Archive for December, 2018

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 31, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The almighty and ever living Word of God was born to us in a lowly manger. He became for us the bread of life, the wine of our salvation! So that His life flows through us, nourishes and brings to birth new life in Him.

It is His Word alone that unites everyone to the truth
Those who would have His word distorted seek only to cause divisiin. They are not of the light as we children of God our Father are of the light. For we the children of God carry the light within us to manifest His glory, through Christ our Lord.

May the grace and love of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, reign in our hearts now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 John 2:18-21
You have been anointed by the Holy One

Children, these are the last days;
you were told that an Antichrist must come,
and now several antichrists have already appeared; we know from this that these are the last days.
Those rivals of Christ came out of our own number, but they had never really belonged; if they had belonged, they would have stayed with us; but they left us, to prove that not one of them ever belonged to us.
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received the knowledge.
It is not because you do not know the truth that I am writing to you
but rather because you know it already
and know that no lie can come from the truth.

Gospel

John 1:1-18
The Word was made flesh, and lived among us

In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.

A man came, sent by God.
His name was John. He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light.

The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh
or will of man but of God himself.

The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John appears as his witness. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me ranks before me because he existed before me.’

Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace, since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Feast of the Holy Family

Posted: December 29, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Our True Home: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Feast of the Holy Family

Readings:

Sirach 3:2–6, 12–14
Psalm 128:1–5
Colossians 3:12–21
Luke 2:41–52

Why did Jesus choose to become a baby born of a mother and father and to spend all but His last years living in an ordinary human family? In part, to reveal God’s plan to make all people live as one “holy family” in His Church (see 2 Corinthians 6:16–18).

In the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, God reveals our true home. We’re to live as His children, “chosen ones, holy and beloved,” as the First Reading puts it.
The family advice we hear in today’s readings—for mothers, fathers, and children—is all solid and practical. Happy homes are the fruit of our faithfulness to the Lord, we sing in today’s Psalm. But the liturgy is inviting us to see more, to see how, through our family obligations and relationships, our families become heralds of the family of God that He wants to create on earth.

Jesus shows us this in today’s Gospel. His obedience to His earthly parents flows directly from His obedience to the will of His heavenly Father. Joseph and Mary aren’t identified by name, but three times are called His “parents” and are referred to separately as His “mother” and “father.” The emphasis is all on their familial ties to Jesus. But these ties are emphasized only so that Jesus, in the first words He speaks in Luke’s Gospel, can point us beyond that earthly relationship to the Fatherhood of God.

In what Jesus calls “My Father’s house,” every family finds its true meaning and purpose (see Ephesians 3:15). The Temple we read about in the Gospel today is God’s house, His dwelling (see Luke 19:46). But it’s also an image of the family of God, the Church (see Ephesians 2:19–22; Hebrews 3:3–6; 10:21).

In our families we’re to build up this household, this family, this living temple of God. Until He reveals His new dwelling among us, and says of every person: “I shall be his God and he will be My son” (see Revelation 21:3, 7).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 29, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

The light of the world, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ came to take the darkness of sin away. He forgave us from the cross in which He hung, for the many sins which hurt Him;how then can we withhold forgiveness from those who have hurt us? How can we say we are in union with Him if we do not consecrate our hearts unto Him?

Let us therefore stand before our Lord, with love and mercy in our hearts. So that we can be made Holy unto Him through the forgiveness of our sins. To love and serve Him and our brethren with joy. Amen

Blessed Mother pray for us…

First reading

1 John 2:3-11
Anyone who loves his brother is living in the light

We can be sure that we know God only by keeping his commandments.
Anyone who says, ‘I know him’, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar,
refusing to admit the truth.
But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him.
We can be sure that we are in God only when the one who claims to be living in him
is living the same kind of life as Christ lived.
My dear people, this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you, but an old commandment that you were given from the beginning,
the original commandment which was the message brought to you.
Yet in another way, what I am writing to you, and what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his,
is a new commandment; because the night is over and the real light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the dark.
But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light and need not be afraid of stumbling; unlike the man who hates his brother and is in the darkness, not knowing where he is going, because it is too dark to see.

