Archive for January, 2019

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 31, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Make no mistake the door to salvation was opened for all of God’s children. Through the blood of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we have been redeemed. We have been reconciled and have the hope of full union with Him. We are one with Him, one BODY in Christ.

Really? Why then are we not living as one body? Where is the sense of belonging to a community? The ownership and stewardship of the community I belong to? That the fraternal love and growth of our community depends on me being present in mind, body and spirit. That I may only be one, but I am the one that makes up the two or three gathered in His name; by His promise He is present to us. Do I know my brothers and sisters in Christ by name? Do I know their family? Can we truly say we are one then?

Holy trinity one God, inspire and grant us the grace to live as one united in Your love. Let us be one as You are one, so that Oneness may shine as a great light for the world to see. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 10:19-25 †
Let us keep firm in the hope we profess

Through the blood of Jesus we have the right to enter the sanctuary, by a new way which he has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, his body. And we have the supreme high priest over all the house of God. So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our minds sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is faithful. Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. Do not stay away from the meetings of the community, as some do, but encourage each other to go; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.


Mark 4:21-25
The seed is sprouting and growing as he sleeps

Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Would you bring in a lamp to put it under a tub or under the bed? Surely you will put it on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
He also said to them, ‘Take notice of what you are hearing. The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given – and more besides; for the man who has will be given more; from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

When will you begin to grow deeper in love with the word of God? When will you stop putting off reading and reflecting on the scriptures given to you in love? Are the pleasures of the world, the distractions, the games, the work more important than the word. The Word made flesh, who dwelt among us so that we might enter into a personal relationship with Him. With whom had come to save us from our sins now and forever.

Too hard you say? Perhaps you had begun as though you were reading a magazine, comic, or book. No! the precious Word of God must begin with prayer. It is through a prayerful reading of the word that we enter into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. We enter into the realm of the heavenly Kingdom. How much fruit we bear is dependent on how much we have prepared our hearts to receive Him. Are we leading sacramental lives? Going for regularly the Sacrament of reconciliation, receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Are we striving for Holiness? Are we loving others as we should?

Lord open my heart to receive You according to Your will. Through the Holy Spirit grant be the joy of bearing much fruit for You. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 10:11-18 †
Jesus achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying

All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. The Holy Spirit assures us of this; for he says, first:

This is the covenant I will make with them
when those days arrive;

and the Lord then goes on to say:

I will put my laws into their hearts
and write them on their minds.
I will never call their sins to mind,
or their offences.

When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.


Mark 4:1-20
The parable of the sower

Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen! Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’
He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 29, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Have you not met a sister or brother in Christ and just love being in their company. The exude peace and love and they are joyful to be with. The spirit of God is with them for they strive to do His will.

And that is why we must strive to do God our Father’s will for us. It is about saying Yes to the relationship He wants to have with us. Jesus then becomes for us the way, the truth and the life! Someone we can embrace in times of difficulty. We begin to see more clearly and profoundly that the will of God is love.

Here I am Lord, I’ve come to do Your will. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 10:1-10 †
Christ’s self-offering sanctifies us

Since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. Instead of that, the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what he said, on coming into the world:

You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;
then I said,
just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’

Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.


Mark 3:31-35
Who are my mother and my brothers? Those that do the will of God

The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

God our Father who loved us dearly made a promise to save us and draw us all unto Him, we belong to Him the sheep of His flock. This promise was fulfilled through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

To say our sins are too great for Him to take away, or say anything against the Holy Spirit who is God Himself, His workings through His chosen ones is in itself a grave sin! How different is it from calling God a liar and His works deceitful?

Let us be mindful to walk always in the Spirit to praise and Glorify the one living God by our lives. To share in the joy of the Lord who freed our contrite hearts from all sin. So that we can live fully in His love. Glory and Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 9:15,24-28 †
Christ offers himself only once to take on the faults of many

Christ brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.


Mark 3:22-30
A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

New Day Dawning: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


Nehemiah 8:2–6, 10
Psalms 19:8–10, 15
1 Corinthians 12:12–30
Luke 1:1–4, 4:14–21

The meaning of today’s liturgy is subtle and many-layered.
We need background to understand what’s happening in today’s First Reading.
Babylon having been defeated, King Cyrus of Persia decreed that the exiled Jews could return home to Jerusalem. They rebuilt their ruined temple (see Ezra 6:15–17) and under Nehemiah finished rebuilding the city walls (see Nehemiah 6:15).
The stage was set for the renewal of the covenant and the re-establishment of the Law of Moses as the people’s rule of life. That’s what’s going on in today’s First Reading, as Ezra reads and interprets (see Nehemiah 8:8) the Law and the people respond with a great “Amen!”

Israel, as we sing in today’s Psalm, is rededicating itself to God and His Law. The scene seems like the Isaiah prophecy that Jesus reads from in today’s Gospel.
Read all of Isaiah 61. The “glad tidings” Isaiah brings include these promises: the liberation of prisoners (61:1); the rebuilding of Jerusalem, or Zion (61:3–4; see also Isaiah 60:10); the restoration of Israel as a kingdom of priests (61:6; Exodus 19:6); and the forging of an everlasting covenant (61:8; Isaiah 55:3). It sounds a lot like the First Reading.

Jesus, in turn, declares that Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in Him. The Gospel scene, too, recalls the First Reading. Like Ezra, Jesus stands before the people, is handed a scroll, unrolls it, then reads and interprets it (compare Luke 4:16–17, 21 and Nehemiah 8:2–6, 8–10).

We witness in today’s Liturgy the creation of a new people of God. Ezra started reading at dawn of the first day of the Jewish new year (see Leviticus 23:24). Jesus also proclaims a “sabbath,” a great year of Jubilee, a deliverance from slavery to sin, a release from the debts we owe to God (see Leviticus 25:10).

The people greeted Ezra “as one man.” And, as today’s Epistle teaches, in the Spirit the new people of God—the Church—is made “one body” with Him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Yes we are called to be bold proclaimers of our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who saves. But in order to be such bold proclaimers we must first live our faith. To be nourished by His Word, sound teaching and receive His graces through a sacramental life. Most importantly we need to affirm one another, to encourage one another to grow in Holiness, love and mercy.

