Archive for March, 2019

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Found Alive Again: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fourth Sunday of Lent


Joshua 5:9–12
Psalm 34:2–7
2 Corinthians 5:17–21
Luke 15:1–3, 11–32

In today’s First Reading, God forgives “the reproach” of the generations who grumbled against Him after the Exodus. On the threshold of the promised land, Israel can with a clean heart celebrate the Passover, the feast of God’s firstborn son (see Joshua 5:6–7; Exodus 4:22; 12:12–13).
Reconciliation is also at the heart of the story Jesus tells in today’s Gospel. The story of the Prodigal Son is the story of Israel and of the human race. But it is also the story of every believer.

In Baptism, we’re given a divine birthright, made “a new creation,” as Paul puts it in today’s Epistle. But when we sin, we’re like the Prodigal Son, quitting our Father’s house, squandering our inheritance in trying to live without Him.

Lost in sin, we cut ourselves off from the grace of sonship lavished upon us in Baptism. It is still possible for us to come to our senses, make our way back to the Father, as the prodigal does.

But only He can remove the reproach and restore the divine sonship we have spurned. Only He can free us from the slavery to sin that causes us—like the Prodigal Son—to see God not as our Father but as our master, One we serve as slaves.

God wants not slaves but children. Like the father in today’s Gospel, He longs to call each of us “My son,” to share His life with us, to tell us: “Everything I have is yours.”

The Father’s words of longing and compassion still come to His prodigal children in the Sacrament of Penance. This is part of what Paul today calls “the ministry of reconciliation” entrusted by Jesus to the Apostles and the Church.

Reconciled like Israel, we take our place at the table of the Eucharist, the homecoming banquet the Father calls for His lost sons, the new Passover we celebrate this side of heaven. We taste the goodness of the Lord, as we sing in today’s Psalm, rejoicing that we who were dead are found alive again.

While in Adoration…

Posted: March 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

While in Adoration this morning…

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What the Lord our God desires most from us is a deep and meaningful relationship. That is why so often in Scripture He refers to Himself as the bridegroom and we are His bride. But what we offer Him instead is our shallow disposition and lip service of our declaration of love for Him. We praise and glorify ourselves when we should be glorifying the Lord our God.

Come now let us turn our hearts to Him, for only a humble contrite spirit will be able to hear His soft gentle voice. Empty ourselves of all that is worldly and allow Him to fill us with His grace. Only then we can truly declare our love for Him. For our lover has embraced us and whispered in our ear. He is one with us and we are one with Him. And humbled by His great love for us, we will willingly serve Him and brethren according to His Holy Will for us. Amen

First reading

Hosea 5:15-6:6 †
What I want is love, not sacrifice and holocausts

The Lord says this:

They will search for me in their misery.
‘Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds; after a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence.
Let us set ourselves to know the Lord; that he will come is as certain as the dawn his judgement will rise like the light, he will come to us as showers come, like spring rains watering the earth.’

What am I to do with you, Ephraim? What am I to do with you, Judah?
This love of yours is like a morning cloud, like the dew that quickly disappears.
This is why I have torn them to pieces by the prophets, why I slaughtered them with the words from my mouth,
since what I want is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.


Luke 18:9-14
The tax collector, not the Pharisee, went home justified.

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else: ‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.” The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

The Lord our God loves us dearly and only wants the best for us. That is to live most fully in His love. And so if we say we truly love Him with all our heart then we must be obedient to Him in all things. There can be no other gods, no idols for there is only one true living God! For God Himself came to redeem us when no one could or would. Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes indeed if we love God with all our heart, mind and strength we are not far from the kingdom of God. How much closer we are, is the distance of our love and hearts put into action for the least of our brethren. The sick, poor, hungry, widowed, thirsty, prisoner, orphans and those who cannot fend for themselves.

Lord let me walk in Your ways. Grant me the grace to remain steadfast and to grow in love for You and neighbour. Amen

First reading

Hosea 14:2-10
A call to conversion and promise of safety

The Lord says this:

Israel, come back to the Lord your God;your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.
Provide yourself with words
and come back to the Lord.
Say to him, ‘Take all iniquity away so that we may have happiness again
and offer you our words of praise.
Assyria cannot save us,
we will not ride horses any more,or say, “Our God!” to what our own hands have made,
for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.’
– I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them with all my heart,
for my anger has turned from them.
I will fall like dew on Israel. He shall bloom like the lily, and thrust out roots like the poplar,
his shoots will spread far;
he will have the beauty of the olive and the fragrance of Lebanon.
They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow corn that flourishes,
they will cultivate vines
as renowned as the wine of Helbon.
What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when it is I who hear his prayer and care for him?
I am like a cypress ever green, all your fruitfulness comes from me.

Let the wise man understand these words. Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning.
For the ways of the Lord are straight, and virtuous men walk in them, but sinners stumble.


Mark 12:28-34
‘You are not far from the kingdom of God’

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

On Today’s Gospel

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

When our life is riddled with sin are we not likewise struck dumb? We cannot praise and thank the Lord our God for all His Blessings and love. In fact it is difficult to even the see the good in another. We tend to shy away from those we recognise as Holy and will find fault with them to try and disprove their ‘holiness’. How can these recognise the hand of God in anything?

Indeed let us NOT be stubborn and allow our hearts to become hardened! Let us always turn to Jesus to be free of the sin that binds us. Let Him loosen our tongues to praise and Glorify God our Father. To Glorify Him again by our lives. Tarry no longer vthen, our Lord Jesus awaits
You in the Sacrament of reconciliation.

Then together we shall stand united through our Lord Jesus Christ as one family of God our Father’s children. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 7:23-28
Here is the nation that will not listen to the voice of the Lord its God

These were my orders: Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Follow right to the end the way that I mark out for you, and you will prosper. But they did not listen, they did not pay attention; they followed the dictates of their own evil hearts, refused to face me, and turned their backs on me. From the day your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until today, day after day I have persistently sent you all my servants the prophets.
But they have not listened to me, have not paid attention; they have grown stubborn and behaved worse than their ancestors. You may say all these words to them: they will not listen to you; you may call them: they will not answer. So tell them this, “Here is the nation that will not listen to the voice of the Lord its God nor take correction. Sincerity is no more, it has vanished from their mouths.”


Luke 11:14-23
Know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you

Jesus was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed. But some of them said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils. Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.
‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.’.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 27, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

In today’s modern world our Catholic Church is seen as ancient, its believes, laws, and faith are outdated. Yet those who strongly believe so, cannot account for the fact that it has lasted two thousand years with generation after generation singing the same tune that our church is dated.

