Archive for July, 2019

On Catholicjules.net

Posted: July 31, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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Looking back now I am in awe of how the Lord had transformed my life to the point that I am now helping, or at least, I think I am helping folks grow in their faith through my postings.

It all started when I realised that my vocabulary was turning to marsh for lack of practice, as my job at that time did not require me to write lengthy reports etc. So in Jan 2007 I took to journaling by way of the new technology available on the Internet through journaling in the blogsphere. At that time I could not decide between blogspot or wordpress and for a spell decided to blog on both. It then became obvious that wordpress was more serious in development so I switched permanently.

Juleslife.wordpress.com was given life to such a degree that I affectionately themed it of one ‘Living life with A Passion` I started blogging about everything and anything under the sun. But mostly what was of interest to me including bits of my own life and adventure. Somehow or rather I managed to get about 700,000++ visitors I referred to as ‘dew drops’ over the years.

That all changed when I encountered the Lord through the Life in the Spirit Seminar. I began to have an ever growing desire to talk about my experiences, share Him with others and in my own own little way contribute to evangelising others; so that they too could experience Him in a deep personal way as I had. Afterall I had some experience in blogging and so I decided to leave the worldliness of living life with a passion behind and start living life to the full in Him.

Still I had to start from scratch! How and where would I get anyone to start following me? Who would even be interested to hear what I had to say about faith matters? I had to start somewhere so I invited family and friends and got zero response. Afterall those who knew me in my past probably thought to themselves, it’s he for real? Has he changed? Really? For how long? (*chuckles*) but that did not deter me for I was on fire for my Lord and trusted that He would lead folks as and when He saw fit to do so. Very slowly but surely the numbers grew.

It then dawned on me that I had to be fully committed to sharing the faith, afterall I now had a following. What this meant for me, is that I could not take a break or a holiday. Rain, shine, sick, well, having fallen into sin or not I had to continue. I made a decision that I would only rest on Sunday, which is why I post the Sunday reflections of Dr Scott Hahn. Even when I went for a retreat where there was no WiFi or usage of any mobile phone, laptop or tablet allowed; I would then do my reflections ahead and schedule them to post automatically. Well even though I thought it unlikely then that I would be able to sustain or rather keep to this commitment; the Lord has granted me the grace and strength to do so.

Anyhow to shorten an otherwise longer story I now have a following of about 12000++ on my catholicjules Facebook page and about 300,000 visitors on Catholicjules.net on WordPress. All for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ! Prayerfully this will grow so that more are touched or inspired by the Lord through the sharings and reflections of His Word. Amen


I must shine for my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

No more shall I remain veiled in the darkness of my sins. For His light has shone through my darkness, He has healed and restored my soul.

I must shine for my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

For by His grace I have entered into full communion with Him and all the voids of my life have been filled. He is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want.

I must shine for my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

His word is a lamp unto my feet and I will pass on the light of His word; so that others may not falter and fall but rise up to live new lives fully in His love.

I must shine for my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

It is by my very own sufferings and sacrifices for His sake that I am cut, polished and refined. And so I gladly endure all for my Lord.

I must shine for my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

The Kingdom of heaven is indeed at hand, repent and hear His word. Let us share in the joy of the Gospel. Woe to me if I do not preach it.

I must shine for my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, lead me Lord into your Kingdom. Amen

First reading

Exodus 34:29-35 ·
Moses passes on to the people the orders given by the Lord

When Moses came down from the mountain of Sinai – as he came down from the mountain, Moses had the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands – he did not know that the skin on his face was radiant after speaking with the Lord. And when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, the skin on his face shone so much that they would not venture near him. But Moses called to them, and Aaron with all the leaders of the community came back to him; and he spoke to them. Then all the sons of Israel came closer, and he passed on to them all the orders that the Lord had given him on the mountain of Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. Whenever he went into the Lord’s presence to speak with him, Moses would remove the veil until he came out again. And when he came out, he would tell the sons of Israel what he had been ordered to pass on to them, and the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he returned to speak with the Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 13:44-46
He sells everything he owns and buys the field

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.
‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.’


We thank You O Lord God Almighty for your continued blessings, love and mercy upon us. Glory to You O Lord our God!

Are we grateful and thankful enough to the Lord our God? Or have we taken all we have for granted? We now have ‘Tents of Meeting’ we call churches in which we are now able, through our Lord Jesus Christ to meet Him and to be in His Presence. To be allowed to receive Him into our very being, so that through His divinity in us we can grow in Holiness to be with Him in paradise, there is NO other God like ours!

Yet how many choose more ‘important’ things, places or events they rather be at than to attend the Eucharistic Celebration? How many say why do I need to go to church to pray when I can do so at home or anywhere for that matter? What are you and I doing to bring them to the awareness of the the true meaning of Communion. Of what it means to be one Body in Christ, as we worship and we pray. Of the foretaste and experience of Heaven at every Eucharistic Celebration. Most important of all the source and summit of our Faith, the loving embrace of our Lord Jesus Christ when we receive Him at Holy Eucharist. The opportunity of having our Risen Euchartic Lord dwell within us! Amen, Amen, Amen!

Are we grateful and thankful enough? That in His mercy and love, our Lord patiently awaits for us to repent of our sins and turn back to Him. So whether tares, darnel or any other name can be transformed into wheat; sinners into Saints!

We thank You O Lord God Almighty for your continued blessings, love and mercy upon us. Glory to You O Lord our God!

First reading

Exodus 33:7-11,34:5-9,28
‘They are a headstrong people; but forgive us our faults’

Moses used to take the Tent and pitch it outside the camp, at some distance from the camp. He called it the Tent of Meeting. Anyone who had to consult the Lord would go out to the Tent of Meeting, outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the Tent, all the people would rise. Every man would stand at the door of his tent and watch Moses until he reached the Tent; the pillar of cloud would come down and station itself at the entrance to the Tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. When they saw the pillar of cloud stationed at the entrance to the Tent, all the people would rise and bow low, each at the door of his tent. The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would turn back to the camp, but the young man who was his servant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the Tent.
And the Lord descended in the form of a cloud, and Moses stood with him there.
He called on the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness; for thousands he maintains his kindness, forgives faults, transgression, sin; yet he lets nothing go unchecked, punishing the father’s fault in the sons and in the grandsons to the third and fourth generation.’ And Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped. ‘If I have indeed won your favour, Lord,’ he said ‘let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are a headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins, and adopt us as your heritage.’
Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, eating and drinking nothing. He inscribed on the tablets the words of the Covenant – the Ten Words.

Gospel

Matthew 13:36-43
As the darnel is gathered up and burnt, so it will be at the end of time

Leaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’


How secure is your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ? How deep is your relationship with Him? What will happen when you fall into difficulty? Despair? or Inertia? For if you do not work at growing your relationship with Him, then the ‘golden calfs’ of the world will emerge to rob you of your communion with the Lord your God. And life to the full will dwindle as you eventually die in your sins. Do you even know what are the ‘golden calfs’ in your life? Workaholism, pornography, television, excessive gaming, compulsive shopping, to name a few for there will be one unique to you.

Everyday must be a renewal of our faith and our love in Him, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Each morning as we awake we should renew our baptismal vows and pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us through the day. If we should trip and fall let us not despair, but repent instead, turn always to Him who loves us dearly. For He is the resurrection and the life! He will raise us from our sins which brings death into new life in Him. Amen

St Martha pray for us…

First reading

Exodus 32:15-24,30-34
The golden calf

Moses made his way back down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, tablets inscribed on both sides, inscribed on the front and on the back. These tablets were the work of God, and the writing on them was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.
Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting. ‘There is the sound of battle in the camp’, he told Moses. Moses answered him:

‘No song of victory is this sound,
no wailing for defeat this sound;
it is the sound of chanting that I hear.’

As he approached the camp and saw the calf and the groups dancing, Moses’ anger blazed. He threw down the tablets he was holding and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He seized the calf they had made and burned it, grinding it into powder which he scattered on the water; and he made the sons of Israel drink it. To Aaron Moses said, ‘What has this people done to you, for you to bring such a great sin on them?’ ‘Let not my lord’s anger blaze like this’ Aaron answered. ‘You know yourself how prone this people is to evil. They said to me, “Make us a god to go at our head; this Moses, the man who brought us up from Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So I said to them, “Who has gold?,” and they took it off and brought it to me. I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.’
On the following day Moses said to the people, ‘You have committed a grave sin. But now I shall go up to the Lord: perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.’ And Moses returned to the Lord. ‘I am grieved,’ he cried ‘this people has committed a grave sin, making themselves a god of gold. And yet, if it pleased you to forgive this sin of theirs…! But if not, then blot me out from the book that you have written.’ The Lord answered Moses, “It is the man who has sinned against me that I shall blot out from my book. Go now, lead the people to the place of which I told you. My angel shall go before you but, on the day of my visitation, I shall punish them for their sin.’

Gospel

John 11:19-27
I am the resurrection and the life

Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

We have it..

Posted: July 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Memory Book, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 27, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Asked and Answered: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Genesis 18:20–32
Psalm 138:1–3, 6–8
Colossians 2:12–14
Luke 11:1–13

Though we be “but dust and ashes,” we can presume to draw near and speak boldly to our Lord, as Abraham dares in this week’s First Reading.

But even Abraham—the friend of God (see Isaiah 41:8), our father in the faith (see Romans 4:12)—did not know the intimacy that we know as children of Abraham, heirs of the blessings promised to his descendants (see Galatians 3:7, 29).

