Archive for September, 2019


Perhaps for some it goes deeper then this, but for most the squabbles about who is greater, who is Holier, who is more capable, who is wiser, who is more accurate in matters of faith and morals, who is more diligent in following laws to the letter; comes from the absence of the reign of God in their lives.

For if the God of love reigned in their hearts then they will not only know, but they would feel His loving embrace. One that fills the heart with peace and security of knowing that He loves us all perfectly as His children regardless of race, language or culture. Any gift and talents I receive from the Lord my God, He can give the same and more to any other He wills. He does not love me more than any other child neither does He love any other child more than me. So then why should I feel jealous of anyone else?

The real challenge for all of us is how much can we love someone else more than we love ourselves? (and we must love ourselves, for the Lord our God created us in His love and image and loves us dearly) How much are we willing to sacrifice for love of the least of our brethren?

Lord Jesus Christ, teach me to love perfectly as You have loved me. Amen

First reading

Zechariah 8:1-8 ·
The Lord will return to Zion

The word of the Lord of Hosts was addressed to me as follows:

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.
I am burning with jealousy for Zion,
with great anger for her sake.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.
I am coming back to Zion and shall dwell in the middle of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will be called Faithful City
and the mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the Holy Mountain.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.
Old men and old women will again sit down
in the squares of Jerusalem; every one of them staff in hand because of their great age.
And the squares of the city will be full
of boys and girls playing in the squares.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.
If this seems a miracle to the remnant of this people (in those days), will it seem one to me?
It is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.

‘The Lord of Hosts says this.
Now I am going to save my people from the countries of the East and from the countries of the West.
I will bring them back to live inside Jerusalem. They shall be my people
and I will be their God in faithfulness and integrity.’

Gospel

Luke 9:46-50
The least among you all is the greatest

An argument started between the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side and then said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.’
John spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘we saw a man casting out devils in your name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘You must not stop him: anyone who is not against you is for you.’

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


So I was warmly invited to attend a Servants of The Lord prayer meeting in the home of the brother who first introduced me to the group which I had never heard of till about a month ago. Even he was not aware I was coming because another fellow brother in the group wanted it to be a surprise. I attended with no expectations except to experience the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Being an Ecumenical group I already knew that many of our Catholic prayer traditions would not take place. However it was refreshing to experience a Christian adaption of the Jewish custom to celebrate the Sabbath aka The Lord’s day. Traditionally this took place beginning Sunset on Saturday. (the sabbath ended sunset on Sunday) There was even the adaptation of the ‘Berakah’ prayer which was beautiful, because while it was led, the community responded Blessing the Lord our God and acknowledging all that He has done and continues to do for us. There was breaking of bread and drinking of wine symbolising the community fellowship of old. Praise and worship was also refreshingly Charismatic in nature. And almost everyone participated in vocalising prayers of worship, thanksgiving and not forgetting intercessory prayers. Then we got our food and sat down to watch a short formation talk. We later broke off in groups to reflect and share. Men, Women and youths. After the sharing we proceeded home and on our way to glorify and praise the Lord by our lives.

Conversion Story

Posted: September 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

If you’ve watched the video above and loved it then you’ll be blown away by Father Don’s own conversion story. One of the most powerful testimonies ever of God’s love and mercy.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

A Great Chasm: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Amos 6:1, 4–7
Psalm 146:7–10
1 Timothy 6:11–16
Luke 16:19–31

The rich and powerful are visited with woe and exile in today’s Liturgy—not for their wealth but for their refusal to share it; not for their power but for their indifference to the suffering at their door.
The complacent leaders in today’s First Reading feast on fine foods and wines, reveling while the house of Joseph, the kingdom of Israel (see Amos 5:6), collapses around them.

The rich man in today’s Gospel also lives like a king—dressed in royal purple and fine linen (see 1 Maccabees 8:14).
The rich man symbolizes Israel’s failure to keep the Old Covenant, to heed the commandments of Moses and the prophets. This is the sin of the rulers in today’s First Reading. Born to the nation God favored first, they could claim Abraham as their father. But for their failure to give, their inheritance is taken away.

The rulers are exiled from their homeland. The rich man is punished with an exile far greater—eternity with a “great chasm” fixed between himself and God.

In this world, the rich and powerful make a name for themselves (see Genesis 11:4) and dine sumptuously, while the poor remain anonymous, refused an invitation to their feasts.

But notice that the Lord today knows Lazarus by name, and Joseph in his sufferings—while the leaders and the rich man have no name.

Today’s liturgy is a call to repentance—to heed the warning of One who was raised from the dead. To lay hold of the eternal life He promises, we must pursue righteousness, keep the commandment of love, as Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle.
“The Lord loves the just,” we sing in today’s Psalm.
And in this Eucharist we have a foretaste of the love that will be ours in the next life—when He will raise the lowly to the heavenly banquet with Abraham and the prophets (see Luke 13:28), where we too will rest our heads on the bosom of our Lord (see John 13:23).

Prayer

Posted: September 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Prayers

October…

Posted: September 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

As we are approaching the month of the rosary, and in preparation I urge you all to watch and listen to this talk by Fr Don….it’s wonderful and enriching.

On Today’s Gospel

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

We need to learn to wait on the Lord, prayerfully and reverently. Too often we are eager to know what is in store for us or as many would put it, we want to be prepared. It is the Lord Himself who should decide what we should know and when. And so we should trust in Him and surrender all up to Him.

For example those who attend a retreat will reap more by knowing that the Lord will be present and so desire only to be in His presence. Instead of those who want to know the retreat program ahead and insisting on knowing each and every detail of what will be taking place. Why even go for a retreat then? Our motto should be ‘No surrender, no real Retreat’

Know this, that our Lord is coming to dwell in the middle of us. He will embrace, fortify and protect us from all evil. What have we to fear or prepare for? We are His flock, and He will always be our Shepherd. Amen

First reading

Zechariah 2:5-9,14-15 ·
‘I will be the glory of Jerusalem’

Raising my eyes, I saw a vision. It was this: there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked him, ‘Where are you going?’ He said, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to find out her breadth and her length.’ And then, while the angel who was talking to me stood still, another angel came forward to meet him. He said to him, ‘Run, and tell that young man this, “Jerusalem is to remain unwalled, because of the great number of men and cattle there will be in her. But I – it is the Lord who speaks – I will be a wall of fire for her all round her, and I will be her glory in the midst of her.”’

Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion; for I am coming to dwell in the middle of you – it is the Lord who speaks.

Many nations will join the Lord, on that day; they will become his people.

Gospel

Luke 9:43-45
They were afraid to ask him what he meant

At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: “The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men.”’ But they did not understand him when he said this; it was hidden from them so that they should not see the meaning of it, and they were afraid to ask him about what he had just said.


Who is Jesus? Who is He for you personally? This is not a test of your knowledge but a question for your heart, a look into your interior disposition if you will. For anyone can proclaim Jesus as the Lord of Lord, King of Kings. The anointed one of God, the Word made flesh, light of the World and so on. If however, we do not dwell on our relationship with Him; by taking it to prayer and connecting deeply with our Vine then our faith is shallow as it is empty.

