Archive for November, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

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

If there is no conviction in your faith to share the love of Christ with others, to preach and teach; then how deep is your love and your relationship with Him?

How do you profess that Jesus is the Lord of your life if it does not move you to follow Him? To follow in His footsteps and bring the love and mercy of God our Father to all? To proclaim His kingdom and to unite those who have lost their way, back to Him?

Indeed sisters and brothers, we are all sent, just like St Andrew the Apostle whose feast we celebrate today. To bring hope and light when there is none. To be witnesses to the Gospel and beacons for Christ our Lord. Amen

St Andrew pray for us…

First reading

Romans 10:9-18
Faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ

If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
But they will not ask his help unless they believe in him, and they will not believe in him unless they have heard of him, and they will not hear of him unless they get a preacher, and they will never have a preacher unless one is sent, but as scripture says: The footsteps of those who bring good news are a welcome sound. Not everyone, of course, listens to the Good News. As Isaiah says: Lord, how many believed what we proclaimed? So faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ. Let me put the question: is it possible that they did not hear? Indeed they did; in the words of the psalm, their voice has gone out through all the earth, and their message to the ends of the world.

Gospel

Matthew 4:18-22
‘I will make you fishers of men’

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Warning after warning, call after call to repentance and still many do not heed; or even respond to the merciful, loving call of the Lord our God. Of whom we have hope of eternal life after our timely our even untimely death. For time belongs to God alone.

There is still lots of time! All these are simply doomsday messages to scare imbeciles! Really? Do you know if you will live through today? Then others might quote scripture and say, nothing can separate us from the love of God, yet they forget that choosing to and remaining in sin can. For the wages of sin is death. It will come to pass as the Lord says and there will be no more arguments or debates on the matter.

We the faithful have nothing to fear for the Lord will be at our side through all the darkness and lead us into the celestial light when he reigns forever. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 18:1-2,21-23,19:1-3,9
Babylon the Great has fallen

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory. At the top of his voice he shouted, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty, loathsome bird. Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, ‘That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again.

Never again in you, Babylon,
will be heard the song of harpists and minstrels,
the music of flute and trumpet;
never again will craftsmen of every skill be found
or the sound of the mill be heard;
never again will shine the light of the lamp,
never again will be heard
the voices of bridegroom and bride.
Your traders were the princes of the earth,
all the nations were under your spell.

After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, ‘Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous prostitute who corrupted the earth with her fornication; he has avenged his servants that she killed.’ They sang again, ‘Alleluia! The smoke of her will go up for ever and ever.’ The angel said, ‘Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb’, and he added, ‘All the things you have written are true messages from God.’

Gospel

Luke 21:20-28
There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!
‘For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.
‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 28, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Our journey towards eternal life begins with our conviction of faith in our Lord Jesus of whom we dearly love and trust. Trust which is built upon our relationship with an all loving and faithful God who will never abandon us. Based on this truth we will proclaim Him and His kingdom. We have nothing to fear, for if we live, we live for the Lord. If we die, we die for the Lord. Whether we live or die, we will rejoice in the glory of God. For we will have eternal life with Him.

So sisters and brothers in Christ, let us repent of any evil in our lives. Turn to Him who died for us, so that we may rise in Him. To be powerful witnesses of His grace and love. So that one day soon we will all be reunited in heaven. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 15:1-4
The victors sang the hymn of Moses and of the Lamb

What I, John, saw in heaven was a great and wonderful sign: seven angels were bringing the seven plagues that are the last of all, because they exhaust the anger of God. I seemed to see a glass lake suffused with fire, and standing by the lake of glass, those who had fought against the beast and won, and against his statue and the number which is his name. They all had harps from God, and they were singing the hymn of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb:

‘How great and wonderful are all your works,
Lord God Almighty;
just and true are all your ways,
King of nations.
Who would not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
You alone are holy,
and all the pagans will come and adore you
for the many acts of justice you have shown.’

Gospel

Luke 21:12-19
Your endurance will win you your lives

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.’

Year C Reflections

Posted: November 27, 2018 by CatholicJules in Meditations

Beautiful reflections from verbum dei.

Year C Daily Reflections

On Today’s Gospel

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

Time if you have it will soon strip you of everything and leave you bare at the very end. Nothing you hold dear in this world will last. Only your relationships with fellow children of God our Father, and the Lord Your God. So then where will you be standing after meeting our Lord Jesus Christ on the day of reckoning? The answer as you’ve been told many times before lies in how you have lived your life. Did you love Him with an your heart, mind and soul? And did you love one another just as He loved you.

While on this pilgrim journey back to Him,Jesus reminds us that the road ahead will not always be easy. We will face trials, challenges even trickery. Most will have to face the indignity of growing old and sick. Some may face war and destruction. Still He is with us through it all. Those who draw close to Him will hear, recognise His voice and follow Him on the right path to paradise. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 14:14-19
The harvest and the vintage of the earth are ripe

In my vision I, John, saw a white cloud and, sitting on it, one like a son of man with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the sanctuary, and shouted aloud to the one sitting on the cloud, ‘Put your sickle in and reap: harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then the one sitting on the cloud set his sickle to work on the earth, and the earth’s harvest was reaped.
Another angel, who also carried a sharp sickle, came out of the temple in heaven, and the angel in charge of the fire left the altar and shouted aloud to the one with the sharp sickle, ‘Put your sickle in and cut all the bunches off the vine of the earth; all its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel set his sickle to work on the earth and harvested the whole vintage of the earth and put it into a huge winepress, the winepress of God’s anger.

Gospel

Luke 21:5-11
The destruction of the Temple foretold

When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘All these things you are staring at now – the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.’ And they put to him this question: ‘Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’
‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand.” Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

How wonderful it must be to join the choir of Elders, Angels and Saints in heaven to sing with one voice praise and glory to God in the highest!

And yet the reality is that we do so at every Eucharistic Celebration when we come before Him with hearts pure and undefiled to worship and glorify His name with the fruits of our labour performed in love. Our song of praise reaches the highest heaven when we sing powerfully with lungs empty of worldly cares, desires filled only with His love. For Him and for brethren.

Together with the widow in the temple with two coins, let us offer the Lord our God our all. Faith and love in Him which moves us to love Him and the least of our brethren. For just as Christ gave freely to us so must we give freely for Him. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 14:1-5
The redeemed has Christ and his Father’s name written on their foreheads

In my vision I, John, saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound coming out of the sky like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it seemed to be the sound of harpists playing their harps. There in front of the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four animals and the elders, a hymn that could only be learnt by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been redeemed from amongst men to be the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb. They never allowed a lie to pass their lips and no fault can be found in them.

