Archive for August, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

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

Stay awake! Second reminder…. You may not get another one… Sounds something like mum and dad would say, still it is call out of love and for love.

Many have fallen asleep to their call to Holiness. To being a follower and disciple of Christ. They have become lazy and ill disciplined. Thinking it is okay to be late for the Eucharist, prayer meetings, fellowships and so on. They have forgotten that their sisters and brothers are not the ones waiting for them to show but Christ Jesus himself. They think there are others more qualified to share Jesus with their own family and friends, which in a way is true because they have not made the time or taken the effort to deepen their relationship with Him, to know Him by His Word. Still many like them think they are smart and know enough, even to share a less gory depiction of what Jesus endured, for to them his death is not important but knowledge and believe in Him is enough. Fools!

Our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. He paid a huge and heavy debt for our sins by enduring cruel torture and death. He hung on a cross out of great love for you and for me. And it is through this great sign of love that we have been redeemed. By His resurrection we have hope joy and Peace in our hearts. For even when we die, we know we will be raised to live our new life with and in Him.

Stay awake and be ready. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:17-25
We preach a crucified Christ, the power and wisdom of God

Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God’s wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach. And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel

Matthew 25:1-13
The wise and foolish virgins

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Start awake! A usual reminder at Advent. But now an appropriate and very important reminder with everything that is going on in world. From the sexual abuse scandals to the continued fighting, bickering amongst men, and all other distractions that draw the people away from the Lord their God.

Let us keep our focus on our Lord Jesus Christ. And strive to be Faithful and obedient stewards. Always and everywhere caring for those He has left in our charge. And while we overcome the many obstacles and challenges we face, we give glory and thanks to the Holy Spirit who had helped us in so many varied ways. By His gifts we are made strong to love and to serve.

Lord guide me always in Your ways so that I may one day hear You say, “Come my good and faithful servant, come dine with Your master and friend.” Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:1-9
You have been enriched in many ways in Christ

I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.
I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.

Gospel

Matthew 24:42-51
He is coming at an hour you do not expect

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

While many of us work hard to feed ourselves and our family, it is equally if not more important to work hard at building God’s kingdom. For is it not our desire to finally rest in His kingdom?

It is by example of working tirelessly for the Lord our God’s glory that we lead others to do likewise. When we place little or no value of what we have in terms of possessions, titles but seek only to do His will and build His Kingdom then only may we be looked upon as good Holy men and women of God.

No evil act will go unpunished for evil begets evil. Seek only to do good for God is good. Amen

St John the Baptist pray for us…

First reading

2 Thessalonians 3:6-10,16-18
We worked night and day not to be a burden on you

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, brothers, to keep away from any of the brothers who refuses to work or to live according to the tradition we passed on to you.
You know how you are supposed to imitate us: now we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we ever have our meals at anyone’s table without paying for them; no, we worked night and day, slaving and straining, so as not to be a burden on any of you. This was not because we had no right to be, but in order to make ourselves an example for you to follow.
We gave you a rule when we were with you: do not let anyone have any food if he refuses to do any work. May the Lord of peace himself give you peace all the time and in every way. The Lord be with you all.
From me, PAUL, these greetings in my own handwriting, which is the mark of genuineness in every letter; this is my own writing. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Gospel

Mark 6:17-29
The beheading of John the Baptist

Herod sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Do you look sweet and shiny on the outside? Do you exude holiness from the inner sanctum of your heart or is it just for display?

Many even if they belong to a community are broken inside. Some carry wounds that have not healed, some are struggling with finances, family challenges. Some live with guilt for their past sins and may have stopped going to mass. Others have chosen to believe what they want about the Church and the sacraments, instead of abiding in the word and traditions of Holy mother Church.

Holiness and the goodness that flows from God comes from deep within. It illumines body, mind and soul. It is a light that glows on the inside and shines through on the outside. Such that the beauty of the person of God is not only clearly seen but felt.

All this is possible with our Christ. So come now it is time to go to our Lord Jesus Christ with all your brokenness, sins, pride, pains, struggles and sorrows. He is waiting to embrace, heal and strengthen you. Receive the Holy sacraments for which His grace is outpoured. Be one with Him as you are one with His church. Amen

St Augustine pray for us…

First reading

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3,14-17
Stand firm and keep the traditions we have taught you

To turn, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in this way.
It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and the Rebel, the Lost One, has appeared. Through the Good News that we brought he called you to this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

Gospel

Matthew 23:23-26
Clean the inside of the cup first, so that the outside may become clean

Jesus said: ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who pay your tithe of mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law – justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practised, without neglecting the others. You blind guides! Straining out gnats and swallowing camels!
‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance. Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

We are called to lead one another to right worship of the Lord our God. And we do this by our faith, honour, integrity, most of all our love for Him.

Therefore at every Eucharistic Celebration we lead everyone into the sacred. The focus then and always will be our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Whose life, death and resurrection liberated is from sin and brought us hope in everlasting life with Him. Hence receiving the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist is key to a grace filled life in Him. Are there then constant burdens placed on the congregation before they are allowed to partake or receive that which comes from Christ?