For Jesus is the new and everlasting temple. He had come to lay down His life for us and by conquering death through His resurrection; the glory of God was manifested. His glory longs to dwell in His new temple;our Hearts!

If we want to win the crown of the Resurrection then we too must be willing to go through the Passion, let us therefore take up our cross and follow Him. For the glory of God awaits us. Amen

St Vincent De Paul pray for us…

First reading

Haggai 1:15-2:9 ·
‘The new glory of this Temple is to surpass the old’

In the second year of King Darius, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows, ‘You are to speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high commissioner of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people. Say this, “Who is there left among you that saw this Temple in its former glory? And how does it look to you now? Does it seem nothing to you? But take courage now, Zerubbabel – it is the Lord who speaks. Courage, High Priest Joshua son of Jehozadak! Courage, all you people of the country! – it is the Lord who speaks. To work! I am with you – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks – and my spirit remains among you. Do not be afraid! For the Lord of Hosts says this: A little while now, and I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations and the treasures of all the nations shall flow in, and I will fill this Temple with glory, says the Lord of Hosts. Mine is the silver, mine the gold! – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks. The new glory of this Temple is going to surpass the old, says the Lord of Hosts, and in this place I will give peace – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.”’

Gospel

Luke 9:18-22
‘You are the Christ of God’

One day when Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said. But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.
‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’

Catholicjules.net

Posted: September 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

Ponder…

Posted: September 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

As scripture says: By my life—it is the Lord who speaks—every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall praise God. (Rm 14:11)

All creation sings praise to God simply by being fully what the Creator intended. Obedience to God’s designs is in itself an act of worship. Worship without obedience is merely hollow flattery. Yet both worship and obedience are less than Christian if they do not spring from the one root: love of God.


Many think they can do without the Lord our God in their lives. Especially those who have much success in their careers and who live pretty much comfortable lives. After all it is their sheer determination and hard work that paid off. They cannot however understand where their sense of restlessness and anxiety comes from? The tinglings of discontentment that sends chills down their spine. These good people may have all that they desire and yet their lives are empty!

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” St Augustine who obviously knew what he was talking about from his own life experiences sums it up perfectly! We must therefore earnestly strive to build up and rebuild if necessary, the church within us. So that our loving and living God can dwell within us. Jesus is the source of all life and so we will have need of nothing when we have Him deep within us.

So let us turn our backs to all forms of sin and guard ourselves against wanton desires and temptations. Seek our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of reconciliation as He ministers to us, heals and restores us in His mercy. Then receive Him fully in Holy Eucharist so as to fortify the foundation of the tabernacle that we carry faithfully within us.

O Lord my God! Let me never ever take Your love for me for granted. Forgive me the error of my ways and thoughts. Amen

First reading

Haggai 1:1-8 ·
‘Rebuild the House’

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, high commissioner of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, as follows, ‘The Lord of Hosts says this, “This people says: The time has not yet come to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. (And the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows:) Is this a time for you to live in your panelled houses, when this House lies in ruins? So now, the Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. You have sown much and harvested little; you eat but never have enough, drink but never have your fill, put on clothes but do not feel warm. The wage earner gets his wages only to put them in a purse riddled with holes. So go to the hill country, fetch wood, and rebuild the House: I shall then take pleasure in it, and be glorified there, says the Lord.”’

Gospel

Luke 9:7-9
‘John? I beheaded him; so who is this?’

Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was being done by Jesus; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 25, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We worry and fret about too many things when all we should be concern ourselves about, is sharing the love of our Lord Jesus Christ with others.

Oh I don’t know enough about my faith what if I am asked tough questions? I don’t have depth in my sharing better to remain quiet then to sound foolish. Don’t know what, when, or how to share Jesus with others? The list goes on till we convince ourselves that others were given the gifts, talents to share His love and not us! Really?

Has the love of Christ not touched you at all? In your pain and misery did He not come to comfort you? Have you not been liberated from a wayward way of life? Do you not see the hand and many blessings of God in your own life? Have you not heard any testimonies on how Jesus had touched the lives of your very own loved ones and friends? Have you not suddenly recalled words from Scripture which helped you through a difficulty? Well then if there is only one thing in the above list of which is not exhaustive, then you should begin to share that one thing with someone, then repeat it to someone else again and again. Soon you will find more and more different things to share. All of us have different qualities, backgrounds, strengths and so on. And it is through this diversity that we are able to reach and touch many different souls through the power of the Holy spirit. God with us who can be against us? All we need is Him.

The twelve that was sent out in today’s Gospel were not Robots neither were genetically cloned. They were all simple men with very different personalities and character. Children of God our Father sent to minister to His other children. In faith they went as they were instructed to do, sharing the good news and healing took place everywhere!

Jesus I love You. I will speak of my love for You and of Your love for me to all who will listen. Amen

First reading

Ezra 9:5-9 ·
‘God has not forgotten us in our slavery’

At the evening sacrifice I, Ezra, came out of my stupor and falling on my knees, with my garment and cloak torn, I stretched out my hands to the Lord my God, and said:
‘My God, I am ashamed, I blush to lift my face to you, my God. For our crimes have increased, until they are higher than our heads, and our sin has piled up to heaven. From the days of our ancestors until now our guilt has been great; on account of our crimes we, our kings and our priests, were given into the power of the kings of other countries, given to the sword, to captivity, to pillage and to shame, as is the case today. But now, suddenly, the Lord our God by his favour has left us a remnant and granted us a refuge in his holy place; this is how our God has cheered our eyes and given us a little respite in our slavery. For we are slaves; but God has not forgotten us in our slavery; he has shown us kindness in the eyes of the kings of Persia, obtaining permission for us to rebuild the Temple of our God and restore its ruins, and he has found us safety and shelter in Judah and in Jerusalem.’

Gospel

Luke 9:1-6
‘Take nothing for the journey’

Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let it be from there. As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere.

Faith and Morals

Posted: September 24, 2019 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 24, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

We are all called to be build the Kingdom of God and as kingdom builders we must be single minded in our endeavours. One mind and One body in Christ. All that we will ever need is provided for by the Lord our God. And so we cannot say we do not have what it takes to do so. Well then how do we begin if we have chosen to remain ignorant and deaf to the call of our Lord?

For if we are truly living as God our Father’s children, then as one family in Him we would have heard His Word and put it into practice. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ makes this very clear when he says ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God’ What follows is the action of putting it into practice thereafter. And indeed our Blessed Mother was a very clear example and model for us on how to do so through perfect obedience to the Word of God. Our Lord’s disciples too left everything to follow Him and as such were no longer called His servants, but friends. We know they are all now One body in Him in Heaven praying for us saints to join them.