Kingdom builders that we are should take care to stay focused on doing the will of God our Father. Let us not be distracted by the ways and wiles of the world. But be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. So as to exercise the power given to us with great love, self control, and we will bring glory to God by our service to Him and our brethren.

Saints Timothy and Titus pray for us…. Amen

First reading

2 Timothy 1:1-8 †
Fan into a flame the gift God gave you

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus in his design to promise life in Christ Jesus; to Timothy, dear child of mine, wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Night and day I thank God, keeping my conscience clear and remembering my duty to him as my ancestors did, and always I remember you in my prayers; I remember your tears and long to see you again to complete my happiness. Then I am reminded of the sincere faith which you have; it came first to live in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I have no doubt that it is the same faith in you as well.
That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy.


Mark 3:20-21
Jesus’ relatives were convinced he was out of his mind

Jesus went home, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 25, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Have you had a conversion of heart? Have you experienced the love of God in His presence? Have you submitted your notion of knowing all there is to know, lofty ideas of self righteousness? Of being a dove instead of a tiger in your dealings with others? Of being able to offer love above all else? If not then what are you waiting for? A bright light? A voice?

The light of the world beckons you to Him. Come to Him with contrite hearts and be changed. Come let us be the light for others through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who poured out His precious blood for us so that we might live! Let us use the many gifts we have been given to gather His flock together. To be the best we ought to be according to His will. Amen

St Paul the Apostle pray for us…

First reading

Acts 22:3-16 †
‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

Paul said to the people, ‘I am a Jew and was born at Tarsus in Cilicia. I was brought up here in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was taught the exact observance of the Law of our ancestors. In fact, I was as full of duty towards God as you are today. I even persecuted this Way to the death, and sent women as well as men to prison in chains as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify, since they even sent me with letters to their brothers in Damascus. When I set off it was with the intention of bringing prisoners back from there to Jerusalem for punishment.
‘I was on that journey and nearly at Damascus when about midday a bright light from heaven suddenly shone round me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” I answered: Who are you, Lord? and he said to me, “I am Jesus the Nazarene, and you are persecuting me.” The people with me saw the light but did not hear his voice as he spoke to me. I said: What am I to do, Lord? The Lord answered, “Stand up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told what you have been appointed to do.” The light had been so dazzling that I was blind and my companions had to take me by the hand; and so I came to Damascus.
‘Someone called Ananias, a devout follower of the Law and highly thought of by all the Jews living there, came to see me; he stood beside me and said, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” Instantly my sight came back and I was able to see him. Then he said, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Just One and hear his own voice speaking, because you are to be his witness before all mankind, testifying to what you have seen and heard. And now why delay? It is time you were baptised and had your sins washed away while invoking his name.”’


Mark 16:15-18
Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News

Jesus showed himself to the Eleven and said to them:
‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 24, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Today in this day and age of technological advancement, where there are so many different modes of communication which can reach masses, why have many still not heard the wonders of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ? Why have they not come in droves to be in His presence in our churches? To be touched and healed? To have their lives transformed by Him so that they live new lives in love, peace and joy?

Are our spirits unclean that we have remained silent? That we cannot praise and Glorify His name?

Come now sister and brother in Christ, the love we have for Jesus in our hearts should be bursting to the the point we cannot but share His love both in word and in deed with everyone we meet. We will use whatever means we have to communicate and share our testimonies of His great love and mercy. To share in the joy of the Gospel.

For Jesus had come to redeem us, so that we can be fully reconciled with God our Heavenly Father. By His life, death and resurrection we have hope of eternal life with Him. Can such a joyous and wonderful message be kept contained within your hearts? No! Let us share in the joy of our Risen Lord with one and all. Amen

St Francis De Sales pray for us…

First reading

Hebrews 7:25-8:6
He has offered sacrifice once and for all by offering himself

The power of Jesus to save is utterly certain, since he is living for ever to intercede for all who come to God through him.
To suit us, the ideal high priest would have to be holy, innocent and uncontaminated, beyond the influence of sinners, and raised up above the heavens; one who would not need to offer sacrifices every day, as the other high priests do for their own sins and then for those of the people, because he has done this once and for all by offering himself. The Law appoints high priests who are men subject to weakness; but the promise on oath, which came after the Law, appointed the Son who is made perfect for ever.
The great point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind. He has his place at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens, and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting which the Lord, and not any man, set up. It is the duty of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so this one too must have something to offer. In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are others who make the offerings laid down by the Law and these only maintain the service of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities. For Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
We have seen that he has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises.


Mark 3:7-12
He warned them not to make him known as the Son of God

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Do we take after our Lord Jesus whom we love and serve? By leading all men and women into the peace and joy to be found in Him.

Or do we instead follow blindly the letter of the law and insists that everyone follow likewise else they be ostracised! What then was the Spirit of the law for which they were written? Was it not out of love for humanity that these were written?

Let us bring all our withered parts to our Lord to be restored and made whole. Those withered by our sins and sinful desires, our unforgiveness, our self righteousness, our indifference to the needs of others, our harmful thoughts, words and deeds against another.

O King of peace, Jesus our Lord reign in our hearts. Let us grow to be more and more like You each and everyday. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 7:1-3,15-17
You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, for ever

You remember that Melchizedek, king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, went to meet Abraham who was on his way back after defeating the kings, and blessed him; and also that it was to him that Abraham gave a tenth of all that he had. By the interpretation of his name, he is, first, ‘king of righteousness’ and also king of Salem, that is, ‘king of peace’; he has no father, mother or ancestry, and his life has no beginning or ending; he is like the Son of God. He remains a priest for ever.
This becomes even more clearly evident when there appears a second Melchizedek, who is a priest not by virtue of a law about physical descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it was about him that the prophecy was made: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.


Mark 3:1-6
Is it against the law on the sabbath day to save life?