We have lasted this long because we have observed the commandments of the Lord our God and have taught them to all God’s children. For His laws are written on our hearts, the wisdom and depth of them completed through Christ our Lord flows out of great love for all His children. And so our one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church will still be around for ages to come. For it has been built upon our rock! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb 13:8

Pray brothers and sisters that we remain steadfast to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength;and to love another as He loved and continues to love us. Amen

First reading

Deuteronomy 4:1,5-9
Keep these laws and observe them

Moses said to the people:
‘Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you.
‘See, as the Lord my God has commanded me, I teach you the laws and customs that you are to observe in the land you are to enter and make your own. Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation.” And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today?
‘But take care what you do and be on your guard. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life; rather, tell them to your children and to your children’s children.’


Matthew 5:17-19
I have not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to complete them

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel I

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

Forgive and remember you had forgiven.

Through His love and divine mercy our Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven us our sins, healed and restored us so as to live in His love. And to live in His love is to be merciful just as He is merciful. For to say we love Him is to extend His love and mercy to all. Not a selective few but to all!

Forgive and remember you had forgiven.

To withhold mercy and forgiveness is to have mercy and forgiveness withheld from us. For in our Lord’s prayer He taught us to pray, forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who trespass against us. Therefore a life lived in the Lord, is one of mercy. Through the powerful grace of Jesus our Lord who died on the cross we can forgive all hurts, pains done to us. So when we forgive, we remember our Lord’s divine mercy and love for us, we remember His grace upon us and we forgive all.

Forgive and remember you had forgiven. Amen

First reading

Daniel 3:25,34-43
Let our sacrifice to you today be a contrite soul and humbled spirit

Azariah stood in the heart of the fire, and he began to pray:

Oh! Do not abandon us for ever for the sake of your name; do not repudiate your covenant, do not withdraw your favour from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your friend, of Isaac your servant, and of Israel your holy one, to whom you promised descendants as countless as the stars of heaven and as the grains of sand on the seashore. Lord, now we are the least of all the nations, now we are despised throughout the world, today, because of our sins.
We have at this time no leader, no prophet, no prince, no holocaust, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense, no place where we can offer you the first-fruits
and win your favour.
But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit be as acceptable to you as holocausts of rams and bullocks, as thousands of fattened lambs: such let our sacrifice be to you today,
and may it be your will that we follow you wholeheartedly, since those who put their trust in you will not be disappointed.
And now we put our whole heart into following you,
into fearing you and seeking your face once more.
Do not disappoint us; treat us gently, as you yourself are gentle and very merciful.
Grant us deliverance worthy of your wonderful deeds, let your name win glory, Lord.


Matthew 18:21-35
To be forgiven, you must forgive

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’


Posted: March 25, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 25, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

God our loving Father willed that His children be saved from the darkness of sin. And He chose a loving mother to bear His only Begotten Son, the Light of the world. So that through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus, the ransom of sin will be paid in full. So that we can live freely in His love. Mary who said Yes to our loving Father in Heaven also acceded to her Son’s request to be our mother. She is our loving mother, Queen of Heaven.

Every Hail Mary we invoke, causes the seed of faith and love within us to grow and eventuality bear fruit. Both for love of brethren and of the love of the Lord our God. Through our Blessed mother’s intercession we are guarded against evil, our hearts, thoughts and actions made pure. Let us turn to her for guidance so that all we say and do may be pleasing to her Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 7:10-14,8:10 †
The maiden is with child

The Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.’ ‘No,’ Ahaz answered ‘I will not put the Lord to the test.’
Then he said:

Listen now, House of David:
are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men
without trying the patience of my God, too?
The Lord himself, therefore,
will give you a sign.
It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel a name which means ‘God is with us.’

Second reading

Hebrews 10:4-10 †
God’s will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what Christ 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.


Luke 1:26-38
‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

Third Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Fruits of the Fig: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday of Lent


Exodus 3:1–8, 13–15
Psalm 103:1–4, 6–8, 11
1 Corinthians 10:1–6, 10–12
Luke 13:1–9

In the Church, we are made children of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God who makes known His name and His ways to Moses in today’s First Reading.

Mindful of His covenant with Abraham (see Exodus 2:24), God came down to rescue His people from the slave drivers of Egypt. Faithful to that same covenant (see Luke 1:54–55, 72–73), He sent Jesus to redeem all lives from destruction, as today’s Psalm tells us.

Paul says in today’s Epistle that God’s saving deeds in the Exodus were written down for the Church, intended as a prelude and foreshadowing of our own Baptism by water, our liberation from sin, our feeding with spiritual food and drink.
Yet the events of the Exodus were also given as a “warning”—that being children of Abraham is no guarantee that we will reach the promised land of our salvation.

At any moment, Jesus warns in today’s Gospel, we could perish—not as God’s punishment for being “greater sinners”—but because, like the Israelites in the wilderness, we stumble into evil desires, fall into grumbling, forget all His benefits.

Jesus calls us today to “repentance”—not a one-time change of heart, but an ongoing, daily transformation of our lives. We’re called to live the life we sing about in today’s Psalm—blessing His holy name, giving thanks for His kindness and mercy.
The fig tree in His parable is a familiar Old Testament symbol for Israel (see Jeremiah 8:3; 24:1–10). As the fig tree is given one last season to produce fruit before it is cut down, so too Jesus is giving Israel one final opportunity to bear good fruits as evidence of its repentance (see Luke 3:8).
Lent should be for us like the season of reprieve given to the fig tree, a grace period in which we let “the gardener,” Christ, cultivate our hearts, uprooting what chokes the divine life in us, strengthening us to bear fruits that will last into eternity.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Let us not take the love and mercy of our Heavenly Father for granted! When will we come to our senses and see the goodness and abundance in which He provides for us. Not so in luxuries but the fullness and richness of life filled with peace, joy and love in our hearts.

Many still will take all they can get from Him, then stray to lead wanton, decadent lifestyles. Their search for happiness never ends and soon enough they find only misery. For some it will be too late before they wake up to the reality of it all. Yes indeed the Lord is slow to anger and merciful but do not wait to the very end to turn back to Him. Come now as you are, sinful wretched and sorrowful. He will embrace you with His loving arms, heal and restore you.

Finally for those who are already serving Him with love in your heart for Him and for neighbour, then you are truly living in His presence. For there will Never ever be resentment in your heart come what may. For you know that you are truly and greatly loved by your Heavenly Father. Amen

First reading

Micah 7:14-15,18-20 †
Have pity on us one more time

With shepherd’s crook, O Lord, lead your people to pasture, the flock that is your heritage,living confined in a forest with meadow land all around.
Let them pasture in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of Egypt grant us to see wonders.