”The kingdom of God [is] righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” CCC 2819

O Holy Spirit open my heart to hear always the living Word. That I may live to build up the everlasting Kingdom where my one triune God lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen

First reading

Ezra 6:7-8,12,14-20
Darius king of Persia pays for the rebuilding of the Temple of God

King Darius wrote to the satrap of Transeuphrates and his colleagues: ‘Leave the high commissioner of Judah and the elders of the Jews to work on this Temple of God; they are to rebuild this Temple of God on its ancient site. This, I decree, is how you must assist the elders of the Jews in the reconstruction of this Temple of God: the expenses of these people are to be paid, promptly and without fail, from the royal revenue – that is, from the tribute of Transeuphrates. May the God who causes his name to live there overthrow any king or people who dares to defy this and destroy the Temple of God in Jerusalem! I, Darius, have issued this decree. Let it be obeyed to the letter!’
The elders of the Jews prospered with their building, inspired by Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished the building in accordance with the order of the God of Israel and the order of Cyrus and of Darius. This Temple was finished on the twenty-third day of the month of Adar; it was the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. The Israelites – the priests, the Levites and the remainder of the exiles – joyfully dedicated this Temple of God; for the dedication of this Temple of God they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs and, as a sacrifice for sin for the whole of Israel, twelve he-goats, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel. Then they installed the priests according to their orders in the service of the Temple of God in Jerusalem, as is written in the Book of Moses.
The exiles celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Levites, as one man, had purified themselves; all were pure, so they sacrificed the passover for all the exiles, for their brothers the priests and for themselves.

Gospel

Luke 8:19-21

The mother and the brothers of Jesus came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’


Time and time again we hear how the spoken Word of God breathes life to where there is none. How it turns hearts from stone into flesh. Brings about renewal and change otherwise thought impossible.

Yet many still refuse to embrace and live the Word of God in their lives. They choose instead to live out their days as closet Christians (Catholics). Happy to simply attend the Eucharistic Celebration as an obligation then go about their week trying their best to avoid sin and temptations. Is this the life the Lord our God wants for us?

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (Jn 10:10) says the Lord and so we must open our hearts to receive our Risen Lord Jesus Christ deep into our very being. We should then desire to live in His light by being the light for others. And soon we will become great instruments of His grace and mercy so that those who live in darkness will be lead into the light of Christ. This is how we truly live grace filled lives to the full. Through Him, with Him and in Him. Amen

First reading

Ezra 1:1-6 ·
Cyrus king of Persia frees the Jews to return to Jerusalem

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord that was spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom: ‘Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; he has ordered me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah to build the Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel – he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, wherever he lives, be helped by the people of that place with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, as well as voluntary offerings for the Temple of God which is in Jerusalem.”’
Then the heads of families of Judah and of Benjamin, the priests and the Levites, in fact all whose spirit had been roused by God, prepared to go and rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem; and all their neighbours gave them every assistance with silver, gold, goods, cattle, quantities of costly gifts and with voluntary offerings of every kind.

Gospel

Luke 8:16-18
Anyone who has will be given more

Jesus said to the crowds:
‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Prudent Stewards: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Amos 8:4–7
Psalm 113:1–2, 4–6, 7–8
1 Timothy 2:1–8
Luke 16:1–13

The steward in today’s Gospel confronts the reality that he can’t go on living the way he has been. He is under judgment. He must give account for what he has done.
The exploiters of the poor in today’s First Reading are also about to be pulled down, to be thrust from their stations (see Isaiah 22:19). Servants of mammon or money, they’re so in love with wealth that they reduce the poor to objects; they despise the new moons and sabbaths—the observances and holy days of God (see Leviticus 23:24; Exodus 20:8).

Their only hope is to follow the steward’s path. He is no model of repentance. But he makes a prudent calculation—to use his last hours in charge of his master’s property to show mercy to others, to relieve their debts.

He is a child of this world, driven by a purely selfish motive—to make friends and be welcomed into the homes of his master’s debtors. Yet his prudence is commended as an example to us, the children of light (see 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Ephesians 5:8). We too must realize, as the steward does, that what we have is not honestly ours, but in truth belongs to another, our Master.
All the mammon in the world could not have paid the debt we owe our Master. So He paid it for us. He gave His life as a ransom for all, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

God wants everyone to be saved, even kings and princes, even the lovers of money (see Luke 16:14). But we cannot serve two masters. By His grace, we should choose to be, as we sing in today’s Psalm, “servants of the Lord.”

We serve Him by using what He has entrusted us with to give alms, to lift the lowly from the dust and dunghills of this world. By this we will gain what is ours and be welcomed into eternal dwellings, the many mansions of the Father’s house (see John 14:2).


Ah how I wish I could declare like St Paul, that I am a prisoner in the Lord! Then I will not demand to be treated fairly. To be included or affirmed! To be recognised and thanked. To be loved in return for having loved!

Being His prisoner would liberate me from the cares of this world! I can face all hardship, trials and tribulations for I am not alone. My Lord is yoked with me!

I am a sinful man not worthy yet to be called a prisoner of my Lord Jesus Christ, so I turn to Him for His mercy and grace. That one day soon I will mature in my faith and in the fullness of Christ my Lord Himself. Amen

St Matthew pray for us…

First reading

Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13 ·
We are all to come to unity, fully mature in the knowledge of the Son of God

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

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.’

Posted: September 20, 2019 by CatholicJules in Memory Book


Praying and going for regular Mass and Adoration does not make one Holy and so there is no need. A praying community does not help in spiritual growth, if members do not come for meetings we must find out the ‘real’ reason why they do not and change ourselves first. These are words from a brother serving in ministry for more than ten years and still serving! What keeps him going is when parishioners smile at him from time to time. Then there are those who congregate for drinks and merry making and part of their activity is to gossip about church members who are ‘unholy’ or who have appeared ‘Holy’ but have sinned greatly by cheating, stealing or having affairs. Really? So we can see clearly how the struggles with the early Church communities in the days of St Paul are prevalent today and very likely in the ages to come.

Yes indeed we are all sinners and because we are all sinners it is all the more we need our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives! That is why we strive for holiness by praying, by learning the will of God for us through His Word, by sitting by His feet before the Blessed Sacrament, by receiving Him and many graces through the reception of Holy Eucharist. So then we can grow and draw closer to Him each time. Yes we may fall from time to time yet we know He is patiently waiting for us when we seek Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to minister to us and set us free. We must therefore be outward looking in our faith, to reach out to others and to be there for others so as to lead them closer to Christ. Never ever neglecting the poor and those living in the peripheries.

In today’s Gospel although we hear little of the women mentioned they were all dedicated women of faith who devoted their lives in serving our Lord and the community. What little they must have had on their own yet they offered it all up. Women such as these, together with our Blessed Mother continue to be great models for us to follow. They carry their crosses in love for our Lord and for their fellow sisters and brothers. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 6:2-12
We brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it

This is what you are to teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit – with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit. Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, let us be content with that. People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction. ‘The love of money is the root of all evils’ and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.
But, as a man dedicated to God, you must avoid all that. You must aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith and win for yourself the eternal life to which you were called when you made your profession and spoke up for the truth in front of many witnesses.

Gospel

Luke 8:1-3
The women who accompanied Jesus

Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.