Jesus went into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 22, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Are you a saint?

Any answer other than yes is wrong! Even if you said a saint in the making. For by virtue of our baptism we are saints. The problem with most of us is that, we neither see the saint that we are or ought to be nor the saint in others. Yes it is a given that we are not perfect even far from it! But it is our earnest endeavour to grow in Holiness, to be perfected by the One who alone is perfect that we are His saints; we are God our Father’s children.

If we know that God our Father is faithful and has kept His promise by sending His Son our Lord Jesus Christ to save us then why are we not living in that promise fulfilled! Why are we not joyfully sharing the wonder of Him to everyone? Why are we not loving first and foremost rather than to concern ourselves with putting up walls or obstacles to love? How can we not love the sister and brother God our Father created in His image?

Let us continue to strive for Holiness and use the abundant blessings we receive to be blessings for everyone we meet. God love you my fellow Saint. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 6:10-20 †
In this hope we have an anchor for our soul

God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the saints. Our one desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same earnestness to the end, to the perfect fulfilment of our hopes, never growing careless, but imitating those who have the faith and the perseverance to inherit the promises.
When God made the promise to Abraham, he swore by his own self, since it was impossible for him to swear by anyone greater: I will shower blessings on you and give you many descendants. Because of that, Abraham persevered and saw the promise fulfilled. Men, of course, swear an oath by something greater than themselves, and between men, confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God wanted to make the heirs to the promise thoroughly realise that his purpose was unalterable, he conveyed this by an oath; so that there would be two unalterable things in which it was impossible for God to be lying, and so that we, now we have found safety, should have a strong encouragement to take a firm grip on the hope that is held out to us. Here we have an anchor for our soul, as sure as it is firm, and reaching right through beyond the veil where Jesus has entered before us and on our behalf, to become a high priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.


Mark 2:23-28
The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath

One sabbath day, Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’
And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

For those of us not ordained as priests who are not consecrated, what then is our priestly function as laity through our baptism?

Is it not to offer prayers for those in need, those who cannot offer prayers for themselves? Even to fast at times, offer sacrifices of time, money and works of mercy? To aid in reconciling sinners with the Lord our God? To show the correct pathway to Him? Yes sisters and brothers in Christ, we have lots to do. And we are able to do them through the graces and strength we receive from our our Lord Jesus Christ.

Indeed we cannot do as we are called to do if we continue to hold on to our old sinful ways. Those who have been redeemed by Christ must live lives anew in Him. Put on His mantle to love and serve always. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 5:1-10 †
Although he was Son, he learned to obey through suffering

Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.


Mark 2:18-22
‘Why do your disciples not fast?’

One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

In the Wedding: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time


Isaiah 62:1–5
Psalm 96:1–3, 7–10
1 Corinthians 12:4–11
John 2:1–12

Think of these first weeks after Christmas as a season of “epiphanies.” The liturgy is showing us who Jesus is and what He has revealed about our relationship with God.
Last week and the week before, the imagery was royal and filial—Jesus is the newborn king of the Jews who makes us co-heirs of Israel’s promise, beloved children of God. Last week in the liturgy we went to a baptism.

This week we’re at a wedding.
We’re being shown another dimension of our relationship with God. If we’re sons and daughters of God, it’s because we’ve married into the family.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible begins and ends with a wedding—Adam and Eve’s in the garden and the marriage supper of the Lamb (compare Genesis 2:23–24 and Revelation 19:9; 21:9; 22:17)?

Throughout the Bible, marriage is the symbol of the covenant relationship God desires with His chosen people. He is the groom, humanity His beloved and sought-after bride. We see this reflected beautifully in today’s First Reading.

When Israel breaks the covenant, she is compared to an unfaithful spouse (see Jeremiah 2:20–36; 3:1–13). But God promises to take her back, to “espouse” her to Him forever in an everlasting covenant (see Hosea 2:18–22).
That’s why in today’s Gospel Jesus performs His first public “sign” at a wedding feast.
Jesus is the divine bridegroom (see John 3:29), calling us to His royal wedding feast (see Matthew 22:1–14). By His New Covenant, He will become “one flesh” with all humanity in the Church (see Ephesians 5:21–33). By our baptism, each of us has been betrothed to Christ as a bride to a husband (see 2 Corinthians 11:2).
The new wine that Jesus pours out at today’s feast is the gift of the Holy Spirit given to His bride and body, as today’s Epistle says. This is the “salvation” announced to the “families of nations” in today’s Psalm.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Follow me. An invitation from the Lord our God. He who knows all there is to know about us is asking us to grow in our relationship with Him. To grow in Holiness. To be and live in His presence. As lights for others who are still in the dark.

Do we remain where we are? Comfortable with our mediocre lives? Afraid to come out of our comfort zones. Or do we trust in our faithful and loving God, our Lord Jesus Christ who came to save us.

Make no mistake, our Lord does not accept sinners for who they are. Rather He sees the good and childlike qualities in all of us. He sees the potential that we ought to be living out. He loved us enough to die for us, so that we can be set free to live in His love.

Come now, let us not tarry any longer. Let us make haste to follow Him. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 4:12-16
Let us be confident in approaching the throne of grace

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.
Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.


Mark 2:13-17

Jesus went out to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

What faith will our Lord Jesus Christ find in us today? The kind of faith that puts our love for Him, for brethren into action through corporal and spiritual works of mercy? Faith that compels us to share the joy of the Gospel with others? Nothing will please Him more but will He find in us such faith?

Our faith cannot be one of lip service. Nor can it be one solely on endless petitions! Neither can it be one isolated from community. For we were made to love and be loved. For God is love. Therefore our faith must speak to the love of God, for while we were still sinners;our Lord Jesus Christ came to redeem us for His own. To free us from all sin and to restore us as rightful heirs to the Kingdom of God our Father through His only Begotten Son.