What god can compare with you: taking fault away,
pardoning crime, not cherishing anger for ever
but delighting in showing mercy?
Once more have pity on us,
tread down our faults, to the bottom of the sea throw all our sins. Grant Jacob your faithfulness, and Abraham your mercy, as you swore to our fathers from the days of long ago.


Luke 15:1-3,11-32
The prodigal son

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:
‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.
‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”
‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Those who are jealous of others for whatever reasons possess hearts which are empty, more importantly they are far from the Lord our God. If only they would come to the realisation that God our Father loves them so much and uniquely there will be no room whatsoever for jealousy. For it will be filled with God’s abundant love.

Instead they sometimes choose to allow their jealousy to consume them, that they fall into greater sin. How many then can only see the faults in others? How many get angry when their ‘enemies’ garner more attention and popularity? How many stoop to dishonour those they dislike when they are not present with their unfettered tongues? How many pieces of silver have they sold their own fellow brother and sister in Christ by writing them off in their hearts? Have they then not rejected Christ Himself?

Come now let us turn our hearts to Jesus and be healed of any jealousy, any sense of feeling unloved or feeing inadequate. Let the love of Christ Jesus our Lord embrace and consume us. So that we can be free to live fully in His love and light this very day. Amen

First reading

Genesis 37:3-4,12-13,17-28 †
Let us kill him: then we shall see what becomes of his dreams

Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons, for he was the son of his old age, and he had a coat with long sleeves made for him. But his brothers, seeing how his father loved him more than all his other sons, came to hate him so much that they could not say a civil word to him.
His brothers went to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem. Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘Are not your brothers with the flock at Shechem? Come, I am going to send you to them.’ So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them they made a plot among themselves to put him to death. ‘Here comes the man of dreams’ they said to one another. ‘Come on, let us kill him and throw him into some well; we can say that a wild beast devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams.’
But Reuben heard, and he saved him from their violence. ‘We must not take his life’ he said. ‘Shed no blood,’ said Reuben to them ‘throw him into this well in the wilderness, but do not lay violent hands on him’ – intending to save him from them and to restore him to his father. So, when Joseph reached his brothers, they pulled off his coat, the coat with long sleeves that he was wearing, and catching hold of him they threw him into the well, an empty well with no water in it. They then sat down to eat.
Looking up they saw a group of Ishmaelites who were coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum, tragacanth, balsam and resin, which they were taking down into Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, ‘What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do any harm to him. After all, he is our brother, and our own flesh.’ His brothers agreed.
Now some Midianite merchants were passing, and they drew Joseph up out of the well. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty silver pieces, and these men took Joseph to Egypt.


Matthew 21:33-43,45-46
This is the landlord’s heir: come, let us kill him

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:

It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?

‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Time passes very swiftly for everyone. You may not remember anything from when you were a babe, but certainly you will remember bits of your early childhood, the invincible teenage years and now look at you now! What have you done to please the Lord your God? How has your faith and relationship with Him grown? Have you helped those He had put unto your path? Or have you been oblivious? Caught up in living your life to the ‘fullest’. Never looking past your immediate family, concerned only with yours and their comfort and security. There is still time you say well here is the truth, there is NOT!

For time belongs to God alone and time for us only exists in His presence. The rich, wealthy and powerful have no names for the Lord only remembers the names of the poor and the poor in spirit, who hunger and thirst for Him. So while we are on this short pilgrim journey let us turn heavenward and look upon the stars as Abraham our Father did. To recognise God our Father’s children; our dear sisters and brothers in which we are called to look after and care for till one day soon, we are all reunited in His Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord God Almighty Father, thy will alone be done. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 17:5-10
A curse on the man who puts his trust in man and turns from the Lord

The Lord says this:

‘A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, who relies on things of flesh,whose heart turns from the Lord.
He is like dry scrub in the wastelands: if good comes, he has no eyes for it, he settles in the parched places of the wilderness,
a salt land, uninhabited.

‘A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord,
with the Lord for his hope.
He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it feels no alarm,
its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit.

‘The heart is more devious than any other thing,
perverse too: who can pierce its secrets?
I, the Lord, search to the heart, I probe the loins,
to give each man what his conduct and his actions deserve.’


Luke 16:19-31
Dives and Lazarus

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”
‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.” “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

It is very good indeed to want to take up the leadership role. To be counted as one who led the flock of the Lord our God into His Heavenly fold. However how many truly have this goal in their hearts? How many are willing to suffer and die if need be for the sake of His sheep? To be fully obedient to the Lord our God and His Church and to accept the good counsel of the Holy Spirit which may lead us in an entirely different direction from what we planned?

The voices of the world grow louder each day and they demand to have leaders stand up for their causes. To legalise abortion, same sex marriages, to have female priests serve in the churches, to allow human cloning and so on. Even some ‘leaders’ in the church are enticed into gaining popularity by agreeing with them. When will they heed the word of God who says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Lord Jesus if Your call is for me to be a leader then mould me and make me one after Your own heart. To serve and not to be served. To lay down my life if need be for You and my brethren, all for Your Glory alone. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 18:18-20
My enemies are digging a pit for me

‘Come on,’ they said, ‘let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah; the priest will not run short of instruction without him, nor the sage of advice, nor the prophet of the word. Come on, let us hit at him with his own tongue; let us listen carefully to every word he says.’

Listen to me, O Lord,
hear what my adversaries are saying.
Should evil be returned for good?
For they are digging a pit for me.
Remember how I stood in your presence to plead on their behalf, to turn your wrath away from them.


Matthew 20:17-28
They will condemn the Son of Man to death

Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one side and said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.’
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Today is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother, foster father of Jesus. I chose his name for my confirmation and his is the middle name for both my sons.

Why? Because although he appears silent in the Gospels he speaks volumes by his obedience, faith and most of all his love put into action for his family and by extension the family of God our Father. A humble carpenter by trade, a loving husband, a doting father who strived to keep his family safe. His faith in God was unwavering in spite of the challenges and hardship he had to face. Truly a model I want to follow! He bore his own cross silently just as his son would eventually do.

St Joseph pray for us… Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14,16 †
The Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David

The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: “When your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

Second reading

Romans 4:13,16-18,22 †
Abraham hoped, and he believed

The promise of inheriting the world was not made to Abraham and his descendants on account of any law but on account of the righteousness which consists in faith. That is why what fulfils the promise depends on faith, so that it may be a free gift and be available to all of Abraham’s descendants, not only those who belong to the Law but also those who belong to the faith of Abraham who is the father of all of us. As scripture says: I have made you the ancestor of many nations – Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist.
Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars. This is the faith that was ‘considered as justifying him.’