An inspiration to share with all who are serving in Ministry

Posted: September 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Prayers

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. (Rm 16:17)

What does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (Deu 10:12)

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim 2-5)

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
( Hebrews 10:24–25)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.(Heb 12:14)

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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O Lord why do you love me so?

All those years You gently called me home to You and I walked on further away in silence. For had I responded I would have said” Leave me alone I want to live my life my own way!”

O Lord why do you love me so?

And so I ‘loved’ and lived a sinful life exploring the many forms of sexual delights. Unbridled tongue wielded as I pleased. Who was I? But one shrouded in my own mystery.

O Lord why do you love me so?

The further I travelled down the wide open road the harder my heart became. The seven daily Sins were my companions! Who could love me now? When I did know or understand love? Love is something you say or ‘do’ to get what you want!

O Lord why do you love me so?

Troubled, restless, despairing at my loss of my identity retaining only a shred of sanity and a tiny morsel of human dignity, I found myself at Your feet before the Blessed Sacrament weeping for all I had done and all I had failed to do. Then I set my gaze upon You and saw that You loved me and had never stopped! I was liberated from a debt I could not pay! You O Lord are Love!

I no longer ask “O Lord why do you love me so?” But instead ask, “Lord have I loved You more this day.” Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 4:12-16 ·
Be an example to all the believers

Do not let people disregard you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in exhaling love, your faith and your purity. Make use of the time until I arrive by reading to the people, preaching and teaching. You have in you a spiritual gift which was given to you when the prophets spoke and the body of elders laid their hands on you; do not let it lie unused. Think hard about all this, and put it into practice, and everyone will be able to see how you are advancing. Take great care about what you do and what you teach; always do this, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

Gospel

Luke 7:36-50
Her many sins have been forgiven, or she would not have shown such great love

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’
Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’


Stop complaining! Stop making excuses! Busy, busy, busy! Appointment after appointment, plan after plan. No time for prayer, no time to read a book let alone the Bible. Really? Are you so busy about your Father in Heaven’s affairs? Are you busy with bringing the joy of the Gospel to those who despair? Are you busy touching the lives of those in need? If you are busy with all these then you will have no complaint. For you will be living your life in our Father’s love and in the shelter of His loving embrace.

The light of the world, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has come;to unite Heaven and earth. By His death and resurrection we are given the opportunity to live life to the full and for all eternity with Him. This powerful, wonderful and amazing light in which all darkness dissipates has been offered to each and every one of us. Do we eagerly welcome Him then with open heart, mind and soul? Ever grateful that He wants to minister to us and does so with great tender mercy and love. Or do we choose to live in our familiar darkness which shrouds all that is good within us? As for me and my house we choose to live in His light, even if it means we have to carry our crosses to follow Him.

Lord Jesus if I sing, I sing for You, if I dance, I dance for You. May all that I do bring You glory now and forevermore. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 3:14-16 ·
The mystery of our religion is very deep

At the moment of writing to you, I am hoping that I may be with you soon; but in case I should be delayed, I wanted you to know how people ought to behave in God’s family – that is, in the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is very deep indeed:

He was made visible in the flesh,
attested by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the pagans,
believed in by the world,
taken up in glory.

Gospel

Luke 7:31-35
‘We played the pipes, and you wouldn’t dance’

Jesus said to the people:
‘What description can I find for the men of this generation? What are they like? They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market-place:

‘“We played the pipes for you,
and you wouldn’t dance;
we sang dirges,
and you wouldn’t cry.”

‘For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet Wisdom has been proved right by all her children.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Can you fathom a mother’s anguish of losing an only beloved son in the beginning of her twilight years. The sorrowful tears and despair of losing the love of her life whom she bore into the world now to being all alone. Perhaps very soon she might join him as there was no one else to fend or care for her. What work will there be for her to earn her keep? How will she live? Perhaps in the Gospel of today the mother too had already ‘died’ with her son. Then we see the great love of our ever loving God, Jesus who looked upon her with her great compassion and mercy. He raised them both from the dead! Two lives were restored, made whole once again and everyone rejoiced as they praised God for visiting His people.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He is ever loving and compassionate and will always be by our side in our own moments of anguish and despair. He will surely come to comfort and restore us for He hears us crying out to Him. How great indeed is our God!

We are all called to be merciful, compassionate and kind. More is therefore expected of us called to lead His flock and so we must model ourselves after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is mercy and love personified. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 3:1-13 ·
The president must be of impeccable character

Here is a saying that you can rely on: To want to be a presiding elder is to want to do a noble work. That is why the president must have an impeccable character. He must not have been married more than once, and he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher; not a heavy drinker, nor hot-tempered, but kind and peaceable. He must not be a lover of money. He must be a man who manages his own family well and brings his children up to obey him and be well-behaved: how can any man who does not understand how to manage his own family have responsibility for the church of God? He should not be a new convert, in case pride might turn his head and then he might be condemned as the devil was condemned. It is also necessary that people outside the Church should speak well of him, so that he never gets a bad reputation and falls into the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons must be respectable men whose word can be trusted, moderate in the amount of wine they drink and with no squalid greed for money. They must be conscientious believers in the mystery of the faith. They are to be examined first, and only admitted to serve as deacons if there is nothing against them. In the same way, the women must be respectable, not gossips but sober and quite reliable. Deacons must not have been married more than once, and must be men who manage their children and families well. Those of them who carry out their duties well as deacons will earn a high standing for themselves and be rewarded with great assurance in their work for the faith in Christ Jesus.

Gospel

Luke 7:11-17
The only son of his mother, and she a widow

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What can be easier than to say I will pray for you? Then quickly say a short prayer lifting the intentions for the person lest we forget then feel guilty about it later; and be done with it once and for all. Well let me be first to admit this is what I started out doing till I started growing in faith and pondering my Lord’s will in everything. So then where is the love behind this very act of praying for someone? Where and what is the kind of faith that lies within us? How then will we ever begin to pray for our enemies let alone love them?

Intercessory prayer is not simply mouthing prayers for someone or on behalf of someone for specific intentions. It is praying with all our heart and mind so as to touch the heart of the Lord our God by our faith, love steadfastness and determination. To plead with Him to come and touch the lives of whom we offer our prayers for. To seek earnestly that His grace, love and mercy will be upon them. Therefore when we pray this way it can take days, weeks, months, even years! And so our prayer list increases over time. By praying thus we unite ourselves and share in the sufferings, the hopes and dreams of those we pray for. And so when our prayers for them are answered, we too can truly rejoice. Even then when our prayers are answered not quite in the way we had hoped, still peace will reign in our hearts. For we know that the Lord our God only desires the best for all of us.

