Archive for October, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 31, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

There is no such thing as a perfect parent neither is there a perfect child. Yet we must love each other in spite of our many flaws. For we are all children of God our Father who loves us. We must honour our father and mother because we had been entrusted to them to love and care for. Most sacrifice their lives to put food on the table, clothe and shelter us. They strive to be gentle and patient even though they may be constantly tested. They seek to bring us up in ways which are pleasing to God. As for those parents who choose to abandon their children, we must pray for God’s mercy upon them for their reckoning will be great. So children honour your father and mother in their old age. For you may be chosen by God to be a loving parent yourself one day.

To be First in the Kingdom of God is to do the Will of God. To walk on the narrow path of holiness and righteousness in Christ Jesus our Saviour.

We are last when we put ourselves first above all. When we refuse to turn away from sin and temptation. From pride and self righteousness. From opening our eyes to the needs of others, the poor and the oppressed. When we are not contrite, repentant and refuse the mercy of God through the sacraments He offers us. When we put family and friends ahead of doing His will for us. Most of all we are last when we fail to love;with His love. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 6:1-9
Duties in domestic life

Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord – that is your duty. The commandment that has a promise attached to it is: Honour your father and mother, and the promise is: and you will prosper and have a long life in the land. And parents, never drive your children to resentment but in bringing them up correct them and guide them as the Lord does.
Slaves, be obedient to the men who are called your masters in this world, with deep respect and sincere loyalty, as you are obedient to Christ: not only when you are under their eye, as if you had only to please men, but because you are slaves of Christ and wholeheartedly do the will of God. Work hard and willingly, but do it for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of men. You can be sure that everyone, whether a slave or a free man, will be properly rewarded by the Lord for whatever work he has done well. And those of you who are employers, treat your slaves in the same spirit; do without threats, remembering that they and you have the same Master in heaven and he is not impressed by one person more than by another.

Gospel

Luke 13:22-30
The last shall be first and the first last

Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.
‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”
‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’

A little more on…

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

The first reading of today must be read in the light of the bridegroom of our Church, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Husband and wives have unique roles and yet both must have Christ at the centre of their lives before they can love one another as they are called to do. Therefore wives will be willing to follow their husband’s lead and respect him, if they see Christ in Him. For they know they are loved and cared for with the love of Christ.

Amen
🙏🏼❤️

A Lit Candle

Posted: October 30, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

How Blessed I am indeed, that a sister in Christ from another denomination would light a candle for me in a Catholic church in Sligo Ireland. Then send me this beautiful message, “One for you…. may your light shine eternally for Christ.”

Praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

Married couples cannot lead individual lives as though they were not married. They must be united in mind, heart and body on many things. Children, finances, home affairs, family and friends. Most of all their prayer and spiritual life. While they may presently be on different spiritual levels; it does not mean they cannot pray together and for one another. Couples must always lead one another to greater holiness, with the end goal of leading one another into heaven. When they practice living their faith in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ so too will their children and children’s children. The domestic church is the foundation of the society at large, built upon Christ it will thrive and prosper.

Those who are single are called to the same faithfulness as children of God our Father. We all belong to one Church whose spouse, our Lord Jesus Christ looks fondly upon. By and through His love we will build His kingdom together. So that all who experience the fire of God’s love will spread that very fire burning within them, so that all may live in the shelter and joy of the Lord. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 5:21-33
Give way to one another in obedience to Christ

Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body – and we are its living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church. To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.

Gospel

Luke 13:18-21
The kingdom of God is like the yeast that leavened three measures of flour

Jesus said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden: it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.’
Another thing he said, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God with? It is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

It is far too easy to fall back into sin. Especially since the world promotes it through its literature found in books and magazines. Television and movies another powerful source to draw us away from God our loving Father through the culture of sin. Many congregate to participate in juicy gossip and exciting dirty talk perhaps unaware their souls are being soiled. Have we let ourselves be bent over by our sins that we can no longer stand upright?

We are all God’s children and must live out our higher calling and purpose. Through the love and infinite goodness of God our Father we have been Blessed and baptised into life with Him. Life in abundance offered through Christ Jesus our Lord who frees us from all sin.

Let us open our hearts and minds to see with the eyes of our Lord, that His laws and commands are manifested through love. And so we must choose to love above all. The Lord our God and one another. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 4:32-5:8
Follow Christ by loving as he loved you

Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he loves and follow Christ loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God. Among you there must be not even a mention of fornication or impurity in any of its forms, or promiscuity: this would hardly become the saints! There must be no coarseness, or salacious talk and jokes – all this is wrong for you; raise your voices in thanksgiving instead. For you can be quite certain that nobody who actually indulges in fornication or impurity or promiscuity – which is worshipping a false god – can inherit anything of the kingdom of God. Do not let anyone deceive you with empty arguments: it is for this loose living that God’s anger comes down on those who rebel against him. Make sure that you are not included with them. You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light.

Gospel

Luke 13:10-17
Was it not right to untie this woman’s bonds on the sabbath day?

One sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are rid of your infirmity’ and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God.
But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and he addressed the people present. ‘There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath.’ But the Lord answered him. ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 27, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Seeing the Son of David: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Jeremiah 31:7–9
Psalm 126:1–6
Hebrews 5:1–6
Mark 10:46–52

Today’s Gospel turns on an irony—it is a blind man, Bartimaeus, who becomes the first besides the Apostles to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. And his healing is the last miracle Jesus performs before entering the holy city of Jerusalem for His last week on earth.

The scene on the road to Jerusalem evokes the joyful procession prophesied by Jeremiah in today’s First Reading. In Jesus this prophecy is fulfilled. God, through the Messiah, is delivering His people from exile, bringing them back from the ends of the earth, with the blind and lame in their midst.

Jesus, as Bartimaeus proclaims, is the long-awaited Son promised to David (see 2 Samuel 7:12–16; Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 23:5). Upon His triumphal arrival in Jerusalem, all will see that the everlasting kingdom of David has come (see Mark 11:9–10).

As we hear in today’s Epistle, the Son of David was expected to be the Son of God (see Psalm 2:7). He was to be a priest-king like Melchizedek (see Psalm 110:4), who offered bread and wine to God Most High at the dawn of salvation history (see Genesis 14:18–20).

Bartimaeus is a symbol of his people, the captive Zion which we sing of in today’s Psalm. His God has done great things for him. All his life has been sown in tears and weeping. Now, he reaps a new life.

Bartimaeus, too, should be a sign for us. How often Christ passes us by—in the person of the poor, in the distressing guise of a troublesome family member or burdensome associate (see Matthew 25:31–46)—and yet we don’t see Him.
Christ still calls to us through His Church, as Jesus sent His Apostles to call Bartimaeus. Yet how often are we found to be listening instead to the voices of the crowd, not hearing the words of His Church?

Today He asks us what He asks Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” Rejoicing, let us ask the same thing of Him—what can we do for all that He has done for us?

Unsung Heroes

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

While praying the other day, the unsung heroes in our church and those from other churches came to mind.

These are the ones who are present yet unassumingly contribute greatly in the background. They contribute by their God given talents but more importantly their time.

They are the band members who may not even belong to any ministry. The intercessory prayer warriors, the facilitators, those who help to prepare and serve food, those who prepare the slides, projectors and other AV stuff, the altar setup team. Parent volunteers, photographers, ushers, and so on.

Hidden parts of the one body in Christ. Thank you dear sisters and brothers in Christ. For together we give greater glory to God through each and every one of your tireless contributions. May the love of our Lord be with you always. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

Never should we forget that God loved us when we were sinners. Through our repentance and by His saving grace He set us free to live in His love. Many are the gifts He has bestowed upon us so that coming together we shall build His kingdom.