Gospel

Luke 2:22-35
‘You have prepared a light to enlighten the pagans’

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’

As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

We children of God our Heavenly Father are called to love and to be witnesses of His great love for us, the sign of our redemption; our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

God Himself came down to the pits of our earthly existence to elevate us to divine life with Him. The Holy Innocents bear witness to this love for they adore Him together with the Saints in Heaven. The light of the world shone on their innocent faces. And they have become beacons by their death for Him.

Let us likewise become beacons of His light and love by turning to Him for the grace to overcome all sin and to live more fully in His love. To proclaim our liberation from sin through our Lord Jesus Christ and to share the joy of His Word that gives us Life. Amen

First reading

1 John 1:5-2:2
The blood of Jesus Christ purifies us all from sin

This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ,
and the message that we are announcing to you: God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.
If we say that we are in union with God while we are living in darkness, we are lying because we are not living the truth.
But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves and refusing to admit the truth; but if we acknowledge our sins,
then God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and purify us from everything that is wrong.
To say that we have never sinned is to call God a liar
and to show that his word is not in us.

I am writing this, my children, to stop you sinning; but if anyone should sin, we have our advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, who is just;
he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and not only ours, but the whole world’s.

Gospel

Matthew 2:13-18
The massacre of the innocents

After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

I called my son out of Egypt.

Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loudly lamenting:
it was Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they were no more.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Why do we proclaim with great fervour that Jesus Christ is Lord? Because He is the living God made flesh to save us, so that we have eternal life with Him.

This is a fact for all ages. Through and by His Resurrection witnessed by the Martyrs and the Saints we have life and to the full. This truth, our faith unites all Christians. With burning zeal and love for our Lord Jesus Christ, we share His love with all. To unite all God’s children so that stand one with and in Him. Now and forever. Amen

St John the Apostle pray for us….

First reading

1 John 1:1-4
The Word, who is life – this is our subject

Something which has existed since the beginning, that we have heard, and we have seen with our own eyes;
that we have watched and touched with our hands:
the Word, who is life –
this is our subject.
That life was made visible:
we saw it and we are giving our testimony, telling you of the eternal life which was with the Father and has been made visible to us.
What we have seen and heard we are telling you
so that you too may be in union with us, as we are in union with the Father
and with his Son Jesus Christ.
We are writing this to you to make our own joy complete.

Gospel

John 20:2-8
The other disciple saw, and he believed

On the first day of the week Mary of Magdala came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’
So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.

On Today’s Gospel

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

You and I are called to bear witness to the truth, the light and the way. To be a light within the world so as to bring the joy of heaven to God’s children who have lost their way. To share in the salvation to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many will refuse to listen and some of us might face danger and hardships in bearing the truth. We take comfort that we will never be alone through it all. For the Lord will be with us every step of the way. We are destined for eternal life with Him, so what have we to fear?

St Stephen Holy Martyr for Christ, pray for us. Amen

First reading

Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59
The martyrdom of Stephen

Stephen was filled with grace and power and began to work miracles and great signs among the people. But then certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, some from Cyrene and Alexandria who were members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, and others from Cilicia and Asia. They found they could not get the better of him because of his wisdom, and because it was the Spirit that prompted what he said. They were infuriated when they heard this, and ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

Gospel

Matthew 10:17-22
The Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you.
‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.’

Christmas Day

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

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

The Bread of Life was born in bet ˈleχem, “House of Bread”
Bethlehem Ephrathah,
the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel. He himself will be peace.

O Prince of Peace rule in my heart! You have set me free from all sin, made me Holy and set me apart. Today I honour, praise and worship You. Today I remember the Son of the living God was born to save me and my brethren.

Happy Birthday Jesus! My lord and my God. Amen