Archive for August 3, 2019

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 3, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

The Fool’s Vanity: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21–23
Psalm 90:3–4, 5–6, 12–13, 14, 17
Colossians 3:1–5, 9–11
Luke 12:13–21

Trust in God—as the Rock of our salvation, as the Lord who made us His chosen people, as our shepherd and guide. This should be the mark of our following of Jesus.

Like the Israelites we recall in this week’s Psalm, we have made an exodus, passing through the waters of Baptism, freeing us from our bondage to sin. We too are on a pilgrimage to a promised homeland, the Lord in our midst, feeding us heavenly bread, giving us living waters to drink (see 1 Corinthians 10:1–4).

We must take care to guard against the folly that befell the Israelites, that led them to quarrel and test God’s goodness at Meribah and Massah.

We can harden our hearts in ways more subtle but no less ruinous. We can put our trust in possessions, squabble over earthly inheritances, kid ourselves that what we have we deserve, store up treasures and think they’ll afford us security and rest.

All this is “vanity of vanities,” a false and deadly way of living, as this week’s First Reading tells us.

This is the greed that Jesus warns against in this week’s Gospel. The rich man’s anxiety and toil expose his lack of faith in God’s care and provision. That’s why Paul calls greed “idolatry” in the Epistle this week. Mistaking having for being, possession for existence, we forget that God is the giver of all that we have. We exalt the things we can make or buy over our Maker (see Romans 1:25).

Jesus calls the rich man a “fool”—a word used in the Old Testament for someone who rebels against God or has forgotten Him (see Psalm 14:1).

We should treasure most the new life we have been given in Christ and seek what is above, the promised inheritance of heaven. We have to see all things in the light of eternity, mindful that He who gives us the breath of life could at any moment—this night even—demand it back from us.


On belonging to a faith community.

Time and again you will hear it from the pulpit, formation talk, even in Scripture on the importance of belonging to a faith community. Yet most everyone turns deaf to this call. Some of these folks are more inclined to join a funfair, food and drink fellowship at most. Why?

Well they have varied reasons both spoken as well as unspoken. Here are some…

1. Too busy with work
2. Eats into family time
3. TV series, sports channel, movies to catch up on.
4. Too Holy moly for me
5. Uncomfortable with crowds.
6. Unfamiliar, I take longer to warm up to strangers.
7. Don’t like certain people in the group.
8. Don’t know enough about my faith to share.
9. No one invited me.
10. Some of the faith groups are exclusive
11. Value my privacy
12. More important things to do.
13. Prefer to go for Adoration
14. Time for the Lord is reserved only for one hour on Sundays the rest is me time!

All I can say to all the above is this, “You truly do not know what you’re missing.“ First and foremost the reality of our Lord’s Jesus’s amazing and unique presence in His community gathered before Him. So much so that if I had to choose between personal adoration or sharing in His presence at a prayer meeting at a specific given time, I’d choose the latter always.

Our Lord calls us all to come together with all our imperfections, in all our brokenness, of feelings of inadequacies and He will grant us the grace we need and fill all the voids in our lives. We are given an opportunity to grow and inspire one another to grow in faith; in His love. One Family, One Body In Him. With the blessings and anointings received we can better love the families we were born into as well as those yet to join us.

Here are some inspiring words from St Ignatius of Antioch…

Work together in harmony, struggle together, run together, suffer together, rest together, rise together, as stewards, advisors and servants of God. Seek to please him whose soldiers you are and from whom you draw your pay; let none of you prove a deserter. Let your baptism be your armor, your faith your helmet, your charity your spear, your patience your panoply. Let your good works be your deposits, so that you may draw out well-earned savings. So be patient and gentle with one another, as God is with you. May I have joy in you for ever!

May almighty God our Father bless us now and forever. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

What will it profit a man to gain the whole world but he loses His soul in the process? Indeed this question applies when we choose to give in to to our wanton desires, greed and insatiable wants. Then try to justify our actions through persuasive arguments as though we are merely victims of our own devices.

No! Turn back to the Lord with all your heart. Repent while You still can for He our merciful and loving Lord; wants to forgive you all your debts so that you may live freely in His love. To love your neighbour as you should.

To die for the glory of our Lord is to rise up in Him. Death in sin is simply death.

I choose Jesus! The way, the Truth and the Life. Amen

First reading

Leviticus 25:1,8-17
The law of the jubilee year

The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. He said:
‘You are to count seven weeks of years – seven times seven years, that is to say a period of seven weeks of years, forty-nine years. And on the tenth day of the seventh month you shall sound the trumpet; on the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout the land. You will declare this fiftieth year sacred and proclaim the liberation of all the inhabitants of the land. This is to be a jubilee for you; each of you will return to his ancestral home, each to his own clan. This fiftieth year is to be a jubilee year for you: you will not sow, you will not harvest the ungathered corn, you will not gather from the untrimmed vine. The jubilee is to be a holy thing to you, you will eat what comes from the fields.
‘In this year of jubilee each of you is to return to his ancestral home. If you buy or sell with your neighbour, let no one wrong his brother. If you buy from your neighbour, this must take into account the number of years since the jubilee: according to the number of productive years he will fix the price. The greater the number of years, the higher shall be the price demanded; the less the number of years, the greater the reduction; for what he is selling you is a certain number of harvests. Let none of you wrong his neighbour, but fear your God; I am the Lord your God.’

Gospel

Matthew 14:1-12
The beheading of John the Baptist

Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus, and said to his court, ‘This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’
Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. For John had told him, ‘It is against the Law for you to have her.’ He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet. Then, during the celebrations for Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and so delighted Herod that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked. Prompted by her mother she said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head, here, on a dish.’ The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her, and sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.