Why then should anyone hold on to their sins? Why continue to live dry barren lives? Living selfishly and seeking fleeting comforts? Let us not take our Lord’s patience for granted. Let us repent and be saved. And the love of our Lord will transform us.

For by His love our hearts are turned imto fertile ground. Where life giving shoots sprout bringing forth life. By living out our vocation we bear fruit in the lives of our communities. Always reaching out to the poor and marginalised. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 4:7-16
By grace, we shall not be children any longer

Each one of us has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. It was said that he would:

When he ascended to the height, he captured prisoners,
he gave gifts to men.

When it says, ‘he ascended’, what can it mean if not that he descended right down to the lower regions of the earth? The one who rose higher than all the heavens to fill all things is none other than the one who descended. And to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.
Then we shall not be children any longer, or tossed one way and another and carried along by every wind of doctrine, at the mercy of all the tricks men play and their cleverness in practising deceit. If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow in all ways into Christ, who is the head by whom the whole body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each separate part to work according to its function. So the body grows until it has built itself up, in love.

Gospel

Luke 13:1-9
‘Leave the fig tree one more year’

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Are we selfless, gentle, patient, even charitable? St Paul in Today’s first reading urges to live a life worthy of our vocation. Can we then say we don’t know what is our vocation? Well in a sense Yes if we are not living in the Spirit. For all the virtues mentioned in the beginning are fruits of the Holy Spirit. How will we know unless we pray, unless we live the word according to God our Father’s will. How will we know His will if we do not dwell in His presence or on His Word?

Our Lord reminds us to stop living pretentious lives! Of attending regular Eucharistic Celebrations without any conversion of heart. Of seeking His mercy and love through reconciliation but not willing to be merciful and forgiving to others who wrong or hurt us. Of joining a ministry or church group in name but not attending prayer meetings or responding to the call for service. When responding to the call of service, expect affirmation and thanks from the group or ministry.

Lord Jesus let me be a prisoner in You. For it only through You that I am truly free to love and serve. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 4:1-6
One Body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

Gospel

Luke 12:54-59
Do you not know how to interpret these times?

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does. And when the wind is from the south you say it will be hot, and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?
‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right? For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’

Outpouring Session 2018

Posted: October 25, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Let me begin by thanking everyone who offered prayers for last night’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit session for the LISS participants. It was a beautiful session filled with the love of God.

Sharing the evening from the perspective of an ordinary servant of God…..

Unlike the previous year we did not have an intercessory group from our church to pray for the participants, while the
outpouring session was taking place. Instead we had a team from another church praying for us from their location. So I offered to lead our small group in the rosary and a short prayer for the participants just before the session was to begin.

At about 6:15pm I went down to have dinner and buy back some food for my family. A lady from the food stall gave me a hard time with my order. I raised my voice and told her to cancel my order and went to look for something else to eat. What! I had just allowed my peace to be robbed just before the prayer session was to begin? I prayed for forgiveness and went back home to shower. Before I left the home, I asked for my wife to pray over me. She placed her warm hands over my head and prayed. Then I felt a tiny palm on the left hand side of my head I opened my eyes to see my 7 year old daughter praying with her mother. I felt the peace of my Lord return to me.

When I reached church I knocked to see if Father John was in his office, he was! Praise the Lord, I managed to be fully reconciled with the Lord through the Sacrament. As I left the office I saw the overall leader of the group and casually mentioned that I had just had the Sacrament of reconciliation. He smiled and it must have prompted him to call out to Father Andrew who was walking by for the Sacrament as well. I proceeded to St Thomas room to prepare for the prayer session, where I met Clement who was preparing for his briefing later. I shared with him what happened to me at the coffee shop and he shared that he too had a tough day at the office. His peace was robbed when a team leader of sorts from another team kept blaming and putting down Clement’s team. I then shared with him how I had gone for reconciliation with Father John and he too quickly went and did likewise. Praise the Lord!

After praying and interceding for everyone at our little prayer session in the presence of our Blessed Mother; we sang a closing hymn praying Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Then off I went to perform my role as usher together with my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. What a wonderful opportunity to lead the participants individually to the Lord to be filled by His Grace and love. Praise the Lord!

After everyone had been prayed over I got down on my knees before the Blessed Sacrament, thanked and Praised God for His hand upon us; And the mighty outpouring of His love and gifts. Then I felt His loving embrace envelop me and it was a little overwhelming and I teared with joy in my heart.

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

On Today’s Gospel

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

Here is a truth you can bank on. The more you fall in love with Christ Jesus, the more you will be filled with His love. The more you are able to make sense of everything in the world. The more you will be able to see through the eyes of God’s wisdom. Your heart will be set ablaze with the love of Him and your most passionate desire will be to share His love with everyone.

Another truth which is not often spoken about is that the devil is real. He is driven by his hatred for men and women, to cause division and to conquer their souls. To rob them of their heavenly inheritance. To try and separate them at all cost from the love of God. He does not need to do this by loud explosive acts. More often than not, it is by a soft whisper of a deadly suggestion that plays on one’s pride, ego even lust and greed. Who then do you think is the cause of division in families? Whom has he chosen to do likewise?

A family united in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ stands firm forever. So it is that a family that prays together, stays together. For rooted on the Word of God they have built upon the rock. And just as they stand united in Him here on earth, so will they stand united in Him in heaven. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 3:14-21
A prayer that faithful may know the love of Christ

This is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:
Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.
Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel

Luke 12:49-53
How I wish it were blazing already!

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!
‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Why should we feel anything else but gladness in our hearts? For whether Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Christian, Aetheist or whatever denomination we are all children of one God our Father. We are, as scripture says many parts of one Body. Jesus came to gather and unite us all, so that whoever believes in Him shall have life eternal. For there is hope even for the Aetheist who opens His heart to discover the truth to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Those of us who truly believe, know that the hope we have in our Lord Jesus Christ is made manifest through our discipleship. We live to serve, we serve for love of Him and of neighbour. Therefore we stand ready and at all times waiting for our master’s return. We do not stand idle but work everyday for His glory. Woe to us if we do not live and share the Gospel. For Jesus is not just our Lord and God, but He has called us His friend.

His great is our God! Amen

First reading
Ephesians 3:2-12
The pagans now share the same inheritance

You have probably heard how I have been entrusted by God with the grace he meant for you, and that it was by a revelation that I was given the knowledge of the mystery, as I have just described it very shortly. If you read my word you will have some idea of the depths that I see in the mystery of Christ. This that has now been revealed through the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets was unknown to any men in past generations; it means that pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body, and that the same promise has been made to them, in Jesus Christ, through the gospel. I have been made the servant of that gospel by a gift of grace from God who gave it to me by his own power. I, who am less than the least of all the saints have been entrusted with this special grace, not only of proclaiming to the pagans the infinite treasure of Christ but also of explaining how the mystery is to be dispensed. Through all the ages, this has been kept hidden in God, the creator of everything. Why? So that the Sovereignties and Powers should learn only now, through the Church, how comprehensive God’s wisdom really is, exactly according to the plan which he had had from all eternity in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is why we are bold enough to approach God in complete confidence, through our faith in him.

Gospel
Luke 12:39-48
The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’
Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, 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 unfaithful.
The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

When we see the many things that divides us in the world, wars, trade disputes, religion, non religious beliefs, sexual orientation and much more. Can we also see that it is only the unifying power of Jesus Christ our Lord that can save us from our own destruction through the divides? For the king of peace had come to bring salvation into the world. That who ever believes in Him will have eternal life.

Are we ‘dressed’ for action let alone ready and eager to greet Him when He comes. Is how we are dressed externally a reflection of our reverence and love for Him internally. When people look upon us, do they see a disciple of Christ? One who bears an image of his/her master?

