Archive for August, 2019

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 24, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Sunday Reflections

Gateway to Life: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 66:18–21
Psalm 117:1, 2
Hebrews 12:5–7, 11–13
Luke 13:22–30

Jesus doesn’t answer the question put to Him in this Sunday’s Gospel. It profits us nothing to speculate on how many will be saved. What we need to know is what He tells us today—how to enter into salvation and how urgent it is to strive now, before the Master closes the door.
Jesus is “the narrow gate,” the only way of salvation, the path by which all must travel to enter the kingdom of the Father (see John 14:6).

In Jesus, God has come—as He promises in this week’s First Reading—to gather nations of every language, to reveal to them His glory.
Eating and drinking with them, teaching in their streets, Jesus in the Gospel is slowly making His way to Jerusalem. There, Isaiah’s vision will be fulfilled: On the holy mountain He will be lifted up (see John 3:14), and He will draw to Himself brethren from among all the nations to worship in the heavenly Jerusalem, to glorify Him for His kindness, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

In God’s plan, the kingdom was proclaimed first to the Israelites and last to the Gentiles (see Romans 1:16; Acts 3:25–26), who in the Church have come from the earth’s four corners to make up the new people of God (see Isaiah 43:5–6; Psalm 107:2–3).

Many, however, will lose their place at the heavenly table, Jesus warns. Refusing to accept His narrow way they will weaken, rendering themselves unknown to the Father (see Isaiah 63:15–16).
We don’t want to be numbered among those of drooping hands and weak knees (see Isaiah 35:3). So, we must strive for that narrow gate, a way of hardship and suffering—the way of the beloved Son.

As this week’s Epistle reminds us, by our trials we know we are truly God’s sons and daughters. We are being disciplined by our afflictions, strengthened to walk that straight and narrow path—that we may enter the gate and take our place at the banquet of the righteous

Lord do you hear me cry?

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

I am an old man now with a young heart trapped in a broken body. In my prime I climbed trees, swam long distances in the ocean, hiked up mountains, canoed and loved such exhilarating physical activities! Now I struggle to walk from one point to the next. My eyes are dimmed I can hardly see. And I often need help to clean up after myself.

Lord do you hear me cry?

My memory is shot on a rapid decline. I have wonderful, unique memories from my childhood, of my teens and young adult years I cherish; soon all will be lost yet I have no one to share them with. For who is patient enough to hear an old man who tends to repeat himself? Who is willing to hear of my triumphs, trophies as well as my losses? Who has time for me? Nowadays it is difficult for me to have, or even make new memories!

Lord do you hear me cry?

My children have their own struggles and lives to lead. Still they visit me when they can, I am blessed they still care for and love me. This gives me joy even though it is shortlived. I have never wanted to be a burden to anyone, especially not to my wife and kids. But I am helpless in this regard. Where are you Lord? Are you not my strength, my fortitude? Where is the dignity in growing old?

Lord do you hear me cry?

I pray when I can, that is when I remember to. I pray to see Your light in my clear and present darkness. Now I pray that there are kind souls out there who are praying for me and my aged wife. Amen

Catholicjules.net


How wonderful it will be to hear Jesus say to us, ”Ah here comes my disciple who had spoke the truth and strived for holiness come dine with your master.” Then we might say, ” ”Lord You know who I am?” and He will reply, ”Yes, how often have I seen and heard you praying to me. I know how you have struggled to do my will always therefore the gates of heaven are opened to you.”

How have we progressed in deepening our relationship with the Lord our God and living our faith in Him from the start of the year? Have we truly been striving to lead our families and one another closer to this heavenly reality? We are already past the halfway mark for the year closing in on Advent have we stayed awake? Ready to greet our Lord when He returns?

My Lord, my God, from my heart; I’ve come to do Your Will. Amen

Saint Bartholomew pray for us…

First reading

Apocalypse 21:9-14 ·
He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel

John 1:45-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

In your…

Posted: August 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

On Today’s Gospel

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

If we declare that we love the Lord our God with all our heart. Then we would have already entered into a deep and personal relationship with Him. We are fully aware of His abundant love for us individually as well as collectively. We should therefore love ourselves as uniquely created in the image and likeness of our Lord and God. And it is through His love and with that same love for ourselves that we are called to love others.

Love not as an emotion but love that wills the good of another. One that wills that the other have joy and peace in their hearts. Love that is faithful to the end. In a sense to love when no one else can and will. Such great love can only come from our faithful ever loving God. A love which gives us the strength, power and fortitude to put that love into action for His glory. His mercy flows most profoundly from such radical love. And we have witnessed this in the many lives touched by the Saints who had responded wholly to that call to love, most recent of which are St John Paul II, St Theresa of Calculta.

We can witness the making of such Saints in our midst too, Parents who care lovingly for their helpless child, especially those with special needs, sons and daughters who care for their aged parents, especially those who are sick, suffering terminally, struggling with dementia, those who care for the outcast and downtrodden in society to name a few.

Sweet heart of Jesus reign in my heart. Let my love not be one of speech alone but one put into action for love of You. Through my love may all encounter Your love for them. Amen

First reading

Ruth 1:1,3-6,14-16,22 ·
Ruth the Moabitess is brought to Bethlehem by Naomi

In the days of the Judges famine came to the land and a certain man from Bethlehem of Judah went – he, his wife and his two sons – to live in the country of Moab. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she and her two sons were left. These married Moabite women: one was named Orpah and the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died and the woman was bereft of her two sons and her husband. So she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and went back to her people. But Ruth clung to her.
Naomi said to her, ‘Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god. You must return too; follow your sister-in-law.’
But Ruth said, ‘Do not press me to leave you and to turn back from your company, for

‘wherever you go, I will go,
wherever you live, I will live.
Your people shall be my people,
and your God, my God.’