The mystery of prayer, as Jesus reveals to His disciples in this week’s Gospel, is the living relationship of beloved sons and daughters with their heavenly Father. Our prayer is pure gift, made possible by the “good gift” of the Father—the Holy Spirit of His Son. It is the fruit of the New Covenant by which we are made children of God in Christ Jesus (see Galatians 4:6–7; Romans 8:15–16).

Through the Spirit given to us in Baptism, we can cry to Him as our Father—knowing that when we call He will answer.

Jesus teaches His disciples to persist in their prayer, as Abraham persisted in begging God’s mercy for the innocent of Sodom and Gomorrah.

For the sake of the one just Man, Jesus, God spared the city of man from destruction (see Jeremiah 5:1; Isaiah 53), “obliterating the bond against us,” as Paul says in this week’s Epistle.

On the Cross, Jesus bore the guilt of us all, canceled the debt we owed to God, the death we deserved to die for our transgressions. We pray as ones who have been spared, visited in our affliction, saved from our enemies.

We pray always a prayer of thanksgiving, which is the literal meaning of Eucharist. We have realized the promise of this week’s Psalm: We worship in His holy temple, in the presence of angels, hallowing His name.

In confidence we ask, knowing that we will receive, that He will bring to completion what He has done for us—raising us from the dead, bringing us to everlasting life along with Him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 27, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We strive to live as one in an imperfect community. An imperfect community seeking perfection through our Lord Jesus Christ who came so that we might enter into that eternal covenant of life in Him.

So then do we who have many flaws, look upon the flaws of others instead? Are we obstacles for others, preventing them from being Holy by our unholy example of living in sin and giving in to temptations? Do we cause the downfall of others?

The good news is that our merciful Lord is both patient and kind and we are given time to have our hearts changed by Him. And until time runs out for us, He sees us all as ‘wheat.’ So let us turn to Him the source of all life that we might have life to the full in Him. Let us encourage and help one another grow in holiness; mercy and love after our Lord Jesus Christ. So that more of ‘wheat’ shall enter into His Heavenly Kingdom. Amen

First reading

Exodus 24:3-8 ·
This is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you

Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:24-30
Let them both grow till the harvest

Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’


Our Salvation history has a beginning and an end. And it is only through the entire journey that we see, feel, touch, know the great love and presence of the Lord our God.

We cannot start with the story of God’s people and their slavery in Egypt then fast forward to Joshua leading them into the promised land forgetting the Lord God’s mighty hand through His servant Moses. Neither can we start at Genesis then jump to Revelation.

Therefore it is a sacrilege to teach others to skip the old testament completely and just read and know the new testament.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Says the Lord… Rev 22:13

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We have heard that we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength and all our soul. And to love our our neighbour as ourselves. We do so when we keep his commandments and statutes. Yet do we understand the depth and intricacies of these simple commandments? For instance, we have only one creator of heaven and earth should we be allowed at anytime to offer worship of things created through human hands? Or for that matter nature or persons crafted by the Lord our God Himself? Or when we work seven days a week fully immersed in our work and our accomplishments are we not saying that we do not need the Lord our God in our lives? Are we not in a sense building our own kingdom for ourselves? What about when we say we have never committed murder nor will ever do so, but kill the spirit of another through our harsh words and criticisms? Do not steal? What about when we steal the ideas of others or take credit for something we have not done? Or bring stationery home from the office we work at? Have we not been jealous in our hearts when we see others living the high life with luxuries and travelling the world over? Have some not secretly entertained thoughts in their hearts thinking ”Oh how nice it would be if he was my husband or she was my wife instead?”

Most of the sins above frequently occurs when the Word of God remains at a distance, even if we hold on to part of it if at all; we do so with a shallow disposition, lukewarm at best. How then can we say we love Him when we do not know Him? How can we know Him if we do not read and dwell on Him through scripture? When we do not grow in our faith through study, attending formation and putting to practice what we have learnt? When we do not have time for prayer or adoration of Him? How then are our lives and the lives of others enriched by our response or lack thereof to His call to love and to do His Will according to His Word?

Lord Jesus let the declaration of my love for you be seen through the work of my hands which till the fertile soil of hearts to prepare for a rich harvest in your most Holy name. Amen

St Joachim and St Anne pray for us…

First reading

Exodus 20:1-17
The Law given at Sinai

God spoke all these words. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
‘You shall have no gods except me.
‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God and I punish the father’s fault in the sons, the grandsons, and the great-grandsons of those who hate me; but I show kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
‘You shall not utter the name of the Lord your God to misuse it, for the Lord will not leave unpunished the man who utters his name to misuse it.
‘Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath for the Lord your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals nor the stranger who lives with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that these hold, but on the seventh day he rested; that is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it sacred.
‘Honour your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God has given to you.
‘You shall not kill.
‘You shall not commit adultery.
‘You shall not steal.
‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is his.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:18-23
The man who hears the word and understands it yields a rich harvest

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the man who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But he has no root in him, he does not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and he falls away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so he produces nothing. And the one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’

A Voice

Posted: July 25, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

It is far easier to be silent than to be the voice of reason or the voice of conscience for the community. Afterall why put yourself at the mercy of detractors? Of those who would rather not listen or act? To be accused of being the one who causes divisiveness.

Yes it is far better to be silent and to remain at peace where you’re at, even to be loved if not then liked. But I will never forget a fiery homily by a beloved priest who spoke about the conspiracy of silence! In many ways he is a ‘John the Baptist’ of sorts, preparing hearts to receive our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many did not like or even respect him but it did not faze him in the least. For he had led many countless folks closer to the Lord our God. Just like him, I sleep soundly at night.

Praise and glory be to the Lord our God!


If I remember correctly is was at the Passover Seminar where after registering my attendance I walked in and within a few minutes was asked by a special lady from the team if I could help them out. I said yes I would be glad to help in any way I could even if meant to keep the toilets clean though I did not mention the last bit to her. (chuckles) I was then issued a special ‘Passover’ name tag. During a break, I was teased by a few members of my Parish why it was that I had that special name tag on while they were not likewise issued the same? I jokingly replied “Can you drink this cup?” We laughed and soon the break was over and it was time to go back in.

But it stuck with me as a prompting to reflect more deeply on the words of Jesus who originally asked that very question. Are you prepared to suffer for my sake? To face persecution? To be wrongfully accused? Are you prepared to die if need be for my flock which I will entrust to you? Are you prepared to get down on your hands and knees if need be? To get yourself grimy, dirty and soaked in perspiration? Servant leadership is not simply a title or a fad nor does it come from a place of faux humility, it begs the answers to the above questions! Difficult and challenging as it is we are never cornered as St Paul mentions for Jesus our Lord will see us through it all. Dying for Him we will surely rise in Him. This is the conviction of our faith in the same spirit as mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us.

Let us then give thanks and glorify the Lord our God, this day and every day by the way we live our lives for Him, with Him and in Him. Amen

St James the Apostle pray for us….

First reading

2 Corinthians 4:7-15 ·
Such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us

We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke – we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.

Gospel

Matthew 20:20-28
‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’

The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus 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.’


In this day and age when we read the Gospel we would probably say it is the story about an inefficient, wasteful and clueless sower. How can a sower not know the ground in which he plants his seed? How can precious seed be allowed to be wasted? Or to be left to chance that one in four will yield a crop?

Ah…now perhaps our eyes are opened a little to glimpse into the heart of the Lord our God Himself. To see just how precious we are to Him, that the seed (His Word) He scatters are seeds of hope and promise. How we receive this precious seed is what matters. Do we guard it? Do we fight to protect it? Do we nurture and care for it? How can we return to the Lord a hundredfold the seed He planted in our hearts? So what if we are successful in life? How many souls have we saved? How much have we contributed to building up His Kingdom? Jesus did not come for the successful, the well to do, he came for us, sinners, ‘failures’. So that He can raise us up to be counted amongst the Saints in Heaven.

So then do we go on complaining about how little we have or how hard we have it? Or instead with grateful hearts be thankful to the Lord our God for all that we have. To be ever so grateful and thankful for the most precious gift He has bestowed upon us, the bread of life come down from Heaven. Now and forevermore. Amen

First reading

Exodus 16:1-5,9-15 ·The Lord sends quails and manna from heavenFrom Elim they set out, and the whole community of the sons of Israel reached the wilderness of Sin – between Elim and Sinai – on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt. And the whole community of the sons of Israel began to complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, ‘Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it is, you have brought us to this wilderness to starve this whole company to death!’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now I will rain down bread for you from the heavens. Each day the people are to go out and gather the day’s portion; I propose to test them in this way to see whether they will follow my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have brought in, this will be twice as much as the daily gathering.’ Moses said to Aaron, ‘To the whole community of the sons of Israel say this, “Present yourselves before the Lord, for he has heard your complaints.”’ As Aaron was speaking to the whole community of the sons of Israel, they turned towards the wilderness, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the form of a cloud. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel. Say this to them, “Between the two evenings you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have bread to your heart’s content. Then you will learn that I, the Lord, am your God.”’ And so it came about: quails flew up in the evening, and they covered the camp; in the morning there was a coating of dew all round the camp. When the coating of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was a thing delicate, powdery, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When they saw this, the sons of Israel said to one another, ‘What is that?’ not knowing what it was. ‘That’ said Moses to them ‘is the bread the Lord gives you to eat.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:1-9A sower went out to sowJesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables. He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’

Pride

Posted: July 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Like many of you I struggle with pride. And sometimes with one of the worst kinds empty pride. But the most heinous of them all to me is Spiritual pride! Because with it we can say and do things such that it leads others astray.