Lord Jesus have mercy on us and lead us always in Your ways. Amen

St Monica pray for us…

First reading

2 Thessalonians 1:1-5,11-12
We thank God for your faith and your love

From Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonika which is in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We feel we must be continually thanking God for you, brothers; quite rightly, because your faith is growing so wonderfully and the love that you have for one another never stops increasing; and among the churches of God we can take special pride in you for your constancy and faith under all the persecutions and troubles you have to bear. It all shows that God’s judgement is just, and the purpose of it is that you may be found worthy of the kingdom of God; it is for the sake of this that you are suffering now.
Knowing this, we pray continually that our God will make you worthy of his call, and by his power fulfil all your desires for goodness and complete all that you have been doing through faith; because in this way the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in you and you in him, by the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel

Matthew 23:13-22
Alas for you, blind guides!

Jesus said: ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who shut up the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go in who want to.
‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when you have him you make him twice as fit for hell as you are.
‘Alas for you, blind guides! You who say, “If a man swears by the Temple, it has no force; but if a man swears by the gold of the Temple, he is bound.” Fools and blind! For which is of greater worth, the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred? Or else, “If a man swears by the altar it has no force; but if a man swears by the offering that is on the altar, he is bound.” You blind men! For which is of greater worth, the offering or the altar that makes the offering sacred? Therefore, when a man swears by the altar he is swearing by that and by everything on it. And when a man swears by the Temple he is swearing by that and by the One who dwells in it. And when a man swears by heaven he is swearing by the throne of God and by the One who is seated there.’

Why Sign Up for LISS?

Posted: August 26, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Why you should sign up for LISS? – Life in the Spirit Seminar

**LIFE** – The promise of new life lived in our Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

**IN** – An opportunity in a sense to be re-immersed in the waters of baptism where we are renewed and sanctified. Where we rediscover the great love of God our Father in which we became His children and are so loved by Him. And we open our hearts and mind to His call to Holiness.

**THE SPIRIT** – In the journey ahead with willing hearts and open minds you will begin an ever loving and deepening relationship with the third person of the Holy trinity, our God, guide, counselor, the paraclete. He will unlock for us new gifts as well as rekindle the gifts already outpoured by our baptism. So that we can bear greater fruits centred on God’s love for us all.

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Posted: August 25, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

A Choice to Make: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Joshua 24:1–2, 15–18
Psalm 34:2–3, 16–23
Ephesians 5:21–32
John 6:60–69

This Sunday’s Mass readings conclude a four-week meditation on the Eucharist.
The Twelve Apostles in today’s Gospel are asked to make a choice: either to believe and accept the New Covenant He offers in His Body and Blood, or return to their former ways of life.
Their choice is prefigured by the decision Joshua asks the Twelve tribes to make in today’s First Reading.
Joshua gathers them at Shechem—where God first appeared to their father Abraham, promising to make his descendants a great nation in a new land (see Genesis 12:1–9). And he issues a blunt challenge—either renew their covenant with God or serve the alien gods of the surrounding nations.
We too are being asked today to decide whom we will serve. For four weeks we have been presented with the mystery of the Eucharist—a daily miracle far greater than those performed by God in bringing the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
He has promised us a new homeland and eternal life, offering us bread from heaven to strengthen us on our journey. He has told us that unless we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood we will have no life in us.
It is a hard saying, as many murmur in today’s Gospel. Yet He has given us the words of eternal life.
We must believe, as Peter says today, that He is the Holy One of God, who handed Himself over for us, who gave His flesh for the life of the world.
As we hear in today’s Epistle, Jesus did this that we might be sanctified, made holy, through the water and word of Baptism by which we enter into His New Covenant. Through the Eucharist, He nourishes and cherishes us, making us His own Flesh and Blood, as husband and wife become one flesh.
Let us renew our covenant today, approaching the altar with confidence that, as we sing in today’s Psalm, the Lord will redeem the lives of His servants.

Prayer Request

Posted: August 25, 2018 by CatholicJules in Prayers

Created a link to submit prayer request.

On Today’s Gospel

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

What sort of a leader are you? One that makes your power felt? One that makes changes simply because you are in a position to do so? One that seeks the affirmation of others? Or are you a leader after the heart of Jesus? One that is led by the Holy Spirit?

A good leader is one who exercises stewardship in Christ. Jesus reigns first and foremost in the heart of this leader. And leads the flock just as the master would with great love, mercy and sacrifice. He or she will get down on their knees if needed to tend to love and serve the needs of His flock.

Lord Jesus let me be a humble servant of yours after your own heart. Teach me Your ways and let me serve your people according to your will. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 43:1-7
The vision of the coming of the glory of the Lord to the Temple

The angel took me to the gate, the one facing east. I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I prostrated myself.
The glory of the Lord arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of the Lord fill the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. The voice said, ‘Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the sons of Israel for ever.’

Gospel

Matthew 23:1-12
They do not practise what they preach

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

The Lord knows us all by name. He knows everything there is to know about us from our birth. He desires that each and everyone of us will be with Him in heaven.

“Come pick up your cross and follow me.” Jesus our Lord is calling out to you. His call is to all saints and sinners alike. For it is by His grace we are liberated from our sins. We can then enter into a deeper relationship with Him through discipleship. To lead all others to Him so that one day soon we will all be reunited in heaven. Amen

St Bartholomew pray for us…

First reading

Apocalypse 21:9-14
He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel

John 1:45-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Time and time again the Lord our God has called us to greater holiness. To deepen our relationship with Him. To be transformed by the outpouring of His grace so that we can live our life to the full in Him. And to be powerful instruments of His love and grace. How have we responded?