Together let us pray…

O Lord look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

First reading

Hebrews 4:1-5,11 †
None of you has come too late for God’s promise

Be careful: the promise of reaching the place of rest that God had for the Israelites still holds good, and none of you must think that he has come too late for it. We received the Good News exactly as they did; but hearing the message did them no good because they did not share the faith of those who listened. We, however, who have faith, shall reach a place of rest, as in the text: And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. God’s work was undoubtedly all finished at the beginning of the world; as one text says, referring to the seventh day: After all his work God rested on the seventh day. The text we are considering says: They shall not reach the place of rest I had for them. We must therefore do everything we can to reach this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of disobedience and be lost.


Mark 2:1-12
The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, word went round that he was back; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves, ‘How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?’ Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, ‘Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven” or to say, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he turned to the paralytic – ‘I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.’ And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Apart from me, you can do nothing says our Lord. Our Lord did not mean we are useless or anything remotely close to it. We are God our Father’s children have a special dignity in that regard. However because there is sin in the world we must remain close to Him who hides us in the shadow of His wings. Our veins are not blocked neither our hearts coarsend, and the love of God continues to flow through us. Therefore we should remain tapped into Jesus our Lord who is the vine and we are the branches. For then we are truly fruitful.

The surest way to do this was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Through the Holy Eucharist! We have both the life giving Word and the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ Himself given freely and with great love. In the our Father we pray, give us our daily bread, how is it then we do not go to receive Him daily in answer to our prayer?

Let not the leprosy of sin ever remain in our bodies! Jesus our Lord wants to heal us and is waiting to embrace us with all our faults. Let us turn to Him with contrite hearts and be healed. Then we rejoice as we lead fruitful lives in His love. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 3:7-14 †
Keep encouraging one another

The Holy Spirit says: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts, as happened in the Rebellion, on the Day of Temptation in the wilderness, when your ancestors challenged me and tested me, though they had seen what I could do for forty years. That was why I was angry with that generation and said: How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways! And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. Take care, brothers, that there is not in any one of your community a wicked mind, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we shall remain co-heirs with Christ only if we keep a grasp on our first confidence right to the end.


Mark 1:40-45
The leprosy left the man at once, and he was cured

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

The work we do to earn a living should always have the Lord our God in the centre of it all. For by the work of our hands we can glorify Him as we ought. More so the work we do in our Parish communities, ministries, Parish Council and so on. The focus should never be about the work itself. It must always be about building the kingdom of God and leading one another to greater Holiness. Hence are we praying together? Are we sharing the Word? Are we helping to form one another by teaching what we have learned through our shepherds, inspired works or church doctrine?

Our Lord Jesus Christ led by example. He showed us that no matter how busy He was or was going to be, He would always go to a quiet place to be alone with God our Father in prayer. For it is by the Grace of God our Father that we are renewed, nourished and strengthened. While Jesus healed and taught, His primary focus was to build the kingdom of God His Father by preaching the Word.

Lord Jesus Christ, You shared in all things and in all ways our humanity. And again You share Your divinity with us through the Holy Eucharist. Let us be nourished and strengthened to always do Your will for us. May our focus always be about the reign of God in our lives and building Your Kingdom. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 2:14-18 †
He took to himself descent from Abraham

Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, Christ too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could take away all the power of the devil, who had power over death, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself descent from Abraham. It was essential that he should in this way become completely like his brothers so that he could be a compassionate and trustworthy high priest of God’s religion, able to atone for human sins. That is, because he has himself been through temptation he is able to help others who are tempted.


Mark 1:29-39
He cast out devils and cured many who were suffering from disease

On leaving the synagogue, Jesus went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew. Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told him about her straightaway. He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils. The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another; he also cast out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.
In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. Simon and his companions set out in search of him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.’ And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out devils.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

There are areas in our life which are still unruly not quite under our control. For we have chosen not to exercise restraint, self control. In other words we have not submitted fully to the authority of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

His Will for us is to turn away from all sin and to live fully in His love. To lead one another into greater Holiness. And through the authority given to Him by God our Father, He commanded us to go make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all He commanded. How do we so if we are not obedient ourselves? Not disciplined! It is time to recollect, pray, be reconciled, to submit to the love and mercy of Jesus our Lord. So that we can be instruments of His grace and lead others to live fully in His love.

Here I am Lord, I come to Your Will. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 2:5-12 †
The one who sanctifies and the ones who are sanctified are of the same stock

God did not appoint angels to be rulers of the world to come, and that world is what we are talking about. Somewhere there is a passage that shows us this. It runs: What is man that you should spare a thought for him, the son of man that you should care for him? For a short while you made him lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and splendour. You have put him in command of everything. Well then, if he has put him in command of everything, he has left nothing which is not under his command. At present, it is true, we are not able to see that everything has been put under his command, but we do see in Jesus one who was for a short while made lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and splendour because he submitted to death; by God’s grace he had to experience death for all mankind.
As it was his purpose to bring a great many of his sons into glory, it was appropriate that God, for whom everything exists and through whom everything exists, should make perfect, through suffering, the leader who would take them to their salvation. For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why he openly calls them brothers in the text: I shall announce your name to my brothers, praise you in full assembly.


Mark 1:21-28
Unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority

Jesus and his disciples went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 14, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

O Jesus Son of the living God, God of Heaven and of earth. Have mercy on my many shortcomings. I have heard Your call to follow You and have responded by leaving my sinful past behind and followed.

But along the way I have fallen and continue to fall from time to time. Each time it causes my heart to be broken and I long to be reconciled with You. Yet each and every time my head hangs low before You, You bid me not to wallow in my sin and to arise in Your love. May I never take Your great love for me for granted. For indeed You do not look upon our sins but the faith of Your Church.

Lord we strive to do better, and be better each and everyday. To be more outward looking as to touch the souls who are lost and in distress. Sanctify us Lord that we may grow in Holiness according to Your will. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 1:1-6 †
God has spoken to us through his Son

At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of divine Majesty. So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.
God has never said to any angel: You are my Son, today I have become your father; or: I will be a father to him and he a son to me. Again, when he brings the First-Born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship him.