Gospel

Luke 21:1-4
The widow’s mite

As Jesus looked up, he saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; then he happened to notice a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all contributed money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in all she had to live on.’

Solemnity of Christ the King

Posted: November 25, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

A Royal Truth: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of Christ the King

Readings:

Daniel 7:13–14
Psalm 93:1–2, 5
Revelation 1:5–8
John 18:33–37

What’s the truth Jesus comes to bear witness to in this last Gospel of the Church’s year?
It’s the truth that in Jesus, God keeps the promise He made to David of an everlasting kingdom, of an heir who would be His Son, “the first born, highest of the kings of the earth” (see 2 Samuel 7:12–16; Psalm 89:27–38).
Today’s Second Reading, taken from the Book of Revelation, quotes these promises and celebrates Jesus as “the faithful witness.” The reading hearkens back to Isaiah’s prophecy that the Messiah
would “witness to the peoples” that God is renewing His “everlasting covenant” with David (see Isaiah 55:3–5).
But as Jesus tells Pilate, there’s far more going on here than the restoration of a temporal monarchy. In the Revelation reading, Jesus calls Himself “the Alpha and the Omega,” the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. He’s applying to Himself a description that God uses to describe Himself in the Old Testament—the first and the last, the One who calls forth all generations (see Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12).
“He has made the world,” today’s Psalm cries, and His dominion is over all creation (see also John 1:3; Colossians 1:16–17). In the vision of Daniel we hear in today’s First Reading, He comes on “the clouds of heaven”—another sign of His divinity—to be given “glory and kingship” forever over all nations and peoples.
Christ is King and His kingdom, while not of this world, exists in this world in the Church. We are a royal people. We know we have been loved by Him and freed by His blood and transformed into “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father” (see also Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9).
As a priestly people, we share in His sacrifice and in His witness to God’s everlasting covenant. We belong to His truth and listen to His voice, waiting for Him to come again amid the clouds.

On Today’s Gospel

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

The reality of death will come to us all. How then have we lived will be key in determining our communion with the saints in heaven. Will we ascend to be in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ who came to save us?

Yes we have hope in rising body and soul to Him because by His Resurrection Jesus had conquered death. And we children of God our Father will return to Him in perfect Union with Him and with one another through Christ our Lord. Question then is how have we loved? How have we live in the love of our living God?

As we draw closer to the end of the liturgical year, let us reflect on whether we have lived according to the will and word of the Lord our God. While there is still life in us, it is not too late to make the necessary changes. Seek Him and you will find Him. Let Him change you from within, so that one day soon we can all be reunited in heaven. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 11:4-12
The prophets will die who have been a plague to the world

I, John, heard a voice saying: ‘These, my two witnesses, are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the world. Fire can come from their mouths and consume their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; and if anybody does try to harm them he will certainly be killed in this way. They are able to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying; they are able to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like. When they have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them and overcome them and kill them. Their corpses will lie in the main street of the Great City known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified. Men out of every people, race, language and nation will stare at their corpses, for three-and-a-half days, not letting them be buried, and the people of the world will be glad about it and celebrate the event by giving presents to each other, because these two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world.’
After the three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up, and everybody who saw it happen was terrified; then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here’, and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud.

Gospel

Luke 20:27-40
In God all men are alive

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached Jesus and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died. Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’
Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’
Some scribes then spoke up. ‘Well put, Master’ they said – because they would not dare to ask him any more questions.

On Today’s Gospel

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

How Holy is the Church of your heart? How Holy is the Church in which you worship in?

Are you bargaining, trading, swindling? Is your mind cluttered with worldliness? Insatiable desires? Are you speaking when you should be praying? Are you listening to His Word for you or engaged in private chatter? Are you singing with the choir of angels or singing the tunes of the world?

Pray then that the Lord drives out all that is unholy from within! Allow Him to cleanse, purify and restore what was once Holy and pure. So that you may receive the living Word of God as it should be received. Bringing light where there is darkness, sweetness where there was bitterness, fruits where once was laid barren, life where there was only death!

Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 10:8-11
I was told to swallow the scroll, and to prophesy

I, John, heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. ‘Go,’ it said ‘and take that open scroll out of the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.’ I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, ‘Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.’ So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, ‘You are to prophesy again, this time about many different nations and countries and languages and emperors.’

Gospel

Luke 19:45-48
You have turned God’s house into a robbers’ den

Jesus went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling. ‘According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’
He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him, but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words.

My Teacher My Dad

Posted: November 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

88 year old man loses his balance and falls while trying to close the windows in the kitchen, because it is raining at 3am+ He does so as quietly as he can, so as not to wake his wife and daughter. But then he falls with a loud thud and fractures his hip. His wife is awakened by the loud sound. He is found helpless on the floor in pain till his daughter helps him back to bed.

Why dad did you bother? It’s only rain!

But when I look back I remember my teacher of how to serve without complaint. To move to love first in spite of tiredness and pains. As a child he cared for me tenderly when I was ill. I will never forget! His healing hands he would lay upon us and give us comfort. He was patient as he was kind. Dad I pray that Jesus lays His healing hands upon you, just as you had done for us and others. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 22, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Was the lamb of God slain in vain for you? Has He not sanctified you with His precious blood? Were you not restored to be a rightful heir to His kingdom? If only you knew how much He loves you, then surely your heart will be changed!

Every day you breathe is an opportunity for inner conversion. For His peace and love to enter into Your heart. Pray earnestly and turn back to Him. For He only looks upon the good in You and the greatness of God our Father’s plan for You. That you may live abundantly in His love.

Let us live our calling, to unite all with Christ through our loving sacrifices. To guide and govern justly through our Lord’s justice and peace. To proclaim His loving Word to the ends of the world. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 5:1-10
The blood of the Lamb bought men for God

I, John, saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that had writing on back and front and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, ‘Is there anyone worthy to open the scroll and break the seals of it?’ But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it. I wept bitterly because there was nobody fit to open the scroll and read it, but one of the elders said to me, ‘There is no need to cry: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and he will open the scroll and the seven seals of it.’
Then I saw, standing between the throne with its four animals and the circle of the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits God has sent out all over the world. The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne, and when he took it, the four animals prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense made of the prayers of the saints. They sang a new hymn:

‘You are worthy to take the scroll
and break the seals of it,
because you were sacrificed, and with your blood
you bought men for God
of every race, language, people and nation
and made them a line of kings and priests,
to serve our God and to rule the world.’