No time! More important things to do. Business/work to attend to, family or friends. Or have we instead killed the spirit of those loving souls who tried to lead us closer to Jesus? By our harsh rebukes even name calling.

Even today the Lord invites everyone, saints and sinners alike to the Eucharistic Celebration. So that He can replace the heart of stone within us with one of flesh. To share in His divine life. Have we put on the wedding garment?

Or have we instead come to spite Him? By our blatant disregard for our Lord and King in the way we dress, act and speak? Ears and mouth shut with hearts closed and aloof. Mobile phones in hand, having personal discussions while the wedding supper of the Lamb is going on. We have everything to lose and nothing to gain by our behaviour.

Thank you sweet saviour my lord, Jesus Christ. For giving me the opportunity to partake in the bread of life daily. For Your love and grace outpoured each time. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 36:23-28
I will remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.’

Gospel

Matthew 22:1-14
Invite everyone you can to the wedding

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Why do we serve the Lord our God and our brethren? If not for love of Him and neighbour.

Are we those who agree to serve for a fixed reward then grumble and complain when we work longer or harder than others?

Or are we those who are invited to serve for a fair reward and do so without complaint.

Better yet are we those who are just happy to be called to service without the promise of rewards.

All that we have comes from the Lord our God. Let us be good shepherds tending to the needs of His flock and leading them safely home to Him. Just as we are led by our good shepherd our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 34:1-11
An oracle against bad and selfish shepherds

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them:
‘“Shepherds, the Lord says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock, yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock. You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently. For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far. My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them.
‘“Well then, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. As I live, I swear it – it is the Lord who speaks – since my flock has been looted and for lack of a shepherd is now the prey of any wild animal, since my shepherds have stopped bothering about my flock, since my shepherds feed themselves rather than my flock, in view of all this, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this: I am going to call the shepherds to account. I am going to take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. I shall rescue my sheep from their mouths; they will not prey on them any more.”
‘For the Lord says this: “I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view.”’

Gospel

Matthew 20:1-16
Why be envious because I am generous?

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, ”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Still many choose to cherry pick what they want to believe, act and do. They who are made little less than a God often behave as though greater than He who made them. When will they learn that their pride will be their downfall?

Be obedient unto our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ! Let go of everything, empty your hands and your heart so that you can be filled with His grace. For God our Father has great plans for you. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 28:1-10
Against the arrogance of the king of Tyre

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, tell the ruler of Tyre, “The Lord says this:

Being swollen with pride,
you have said: I am a god;
I am sitting on the throne of God, surrounded by the seas.
Though you are a man and not a god, you consider yourself the equal of God.
You are wiser now than Danel; there is no sage as wise as you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence you have amassed great wealth;
you have piles of gold and silver inside your treasure-houses.
Such is your skill in trading, your wealth has continued to increase,
and with this your heart has grown more arrogant.
And so, the Lord says this:
Since you consider yourself the equal of God,
very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations.
They will draw sword against your fine wisdom,
they will defile your glory; they will throw you down into the pit
and you will die a violent death surrounded by the seas.
Are you still going to say: I am a god, when your murderers confront you?
No, you are a man and not a god in the clutches of your murderers!
You will die like the uncircumcised
at the hand of foreigners.
For I have spoken – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:23-30
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you solemnly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ When the disciples heard this they were astonished. ‘Who can be saved, then?’ they said. Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he told them ‘this is impossible; for God everything is possible.’
Then Peter spoke. ‘What about us?’ he said to him ‘We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

I know I am created in the image and likeness of God my Father. All that I am and all that I have comes from Him.

If one truly has faith and believes wholeheartedly in the above statements then why would it be difficult to let go of your possessions? Of your pride? Your titles of honour? To pick up your cross and follow Jesus?

Instead many choose to hold on to all of their possessions and even then, some desire to take hold the possessions of others! Will they only learn when everything is taken away?

The only desire we should have is to enter into loving embrace of the Lord our God and to be with Him in His kingdom. Let us then hold fast to His commands, to love Him and our neighbour with all our hearts. To follow His way, the truth and the life. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 24:15-24
The Lord will profane his sanctuary

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, I am about to deprive you suddenly of the delight of your eyes. But you are not to lament, not to weep, not to let your tears run down. Groan in silence, do not go into mourning for the dead, knot your turban round your head, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard, do not eat common bread.’ I told this to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening, and the next morning I did as I had been ordered.
The people then said to me, ‘Are you not going to explain what meaning these actions have for us?’
I replied, ‘The word of the Lord has been addressed to me as follows, “Say to the House of Israel: The Lord says this. I am about to profane my sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes, the passion of your souls. Those of your sons and daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword. And you are to do as I have done; you must not cover your beards or eat common bread; you must keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you must not lament or weep. You shall waste away owing to your sins and groan among yourselves. Ezekiel is to be a sign for you. You are to do just as he has done. And when this happens, you will learn that I am the Lord.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:16-22
If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own