There are many who behave as though they are holier than the Pope and sometimes even present ideas contrary to Church teachings. While there are also others who are quick to comment on the shortcomings of others labeling them as being spiritually prideful while claiming themselves to be spiritually sound by their ‘silence’. This is still PRIDE of another shade.

I have taken extra care to share the faith through study, following the teachings of the Church and striving to lead an authentic life in the Lord because I know I am accountable to Him when I pass on. What did you feed my lambs? What did you feed my sheep? He will surely ask even though He would already know…

So let us pray for one another especially, for all Spiritual leaders, priests and religious. That we do the will of our Heavenly Father always. Amen


Are you a member of God’s family? It is not enough to say that I am a child of God so loved by my heavenly Father. My response to His abounding love must always be to do His Will. To love Him with all my heart, mind, strength and soul. And to love my neighbour, who may not be connected to me by blood or water. Only then can I truly say that I belong to God’s family. And the Lord our God is always there for His family. Through all difficulties and challenges He will make a way for us.

We become powerful instruments of His grace for others when we devote ourselves to doing His Will. Because of His great love for us He gives us the opportunity and allows us to participate, even to wield His power to bring about good for others. In a deeper sense we are co-redeemers, for He Wills that all be gathered unto His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is our call, this is our mission.

Let us therefore choose to always remain steadfast, faithful and obedient unto Him. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Exodus 14:21-15:1 ·
The crossing of the Red Sea

Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove back the sea with a strong easterly wind all night, and he made dry land of the sea. The waters parted and the sons of Israel went on dry ground right into the sea, walls of water to right and to left of them. The Egyptians gave chase: after them they went, right into the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
In the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and of cloud, and threw the army into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could scarcely make headway. ‘Let us flee from the Israelites,’ the Egyptians cried. ‘The Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians!’
‘Stretch out your hand over the sea,’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘that the waters may flow back on the Egyptians and their chariots and their horsemen.’
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and, as day broke, the sea returned to its bed. The fleeing Egyptians marched right into it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the very middle of the sea. The returning waters overwhelmed the chariots and the horsemen of Pharaoh’s whole army, which had followed the Israelites into the sea; not a single one of them was left. But the sons of Israel had marched through the sea on dry ground, walls of water to right and to left of them.
That day, the Lord rescued Israel from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. Israel witnessed the great act that the Lord had performed against the Egyptians, and the people venerated the Lord; they put their faith in the Lord and in Moses, his servant.
It was then that Moses and the sons sang this song in honour of the Lord:

Gospel

Matthew 12:46-50
My mother and my brothers are anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven

Jesus was speaking to the crowds when his mother and his brothers appeared; they were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him. But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 22, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. Luke 7:47

You and I, we are sinners and yet in His great love and mercy our Lord Jesus Christ saw us fit to receive His mercy and love. This very act of His love for us has transformed our hearts such that we can sing with joy that we have found Him whom our hearts love. Go and sin no more He tells us and so how our heart breaks with each time we lose sight of Him and fall back into sin. Have you seen him whom my heart loves?

Let us choose to stay focused on our love for Him and our mission that we should go and tell our sisters and brothers that He is here with us. The Risen Lord seeks to gather us all unto Himself. And one day soon we will be reunited with Him in paradise. Amen Alleluia!

St Mary Magdalene pray for us….

First reading

Song of Songs 3:1-4 ·

The bride says this:

On my bed, at night, I sought him
whom my heart loves. I sought but did not find him. So I will rise and go through the City; in the streets and in the squares I will seek him whom my heart loves. I sought but did not find him. The watchmen came upon me on their rounds in the City: ‘Have you seen him whom my heart loves?’
Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my heart loves.

Gospel

John 20:1-2,11-18
‘Mary, go and find the brothers and tell them’

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’
Meanwhile Mary stayed outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, still weeping, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away’ she replied ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognise him. Jesus said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.’ Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her.

Pledge of a Steward of the Banquet

Posted: July 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

This is my code of conduct, mission statement all rolled into one. Something I am striving to live out.

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Waiting On the Lord: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Genesis 18:1–10
Psalm 15:2–5
Colossians 1:24–28
Luke 10:38–42

God wants to dwell with each of us personally, intimately—as the mysterious guests once visited Abraham’s tent, as Jesus once entered the home of Mary and Martha.

By his hospitality in this week’s First Reading, Abraham shows us how we are to welcome the Lord into our lives. His selfless service of his divine guests (see Hebrews 13:1) stands in contrast to the portrait of Martha drawn in this week’s Gospel.

Where Abraham is concerned only for the well-being of his guests, Martha speaks only of herself—“Do you not care that my sister has left me by myself? . . . Tell her to help me.” Jesus’ gentle rebuke reminds us that we risk missing the divine in the mundane, that we can fall into the trap of believing that God somehow needs to be served by human hands (see Acts 17:25).

Our Lord comes to us not to be served but to serve (see Matthew 20:28). He gave His life that we might know the one thing we need, the “better part,” which is life in the fellowship of God.

Jesus is the true Son promised today by Abraham’s visitors (see Matthew 1:1). In Him, God has made an everlasting covenant for all time, made us blessed descendants of Abraham (see Genesis
17:19, 21; Romans 4:16–17, 19–21).

The Church now offers us this covenant, bringing to completion the word of God, the promise of His plan of salvation, what Paul calls “the mystery hidden for ages.”

As once He came to Abraham, Mary, and Martha, Christ now comes to each of us in Word and Sacrament. As we sing in this week’s Psalm: He will make His dwelling with those who keep His Word
and practice justice (see also John 14:23).

If we do these things we will not be anxious or disturbed, will not have our Lord taken from us. We will wait on the Lord, who told Abraham and tells each of us: “I will surely return to you.”

On Faith

Posted: July 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book
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For most of us, we will never experience or quite understand an Exodus. A massive one at that! The closest thing, would be perhaps a desparture from a cruse ship to go home. It is certainly a logistical nightmare when done for the very first time. So now perhaps we can begin to appreciate a little how it was truly the mighty hand of God which led His people out of slavery into the promised land. How He the Lord kept Vigil over His flock who were in pursuit by the Egyptian army that very night. Such is His love for us all.

Today many of us behave the same way as the folks who fled the yoke of slavery into new life. Perhaps our hearts are stubborn from years and years of captivity knowing only a certain way of life. We are accustomed and find it difficult to be free completely. These are the habitual sins in our lives! Jesus had come and is patiently waiting for us to turn back to Him completely. So He can touch us with His ever so gentle touch of grace and lead us into new life with Him free from all sin. This is the love of our God who is the hope of all nations.

Lead me Lord my Shepherd into Your Heavenly fold. Amen

First reading

Exodus 12:37-42 ·
The sons of Israel leave Egypt hurriedly by night

The sons of Israel left Rameses for Succoth, about six hundred thousand on the march – all men – not counting their families. People of various sorts joined them in great numbers; there were flocks, too, and herds in immense droves. They baked cakes with the dough which they had brought from Egypt, unleavened because the dough was not leavened; they had been driven out of Egypt, with no time for dallying, and had not provided themselves with food for the journey. The time that the sons of Israel had spent in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And on the very day the four hundred and thirty years ended, all the array of the Lord left the land of Egypt. The night, when the Lord kept vigil to bring them out of the land of Egypt, must be kept as a vigil in honour of the Lord for all their generations.

Gospel

Matthew 12:14-21
He cured them all but warned them not to make him known

The Pharisees went out and began to plot against Jesus, discussing how to destroy him.
Jesus knew this and withdrew from the district. Many followed him and he cured them all, but warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:

Here is my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved, the favourite of my soul.
I will endow him with my spirit, and he will proclaim the true faith to the nations.
He will not brawl or shout,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break the crushed reed, nor put out the smouldering wick till he has led the truth to victory:in his name the nations will put their hope.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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To allow ourselves to experience and to be fully embraced by the mercy of the Lord our God is what changes us from within and transforms us more fully in His image. This only happens when we give ALL of ourselves to Him. We are given new names as we will one day be received in Heaven. So then our transformation becomes apparent when our hearts looks upon and sees our brethren who are in need of God’s mercy and love. We are able to become the wonderful instruments as we are called for, of His grace. We are tireless in this pursuit as we journey on in His strength, peace and love. In a sense we share in His mercy without sacrifice.

The new Passover from death into life, from sinfulness into Holiness has been given to us through the precious blood of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. This Supreme gift of life, the source and summit of our faith in the Holy Eucharist. In which we experience Heaven on Earth through the divine presence of the Lord our God and partake in the Heavenly Banquet in which we receive His divinity into our very being. How great indeed is Our God! To nourish and sustain us as we make our pilgrim journey back to Him. Yet many are still blind to this, God’s very own revelation. That is why there is no proper preparation of body, mind and spirit before attending the Eucharistic Celebration, no ‘dressing up’ as to put on the wedding garment. Many will mutter under their breath, “O the Lord is loving and understanding, He knows and sees my heart and He will understand.” Really? Are you not taking the Lord Your God for granted? Why do you think there were explicit details and preparation for the first passover? Who was it that gave those details for the preparation?

Jesus my saviour You want mercy not sacrifice. Let your will be done through me. Amen

St Philip Minh and companions pray for us….

