Archive for October, 2019

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 31, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

How deeply connected are you to our one triune God? More often than not we are either disconnected or the connection is rather weak throughout the week and so we seek to renew it every Sunday at best! Why is this so? Let me propose that the problem lies in that we have not dwelled deeply enough on just how much we are truly loved by our all loving and merciful God. We spend all our time in matters and affairs of the world we live in. What ever time we have left is for leisure and what we deem as relaxation. We do not set aside time to bask in His love for us, through prayer, scripture, daily Eucharist or even just sitting at His feet in Adoration.

God our Father loved us so much He sacrificed His only Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to save us from our impending and permanent death for our sins. Our Lord stood His ground and faced the harsh penalties of choosing to die for our sake. He was without sin yet He bore the burden and weight of the sins of the world upon Himself, His beaten frail body hung on the cross for us as He breathed His last. Back into His Father’s hands he commended His Spirit. On the third day He rose from dead and the gates to Heaven was opened for us! We have hope for eternal life with Him. Death was conquered! God with us who indeed can be against us?

Still we are given a choice. We can stubbornly refuse God’s love for us and go our own way. Or we can choose to run into His loving embrace and live fully in His love….

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:31-39 ·

God did not spare his own Son

With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. As scripture promised: For your sake we are being massacred daily, and reckoned as sheep for the slaughter. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel

Luke 13:31-35

It would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem

Some Pharisees came up to Jesus. ‘Go away’ they said. ‘Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.’ He replied, ‘You may go and give that fox this message: Learn that today and tomorrow I cast out devils and on the third day attain my end. But for today and tomorrow and the next day I must go on, since it would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.

‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! So be it! Your house will be left to you. Yes, I promise you, you shall not see me till the time comes when you say:

‘Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

Choosing to enter by the wide open door leads you to wide and clear pavements, with huge signposts leading to many places of pleasure and relaxation. There are exciting games and wide variety of food. Somehow it is never seems enough as there is always more to be gotten.

Choosing to enter by the narrow door on the other hand, through Christ is indeed one with many challenges. Our Lord never once said the journey through it would be easy. Imagine as you go through it there are brambles and thistles yet the narrow path leads you clear of their prickly reach. Then you find yourself going through a thick jungle in which you have to cut your way through. There is yet another winding rocky road ahead and you wonder how far more you have to go? While tired and weather beaten you have joy and peace in your heart. You know the Lord is with you every step of the way and you are in awe of your surroundings which the Lord our God had created. Eventually as if time suddenly stopped there is a clearing ahead, you walk through it and therein lies a hidden oasis, a garden paradise with breath taking beauty! You have arrived! All the pain and struggle seems too tiny a price to pay for this reality. You have entered into the bosom of the Lord our God and that is the only place you want to be.

Yes indeed the Lord is all merciful and loving. To all who love Him and follow His commandments. Even to those who have sinned greatly but has heard His call for repentance and turned to Him for help, His mercy and grace is upon them. However there is no plain easier way of stating this truth then to say Woe to you who take His love and mercy for granted! For thinking there is always time to have a change of heart. What if tomorrow never comes for you? For saying we want to enjoy life to the full for now! Woe to you for the life you are leading is not even close to what living life to the full is, For the fullness of life can only be found in Christ Jesus our Lord. And sooner than you know or think, you will find yourself outside the locked narrow door having missed the opportunity that was offered to You.

Holy Spirit Lord, I pray for my sanctification, wash me and purify me that I may be white as snow. Pray with me in my moments of difficulty and dryness. Most of all guide my every thought, word and deed so that all I say or do might be pleasing to God my Heavenly Father. Through Christ my Lord. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:26-30 ·
The Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words

The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.
We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory.

Gospel

Luke 13:22-30
The last shall be first and the first last

Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.
‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”
‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 29, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

When you are so used to unspiritual things it is easy to turn to them for quick fixes and instant gratification. And just as you are used to them providing a false sense of relief you are also used to them not lasting, leaving you empty and most often spiritually dead.

Come now many of you have been called to greater holiness, some having attended a retreat, some have begun a new journey discovering anew the great love of God for you, while others have just responded with a simple Yes Lord here I am. It is time to remain steadfast in your faith and love of the Lord our God. Put aside all that is unspiritual and allow the Holy Spirit that has already begun His work in you to lead you to greater heights and depth of God our Father’s love. Patience is the key to the growth that has begun in you. For you have been chosen to bear much fruit by leading many from far and wide into the Kingdom of God.

No doubt there will be far greater challenges ahead, but we take great comfort in knowing that by His great love for us, God our Father has given His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who will see us through it all. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:18-25 ·
The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons

I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.

Gospel

Luke 13:18-21
The kingdom of God is like the yeast that leavened three measures of flour

Jesus said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden: it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.’
Another thing he said, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God with? It is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Yesterday we heard in Sunday’s Gospel how the Lord our God favours the humble of heart. And the humble of heart goes home right with God. Humility which is derived from the root word humus which means soil or ground. So then how grounded are we in Christ? In knowing that we are all God our Father’s children and are one Body in Christ. Why then should we compare ourselves with one another? Does God our Father love one of us more than the other? From dust we came from dust we shall return, be it as it may we were all created in the likeness and image of God and it is His Will that we all be with Him eternally. We were born saints and through Christ we will return Home as Saints!