Matthew 1:16,18-21,24
How Jesus Christ came to be born

Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Blessed be the Lord our God who is compassionate. Who is patiently waiting for us to repent of our sins and return to Him. For without His compassion we are indeed doomed to an empty life of misery.

Today we hear the call for us to be compassionate just as our Heavenly Father is compassionate. And yet while we want our Lord to be compassionate with us, we are often not compassionate with one another. Shouting and screaming at others when things don’t go our way. Punishing our children severely over the smallest things. Not reaching out to those who hunger and thirst. Those who are sick and need to be tended to.

We need the grace of God upon us so that we can be loving and compassionate as He is. Therefore let us always turn back to Him, seek His forgiveness, be nourished and stand ready to serve those in need of our tender loving care. Amen

First reading

Daniel 9:4-10
Yours is the integrity, Lord; ours the shame

O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you. To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.


Luke 6:36-38
Grant pardon, and you will be pardoned

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’

Peace everyone, today I did a recording of my sharing on Today’s readings and Gospel with my fellow stewards of the Banquet unscripted and unedited so if you’re interested to listen here it is…

Listen to Personal reflection on the 2nd Sun of Lent by Julian Tan 17 #np on #SoundCloud

By the way I missed out on sharing that the promise of God is indeed fulfilled in Abraham he is afterall Father of the Jews who believe in the One God, us Christians and the Muslims therefore billions round the globe and across the centuries! Praise God!

Then there is another thing about the revelation of our Risen Lord in His resurrected body. Today there is a fixation with zombies and vampires, in a sense which is satanic since it shows the opposite of what eternal life looks like. Zombies and vampires represent the distortion, the hideous side. The latter thirst for blood of humans to live as immortals. Jesus on the other hand gives us His blood and body, an unbloody sacrifice which gives us eternal life with Him. And we will rise in Him with resurrected bodies glowing with the glory of God. Amen

Second Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Glory in Sight: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday of Lent


Genesis 15:5–12, 17–18
Psalm 27:1, 7–9, 13–14
Philippians 3:17–4:1
Luke 9:28–36

In today’s Gospel, we go up to the mountain with Peter, John, and James. There we see Jesus “transfigured,” speaking with Moses and Elijah about His “exodus.”
The Greek word “exodus” means “departure.” But the word is chosen deliberately here to stir our remembrance of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt.

By His death and resurrection, Jesus will lead a new Exodus—liberating not only Israel but every race and people; not from bondage to Pharaoh, but from slavery to sin and death. He will lead all mankind, not to the territory promised to Abraham in today’s First Reading, but to the heavenly commonwealth that Paul describes in today’s Epistle.
Moses, the giver of God’s law, and the great prophet Elijah, were the only Old Testament figures to hear the voice and see the glory of God atop a mountain (see Exodus 24:15–18; 1 Kings 19:8–18).

Today’s scene closely resembles God’s revelation to Moses, who also brought along three companions and whose face also shone brilliantly (see Exodus 24:1;34:29). But when the divine cloud departs in today’s Gospel, Moses and Elijah are gone. Only Jesus remains. He has revealed the glory of the Trinity—the voice of the Father, the glorified Son, and the Spirit in the shining cloud.

Jesus fulfills all that Moses and the prophets had come to teach and show us about God (see Luke 24:27). He is the “chosen One” promised by Isaiah (see Isaiah 42:1;Luke 23:35), the “prophet like me” that Moses had promised (see Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22–23; 7:37). Far and above that, He is the Son of God (see Psalm 2:7;Luke 3:21–23).
“Listen to Him,” the Voice tells us from the cloud. If, like Abraham, we put our faith in His words, one day we too will be delivered into “the land of the living” that we sing of in today’s Psalm. We will share in His resurrection, as Paul promises, our lowly bodies glorified like His.

While in Adoration….

Posted: March 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

While in Adoration…

Thought I would go excitedly to share with the Lord my little adventure of helping to push some elderly folks from the home for an outdoor breakfast at the food centre. And thank Him for giving me the opportunity to do so. However as I began to pray, I saw myself at this morning’s Eucharist receiving the Lord in my hand. Yes I found that it was a little strange but I did not think too much of it at the time.

You see two priests co-celebrated mass, the medium sized consecrated host was broken into half and each priest took a piece. They then broke off a smaller piece each to consume while the rest they broke into smaller pieces and placed them into the ciborium. Father had given me such a piece, it was triangular with the pointed side placed downward and got caught between the recess of my index and middle finger and so it stood up as those I had been pierced. This now brought me to reflect on how our Blessed mother’s heart was pierced, by the cruel punishment and death of her son Jesus Christ who died to take away our sins. Who now nourishes us by His body in the very Eucharist that was in my hand. Then I saw the upward thrust of the same very Eucharist in my hand, the reverse side of the triangle of His love fanned out for the whole world! The love of the Holy trinity outpoured. Then came the consolations flowing down in waves! Thank You Jesus, praise You Jesus. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

Blessed, anointed, set apart that is our call to faithfulness to and in the Lord our God. A call to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

Can we then love the stranger the same way we love our family? Can we choose to love those who hurt us? Can we welcome and embrace the outcast in society? Can we help those who cannot help themselves? If we call ourselves Christians, disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ them the answers must be Yes! For we indeed have a higher calling as children of God our Father.

To answer the call to Holiness is allow ourselves to be fully united with the Lord our God. For it is only through our Lord Jesus Christ that our love for Him and brethren is perfected. Only through Him can we love the way we should and put that love into action.

O Lord You are the Potter and I am the clay. Perfect what is lacking in me Lord that I may glorify You always in all I say and do. Amen

First reading

Deuteronomy 26:16-19 †
You will be a people consecrated to the Lord

Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
‘You have today made this declaration about the Lord: that he will be your God, but only if you follow his ways, keep his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and listen to his voice. And the Lord has today made this declaration about you: that you will be his very own people as he promised you, but only if you keep all his commandments; then for praise and renown and honour he will set you high above all the nations he has made, and you will be a people consecrated to the Lord, as he promised.’


Matthew 5:43-48
Pray for those who persecute you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

With the recent scandals and the word ‘Catholic’ linked to them, how can we not feel dismayed? How can we not feel for the victims? How can we not be a little outraged ourselves? But one thing we Must Not do is be ashamed of our Catholic faith. Our faith and love in our Lord Jesus Christ is what prevents us from falling into such sins and worse ones. We need to be steadfast in our prayers, always deepening our relationship with Jesus and living His Word. Awake and on guard, for evil lurks to trip us!