Let us then pray for one another reverently, fervently with all our heart. And may our almighty and ever living God bless us, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 2:1-8 ·
Pray for everyone to God, who wants everyone to be saved

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and – I am telling the truth and no lie – a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.
In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

Gospel

Luke 7:1-10
Give the word, and my servant will be healed

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

Reflection

Posted: September 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 14, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Seeking the Lost: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Exodus 32:7–11, 13–14
Psalm 51:3–4, 12–13, 17, 19
1 Timothy 1:12–17
Luke 15:1–10

The episode in today’s First Reading has been called “Israel’s original sin.” Freed from bondage, born as a people of God in the covenant at Sinai, Israel turned aside from His ways and fell to worshipping a golden calf.
Moses implores God’s mercy, just as Jesus will later intercede for the whole human race. Just as He still pleads for sinners at God’s right hand and through the ministry of the Church.

Israel’s sin is the sin of the world. It is your sin and mine. Ransomed from death and made His children in Baptism, we fall prey to the idols of this world. We remain a “stiff-necked people,” resisting His will for us like an ox refuses the plowman’s yoke (see Jeremiah 7:26).

Like Israel, in our sin we push God away and reject our divine sonship. Once He called us “my people” (see Exodus 3:10; 6:7). But our sin makes us “no people,” people He should, in justice, disown (see Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Peter 2:10).

Yet in His mercy, He is faithful to the covenant He swore by His own self in Jesus. In Jesus, God comes to Israel and to each of us—as a shepherd to seek the lost (see Ezekiel 34:11–16), to carry us back to the heavenly feast, the perpetual heritage promised long ago to Abraham’s children.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” Paul cries in today’s Epistle. These are the happiest words the world has ever known. Because of Jesus, as Paul himself can testify, even the blasphemer and persecutor can seek His mercy.

As the sinners do in today’s Gospel, we draw near to listen to Him. In this Eucharist, we bring Him the acceptable sacrifice we sing of in today’s Psalm—our hearts, humbled and contrite.

In the company of His angels and saints, we rejoice that He has wiped out our offense. We celebrate with Him that we have turned from the evil way that we might live (see Ezekiel 18:23).

Sharing by a Sister in Christ

Posted: September 14, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

Eileen from our CG LOL Small Christian Community

Bear with me, my lol brothers and sisters. I’d like to share my christ encounter with you.

Svdp had corporal works of mercy today. I didn’t sign up for old folks home but was posted there. I knew God had a reason for putting me in the aged home instead of children’s home.

We had colouring activity. This old catholic man refused to colour any of the pictures (flowers, gumball, ice cream) because he did not like any of them. He insisted on a lighthouse picture but we did not have. He was adamant about a lighthouse picture with boats. I didn’t think I could draw well so asked a 21 year old girl to draw. She couldn’t draw too and i ended up copying the pic from Google.
I drew a lighthouse and boats that he wanted. I didn’t think I did a good job with the drawing and colouring. The old man told me he fell in a lighthouse before.
I also wrote a bible verse at the bottom of the picture.
“Oli, you are the light of the world.” (Matt5:14)
And around the lighthouse, I wrote “Jesus is the eternal light.”
He looked at my picture n the words and repeated the verse. I think he was moved because he took off his specs twice and rubbed his teary eyes. I was moved too. The lighthouse meant a lot to him and to me. There were many people who were lighthouse to me, in my moments of darkness. Others brought light and christ to me, now it was my turn to bring light n christ to him.
The old man took my lighthouse pic (he was so delighted!), went to his bedside and wedged the picture in his bible. 😭


Today over a ‘breakfast with Jesus’ session the group shared about how the Israelites in the first reading complained incessantly about everything not unlike the culture we live in. There was mention of how some complaints might be viewed as feedback while another shared that when he asked a lady colleague why she complained about everything her reply intrigued him. She told him that she complained so she could get what she wanted, if it was just feedback she got nothing!

I started my sharing by quoting Philippians 2:14 then an insight came upon me. Think about it, I said, ”People who complain do not have God dwelling within them for if they did, they would have nothing to complain about.” The Israelites had no teal love for God and was far from Him. Even in tomorrow’s first reading they apostasised EX 32:7-11, 13-14, they wanted only what they wanted. And even though the Lord our God detested their sins to the point of destroying them in their sins, still He relented through the intercession of Moses His servant who prefigured the coming of His only Begotten Son who would intecede for us thereafter lay down His life for us to free us from all sin. So that through our repentance we can be fully reconciled so as to live fully in His loving embrace and love.

Let us never empty the meaning of the Cross and its value. 🙏❤️


Today as we gaze upon the crucifixes in our homes, around our necks, in our Parish, let us ponder over the word in John’s Gospel, the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. Indeed it is Not so much a symbol as it is a truth of God’s great love for us! Of how our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ suffered death to liberate us once for all from the clutches of sin. A victory over death and sin won for each and everyone of us by His very own death and Resurrection!

We are drawn to eternal life with Him, when we willingly take up our cross to follow Him. So on this feast day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, let our hearts and minds be also raised, as we set our sights to the Heavenly Banquet that awaits us through Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

Numbers 21:4-9 ·
If anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked up at the bronze serpent and lived

On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’
At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Gospel

John 3:13-17
God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.’

A thought..

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


Why is it that we seem to see the faults and shortfalls of others ever so clearly yet see nothing of our own; let alone try to be and do better? If we cannot be faithful to friends and acquaintances by our comments when not in their presence, how can we be expected to be faithful to Jesus who sees or knows all whether or not we are aware of His presence?

We are ALL called to lead one another into Holiness even while there are some amongst us who are appointed leaders in our church or communities. If we do not lead others by example by attending daily Eucharist, going for Adoration and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often as we can, how can we perfected by Christ to lead His flock? St Paul shares with us today as he will again this Sunday of how his own conversion began through Christ Jesus our Lord. He acknowledged his own wayward ways, his ignorance and arrogance if you will at one time. But through believe and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ there was a great outpouring of grace, mercy and love upon him which transformed him to be more and more like his master. Let us therefore acknowledge our own sinfulness, our need for the grace and strength of our Saviour Jesus Christ so that we too can be better Shepherds for His flock.

Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 1:1-2,12-14 ·
I used to be a blasphemer, but the mercy of God was shown me

From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus appointed by the command of God our saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, true child of mine in the faith; wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his service even though I used to be a blasphemer and did all I could to injure and discredit the faith. Mercy, however, was shown me, because until I became a believer I had been acting in ignorance; and the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus.

Gospel

Luke 6:39-42
Can the blind lead the blind?

Jesus told a parable to the disciples: ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Too hard it is to follow the loving ways of our Lord and His command to love. Formation after formation, retreat after retreat amounts to nothing if there is no change of heart, of will and fortitude to endeavour the trials of carrying the cross which we are to bear in love. How are we ever going to love our enemies when we cannot love our own family who knows how to push our buttons let alone to love our neighbour? How are we going to bless those who curse us when we are quick to curse them back so as not to fall victim? What about those who treat us badly or ‘slap’ us? ”Ooh I cannot wait for them to try and cross me again” we utter with vengeance in our heart. So indeed it is no effort at all to love those who love us in return!