First reading

Exodus 11:10-12:14
The institution of the Passover

Moses and Aaron worked many wonders in the presence of Pharaoh. But the Lord made Pharaoh’s heart stubborn, and he did not let the sons of Israel leave his country.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt:
‘This month is to be the first of all the others for you, the first month of your year. Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, “On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock, one for each family: one animal for each household. If the household is too small to eat the animal, a man must join with his neighbour, the nearest to his house, as the number of persons requires. You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal. It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old; you may take it from either sheep or goats. You must keep it till the fourteenth day of the month when the whole assembly of the community of Israel shall slaughter it between the two evenings. Some of the blood must then be taken and put on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten. That night, the flesh is to be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but roasted over the fire, head, feet and entrails. You must not leave any over till the morning: whatever is left till morning you are to burn. You shall eat it like this: with a girdle round your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand. You shall eat it hastily: it is a passover in honour of the Lord. That night, I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike, and I shall deal out punishment to all the gods of Egypt, I am the Lord! The blood shall serve to mark the houses that you live in. When I see the blood I will pass over you and you shall escape the destroying plague when I strike the land of Egypt. This day is to be a day of remembrance for you, and you must celebrate it as a feast in the Lord’s honour. For all generations you are to declare it a day of festival, for ever.”’

Gospel

Matthew 12:1-8
The Son of Man is master of the sabbath

Jesus took a walk one sabbath day through the cornfields. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them. The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath.’ But he said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God and how they ate the loaves of offering which neither he nor his followers were allowed to eat, but which were for the priests alone? Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the sabbath day the Temple priests break the sabbath without being blamed for it? Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple. And if you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The name of God was withheld from Jacob even when he pleaded, instead his very own name was changed to Israel. God claimed him as His own just as He proclaimed the Lord God as His. Steadfast was his faith in the Lord our God that it changed him from within. Are we deserving then to know the Holy name of God? For to know His name is to have entered into a very intimate relationship with Him. And through this wonderful relationship with Him we have an all powerful ally who leads us through difficulties, challenges , obstacles and into the promised land of milk and honey.

Yet what do many of us do with the almighty name of the Lord of God? We often abuse it, misuse and justify misusing it! We cheapen the most precious relationship we might and could have. Jesus! Oh God! God d*mn! etc. There is no excuse for this! Some even have the audacity to tell little children who point out that it is wrong, saying it’s okay let us agree to disagree; you will have a different view when you grow up. At least the little child with that child-like faith in the Lord our God is assured a place in heaven, where will you be? Perhaps at the other end of the divide mocking His Holy name with the rest of your unholy friends! Turn away from your sinfulness now! For your sins will be too great for you to bear and it will devour you into the abyss. Yes we all face difficulties and trials in life in varied degrees, but through the suffering and with the grace of God we will overcome them. There is no reason or excuse to give in to sin and temptation hoping for a moment of relief or reprieve of the burdens you carry.

Turn to Jesus instead who waits for you, all you who are burdened and heavy laden. He the Lord our God will set you free and give you the much needed rest. Truly learn from Him, and be humble of heart. Peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you my dear sisters and brothers in Christ. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Exodus 3:13-20 ·
God reveals his name to Moses

Moses, hearing the voice of God coming from the middle of the bush, said to him, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.
‘Go and gather the elders of Israel together and tell them, “The Lord, the God of your fathers, has appeared to me, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; and he has said to me: I have visited you and seen all that the Egyptians are doing to you. And so I have resolved to bring you up out of Egypt where you are oppressed, into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land where milk and honey flow.” They will listen to your words, and with the elders of Israel you are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has come to meet us. Give us leave, then, to make a three days’ journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifice to the Lord our God.” For myself, knowing that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless he is forced by a mighty hand, I shall show my power and strike Egypt with all the wonders I am going to work there. After this he will let you go.’

Gospel

Matthew 11:28-30
My yoke is easy and my burden light

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’


The mystery of God our Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is not something to be learnt through study of books or attending lectures. It is not knowledge we acquire to wield for personal glory. It is revealed to us through an encounter with our living God. Through the Incarnation the great abounding love of the Lord of God for us is unveiled in the burning heart of Jesus. An all encompassing fire which envelops us in a gentle embrace that does no harm but instead fills our heart with heavenly peace, love and joy.

When we remain in awe of this wonderful magnificent power of God through this loving encounter, we know that come what may as a personal mission for Him, He will be by our side to lead the way. For if we rely on our own human strength little if anything can be accomplished. But with the divine strength of the Lord our God nothing is impossible.

O Glorious God and Saviour we praise You and Thank You for the precious gift of Yourself to us. To this very day we encounter You in a loving exchange through the Holy Eucharist. And when we sit at Your feet before the Blessed Sacrament! Alleluia Alleluia Amen.

First reading

Exodus 3:1-6,9-12 ·
The burning bush

Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said, ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’
Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am,’ Moses answered. ‘Come no nearer,’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your fathers,’ he said, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.
And the Lord said, ‘The cry of the sons of Israel has come to me, and I have witnessed the way in which the Egyptians oppress them, so come, I send you to Pharaoh to bring the sons of Israel, my people, out of Egypt.’
Moses said to God, ‘Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ ‘I shall be with you,’ was the answer ‘and this is the sign by which you shall know that it is I who have sent you… After you have led the people out of Egypt, you are to offer worship to God on this mountain.’

Gospel

Matthew 11:25-27
You have hidden these things from the wise and revealed them to little children

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’


We see in today’s reading and many places in scripture of what happens when we let go of what we hold dearly, even our sorrows, pain and surrender it into the Hands of God. He can turn all curses into blessings! He received into His hands the child Moses and returned him to his mother to be suckled. Life thought to be lost, is restored and to the fullest. We also learn what happens when we take matters into our hands and mete out justice according to our own will. For nothing is hidden from the Lord our God, and His justice will prevail. So too will His mercy on the repentant sinner.

What use are our lofty ideas and thoughts of Holiness to gain entry into Heaven? When our hearts, minds and actions do not change. We have no inner conversion, retreat after retreat, formation after formation, mass after mass! No discipline to put into practice what we have learnt. The Lord may have touched us in a deep profound way, but then we choose to lose that new connection through inertia! Simply refusing to carry our cross to follow Him. This will lead eventually to a greater tragedy of falling back into old habits and sins. Will we have time tomorrow to repent and turn back? What if tomorrow never comes for us?

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God have mercy on me a sinner. Help me make the change today Lord, that I may grow in Holiness to love and serve you as I should. Amen

Our Lady of Mount Carmel pray for me….

First reading

Exodus 2:1-15 ·
Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses among the bulrushes

There was a man of the tribe of Levi who had taken a woman of Levi as his wife. She conceived and gave birth to a son and, seeing what a fine child he was, she kept him hidden for three months. When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him; coating it with bitumen and pitch, she put the child inside and laid it among the reeds at the river’s edge. His sister stood some distance away to see what would happen to him.
Now Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe in the river, and the girls attending her were walking along by the riverside. Among the reeds she noticed the basket, and she sent her maid to fetch it. She opened it and looked, and saw a baby boy, crying; and she was sorry for him. ‘This is a child of one of the Hebrews’ she said. Then the child’s sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and find you a nurse among the Hebrew women to suckle the child for you?’ ‘Yes, go’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her; and the girl went off to find the baby’s own mother. To her the daughter of Pharaoh said, ‘Take this child away and suckle it for me. I will see you are paid.’ So the woman took the child and suckled it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter who treated him like a son; she named him Moses because, she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’
Moses, a man by now, set out at this time to visit his countrymen, and he saw what a hard life they were having; and he saw an Egyptian strike a Hebrew, one of his countrymen. Looking round he could see no one in sight, so he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. On the following day he came back, and there were two Hebrews, fighting. He said to the man who was in the wrong, ‘What do you mean by hitting your fellow countryman?’ ‘And who appointed you’ the man retorted, ‘to be prince over us, and judge? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Moses was frightened. ‘Clearly that business has come to light’ he thought. When Pharaoh heard of the matter he would have killed Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and made for the land of Midian.

Gospel

Matthew 11:20-24
It will not go as hard with Sodom on Judgement Day as with you

Jesus began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent.
‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. And still, I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgement day with Tyre and Sidon as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgement day as with you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Power not tempered with love will often lead to its own destruction. Better if there is recognition that our power if having any at all is given, by the Lord our God from above. And tempered with His love will bring only peace, comfort, mercy and love.

Still many choose to exact power over others insisting that they should bend their wills towards their very own. My way or the highway! Where is Christ Jesus in all their bravado? Where is the mercy, love and compassion? That is why if a family is not centred on the values of Christian living placing Christ first above all things and all persons then that family will eventually fall apart. Likewise for community and church. If we do not welcome the prophets amongst us, how will we hear the message of the Lord our God meant for our ears? How will hearts of stone ever be changed into flesh? How will we see the wonders of His hand in the beauty that surround us? How will we feels His great love for us?

Our mission begins with carrying our Cross to follow our Master, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Only true humble servitude can we effect change in the lives of many who do not yet know Him. Amen

First reading

Exodus 1:8-14,22 ·
The Egyptians force the sons of Israel into slavery

There came to power in Egypt a new king who knew nothing of Joseph. ‘Look,’ he said to his subjects ‘these people, the sons of Israel, have become so numerous and strong that they are a threat to us. We must be prudent and take steps against their increasing any further, or if war should break out, they might add to the number of our enemies. They might take arms against us and so escape out of the country.’ Accordingly they put slave-drivers over the Israelites to wear them down under heavy loads. In this way they built the store-cities of Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. But the more they were crushed, the more they increased and spread, and men came to dread the sons of Israel. The Egyptians forced the sons of Israel into slavery, and made their lives unbearable with hard labour, work with clay and with brick, all kinds of work in the fields; they forced on them every kind of labour.
Pharaoh then gave his subjects this command: ‘Throw all the boys born to the Hebrews into the river, but let all the girls live.’