Gospel

Luke 19:41-44
Jesus sheds tears over the coming fate of Jerusalem

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it and said, ‘If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace! But, alas, it is hidden from your eyes! Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you – and all because you did not recognise your opportunity when God offered it!’

Injustice

Posted: November 21, 2018 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 21, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Does the Lord your God reign in your heart? For all authority under heaven and earth had been given to Him and if He does not reign in your heart then who does your heart belong to?

Do you rule yourself and others placed under your care? Or does the world dictate what you do or don’t do? Or are you listening to the whispers of the one seeking to divide and conquer? Know this, that so long as Jesus Christ our Lord is absent in your heart then you can assured that you will remain barren and empty.

If you say that Jesus is the Lord of Lords, king of Kings in your life then the sign of that truth you proclaim will be in the fruits you bear for Him. The difference you have made in the lives of your brethren for the love of Him. Praise and thanksgiving to the Lord your God is the utility of the gifts and talents put into building His kingdom.

Holy, holy, holy are You Lord my God. May the fruits of my labour bring You praise and glory. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 4:1-11
He was, he is, and he is to come

In my vision, I, John, saw a door open in heaven and heard the same voice speaking to me, the voice like a trumpet, saying, ‘Come up here: I will show you what is to come in the future.’ With that, the Spirit possessed me and I saw a throne standing in heaven, and the One who was sitting on the throne, and the Person sitting there looked like a diamond and a ruby. There was a rainbow encircling the throne, and this looked like an emerald. Round the throne in a circle were twenty-four thrones, and on them I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes with golden crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning were coming from the throne, and the sound of peals of thunder, and in front of the throne there were seven flaming lamps burning, the seven Spirits of God. Between the throne and myself was a sea that seemed to be made of glass, like crystal. In the centre, grouped round the throne itself, were four animals with many eyes, in front and behind. The first animal was like a lion, the second like a bull, the third animal had a human face, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle. Each of the four animals had six wings and had eyes all the way round as well as inside; and day and night they never stopped singing:

‘Holy, Holy, Holy
is the Lord God, the Almighty;
he was, he is and he is to come.’

Every time the animals glorified and honoured and gave thanks to the One sitting on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before him to worship the One who lives for ever and ever, and threw down their crowns in front of the throne, saying, ‘You are our Lord and our God, you are worthy of glory and honour and power, because you made all the universe and it was only by your will that everything was made and exists.’

Gospel

Luke 19:11-28
The parable of the talents

While the people were listening, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and they imagined that the kingdom of God was going to show itself then and there. Accordingly he said, ‘A man of noble birth went to a distant country to be appointed king and afterwards return. He summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds. “Do business with these” he told them “until I get back.” But his compatriots detested him and sent a delegation to follow him with this message, “We do not want this man to be our king.”
‘Now on his return, having received his appointment as king, he sent for those servants to whom he had given the money, to find out what profit each had made. The first came in and said, “Sir, your one pound has brought in ten.” “Well done, my good servant!” he replied “Since you have proved yourself faithful in a very small thing, you shall have the government of ten cities.” Then came the second and said, “Sir, your one pound has made five.” To this one also he said, “And you shall be in charge of five cities.” Next came the other and said, “Sir, here is your pound. I put it away safely in a piece of linen because I was afraid of you; for you are an exacting man: you pick up what you have not put down and reap what you have not sown.” “You wicked servant!” he said “Out of your own mouth I condemn you. So you knew I was an exacting man, picking up what I have not put down and reaping what I have not sown? Then why did you not put my money in the bank? On my return I could have drawn it out with interest.” And he said to those standing by, “Take the pound from him and give it to the man who has ten pounds.” And they said to him, “But, sir, he has ten pounds…”. “I tell you, to everyone who has will be given more; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
‘“But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.”’
When he had said this he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

On Today’s Gospel L

Posted: November 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Have you already fallen asleep? Have you allowed the busyness of your daily life overtake you? Have you neglected to give thanks and glory to God for all that you have, by being present to Him and your sisters and brothers in Christ? Are you complacent when it comes to matters of your faith? How is the love of the Lord our God growing within you? Have you loved beyond yourself or family?

See the Lord is passing you by, are you going to allow your stature to stop you from looking upon Him? Your status in life? Look and see as Zacchaeus did, that the Lord was standing at the door of his heart. He listened to our Lord calling out to Him. He opened the door of His heart and the Lord entered to dine and dwell in Him. He received the greatest treasure of heaven and of earth and so was able to let go of everything else.

Lord Jesus my door lies open for You. Come Lord Jesus come! Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 3:1-6,14-22
If one of you hears me calling, I will come in to share his meal

I, John, heard the Lord saying to me: ‘Write to the angel of the church in Sardis and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know all about you: how you are reputed to be alive and yet are dead. Wake up; revive what little you have left: it is dying fast. So far I have failed to notice anything in the way you live that my God could possibly call perfect, and yet do you remember how eager you were when you first heard the message? Hold on to that. Repent. If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, without telling you at what hour to expect me. There are a few in Sardis, it is true, who have kept their robes from being dirtied, and they are fit to come with me, dressed in white. Those who prove victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot their names out of the book of life, but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and his angels. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
‘Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, “Here is the message of the Amen, the faithful, the true witness, the ultimate source of God’s creation: I know all about you: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say to yourself, ‘I am rich, I have made a fortune, and have everything I want’, never realising that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor, and blind and naked too. I warn you, buy from me the gold that has been tested in the fire to make you really rich, and white robes to clothe you and cover your shameful nakedness, and eye ointment to put on your eyes so that you are able to see. I am the one who reproves and disciplines all those he loves: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him. Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”’

Gospel

Luke 19:1-10
Salvation comes to the house of Zacchaeus

Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance: he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’ And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

We all have to battle with sin daily. And some times we can become weary. Sometimes we let our guard down and succumb to anger, lusts, pride amongst others. If we are sorrowful and contrite then we know we will be made whole when we turn to our Saviour Jesus Christ. However when faced with people who lead lives of duplicity, whom we trust and have betrayed not just us, but those under their care then we can become despondent through the hurts. If we are not careful we become blind to the needs of others. We love less than we ought to.

Cry out to Jesus in faith and He will hear you. Even amidst the noise and chaos of the world which seeks to drown out your cries to Him. Our Lord will heal you and restore you. He will pour out His love into your heart so that you can love fully as you are called to.