The painful falls we took to learn to ride a bike, rollerblade (skate), the pains of riding a horse for the first time, the endurance of climbing/hiking up a mountain, the cuts, burns and criticisms when learning to cook, the long hours and hardships of completing a project, all of these at the very end brought us a great sense of accomplishment and overwhelming joy! In addition wonderful lasting memories. How much more will we receive when we love and endure all for Christ Jesus our Lord! It all begins with baby steps in His love. To endure a little more each day, putting on a small piece of cloth of love upon us each time, as a badge of our success. Before we know it we will have a full length cloak upon us, a woven tapestry of love.

Then we can truly sing high praises and hymns to the Lord our God with great gratitude of heart, for we would have become more like Him, compassionate, merciful, most of all loving. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Colossians 3:12-17 ·
Be clothed in love

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Gospel

Luke 6:27-38
Love your enemies

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 11, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How does our loving Lord and God want us to live our lives? In poverty, hungry all the time and sorrowful? Nay! Afterall Jesus our Lord did say,”I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) We have life to the full indeed when we live in Him, with Him, for Him and for one another. Sounds simple enough? But as we very well know, it is far from simple.

There is nothing wrong with being rich, but are we rich for ourselves and our family alone? Have we enriched the lives of others? Do we see the poor and do nothing? There is nothing wrong with being well fed, but do we feed those who have nothing? Have we performed corporal and spiritual acts of mercy? There is nothing wrong with being joyful, but have we brought joy in the lives of others who are lonely, downtrodden, distraught? Have we shared the joy of knowing Christ with others?

Like all good things we need to work hard at and for it by setting our sights to Heaven as our only goal; for us, our families and all our dearly beloved sisters and brothers. We must strive for Holiness as we reject all sin, sinfulness and temptations. We must choose always to live in the light in which Christ had bought and paid for by laying down His life for us. In the same way how much of how we live our lives for others determines how Christ-like we become.

Jesus I want to live my life for You. Be with me, dwell in me, stay with me, now and forevermore. Amen

First reading

Colossians 3:1-11 ·
You must look for the things that are in heaven

Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed – and he is your life – you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.
That is why you must kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life: fornication, impurity, guilty passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god; all this is the sort of behaviour that makes God angry. And it is the way in which you used to live when you were surrounded by people doing the same thing, but now you, of all people, must give all these things up: getting angry, being bad-tempered, spitefulness, abusive language and dirty talk; and never tell each other lies. You have stripped off your old behaviour with your old self, and you have put on a new self which will progress towards true knowledge the more it is renewed in the image of its creator; and in that image there is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised or the uncircumcised, or between barbarian and Scythian, slave and free man. There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.

Gospel

Luke 6:20-26
Happy are you who are poor, who are hungry, who weep

Fixing his eyes on his disciples Jesus said:

‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Our life in Christ began with prayer, it was through the prayer of the faithful that the Holy Spirit decended upon us at our baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We became God our Father’s children inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore prayer is central in the life of a Christian. What is prayer then?

Well there are many facets and many forms of prayer all of which lead us to into the loving embrace of the Lord our God in a ‘Heavenly Dance’ if you will. Our mouth whispers to the heart of God and the mouth of God whispers to our heart. Yes it is as simple as that and yet still many find it difficult to pray as if our Lord demands of us a certain form or discipline in order for us to speak with or hear Him. The only requirement in a sense is that we do so in the quiet. For it is in the quiet that He speaks to our heart. We can hear Him most clearly and profoundly. We are gradually led deeper and deeper into His bosom over time and as we seek Him more and more frequently.

Through prayer, prayerful contemplation of His Word, and often seeking to be in His presence, we become more like Him each and every day. Others will see us becoming more loving and merciful. Through Him we become powerful instruments of His grace for others.

I have no need to turn to anyone or to look anywhere else, all that I will ever need is to be found in You alone Jesus my Lord. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Colossians 2:6-15 ·
The Lord has brought you to life with him

You must live your whole life according to the Christ you have received – Jesus the Lord; you must be rooted in him and built on him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and full of thanksgiving.
Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some second-hand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ.
In his body lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment, in the one who is the head of every Sovereignty and Power.
In him you have been circumcised, with a circumcision not performed by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your body of flesh. This is circumcision according to Christ. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and had not been circumcised: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us all our sins.
He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the cross; and so he got rid of the Sovereignties and the Powers, and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession.

Gospel

Luke 6:12-19
Jesus chooses his twelve apostles

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.
He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.


Everyday is an oppoturnity to love, to give thanks and glory to God by loving others with the same love He first loved us. So how can we ask when is it a good time or place to do so? Only when it is convenient to do so? After all our Lord’s commandment was to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one another as He had loved us.

Was the man’s condition in today’s Gospel dire? Was it life threathening? Could he not work to provide for himself with his other hand and feet? Was his withered hand the cause of any other ailments? If we are asking all these questions then we are missing the point completely! The Lord had told us ”It is love that I seek, and not sacrifice.” Hos 6:6 and again Matthew 9:13 ”Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’’ We are called to love beyond boundaries, to love without question.

In order to understand more deeply this call to love, we must look to the mystery of our Lord’s great love for us revealed through His life, death and resurrection. His love for ALL mankind not a select race or few. His desire that we have life and have it to the full. His hope that by our response to His Will for us we will share eternity with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. It is our responsibility therefore to learn, teach, train and lead one another into the reality of life eternal with Him. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:24-2:3 ·
God’s message was a mystery hidden for generations

It makes me happy to suffer for you, as I am suffering now, and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church. I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to them and to show all the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ. It is for this I struggle wearily on, helped only by his power driving me irresistibly.
Yes, I want you to know that I do have to struggle hard for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for so many others who have never seen me face to face. It is all to bind you together in love and to stir your minds, so that your understanding may come to full development, until you really know God’s secret in which all the jewels of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

Gospel

Luke 6:6-11
Is it against the law on the sabbath to save life?

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’ Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

LISS Testimony

Posted: September 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

( My LISS grouping of 2018 which I facilitated)

Life in the Spirit Seminar (LISS) Testimony

“I am with you always, until the end of time”
Matthew 28:20

I recalled last October 2018 when I was going through a very difficult period in my life on my professional and personal front, Sharon from Emmanuel Charismatic encouraged me to sign up for the Life in the Spirit Seminar. Honestly-speaking, I was rather doubtful and skeptical whether it would make any difference. However, I was feeling so down and hopeless that I was willing to try anything if my life could be on track again.

During the 8-week journey, I did not see any dramatic changes, but I soldiered on trusting that God would show me the way eventually. The changes came very gradually but surely, I started noticing that my response to difficulties started to change. In the past, I would face each issue with gloom and doom but after the LISS, I could calmly surrender my problems to Jesus with relatively more ease. Peace would descend upon me each time I let go and let God take over. What was interesting was that my personal situation remained grim, in fact, there was a period after the LISS, my situation worsened but I continued to call out to the Holy Spirit to guide me. Step by step, my life slowly transformed, and things started to be on track again.

Fast forward to today, problems remains in my life, however, my walk with Jesus has changed dramatically. Whenever I pray, I can see clearer what to ask, what God’s plan is for me, all within the framework of a submissive heart, free from worldly objectives. There is now a place in my heart where God’s love is untouched and unaffected by the events of this earth. I have become increasingly sensitive to wrong – both in all that surrounds me and in myself. I will feel deeply that “wrong” where once I merely “observed” it.