Our merciful Lord Jesus Christ forgave us all our sins from the cross in which He hung. Therefore turn to Him always, in our weaknesses, our hurts, our pains. Let His mercy and grace be upon us so that we can love as He loves, forgive as He forgives. I must carry my cross, you must carry yours. We must carry our crosses otherwise we will be crushed under the weight of it. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 18:21-28 †
I prefer to see the wicked man renounce his wickedness and live

Thus says the Lord:
‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’


Matthew 5:20-26
Anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

Missing… Something

Posted: March 14, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

On Today’s Gospel

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

Is there a problem or challenge too huge for you to handle? So desperate that there seems to be no one who can help? The good news is that we have a God bigger than any of our problems put together! A listening heart which is always present to His faithful children.

I once use to question if the Lord truly answered prayers? Why then have I prayed so hard and nothing happens? Over the years I have learnt that it was my faith that was lacking. I prayed with my lips not with my heart. I prayed for what, how and when I wanted my prayers to be answered and not by submitting myself to His Holy will, letting the Lord my God be God in my life.

Today I pray with all my heart and soul, fervently and as frequently as I possibly can. I pray as a child who knows He is loved, to His Heavenly Father. Then wait and watch for the goodness of the Lord my God to unfold. Like when He grants His peace and warmly embraces the mother who has lost her husband and child. When He shrinks the tumour embedded in the brain of a brother in Christ. When He restores hope and faith in one who became paralysed from the waist down in an accident. When He gathers back His flock of a community which was dwindling to nothingness. When He reconciles family members estranged due to what seemed as irreconcilable differences at the time. The hand of God and His goodness is truly inexhaustible. Amen

First reading

Esther 4:17 †
I am alone, Lord, and have no-one but you

Queen Esther took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She besought the Lord God of Israel in these words:

‘My Lord, our King, the only one, come to my help, for I am alone and have no helper but you and am about to take my life in my hands.

‘I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family, that you, Lord, chose Israel out of all the nations and our ancestors out of all the people of old times to be your heritage for ever; and that you have treated them as you promised.

‘Remember, Lord; reveal yourself in the time of our distress.

‘As for me, give me courage,
King of gods and master of all power. Put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion; change his feeling into hatred for our enemy, that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.

‘As for ourselves, save us by your hand, and come to my help, for I am alone and have no one but you, Lord.’


Matthew 7:7-12
Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. Is there a man among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.’

Struggling In faith

Posted: March 13, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

In the waters of uncertainty, this mum chooses to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ even though at times it is very difficult…

Eugene is an 18 year old teen who had leukemia when he was 14 but now there is a relapse.

This is an update from mum Marilyn..

God’s peace be with us all. I know you have been praying n we are really grateful! Eugene ‘s fever has been persistent and all the test results are negative. It means there is still the opportunistic germs there. With the persistent fever it also goes to show that the antibiotics still have not hit it right. We need the fever to come down. Eugene’s more breathless today n very stress by the many things that went on- his port a cath is not working properly n trying to trouble shot. We need it to work well cos the antibiotics need to go through there. His hand plug is showing signs of over used n today has to set a new one which has been very challenging n painful . With the puffiness on his hands they can not find the vain until they used the ultra sound. Eugene has been in bed for a long period n there is concern with pressure sores as well. Today we were so stressed that I have failed to stand firm n still. I prayed I cried out but not seems to be able to see God’s hand at work. I know I need to be patient but is time on our side? I was distressed n God sent angels to minister to me. Met someone whose baby daughter also has cancer n 7 times scheduled operation failed so mum decided to discharge her n Dr told her if takes baby home, her baby will come back to hospital within days but it has been 2 mths and not back to hospital. She is also a sis in Christ. She said “believe in miracles. God make the blind see, the lame walk! We pray we fight“ Nothing is impossible to God! I surrender n continue to trust in the Lord. Eugene n Declan condition will be like Jesus turn water to wind. By His Word, Eugene n Declan will turn to become the best wine! Alleluia!

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 13, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We have it in our power to do great evil and it takes far less effort to do so. However it takes mastery of self to be restraint and choose at all times to do good. This mastery comes from a deep awareness that we are children of God so loved by our Heavenly Father from before we were in our mother’s womb.

And His great love for us continued even when we strayed and had turned out backs on Him. The sign of this great love is the cross in which hung our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. An offering at the Altar for the redemption of the world. If anyone looks upon Him and cries out to Him, they are saved.

God our Father chose as He saw fit, Jonah to be His prophet to call His people back to His loving embrace. And the people stubborn as they were listened, change their hearts to be obedient. How and why was Jonah so convincing? Because he was obedient unto the Lord His God, With great faith He allowed the Lord to fill him with His grace, to take away all fears and to speak with the Lord’s authority.

Lord grant me the grace You bestowed on Jonah, so that I too may be an instrument of Your grace to lead those who have strayed back to You. Amen

First reading

Jonah 3:1-10 †
The Ninevites repent, and God spares them

The word of the Lord was addressed a second time to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.


Luke 11:29-32
As Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign

The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them:
‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’

A Sharing By A Sister in Christ

Posted: March 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

A wonderful sharing by a sister in Christ – Phyliss Lim

Peace be with you dear. I’d like to share the following with you for I know you have a cell group and hopefully it might help anyone going through what I have gone through…

Sunday I heard one of the best homily…reflected on it and realised that in this world that we are living, other than God, the only thing that is permanent is CHANGES. Many times I have been mocked with cutting words call yourself a Christian? (When I don’t seem to do or say things that pleases them) I wanted to scream out loud that Christianity is a religion for sinners trying to be saints, and yes, I am a Christian and I am trying.

I find myself praying and praying for the same request and felt like God wasn’t going to answer me. Then I realise that every time I pray, I want my request to be answered the way I want…and when this doesn’t happen, many negative thoughts comes to my mind. Like God must have really turned a deaf ears to my prayers or like I am not favoured by Him etc etc

Then I come to reflect on the Lord’s Prayer, sentence by sentence and felt like kicking myself. Seems like all these while I have been saying that prayer without truly meaning it…how dare I say “Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
Overwhelmed with guilt, I told myself from now on, unless praying for others, I will be detailed in asking. But when it is for myself…I will just pray….
My Lord, my God, I abandon myself to You…Lord Jesus, You take over.

I don’t deny that at the back of my mind, the devil is busy replaying all the scenes of my miserable life…how much I am being despised, being persecuted, tormented with pain and sufferings…
It was like I had to stop meditating to rebuke the devil…but yet allow the memories of my late husband to continue playing in my thoughts. Maybe one day I will conquer that grief but, God forgive me, I am just afraid that if I let go of his memories, I will forget his voice, his smile, his smell, his touch and all that I once had of him.