Gospel

Matthew 10:34-11:1
It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.
‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.
‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.
‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples he moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns.


Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 13, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

What We Must Do: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Deuteronomy 30:10–14
Psalm 69:14, 17, 30–31, 33–34, 36–37
Colossians 1:15–20
Luke 10:25–37

We are to love God and our neighbor with all the strength of our being, as the scholar of the Law answers Jesus in this week’s Gospel.

This command is nothing remote or mysterious—it’s already written in our hearts, in the book of Sacred Scripture. “You have only to carry it out,” Moses says in this week’s First Reading.

Jesus tells His interrogator the same thing: “Do this and you will live.”

The scholar, however, wants to know where he can draw the line. That’s the motive behind his question: “Who is my neighbor?”

In his compassion, the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable reveals the boundless mercy of God—who came down to us when we were fallen in sin, close to dead, unable to pick ourselves up.

Jesus is “the image of the invisible God,” this week’s Epistle tells us. In Him, the love of God has come very near to us. By the “blood of His Cross”—by bearing His neighbors’ sufferings in His own body, being Himself stripped and beaten and left for dead—He saved us from bonds of sin, reconciled us to God and to one another.

Like the Samaritan, He pays the price for us, heals the wounds of sin, pours out on us the oil and wine of the sacraments, entrusts us to the care of His Church, until He comes back for us.

Because His love has known no limits, ours cannot either. We are to love as we have been loved, to do for others what He has done for us—joining all things together in His Body, the Church.

We are to love like the singer of this week’s Psalm—like those whose prayers have been answered, like those whose lives have been saved, who have known the time of His favor, have seen God in His great mercy turn toward us.

This is the love that leads to eternal life, the love Jesus commands today of each of us—“Go and do likewise.”


God our Father has a plan for each and everyone of us. Though we may not understand what it is or see the good in the hardships and sufferings we may face. We can trust in His abounding love for us that He will never abandon us in our of need. He loves dearly and wants only the best for us and He wills that we be with Him in Heaven.

Jesus is the love of God our Father personified. He came down from Heaven to free us from our sins. So that by His death and Resurrection with might have eternal life with Him. If we say we love Him that our love for Him must convict us to share in that very love we have received. To stand up for our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and to proclaim His message of love, mercy and repentance. So that all who come to know Him will have a share of eternal life with Him. Amen

First reading

Genesis 49:29-33,50:15-26
‘God has turned the evil you planned into good’

Jacob gave his sons these instructions, ‘I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me near my fathers, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave in the field at Machpelah, opposite Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial-plot. There Abraham was buried and his wife Sarah. There Isaac was buried and his wife Rebekah. There I buried Leah. I mean the field and the cave in it that were bought from the sons of Heth.’
When Jacob had finished giving his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, and breathing his last was gathered to his people.
Seeing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph intends to treat us as enemies and repay us in full for all the wrong we did him?’ So they sent this message to Joseph: ‘Before your father died he gave us this order: “You must say to Joseph: Oh forgive your brothers their crime and their sin and all the wrong they did you.” Now therefore, we beg you, forgive the crime of the servants of your father’s God.’ Joseph wept at the message they sent to him.
His brothers came themselves and fell down before him. ‘We present ourselves before you’ they said ‘as your slaves.’ But Joseph answered them, ‘Do not be afraid; is it for me to put myself in God’s place? The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, that he might bring about, as indeed he has, the deliverance of a numerous people. So you need not be afraid; I myself will provide for you and your dependants.’ In this way he reassured them with words that touched their hearts.
So Joseph stayed in Egypt with his father’s family; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children, as also the children of Machir, Manasseh’s son, who were born on Joseph’s lap. At length Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die; but God will be sure to remember you kindly and take you back from this country to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ And Joseph made Israel’s sons swear an oath, ‘When God remembers you with kindness be sure to take my bones from here.’
Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten; they embalmed him and laid him in his coffin in Egypt.

Gospel

Matthew 10:24-33
Everything now hidden will be made clear

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘The disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. It is enough for the disciple that he should grow to be like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, what will they not say of his household?
‘Do not be afraid of them therefore. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.
‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.
‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.’


What are you complaining about? How everyone seems to be judging you? How tired and miserable you are with plodding through many work commitments ? How much you are sacrificing for your family to feed your lifestyle and theirs? How much if any of it, is in bringing the message of Christ Jesus to anyone or every one? Are you struggling to bring your child or children up in the faith? How much of the sufferings you endure is for building His Kingdom through the community? How generous and charitable are you with your time, actions and not your purse? Can you even identify with the hunger and thirst of those genuinely suffering because they have nothing to eat or drink? No one to care or comfort them? Again what are you complaining about?

Let us stay awake sisters and brothers! We have a mission and that is to share the love of the Lord our God with everyone. So that in coming to know our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ they might have life to the full in Him now and forevermore. No hardships and sufferings should ever deter us from sharing the joy of the Gospel because God’s Spirit is within us. We may not have all the answers at hand but we will have it as needed through the power and working of the Holy Spirit. God our loving Father will provide for all that we need, let us only stay focused on Jesus our Lord and strive to live life in the Spirit. Amen

First reading

Genesis 46:1-7,28-30
‘I can die, now that I have seen you alive’

Israel left Canaan with his possessions, and reached Beersheba. There he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in a vision at night, ‘Jacob, Jacob’, he said. ‘I am here’, he replied. ‘I am God, the God of your father’, he continued. ‘Do not be afraid of going down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I myself will go down to Egypt with you. I myself will bring you back again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.’ Then Jacob left Beersheba. Israel’s sons conveyed their father Jacob, their little children and their wives in the waggons Pharaoh had sent to fetch him.
Taking their livestock and all that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, they went to Egypt, Jacob and all his family with him: his sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his grand-daughters, in a word, all his children he took with him to Egypt.
Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that the latter might present himself to him in Goshen. When they arrived in the land of Goshen, Joseph had his chariot made ready and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as he appeared he threw his arms round his neck and for a long time wept on his shoulder. Israel said to Joseph, ‘Now I can die, now that I have seen you again, and seen you still alive.’

Gospel

Matthew 10:16-23
The Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves.
‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you. ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved. If they persecute you in one town, take refuge in the next; and if they persecute you in that, take refuge in another. I tell you solemnly, you will not have gone the round of the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

I have on numerous occasions through my on personal journey of faith been led, asked or tasked to take either the lead, consulted on or simply to run with what I would term spiritual matters of faith. From helping out in the Eucharistic Celebration in a variety of ways wearing different hats, to giving a formation talk at a RCIA session, a youth event, parish event, to being part of a prayer team to pray over others, to planning for a retreat or faith event, leading a prayer session or prayer meeting and so on. Was I qualified or experienced enough when I was first called upon? My answer would be NO! I simply said Yes to the call then would quietly panic as I asked for the Lord’s guidance on how to proceed. Often times just going with the flow, that is the flow of the Holy Spirit. Learning from making mistakes, allowing Him to teach and guide me so that I might grow a little more each day in wisdom and knowledge.

Trusting the Lord fully and surrendering our Will to Him so that He can lead us deeper in our faith journey is very difficult for almost everyone. Because whether we want to admit or not, most of us are control freaks and need to be familiar with a subject, topic before we will attempt to take the leapt to take charge or move with it. Hence if we were going for a retreat we want to know what to be prepared for, what to bring, the schedule, what are the topics covered before we will consider going. How then are we ever going to learn to trust the Lord to take the lead? How then are we going to proclaim to anyone that the Kingdom of the Lord our God is at hand, or simply to tell a stranger that Jesus loves him or her when we are too busy counting the cost of doing anything for Him!

We have received abundant blessings and graces freely from the Lord our God, how can we not serve Him and our brethren freely without counting the cost of doing so. In fact the best graces to be received through servitude of our Lord Jesus Christ and our brethren are purchased through sacrifice and suffering. Amen

First reading

Genesis 44:18-21,23-29,45:1-5
Joseph reveals himself to his brothers

Judah went up to Joseph and said, ‘May it please my lord, let your servant have a word privately with my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. My lord questioned his servants, “Have you father or brother?” And we said to my lord, “We have an old father, and a younger brother born of his old age. His brother is dead, so he is the only one left of his mother, and his father loves him.” Then you said to your servants, “Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.” But you said to your servants, “If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not be admitted to my presence again.” When we went back to your servant my father, we repeated to him what my lord had said. So when our father said, “Go back and buy us a little food,” we said, “We cannot go down. If our youngest brother is with us, we will go down, for we cannot be admitted to the man’s presence unless our youngest brother is with us.” So your servant our father said to us, “You know that my wife bore me two children. When one left me, I said that he must have been torn to pieces. And I have not seen him to this day. If you take this one from me too and any harm comes to him, you will send me down to Sheol with my white head bowed in misery.” If I go to your servant my father now, and we have not the boy with us, he will die as soon as he sees the boy is not with us, for his heart is bound up with him. Then your servants will have sent your servant our father down to Sheol with his white head bowed in grief.’
Then Joseph could not control his feelings in front of all his retainers, and he exclaimed, ‘Let everyone leave me.’ No one therefore was present with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers, but he wept so loudly that all the Egyptians heard, and the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph. Is my father really still alive?’ His brothers could not answer him, they were so dismayed at the sight of him. Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come closer to me.’ When they had come closer to him he said, ‘I am your brother Joseph whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not grieve, do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here, since God sent me before you to preserve your lives.’