Lord Jesus, my lamp is lit and I stand ready to greet you when you come. Come Lord Jesus come. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 2:12-22
In Christ you are no longer aliens, but citizens like us

Do not forget that you had no Christ and were excluded from membership of Israel, aliens with no part in the covenants with their Promise; you were immersed in this world, without hope and without God. But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single New Man in himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace through the cross, to unite them both in a single Body and reconcile them with God: in his own person he killed the hostility. Later he came to bring the good news of peace, peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near at hand. Through him, both of us have in the one Spirit our way to come to the Father.
So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household. You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built

into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.

Gospel

Luke 12:36-38
Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.’

Feast of St John Paul II

Posted: October 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

I don’t know if I had said it before but I have always had a great fondness for Pope John Paul II. I had looked upon him as a saint while he was still alive. And teared whenever I saw him in the news where he was to be found bent over and unable to speak in his latter years. Even then you could see the towering strength of His faith and love for Jesus in that frail body of his. I sobbed bitterly when he passed on and rejoiced when he was canonized a Saint.

I took the first half of a day’s leave today only with the intention of sleeping in. But I woke up at 5am and decided to go the Eucharistic Celebration oblivious that today is the feast day of St John Paul II. As the celebration was about to begin someone motioned for me to animate the hymns. I quickly chose the hymns and we began with Holy God We praise Your name.

The parish priest gave a sermon about the life of Karol Jozef Wojtyla and how He had brought the light of Christ into the world. At the end of the celebration he gave us a rare opportunity and invited us to come a up after the recessional hymn to come up and place our hands on the altar to pray for Saint John Paul II’s intercession remembering his opening address as Pope when he began with, “Be not afraid…” The altar in our church is a third class relic of Saint John Paul II who had celebrated Mass on this altar when he first visited Singapore in 1986.

After the meeting with President Wee and Prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, the pope proceeded to the National Stadium, where a special welcoming ceremony began with the playing of the national anthems of Singapore and the Vatican. He was driven round the track of the stadium in a jeep. He approached 400 disabled, aged and sick people seated at the football pitch and said special prayers for them. Standing at an elaborate altar, he then conducted a two-hour mass, including a half-hour sermon in English, with simultaneous translations in Mandarin and Tamil. He also distributed communion to the sick, aged and disabled. With him in the stands were Archbishop Yong, some 40 cardinals, 200 priests and 100 lay ministers.11 Some 80,000 Catholics, including those from Malaysia and Thailand, attended the papal mass. In his sermon to Singapore’s 105,000 Catholics, the pope spoke of love and peace. He also reaffirmed the Church’s stand against artificial forms of birth control, saying it was up to Catholic couples themselves to decide how many children they wanted.12

That elaborate altar is now in our Parish the Church of St Anthony.

St John Paul II pray for us. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

The Christian faith is not practical! It is a whole lot of mumbo jumbo which fills the believers with empty hope and fantasy! You need to be prepared for a rainy day and there is no such thing as enough for you need to store up for your children’s children so that your legacy will be intact. These are the voices of many in the world. Who go on searching for happiness, love and peace because it is fleeting for them.

We who call ourselves Christians are so, because we have encountered the living God, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For while we were still sinners He came to us with His mercy and love. Freed us from the death grip of sin and made us clean and whole. To love and be loved, to live in His Peace, love and with joy in our hearts. We live then not for ourselves but to love and serve our Lord and one another. Everything we need is to be found in the Lord our God.

Our faith is not only practical but very real. For Jesus walks with us as we carry out cross to follow Him. By our faith and love we will change the world through Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 2:1-10
Sinners are saved in Christ Jesus

You were dead through the crimes and the sins in which you used to live when you were following the way of this world, obeying the ruler who governs the air, the spirit who is at work in the rebellious. We all were among them too in the past, living sensual lives, ruled entirely by our own physical desires and our own ideas; so that by nature we were as much under God’s anger as the rest of the world. But God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved – and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
This was to show for all ages to come, through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich he is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.

Gospel

Luke 12:13-21
Fool! This very night your soul will be demanded of you

A man in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’ ‘My friend,’ he replied, ‘who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’
Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.” But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?” So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’

Blessed Sacrament Church

Posted: October 21, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Loved this story that was told as part of the homily by Fr Anthony Hutjes at Blessed Sacrament Church. Basically the story was about a contest that was held in church to see who could recite Psalm 23 best. Two were chosen, one a famous actor and an ordinary lay person, a man of God. The actor went first and began, “The Lord is my shepherd… ” He did so with great finesse, and with a great voice. When he finished there was thunderous applause. Then it was the ordinary man’s turn. He got off to a clumsy start which drew giggles. But when he finished there was total silence. He recited it from his heart and with love for God. The actor turned to him and said, “I know the Psalm, you on the other hand know the shepherd.”

We can only deliver what we have, that is if we have a deep personal relationship with our Saviour then what we offer to His flock will be vastly different from those who only know about Him.

Anyhow the second thing I loved was the sound and reverberation of this beautiful Gong which was struck by an altar server on his knees during the elevation of the Eucharist. It was unique to me and simply beautiful. Glory and Praise to the Lord our God. Amen

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Cup of Salvation: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 53:10–11
Psalm 33:4-5,18–20, 22
Hebrews 4:14–16
Mark 10:35–45

The sons of Zebedee hardly know what they’re asking in today’s Gospel. They are thinking in terms of how the Gentiles rule, of royal privileges and honors.
But the road to Christ’s kingdom is by way of His cross. To share in His glory, we must be willing to drink the cup that He drinks.

The cup is an Old Testament image for God’s judgment. The wicked would be made to drink this cup in punishment for their sins (see Psalm 75:9; Jeremiah 25:15, 28; Isaiah 51:17). But Jesus has come to drink this cup on behalf of all humanity. He has come to be baptized—which means plunged or immersed—into the sufferings we all deserve for our sins (compare Luke 12:50).

In this He will fulfill the task of Isaiah’s suffering servant, whom we read about in today’s First Reading.

Like Isaiah’s servant, the Son of Man will give His life as an offering for sin, as once Israel’s priests offered sacrifices for the sins of the people (see Leviticus 5:17–19).
Jesus is the heavenly high priest of all humanity, as we hear in today’s Epistle. Israel’s high priests offered the blood of goats and calves in the temple sanctuary. But Jesus entered the heavenly sanctuary with His own blood (see Hebrews 9:12).
And by bearing our guilt and offering His life to do the will of God, Jesus ransomed “the many”—paying the price to redeem humanity from spiritual slavery to sin and death.

He has delivered us from death, as we rejoice in today’s Psalm.

We need to hold fast to our confession of faith, as today’s Epistle exhorts us. We must look upon our trials and sufferings as our portion of the cup He promised to those who believe in Him (see Colossians 1:24). We must remember that we have been baptized into His passion and death (see Romans 6:3).

In confidence, let us approach the altar today, the throne of grace, at which we drink the cup of His saving blood (see Mark 14:23–24).

While In Adoration

Posted: October 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Sat 20th October 2018

While in Adoration this late morning as I was praying and lifting the prayer intentions of those who have requested prayers; for my own family and communities. I was prompted to pray for the conversion and repentance of those who have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit before they are eternally dammed.

Earlier that morning just before the Eucharistic Celebration began as I was reflecting on the Gospel, this inspiration came to mind; that if someone were to ask you how does one blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Simply share this….

The Holy Spirit is the combined love of God the Father and God the Son. By rejecting the mercy and love of the Holy trinity, You are rejecting the One living God. That in short is blaspheming against the Holy spirit.

According to John Paul II, the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit “consists…in refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the cross. If man rejects the ‘convincing concerning sin’ which comes from the Holy Spirit,” he is in essence rejecting the “redemptive power of Christ’s blood” (46). And this “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness [of sin],” and correspondingly the person claims the right to “persist in evil” (46).

