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

Readings:

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.

Gospel

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.

Gospel

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.”

Gospel

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.’

Gospel

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.

Gospel

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.’