There was a man who came to Jesus and asked, ‘Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one alone who is good. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said, ‘Which?’ ‘These:’ Jesus replied ‘You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not bring false witness. Honour your father and mother, and: you must love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these. What more do I need to do?’ Jesus said, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard these words he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 18, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Wisdom’s Feast: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Proverbs 9:1–6
Psalm 34:2–3, 10–15
Ephesians 5:15–20
John 6:51–58

The Wisdom of God has prepared a feast, we hear in today’s First Reading.
We must become like children (see Matthew 18:3–4) to hear and accept this invitation. For in every Eucharist, it is the folly of the Cross that is represented and renewed.
To the world, it is foolishness to believe that the crucified Jesus rose from the dead. And for many, as for the crowds in today’s Gospel, it is foolishness—maybe even madness—to believe that Jesus can give us His Flesh to eat.
Yet Jesus repeats himself with gathering intensity in the Gospel today. Notice the repetition of the words “eat” and “drink,” and “my Flesh” and “my Blood.” To heighten the unbelievable realism of what Jesus asks us to believe, John in these verses uses not the ordinary Greek word for eating but a cruder term, once reserved to describe the “munching” of feeding animals.
The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 1:18–25). In His foolish love, He chooses to save those who believe that His Flesh is true food, His Blood, true drink.
Fear of the Lord, the desire to live by His will, is the beginning of true wisdom, Paul says in today’s Epistle (see Proverbs 9:10). And as we sing in today’s Psalm, those who fear Him shall not want for any good thing.
Again, today in the liturgy, we are called to renew our faith in the Eucharist, to forsake the foolishness of believing only what we can see with our eyes.
We approach, then, not only an altar prepared with bread and wine, but the feast of Wisdom, the banquet of heaven—in which God our Savior renews His everlasting covenant and promises to destroy death forever (see Isaiah 25:6–9).
Let us make the most of our days, as Paul says, always, in the Eucharist, giving thanks to God for everything in the name of Jesus, the bread come down from heaven.

Prayer of The Faithful

Posted: August 18, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

When the children of God gather in Jesus’s name to pray for a special intention whether they are laying hands over someone or lifting up their hearts praying in unity. The Lord in His mercy and love answers their prayers. For He knows the sincerity of their hearts and the intention and desire to grow in their relationship with Him and in His love.

Thank You Lord for ministering to all of us even while we were praying for a only few individuals. And how swiftly You act! Glory and Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

*update*after this reflection I picked up the book I’m reading turned a page and read this….


Man of God

I have often looked upon those few men and women of God (laity> and marveled at how they seem so much closer to the kingdom of God. Moreover they would never think of themselves as such though they simply are by the way they live their lives. How could I ever walk in their shoes? It seemed impossible for me.

Today when I heard someone call me a man of God, I broke down and wept. I know it is an affirmation, but it also weighed heavily on me that I am very much a sinner fully in need of the Lord’s grace.

No this is not the first time, I have been called as such. In fact a total of four times as far as I can remember, once by a priest. Still I would rather be known simply as a servant of God in need of His mercy. Do pray for me… 🙏🏼❤️

On Today’s Gospel

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

A little child is trusting, loving, curious, innocent and in awe of God our Father’s creations. Thankful and grateful for all it has been given even though it may not always know how to express it. This is the heart of a child which belongs in the kingdom of heaven. Can we not possess such a childlike heart?

While it is true that the sins of the father or mother for that matter, can be passed on to the child; in that they either pickup the wrong thing learnt from the parent’s mistakes or they react badly to them. Still they can repent and be changed through the loving mercy and grace of the Lord our God. For the Lord looks at the heart of the individual child who is unique in His eyes.

I am a child of God unique in His eyes and so loved by Him. And so are you. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32
You, not your children, will suffer for your sins: so repent, and live

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows:
‘Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge”?
‘As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel. See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.
‘The upright man is law-abiding and honest; he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the House of Israel, does not seduce his neighbour’s wife or sleep with a woman during her periods. He oppresses no one, returns pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, his clothes to the naked. He never charges usury on loans, takes no interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between man and man, keeps my laws and sincerely respects my observances – such a man is truly upright. It is the Lord who speaks.
‘But if anyone has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, then this son shall certainly not live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will have to die, and his blood be on his own head.
House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!’

Gospel

Matthew 19:13-15
Do not stop the little children coming to me

People brought little children to Jesus, for him to lay his hands on them and say a prayer. The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Sons and daughters of God our Father, born into holiness through the Holy Spirit by the waters of our baptism. Indeed we were created for Heaven, our final destination.

And so we must refrain from being tempted by the wiles of this world. To remain pure in thought, word and deed. So that He the Lord our God can dwell in us as we dwell in Him, in perfect Holy Communion. Then all who look upon us can see that we are Christians by our fidelity, integrity and love for one another as we; love, honour and worship the Lord our God.

Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. One God forever and ever. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63
I clothed you with my own splendour but you made yourself a prostitute

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, “The Lord says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins. No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born.
‘“I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live, and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you – it is the Lord who speaks – and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour – it is the Lord who speaks.
‘“You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers. But I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever. And so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:3-12
Husband and wife are no longer two, but one body

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’
They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of fornication – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’
The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

The painful reality of unforgiveness is that we remain bound by our anger, hurts and pain. Such that it drives a wedge between us and our merciful ever loving God. For when there is no mercy there is no love. And God our Father is love.

