Archive for August, 2018

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.