Archive for October, 2018

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