Gospel

Matthew 10:7-15
You received without charge: give without charge

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘As you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge. Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with a few coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or footwear or a staff, for the workman deserves his keep.
‘Whatever town or village you go into, ask for someone trustworthy and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his house, salute it, and if the house deserves it, let your peace descend upon it; if it does not, let your peace come back to you. And if anyone does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, as you walk out of the house or town shake the dust from your feet. I tell you solemnly, on the day of Judgement it will not go as hard with the land of Sodom and Gomorrah as with that town.’

Life Journey…

Posted: July 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

On Today’s Gospel

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

What do we do with power given to us from on high? Especially when others are placed at our mercy? Do we toy with them? Do we treat them with disdain? Do we exact revenge for past hurts? or Do we instead care for them? Guide, teach and lead them to the truth? Do we love them as we love ourselves and our families? As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ the only question which we should really ask is what would our Master do and then do it!

We can have many aspirations to be a vibrant, evangelistic and missionary church. But how will we achieve this if we do not first form ourselves through the Word of God, through prayer personal as well as communal. To strive for unity and communion with one another. We therefore must be evangelised ourselves whether as ministry or community! Only then can we go out to the whole world to share God’s love with everyone.

Lord Jesus my shepherd and my guide, teach and show me how I should tend to Your flock and I will do so according to Your will. Amen

First reading

Genesis 41:55-57,42:5-7,17-24
Joseph’s brothers in his power

When the whole country of Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread. But Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.’ There was famine all over the world. Then Joseph opened all the granaries and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine grew worse in the land of Egypt. People came to Egypt from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph, for the famine had grown severe throughout the world.
Israel’s sons with others making the same journey went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan. It was Joseph, as the man in authority over the country, who sold the grain to all comers. So Joseph’s brothers went and bowed down before him, their faces touching the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers he recognised them. But he did not make himself known to them, and he spoke harshly to them. Then he kept them all in custody for three days.
On the third day Joseph said to them, ‘Do this and you shall keep your lives, for I am a man who fears God. If you are honest men let one of your brothers be kept in the place of your detention; as for you, go and take grain to relieve the famine of your families. You shall bring me your youngest brother; this way your words will be proved true, and you will not have to die!’ This they did. They said to one another, ‘Truly we are being called to account for our brother. We saw his misery of soul when he begged our mercy, but we did not listen to him and now this misery has come home to us.’ Reuben answered them, ‘Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you did not listen, and now we are brought to account for his blood.’ They did not know that Joseph understood, because there was an interpreter between them. He left them and wept.

Gospel

Matthew 10:1-7
‘Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel’

Jesus summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the one who was to betray him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows:
‘Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’


Today many, if not all of our churches are using this Gospel text to pray for vocations ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’ and we have faith that our Lord will indeed send labourers to His harvest.

Many however think that this prayer is for vocations to the priesthood or religious life alone. Not so my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, our Lord is calling you too to serve in His vineyard. Yes that’s right, you who are reading this reflection and I are called to bring His light to all we meet. Many are hungry and thirsting for the Lord our God and are sorely in need of His love, mercy, peace and comfort. They are depressed and desolate because they have not been made aware that there is a great, powerful and all loving God who loves them all very dearly and does not want them to wallow in their misery. He wants each and everyone of them to live life to the full. Many of these still do not know and have not heard of our Lord Jesus Christ and it is our duty as His disciples to gather them all (harvest) into His fold.

So let us all wrestle with this seed planted into our hearts, God wants you and I to be powerful instruments of His Grace. And if we are single minded in our love for Him: come what may, difficulties, challenges we will overcome them all. For He will Bless us and we carry His presence with us every where we go. Amen

First reading

Genesis 32:23-33
Jacob wrestles with God

Jacnerveob rose, and taking his two wives and his two slave-girls and his eleven children he crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream and sent all his possessions over too. And Jacob was left alone.
And there was one that wrestled with him until daybreak who, seeing that he could not master him, struck him in the socket of his hip, and Jacob’s hip was dislocated as he wrestled with him. He said, ‘Let me go, for day is breaking.’ But Jacob answered, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ He then asked, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Jacob’, he replied. He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have been strong against God, you shall prevail against men.’ Jacob then made this request, ‘I beg you, tell me your name’, but he replied, ‘Why do you ask my name?’ And he blessed him there.
Jacob named the place Peniel, ‘Because I have seen God face to face,’ he said ‘and I have survived.’ The sun rose as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip. That is the reason why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sciatic nerve which is in the socket of the hip; because he had struck Jacob in the socket of the hip on the sciatic nerve.

Gospel

Matthew 9:32-37
The harvest is rich but the labourers are few

A man was brought to Jesus, a dumb demoniac. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed. ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel’ they said. But the Pharisees said, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts out devils.’
Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Bow down low and worship the Lord Your God first and foremost, then His Grace will be upon you and your family. For all the importance and titles you have received can you restore life by your touch? Is the faith of your members in your family or your ministry thriving because of your actions? So what if you belong to an all powerful Executive Committee if you and the team members are not true disciples first after your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Who opt to take shortcuts and cut corners instead of carrying your cross to follow Him on the narrow path? If you want to remain popular then perhaps you are best suited for the political arena!

Those who choose to follow Christ will strive to deepen their relationship with Him a little more each and everyday. They will not need to ask how this is to be done because they know it takes sacrifice and discipline to live out their daily lives according to His Will. They hear His voice, He knows them and they follow Him. That deep connection opens up Heaven for them and the grace of the God comes down upon them. Angels are sent to minister to them. Is this wonderful experience of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself not available to all of us?

We need to reach out to Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul, then He will take us by our hand and surely say to us, “Your faith has saved you, my child.” Amen

First reading

Genesis 28:10-22 ·
Jacob’s dream of the ladder at Bethel

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he had reached a certain place he passed the night there, since the sun had set. Taking one of the stones to be found at that place, he made it his pillow and lay down where he was. He had a dream: a ladder was there, standing on the ground with its top reaching to heaven; and there were angels of God going up it and coming down. And the Lord was there, standing over him, saying, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. I will give to you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants shall be like the specks of dust on the ground; you shall spread to the west and the east, to the north and the south, and all the tribes of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your descendants.
Be sure that I am with you; I will keep you safe wherever you go, and bring you back to this land, for I will not desert you before I have done all that I have promised you.’ Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Truly, the Lord is in this place and I never knew it!’ He was afraid and said, ‘How awe-inspiring this place is! This is nothing less than a house of God; this is the gate of heaven!’ Rising early in the morning, Jacob took the stone he had used for his pillow, and set it up as a monument, pouring oil over the top of it. He named the place Bethel, but before that the town was called Luz.
Jacob made this vow, ‘If God goes with me and keeps me safe on this journey I am making, if he gives me bread to eat and clothes to wear, and if I return home safely to my father, then the Lord shall be my God. This stone I have set up as a monument shall be a house of God.’

Gospel

Matthew 9:18-26
‘Your faith has restored you to health’

While Jesus was speaking, up came one of the officials, who bowed low in front of him and said, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.’ Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him. Then from behind him came a woman, who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years, and she touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again.’ Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, ‘Courage, my daughter, your faith has restored you to health.’ And from that moment the woman was well again.
When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead, she is asleep.’ And they laughed at him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took the little girl by the hand; and she stood up. And the news spread all round the countryside.

H word

Posted: July 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Interestingly enough most people, inclusive of Catholics who stay away from church, service in ministry and community often use the excuse that they do so by saying they don’t want to be among hypocrites. What is a hypocrite by definition then?

**Hypocrite **

noun
hyp·o·crite

\ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\

: a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with thosebeliefs

Full Definition

1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

If we follow the above definition then Catholics who call fellow Catholics hypocrite are themselves hypocrites are they not?

Afterall are we not all sinners in need of the mercy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Are we not all called to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospels?

Do we not have a higher calling to lead one another into a deeper relationship and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Can we then continue our wayward way of life? Our ill discipline of late coming or non participation in meetings or sharing of the word? Of adopting a lax attitude in dress and reverence for our Lord Jesus Christ in the liturgy or in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament? Of criticising others for voicing wrongs through fraternal correction?

Instead of calling one another hypocrite, let us examine our very own lives. Just how well are we doing ourselves in the journey towards discipleship? Let us instead encourage one another to focus on the mercy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ and to build His Kingdom in the foundation of His love.

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: July 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Harvest Time: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 66:10–14
Psalm 66:1–7, 16, 20
Galatians 6:14–18
Luke 10:1–12, 17–20

Jesus has a vision in this week’s Gospel—Satan falling like lightning from the sky, the enemy vanquished by the missionary preaching of His Church.

Sent out by Jesus to begin gathering the nations into the harvest of divine judgment (see Isaiah 27:12–13; Joel 4:13), the 70 are a sign of the continuing mission of the Church.

Carrying out the work of the 70, the Church proclaims the coming of God’s kingdom, offers His blessings of peace and mercy to every household on earth—“every town and place He intended to visit.”

Our Lord’s tone is solemn today. For in the preaching of the Church “the kingdom of God is at hand,” the time of decision has come for every person. Those who do not receive His messengers will be doomed like Sodom.