Mark 1:14-20
I will make you into fishers of men

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

Today During Adoration

Posted: January 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Meditations

When you react badly against an evil said or done to you.
Whose will be done?

When you respond uncharitably.
Whose will be done?

Do not wallow in sin any longer. Arise! In my love and be fruitful.

Be my joyful messenger

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Posted: January 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Anointing: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord


Isaiah 42:1–4, 6–7
Psalm 29:1–4, 9–10
Luke 3:15–16, 21–22

The liturgy last week revealed the mystery of God’s plan—that in Jesus all peoples, symbolized by the Magi, have been made “co-heirs” to the blessings promised Israel. This week, we’re shown how we claim our inheritance.

Jesus doesn’t submit to John’s baptism as a sinner in need of purification. He humbles Himself to pass through Jordan’s waters in order to lead a new “exodus”—opening up the promised land of heaven so that all peoples can hear the words pronounced over Jesus today, words once reserved only for Israel and its king: that each of us is a beloved son or daughter of God (see Genesis 22:2; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 2:7).

Jesus is the chosen servant Isaiah prophesies in today’s First Reading, anointed with the Spirit to make things right and just on earth. God puts His Spirit upon Jesus to make Him “a covenant of the people,” the liberator of the captives, the light to the nations. Jesus, today’s Second Reading tells us, is the One long expected in Israel, “anointed . . . with the Holy Spirit and power.”
The word messiah means “one anointed” with God’s Spirit. King David was “the anointed of the God of Jacob” (see 2 Samuel 23:1–17; Psalm 18:51; 132:10, 17). The prophets taught Israel to await a royal offshoot of David, upon whom the Spirit would rest (see Isaiah 11:1–2; Daniel 9:25).

That’s why the crowds are so anxious at the start of today’s Gospel. But it isn’t John they’re looking for. God confirms with His own voice what the angel earlier told Mary: Jesus is the Son of the Most High, come to claim the throne of David forever (see Luke 1:32–33).
In the Baptism that He brings, the voice of God will hover over the waters as fiery flame, as we sing in today’s Psalm. He has sanctified the waters, made them a passageway to healing and freedom—a fountain of new birth and everlasting life.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Indeed when we gradually empty ourselves of our empty pride, self righteousness, lust, greed and seek the Lord’s graces by surrendering our all to Him in contrite humility. He will come to dwell in our hearts.

No longer will we be concerned about others knowing our achievements or seeking their approval or affirmation;all we want is to glorify God by our obedience to His will for us. And He will grant us all that we need. Our joy is complete in Him!

Lord Jesus increase in me now and always. Amen

First reading

1 John 5:14-21 †
If we ask for anything, he will hear us

We are quite confident that if we ask the Son of God for anything, and it is in accordance with his will, he will hear us; and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us, we know that we have already been granted what we asked of him.
If anybody sees his brother commit a sin that is not a deadly sin, he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner – not those who commit a deadly sin; for there is a sin that is death,
and I will not say that you must pray about that.
Every kind of wrong-doing is sin, but not all sin is deadly.

We know that anyone who has been begotten by God does not sin, because the begotten Son of God protects him, and the Evil One does not touch him.
We know that we belong to God, but the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
We know, too, that the Son of God has come, and has given us the power to know the true God.
We are in the true God,
as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God,
this is eternal life.
Children, be on your guard against false gods.


John 3:22-30
‘He must grow greater and I must grow smaller: my joy is complete’

Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised. At the same time John was baptising at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water, and people were going there to be baptised. This was before John had been put in prison.
Now some of John’s disciples had opened a discussion with a Jew about purification, so they went to John and said, ‘Rabbi, the man who was with you on the far side of the Jordan, the man to whom you bore witness, is baptising now; and everyone is going to him.’
John replied:

‘A man can lay claim
only to what is given him from heaven.

‘You yourselves can bear me out: I said: I myself am not the Christ; I am the one who has been sent in front of him.

‘The bride is only for the bridegroom; and yet the bridegroom’s friend, who stands there and listens,
is glad when he hears the bridegroom’s voice.
This same joy I feel, and now it is complete. He must grow greater, I must grow smaller.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 11, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

O Miserable wretched soul turn to Jesus and He will Heal you, He will set you free. He is waiting to embrace you in your misery. He wants to restore you and give you hope. For this is the heart of our loving God. That even if a believer in Him dies, he/she will rise again fully restored to live eternally in His love.

We have heard God our Heavenly Father declare…

“This is my beloved Son whom I am well pleased.” and once again, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

The Martyrs, angels and Saints sing of His Glory!
There is no room for doubt.

Lord Jesus I believe, increase my ever growing faith. Amen

First reading

1 John 5:5-13
There are three witnesses: the Spirit and the water and the blood

Who can overcome the world?
Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood, not with water only, but with water and blood; with the Spirit as another witness – since the Spirit is the truth – so that there are three witnesses,
the Spirit, the water and the blood, and all three of them agree.
We accept the testimony of human witnesses, but God’s testimony is much greater,
and this is God’s testimony,
given as evidence for his Son.
Everybody who believes in the Son of God has this testimony inside him; and anyone who will not believe God is making God out to be a liar,
because he has not trusted
the testimony God has given about his Son.
This is the testimony:
God has given us eternal life
and this life is in his Son;
anyone who has the Son has life,. anyone who does not have the Son does not have life.

I have written all this to you so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God
may be sure that you have eternal life.


Luke 5:12-16
‘If you want to, you can cure me’

Jesus was in one of the towns when a man appeared, covered with leprosy. Seeing Jesus he fell on his face and implored him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘if you want to, you can cure me.’ Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once. He ordered him to tell no one, ‘But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your healing as Moses prescribed it, as evidence for them.’
His reputation continued to grow, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have their sickness cured, but he would always go off to some place where he could be alone and pray.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Loving the Lord our God is never a private affair, neither is our faith in Him. For the only true measure of our love is how we love His children, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and His other sheep not of our fold. For His will is that we love one another as He first loved us. So that we might live fully in His love.

