Archive for February, 2019

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

You are not going to live forever in this world and you do not know if tomorrow will come for you. And No this is not a doomsday message but a simple fact. What are you doing today so that you might have hope of eternal life with the Lord your God?

For the world will always distract you and lead you into thinking you have lots of time to change and be changed. So many having gone for a retreat, pilgrimage, prayer meeting, healing service; had encountered our Lord Jesus but have now abandoned Him for the busyness of their lives. Others concentrate on building up their material wealth for themselves yet in the guise of doing so for their families. What good is that if you are absent from your family? From the Lord your God? If you do not turn back to the Lord now and be reconciled, sin will build upon sin and at the end of your time you’ll be lost for all eternity.

Too many still do not realise how great a sin it is to neglect the Lord our God. For a relationship with Him is most important for our own well being, not His. He simply loves us and wants us to live our lives to the fullest in His love.

Lord Jesus let me be your salt and light in the world, to share Your love with all. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 5:1-10 †
Do not delay your return to the Lord

Do not give your heart to your money, or say, ‘With this I am self-sufficient.’
Do not be led by your appetites and energy to follow the passions of your heart.
And do not say, ‘Who has authority over me?’ for the Lord will certainly be avenged on you.
Do not say, ‘I sinned, and what happened to me?’ for the Lord’s forbearance is long.
Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin.
And do not say, ‘His compassion is great, he will forgive me my many sins’;
for with him are both mercy and wrath, and his rage bears heavy on sinners.
Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day;
for suddenly the Lord’s wrath will blaze out, and at the time of vengeance you will be utterly destroyed.
Do not set your heart on ill-gotten gains, they will be of no use to you on the day of disaster.

Gospel

Mark 9:41-50
If your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid, how can you season it again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 27, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus grant me Your wisdom so that I may speak and act always according to Your Holy will. Amen

Do we pray as such each and everytime before any meeting, encounter, decision to be made, advice to give or not to give and so on. For if it is the wisdom of the Lord we seek just as King Solomon, the Lord our God will be delighted and grant our prayer.

With and in His wisdom we will not turn into our own Spirituality as if we were somewhat exclusive. We will not be suspicious of those who in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord has done well in bringing others back to Him. Working miracles and wonders with the gifts bestowed upon invoking the precious, Holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ! We will embrace one another’s gifts as given to build His Kingdom NOT our very own. The more we give away the more we shall receive.

Lord Jesus, thy Will be done now and forever. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 4:12-22
Whoever loves wisdom loves life

Wisdom brings up her own sons, and cares for those who seek her.
Whoever loves her loves life,
those who wait on her early will be filled happiness.
Whoever holds her close will inherit honour, and wherever he walks the Lord will bless him.
Those who serve her minister to the Holy One,and the Lord loves those who love her.
Whoever obeys her judges aright, and whoever pays attention to her dwells secure.
If he trusts himself to her he will inherit her, and his descendants will remain in possession of her; for though she takes him at first through winding ways, bringing fear and faintness on him, plaguing him with her discipline until she can trust him, and testing him with her ordeals, in the end she will lead him back to the straight road and reveal her secrets to him.
If he wanders away she will abandon him, and hand him over to his fate.

Gospel

Mark 9:38-40
You must not stop anyone from working miracles in my name

John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Any true disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ must heed the Word of God (first reading) taken from Sirach also known as Ecclesiasticus. For without a doubt having served long enough you will be tested in fire and some chosen like I have been, in the furnace of humiliation. Be steadfast and cling to our Lord Jesus Christ who will never leave you.

Indeed these words are true. While I held steadfast in my faith and love for Him, I did not stay put in where I was. I needed time to heal and recollect. The Lord taught me patience and humility. That God my Father loved me dearly with all my faults and shortcomings. That I should love God our Father’s other children, naughty, prideful and however stubborn they may be; just as He loved me! We can be assured that our Lord Jesus Christ, will make crooked paths straight and He will always be by our side.

His grace is sufficient for us, we can love just as He loves us. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 2:1-11 †
The chosen are tested like gold in the fire

My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord,prepare yourself for an ordeal.
Be sincere of heart, be steadfast,and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
Cling to him and do not leave him,so that you may be honoured at the end of your days.
Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust him and he will uphold you,follow a straight path and hope in him.
You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not turn aside in case you fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust him,and you will not be baulked of your reward.
You who fear the Lord hope for good things,for everlasting happiness and mercy.
Look at the generations of old and see:who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame?
Or who ever feared him steadfastly and was left forsaken?
Or who ever called out to him, and was ignored?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful,he forgives sins, and saves in days of distress.

Gospel

Mark 9:30-37
Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me

Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Do you come before Jesus when you cannot see the light? When all hope is lost? When you feel helpless? When the well being of family, a member is at stake? Or do you fall into despair and become despondent? Lean not on your wisdom but the wisdom of the Lord Your God which had been poured out into the world from the very beginning.

Turn to Jesus in faith, even with what little faith you may have left and claim His promise that everything is possible for those who has faith. For nothing is impossible for God. He will provide a breakthrough. For the Son of God the most high has come to deliver the world from all evil and sin. He brings with Him liberation, peace and joy.