Jesus my Lord, hear my cries and heal me. Let me love as you do. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 1:1-4,2:1-5
Think what you were before you fell, and repent

This is the revelation given by God to Jesus Christ so that he could tell his servants about the things which are now to take place very soon; he sent his angel to make it known to his servant John, and John has written down everything he saw and swears it is the word of God guaranteed by Jesus Christ. Happy the man who reads this prophecy, and happy those who listen to him, if they treasure all that it says, because the Time is close.
From John, to the seven churches of Asia: grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits in his presence before his throne.
I heard the Lord saying to me: ‘Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who lives surrounded by the seven golden lamp-stands: I know all about you: how hard you work and how much you put up with. I know you cannot stand wicked men, and how you tested the impostors who called themselves apostles and proved they were liars. Know, too, that you have patience, and have suffered for my name without growing tired. Nevertheless, I have this complaint to make; you have less love now than you used to. Think where you were before you fell; repent, and do as you used to at first.”’

Gospel

Luke 18:35-43
‘Son of David, have pity on me’

As Jesus drew near to Jericho there was a blind man sitting at the side of the road begging. When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about, and they told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. So he called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.’ The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him, and when he came up, asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Sir,’ he replied ‘let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.’ And instantly his sight returned and he followed him praising God, and all the people who saw it gave praise to God for what had happened.

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Hope in Tribulation: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Daniel 12:1–3
Psalm 16:5, 8–11
Hebrews 10:11–14, 18
Mark 13:24–32

In this, the second-to-the-last week of the Church year, Jesus has finally made it to Jerusalem.

Near to His passion and death, He gives us a teaching of hope—telling us how it will be when He returns again in glory.

Today’s Gospel is taken from the end of a long discourse in which He describes tribulations the likes of which haven’t been seen “since the beginning of God’s creation” (see Mark 13:9). He describes what amounts to a dissolution of God’s creation, a “devolution” of the world to its original state of formlessness and void.

First, human community—nations and kingdoms—will break down (see Mark 13:7–8). Then the earth will stop yielding food and begin to shake apart (13:8). Next, the family will be torn apart from within and the last faithful individuals will be persecuted (13:9–13). Finally, the Temple will be desecrated, the earth emptied of God’s presence (13:14).
In today’s reading, God is described putting out the lights that He established in the sky in the very beginning—the sun, the moon and the stars (see also Isaiah 13:10; 34:4). Into this “uncreated” darkness, the Son of Man, in whom all things were made, will come.
Jesus has already told us that the Son of Man must be humiliated and killed (see Mark 8:31). Here He describes His ultimate victory, using royal-divine images drawn from the Old Testament—clouds, glory, and angels (see Daniel 7:13). He shows Himself to be the fulfillment of all God’s promises to save “the elect,” the faithful remnant (see Isaiah 43:6; Jeremiah 32:37).

As today’s First Reading tells us, this salvation will include the bodily resurrection of those who sleep in the dust. We are to watch for this day, when His enemies are finally made His footstool, as today’s Epistle envisions. We can wait in confidence knowing, as we pray in today’s Psalm, that we will one day delight at His right hand forever.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Faithful are You O Lord our Jesus Christ! For You hear and answer the cries of those faithful and fervent in their prayers. Those who cry out to You in fear, pain and in their woes. You grant comfort, healing, mercy, peace and love. You are our shepherd and we are Your dearly beloved sheep. You will never abandon us.

May our faith and love continue to grow in You. That upon Your return you will find us Faithful, Holy, welcoming and loving one another as You love us. Amen

First reading

3 John 1:5-8
It is our duty to welcome missionaries and contribute our share to their work

My friend, you have done faithful work in looking after these brothers, even though they were complete strangers to you. They are a proof to the whole Church of your charity and it would be a very good thing if you could help them on their journey in a way that God would approve. It was entirely for the sake of the name that they set out, without depending on the pagans for anything; it is our duty to welcome men of this sort and contribute our share to their work for the truth.

Gospel

Luke 18:1-8
The parable of the unjust judge

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

On Today’s Gospel

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

As we are soon approaching Advent the readings of today remind us of the need to stand alert and ready. What state will our Lord find us in if He comes today? Or if we are called back to stand before Him? Will He find us with hearts full of joy and peace because we have loved our neighbour as we should? We have cared for the least of our brethren?

Or will He find us sinful and sorrowful? Many still lukewarm in their faith? Failing to gain the riches of the world, standing empty and forlorn? How much time did you think you have to turn back to the Lord your God? To love and be loved in His love?

Let us pray for one another especially for those who have lost their way. Let us strive for Holiness as we lead one another into His kingdom. And may our hearts always be filled with His love as we care for one another along the way as we journey home. Amen

First reading

2 John 1:4-9
The commandment which you have heard since the beginning is to live a life of love

It has given me great joy to find that your children have been living the life of truth as we were commanded by the Father. I am writing now, dear lady, not to give you any new commandment, but the one which we were given at the beginning, and to plead: let us love one another.
To love is to live according to his commandments: this is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, to live a life of love.
There are many deceivers about in the world, refusing to admit that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They are the Deceiver; they are the Antichrist. Watch yourselves, or all our work will be lost and not get the reward it deserves. If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him: only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.

Gospel

Luke 17:26-37
When the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed

Jesus said to the disciples:
‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The Kingdom of God is at hand. Still kingdom builders that we are must continue with building up God’s Kingdom through acts of love and sacrifice for one another. There is no time like the present to do so for we know not when our time is at end.

In order to follow Christ as we should, we must give up all rights and claims over another; in order to love them as sister and brother of God our Father through Christ Jesus,His Son our Lord. For greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus called us friends, as He laid down His life for us. Can we not do the same for our sister and brother?

Lord thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Amen

First reading

Philemon 1:7-20
He is a slave no longer, but a dear brother in the Lord

I am so delighted, and comforted, to know of your love; they tell me, brother, how you have put new heart into the saints.
Now, although in Christ I can have no diffidence about telling you to do whatever is your duty, I am appealing to your love instead, reminding you that this is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. He was of no use to you before, but he will be useful to you now, as he has been to me. I am sending him back to you, and with him – I could say – a part of my own self. I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the Good News has brought me. However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. I know you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, but it was only so that you could have him back for ever, not as a slave any more, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, as a blood-brother as well as a brother in the Lord. So if all that we have in common means anything to you, welcome him as you would me; but if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, then let me pay for it. I am writing this in my own handwriting: I, Paul, shall pay it back – I will not add any mention of your own debt to me, which is yourself. Well then, brother, I am counting on you, in the Lord; put new heart into me, in Christ.