At every proclamation of the Gospel at every Holy Eucharist, Jesus tells us just how much He loves us. Today He reminds us that He had come to set us free from the bondages of sin. To heal and restore us. We can live in peace and joy in the loving embrace of God our Father.

We are no longer slaves to fear, for we live as children so loved by our one triune God. Amen


Luke 4:14-22
‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen’

Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.


Luke 4:14-22
‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen’

Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 9, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We all go through many fears in our lives. Fear for the well being of our families, fear of losing our jobs, fear of the unknown, fear of evil that lurks, fear of illness and diseases, fear of old age, fear of war, fear of not knowing if we will live to see another day, the list is endless.

Could it be that all this is a result of our imperfect love? For if we truly believe that God is love as He is indeed,and it is by His love we are perfected;then what have we to fear? For does He not dwell in our hearts? How can He not? When we seek Him in His Word daily, we receive Jesus Himself in Holy Eucharist. He makes Himself present to us, are we then present to Him? Do we live in His presence according to His Will?

Lord Jesus I know You are here with me and I am no longer fearful. For by Your love I have been set free to live and love in Your presence. Amen

First reading

1 John 4:11-18
As long as we love one another God’s love will be complete in us

My dear people,
since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in him and he is living in us because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God,
and God lives in him.
Love will come to its perfection in us when we can face the day of Judgement without fear; because even in this world we have become as he is.
In love there can be no fear,
but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.


Mark 6:45-52
His disciples saw him walking on the lake

After the five thousand had eaten and were filled, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away. After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray. When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. He could see they were worn out with rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the lake. He was going to pass them by, but when they saw him walking on the lake they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they had all seen him and were terrified. But he at once spoke to them, and said, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded, because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The only way to bring others to the knowledge of our Lord and God is by our love. Our love put into the service of others. When they see that we have offered up our time as God’s time. When they see in our faces the joy of having the love of God in our hearts. When they witness in us, our faithfulness in times of trials and challenges. Just as our Shepherd our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ never abandons us. They therefore see Christ in us.

Yes sisters and brothers in Christ, all the above is possible and much more through the grace of God. For the abundant love of God our Father was outpoured through the blood of His only Begotten Son who died to take away our sins and rose so that we might have new life in Him. Jesus gives us the supreme gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist to become partakers of His divine grace. We are nourished as we are sent to be beacons of His light. To gather all unto Himself.

Thank You Lord for Your great unending love for us. Amen

First reading

1 John 4:7-10
Let us love one another, since love comes from God

My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son
so that we could have life through him;this is the love I mean: not our love for God,
but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.


Mark 6:34-44
The feeding of the five thousand

As Jesus stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length. By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place and it is getting very late. So send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.’ He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ They answered, ‘Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?’ ‘How many loaves have you?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’ And when they had found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he ordered them to get all the people together in groups on the green grass, and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all. They all ate as much as they wanted. They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Never should we ever take our baptism into Christ for granted. For by our one Baptism we belong to God our ever loving Father. We are inserted into life with Christ Jesus our Lord and saviour. His laws are written in our hearts and we are able to follow His commandments. We have the Holy Spirit to guide and unite us all.

Do you then want to give up your heavenly inheritance? By following the children of the world? To follow the voice even if it is your very own which causes disunity? To live in sin and debauchery. To allow your pride to prevent you from glorifying the Lord your God as you should? To allow lust and greed to take away love, honour and respect?

The kingdom of God is indeed at hand. Come to our Lord Jesus Christ who will heal and restore you. Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Amen

First reading

1 John 3:22-4:6
The Son of God has come and given us the power to know the true God

Whatever we ask God,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.

It is not every spirit, my dear people, that you can trust;
test them, to see if they come from God, there are many false prophets, now, in the world.
You can tell the spirits that come from God by this:
every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus the Christ has come in the flesh
is from God; but any spirit which will not say this of Jesus is not from God, but is the spirit of Antichrist, whose coming you were warned about.
Well, now he is here, in the world. Children you have already overcome these false prophets, because you are from God and you have in you one who is greater than anyone in this world; as for them, they are of the world,
and so they speak the language of the world
and the world listens to them.
But we are children of God,
and those who know God listen to us;those who are not of God refuse to listen to us.
This is how we can tell
the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood.


Matthew 4:12-17,23-25
The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light

Hearing that John had been arrested, Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled:

‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan, Galilee of the nations!
The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light; on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.’

From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’
He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people. His fame spread throughout Syria, and those who were suffering from diseases and painful complaints of one kind or another, the possessed, epileptics, the paralysed, were all brought to him, and he cured them. Large crowds followed him, coming from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judaea and Transjordania.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Sunday Reflections

A King to Behold: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord


Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm 72:1–2, 7–8, 10–11, 12–13
Ephesians 3:2–3, 5–6
Matthew 2:1–12

An “epiphany” is an appearance. In today’s readings, with their rising stars, splendorous lights, and mysteries revealed, the face of the child born on Christmas day appears.

Herod, in today’s Gospel, asks the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah is to be born. The answer Matthew puts on their lips says much more, combining two strands of Old Testament promise—one revealing the Messiah to be from the line of David (see 2 Samuel 2:5), the other predicting “a ruler of Israel” who will “shepherd his flock” and whose “greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth” (see Micah 5:1–3).

Those promises of Israel’s king ruling the nations resound also in today’s Psalm. The psalm celebrates David’s son, Solomon. His kingdom, we sing, will stretch “to the ends of the earth,” and the world’s kings will pay Him homage. That’s the scene too in today’s First Reading, as nations stream from the East, bearing “gold and frankincense” for Israel’s king.

The Magi’s pilgrimage in today’s Gospel marks the fulfillment of God’s promises. The Magi, probably Persian astrologers, are following the star that Balaam predicted would rise along with the ruler’s staff over the house of Jacob (see Numbers 24:17).
Laden with gold and spices, their journey evokes those made to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba and the “kings of the earth” (see 1 Kings 10:2, 25; 2 Chronicles 9:24). Interestingly, the only other places where frankincense and myrrh are mentioned together are in songs about Solomon (see Song of Songs 3:6; 4:6, 14).