But those who believe will find peace and mercy, protection and nourishment in the bosom of the Church, the Mother Zion we celebrate in this week’s beautiful First Reading, the “Israel of God” Paul blesses in this week’s Epistle.

The Church is a new family of faith (see Galatians 6:10) in which we receive a new name that will endure forever (see Isaiah 66:22), a name written in heaven.

In this week’s Psalm we sing of God’s “tremendous deeds among men” throughout salvation history. But of all the works of God, none has been greater than what He has wrought by the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Changing the sea into dry land was but an anticipation and preparation for our passing over, for what Paul calls the “new creation.”

And as the exodus generation was protected in a wilderness of serpents and scorpions (see Deuteronomy 8:15), He has given His Church power now over “the full force of the Enemy.” Nothing will harm us as we make our way through the wilderness of this world, awaiting the Master of the harvest, awaiting the day when all on earth will shout joyfully to the Lord, sing praise to the glory of His name.

Visiting…

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

Tired after a very hard day at the office then later facing a little drama at home it was really difficult to focus on the mission of being there for someone who was sick. Still I would not be robbed of the desire and resolve to bring the light of Christ with me if I could. To add to the difficulty I got lost using the GPS to navigate my way with Hannah on the bicycle. Praise the Lord we managed to finally reach our destination which took us slightly over half an hour instead of ten minutes had I got it right.

A like minded fellow brother in Christ arrived before me and it was wonderful for us both to see our brother who is still sick, in good spirits. To hear testimony of how his seventy year plus old sister-in law took the time and trouble to care, pray with and help to nurse him back to health; so that his wife can work and tend to their young children. How Blessed indeed we are to have such people in our lives who are not only devoted to Christ but in following Him by their mercy and love put into action.

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to pray for our brother and may your mighty healing hand be upon Him. Bless his family and keep them in your loving care. Amen

My Special Day…

Posted: July 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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How do you celebrate something which is not part of your own tradition to do so? Then again you will only remember it through the records of your parents unless of course they had made it a point to celebrate it as a family all the years before. Again no fault of theirs if they didn’t do so as again it is never really given any significant importance after the fact. What am I talking about?

Today is a very special day for me, for it is the day I was baptised and became a child of God my Heavenly Father, slightly less than a month after coming out of my mother’s womb. It must have been an extra special day for mum as she would have celebrated her own birthday the very next day.

I woke up this morning without fanfare knowing that there will be no elaborate celebration thrown for me but all the same with great joy in my heart. Then I received the one and only gift I was looking forward to receive and the most precious one at that, Jesus Himself in Holy Eucharist. Afterwhich I rushed home to have family breakfast together and to share my joy. If was not to be so as my family had other plans and so it was just me and Hannah.

No matter, I will spend this day reflecting if I have lived up to my baptismal promises, if I have strived enough to be Holy as my Heavenly Father is Holy and if I have brought the joy of Christ into the lives of, family, friends and all. So instead of wishing me Happy Baptism or something like that, instead simply say a prayer for me. Thank you and may our Lord Jesus Christ bless You and family always. Amen


I am the first born in my family and my siblings should rightfully respect me as the eldest and do what I say especially in matters of faith. I am far more eloquent and well read therefore I should be the one to lead and give formation talks. She is new to our ministry why should we listen to her suggestions on building our spiritual life?

We often think ourselves deserving and qualified, but do we seek to know our Lord’s will for us? Do we discern deeply to know and fulfil our true calling. If it is in our hearts desire to seek His Blessings and His grace that we might secure our heavenly inheritance by building His Kingdom; then He will surely Bless us, equip and qualify us. It does not matter if we are young, inexperienced, weak or even impaired in anyway for He will lead and guide us. It is our constant renewal of faith and love in our Lord Jesus Christ that invigorates and drives us. And while we learn from our past mistakes, we look only to the future by living our new lives in and for Him. Amen

First reading

Genesis 27:1-5,15-29 ·
Jacob obtains Isaac’s blessing by fraud

Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see. He summoned his elder son Esau, ‘My son!’ he said to him, and the latter answered, ‘I am here.’ Then he said, ‘See, I am old and do not know when I may die. Now take your weapons, your quiver and bow; go out into the country and hunt me some game. Make me the kind of savoury I like and bring it to me, so that I may eat, and give you my blessing before I die.’

Rebekah happened to be listening while Isaac was talking to his son Esau. So when Esau went into the country to hunt game for his father, Rebekah took her elder son Esau’s best clothes, which she had in the house, and dressed her younger son Jacob in them, covering his arms and the smooth part of his neck with the skins of the kids. Then she handed the savoury and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.

He presented himself before his father and said, ‘Father.’ ‘I am here;’ was the reply ‘who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me. Please get up and take your place and eat the game I have brought and then give me your blessing.’ Isaac said to his son, ‘How quickly you found it, my son!’ ‘It was the Lord your God’ he answered ‘who put it in my path.’ Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Come here, then, and let me touch you, my son, to know if you are my son Esau or not.’ Jacob came close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice but the arms are the arms of Esau!’ He did not recognise him, for his arms were hairy like his brother Esau’s, and so he blessed him. He said, ‘Are you really my son Esau?’ And he replied, ‘I am.’ Isaac said, ‘Bring it here that I may eat the game my son has brought, and so may give you my blessing.’ He brought it to him and he ate; he offered him wine, and he drank. His father Isaac said to him, ‘Come closer, and kiss me, my son.’ He went closer and kissed his father, who smelled the smell of his clothes.

He blessed him, saying:
‘Yes, the smell of my son is like the smell of a fertile field blessed by the Lord.

May God give you dew from heaven, and the richness of the earth, abundance of grain and wine!

May nations serve you and peoples bow down before you!

Be master of your brothers;
may the sons of your mother bow down before you!

Cursed be he who curses you;
blessed be he who blesses you!’

Gospel

Matthew 9:14-17
When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast

John’s disciples came to him 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. No one puts a piece of unshrunken cloth on to an old cloak, because the patch pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; if they do, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are lost. No; they put new wine into fresh skins and both are preserved.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What if you, your child or someone closest to you, made bad choices and landed up in prison. No second chances whatsoever and sooner or later would be facing the death penalty! Yes only the penalty accepted for so heinous a crime.

Then someone came bringing hope that he will fight for you to the death if need be, to secure your freedom. ( Pause and reflect on this for a moment)

Sin is what imprisons us all! It is merciless in its pursuit to see to our destruction. Yet one man came to save us all from the clutches of sin and death, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Not only to set us free but to offer us new life in Him. Such is His mercy and love that He gave us a 2nd chance and for most of us many, many chances! How then can we not offer the same mercy and love to those who have offended and hurt us? Have we in our own sins not offended and hurt our Lord? If we can change, so can our enemies by the grace of the Lord our God. For He indeed came for us sinners and not the virtuous, for those who are truly virtuous are already with Him.

Those are who are merciful, faithful and obedient unto to the Lord our God, will see His loving hand in everything and every aspect of our lives. Father Abraham was promised land and countless descendants and so we see how his lineage was kept pure subtly through the hand of God by the introduction of Rebekah to Issac his son. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Genesis 23:1-4,19,24:1-8,62-67
‘Choose a wife for my son Isaac’

The length of Sarah’s life was a hundred and twenty-seven years. She died at Kiriath-arba, or Hebron, in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn and grieve for her.
Then leaving his dead, Abraham spoke to the sons of Heth: ‘I am a stranger and a settler among you,’ he said. ‘Let me own a burial-plot among you, so that I may take my dead wife and bury her.’
After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah opposite Mamre, in the country of Canaan.
By now Abraham was an old man well on in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. Abraham said to the eldest servant of his household, the steward of all his property, ‘Place your hand under my thigh, I would have you swear by the Lord, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live. Instead, go to my own land and my own kinsfolk to choose a wife for my son Isaac.’ The servant asked him, ‘What if the woman does not want to come with me to this country? Must I take your son back to the country from which you came?’ Abraham answered, ‘On no account take my son back there. The Lord, God of heaven and God of earth, took me from my father’s home, and from the land of my kinsfolk, and he swore to me that he would give this country to my descendants. He will now send his angel ahead of you, so that you may choose a wife for my son there. And if the woman does not want to come with you, you will be free from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.’
Isaac, who lived in the Negeb, had meanwhile come into the wilderness of the well of Lahai Roi. Now Isaac went walking in the fields as evening fell, and looking up saw camels approaching. And Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac. She jumped down from her camel, and asked the servant, ‘Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?’ The servant replied, ‘That is my master’; then she took her veil and hid her face. The servant told Isaac the whole story, and Isaac led Rebekah into his tent and made her his wife; and he loved her. And so Isaac was consoled for the loss of his mother.

Gospel

Matthew 9:9-13
It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick

As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners? When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’


On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 4, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What would be the ultimate sacrifice you would offer up for love of the Lord Your God? Would it be your only son to the priesthood? Your high paying job to go and do missionary work? Perhaps some precious time to form a community in the faith? What about service in your own parish? Or to facilitate the sharing of the Word in order for encounters with our Risen Lord to take place?

No matter how generous we think we are with our time, money and efforts we can never outdo or out-give our loving Heavenly Father. So loved He the world that He gave us His only Begotten Son to take away the sins of the world. It was by our sins that we nailed Him to the cross. For nothing we could offer on our own or give would pay the debt of the grave sin which marked us for ultimate death. Jesus pay the debt He did not owe for love of us; for we could never repay it on our own. He therefore takes no delight in sacrifice of burnt offerings but a humble contrite spirit He will not despise. He is ready with open arms to embrace us even in our sins. Through His mercy and love we will be washed clean to walk in His light.