I have been doing a lot of reflection…and I asked and answered my own questions.

We have a God who was born in a stable.
We have a God who was led away..he was crowned with thorns, dressed in filthy red cloak and treated like a mad man.
Before our eyes, we have a God covered with wounds, dying in unimaginable pain.
How can we dare to complain when we have a God who was being put to death by executioners.
We have a lovable redeemer..he also was tempted by the demon.

While asking these questions. I recalled the words of St John Vianney…that is the answers I roughly remember.

Thus, the weapons in the spiritual struggles I find myself encountering are praying, fasting and to be watchful.
Victory is ours in Jesus Christ.

On Today’s Gospel

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

The Word of God is alive and active but most of all life giving. The Will of our Heavenly Father is given through His Word and it is always done, whether or not our human minds can comprehend how, when and why? We are nourished and strengthened by His Word made flesh, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Through Him we build the kingdom of God.

In Holy Communion when we unite ourselves body, mind, heart and spirit with the Lord our God, we unite ourselves to His Holy Will. Let us then be ever mindful and prudent in our words and deeds, for we are called to reflect the likeness and image of our loving Father who art in Heaven.

We cannot say we are one with Him in any sense if there is unforguveness in our hearts. Many do not see the sinful nature of unforgiveness! For it is a human act of will Not to forgive. For our Lord Jesus Christ forgave us from the cross in which He hung for and by our sins. Will He not give us the grace to forgive those who hurt us badly when we turn to Him? For in forgiveness, therein lies the mercy and love of God. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 55:10-11 †
The word that goes out from my mouth does not return to me empty

Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’


Matthew 6:7-15
How to pray

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:

‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one.

‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 11, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We all want to be treated fairly. Many who are quite vocal will cry out for justice when they their rights have been trampled upon. Many will pursue the matter many years if required until justice is served. But who cries out for the poor? The physically challenged? The outcasts, the young children, the old and the sick? The baby child of God about to be aborted? How many will put their lips and heart into action to stand up for these?

It is only through the love of Christ Jesus our Lord, that our eyes and heart will be opened to recognise our sisters and brothers. Fellow children of God our Father. And when we decide to follow Jesus fully as we are called to, we will begin the journey of uniting our sufferings to His on the cross. While not everyone will be called to do so, we are prepared nonetheless to lay down our life for the least of our brethren. This is a grace bestowed upon us by God our Father. For we know with conviction that we will all be reunited in Heaven. Amen

First reading

Leviticus 19:1-2,11-18 †
Only pass judgement on your neighbour according to justice

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said: ‘Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them:
‘“Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.
‘“You must not steal nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your neighbour. You must not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord. You must not exploit or rob your neighbour. You must not keep back the labourer’s wage until next morning. You must not curse the dumb, nor put an obstacle in the blind man’s way, but you must fear your God. I am the Lord.
‘“You must not be guilty of unjust verdicts. You must neither be partial to the little man nor overawed by the great; you must pass judgement on your neighbour according to justice. You must not slander your own people, and you must not jeopardise your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord. You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. You must openly tell him, your neighbour, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”’


Matthew 25:31-46
I was naked and you clothed me; sick, and you visited me

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”
‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’

Lent Reflection session

Posted: March 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

While in Adoration..

Posted: March 9, 2019 by CatholicJules in Meditations

While in Adoration…
9th March 2019

While reflecting on ‘Be merciful as Your Heavenly Father is merciful’ Luke 6:36

How then can I be more merciful?

**update**The Lord had affirmed the message I received, at the focolare meeting yesterday, the cover of the word of life YouTube video was a picture of two hands, one reaching out while the other waiting to be held. Then just before it was my turn to share, I kept being prompted with the scripture passage where Jesus prays, Heavenly Father may they be One as You and I are one and so I began sharing with that. It is only this morning that I realised the message I received during the Adoration had the one capitalised. Which had a deeper message. Praise the Lord!

First Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 9, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Forty Days: Scott Hahn Reflects on the First Sunday of Lent


Deuteronomy 26:4–10
Psalm 91:1–2, 10–15
Romans 10:8–13
Luke 4:1–13

In today’s epic Gospel scene, Jesus relives in His flesh the history of Israel.
We’ve already seen that, like Israel, Jesus has passed through water and been called God’s beloved Son (see Luke 3:22; Exodus 4:22). Now, as Israel was tested for forty years in the wilderness, Jesus is led into the desert to be tested for forty days and nights (see Exodus 15:25).

He faces the temptations put to Israel: Hungry, He’s tempted to grumble against God for food (see Exodus 16:1–13). As Israel quarreled at Massah, He’s tempted to doubt God’s care (see Exodus 17:1–6). When the Devil asks for His homage, He’s tempted to do what Israel did in creating the golden calf (see Exodus 32).

Jesus fights the Devil with the Word of God, three times quoting from Moses’ lecture about the lessons Israel was supposed to learn from its wilderness wanderings (see Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:16; 6:12–15).

Why do we read this story on the first Sunday of Lent? Because like the biblical sign of forty (see Genesis 7:12; Exodus 24:18; 34:28;1 Kings 19:8; Jonah 3:4), the forty days of Lent are a time of trial and purification.

Lent is to teach us what we hear over and over in today’s readings. “Call upon me, and I will answer,” the Lord promises in today’s Psalm. Paul promises the same thing in today’s Epistle (quoting Deuteronomy 30:14;Isaiah 28:16; Joel 2:32).
This was Israel’s experience, as Moses reminds his people in today’s First Reading: “We cried to the LORD . . . and He heard.” But each of us is tempted, as Israel was, to forget the great deeds He works in our lives, to neglect our birthright as His beloved sons and daughters.
Like the litany of remembrance Moses prescribes for Israel, we should see in the Mass a memorial of our salvation, and “bow down in His presence,” offering ourselves in thanksgiving for all He has given us.

On Today’s Gospel

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

The Lord our God Wills that we shall all be saved to live eternally in His love. And He is inviting us today to follow Him. We need to respond to His call.

Jesus offers us to make straight our crooked paths. To heal and restore us to our state at our baptism. To guide us towards Holiness. To give us life giving living water to drink. Most of all He offers life to the full in Him. By leaving everything behind to follow Him, we begin our journey towards the heavenly banquet prepared for us. Where we will dine with Him and He with us. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 58:9-14
You will be like a spring whose waters never run dry

The Lord says this:

If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist, the wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the darkness,
and your shadows become like noon.
The Lord will always guide you, giving you relief in desert places.

He will give strength to your bones and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never run dry.

