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.