Born saints can we then say we are not good enough or know enough to lead others to the knowledge of and into a deep meaningful relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ whom we love? If we are truly grounded in Christ, we know that He has called the ordinary to become extraordinary through Him. We are sent by His grace, power and authority to make disciples of all nations. Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that He had commanded us; and He had said to us, “I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20) Amen.

Saints Simon and Jude pray for us….

First reading

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

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

Gospel

Luke 6:12-16
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.

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

No Favorites: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Sirach 35:12–14, 16–18
Psalm 34:2–3, 17–19, 23
2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18
Luke 18:9–14

Jesus draws a blunt picture in today’s Gospel.
The Pharisee’s prayer is almost a parody of the thanksgiving psalms (see for example Psalms 30, 118). Instead of praising God for His mighty works, the Pharisee congratulates himself for his own deeds, which he presents to God in some detail.

The tax collector stands at a distance, too ashamed even to raise his eyes to God (see Ezra 9:6). He prays with a humble and contrite heart (see Psalm 51:19). He knows that before God no one is righteous, no one has cause to boast (see Roman 3:10; 4:2).
We see in the Liturgy today one of Scripture’s abiding themes—that God “knows no favorites,” as today’s First Reading tells us (see 2 Chronicles 19:7; Acts 10:34–35; Romans 2:11).

God cannot be bribed (see Deuteronomy 10:17). We cannot curry favor with Him or impress Him—even with our good deeds or our faithful observance of religious duties such as tithing and fasting.

If we try to exalt ourselves before the Lord, as the Pharisee does, we will be brought low (see Luke 1:52).

This should be a warning to us not to take pride in our piety, not to slip into the self-righteousness of thinking that we’re better than others, that we’re “not like the rest of sinful humanity.”

If we clothe ourselves with humility (see 1 Peter 5:5–6)—recognize that all of us are sinners in need of His mercy—we will be exalted (see Proverbs 29:33).
The prayer of the lowly, the humble, pierces the clouds. Paul testifies to this in today’s Epistle, as he thanks the Lord for giving him strength during his imprisonment.

Paul tells us what the Psalmist sings today—that the Lord redeems the lives of His humble servants.
We too must serve Him willingly. And He will hear us in our distress, deliver us from evil, and bring us safely to His heavenly kingdom

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 26, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , ,

From dust we came, from dust we shall return. A stark reminder of our mortality as we call to mind our many sins that prevent us from living Christ centred lives to the full.
For not just what we did wrong, but for what we failed to do was right in the eyes of our Lord. While there is still time we should repent, turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospels. Only then can we start bearing fruit as we are called to do.

Yes Jesus our Lord and Saviour has indeed come to set us free from all sin and to grant us eternal life with Him. We must therefore respond with a resounding yes Lord! Come into me and change me from within. I desire greatly that You dwell in me as I dwell in in You. Come Holy spirit come, come into my life. Show me the way into the heart of the Lord my God. That I may always do what is pleasing to Him. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:1-11 ·
The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you

The reason why those who are in Christ Jesus are not condemned is that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. God has to Newquay what the Law, because of our unspiritual nature, was unable to do. God dealt with sin by sending his own Son in a body as physical as any sinful body, and in that body God condemned sin. He did this in order that the Law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the spirit dictates.
The unspiritual are interested only in what is unspiritual, but the spiritual are interested in spiritual things. It is death to limit oneself to what is unspiritual; life and peace can only come with concern for the spiritual. That is because to limit oneself to what is unspiritual is to be at enmity with God: such a limitation never could and never does submit to God’s law. People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

Gospel

Luke 13:1-9
‘Leave the fig tree one more year’

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’


As children of God our Father we were given free will to choose whether to love and obey Him or not. Born into holiness our will is orientated towards good. However our minds, rather our intellect must remain schooled, conditioned, focused in directing our will towards our goal of greater holiness. Things go awry when we allow our bodies, emotions and passions to take control. If driven by emotions and desires alone we will surely spiral out of control. We will make irrational judgements and decisions that often lead to broken relationships. The doorway to sin is hence opened.

How deep and personal our relationship with the Lord our God mirrors how well our relationships thrives within our family, friends, co-workers and community. By being rooted in prayer and the word of God, we remain alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to build His Kingdom. We therefore unite our wills with the Lord our God. His justice and mercy reigns in our hearts.

Let us strive then this day to deepen our relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to encourage one another to continue to do likewise. Amen

First reading

Romans 7:18-25 ·

Every time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand

I know of nothing good living in me – living, that is, in my unspiritual self – for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing the good things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not must be remaitrue self doing it, but sin which lives in me.

In fact, this seems to be the rule, that every single time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s Law, but I can see that my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates. This is what makes me a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Gospel

Luke 12:54-59

Do you not know how to interpret these times?

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does. And when the wind is from the south you say it will be hot, and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?

‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right? For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Jesus above all else! This is a choice we have to make.