So as I prayed for all those who knowingly or unknowingly have done so, I was then led to see the total opposite…..

“Blessed are those who allow the Holy Spirit to over shadow them as Mary our Blessed Mother did” a voice in my head proclaimed. To allow the love of our Lord Jesus to grow more deeply within us. To dwell within us. To bring His Peace, love and joy within us to all we meet along the way. So that they might be born into new life with Him. Then we all shall be consecrated unto Him by the Holy Spirit. We are His people and He is our God, now and forever. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

What is missing in many of our many Church communities today is true communion. Many come for meetings as individuals hoping to be in the company of someone familiar. Perhaps it is the warm feeling of belonging to a church group trying to do good that keeps them coming back. How long will this last?

In order for communities such as these to grow in love and communion there must be the coming together to share in the Word. Praying together not as individuals. Getting to know one another personally, families, friends, joys even sorrows. We must be ready to affirm one another, encourage and support one another on our journey together. To be inclusive and never exclusive. Only then are we in communion with Christ Jesus our Lord and with one another. Exponential growth in faith and love is to be expected. We become alive in the spirit and emboldened to share Jesus’s love with everyone. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 1:15-23
Paul’s prayer for the enlightenment of the faithful

I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and the love that you show towards all the saints, have never failed to remember you in my prayers and to thank God for you. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.

Gospel

Luke 12:8-12
If you declare yourselves for me, I will declare myself for you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of the angels. But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels.
‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
‘When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

How wonderful it is to know that we are all very precious and so loved by God our Father. Not it any abstract sense but in a very tangible way through His beloved Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Yet there are many who seek to rob us of our heavenly inheritance. By poisoning our minds against God, His church and even one another. Some not realising that they themselves have been robbed by giving up their free will to choose to mock Him and His church. Then there are those who in the guise of a holy exterior lead others astray by their sullied thoughts, words and actions. They spread the modern day yeast of the Pharisees! Then there is the world at large who sells happiness for all, live and let live, never mind that it goes against moral laws or values. ‘Survival is for the fittest’ in this ‘dog eat dog world’ we live in. All these threats are real and if we do not ground ourselves in the Word and love of our Lord then, well there will be hell to pay.

We the faithful, have nothing to fear. For the promises of God our Father has been fulfilled through Jesus. And He is calling and gathering all who have been scattered back unto Him. To embrace us all with His love and to set us free from the bonds of sin. So that we no longer live as victims but as victors in Him our Risen Lord. Amen

First reading

Ephesians 1:11-14
You have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit

It is in Christ that we were claimed as God’s own,
chosen from the beginning,
under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will;
chosen to be,
for his greater glory,
the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.
Now you too, in him,
have heard the message of the truth and the good news of your salvation,
and have believed it;
and you too have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise,
the pledge of our inheritance
which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own, to make his glory praised.

Gospel

Luke 12:1-7
Not one sparrow is forgotten in God’s sight

The people had gathered in their thousands so that they were treading on one another. And Jesus began to speak, first of all to his disciples. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees – that is, their hypocrisy. Everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed on the housetops.
‘To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. I will tell you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid: you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

You may be surprised to learn that when you simply say “Peace be with you” to a fellow Catholic you may get varied responses even at times negative ones. Yes while the norm would be to give the same greeting back, some are not sure how to respond. Others even question your intention, or who are you to offer peace and why you think they need it. Do you then stop offering the Lord’s peace to them? Should you stop sharing the Gospel message of His love when met with resistance? Do you feel alone in the endeavour?

We are never alone nor do we have anything to fear. For we have been given a powerful ally, the Holy Spirit to accompany us on our journey. He will send companions our way when needed. All we need to do, is to be faithful and obedient to the Lord our God who loves us dearly. Who desires that all be with Him in His kingdom. Hence we are sent to share in the message of His love through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

2 Timothy 4:10-17
Only Luke is with me

Demas has deserted me for love of this life and gone to Thessalonika, Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia; only Luke is with me. Get Mark to come and bring him with you; I find him a useful helper in my work. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and the scrolls, especially the parchment ones. Alexander the coppersmith has done me a lot of harm; the Lord will repay him for what he has done. Be on your guard against him yourself, because he has been bitterly contesting everything that we say.
The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Gospel

Luke 10:1-9
Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.”’

Lunch Opposite A Brother in Christ

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

After the lunchtime Eucharistic Celebration I rushed off to Tampines to have a quick lunch before going for a medical appointment back in Woodlands.

The hawker centre was crowded, so I asked a gentleman seated alone if the opposite seat was taken? He motioned for me to take the seat. I placed my small shoulder bag on the table and went to get my food. I was about to finish when I noticed he was still seated even though he had finished and his tray was cleared.

Then just as I finished he spoke asking me which Church I was from? What a curious question since my crucifix was in my shirt. I answered that my Parish was Church of St Anthony and asked him which Church he was from. Initially I thought he was going to mention some protestant church but instead he shared that he was from OLPS Our Lady of Perpetual Succor. I then asked how he knew I was a fellow Catholic? He replied that he saw me making the sign of the cross and praying before I ate just as he had done.

When I learned he was a Filipino and serving as an Extraordinary Eucharistic minister of Holy Communion, we both dropped a few names and found out that we had some friends in common. JJ Aldaba, Gerry Falsado etc. As I had to rush off for my appointment we became Facebook friends to keep in touch.

Praise the Lord for a wonderful encounter with a brother in Christ.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Giving in to our passions and desires often lead us away from the love of Christ. Who wills that we live freely in His love. For it allows sin to invade our souls and hold us captive. Captive by our desire for honour and recognition. Our insatiable sexual desire. Our want of wealth and prestige. For power and glory. Where is our love for God and neighbour in all this?

We are all made in the likeness and image of God. We therefore share the same spirit, the same ‘DNA’ if you will. Therefore can you not see then there we are made to love and care for one another? Not to use and abuse one another! Or to lead one another into sin!

We can love because He our Lord Jesus Christ first loved us. By His love we are set free. To live in the Spirit, life in its fullness. Amen

First reading
Galatians 5:18-25
To belong to Christ, crucify all self-indulgence

If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency and sexual irresponsibility; idolatry and sorcery; feuds and wrangling, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels; disagreements, factions, envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar things. I warn you now, as I warned you before: those who behave like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. There can be no law against things like that, of course. You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires.
Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.

Gospel
Luke 11:42-46
You overlook justice and the love of God

The Lord said to the Pharisees: ‘Alas for you Pharisees! You who pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and overlook justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without leaving the others undone. Alas for you Pharisees who like taking the seats of honour in the synagogues and being greeted obsequiously in the market squares! Alas for you, because you are like the unmarked tombs that men walk on without knowing it!
A lawyer then spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘when you speak like this you insult us too.’
‘Alas for you lawyers also,’ he replied ‘because you load on men burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not move a finger to lift.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

God’s law is written in our hearts. From our birth into life with Jesus we have been made new for Holiness. Therefore we must strive always to remain steadfast in His truth and love.

What good is it to portray a holy exterior but within us we are filled with envy, malice, sexual wantonness, deceit, greed, selfishness, pridefulness, unforgiveness and so on. Our Lord sees and knows all. There is nothing we can hide from Him. That which we think we can hide from Him, will only suffocate us. Slowly but surely we will meet with permanent death.