Because our hearts are not quite centred on the Lord our God by our unforgiveness;all else spins into disarray. Our sins get the better of us and we find ourselves exiled and alone.

Let us never forget that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered a terrible death for us and He forgave us from the cross in which He hung. No matter how great the pain anyone has caused us, let us turn to our Lord for His healing grace and forgive them their trespasses as we want to be forgiven for our many trespassers against the almighty ever loving God. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 12:1-12
The oracle of exile against the whole House of Israel

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels. You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking. As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’
I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched.
The next morning the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing? Say, “The Lord says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living.” Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment.” Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:21-19:1
‘How often must I forgive my brother?’

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’
Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and he left Galilee and came into the part of Judaea which is on the far side of the Jordan.

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Posted: August 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Photos

On Today’s Gospel

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

Is it not fitting that the mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, our mother was gently brought up into heaven when her life on earth had ended?

Where she now sits as queen of heaven interceding for all nations to come into full knowledge of her Son our Lord Jesus Christ. To turn away from sin and enter into a deep personal relationship with Him. She is Co-Redemptrix a humble role she assumes to save souls through and with Her beloved son our Lord.

Mother dear O pray for us, now and forever. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman adorned with the sun

The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days.
Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.’

Second reading

1 Corinthians 15:20-26
Christ will be brought to life as the first-fruits and then those who belong to him

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.

Gospel

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

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

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

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

On Today’s Gospel

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

How can anyone say God our Father does not love me? When He loves and cares for all His children. Ever patient and merciful even when we commit the most heinous sin and turn back to Him. For He Wills that we all be saved and fully alive with and in Him.

By His grace we are sanctified and made pure. And can retain all of our childlike innocence. Let us then be obedient and prayerful. As we serve Him and one another with joy.

The word made flesh, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ has come to us. Are you not in awe that we can receive the living Word into our very being through Holy Communion? And then be given the opportunity to share His Word with the world.

Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 2:8-3:4
He gave me the scroll to eat and it was as sweet as honey

I, Ezekiel, heard a voice speaking. It said, ‘You, son of man, listen to the words I say; do not be a rebel like that rebellious set. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’ I looked. A hand was there, stretching out to me and holding a scroll. He unrolled it in front of me; it was written on back and front; on it was written ‘lamentations, wailings, moanings.’ He said, ‘Son of man, eat what is given to you; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.’ I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you.’ I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.
Then he said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14
Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me

The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
‘See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.
‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 13, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We the faithful shall all see the glory of God at our passing from this earth.

For now while we toil, let us give glory to God by our lives. In word and in deed. We will perform equally, our civic duties and spirit led duties diligently. For all that we do, we want to give glory to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

For in His great love and mercy, He has prepared rooms for us to remain in paradise with Him. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 1:2-5,24-28
Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of the Lord

On the fifth of the month – it was the fifth year of exile for King Jehoiachin – the word of the Lord was addressed to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldaeans, on the bank of the river Chebar.
There the hand of the Lord came on me. I looked; a stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with light around it, a fire from which flashes of lightning darted, and in the centre a sheen like bronze at the heart of the fire. In the centre I saw what seemed four animals. I heard the noise of their wings as they moved; it sounded like rushing water, like the voice of Shaddai, a noise like a storm, like the noise of a camp; when they halted, they folded their wings, and there was a noise.
Above the vault over their heads was something that looked like a sapphire; it was shaped like a throne and high up on this throne was a being that looked like a man. I saw him shine like bronze, and close to and all around him from what seemed his loins upwards was what looked like fire; and from what seemed his loins downwards I saw what looked like fire, and a light all round like a bow in the clouds on rainy days; that is how the surrounding light appeared. It was something that looked like the glory of the Lord. I looked, and prostrated myself.

Gospel

Matthew 17:22-27
‘They will put the Son of Man to death’

One day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men; they will put him to death, and on the third day he will be raised to life again.’ And a great sadness came over them.
When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel came to Peter and said, ‘Does your master not pay the half-shekel?’ ‘Oh yes’ he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when he replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 11, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Take and Eat: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

1 Kings 19:4–8
Psalm 34:2–9
Ephesians 4:30–5:2
John 6:41–51

Sometimes we feel like Elijah in today’s First Reading. We want to lie down and die, keenly aware of our failures—that we seem to be getting no better at doing what God wants of us.
We can be tempted to despair, as the prophet was on his forty-day journey in the desert. We can be tempted to “murmur” against God, as the Israelites did during their forty years in the desert (see Exodus 16:2, 7, 8; 1 Corinthians 10:10).
The Gospel today uses the same word, “murmur,” to describe the crowds, who reenact Israel’s hardheartedness in the desert.
Jesus tells them that prophecies are being fulfilled in Him, that they are being taught by God. But they can’t believe it. They can only see His flesh, that He is the “son” of Joseph and Mary.

