Archive for September, 2018

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 29, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

To Belong to Christ: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Numbers 11:25–29
Psalm 19:8,10,12–14
James 5:1–6
Mark 9:38–48

Today’s Gospel begins with a scene that recalls a similar moment in the history of Israel, the episode recalled in today’s First Reading. The seventy elders who receive God’s Spirit through Moses prefigure the ministry of the Apostles.
Like Joshua in the First Reading, John makes the mistake of presuming that only a select few are inspired and entrusted to carry out God’s plans. The Spirit blows where it wills (see John 3:8), and God desires to bestow His Spirit on all the people of God, in every nation under heaven (see Acts 2:5, 38).
God can and will work mighty deeds through the most unexpected and unlikely people. All of us are called to perform even our most humble tasks, such as giving a cup of water, for the sake of His name and the cause of His kingdom.
John believes he is protecting the purity of the Lord’s name. But, really, he’s only guarding his own privilege and status. It’s telling that the Apostles want to shut down the ministry of an exorcist. Authority to drive out demons and unclean spirits was one of the specific powers entrusted to the Twelve (see Mark 3:14–15; 6:7, 13).
Cleanse me from my unknown faults, we pray in today’s Psalm. Often, like Joshua and John, perhaps without noticing it, we cloak our failings and fears under the guise of our desire to defend Christ or the Church.
But as Jesus says today, instead of worrying about who is a real Christian and who is not, we should make sure that we ourselves are leading lives worthy of our calling as disciples (see Ephesians 1:4).
Does the advice we give, or the example of our actions, give scandal—causing others to doubt or lose faith? Do we do what we do with mixed motives instead of seeking only the Father’s will? Are we living, as this Sunday’s Epistle warns, for our own luxury and pleasure, and neglecting our neighbors?
We need to keep meditating on His Law, as we sing in today’s Psalm. We need to pray for the grace to detect our failings and to overcome them.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Is it not comforting that God our Father sends his angels to help and guide us on our pilgrim journey home? They work tirelessly for His glory. To illumine our path and defend us in the battle against evil.

Let us also be grateful then when our Lord Jesus Christ sends His angels to us to help us in our challenges and difficulties. Through His mercy and love He wills that we are all reunited with Him in heaven which He laid open for us.

Glory to You O Lord our God, now and forever. Amen

St Gabriel, St Raphael, St Michael the Holy Archangels of God pray for us.

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.

I gazed into the visions of the night.

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

John 1:47-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

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: September 28, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Of time and relationships we are impatient in both! We want what we want when we want it. We place our expectations on others and they must live up to them. In some if not most relationships, we don’t spare time to nurture it or wait for it to grow. And we question why our prayer life leads us no where and begin to think it is a waste of time. All the above speaks to where our relationship is with the Lord our God.

In our short time here on earth the Only thing that should matter is how much do we love the Lord our God, how much have we nurtured and grown in that love and faih. And have put that love and faith into service of others. For we know that time belongs to God. He is outside of time and so He sees all beginnings and end at the same time. His Will for us is all that matters for it is love in its purest form. God our Father’s love personified in Jesus Christ, died so that we may rise and live with Him forever.

It is not in the uttering but in the knowing that Jesus Christ is the Lord our God and He is the Lord of our lives. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
There is a time for every occupation under heaven

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:

A time for giving birth,
a time for dying;
a time for planting,
a time for uprooting what has been planted.

A time for killing,
a time for healing;
a time for knocking down,
a time for building.

A time for tears,
a time for laughter;
a time for mourning,
a time for dancing.

A time for throwing stones away,
a time for gathering them up;
a time for embracing,
a time to refrain from embracing.

A time for searching,
a time for losing;
a time for keeping,
a time for throwing away.

A time for tearing,
a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent,
a time for speaking.

A time for loving,
a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace.

What does a man gain for the efforts that he makes? I contemplate the task that God gives mankind to labour at. All that he does is apt for its time; but though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.

Gospel

Luke 9:18-22
‘You are the Christ of God’

One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.
‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

What is the state of our lives? Are we meant to work ourselves into the ground? To keep superficial relationships alive for some semblance of sanity? To want and desire something new and yet, that something new becomes old in an instance. Living in paranoia and fear that our sins is catching up to us and soon we will pay the price much sooner than later. Ask yourself is this the life our loving Father in heaven means for you to have? Have you not boxed yourself into it by the choices you have made? Where was the Lord your God in all these choices?