Turn back to Him while there is still time. For Jesus our Lord does not look upon the grievous sins you have committed but on your heart’s desire to repent and to be reconciled with Him. For nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

Galatians 5:1-6
It is faith, not the Law, that justifies us

When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. It is I, Paul, who tell you this: if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all. With all solemnity I repeat my warning: Everyone who accepts circumcision is obliged to keep the whole Law. But if you do look to the Law to make you justified, then you have separated yourselves from Christ, and have fallen from grace. Christians are told by the Spirit to look to faith for those rewards that righteousness hopes for, since in Christ Jesus whether you are circumcised or not makes no difference – what matters is faith that makes its power felt through love.

Gospel

Luke 11:37-41
Give thanks for what you have and it will all be clean

Jesus had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at the table. The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal. But the Lord said to him, ‘Oh, you Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness. Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too? Instead, give alms from what you have and then indeed everything will be clean for you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Are we living free in the joy and love of our Risen Lord? Or are we still mourning and weeping for our sins? Or have we instead allowed our hearts to harden that we have become oblivious to sin and guilt. Thinking all is OK and peachy unaware that we are slowly dying first spiritually. The day of reckoning is coming whether or not we are ready, like a thief in the night.

Turn back to the Lord always. For He stands ready and waiting to embrace you. We are meant to live out our lives to the full in His love, peace and joy. To love and be loved. To live out our mission of discipleship to bring others the to the knowledge and joy of the Gospel where they will find Jesus our Lord and saviour.

O sign of God our Father’s great love for us, Jesus our Lord be with us now always. Amen

First reading

Galatians 4:22-24,26-27,31-5:1
Christ freed us: do not submit again to slavery

The Law says, if you remember, that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave-girl, and one by his free-born wife. The child of the slave-girl was born in the ordinary way; the child of the free woman was born as the result of a promise. This can be regarded as an allegory: the women stand for the two covenants. The first who comes from Mount Sinai, and whose children are slaves, is Hagar – The Jerusalem above, however, is free and is our mother, since scripture says: Shout for joy, you barren women who bore no children! Break into shouts of joy and gladness, you who were never in labour. For there are more sons of the forsaken one than sons of the wedded wife. So, my brothers, we are the children, not of the slave-girl, but of the free-born wife.
When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Gospel

Luke 11:29-32
As Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign

The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them:
‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 13, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Wisdom and Riches: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 7:7–11
Psalm 90:12–17
Hebrews 4:12–13
Mark 10:17–30

The rich young man in today’s Gospel wants to know what we all want to know—how to live in this life so that we might live forever in the world to come. He seeks what today’s Psalm calls “wisdom of heart.”
He learns that the wisdom he seeks is not a program of works to be performed or behaviors to be avoided. As Jesus tells him, observing the commandments is essential to walking the path of salvation—but it can only get us so far.
The Wisdom of God is not precepts, but a person—Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Wisdom whose Spirit was granted to Solomon in today’s First Reading. Jesus is the Word of God spoken of in today’s Epistle. And Jesus, as He reveals Himself to the rich man today, is God.
In Jesus we encounter Wisdom, the living and effective Word of God. As He does with the rich man today, He looks upon each of us with love. That look of love, that loving gaze, is a personal invitation—to give up everything to follow Him.
Nothing is concealed from His gaze, as we hear in the Epistle. In His fiery eyes, the thoughts of our hearts are exposed, and each of us must render an account of our lives (see Revelation 1:14).
We must have the attitude of Solomon, preferring Wisdom to all else, loving Him more than even life itself. This preference, this love, requires a leap of faith. We will be persecuted for this faith, Jesus tells His disciples today. But we must trust in His promise—that all good things will come to us in His company.
What, then, are the “many possessions” that keep us from giving ourselves totally to God? What are we clinging to—material things, comfort zones, relationships? What will it take for us to live fully for Christ’s sake and the sake of the Gospel?
Let us pray for the wisdom to enter into the kingdom of God. With the psalmist, let us ask Him, “Teach us.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

Jesus came for everyone. Yet many in their minds have made distinctions and have divided all accordingly. Catholic, protestant, Muslim, Jew, Atheist, free thinkers and so on. Who then is not a child of God our Father? Are they any not created in His likeness and image? Who then do you see in them?

There in only one loving and merciful God who desires that we all be saved, That is why He gave us His only begotten Son. The Word made flesh who came to dwell among us. Indeed happy are those who hear Word of God and keep it.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, may we all be united and One in Him. Amen

First reading

Galatians 3:22-29

Scripture makes no exceptions when it says that sin is master everywhere. In this way the promise can only be given through faith in Jesus Christ and can only be given to those who have this faith.
Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The Law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that that time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised.

Gospel

Luke 11:27-28
‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’

As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

How Great Thou Art

Posted: October 12, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Last night I had a rare opportunity to have a quiet dinner with my dear 88 year old dad. He was sharing with me his own struggles with the frailty of the human condition. And how I should prepare and start taking better care of myself if I have not already done so.

I told him that I do what I have and are able to, and let the Lord my God do the rest for He is in charge. I then updated him with how I’ve witnessed the Lord touching new lives and renewing others. He then requested to know when and how did my own faith journey begin, in which I became committed to following Christ.

I knew I had shared it with him before but he needed to hear it again and so I proceeded to share with my dad as though it was the first time. One of the many things I shared was the day I was struggling with whether to go for the second session of the Life in the Spirit Seminar. I was uncomfortable with raising of hands in praise and worship amongst other things. However upon seeing a Facebook post from my cousin I decided to go. The post read, “If God leads you to the edge of a mountain, trust in Him and let go. Only one of two things will happen. Either He will catch you or He will teach you how to fly. As I took the bus and was about to reach the Church, I had this overwhelming desire to sing ‘How great thou art’ I only knew the chorus then and so began to sing it and humming the rest. The first song they chose for that session was ‘How great is our God’ followed by the bridge which was ‘How great thou art’!

Again I shared all this with my dad last night, this morning at Holy Eucharist in Church of The Holy Trinity the recessional hymn we sang was ‘How Great Thou Art’!

Indeed how great thou art O Lord my God. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 12, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Take heed that our bodies, mind and spirit must be constantly renewed through our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. By the ascent of our prayers, the indwelling of His precious word and the frequent reception of the sacraments given to us by His love. The Sacrament of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.

Evil and its curses will have no hold over us. We live as free men and women in God’s precious love. Indeed even if we were to walk through the darkest valley, no evil shall we fear! For the Lord walks with us. Yes our bodies may be frail but we have been given a most powerful advocate to accompany us on our journey. Who fortifies and guides us through the many challenges and obstacles we may face.

Come Holy Spirit come. Come dwell in my heart, now and forever. Amen

First reading

Galatians 3:7-14
The sons of Abraham are those who rely on faith

Don’t you see that it is those who rely on faith who are the sons of Abraham? Scripture foresaw that God was going to use faith to justify the pagans, and proclaimed the Good News long ago when Abraham was told: In you all the pagans will be blessed. Those therefore who rely on faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith.
On the other hand, those who rely on the keeping of the Law are under a curse, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in observing everything prescribed in the book of the Law. The Law will not justify anyone in the sight of God, because we are told: the righteous man finds life through faith. The Law is not even based on faith, since we are told: The man who practises these precepts finds life through practising them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by being cursed for our sake, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who is hanged on a tree. This was done so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might include the pagans, and so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.

Gospel

Luke 11:15-26
The finger of God has overtaken you

When Jesus had cast out a devil, some of the people said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils. Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.
‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.
‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, “I will go back to the home I came from.” But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up by being worse than he was before.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

How do you know the Holy Spirit real? If you believe in God the Father, God the Son then You must know God the Holy Spirit. For the Word of God had revealed the mystery of the Holy Trinity to us. And it is through the workings of the Holy Spirit that our lives began to change. We found, we could attend prayer meetings or formation in church fully awake and alive even after a long hard day at the office. We are able to read and understand scripture once too difficult for us. We are more patient and loving towards people who use to once irk us. Salacious talk and gossip are now abhorrent to us.