Gospel

Luke 17:20-25
The kingdom of God is among you

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, Jesus gave them this answer, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, “Look here! Look there!” For, you must know, the kingdom of God is among you.’
He said to the disciples, ‘A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it. They will say to you, “Look there!” or, “Look here!” Make no move; do not set off in pursuit; for as the lightning flashing from one part of heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of Man when his day comes. But first he must suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.’

My Leper’s Prayer…

Posted: November 14, 2018 by CatholicJules in Prayers

🙏🏼 My Leper’s Prayer… 🙏🏼

My sins are always before me, eating away at my soul. Yet every time I cry out to You, “Lord Jesus Christ Son of the living God, have pity on me!” You restore me and show me, just how much You love me often in very subtle ways.

With a grateful heart Lord, I thank You. Praise and glory be to our One triune God!

I’ve come to realise that by praising and giving You thanks with a contrite heart, brings about much healing from within. For without, I am unable to do so. Lord cover me with Your precious blood, let my faith and love in You grow, such that You may find me steadfast in Your love. And may all I say and do be for Your greater glory. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 14, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We should never take the Lord our God for granred! And hold on tightly to His Word which feeds, nourishes; and is our safeguard against evil and sin. For there are far too many distractions in the world that will sooner or later mislead us away from Him, whom loved us despite our iniquities and gave up His life for us.

In His compassionate love for us, Jesus hears our cries and heals us. But unless we have a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving we may be physically healed but remain spiritually dead. For it is only through our heartfelt thanksgiving and Praise of the Lord God; that our spirit ascends to Him fully alive. It is our rightful worship of Him that we live fully in His love. Just as it is our Christian duty to obey the laws of the land so it is our duty to be obedient to the Holy Spirit who guides us into the way of life in Him.

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

First reading

Titus 3:1-7
It was purely by his own compassion that God saved us

Remind your people that it is their duty to be obedient to the officials and representatives of the government; to be ready to do good at every opportunity; not to go slandering other people or picking quarrels, but to be courteous and always polite to all kinds of people. Remember, there was a time when we too were ignorant, disobedient and misled and enslaved by different passions and luxuries; we lived then in wickedness and ill-will, hating each other and hateful ourselves.
But when the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.

Gospel

Luke 17:11-19
No-one has come back to praise God, only this foreigner

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

What makes people searching turn to the Christian faith? Apart from the truth to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is the Christian way of life. We can thank our dedicated sisters and brothers living out their Christian faith in love and humility that inspired many to enquire more and be led to Jesus.

We all have a higher calling as Christians to constantly say no to sin and the wiles of the world. To live exemplary lives in Christ for one another, so as to beacons of His love. And our light shines most brightly by putting our hands and feet to the service of the least of our brethren.

There is no room for complaint in our hearts as it has been filled to the brim by the overflowing love of the Lord our God. We do not seek recognition or glory for ourselves, our only desire is to glorify the Lord our God by our lives. For our hope is that at the very end, we will dine with Him at the Heavenly Banquet. Amen

First reading

Titus 2:1-8,11-14
You must preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine

It is for you to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine. The older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and constancy. Similarly, the older women should behave as though they were religious, with no scandal-mongering and no habitual wine-drinking – they are to be the teachers of the right behaviour and show the younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children, how they are to be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and do as their husbands tell them, so that the message of God is never disgraced. In the same way, you have got to persuade the younger men to be moderate and in everything you do make yourself an example to them of working for good: when you are teaching, be an example to them in your sincerity and earnestness and in keeping all that you say so wholesome that nobody can make objections to it; and then any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us. You see, God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.

Gospel

Luke 17:7-10
You are merely servants

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 12, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What sort of leadership would you want for your Church? People who are creative, those who have hearts for the poor, the marginalised, the outcasts. Great administrative skills and those with gifts and talents suited for the tasks ahead. All these are good! But it takes dedicated, God fearing men and women who are single minded after the heart of Christ Jesus to drive the church forwards. So while we may have the best people, without leadership centred on Christ we have zero! For either nothing gets done or there will be little or no growth.

While not everyone are called to be leaders, we are called to obedience in Christ Jesus. There can be no duplicity in our lives. We must strive for Holiness and lead others towards the same. Mercy and love must flow from our hearts. We must forgive always and remember we have forgiven. We must work to grow in our faith through deepening our relationship with Jesus. We can only do so by knowing and living His Word and will for us.

Holy spirit Lord, guide us as we journey forth, towards our heavenly inheritance. Amen

First reading

Titus 1:1-9
Appoint elders of irreproachable character

From Paul, servant of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ to bring those whom God has chosen to faith and to the knowledge of the truth that leads to true religion; and to give them the hope of the eternal life that was promised so long ago by God. He does not lie and so, at the appointed time, he revealed his decision, and, by the command of God our saviour, I have been commissioned to proclaim it. To Titus, true child of mine in the faith that we share, wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our saviour.
The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to get everything organised there and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you: that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character; he must not have been married more than once, and his children must be believers and not uncontrollable or liable to be charged with disorderly conduct. Since, as president, he will be God’s representative, he must be irreproachable: never an arrogant or hot-tempered man, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor out to make money; but a man who is hospitable and a friend of all that is good; sensible, moral, devout and self-controlled; and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on for both expounding the sound doctrine and refuting those who argue against it.

Gospel

Luke 17:1-6
If your brother does wrong, reprove him

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Obstacles are sure to come, but alas for the one who provides them! It would be better for him to be thrown into the Sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves!
If your brother does something wrong, reprove him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him.’
The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.’


Today is a very blessed day indeed! I wrote a letter to my daughter who turns seven today wishing her and reminding her that Jesus loves her and He will be at her side always. Finished it at 5:30 am before reflecting on this Sunday’s readings once again.

Later the Stewards of the Banquet were meeting at 8:15am for our reflection and prayer session before serving the 9:15am EC.

As I was in the Adoration room, I started reflecting on our Lord’s generosity and love. How He gave up His life for us without reservation. How through the readings we can see through His eyes that it is not what goods we give but the generosity of our love for, with and in Him.

It calls to mind that if we say we love Him with all our heart, mind and strength then what is the expression of that love for Him? How generous are we when it comes to loving our neighbour as a result of our love for Him? Just like both the widows in Today’s readings they gave their all. In the first however Elijah elevates the widow to service and instead of charity she is shown the abundant love and mercy of God. We can even recall in a different reading how Jesus showed His great love and mercy to another widow; the widow of nain.