You will rebuild the ancient ruins, build up on the old foundations.
You will be called ‘Breach-mender’, ‘Restorer of ruined houses.’

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, and doing business on the holy day, if you call the Sabbath ‘Delightful’, and the day sacred to the Lord ‘Honourable’, if you honour it by abstaining from travel,
from doing business and from gossip, then shall you find your happiness in the Lord
and I will lead you triumphant over the heights of the land.
I will feed you on the heritage of Jacob your father.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


Luke 5:27-32
Jesus comes not to call the virtuous, but sinners to repentance

Jesus noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting by the customs house, and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And leaving everything he got up and followed him.
In his honour Levi held a great reception in his house, and with them at table was a large gathering of tax collectors and others. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples and said, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus said to them in reply, ‘It is not those who are well who need the doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the virtuous, but sinners to repentance.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Prayer, fasting and alms giving. The three pillars of Lent. Fasting and alms giving the two wings of prayer. These have been communicated strongly and beautifully by our Catholic Church and for very good reason. It strengthens and deepens our relationship with God our Father as He is present to us when our hearts cry out to Him through these spiritual exercises.

When we do so, we empty and purge ourselves of all that is not of Him. We create space for the indwelling of our almighty and living God. We are more fully connected to Him thereby allowing us to greater fasting from anger, unforgiveness, pride, sexual temptations, ingratitude, self centredness and more. Jesus who becomes more fully the centre of our lives is thereby glorified through our words and deeds.

Lord Jesus as I fast this day for You, take away all that is not of You. Fill me Lord with your presence and Your love. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 58:1-9 †
The sort of fast that pleases me

Thus says the Lord:

Shout for all you are worth, raise your voice like a trumpet. Proclaim their faults to my people, their sins to the House of Jacob.

They seek me day after day, they long to know my ways,
like a nation that wants to act with integrity and not ignore the law of its God.

They ask me for laws that are just,they long for God to draw near:
‘Why should we fast if you never see it,why do penance if you never notice?’

Look, you do business on your fast-days,you oppress all your workmen; look, you quarrel and squabble when you fast and strike the poor man with your fist.

Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high.
Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a truly penitential day for men?

Hanging your head like a reed,lying down on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call fasting,a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me – it is the Lord who speaks – to break unjust fetters and undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke, to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin?
Then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over.

Your integrity will go before you and the glory of the Lord behind you.
Cry, and the Lord will answer; call, and he will say, ‘I am here.’


Matthew 9:14-15
When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast

John’s disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Truly what is life without Christ Jesus? For anyone who has encountered Him will tell you that He is the truth, the way and the life! He is the fount of life, therefore choose life.

Life is empty without Him, a constant nagging of the heart searching for more, wanting more. Therefore choose life.

Sin is too heavy a burden to bear and which leads to death. Humble yourself, confess and repent. Therefore choose life.

Fact is, life is only fulfilled in the service of others. Willing the good in another. Therefore choose life.

When we die to ourselves, when we bear the cross for His sake, when we face the challenges, the pain we bear for the good of others, we know with unwavering faith that we will rise to new life with our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore choose life.

Lord Jesus I choose You above all, I choose life. Amen

First reading

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 †
I set before you today life or death, blessing or curse

Moses said to the people: ‘See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I enjoin on you today, if you love the Lord your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, his customs, you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to make your own. But if your heart strays, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of the Lord your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends your long stay in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he would give them.’


Luke 9:22-25
Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
Then to all he said:
‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Today marks the beginning of our annual ‘retreat’ in which we are given yet another opportunity to return to the heart of the Lord our God, to grow deeper in our faith and in our relationship with Him.

Saints and sinners alike embark together on this Lenten journey of great spiritual renewal through prayer, fasting, alms giving but most of all through the dying of self. Always keeping in mind that we will rise most fully alive in the joy of our resurrected Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus as I begin this Lenten journey to grow more deeply in my love for You, grant me the grace to persevere and remain steadfast in Your love. Amen

First reading

Joel 2:12-18 †
Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn

‘Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks – come back to me with all your heart,
fasting, weeping, mourning.’
Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn,
turn to the Lord your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness,
and ready to relent.
Who knows if he will not turn again, will not relent,
will not leave a blessing as he passes, oblation and libation
for the Lord your God?

Sound the trumpet in Zion!
Order a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, call the people together, summon the community, assemble the elders, gather the children,
even the infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his bedroom and the bride her alcove.
Between vestibule and altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, lament.
Let them say, ‘Spare your people, Lord!
Do not make your heritage a thing of shame, a byword for the nations.
Why should it be said among the nations, “Where is their God?”’

Then the Lord, jealous on behalf of his land, took pity on his people.

Second reading
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2
Be reconciled to God

We are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God. As his fellow workers, we beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help. Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation.


Matthew 6:1-6,16-18
Your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Can anyone of us boldly declare, I am leaving everything behind to follow Jesus? Well perhaps a few more questions for deeper reflection will help us decide if we can, even though we should.

Can you give without grumbling? Especially when you are on a very tight and slim budget, can you still give cheerfully?

Can you let go of all unforgiveness, hurts and pain entrusting it all to the healing power of the Lord?

Can you Not count the cost of your sacrifice in servitude of the Lord Your God and brethren?

Are you still afraid to speak about Jesus and to share your faith in Him? When you will highly likely be ‘persecuted’ or rejected especially by those close to you, family, close friends?

Can you let go of all worldly attachments? Mobile devices, games, social media, television, shopping sprees, regular social drinking, clubbing and so on?

Can you serve the Lord your God without want of affirmation or recognition?

Are you willing to lay down your life for a friend as Christ did?

For many most if not all the above is impossible. But let us be reminded by what Christ spoke to us in yesterday’s Gospel ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’ We simply need to grow in our faith and love for our Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so it will only come naturally to leave everything behind to follow Him. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 35:2-15 †
Give to the Most High as he has given to you

A man multiplies offerings by keeping the Law; he offers communion sacrifices by following the commandments.
By showing gratitude he makes an offering of fine flour,
by giving alms he offers a sacrifice of praise.
Withdraw from wickedness and the Lord will be pleased,
withdraw from injustice and you make atonement.
Do not appear empty-handed in the Lord’s presence;for all these things are due under the commandment.
A virtuous man’s offering graces the altar, and its savour rises before the Most High.
A virtuous man’s sacrifice is acceptable,its memorial will not be forgotten.
Honour the Lord with generosity, do not stint the first-fruits you bring.
Add a smiling face to all your gifts, and be cheerful as you dedicate your tithes.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously as your means can afford;
for the Lord is a good rewarder, he will reward you seven times over.
Offer him no bribe, he will not accept it, do not put your faith in an unvirtuous sacrifice; since the Lord is a judge who is no respecter of personages.