We must then push forward in our new life in the Spirit and never go back to our old way of thought and living. Know that He is always with us, ready to help us in our pilgrim journey home. So then sisters and brothers let us not grieve the Holy Spirit but pray earnestly and fervently to Him. That we may be docile to His promptings so as to be made worthy of the promises of Christ our Saviour. Who lives and reigns with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen

First reading

Galatians 3:1-5
You received the Spirit because you believed what was preached

Are you people in Galatia mad? Has someone put a spell on you, in spite of the plain explanation you have had of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? Let me ask you one question: was it because you practised the Law that you received the Spirit, or because you believed what was preached to you? Are you foolish enough to end in outward observances what you began in the Spirit? Have all the favours you received been wasted? And if this were so, they would most certainly have been wasted. Does God give you the Spirit so freely and work miracles among you because you practise Law, or because you believed what was preached to you?

Gospel

Luke 11:5-13
Ask, and it will be given to you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him”; and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it you.” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.
‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

On Welcoming…

Posted: October 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

2018-10-10
Peace Be With You
Welcoming community of CPS Changi

Peace be with you somehow does not come easy for me

Julian repeating it so much since I started meeting him at the reflection sessions started making it easy for me to repeat the greeting in return …

Standing at the entrance to our EC room – this weekly tabernacle of our Lord – greeting Peace Be With You to the community felt strangely comforting – the welcome we gave was returned warmly by most, who smiled brightly too – communion of saints

And many you could see, who wanted to dive straight into the tabernacle of the Lord for solace comfort strength – snapped out momentarily of the “stupor”, perchance feeling welcomed.

I would do it again because we are building the community here and over time we would start recognising faces, going beyond pleasantries, greeting each other by name and God willing, have a deeper relationship with each other in this CPS Changi Community and Ephraim SCC.

Jude-Maria (Meng)

On Today’s Gospel

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

It is the Lord our God’s approval that we should seek and not that of men or women. We must live in His truth always. It is our duty to obey the laws of the land but not conform to the cultural practices that might put our faith of following Christ our Saviour in question. That being said, in all our daily decisions, words and actions we must place love of God first in all things followed by love of neighbour. This is evidently found in the Lord’s prayer.

The short and most precious prayer our Lord taught, the ‘Our Father’ has much depth for us to contemplate and immerse ourselves daily in His love. We find the keys to heaven, love, mercy and forgiveness. Sadly many rattle it off ritually without honouring the sacredness of this God given prayer.

Let us faithfully pray the Lord’s prayer as it should be prayed, slowly contemplating on every word….

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy willbe done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.
Amen.

First reading

Galatians 2:1-2,7-14
They recognised the grace that God had given me

It was not till fourteen years had passed that I went up to Jerusalem again. I went with Barnabas and took Titus with me. I went there as the result of a revelation, and privately I laid before the leading men the Good News as I proclaim it among the pagans; I did so for fear the course I was adopting or had already adopted would not be allowed. On the contrary, they recognised that I had been commissioned to preach the Good News to the uncircumcised just as Peter had been commissioned to preach it to the circumcised. The same person whose action had made Peter the apostle of the circumcised had given me a similar mission to the pagans. So, James, Cephas and John, these leaders, these pillars, shook hands with Barnabas and me as a sign of partnership: we were to go to the pagans and they to the circumcised. The only thing they insisted on was that we should remember to help the poor, as indeed I was anxious to do.
When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, since he was manifestly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision. The other Jews joined him in this pretence, and even Barnabas felt himself obliged to copy their behaviour.
When I saw they were not respecting the true meaning of the Good News, I said to Cephas in front of everyone, ‘In spite of being a Jew, you live like the pagans and not like the Jews, so you have no right to make the pagans copy Jewish ways.’

Gospel

Luke 11:1-4
How to pray

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’
He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray:

‘“Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come;
give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test.”’

Never again…

Posted: October 9, 2018 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Recently I was heart broken to have fallen back into an old habitual sin. Instead of making excuses for my lapse in judgement I prayed hard for forgiveness.

I received a vision and made a decision never again….

Pray this picture message helps you with your own struggle. Amen

Welcoming

Posted: October 9, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

In an effort to encourage growth within our small Christian community including a spiritual one I invited our members to welcome the congregation of Changi business park before the lunch time Eucharistic Celebration. Two ladies joined me. I then requested they share their experience.

Rose shared that it was a warm feeling to welcome them. Especially those she recognised as regulars but never had a chance to even say hi.

This is Tiffany’s sharing in her own words…

In an effort to encourage growth within our small Christian community including a spiritual one I invited our members to welcome the congregation of before the lunch time Eucharistic Celebration. Two ladies joined me. I then requested they share their experience.

Rose shared that it was a warm feeling to welcome them. Especially those she recognised as regulars but never had a chance to even say hi.

This is Tiffany’s sharing in her own words…

Sharing my thoughts as i stood at the door last Wed before Eucharistic Celebration welcoming the congregation….

when standing at the door that day, i am reminded of my visit to my granny’s Christian Church when we were asked to visit (for the first time) as they were having a ‘memorial service’ for all those departed in that month. the moment my aunt, brother & myself stepped out of the lift, the ushers at the door recognized that we were there for the first time. it was as if they knew every single person in that hall of about close to 100! they immediately asked us to write down our contact details put at a table nearby. they were warm; friendly immediately felt like home. i wondered then how many of us Catholics actually know if anyone in our congregation were there for the 1st time (be it at CPS or at our parish)? for me, i wouldn’t know!

how then can we build bonds in the community instead of just coming to Church every Sun just fulfilling our Sunday duties? this set me thinking …

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 9, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

When Jesus touches you in a profound way there is no room for doubt. His love embraces you, His precious blood covers you and takes away all your blemishes. You are made pure to love and to serve. His mission for you is clear and concise. There is no need to fear, worry or even discern. For you hear His voice, you know Him and you follow.

Our human bodies are frail and that is the only reason why we need to come into our Lord’s presence from time to time. To allow Him to minister to us. So that we can be nourished and revitalised to continue our journey. Never allow your mobile phones, tight busy schedules, worldly cares distract you from Your precious quiet time with Him. For without Him we run on empty!

Jesus my love, embrace and protect me from all evil. That I may always be able to dwell deeply in Your love, to be nourished so as to serve. Amen

First reading

Galatians 1:13-24
God called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me

You must have heard of my career as a practising Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors.
Then God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans. I did not stop to discuss this with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went off to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days, I did not see any of the other apostles; I only saw James, the brother of the Lord, and I swear before God that what I have just written is the literal truth. After that I went to Syria and Cilicia, and was still not known by sight to the churches of Christ in Judaea, who had heard nothing except that their one-time persecutor was now preaching the faith he had previously tried to destroy; and they gave glory to God for me.

Gospel

Luke 10:38-42
Martha works; Mary listens

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Following the way, the truth and the life; our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ is hard. But does it mean we are allowed to pick and choose what we want to believe? What we want to follow? Over the centuries there have been many who have led the flock astray by convincing them of another way, an easier truth. Take heed dear sisters and brothers, there is only One way, One truth to be found in Jesus Christ that leads to everlasting life.

Living His Word in our lives means we are able to see and quickly attend to the needs of others who cannot help themselves. We are able and willing to preform corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. For we see Jesus in the least of our brethren.