This was how Naomi, she who returned from the country of Moab, came back with Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Gospel

Matthew 22:34-40
The commandments of love

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’


Let our yes be yes and our no be no. Why do we think we can barter with the Lord our God or bargain with Him? Or even have the need to? Perhaps we have chosen not to grow in our relationship with Him? We do not yet realise just how much He truly loves us and wants only the best for us. All He wants from us is faithfulness and obedience unto Him. To grow in His love and live in His peace together as His children.

And so what are we doing now to prepare ourselves for the wedding feast in heaven? How have we responded to the invitation to put on the wedding garment that is to grow in Holiness, in mercy, charity and love? Have we chucked away the invitation by the busyness in all matters of our heart’s desires? Have we inadvertently declined the invitation to life eternal with Him? How have we treated the sister and brother who was sent to lead us into home to Him? How is it our hearts and minds are not wrapped round the awesome mind blowing fact that we have been given the unique privilege and honour of attending it to begin with?

Lord Jesus indeed You have called and I respond with all my heart, mind and soul. Allow me to stand as one of your chosen. Amen

Dearest Blessed mother and Queen of Heaven pray for us…..

First reading

Judges 11:29-39 ·
Jephthah sacrifices his daughter in fulfilment of a vow

The spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah, who crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through to Mizpah in Gilead, and from Mizpah in Gilead made his way to the rear of the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, ‘If you deliver the Ammonites into my hands, then the first person to meet me from the door of my house when I return in triumph from fighting the Ammonites shall belong to the Lord, and I will offer him up as a holocaust. Jephthah marched against the Ammonites to attack them, and the Lord delivered them into his power. He harassed them from Aroer almost to Minnith (twenty towns) and to Abel-keramim. It was a very severe defeat, and the Ammonites were humbled before the Israelites.
As Jephthah returned to his house at Mizpah, his daughter came out from it to meet him; she was dancing to the sound of timbrels. This was his only child; apart from her he had neither son nor daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and exclaimed, ‘Oh my daughter, what sorrow you are bringing me! Must it be you, the cause of my ill-fortune! I have given a promise to the Lord, and I cannot unsay what I have said.’ She answered him, ‘My father, you have given a promise to the Lord; treat me as the vow you took binds you to, since the Lord has given you vengeance on your enemies the Ammonites.’ Then she said to her father, ‘Grant me one request. Let me be free for two months. I shall go and wander in the mountains, and with my companions bewail my virginity.’ He answered, ‘Go’, and let her depart for two months. So she went away with her companions and bewailed her virginity in the mountains. When the two months were over, she returned to her father, and he treated her as the vow that he had uttered bound him. She had never known a man.

Gospel

Matthew 22:1-14
Invite everyone you can to the wedding

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’


We are all called to labour to build the Kingdom of God. And His kingdom is built upon the hearts of His children in the salvation of souls. There are many opportunities and ways to do this but all we need is to respond to the call. All else will be provided for. How then do we respond to this call? Do we agree to do so only when promised a fair return? Then later on grumble expecting more for the long hours in doing so? Comparing our blessings with others who seem to work far less? Or do we respond with joy in our hearts just for being given the opportunity to labour in His love! Not concerned with returns only that we trust in Him and work to glorify the Lord our God in all that we say and do.

Some of us will be called to lead the rest closer into His Kingdom. Do we reverently pray to discern who it is the Lord our God has sent to us? To struggle and wrestle with our decision so that he or she who is chosen will lead after the heart of our Shepherd. Or do we simply cast our vote not concerned with who takes up the position so long as we don’t have to? Or else we choose someone likeable who is easily swayed to do our bidding, one who will allow us to come as we please and do as we please? In short, do we elect someone to lead us closer to heaven or closer to hell?

Lord Jesus let me joyfully bear my cross for You always. Amen

Saint Pius X pray for us…

First reading

Judges 9:6-15 ·
The tale of the trees and their king

All the leading men of Shechem and all Beth-millo gathered, and proclaimed Abimelech king by the terebinth of the pillar at Shechem.
News of this was brought to Jotham. He came and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted aloud for them to hear:

‘Hear me, leaders of Shechem,
that God may also hear you!

‘One day the trees went out
to anoint a king to rule over them.
They said to the olive tree, “Be our king!”

‘The olive tree answered them,
“Must I forego my oil which gives honour to gods and men, to stand swaying above the trees?”

‘Then the trees said to the fig tree,
“Come now, you be our king!”

‘The fig tree answered them,
“Must I forego my sweetness,
forego my excellent fruit,
to stand swaying above the trees?”

‘Then the trees said to the vine,
“Come now, you be our king!”

‘The vine answered them,
“Must I forego my wine which cheers the heart of gods and men, to stand swaying above the trees?”

‘Then all the trees said to the thorn bush,
“Come now, you be our king!”

‘And the thorn bush answered the trees, “If in all good faith you anoint me king to reign over you, then come and shelter in my shade.
If not, fire will come from the thorn bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”’

Gospel

Matthew 20:1-16
Why be envious because I am generous?

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’