Mark 10:28-31
Whoever has left everything for the sake of the gospel will be repaid

At that time Peter began to tell Jesus, ‘What about us? We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 4, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Simply put, if you want to board the flight to heaven there are two kinds of baggage you cannot carry with you on board. These are prohibited, sin of every kind and accumulated wealth, riches. All your accolades and credentials will not gain you entry.

The only way is through a life lived in love, honour, praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of humble servitude of Him and our brethren. One of Holiness, constant repentance and rejection of sin. We are therefore called to be saints! Indeed difficult and challenging but not impossible, for everything is possible through the grace of the Lord our God.

Lord Jesus as You gaze upon us lovingly, grant us the fortitude to reject all temptation and sin. Let Your grace be upon us as we submit ourselves to Your Holy will. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 17:20-28 †
Return to the Lord and leave sin behind

To those who repent, God permits return, and he encourages those who were losing hope.
Return to the Lord and leave sin behind, plead before his face and lessen your offence.
Come back to the Most High and turn away from iniquity, and hold in abhorrence all that is foul.
Who will praise the Most High in Sheol, if the living do not do so by giving glory to him?
To the dead, as to those who do not exist, praise is unknown, only those with life and health can praise the Lord.
How great is the mercy of the Lord, his pardon on all those who turn towards him!


Mark 10:17-27
Give everything you own to the poor, and follow me

Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’

Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted: March 2, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Heart and Mouth: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time


Sirach 27:4–7
Psalm 92:2–3, 13–16
1 Corinthians 15:54–58
Luke 6:39–45

In today’s readings we hear Jesus speaking in Galilee as well as a Jewish sage named Sirach writing in Jerusalem more than a century earlier. The two of them touch upon a single truth: The words that come out of us make known the hidden thoughts within us. Speech reveals the secrets of the heart.

Sirach teaches that speaking is “the test of men” and their character (Sir 27:7). One who is upright will utter words that are truthful and encouraging to others. But one whose heart is cluttered with “refuse” will be exposed, since the “fruit” of his mouth speaks volumes about the “tree” that produces it (Sir 27:6). Sirach also compares the testing of our words to clay fired in a kiln—if properly prepared, a useful vessel emerges; but if the clay is not fully dried, it will break apart in the extreme heat (Sirach 27:5).

In a similar way, Jesus insists that a person speaks “out of the abundance of the heart” (Luke 6:45). He too compares our speech, whether good or bad, to what grows on a tree: “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit” (Luke 6:43).

Both readings urge us to make wholesome speech a habit. After all, much about who we are is brought to light through what we say. But there’s an additional step: The Lord is asking us to look inward, to examine our hearts and fill them with the “good treasure” that God desires.

Why do purity of heart and speech matter so much? Because, as Jesus declares elsewhere: “by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt 12:37). They matter because they help to decide our final judgment, and this is where the Second Reading comes in. Paul reminds us that God will destroy death forever, and if we are to share in this victory and live forever with the Lord, then we must take all steps necessary to give our hearts and lips to what is good.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 2, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Bless You Father creator of Heaven and Earth. You have created me in Your likeness and image. You have given me life, wisdom and understanding. And I remain in awe of Your wondrous creations, the magnitude of the love that goes into Your designs. I praise You Father for all Good comes from You and all in Your love.

Most of all I thank You Father for the precious gift of Your Son, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ of whom we are able to retain our childlike innocence. For He restores our sanctity, our image distorted by sin. And gathers and unites us to be One in Him.

Look with Favour on Your children, keep us free from sin and bring us to everlasting life with You. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 17:1-13 †
Their ways cannot be hidden from his sight

The Lord fashioned man from the earth, to consign him back to it.
He gave them so many days’ determined time, he gave them authority over everything on earth.
He clothed them with strength like his own, and made them in his own image.
He filled all living things with dread of man, making him master over beasts and birds.
He shaped for them a mouth and tongue, eyes and ears, and gave them a heart to think with.
He filled them with knowledge and understanding, and revealed to them good and evil.
He put his own light in their hearts to show them the magnificence of his works.
They will praise his holy name, as they tell of his magnificent works.
He set knowledge before them, he endowed them with the law of life.
Their eyes saw his glorious majesty, and their ears heard the glory of his voice.
He said to them, ‘Beware of all wrong-doing’; he gave each a commandment concerning his neighbour.
Their ways are always under his eye, they cannot be hidden from his sight.


Mark 10:13-16
It is to such as these little children that the kingdom of God belongs

People were bringing little children to Jesus, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

On Today’s Gospel

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

One of the main problems in marriages between a man and woman is when the couple see themselves as individuals coming together to live as one. Things go very wrong when their individualism takes dominance. How can they claim to be One when they lead completely separate lives? Not so says the Lord our God, in my eyes you are ONE Body not made of two. With this keen insight of our Lord, can you go on leading separate lives? Are you faithful to your own One Body? Are you leading one another to heaven?

The Lord our God who is ever faithful desires the same spousal relationship with all of us. That is why the language of His love for us is that of a bride and groom. Jesus is our groom and we His one Holy Church made up of sinners, striving for Holiness are is His bride. And so He tenderly loves us with an everlasting love. We become One Body In Him through Holy Communion.

So then are we faithful to our friends? Leading one another to Holiness after Christ? Do we SEE our sisters and brothers as One Body In Christ. If so are we praying together? Are we praying for one another? Are we laying our lives down for them when it is required?

Lord Jesus my only desire is to be faithfully One with You, as I am One with Your Holy Church in You, my family. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 6:5-17 †
A faithful friend is a sure shelter

A kindly turn of speech multiplies a man’s friends, and a courteous way of speaking invites many a friendly reply.
Let your acquaintances be many, but your advisers one in a thousand.
If you want to make a friend, take him on trial, and be in no hurry to trust him;
for one kind of friend is only so when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
Another kind of friend will fall out with you and to your dismay make the quarrel public, and a third kind of friend will share your table, but not stand by you in your day of trouble: when you are doing well he will be your second self, ordering your servants about; but if ever you are brought low he will turn against you and will hide himself from you.
Keep well clear of your enemies, and be wary of your friends.
A faithful friend is a sure shelter, whoever finds one has found a rare treasure.
A faithful friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth.
A faithful friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one.
Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a man is, so is his friend.


Mark 10:1-12
What God has united, man must not divide

Jesus came to the district of Judaea and the far side of the Jordan. And again crowds gathered round him, and again he taught them, as his custom was. Some Pharisees approached him and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’ Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’