Last night Fr Julian opened our eyes to see another great and wonderful widow of love. Our Blessed Mother Mary. She was very likely already a widow at the wedding feast at Cana when she interceded for the wedding couple. The exchange between Jesus and His mother can be seen in a new light when He told her that His hour was not up. He was the sole bread winner after his father Joseph’s death and watched over his mother by his carpentry. Who will provide for her once he goes on his mission? Mary in faith knew that the almighty and loving Father in heaven will never abandon her and will provide for all that she needs. And so in her instruction to the servants to do as her son tells them, she is giving her all!

Before I left the room another inspiration came to mind. How are we husbands loving our wives? How are we leading them closer to God? How are we leading them to heaven? Are we spiritually dead and have left them as widows?

After a wonderful session in reflection and prayer we gathered outside the foyer to pray as one before the EC with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. EMHCs, cantor, Stewards of the Banquet and altar servers. Almost twenty of us! Praise the Lord!

We also started praying together today, at the very end of the Eucharistic Celebration; though we will need to encourage more to stay back to do so. Praise the Lord for surely our fraternal bonds will continue to grow. Amen

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 10, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Widows’ Faith: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

1 Kings 1:10–16
Psalm 146:7–10
Hebrews 9:24–28
Mark 12:41–44

We must live by the obedience of faith, a faith that shows itself in works of charity and self-giving (see Galatians 5:6). That’s the lesson of the two widows in today’s liturgy.

The widow in the First Reading isn’t even a Jew, yet she trusts in the word of Elijah and the promise of his Lord. Facing sure starvation, she gives all that she has, her last bit of food—feeding the man of God before herself and her family.

The widow in the Gospel also gives all that she has, offering her last bit of money to support the work of God’s priests in the Temple.
In their self-sacrifice, these widows embody the love that Jesus last week revealed as the heart of the Law and the Gospel. They mirror the Father’s love in giving His only Son, and Christ’s love in sacrificing Himself on the Cross.

Again in today’s Epistle, we hear Christ described as a new high priest and the suffering servant foretold by Isaiah. On the Cross, He made sacrifice once and for all to take away our sin and bring us to salvation (see Isaiah 53:12).

And again we are called to imitate His sacrifice of love in our own lives. We will be judged not by how much we give—for the scribes and the wealthy contribute far more than the widow. Rather, we will be judged by whether our gifts reflect our livelihood, our whole beings, all our heart and soul, mind and strength.

Are we giving all that we can to the Lord—not out of a sense of forced duty, but in a spirit of generosity and love (see 2 Corinthians 9:6–7)?

Do not be afraid, the man of God tells us today. As we sing in today’s Psalm, the Lord will provide for us, as He sustains the widow.

Today, let us follow the widows’ example, doing what God asks, confident that our jars of flour will not grow empty, nor our jugs of oil run dry.

A Little On Proclaiming The Word

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

Here’s a little reflection on proclaiming the word of God.

If you want to proclaim the word of God as it should be proclaimed then this is what you will need to do:

  1. You need to first live the Word you are proclaiming. It must be consciously on your mind as you go about your day. The Word must be written on your heart.
  2. You need to read, study the Word and practise to the point that the Word becomes your very own. You are one with the Word you are going to proclaim.
  3. You need a humble and prayerful attitude requesting the Holy Spirit to guide you as you begin, so that every Word you proclaim may touch the ones listening. So as to bring Glory to God.
  4. The Word must flow through you as though God Himself were speaking through you. That is why you are there, to proclaim His Word and not to simply read it aloud.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Let us bring glory always to the Living God, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

For a disciple in our Lord Jesus Christ, riches lie in seeking and finding the kingdom of God. For all we will ever need is to be found in the Lord our God. This is not some fanatical thinking or way of life but a reality in the truth. For He is the truth, the way and the life. And so it is our mission to lead everyone to the truth. The love and mercy of God our Father through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

The riches of the world are fleeting. Just as the happiness and all its empty promises. Yet many are drawn to such riches and are beguiled into greed of it. Where does it end? Till the child of God our Father is lost to the world and all its wiles?

Your ways are not my ways says the Lord our God who looks into our heart. Let Him find us striving for Holiness as we choose the narrow path to His kingdom. Carrying the cross and following our master. Who rules and reigns with God our Father together with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen

First reading

Philippians 4:10-19
With the help of the One who gives me strength, there is nothing I cannot master

It is a great joy to me, in the Lord, that at last you have shown some concern for me again; though of course you were concerned before, and only lacked an opportunity. I am not talking about shortage of money: I have learnt to manage on whatever I have, I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. All the same, it was good of you to share with me in my hardships. In the early days of the Good News, as you people of Philippi well know, when I left Macedonia, no other church helped me with gifts of money. You were the only ones; and twice since my stay in Thessalonika you have sent me what I needed. It is not your gift that I value; what is valuable to me is the interest that is mounting up in your account. Now for the time being I have everything that I need and more: I am fully provided now that I have received from Epaphroditus the offering that you sent, a sweet fragrance – the sacrifice that God accepts and finds pleasing. In return my God will fulfil all your needs, in Christ Jesus, as lavishly as only God can.

Gospel

Luke 16:9-15
Use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him. He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God.’

A daily adventure in His love..

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

Everyday is a new adventure in His love.

Rushed for morning Eucharist and just as I stepped into the Church Hall Fr Fred led the congregation in the opening hymn as there was trouble with the projector. And almost everyone knew the words to ‘Sing praises to the living God’

Found a seat towards the front and a sweet lady I had just met on Tuesday at the day of recollection, turned and greeted me and I her. She was going to the proclaim the word this morning.

Then after receiving communion and reflecting on the word, I sang to myself, “God is dwelling in my heart…” then lo and behold for the recessional hymn they started singing the same hymn.

Glory to God in the highest!
The day has just stated…..

On Today’s Gospel

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

Are we the Church where living waters flow? Out to the peripheries touching the aged, the poor, the sick, the handicapped, the outcasts. Where renewal and healing in Christ Jesus our Lord takes place. When we gather to worship with one heart, one voice, one body. Where we go forth as disciples bringing about more and greater disciples then ourselves. Are we then a vibrant, missionary and evangelistic church?