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

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10 †
Before all other things, wisdom was created

All wisdom is from the Lord,
and it is his own for ever.
The sand of the sea and the raindrops,and the days of eternity, who can assess them?
The height of the sky and the breadth of the earth,and the depth of the abyss, who can probe them?
Before all other things wisdom was created,shrewd understanding is everlasting.
For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered?
Her resourceful ways, who knows them?
One only is wise, terrible indeed,seated on his throne, the Lord.
He himself has created her, looked on her and assessed her,and poured her out on all his works to be with all mankind as his gift,and he conveyed her to those who love him.

Gospel

Mark 9:14-29
Help the little faith I have!

When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’


A little testimony on the importance of being part of a Christian community….

CG = Catholic Group

Bro Julian, I was reflecting on Nick and my journey together. And I could not help but be amazed by God’s hand thru our LOL CG. Thru CG, we came to know one another and there was support plus comaradie as we encountered one another to attend spiritual formations together. I can’t believe how Nick has grown from totally out of church and out of Christian values to being open to attending spiritual formations with me. I acknowledge this would not have been possible without God’s intervention thru LOL CG and her members. The little invitations in the group chat helped us become aware of the spiritual formations going on. And we draw one another to attend. God amazes me!

What is the Purpose of my life?

Posted: February 24, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

Shared by my dear sister in Christ – Ma Cheriza Bondoc

*What is my purpose in life?*

This is the question that was on my mind when I was growing up and at the same time thinking on where will my path lead me so that my chosen career will be successful.

In the year 2011, I was given an opportunity to work in Singapore as a Preschool Teacher and being a migrant worker for almost 8 years now, it encompasses a lot of hard work and sacrifices being away from my family and at the same time it makes me endeavour my goal and to apply what I have learnt from my good school but most specially to teach and mould the future leaders of this beautiful world.

Each time I look back through all these years, I am in awe realizing how much God has blessed me throughout my 30 years of existence. Every blessing that we received from Him should always be shared to our needy brothers and sisters. He gave us in abundance of wonderful blessings so that we will be able to touch other peoples’ lives and by doing that, they can feel God’s love through us.

I have made my life-long pledge to share the love that He gave me with all the people around. Every year for my birthday, I will always plan to do something meaningful and make sure that I will be able to spend time to the children with cancer in the Philippines and the homeless people in the city area. I do organize a celebration with magic show for kids and feeding programme with them. I am helping the Singapore Catholic Foundation, Caritas Singapore and Singapore Cancer Society with my monthly donation to give back and reach out to the needy as well.

Happiness cannot be found in how much money you have in the bank or how many luxury things you have collected and we do not need to be in a position to be called successful neither there will be no signs of what you will become in this life that God has lend us; we just have to take a look deep within ourselves and we will discover how blessed we are and how great is our God for giving us always what we need.

In this life, what will matter the most is when we made a difference, when we are able touch the lives of the people around us and we have managed well the use of the blessings that we received for the benefit of others. And through all these ways, our life will be more meaningful and truly be successful and by the time when God called us, we can proudly say that we have done our part and the life that we live for others is always worth living.

May God bless us all and may His name be truly praised in everything that we do! ❤

Night of Blessings

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

Yesterday I attended the Eucharistic Celebration at St Mike’s because I had an appointment with Fr T. As I was rather early for the EC, I decided to read the bible while I waited.

Then a growing desire welled up in me to go for the Sacrament of reconciliation. I looked to the direction of the confessional and saw one guy already seated and waiting. I made my way there quickly, sat down beside him and continued reading while I waited. Five minutes had passed when all of a sudden the guy next to me turns and says, “You don’t recognise me do you? I am one of twin brothers which attended the same kindergarten at Hoe Ping Centre and we lived in the same neighbourhood. He introduced himself as Joseph and shared that we even attended the same Church of the Risen Christ back in the day.” I vaguely remembered him because he mentioned he was a twin. The mind blowing thing about it is that I am quite sure we were not very close otherwise I would have a clearer memory of him but he knew my name and that I had a sister with light coloured hair. Later in the short conversation (which was a little uncomfortable for me only because we were waiting for the Sacrament and should have been praying instead of catching up) we had, I found out that he was actually one year my junior.

Still it was a blessing to be reunited with some one who shared moments in time, forty plus years in the neighbourhood I grew up in Toa Payoh! I quickly shared with him the picture I had taken with Sister Rosa only 11 days ago.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1001610776565042?view=permalink&id=2226886374037470

Then Father AJ showed up and Joseph went in first for the Sacrament. What a blessing to see the hand of God in that little meeting ‘again’ of brothers in Christ. During the Eucharistic Celebration I received consolations reminding me of His great love.

Later that evening, after my meeting with Fr T. I stayed on in St Mike’s as they were having a movie night and I had missed watching the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. It was more of a movie appreciation night because Fr T would stop the movie at certain sections, encouraged us to talk about it with one another; then he would share some spiritual and psychological inputs into the psyche of the characters in the movie.

Praise the Lord for a blessed night in the company of friends. 🙏🏼♥️