Sisters and brothers let our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ be one of a loving exchange; of giving and receiving in His love and always for His glory. The same exchange which takes place at every Holy Eucharist. When we offer up to Him all our sacrifices of love and then receive Him fully as He receives us fully! Amen

First reading

Genesis 22:1-19
The sacrifice of Isaac

God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’
Rising early next morning Abraham saddled his ass and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. He chopped wood for the burnt offering and started on his journey to the place God had pointed out to him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Then Abraham said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there; we will worship and come back to you.’
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it on Isaac, and carried in his own hands the fire and the knife. Then the two of them set out together. Isaac spoke to his father Abraham, ‘Father’ he said. ‘Yes, my son’ he replied. ‘Look,’ he said ‘here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘My son, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.’ Then the two of them went on together.
When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son. Abraham called this place ‘The Lord Provides’, and hence the saying today: On the mountain the Lord provides.
The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’
Abraham went back to his servants, and together they set out for Beersheba, and he settled in Beersheba.

Gospel

Matthew 9:1-8
‘Your sins are forgiven; get up and walk’

Jesus got in the boat, crossed the water and came to his own town. Then some people appeared, bringing him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, my child, your sins are forgiven.’ And at this some scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming.’ Knowing what was in their minds Jesus said, ‘Why do you have such wicked thoughts in your hearts? Now, which of these is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he said to the paralytic – ‘get up, and pick up your bed and go off home.’ And the man got up and went home. A feeling of awe came over the crowd when they saw this, and they praised God for giving such power to men.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 3, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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He thinks he is so Holy and she thinks she is so pious. Just wait and see, it’s all for show and surely their true colours will be unveiled. For the Lord sees into the heart and He will be the judge!

Where are these thoughts and criticism coming from? Jealousy? Insecurity? Surely you cannot think these are from the Lord our God? The only truth in the whole utterance is that the Lord indeed sees into our heart and He alone will be our judge. All of us are truly loved dearly and uniquely by God our Father and if there are any doubts or insecurities it comes from our own lack of understanding of just how much He loves us. We should strive to deepen our relationship with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ alone dispels all our fears and doubts. He will surely come in all His glory to lift us up.

By His cross Jesus has broken all barriers, all divisions and united us all of God’s children unto Himself. By His resurrection there is no doubt whatsoever that we have a powerful and loving God. Who conquered death and has brought new life for all, that we might all live and live it to the full! Look and see the example of dearest St Thomas who touched our Lord Jesus Christ and yet himself was touched profoundly by our Lord that he could not contain within himself the words of life, “My Lord, My and my God!” St Thomas then went out courageously into the world to proclaim this for all who would listen . Amen

St Thomas the Apostle pray for us…

First reading

Ephesians 2:19-22 ·
In Christ you are no longer aliens, but citizens like us

You are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household. You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.

Gospel

John 20:24-29
‘My Lord and my God!’

Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:

‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Why do we hesitate and look back to all we have, even when what we possess does not lead to growth in our faith or love for ourselves or others? Instead many choose to live in the past, they find comfort in what they can predict even if it meant continuing to live in their sins! Of rejecting the Lord God in their lives and remaining dead spiritually. Those who strive to follow our Lord should not remain in an environment where sin and debauchery thrives otherwise they will find themselves consumed. Where the Lord leads follow! Do not ever look back otherwise you will find yourself going nowhere and lifeless.

Discipleship in Jesus is not always smooth sailing. Difficulties and challenges can arise at any time and with them comes stormy exchanges, hurts and even pain. Do we turn to Jesus in faith to help us through it knowing that He is always with us. For He alone is the answer, He alone is safe passage to peace, love and joy. Even though we walk through the darkest valley, we will fear no evil, for He is with us; His rod and His staff, they comfort us. He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies and anoints our heads with oil. His goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Genesis 19:15-29
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

The angels urged Lot, ‘Come, take your wife and these two daughters of yours, or you will be overwhelmed in the punishment of the town.’ And as he hesitated, the men took him by the hand, and his wife and his two daughters, because of the pity the Lord felt for him. They led him out and left him outside the town.
As they were leading him out he said, ‘Run for your life. Neither look behind you nor stop anywhere on the plain. Make for the hills if you would not be overwhelmed.’ ‘No, I beg you, my lord,’ Lot said to them ‘your servant has won your favour and you have shown great kindness to me in saving my life. But I could not reach the hills before this calamity overtook me, and death with it. The town over there is near enough to flee to, and is a little one. Let me make for that – is it not little? – and my life will be saved.’ He answered, ‘I grant you this favour too, and will not destroy the town you speak of. Hurry, escape to it, for I can do nothing until you reach it.’ That is why the town is named Zoar.
As the sun rose over the land and Lot entered Zoar, the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord. He overthrew these towns and the whole plain, with all the inhabitants of the towns, and everything that grew there. But the wife of Lot looked back, and was turned into a pillar of salt.
Rising early in the morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the Lord, and looking towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and across all the plain, he saw the smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
Thus it was that when God destroyed the towns of the plain, he kept Abraham in mind and rescued Lot out of disaster when he overwhelmed the towns where Lot lived.

Gospel

Matthew 8:23-27
Jesus rebuked the winds and the seas, and all was calm

Jesus got into the boat followed by his disciples. Without warning a storm broke over the lake, so violent that the waves were breaking right over the boat. But he was asleep. So they went to him and woke him saying, ‘Save us, Lord, we are going down!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened, you men of little faith?’ And with that he stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and all was calm again. The men were astounded and said, ‘Whatever kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

You go, I go, or you go I will follow, have we not used this lines many times in our lives? For one we were reluctant to go ourselves for whatever reason. We decide then that if we are compelled to go we want companionship. Some would even say, if we have to suffer let’s suffer together. Then there is the aspect that I do not want to take the lead, for I am not comfortable with the unknown, so at least if there are pitfalls along the way, then whoever takes the lead will either fall first or lead me round them to safety. Or I simply don’t want the responsibility of leading others for then I will likely be held accountable for any thing that goes awry. All these lines are used more often than not in matters of faith; spoken or unspoken! The worst of it all is that when it is time to really follow or go we are then nowhere to be found.

Too difficult and just too hard! For Jesus Himself said that ‘foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ Signifying that the road we take in following Him as disciples will be hard and challenging. How often have I said that I know better then to….but fall nonetheless and repeat my sins and shortcomings. I shout and scold when I should be patient and understanding . Or how to lead others when I am tempted to give in to my own desires instead of sacrificing my time and talents for them. What other excuses have we come up with to remain spiritually dead? Have we forgotten then that Jesus also told us that His yoke is easy and His burden light, when we take His yoke upon us? Telling us that He is with us through it all, carrying our burdens with us and giving us the grace to do so.

We are called to be leaders, like Father Abraham , to be obedient unto the Lord our God. Always having faith and trust in Him so that we too like him can intercede for sinners; and by our example lead them home to our Heavenly Father. We can surely accomplish this and more, when we live in the Spirit through the power of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Genesis 18:16-33 ·
Abraham negotiates with the Lord

From Mamre the men set out and arrived within sight of Sodom, with Abraham accompanying them to show them the way. Now the Lord had wondered, ‘Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do, seeing that Abraham will become a great nation with all the nations of the earth blessing themselves by him? For I have singled him out to command his sons and his household after him to maintain the way of the Lord by just and upright living. In this way the Lord will carry out for Abraham what he has promised him.’ Then the Lord said, ‘How great an outcry there is against Sodom and Gomorrah! How grievous is their sin! I propose to go down and see whether or not they have done all that is alleged in the outcry against them that has come up to me. I am determined to know.’
The men left there and went to Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Approaching him he said, ‘Are you really going to destroy the just man with the sinner? Perhaps there are fifty just men in the town. Will you really overwhelm them, will you not spare the place for the fifty just men in it? Do not think of doing such a thing: to kill the just man with the sinner, treating just and sinner alike! Do not think of it! Will the judge of the whole earth not administer justice?’ the Lord replied, ‘If at Sodom I find fifty just men in the town, I will spare the whole place because of them.’
Abraham replied, ‘I am bold indeed to speak like this to my Lord, I who am dust and ashes. But perhaps the fifty just men lack five: will you destroy the whole city for five?’ ‘No,’ he replied ‘I will not destroy it if I find forty-five just men there.’ Again Abraham said to him, ‘Perhaps there will only be forty there.’ ‘I will not do it’ he replied ‘for the sake of the forty.’
Abraham said, ‘I trust my Lord will not be angry, but give me leave to speak: perhaps there will only be thirty there.’ ‘I will not do it’ he replied ‘if I find thirty there.’ He said, ‘I am bold indeed to speak like this, but perhaps there will only be twenty there.’ ‘I will not destroy it’ he replied ‘for the sake of the twenty.’ He said, ‘I trust my Lord will not be angry if I speak once more: perhaps there will only be ten.’ ‘I will not destroy it’ he replied ‘for the sake of the ten.’
When he had finished talking to Abraham the Lord went away, and Abraham returned home.

Gospel

Matthew 8:18-22
The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head

When Jesus saw the great crowds all about him he gave orders to leave for the other side. One of the scribes then came up and said to him, ‘Master, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’
Another man, one of his disciples, said to him, ‘Sir, let me go and bury my father first.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.’