Have we removed the clutter from within us? The secular ways and thinking of the world? Have we emptied our hearts and minds of all worldly cares and concerns to prepare room for our Lord Jesus Christ. We must know that though we are many parts, we are one body. And each body of ours is Holy, each one of us carries within our bodies, the Holy Spirit. For in our body, which has been offered as a living sacrifice, God dwells. This is where the life of church begins. Blessed is our Church built upon the rock, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. We are one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

And so together with the, elders, angels and the saints we cry out Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord! Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12
Wherever the water flows, it will bring life and health

The angel brought me to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’

Gospel

John 2:13-22
Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Knowing about Jesus Christ is not enough! We must constantly seek to deepen our relationship with Him. Day by day falling deeper in love with Him. For He is love personified, the source, the beginning and the end. By His love He sought us out, taking away all our sins. Restoring us so that we can partake in our heavenly inheritance as children of God our Father.

All the wisdom and gifts we possess comes from Him and it comes to nought if we do not give it away. If we do not generously share it with our sisters and brothers in Christ. For the more we give, the more we shall receive. Deep indeed is the eternal font of love and mercy. Deeper still we find ourselves when we dwell in His love.

Therefore we who follow Christ must want to bear witness to Him always. This is our call, this is our faith, this is our destiny. Amen

First reading

Philippians 3:3-8
I was faultless according to the Law; but without knowing Christ I was nothing

We are the real people of the circumcision, we who worship in accordance with the Spirit of God; we have our own glory from Christ Jesus without having to rely on a physical operation. If it came to relying on physical evidence, I should be fully qualified myself. Take any man who thinks he can rely on what is physical: I am even better qualified. I was born of the race of Israel and of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrew parents, and I was circumcised when I was eight days old. As for the Law, I was a Pharisee; as for working for religion, I was a persecutor of the Church; as far as the Law can make you perfect, I was faultless. But because of Christ, I have come to consider all these advantages that I had as disadvantages. Not only that, but I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Gospel

Luke 15:1-10
There will be rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:
‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.
‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’

Holy Hour Yesterday

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

Yesterday during the Holy hour….

L isten to my voice
O pen the door to your hearts
V ictory is mine
E verlasting life is yours.

T each them
H ow to love
E mbrace the poor & the sick.
M ary your mother shows you.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 7, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Striving for Holiness each passing day as we seek to bring Christ to others is our inherent duty as we declare our undying love for the Lord our God. Jesus reigns in our hearts as we face challenges and trials in building His kingdom. Yet we know He is always by our side. For we have placed Him above all others in our hearts where He rules. He is our Lord of Lords, King of Kings!

A true disciple will not grumble or complain for they know that all the hardship they face is for God’s glory. They have given up all to follow Him. They live not for themselves by to love and serve others as their master commanded. Are you then His disciple? Do others see you as such? What fruits have you brought forth?

Lord help me become the Disciple you want me to be. As I carry my cross and follow You. Amen

First reading

Philippians 2:12-18
Work for your salvation, for God is working in you

My dear friends, continue to do as I tell you, as you always have; not only as you did when I was there with you, but even more now that I am no longer there; and work for your salvation ‘in fear and trembling.’ It is God, for his own loving purpose, who puts both the will and the action into you. Do all that has to be done without complaining or arguing and then you will be innocent and genuine, perfect children of God among a deceitful and underhand brood, and you will shine in the world like bright stars because you are offering it the word of life. This would give me something to be proud of for the Day of Christ, and would mean that I had not run in the race and exhausted myself for nothing. And then, if my blood has to be shed as part of your own sacrifice and offering – which is your faith – I shall still be happy and rejoice with all of you, and you must be just as happy and rejoice with me.

Gospel

Luke 14:25-33
Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

If only we saw it through the eyes of faith that every prayer meeting, Eucharistic Celebration, fellowship in Christ, that we made excuses not to attend; was a missed opportunity to be in the presence of our Lord and to glorify His name or at the same time to be filled with the graces He wanted us to have, would our hearts have been be changed?

The Lord invites us in many varied ways to be with Him. In revelations 3:20 Jesus says, ‘Listen, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.“ How can we if our ears are shut to hear Him? If our hearts are attached to the cares and worries of the world? If we put all others before Him?

Jesus, You are the Lord of my life. Grant me the grace to see and hear Your voice always. Be present to me as I am for You. Amen

First reading

Philippians 2:5-11
Christ humbled himself but God raised him high

In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus:

His state was divine,
yet he did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave,
and became as men are;
and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings in the heavens,
on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel

Luke 14:15-24
‘Not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet’

One of those gathered round the table said to Jesus, ‘Happy the man who will be at the feast in the kingdom of God!’ But he said to him, ‘There was a man who gave a great banquet, and he invited a large number of people. When the time for the banquet came, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come along: everything is ready now.” But all alike started to make excuses. The first said, “I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies.” Yet another said, “I have just got married and so am unable to come.”
‘The servant returned and reported this to his master. Then the householder, in a rage, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” “Sir” said the servant “your orders have been carried out and there is still room.” Then the master said to his servant, “Go to the open roads and the hedgerows and force people to come in to make sure my house is full; because, I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet.”

On Today’s Gospel

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

In most relationships today there are a lot more i’s then you’s. There are even measurements in place for this, ROI (return on investment) KPI (key performance indicators) to name a few. What can I stand to gain in entering into a relationship with you? How far can we go? What are the downsides? Even if one does not go into such complex calculations, the bottom line is what is my return?

If the Lord our God used such measurements perhaps according to His will for us, how do you think you will fare? We are so Blessed to have a merciful and loving God, who loves us while we are sinners. And He wills that we love one another with that same mercy and love. Remembering that we are all created equally in His likeness and image. There is much value in the least of our brethren, for it is in how we treat this brethren that we are judged.

Jesus my Lord, help me look past the faults, blemishes and weakness of my brethren. To realise that the tiniest fault and blemish in me is far greater than theirs. Teach me Lord, to love them as you love me, and to build upon their strengths and charisms. So that together we will build Your Kingdom to dwell in with You forever. Amen

First reading

Philippians 2:1-4
Be united in your love

If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.

Gospel

Luke 14:12-14
Do not invite those who might be able to invite you back

Jesus said to his host, one of the leading Pharisees, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 3, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Law of Love: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Deuteronomy 6:2–6
Psalm 18:2–4, 47, 57
Hebrews 7:23–28
Mark 12:28–34

Love is the only law we are to live by. And love is the fulfillment of the Law that God reveals through Moses in today’s First Reading (see Romans 13:8–10; Matthew 5:43–48).
The unity of God—the truth that He is one God, Father, Son, and Spirit—means that we must love Him with one love, a love that serves Him with all our hearts and minds, souls and strength.