Guide and help Lord as I walk the narrow path to follow You. Amen

First reading

Galatians 1:6-12
The Good News I preached is not a human message but from Jesus Christ

I am astonished at the promptness with which you have turned away from the one who called you and have decided to follow a different version of the Good News. Not that there can be more than one Good News; it is merely that some troublemakers among you want to change the Good News of Christ; and let me warn you that if anyone preaches a version of the Good News different from the one we have already preached to you, whether it be ourselves or an angel from heaven, he is to be condemned. I am only repeating what we told you before: if anyone preaches a version of the Good News different from the one you have already heard, he is to be condemned. So now whom am I trying to please – man, or God? Would you say it is men’s approval I am looking for? If I still wanted that, I should not be what I am – a servant of Christ.
The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realise this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Gospel

Luke 10:25-37
The good Samaritan

There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’
But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’

Marriage Vows

Posted: October 7, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

Yesterday night, during the healing mass led by Gloria Patri Ministry. The atmosphere was the most intense it has ever been in a long while and lots of healing took place through the healing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to our ever merciful and loving God!

Father was inspired by the Gospel reading to lead married couples in renewing of their marriage vows to one another. My wife turned to me and said she did not want to put me in a spot and that she did not want to do it. She would bring my daughter out to go to the toilet when the time came. I turned to her baffled. She saw my look and asked why? Did I want to do it? I replied why is it even a question?

I began to feel uncomfortable as to why I was even there? I was not angry but overwhelmed with sorrow. My wife’s reaction was puzzling to me, was there something I did wrong or hurt her that she did not want to do it? I could not shake the feeling even after verbally praying and asking Jesus to take the hurt feelings away.

Then Joseph the prayer leader revealed more healing taking place. All of a sudden I heard him say, “The Lord is touching you, Julian, Julian!” At that very moment all the negative feelings were taken away and I felt His profound love envelop me.

Later Father invited the married couples to stand and face one another, my wife stood up and invited me to do likewise. We took one another’s hands and renewed our commitment to love one another. Praise the Lord!

Later that night I shared with her how disappointed I was initially with her reaction. She explained that she wanted to do it, but out of respect for me she did not want to compel me to do it. Apparently she had a recording in her mind, of something I shared with her a few years back. I had told her I did not believe in the practise of renewing one’s vows. Afterall our marriage vows is covenantal, forever not something that needed to be renewed like a driver’s license. We should look upon the vows we made as sacred. What we should continue to renew is our love for each other.

Yes I remembered saying it and still believe in what I said. However I was willing to do so out of obedience to the priest who encouraged it and for her sake. ❤️

Sweet Jesus

Posted: October 7, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 6, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

What God Has Joined: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Genesis 2:18–24
Psalm 128:1–6
Hebrews 2:9–11
Mark 10:2–16

In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a trick question.
The “lawfulness” of divorce in Israel was never an issue. Moses had long ago allowed it (see Deuteronomy 24:1–4). But Jesus points His enemies back before Moses, to “the beginning,” interpreting the text we hear in today’s First Reading.

Divorce violates the order of creation, He says. Moses permitted it only as a concession to the people’s “hardness of heart”—their inability to live by God’s covenant Law. But Jesus comes to fulfill the Law, to reveal its true meaning and purpose, and to give people the grace to keep God’s commands.
Marriage, He reveals, is a sacrament, a divine, life-giving sign. Through the union of husband and wife, God intended to bestow His blessings on the human family—making it fruitful, multiplying it until it filled the earth (see Genesis 1:28).

That’s why today’s Gospel moves so easily from a debate about marriage to Jesus’ blessing of children. Children are blessings the Father bestows on couples who walk in His ways, as we sing in today’s Psalm.
Marriage also is a sign of God’s new covenant. As today’s Epistle hints, Jesus is the new Adam—made a little lower than the angels, born of a human family (see Romans 5:14; Psalm 8:5–7). The Church is the new Eve, the “woman” born of Christ’s pierced side as He hung in the sleep of death on the Cross (see John 19:34; Revelation 12:1–17).
Through the union of Christ and the Church as “one flesh,” God’s plan for the world is fulfilled (see Ephesians 5:21–32). Eve was “mother of all the living” (see Genesis 3:20). And in Baptism, we are made sons and daughters of the Church, children of the Father, heirs of the eternal glory He intended for the human family in the beginning.

The challenge for us is to live as children of the kingdom, growing up ever more faithful in our love and devotion to the ways of Christ and the teachings of His Church.

Blessed Saturday

Posted: October 6, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

On Today’s Gospel

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

We are Blessed abundantly and in so many ways. If we do possess grateful hearts then we might very well miss just how blessed we all are by virtue of our baptism.

Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit we have been gifted and can grow in faith, knowledge and love of the Holy Trinity. We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus and have been set free to live joyfully in His peace and love.

But how many still do not know Him? Are oppressed, depressed and lost. Who are in need of care and love. Who lead aimless dreary lives. And are heavy laden with their burdens, worries and sin. We have been given the power and grace to set them free,through our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ! Do we exercise our faith? Do we put our gifts to use for the glory of His name?

Thank You Jesus, thank You Heavenly Father, thank You Holy Spirit for your love, mercy and grace. I will share my blessings with others by being an instrument of Your love. Through Your loving mercy and grace, I will lead souls back to You where they belong. Amen

First reading

Job 42:1-3,5-6,12-17
In dust and in ashes I repent

This was the answer Job gave to the Lord:

I know that you are all-powerful: what you conceive, you can perform.
I am the man who obscured your designs with my empty-headed words.
I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand,
on marvels beyond me and my knowledge.
I knew you then only by hearsay; but now, having seen you with my own eyes,
I retract all I have said, and in dust and ashes I repent.

The Lord blessed Job’s new fortune even more than his first one. He came to own fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand she-donkeys. He had seven sons and three daughters; his first daughter he called ‘Turtledove’, the second ‘Cassia’ and the third ‘Mascara.’ Throughout the land there were no women as beautiful as the daughters of Job. And their father gave them inheritance rights like their brothers.
After his trials, Job lived on until he was a hundred and forty years old, and saw his children and his children’s children up to the fourth generation. Then Job died, an old man and full of days.

Gospel

Luke 10:17-24
Rejoice that your names are written in heaven

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’
It was then that, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said:
‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Who are we to question or argue with the Lord our God? Whose wisdom and power is infinite. Let us in loving humility accept and embrace His will for us which is always the best.

Let us be attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the prophets and shepherds He sends us. To the call for renewal and repentance. So that our hearts will always be ready to receive our Lord Jesus Christ when He comes. And while He will come again in glory, He comes to us even now in Holy Eucharist.

Glory to God in the highest! Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Job 38:1,12-21,40:3-5
The immeasurable greatness of God

From the heart of the tempest the Lord gave Job his answer. He said:

Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning or sent the dawn to its post, telling it to grasp the earth by its edges and shake the wicked out of it, when it changes the earth to sealing clay and dyes it as a man dyes clothes; stealing the light from wicked men and breaking the arm raised to strike?
Have you journeyed all the way to the sources of the sea, or walked where the Abyss is deepest?
Have you been shown the gates of Death or met the janitors of Shadowland?
Have you an inkling of the extent of the earth?
Tell me all about it if you have! Which is the way to the home of the light, and where does darkness live?
You could then show them the way to their proper places, or put them on the path to where they live!
If you know all this, you must have been born with them, you must be very old by now!

Job replied to the Lord:

My words have been frivolous: what can I reply? I had better lay my finger on my lips.
I have spoken once… I will not speak again; more than once… I will add nothing.

Gospel

Luke 10:13-16
Anyone who rejects me rejects the one who sent me

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And still, it will not go as hard with Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell.
‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Blessed are those who carry the love of God our Father in their hearts come what may. For His praise is always on their lips. Their words chosen carefully and spoken as to give glory to God. Such tender care given as if every word were to be cast in stone.

Are your eyes not yet opened to see? Are your ears not opened to hear? Have you not tasted the goodness of our Lord? For if you have you will not see any difficulty or obstacle in preventing you from sharing that heaven is opened for all who will receive our Lord Jesus Christ into their hearts.