Jesus came for you and me, so that we might have life to the full in Him. What good is it to know about Jesus but not enter into a deep personal relationship with the Savior of the world? Start this very day by surrendering your life to Him. Know that He will change all your curses into blessings. He will heal you of your sins and make you whole. You will have new and everlasting life with and in Him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11
Nothing is new and all is vanity

Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. Vanity of vanities. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity! For all his toil, his toil under the sun, what does man gain by it?
A generation goes, a generation comes, yet the earth stands firm for ever. The sun rises, the sun sets; then to its place it speeds and there it rises. Southward goes the wind, then turns to the north; it turns and turns again; back then to its circling goes the wind. Into the sea all the rivers go, and yet the sea is never filled, and still to their goal the rivers go. All things are wearisome. No man can say that eyes have not had enough of seeing, ears their fill of hearing. What was will be again; what has been done will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun. Take anything of which it may be said, ‘Look now, this is new.’ Already, long before our time, it existed. Only no memory remains of earlier times, just as in times to come next year itself will not be remembered.

Gospel

Luke 9:7-9
‘John? I beheaded him; so who is this?’

Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was being done by Jesus; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Be content in the Lord and you will have all that you need. For yourself, family and in the service of your brethren.

For it is unfettered desires, wants that burns like a wild fire. That leads us to sin and misery.

As we go out into the world to proclaim and share the joy of the Gospel. Let us carry only what we need… Jesus!

Jesus my Lord, You alone are my strength, my salvation, my everything. Be the Lord of my life now and forever. Amen

First reading

Proverbs 30:5-9
Give me neither riches nor poverty, only my share

Every word of God is unalloyed, he is the shield of those who take refuge in him.
To his words make no addition, lest he reprove you and know you for a fraud.

Two things I beg of you,do not grudge me them before I die:keep falsehood and lies far from me,give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat, for fear that surrounded by plenty, I should fall away and say, ‘the Lord – who is the Lord?’ or else, in destitution, take to stealing and profane the name of my God.

Gospel

Luke 9:1-6
‘Take nothing for the journey’

Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let it be from there. As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere.

On Today’s Gospel

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

If we want to compare ourselves with others which we should not, lest we see them as a benchmark to see how we are progressing; then let us compare ourselves with the saints now in heaven. Have we grown in holiness? Are we leading virtuous lives? Are we more loving and merciful? Are we attentive to the needs of others? Do others see the light of Christ within us?

The Word of God was always near and dear to the hearts of our beloved Saints who exemplified His Word through their loving works of mercy. They cared tenderly for the least of their brethren whom they saw as Jesus Himself.

Sisters and brothers, we may still be very far off on our journey towards sainthood, but let us encouraged one another. As we take little steps in the right direction on the narrow path. Let our Lord’s Word be a lamp unto our feet. Amen

First reading

Proverbs 21:1-6,10-13
On wickedness and virtue

Like flowing water is the heart of the king in the hand of the Lord,who turns it where he pleases.

A man’s conduct may strike him as upright,the Lord, however, weighs the heart.

To act virtuously and with justice is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eye, proud heart, lamp of the wicked, nothing but sin.

The hardworking man is thoughtful, and all is gain;too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.

To make a fortune with the help of a lying tongue, such the idle fantasy of those who look for death.

The wicked man’s soul is intent on evil,he looks on his neighbour with dislike.

When a mocker is punished, the ignorant man grows wiser,when a wise man is instructed he acquires more knowledge.

The Just One watches the house of the wicked:he hurls the wicked to destruction.

He who shuts his ear to the poor man’s cry shall himself plead and not be heard.

Gospel

Luke 8:19-21
‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God’

The mother and the brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Most live their lives as though the Lord our God is absent. They become impatient with their children, spouses, family members, community. They delay to tend to their needs as inertia sets in. And unchecked may lead to violent tendencies when their own wants and needs are not met. How then can we expect love of neighbour? Where is the love in anything they say and do? Absent while the Lord is ‘absent’?

The Lord our God is present all the time. Those who know this will not tarry. Even though they themselves may be tired, they will move for love of Him and neighbour. They do not live lives of duplicity and strive for Holiness. The light of Christ shines within them and so they become beacons of His love and grace.

Lord Jesus let me always live in Your presence, now and forever. Amen

First reading

Proverbs 3:27-34
The Lord blesses the home of the virtuous

My son, do not refuse a kindness to anyone who begs it, if it is in your power to perform it.

Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go away! Come another time! I will give it you tomorrow’, if you can do it now.
Do not plot harm against your neighbour as he lives unsuspecting next door.
Do not pick a groundless quarrel with a man who has done you no harm.
Do not emulate the man of violence, never model your conduct on his; for the wilful wrong-doer is abhorrent to the Lord, who confides only in honest men.
The Lord’s curse lies on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the virtuous.
He mocks those who mock, but accords his favour to the humble.

Gospel

Luke 8:16-18
Anyone who has will be given more

Jesus said to the crowds:
‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’