9:11–15
Mark 14:12–16, 22–26

All of today’s readings are set in the context of the Passover. The First Reading recalls the Old Covenant celebrated at Sinai following the first Passover and the Exodus.
In sprinkling the blood of the covenant on the Israelites, Moses was symbolizing God’s desire in this covenant to make them His family, His “blood” relations.
Quoting Moses’ words in today’s Gospel, Jesus elevates and transforms this covenant symbol to an extraordinary reality. In the New Covenant made in the Blood of Christ, we truly become one with His Body and Blood.
The first covenant made with Moses and Israel at Sinai was but a shadow of this new and greater covenant made by Christ with all humankind in that upper room (Hebrews 10:1).
The Passover that Jesus celebrates with His Twelve Apostles “actualizes,” makes real, what could only be symbolized by Moses’ sacrifice at the altar with twelve pillars. What Jesus does today is establish His Church as the new Israel, and His Eucharist as the new worship of the living God.
In offering Himself to God through the Spirit, Jesus delivered Israel from the transgressions of the first covenant. And, as we hear in today’s Epistle, by His blood He purified us and made us capable of true worship.
God does not want dead works or animal sacrifices. He wants our own flesh and blood, our own lives, consecrated to Him, offered as a living sacrifice. This is the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving that we sing of in today’s Psalm. This is the Eucharist.
What we do in memory of Him is to pledge our lives to Him, to renew our promise to live by the words of His covenant, and to be His servants.
There is no other return we can offer to Him for the eternal inheritance He has won for us. So let us approach the altar, calling upon His name in thanksgiving, taking up the cup of salvation.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 2, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Have we built our foundation upon the rock our Lord Jesus Christ? It is by our foundation of faith in Him that we will be able to reach out in love to others. And mindful of those who have the appearance of good and yet would readily lead others into sin.

Too many these days are self centred, claiming authority for and over themselves. They post feel good, stay strong messages for themselves and others on social media without having to submit to the authority of their Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For if they did, the messages they send out to the universe will be rooted in love, and hearts might be changed.

Jesus You are my Lord and my God. Amen

First reading

Jude 1:17,20-25

Remember, my dear friends, what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you to expect. But you, my dear friends, must use your most holy faith as your foundation and build on that, praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves within the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life. When there are some who have doubts reassure them; when there are some to be saved from the fire, pull them out; but there are others to whom you must be kind with great caution, keeping your distance even from outside clothing which is contaminated by vice.
Glory be to him who can keep you from falling and bring you safe to his glorious presence, innocent and happy. To God, the only God, who saves us through Jesus Christ our Lord, be the glory, majesty, authority and power, which he had before time began, now and for ever. Amen.

Gospel

Mark 11:27-33
I will not tell you my authority for acting like this

Jesus and his disciples came to Jerusalem, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, ‘What authority have you for acting like this? Or who gave you authority to do these things?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you a question, only one; answer me and I will tell you my authority for acting like this. John’s baptism: did it come from heaven, or from man? Answer me that.’ And they argued it out this way among themselves: ‘If we say from heaven, he will say, “Then why did you refuse to believe him?” But dare we say from man?’ – they had the people to fear, for everyone held that John was a real prophet. So their reply to Jesus was, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 1, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Always be ready to bear fruit for our Lord. In or out of season for then truly we are His disciples, for He is our constant source of grace in which we are able to.

Pray, discern and then decide that there nothing so little we do that cannot give Him glory. So if you are called to proclaim, so do with all your heart. If you are called to sing then we all you’re soul. If your are called to clean then clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Even by your joyful reverence during the Eucharistic Celebration can lead others into the sacred. So at all times in every and anything you do, give glory to God.

This is the heart of our faith we must show to the world. Our faith that comes from God our Father, the Son our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen

First reading

1 Peter 4:7-13
Each of you has received a special grace

Everything will soon come to an end, so, to pray better, keep a calm and sober mind. Above all, never let your love for each other grow insincere, since love covers over many a sin. Welcome each other into your houses without grumbling. Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others. If you are a speaker, speak in words which seem to come from God; if you are a helper, help as though every action was done at God’s orders; so that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to him alone belong all glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
My dear people, you must not think it unaccountable that you should be tested by fire. There is nothing extraordinary in what has happened to you. If you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed.

Gospel

Mark 11:11-26
The fig tree; the cleansing of the Temple

After he had been acclaimed by the crowds, Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked all round him, but as it was now late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Next day as they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf some distance away, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it, but when he came up to it he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. And he addressed the fig tree. ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’ he said. And his disciples heard him say this.
So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons. Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple. And he taught them and said, ‘Does not scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples? But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’ This came to the ears of the chief priests and the scribes, and they tried to find some way of doing away with him; they were afraid of him because the people were carried away by his teaching. And when evening came he went out of the city.
Next morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered to the roots. Peter remembered. ‘Look, Rabbi,’ he said to Jesus, ‘the fig tree you cursed has withered away.’ Jesus answered, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, “Get up and throw yourself into the sea,” with no hesitation in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too. But if you do not forgive, your Father in heaven will not forgive your failings either.’