Yet if we believe, if we seek Him in our distress, He will deliver us from our fears, as we sing in today’s Psalm.
At the altar in every Eucharist, the angel of the Lord, the Lord Himself (see Exodus 3:1–2), touches us. He commands us to take and eat His Flesh given for the life of the world (see Matthew 26:26).
This taste of the heavenly gift (see Hebrews 6:4–5) comes to us with a renewed command—to get up and continue on the journey we began in Baptism to the mountain of God, the kingdom of heaven.

He will give us the Bread of Life, the strength and grace we need—as He fed our spiritual ancestors in the wilderness and Elijah in the desert.
So let us stop grieving the Spirit of God, as Paul says in today’s Epistle in another reference to Israel in the desert (see Isaiah 63:10).
Let us say to God as Elijah did, “Take my life.” Not in the sense of wanting to die. But in giving ourselves as a sacrificial offering—loving Him as He has loved us, on the Cross and in the Eucharist.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Praying, fasting and almsgiving are the three pillars of our faith. These lead us into a deeper relationship with the Lord our God. We become effective instruments of His grace only when our hearts are sanctified. When we know that we are mere servants of His grace and it is through His great love and mercy that enables us to touch others according to His will.

Yes indeed if one had faith the size of a mustard seed that is to say, one who sees oneself as little in the eyes of God, who is humble, pure of heart, a servant of the Lord and to their brethren. Great things will be accomplished through such faith in Jesus name, for the Lord dwells in hearts such as these.

Lord Jesus grant me such faith as to humbly serve as an instrument of Your grace. Amen

First reading

Habakkuk 1:12-2:4
If the vision comes slowly, wait: it will come without fail

Are not you, from ancient times the Lord,. my God, my Holy One, who never dies? O Lord, you have made this people an instrument of justice,
set it firm as a rock in order to punish.

Your eyes are too pure to rest on wickedness, you cannot look on at tyranny. Why do you look on while men are treacherous, and stay silent while the evil man swallows a better man than he?

You treat mankind like fishes in the sea,like creeping, masterless things.

A people, these, who catch all on their hook,who draw them with their net,in their dragnet gather them,and so, triumphantly, rejoice.

At this, they offer a sacrifice to their net,
and burn incense to their dragnet,for providing them with luxury and lavish food.

Are they then to empty their net unceasingly,
slaughtering nations without pity?

I will stand on my watchtower,and take up my post on my battlements,
watching to see what he will say to me, what answer he will make to my complaints.

Then the Lord answered and said, ‘Write the vision down, inscribe it on tablets to be easily read,since this vision is for its own time only:
eager for its own fulfilment, it does not deceive;if it comes slowly, wait,for come it will, without fail.

‘See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights,but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.’

Gospel

Matthew 17:14-20
If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, the mountain would move

A man came up to Jesus and went down on his knees before him. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘take pity on my son: he is a lunatic and in a wretched state; he is always falling into the fire or into the water. I took him to your disciples and they were unable to cure him.’ ‘Faithless and perverse generation!’ Jesus said in reply ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.’ And when Jesus rebuked it the devil came out of the boy who was cured from that moment.
Then the disciples came privately to Jesus. ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ they asked. He answered, ‘Because you have little faith. I tell you solemnly, if your faith were the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move; nothing would be impossible for you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How do you receive the abundant graces the Lord our God wants to pour out on you when both your hands are full? Full of your material gain, pride, recognition, title of honour, fear of losing and more. Unless you empty your hands to receive Him, your heart is empty.

When we die in the Lord, that is to offer up our life in loving sacrifice, we rise again in Him! More fully alive then we have ever been. So that even when we give till it hurts, we can do so joyfully. Knowing full well our reward is not of this world.

Lord Jesus let me be Your servant through and through in Your truth. Amen

First reading

2 Corinthians 9:6-10
God loves a cheerful giver

Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you – he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten.
The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one.

Gospel

John 12:24-26
If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvest

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you, most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies,
it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world
will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me,
wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Yes indeed we know right from wrong for we are all children of God our Father,created in His image and likeness. His law is written in our hearts. In His great love for us He also gave us free will; so that we can choose either to love and honour Him by our lives or not.

Then again in great abounding love for us, Jesus established His church. So that we have access to the sacraments to remain fully in union with Him;most importantly of all He is present to us. We are one body in Him.

Thereafter each and every Eucharistic Celebration we go out to share the good news of our Risen Lord even amidst trials and challenges. For we know He the Lord is with us always. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 31:31-34
I will write my Law in their hearts

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. It is the Lord who speaks. No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother, ‘Learn to know the Lord!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest – it is the Lord who speaks – since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-23
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.’ Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
From that time Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Who but the Lord our God alone can declare I love you with an everlasting love and truly mean it. Such is His love that even those who have little or no knowledge of Him, when they turn to Him for help in faith;He answers their prayers. This is our God! All merciful and loving, how then should we revere Him? If not by obedience, faithfulness and love.

How then can we place conditions on our brethren before loving them as we should? For the Lord our God Himself loved us first even though we were sinners. By His grace alone we are saved.

Lord Jesus grant me perseverance of faith in loving and serving You; and my brethren. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 31:1-7
You shall be rebuilt, virgin of Israel

I will be the God of all the clans of Israel – it is the Lord who speaks – they shall be my people.