One greater than Solomon is here (see Luke 11:31). He has come to reveal that all peoples are “co-heirs” of the royal family of Israel, as today’s Epistle teaches.
His manifestation forces us to choose: will we follow the signs that lead to Him as the wise Magi did? Or will we be like those priests and scribes who let God’s words of promise become dead letters on an ancient page?

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

If you say that you love God then you must put your love for Him into action. Otherwise it is only lip service. For if the love of God reigns in your heart then your faith in Him is alive and active. You will be moved to love and to serve. And witness the glory of God in all things.

Therefore strive for Holiness in all things. Let no deceit enter your heart. If tempted to sin, ask yourself this question. Do you love the sin more or do you love God more? Is your soul more valuable or the sin?

In all things let us love and give glory to the Lord our God. Amen

First reading

1 John 3:11-21
Our love is to be something real and active

This is the message
as you heard it from the beginning: that we are to love one another; not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One and cut his brother’s throat;cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason, that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you;we have passed out of death and into life,
and of this we can be sure
because we love our brothers.
If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
This has taught us love –
that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods
saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him,
how could the love of God be living in him?
My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence.


John 1:43-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

After Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, ‘Follow me.’ Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 4, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Yes in a sense holiness is far more difficult to strive for. To many it is far easier to go with the flow. To conform to the ways of the world so as not to stand out for the ‘wrong’ reasons. To be called stiff necked or old fashioned. Small or venial sins are okay, God will understand we are only human.

Really? Why would the Lord your God want less for you? Why would He want to allow you to fall into a greater pit? Your ways are not God ways, your thoughts are not His thoughts.

Those who strive for Holiness are those who recognise just how truly loved they are by God our Father. They seek out the Lamb of God, their Lord and saviour Jesus Christ to be His presence. To grow in their faith, knowledge and most of all their relationship with Him. Through Him love is revealed, love is fulfilled. His grace is sufficient for those who walk on the path to greater holiness.

Lord Jesus I want to always be in Your presence. Transform me Lord, grant me what I need to do Your will. And to lead others to the knowledge of You. Amen

First reading

1 John 3:7-10
No-one sins who has been begotten by God

My children, do not let anyone lead you astray:
to live a holy life is to be holy just as he is holy;
to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil, since the devil was a sinner from the beginning.
It was to undo all that the devil has done that the Son of God appeared.
No one who has been begotten by God sins;because God’s seed remains inside him,
he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.

In this way we distinguish the children of God
from the children of the devil: anybody not living a holy life and not loving his brother is no child of God’s.


John 1:35-42
‘We have found the Messiah’

As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher – ‘where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 3, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Only those who strive for Holiness and walk in the light of Christ, can point out the way to Him. And declare that Jesus is truly the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

For their very own lives have been transfigured by Him. People see the change from perhaps wretchedness into holiness. They witness the joy and peace in the hearts of these souls touched by the Holy name of Jesus. The only name that can save.

So dear sisters and brothers in Christ, we who are indeed God’s children have a duty to respond to the call to Holiness. So that we can become powerful beacons of His love, leading His flock safely back to Him. Amen

First reading

1 John 2:29-3:6
Everyone must try to be as pure as Christ

You know that God is righteous – then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous
has been begotten by him.

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.
Anyone who sins at all breaks the law, because to sin is to break the law.
Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in him there is no sin;
anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins
has never seen him or known him.


John 1:29-34
‘Look: there is the Lamb of God’

Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’

On Today’s Gospel l

Posted: January 2, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

To believe and live in Christ Jesus is a great gift from our ever living lord and God. It is not always a bed of roses as there will be moments of great trials. Yet He our Lord will be at our side through it all, we have nothing to fear. We live fully in His peace and joy.

We too are called to encourage our brethren to turn away from sin and be reconciled with the Lord our God. To prepare the way for our Lord so as to receive Him fully into their hearts. For life in Christ is life to the full! And together we will stand ready to greet Him when He comes again.

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

Saints Basil the Great
and Gregory Nazianzen pray for us….

First reading

1 John 2:22-28
The anointing he gave you teaches you everything

The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ – he is the liar, he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son, because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning: as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,
you will live in the Son
and in the Father; and what is promised to you by his own promise is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you,
and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything;
you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.


John 1:19-28
‘One is coming after me who existed before me’

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord.’

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.

In the final moments of 2018 new year’s eve, I asked myself how different was this year? From all the yester-years.

The main thing for me was to recognise and recollect just how blessed I had been from Jan 18 to Dec 18 by God my Heavenly Father. And I saw His gentle, loving hand throughout the year. There were many significant moments of building upon family ties. The strengthening of old familial bonds and development of new ones. I was humbled, renewed and invigorated into service of Him and my brethren. Which led me to the final question for recollection.

Had I been a Blessing to any or many? Have I shared my many Blessings with them? What are the visible fruits that others see? I realised that I could not truly answer this question on my own. I can only pray that I had done enough this year…

What better way to end the new year? Then to welcome Christ Jesus into the new one!

New year’s eve night began with praise and worship. During of which, Frances and I saw just how we were truly loved by God our Father. He took away our pettiness and turned it into loveliness. We worshiped Him together with a close knit family in Christ. We were truly one body in Him! Through his shepherd, Father Terence, God’s love was reawakened and the fire of His great love for us glowed within all our hearts.

Then we saw His face during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus our Lord touched the hearts of many and much healing took place, for some most profoundly. Joy filled our hearts!

The Eucharistic Celebration was simply wonderful! Extra special because we were truly prepared, and in a sense we were pining to receive our Lord Jesus Christ into our very beings. There was no loud countdown needed, as we were gently led into the new year by our Lord Himself! Amen! Alleluia!