Yes indeed it is a joy to be chosen as we are, to carry and share the precious word of God. To bring the peace and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ into the homes of families. So that His peace and love can dwell in their hearts forever. Amen

First reading

Job 19:21-27
My Avenger lives and will set me close to him when I awake

Job said:

Pity me, pity me, you, my friends, for the hand of God has struck me.
Why do you hound me down like God, will you never have enough of my flesh?

Ah, would that these words of mine were written down, inscribed on some monument
with iron chisel and engraving tool, cut into the rock for ever.
This I know: that my Avenger lives, and he, the Last, will take his stand on earth.
After my awaking, he will set me close to him, and from my flesh I shall look on God.
He whom I shall see will take my part:these eyes will gaze on him and find him not aloof.

Gospel

Luke 10:1-12
Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.” I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Is it not simply bravado when some utter, “I will follow the Lord wherever He calls me to?” For are they truly prepared to face hardship, difficulties and challenges? Well If they truly are, then their accompanying response will be “let it be done according to your will, Lord.”

What If it were you and the Lord should call upon you at an ‘improper’ time. What will your answer be? “Lord let me settle my affairs first?” Is our Lord not truly the Lord of your life? Who is it that gives time? Who is it that gave you life? Who is it that created the universe? Who is it that wills the best for you? Is there then such a thing as an improper time for the Lord your God?

Do you choose then to be held back by the spiritually dead or to remain Spiritually dead yourself? If not then choose the new life our Lord Jesus Christ offers you in Him. Choose to be His disciple! No more excuses, no more reasonings. Yes your family the domestic church is important but what or whom should come first if not the Lord! For if we get the order right then all else will follow perfectly.

Let us never look back ever, but stay focus on our Lord who walks ahead. Let us carry our cross and follow Him home. Amen

First reading

Job 9:1-13,14-16
How can man be in the right against God?

Job spoke to his friends:

Indeed, I know it is as you say: how can man be in the right against God?
If any were so rash as to challenge him for reasons, one in a thousand would be more than they could answer.
His heart is wise, and his strength is great: who then can successfully defy him?
He moves the mountains, though they do not know it; he throws them down when he is angry. He shakes the earth, and moves it from its place, making all its pillars tremble.
The sun, at his command, forbears to rise, and on the stars he sets a seal. He and no other stretched the skies, and trampled the Sea’s tall waves.
The Bear, Orion too, are of his making, the Pleiades and the Mansions of the South.
His works are great, beyond all reckoning, his marvels, past all counting. Were he to pass me, I should not see him, nor detect his stealthy movement.
Were he to snatch a prize, who could prevent him, or dare to say, ‘What are you doing?’

How dare I plead my cause, then, or choose arguments against him? Suppose I am in the right, what use is my defence?
For he whom I must sue is judge as well. If he deigned to answer my citation, could I be sure that he would listen to my voice?

Gospel

Luke 9:57-62
‘I will follow you wherever you go’

As Jesus and his disciples travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’
Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’
Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

Lost and Found

Posted: October 2, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

God is good all the time! Praise the Lord!

This morning I went to a unisex toilet, priority for the handicapped just outside my office area. I totally forgot I left my mobile phone on top of the toilet roll dispenser.

I then went about my morning routine getting my hot drink and topping up my thermos Flask with hot water. Went back to my seat in the office and before I knew it it was even missing, a female colleague from another department calls out to me and says “I believe this is yours.”

How did she know I asked her? She smiled and said “what picture do you see when you open the cover?” Surely it must be Julian’s I thought to myself said my colleague.

Praise the Lord!

On Today’s Gospel

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

Yes there are times we become bitter and weary of our lives. But always remember that disappointment is an appointment with Christ. Tribulation a means for sanctification. Jesus is never far away from us. We have our guardian Angel watching over us, to rule and guard, to light and guide us.

For we are all beloved children of God our Father. If we fight to retain our purity of heart and of mind. Our childlike wonder of the awesomeness of the Lord our God. Knowing and trusting that He will provide for all that we need. Then we can truly be instruments of His grace. It will not matter how tall or how high up we are, for the Lord alone towers over us in all things. Glory to God in high! Amen

Holy Guardian Angels of God, pray for us.

First reading

Job 3:1-3,11-17,20-23
Why did I not perish on the day I was born?

Job broke the silence and cursed the day of his birth. This is what he said:

May the day perish when I was born, and the night that told of a boy conceived.
Why did I not die new-born, not perish as I left the womb? Why were there two knees to receive me, two breasts for me to suck?
Had there not been, I should now be lying in peace, wrapped in a restful slumber, with the kings and high viziers of earth who build themselves vast vaults, or with princes who have gold and to spare and houses crammed with silver. Or put away like a still-born child that never came to be, like unborn babes that never see the light. Down there, bad men bustle no more, there the weary rest.

Why give light to a man of grief? Why give life to those bitter of heart, who long for a death that never comes, and hunt for it more than for a buried treasure?
They would be glad to see the grave-mound and shout with joy if they reached the tomb.
Why make this gift of light to a man who does not see his way, whom God baulks on every side?

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10
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.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Whose voice is it that speaks up against a Holy person? There goes the Holy man or woman uttered in scorn? Take away all they have and see if they will still praise and worship God? Who is it that wants desperately to prevent another from driving evil away either from a person or a place in Jesus’s name? Saying he is not qualified, he has not been certified, not from our ministry, not one of us! Whose voice is it that tells you that you need to feared rather then to be loved and that you must exercise dominion over others? While the voice belongs to Satan it speaks through his instruments he gathers for himself. Only to scatter when he is done.

Listen instead to the voice of the Lord your God. Who will be at your side always even in times of trials and adversity. He alone can and will turn all your curses into blessings. Be the child of God that listens, obeys and trust that He will always be there to embrace you in His loving care. Be humble and serve as you see Jesus in the least of your brethren. Heaven is your reward. Amen

St Thérèse pray for us.

First reading

Job 1:6-22
The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back: blessed be the name of the Lord

One day the Sons of God came to attend on the Lord, and among them was Satan. So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Round the earth,’ he answered ‘roaming about.’ So the Lord asked him, ‘Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth: a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Yes,’ Satan said ‘but Job is not God-fearing for nothing, is he? Have you not put a wall round him and his house and all his domain? You have blessed all he undertakes, and his flocks throng the countryside. But stretch out your hand and lay a finger on his possessions: I warrant you, he will curse you to your face.’ ‘Very well,’ the Lord said to Satan ‘all he has is in your power. But keep your hands off his person.’ So Satan left the presence of the Lord.
On the day when Job’s sons and daughters were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job. ‘Your oxen’ he said ‘were at the plough, with the donkeys grazing at their side, when the Sabaeans swept down on them and carried them off. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The fire of God’ he said ‘has fallen from the heavens and burnt up all your sheep, and your shepherds too: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘The Chaldaeans,’ he said ‘three bands of them, have raided your camels and made off with them. Your servants they put to the sword: I alone escaped to tell you.’ He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. ‘Your sons and daughters’ he said ‘were at their meal and drinking wine at their eldest brother’s house, when suddenly from the wilderness a gale sprang up, and it battered all four corners of the house which fell in on the young people. They are dead: I alone escaped to tell you.’
Job rose and tore his gown and shaved his head. Then falling to the ground he worshipped and said:

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
naked I shall return.
The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!’

In all this misfortune Job committed no sin nor offered any insult to God.

Gospel

Luke 9:46-50
The least among you all is the greatest

An argument started between the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side and then said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.’
John spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘we saw a man casting out devils in your name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘You must not stop him: anyone who is not against you is for you.’