The Lord says this:
They have found pardon in the wilderness, those who have survived the sword. Israel is marching to his rest.
The Lord has appeared to him from afar: I have loved you with an everlasting love, so I am constant in my affection for you.
I build you once more; you shall be rebuilt, virgin of Israel.
Adorned once more, and with your tambourines,
you will go out dancing gaily.
You will plant vineyards once more on the mountains of Samaria the planters have done their planting: they will gather the fruit.
Yes, a day will come when the watchmen shout on the mountains of Ephraim, ‘Up! Let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God!’

For the Lord says this:
Shout with joy for Jacob!
Hail the chief of nations!
Proclaim! Praise! Shout:
‘The Lord has saved his people, the remnant of Israel!’

Gospel

Matthew 15:21-28
The Canaanite woman debates with Jesus and saves her son

Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’ He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 7, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

When we choose to sin, we cast ourselves out into the wilderness which leads to pain, anguish and desolation. Our only hope is to respond to the Lord our God’s call to repentance. He will heal and restore us. Our faith in Him will save us.

The greatest thing is to put all our faith and trust in Jesus Christ our Lord. To His loving gaze upon us as we look upon Him in Adoration. He is our God and we are His people. In that perfect Union miracles can happen through Him who wills it so. However if we allow the cares of the world to overwhelm us, to be swept away by anxiety then we will surely sink into despair. Do not abandon hope but call out to Jesus who saves, for He is always ready to pick us up and carry us if need be. He never abandons His flock.

Lord Jesus I fix my gaze upon You this day and always. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 30:1-2,12-15,18-22
Your wound is incurable but I will heal you

The word addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord: the Lord, the God of Israel says this: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

Yes, the Lord says this:
Your wound is incurable,
your injury past healing.
There is no one to care for your sore, no medicine to make you well again.
All your lovers have forgotten you, they look for you no more.
Yes, I have struck you as an enemy strikes, with harsh punishment so great is your guilt, so many your sins.
Why bother to complain about your wound?
Your pain is incurable.
So great is your guilt, so many your sins, that I have done all this to you.

The Lord says this:
Now I will restore the tents of Jacob,
and take pity on his dwellings: the city shall be rebuilt on its ruins,
the citadel restored on its site.
From them will come thanksgiving and shouts of joy. I will make them increase, and not diminish them, make them honoured, and not disdained.
Their sons shall be as once they were, their community fixed firm in my presence, and I will punish all their oppressors.
Their prince will be one of their own, their ruler come from their own people.
I will let him come freely into my presence and he can come close to me;
who else, indeed, would risk his life by coming close to me? – it is the Lord who speaks.
And you shall be my people and I will be your God.

Gospel

Matthew 14:22-36
Jesus walks on the water

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’
Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him, begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were completely cured.

On Today’s Gospel

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

The transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ is a mystery indeed. Why reveal His glory to just a few chosen disciples when He hid it so well, then warn them to tell no one till after His Resurrection of which they had no clue on what this could mean.

Let’s look at this through the lens of His love. And see ourselves as His chosen few. We would be distraught to learn of our Lord and master’s death. Where is the hope in an uncertain future? What will happen to us and our families? Then we see the Lord our God’s plan of our salvation unfold as we see that through His Resurrection we too have hope to rise with Him in His glory. His glory foretold, His glory revealed in part at the transfiguration and His glory revealed in full at His Resurrection. All sorrow and emptiness is turned to joy. Glory and Praise be to our Risen Lord in whom we have life. Amen

First reading

Daniel 7:9-10,13-14
His robe was white as snow

As I watched:

Thrones were set in place
and one of great age took his seat. His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool.
His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire.
A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence.
A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
A court was held and the books were opened.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence.
On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty
which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Gospel

Mark 9:2-10
This is my Son, the Beloved

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 4, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Endurance Test: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Exodus 16:2–4, 12–15
Psalm 78:3–4, 23–25, 54
Ephesians 4:17, 20–24
John 6:24–35

The journey of discipleship is a life-long exodus from the slavery of sin and death to the holiness of truth on Mount Zion, the promised land of eternal life.
The road can get rough. And when it does, we can be tempted to complain, like the Israelites in this week’s First Reading.
We have to see these times of hardship as a test of what is in our hearts, a call to trust God more and to purify the motives for our faith (Deuteronomy 8:2–3).
As Paul reminds us in this week’s Epistle, we must leave behind our old self-deceptions and desires and live according to the likeness of God in which we are made.
Jesus tells the crowd in this week’s Gospel that they are following Him for the wrong reasons. They seek Him because He filled their bellies. The Israelites, too, were content to follow God so long as there was plenty of food.
Food is the most obvious of signs—because it is the most basic of our human needs. We need our daily bread to live. But we cannot live by this bread alone. We need the bread of eternal life that preserves those who believe in Him (Wisdom 16:20, 26).
The manna in the wilderness, like the bread Jesus multiplied for the crowd, was a sign of God’s Providence—that we should trust that He will provide.
These signs pointed to their fulfillment in the Eucharist, the abundant bread of angels we sing about in this week’s Psalm.
This is the food that God longs to give us. This is the bread we should be seeking. But too often we don’t ask for this bread. Instead we seek the perishable stuff of our everyday wants and anxieties. In our weakness we think these things are what we really need.
We have to trust God more. If we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be ours as well (Matthew 6:33).