After the Eucharistic Celebration, we did not go home but continued to celebrate with our sisters and brothers in Christ. There were great moments of joy and even a little moment of sorrow as we learnt that a couple we had grown to love was going through a tough time. One of their sons Eugene had a relapse of leukaemia. We prayed and embraced them knowing that Christ was with us and will continue to be with them in the months ahead. Do join us in praying for them especially for Eugene. The party ended at about 5am++ we were still very much in awe of God’s presence in the new year of 2019.

After reaching home it was time for a quick shower before rushing off to be in the presence of our Lord once again and with His Blessed mother, our dearest mother too. I had been asked a few months earlier to lead the opening and closing hymn for the recitation of the Holy Rosary which followed after the Eucharistic Celebration. And was eager to honour our Blessed Mother. We sang “Gentle Woman” for the opening and “Praise her with a flower” for the closing hymn. Another wonderful year ahead with our Blessed Mother at our side.

Thank You Lord!

Wonderful Testimony….

Posted: January 1, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

As I awaken to another quiet morning, I smile and say ‘Good Morning Lord’ and I roll myself out of bed. My knees touch the ground as I kneel down in front of my Lord, to give thanks. To thank Him for another day and another chance to do His Will and to be the best I can be. The cool morning refreshes me, as I bow my head to pray.

Not every morning has been like this though. Not all of my mornings have begun in prayer and thanksgiving. Not all of my mornings have been filled with the peace I feel today. In fact, for at least 20 years of my life, most of my mornings were filled with anger, pain and disappointment. Turn back the clock all those years, and you would have found a man without direction and with an ego and pride the size of this worship hall.

I had a happy childhood, was an altar server when I was younger. I was part of the Boy’s Brigade and excelled in sports while I was in school. Martial arts and soccer were 2 of my loves. However, in secondary school, without proper guidance and a lack of role models in my life, I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. I saw these rebellious kids and the influence they had over others and somehow, that appealed to me. Joining a gang and hanging out with these fellow ‘brothers’ showed me what life could be like. God started to have less and less of a place in my life; that spot was taken up by my new-found ‘friends’.

With these friends came many new experiences. I got sloshed for the first time when I was 16 years old. Being a shy guy who hated speaking in public, alcohol magically melted my fears away and provided me this new-found confidence which was addictive. The more alcohol I drank, the more confident I became. I didn’t care what it was doing to me. Being part of a gang was also about standing by your fellow members and showing others who was boss. The company I mixed around with got me into fights, some of which I started on my own lah. I was in an out-of-control spiral and I didn’t even know it. Education wasn’t something I cared about anymore. My family hardly saw me, as I busied myself with worldly pursuits.

This life that I had chosen for myself had almost got me killed a couple of times. It is honestly by the grace of God that I stand before you today, sharing my story. I had to hit absolute rock bottom; losing my then girlfriend, not doing well at my business, contemplating thoughts of suicide. I could have lost everything then.

But God had other plans for me. At the lowest point of my life, God sent me a sign. A sign that showed me that He knew I was suffering and that He was with me. He gave me a chance that I had not given myself. I just had to surrender to him. For a man who has depended on himself all his life, this was not an easy task. But my way had not worked out for me. What if I gave His way a chance?

It has been about 2 and a half years since I made the decision to lift everything to God. And boy, it hasn’t been easy. There was so much I had to work on. I had to stop depending on myself and learn to depend on Him. And in order to do that, I had to open my heart and be vulnerable. I had to learn the word of God, in order to understand Him better. I surrounded myself with like-minded people, all who were seeking to be better Christians.

What has God done for me in this short time? God has given me a new-found love for my fellow brothers and sisters and has given me a ministry so that I may grow and help others to find God as well. God has given me the mentorship of Father Terence, as I came back to the Church , after so many years of being away. God has given me the love of a woman who is also seeking to be a better Christian, so that we may grow together in holiness. God has given me the opportunity to go back to school and to work on getting my Masters; something I thought I would never get the opportunity to do as I was kicked out from university back in the day. God has given me wonderful gifts to connect with people and the confidence to stand up here and to speak to all of you, guided by His spirit.

So, why, you may ask, do I get down on my knees each and every morning, and give thanks to God?

I give thanks to God as He has given me so much, more than I could have ever imagined for myself. More than I feel I am worthy of receiving.

I give thanks to God for loving me, even before I learnt to love myself. Through my years of not taking care of myself, He was there, taking care of me.

I give thanks to God for entrusting me in a family, who have raised me and loved me and showed me how to be supportive.

I give thanks to God for always being present, for His patience and for sending me people who show me, each and every day, what it means to be a brother-in-Christ.

I give thanks to God for blessing me with communities of love and support, be it my church community and my family with Charmaine.

Most of all, I give thanks to God for giving me an opportunity to be an example. An example of how surrendering to the love of Christ and the Will of God, no matter how late in life, can change your life for the better and enrich you. For allowing me to take my past experiences and making them into a tool for the future.

And for all this, I will continue to praise and thank the Lord, every day.

I urge you my sisters and brothers to start the new year giving thanks every single day to remind us how blessed we are. When we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We will realize that we would not even exist without the merciful blessings of our Heavenly Father.

Tomorrow marks a brand-new year and incidentally my 41st birthday as well. My wish is for everyone to start each new day of the New Year with prayer. Trust God and everything will be good. He has a plan for all of us. And He loves us.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

Please say a prayer for Patrick the author of this testimony.


On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 1, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How wonderfully and completely loved we are to have Mary, mother of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ as our mother.

For through her, the face of our Lord’s shine most profoundly on us. Through her immaculate heart she guides us to the way of perfection in Him. Through her intercession our hearts, minds and actions are purified and made pleasing to our Lord. She is our mother, do we honour her as we should? Nothing pleases our Blessed Mother more than that we listen to her son’s will for us. And so she is always by our side to help us along the right path.

O Blessed Mother pray for us your children who love you dearly. Amen

First reading

Numbers 6:22-27
They are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them

The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”

This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’

Second reading

Galatians 4:4-7
God sent his Son, born of a woman

When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father’, and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave any more; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.


Luke 2:16-21
The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the baby lying in the manger

The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.