So, my dear Sisters and Brothers, I urge you to take that first step to come and join the LISS,

● Come because God is calling you – It is not coincidental that you are reading this;

● Come even you are unsure whether you can commit to the 8-week journey – Do your part, God will do the rest;

● Come even though you are afraid, and no one is accompanying you – God will find companions to walk with you during this journey;

May God bless you all the days of your life!

With Love
Catherine Lim

A little on Today’s Gospel…

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

Luke 14:25-27

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Ask anyone who has left ministry and a prayer community for a sabbatical of sorts; they will tell you that they had become spiritually dead over time. To be filled with the grace , peace and love of Christ Jesus our Lord is to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul. And to love our brethren His one Body. Which means we must put our love for Him and brethren into action. For worship of Him is never a private affair.

You have all been bought and paid for, do not be slaves of other men. (1 Co 7:23) Do you listen then to anyone be it family or not that you should not serve and that charity begins and ends at home? Can you truly love our Lord without loving your neighbour? Can you love your neighbour without first loving Him Your God? Whom first loved you?

This is what I have learnt in my own journey, that we must all make love our aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that we may prophesy. Amen


Weekends are very precious for most to relax and unwind. To sleep in till very late in the morning. I haven’t in a sense, had this luxury for the past few years.

My typical Saturday begins with me waking between 4:30 to 5am. I then reflect on today’s reading and Gospel then post my reflections online. Then quickly bathe and rush for Morning Lauds at 6:15am followed by morning Eucharist. Every few weeks like today I will serve as the morning Lector for the Eucharistic Celebration. Today also being the first Saturday of the month we have the Rosary at the Grotto, otherwise I will proceed for ‘Breakfast with Jesus’ basically a small community gathered to share the word and testimony of our Lord at the coffee shop. Then it’s a rush home to see to my family’s breakfast. I then send my daughter for Cathechism class while I go for Adoration and if time permits then I run an errand or two. Then it’s back home for lunch. From time to time I will either attend a formation, focolare community meeting on first Saturdays, Healing EC or visit my parents. Today we were blessed to be invited for The Servants of The Lord family day. If the Saturday is not packed then I would honestly feel something missing.

Sunday is the latest I sleep in during the whole week, I wake up at 6am then off to church to prepare for the Sunday reflections at 8am with our group in the Stewards of the Banquet ministry serving the 9:15am EC. Then it’s a quick bite, then off for our SCC meeting if one is scheduled for that Sunday or for a couple Session with our spiritual director. If there is nothing on then it’s catching up on ironing, some housework and family time.

Yes it can be typically very tiring and draining, but the beauty and wonder of it all is that it isn’t! Because I do not rely on my own strength. I rely on my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ! And I thank Him for the opportunities to share Him with others even for the challenges that come with it, though I definitely prefer not to have too much of the latter.

If I do get worn and tired then it’s because I have either not spent enough quiet time with my Lord, am not living in a state of grace thereby not frequenting the Holy Sacraments the way I should, in short not walking in His light.

All glory and Praise to the Lord our God. Amen

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: September 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Counting the Cost: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 9:13–18
Psalm 90:3–6, 12–17
Philemon 1:9–10, 12–17
Luke 14:25–33

Like a king making ready for battle or a contractor about to build a tower, we have to count the cost as we set out to follow Jesus.
Our Lord today is telling us up front the sacrifice it will take. His words aren’t addressed to His chosen few, the Twelve, but rather to the “great crowds”—to anyone, to whoever wishes to be His disciple.
That only makes His call all the more stark and uncompromising. We are to “hate” our old lives, to renounce all the earthly things we rely upon, to choose Him above every person and possession. Again He tells us that the things we have—even our family ties and obligations—can become an excuse, an obstacle that keeps us from giving ourselves completely to Him (see Luke 9:23–26, 57–62).
Jesus brings us the saving wisdom we are promised in today’s First Reading. He is that saving Wisdom.

Weighed down by many earthly concerns, the burdens of our body and its needs, we could never see beyond the things of this world; we could never detect God’s heavenly design and intention. So in His mercy He sent us His Spirit, His Wisdom from on high, to make straight our path to Him.
Jesus Himself paid the price to free us from the sentence imposed on Adam, which we recall in today’s Psalm (see Genesis 2:7; 2:19). No more will the work of our hands be an affliction; no more are we destined to turn back to dust.

Like Onesimus in today’s Epistle, we have been redeemed. We have been given a new family and a new inheritance, made children of the Father, brothers and sisters in the Lord.

We are free now to come after Him, to serve Him—no longer slaves to the ties of our past lives. In Christ, all our yesterdays have passed. We live in what the Psalm today beautifully describes as the daybreak, ready to be filled with His kindness. For He has given us wisdom of heart and taught us to number our days aright.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , , ,

Every day we are faced with struggles and new challenges be it at work, home or with our faith. How do we cope? How do we make it through each day? How did we get through the day yesterday? Question really is who is in charge of your life? If you are in charge then yes you are subject to human limitations. But if our Lord is in charge and you subject yourself to His authority without question then you will be amazed at how things work out. How much more gets done in a day and still there is joy in your heart. At the end of the you are granted a peaceful rest.

Therefore we should always begin our awakening with prayer, calling for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For His counsel throughout the day. We praise and thank God for the new day and the opportunities to glorify Him through the challenges of the day. Through Him and with Him, we will persevere, grow and walk blameless in His sight. We therefore submit ourselves this day and everyday to His Holy Will for us. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:21-23 ·
God has reconciled you by Christ’s death in his mortal body

Not long ago, you were foreigners and enemies, in the way that you used to think and the evil things that you did; but now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body. Now you are able to appear before him holy, pure and blameless – as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the Good News, which you have heard, which has been preached to the whole human race, and of which I, Paul, have become the servant.

Gospel

Luke 6:1-5
The Son of Man is master of the sabbath

One sabbath Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath day?’ Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry how he went into the house of God, took the loaves of offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which only the priests are allowed to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’


There is and must always be discipline and order in the way we conduct ourselves since we are created in the likeness and image of the Lord our God who created the world and breathed order into it. So too there is order in the way we worship, therefore we embrace and follow the sacred traditions handed down to us.

However above all and above all created things is Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hence all that we say or do whether in matters of worship, administrative or pastoral must be centred primarily on Him of whom we love and who first loved us. Everything must be built upon the foundation of our rock and this can only be so through and ever growing, deepening relationship with our Lord and God Jesus Christ.

Jesus my Lord, You are the source of all life. You first born of creation and first born of the dead; by Your very life, death and resurrection You have opened the gates of Heaven for us and so we have hope of eternal life with You. Help us to remain true and focused on the prize that awaits us at the very end of our trials and tribulations. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:15-20 ·
All things were created through Christ and for Christ

Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God
and the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, Thrones, Domination, Sovereignties, Powers – all things were created through him and for him.
Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity. Now the Church is his body, he is its head.