On Today’s Gospel

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

Speaking up for the truth is never easy. Yet it could make the difference of soul saved or lost. And there is nothing more precious then the saving of souls. We know this to be true because our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ spoke the truth always, urging us to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand then sacrificed His life for us so that we might have hope of eternal life with Him.

Not all of us will be called to give up our lives for speaking the truth or for pointing the way to our Lord Jesus Christ. But even if we were to lay down our lives for His namesake, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain! For the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 26:11-16,24
‘This man has spoken to us in the name of the Lord’

The priests and prophets addressed the officials and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Jeremiah, however, replied to the people as follows:
‘The Lord himself sent me to say all the things you have heard against this Temple and this city. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of the Lord your God: if you do, he will relent and not bring down on you the disaster he has pronounced against you. For myself, I am as you see in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its citizens, since the Lord has truly sent me to you to say all these words in your hearing.’
The officials and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, ‘This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.’
Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Gospel

Matthew 14:1-12
The beheading of John the Baptist

Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus, and said to his court, ‘This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’
Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. For John had told him, ‘It is against the Law for you to have her.’ He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet. Then, during the celebrations for Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and so delighted Herod that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked. Prompted by her mother she said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head, here, on a dish.’ The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her, and sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 3, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Is it not better to share the word of the Lord with people you know? Others say it is better to share with strangers who do not know you or where you are from. Most will say it is better to be silent then to face the prospect of rejection, ridicule or putting yourself in harm’s way. Why bother at all? Just pray and be faithful in your own.

For one the Lord our God commanded us all, to go make disciples of all nations. Baptising and teaching them His ways. And even if only one soul listens and its saved, there will be much rejoicing in heaven. Because someone cared and loved perhaps that is why your very own heart was changed?

In essence we are not called to be liked or loved, we are called instead to love everyone with the love of God;to share His word and truth with them.

Lord, let Your word be a lamp unto my feet. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 26:1-9
Jeremiah preaches in the Temple of the Lord and is threatened with death

At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘The Lord says this: Stand in the court of the Temple of the Lord. To all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of the Lord you must speak all the words I have commanded you to tell them; do not omit one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intended for their misdeeds. Say to them, “The Lord says this: If you will not listen to me by following my Law which I put before you, by paying attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send so persistently to you, without your ever listening to them, I will treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’
The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of the Lord. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets seized hold of him and said, ‘You shall die! Why have you made this prophecy in the name of the Lord, “This Temple will be like Shiloh, and this city will be desolate, and uninhabited”?’ And the people were all crowding round Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 13:54-58
A prophet is only despised in his own country

Coming to his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter’s son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?’ And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house’, and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

On Today’s Gospel

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

There is no doubt there one day soon our time on earth will come to an end. The reality is that while we hope that all of us will be in heaven with God our Father, those who choose to do evil and separate themselves from the Lord their God will be cast out by their choices.

Before the clay is set allow the Lord your God to mould you into who you are meant to be and more! Accept trials and challenges that come your way for they can purify and strengthen you. Soon you will find that you’ve become a powerful instrument of His grace. Your obedience and faithfulness will lead you and those who follow, into the heavenly Kingdom. Praise be to God! Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 18:1-6
When the clay goes wrong, the potter starts afresh

The word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘Get up and make your way down to the potter’s house; there I shall let you hear what I have to say.’ So I went down to the potter’s house; and there he was, working at the wheel. And whenever the vessel he was making came out wrong, as happens with the clay handled by potters, he would start afresh and work it into another vessel, as potters do. Then this word of the Lord was addressed to me, ‘House of Israel, can not I do to you what this potter does? – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine, House of Israel.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:47-53
The fishermen collect the good fish and throw away those that are no use

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Living out our Christian faith is far from easy. You might say it is the most challenging thing to do in anyone’s life. Add the multiplier if you’re Catholic. For then even your fellow Christians who do not yet understand, look upon you with suspicion even disdain. Why then even bother? How do we not complain or rebel?

Simply because we have found the treasure of the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ our Lord and His Church of which He founded upon His rock. By living in His truth we live in the comfort of knowing He is with us always come what may. And so even amidst trials and sufferings we have peace, love and joy in our hearts.

Lord Jesus, let me be a beacon for Your Kingdom. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 15:10,16-21
They will not overcome you, because I am with you

‘Woe is me, my mother, for you have borne me to be a man of strife and of dissension for all the land. I neither lend nor borrow, yet all of them curse me.

‘When your words came, I devoured them: your word was my delight
and the joy of my heart;
for I was called by your name, the Lord, God of Hosts.
I never took pleasure in sitting in scoffers’ company; with your hand on me I held myself aloof, since you had filled me with indignation.
Why is my suffering continual, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Do you mean to be for me a deceptive stream with inconstant waters?’

To which the Lord replied, ‘If you come back,I will take you back into my service; and if you utter noble, not despicable, thoughts,
you shall be as my own mouth.
They will come back to you, but you must not go back to them.
I will make you a bronze wall fortified against this people.
They will fight against you but they will not overcome you, because I am with you to save you and to deliver you – it is the Lord who speaks.
I mean to deliver you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the clutches of the violent.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:44-46
He sells everything he owns and buys the field

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.’