We love Him because He has loved us first. We love our neighbor because we can’t love the God we haven’t seen unless we love those made in His image and likeness, whom we have seen (see 1 John 4:19–21).
And we are called imitate the love that Christ showed us in laying His life down on the cross (see 1 John 3:16). As we hear in today’s Epistle, by His perfect sacrifice on the cross, He once and for all makes it possible for us to approach God.
There is no greater love than to lay down your life (see John 15:13). This is perhaps why Jesus tells the scribe in today’s Gospel that he is not far from the kingdom of God.
The scribe recognizes that the burnt offerings and sacrifices of the old Law were meant to teach Israel that it is love that He desires (see Hosea 6:6). The animals offered in sacrifice were symbols of the self-sacrifice, the total gift of our selves that God truly desires.
We are called today to examine our hearts. Do we have other loves that get in the way of our love for God? Do we love others as Jesus has loved us (see John 13:34–35)? Do we love our enemies and pray for those who oppose and persecute us (see Matthew 5:44)?
Let us tell the Lord we love Him, as we do in today’s Psalm. And let us take His Word to heart, that we might prosper and have life eternal in His kingdom, the heavenly homeland flowing with milk and honey.

How Not To Pray The Rosary

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

One of the most precious prayers we have is the Rosary. Praying the rosary together as a family or a community can lead us to greater depths of faith by opening our hearts and minds to the heart of Jesus in the mysteries through Mary our Mother. Praying the rosary together can build upon unity, faith and love. But ONLY if it is prayed with love for our Blessed Mother and Jesus.

Since we have many resources on how to pray the rosary, here is my reflection on how NOT to.

1. Do not even start praying the rosary if the intention is to get over with it as quickly as possible.

2. Make the time to come into the presence of our Blessed Mother instead of rushing straight into the prayer.

3. Do not rattle off the Our Father, Hail Marys and Glory be, even the Fatima prayer as if you have a bus, plane to catch.

4. Leaders should NEVER hurry to begin the next Hail Mary before the group had even finished the last word ‘at the hour of our death’ there should be a momentary pause.

5. Do not forget the COMMA at a very significant point of the Holy Mary….. Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

6. At every Hail Mary we should be deeply contemplating the mystery or inspired promptings by the Holy Spirit. Not what we will be doing when we get home or what is in store at the office tomorrow.

7. There is a natural rhythm when the group is truly praying the rosary as one and it is beautiful, NOT when individuals want to hurry it along by going faster than another.

8. Lift your voices in reverence when singing the Ave Maria and in harmony.

Also note that should be variation of prayers and reflections and not just one set for months on end.

On Today’s Gospel

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

We cannot hide behind a well groomed exterior portraying faux humility. For our true colours will always be seen. So then what would we want others to see? More importantly what does the Lord our God see in us?

The heart of servant leaders, men and women of God, are those transformed from within. Such that the light of Christ shines forth. Especially through their acts of mercy, kindness and love. They are just as content to sit and dine with the sinner as they would with their fellow saints. Their sole purpose in life is to lead more souls into heaven through their acts of love. And by proclaiming His word, the source of life itself. So that all who come to know Jesus will be able to enter into new life with Him. Amen

First reading

Philippians 1:18-26
Life to me is Christ; but death would bring me more

Christ is proclaimed; and that makes me happy; and I shall continue being happy, because I know this will help to save me, thanks to your prayers and to the help which will be given to me by the Spirit of Jesus. My one hope and trust is that I shall never have to admit defeat, but that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good results – I do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake. This weighs with me so much that I feel sure I shall survive and stay with you all, and help you to progress in the faith and even increase your joy in it; and so you will have another reason to give praise to Christ Jesus on my account when I am with you again.

Gospel

Luke 14:1,7-11
Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled

Now on a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this, ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you would have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Many fear death for they have many unanswered questions about it. Does it all end in nothingness? A dark void? Will we be trapped in a confined space for all eternity? Will we ever see our loved ones again?

Our faith is the only one with the answers. And it is to be found in our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For by His life, death and resurrection; we have hope for eternal life with Him. God our Father’s mercy and love was outpoured through His Son. And so we have been redeemed by His blood and made pure. By the permanent seal of our baptism we had already entered into new life with Him.

So then do we grief for our loved ones who had passed on? While it is in our humanity to grief the loss of someone dear to us. We should cherish the memories we have of them and pray for them earnestly. So that they might be purified and enter more swiftly into new life with Christ.

Let us pray…

O God, in the death of your only Son you gave life to the world. Raise up in joy all those who have died in peace or in terror, in confidence or in despair, through the mercy you have shown us in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

First reading

Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,
no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation;
but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it,
their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.
God has put them to the test
and proved them worthy to be with him;
he has tested them like gold in a furnace,
and accepted them as a holocaust.
When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out;
as sparks run through the stubble, so will they.
They shall judge nations, rule over peoples,
and the Lord will be their king for ever.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

Second reading

Romans 5:5-11
Now we have been reconciled by the death of his Son, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son

Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.

Gospel

Mark 15:33-39,16:1-6
Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last

When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah.’ Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink saying; ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.’ But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, ‘In truth this man was a son of God.’
When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.
They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ But when they looked they could see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 1, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Don’t call me a saint! I am a sinner! Why are we so quick to be called a sinner? Instead of recognising that we are called to be saints, given that at present; we are only saints in the making. By our baptism we have been set apart, made Holy and so we are already a step in the right direction. We should therefore affirm one another by recognising the Saint in us. Created in the image and likeness of God our Father.

Holiness or saintliness is not something we grow into by our own achievement. It is first embracing all of our humanity, with its trials, tribulations, human frailty and much more. And striving to elevate the life of another to God’s glory. Knowing full well that all we say or do is perfected only through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us start living lives worthy of our calling. Turning away from all temptation and sin so that we live in the light of our Risen Lord. Let His face shine upon and through us to all we meet. Making disciples of all nations as we go along glorifying God by our lives. Then one day soon we will be reunited with all our sisters and brothers who had gone before us, to praise and glorify God in His presence.

All the Angels and Saints in heaven pray for us. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 7:2-4,9-14
I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language

I, John, saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, ‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel.
After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud, ‘Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words, ‘Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.’
One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, ‘Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?’ I answered him, ‘You can tell me, my lord.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great persecution, and they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.’

Second reading

1 John 3:1-3
We shall be like God because we shall see him as he really is

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.
Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.

Gospel

Matthew 5:1-12a
How happy are the poor in spirit

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle:they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn:they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful:they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart:they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers:they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’