As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead, so that he should be first in every way; because God wanted all perfection to be found in him
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace
by his death on the cross.

Gospel

Luke 5:33-39
When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast

The Pharisees and the scribes said to Jesus, ‘John’s disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees too, but yours go on eating and drinking.’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely you cannot make the bridegroom’s attendants fast while the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come, the time for the bridegroom to be taken away from them; that will be the time when they will fast.’
He also told them this parable, ‘No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak; if he does, not only will he have torn the new one, but the piece taken from the new will not match the old.
‘And nobody puts new wine into old skins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and then run out, and the skins will be lost. No; new wine must be put into fresh skins. And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. “The old is good” he says.’


Who are you before the Lord our God?
The answer to this question determines where your faith and your relationship with Him lie therein. So ponder over this slowly and carefully.

It is far too easy to cry I want to follow Him! However before we can really do so, we need to know who we are before the Lord our God. Otherwise it is simply lip service while we hold on to full control of all that we say and do! Hence the key to following Him as we read at the very end of today’s Gospel is to leave everything behind. We have to leave behind first and foremost all our Sins, sinfulness behind us, our earthly attachments, our prideful ways, our self reliance on everything , the grandeur of thinking we have more knowledge and are better than others.

Yes we must first acknowledge that we are all sinners in need of His mercy and grace as we cry out to Him, ”Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” Through His mercy and grace as when we were first baptised we are perfectly cleansed of our sins. We can then strive to sin no more! For through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ we have been set free to live fully in His love. We can live as children so loved by God our Heavenly Father; We seek to strengthen and grow our relationship with Him day by day. Through prayer and the indwelling of His Word. By our love (agape) in action and the sharing of the word we draw others unto Him. Men and women caught up in the net of His everlasting love. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:9-14 ·
God has taken us out of the power of darkness

Ever since the day we heard about you, we have never failed to pray for you, and what we ask God is that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will. So you will be able to lead the kind of life which the Lord expects of you, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects; showing the results in all the good actions you do and increasing your knowledge of God. You will have in you the strength, based on his own glorious power, never to give in, but to bear anything joyfully, thanking the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit the light.
Because that is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.

Gospel

Luke 5:1-11
They left everything and followed him

Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.
When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.


We need to renew our interior life constantly through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who loves us immensely. Otherwise we will be caught up with our own selfish inclinations, consumerism and myopic Sunday Catholic faith. We are unlikely to look beyond our immediate family concerns let alone care for the poor and downtrodden.

So what does a grace filled life in Jesus Christ look like? Well for one it is filled with His peace and joy. It is always outward looking seeking to build His Kingdom through the sharing and proclamation of the Good News that we all share in a life lived for Him and in Him. We pray for and live for the goodness of one another. Sin and sinfulness is rebuked in His name as we strive towards holiness.

Recently a dear sister and brother in Christ whose son just recently came out of the woods from being stricken with cancer for a second time, is working hard to help an eleven year old girl from Batam who is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant which cost an obscene amount of money! The young family were strangers to them and yet they reached out with love and compassion. Never mind that they themselves have been put through the mill so to speak, by their constant worry for their own son who has not fully recovered. This is the kind of heroic faith we speak about which is only to be found in and through our Lord Jesus Christ!

So please join me in prayer for this little girl Chorinda from Batam and many like her who suffer the indignity of cancer, and for folks like Vincent and Marilyn who set aside their own struggles to help others like them, all for the glory of God.

Lord Jesus let me live for You and when it is time let me die for You. Amen

First reading

Colossians 1:1-8 ·
The message of the truth has reached you and is spreading all over the world

From Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy to the saints in Colossae, our faithful brothers in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
We have never failed to remember you in our prayers and to give thanks for you to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you show towards all the saints because of the hope which is stored up for you in heaven. It is only recently that you heard of this, when it was announced in the message of the truth. The Good News which has reached you is spreading all over the world and producing the same results as it has among you ever since the day when you heard about God’s grace and understood what this really is. Epaphras, who taught you, is one of our closest fellow workers and a faithful deputy for us as Christ’s servant, and it was he who told us all about your love in the Spirit.

Gospel

Luke 4:38-44
He would not allow them to speak because they knew he was the Christ

Leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. Leaning over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to wait on them.
At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them. Devils too came out of many people, howling, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’ And he continued his preaching in the synagogues of Judaea.


(notice how the possessed man is dressed in this depiction)

We are all very busy people looking forward to the end of day, to unwind a little if possible before retiring for bed. For those with children who are still very young it’s a little more challenging to unwind. This goes on day after day till perhaps the weekend repreive. The thing is where is the Lord our God in all our busyness? There is simply no time? Or not enough time in a day? What about those in need whom can they turn to, whom can they rely on since everyone is too busy? We might say we have no time for our Lord at this point in our lives, yet many can make time for their mobile, computer games, television, netflix, secular books and many other forms of distractions. And yet there is only One who offers and can give us true peace, joy and contentment!

In a sense perhaps we have a dark spirit within us, one which seeks to confuse and distract us from what is truly important. To stop us from growing in Holiness and in our relationship from the Lord our God. Whether or not there is really one such spirit within us, any and all spirits know as we should the Holy one of God! For He is the Lord God almighty above all things visible and invisible. Perhaps we were blinded or have allowed ourselves to be so, but so long as our hearts cry out to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ He will free us from all bondages and sin. So that we can truly live life to the full according to His will for us.

That is why it is so important for all of us to belong to a community of like minded believers in Jesus Christ our Lord, so that we can pray, affirm and encourage one another towards greater Holiness. To keep us accountable and focussed; as we stay awake and alert for His coming or our eventual return into His Heavenly embrace. So let us keep faith burning in our hearts. Amen

St Gregory the Great pray for us….

First reading

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6,9-11 ·
Keep strengthening one another

You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about ‘times and seasons’, since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it.
But it is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober. God never meant us to experience the Retribution, but to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that, alive or dead, we should still live united to him. So give encouragement to each other, and keep strengthening one another, as you do already.

Gospel

Luke 4:31-37
‘I know who you are: the Holy One of God’

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all. Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’ And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 2, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The long awaited Messiah foretold was fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord, His arrival was proclaimed by the angels and at the right time He announced His own coming and His mission, which was accompanied by signs and wonders yet the world did not embrace Him and this truth. Still it did not change the reality.

Whether others believe or not, it does not change the reality that Jesus Christ our Lord is the Lord of lords, King of kings. By His life, death and resurrection we have life to the full and for all eterntity. And so we must have such conviction of faith in our risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Yes our faith will be tested time and time again as we face an uncertain future in the world we live in, with all its trials and tribulations. Yet we must set our sights on heaven, to the reality of life with our risen Lord that awaits us; for those of us who believe and know this to be true.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, I trust in You now and forevermore. Amen

First reading

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ·
Do not grieve about those who have died in Jesus

We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them; to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.

Gospel

Luke 4:16-30
‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen’

Jesus came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’
But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”’
And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’
When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.