We know that all sin eventually leads to death for we have experienced this in our very own lives. The emptiness, the decay of the soul, the restlessness. Why then do we continue to choose sin? Sinful pleasures that never last yet brings with it lasting guilt till our light is extinguished then we become blind. When we choose sin over life in Christ we are essentially saying that we love the sin more than we love Him!

Jesus above all else! This is a choice we have to make.

Yes indeed putting Jesus first in our lives above everything and everyone does not mean we love our beloved ones any less, in fact we will love them more through Him. Therefore we should start falling more deeply in love with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ through His word, prayer and doing His will for us. Our hearts will burn within us with an ever growing desire to know Him more and to be more for Him.

Jesus above all else! This is a choice we have to make.

Then we can truly love our families and the least of our brethren as we are called to. We see trials and tribulations as necessary for our sanctification. Carrying cross to follow Him leads us to the fullness of life with and in Him. We experience love, peace and joy in our hearts all at once.

Jesus above all else! This is a choice we have to make. Amen

First reading

Romans 6:19-23 ·
Now you are set free from sin, and slaves to God

If I may use human terms to help your natural weakness: as once you put your bodies at the service of vice and immorality, so now you must put them at the service of righteousness for your sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you felt no obligation to righteousness, and what did you get from this? Nothing but experiences that now make you blush, since that sort of behaviour ends in death. Now, however, you have been set free from sin, you have been made slaves of God, and you get a reward leading to your sanctification and ending in eternal life. For the wage paid by sin is death; the present given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel

Luke 12:49-53
How I wish it were blazing already!

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!
‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

The devil made me do it! It is the boys that drove me up the wall! She kept pestering and annoying me when I told her to stop! And so I reacted the way I did because of her! I warned her! I needed to an outlet to relive myself from the build up of stress just a small sin as it may be to prevent a bigger catastrophe! I am only human! I will sin from time to time but God will forgive me. If we choose to, we will always be able to justify our words or our actions. But let us let us look deeper into our hearts and ask ourselves are our words and actions truly justified before our Lord? Did we not allow ourselves to be distracted? To allow ourselves to lose focus and had taken our eyes off heavenly things and pursuits? Had we not taken the mercy and love our Lord for granted?

We have a higher calling as Christians! Yes we may be human, yet must always remember that we are created in the likeness and image of the Lord our God. Therefore we are called to Holiness, to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. And we can only remain so and strive for greater holiness if we remain connected to the vine our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We do so by dwelling on and living His word. Through persevering in prayer and living in the service of the least of our brethren. We are thus filled with His grace and strength to endure all things. Blessed are we indeed when our Lord returns for He will find us fully engaged in doing what He has entrusted us to do.

My Saviour and my Lord, I open my heart to You. Come dwell in me this day and everyday. Amen

First reading

Romans 6:12-18 ·
Make every part of your body a weapon fighting on the side of God

You must not let sin reign in your mortal bodies or command your obedience to bodily passions, you must not let any part of your body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin; you should, instead, offer yourselves to God, and consider yourselves dead men brought back to life; you should make every part of your body into a weapon fighting on the side of God; and then sin will no longer dominate your life, since you are living by grace and not by law.
Does the fact that we are living by grace and not by law mean that we are free to sin? Of course not. You know that if you agree to serve and obey a master you become his slaves. You cannot be slaves of sin that leads to death and at the same time slaves of obedience that leads to righteousness. You were once slaves of sin, but thank God you submitted without reservation to the creed you were taught. You may have been freed from the slavery of sin, but only to become ‘slaves’ of righteousness.

Gospel

Luke 12:39-48
The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’
Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.
The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.’


Imagine if you can start over with no tainted past to haunt and shame you. To be made holy and pure just as if you had never sinned before. Innocent as a child bursting forth from its mother’s womb into the world. We have no need to imagine, for this reality is offered by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who laid down His life for us so that we may live freely in His love! A gift we did not merit given freely by God our Father through His only begotten Son.

How can we repay such kindness? By standing ready with our lamps lit ready to greet our Master when He returns. What does this mean for us? Well for one is to to be attentive to the soft promptings of the Holy Spirit through prayer and dwelling in the Word of God. To have our lamps lit is to be aware of the darkness that surrounds us, to live in the light and not succumb to the darkness of our old lives riddled with temptations and wanton desires. To light the way for others and to guide them as they enter into the dwelling place of our Master. This may take longer than we expect but through our patience, perserverance we will rejoice as One when our Master returns! His will be done always, not ours and thus our Master will recognise us as His very own.

My Saviour, my Lord it is far too easy to take shortcuts, to rationalise my lack of commitment and my inertia towards your call to greater Holiness by saying that you will qualify me in all the little that I do. Tear down all walls that prevent me from living fully in Your love Lord for my brethren. Amen

Dearest St John Paul II pray for us…

First reading

Romans 5:12,15,17-21 ·
Divine grace, coming through Jesus Christ, came as an abundant free gift

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned; but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of failing, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel

Luke 12:36-38
Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , ,

The whole of our Catholic faith centres around our Risen Lord! Had He not risen from the dead our faith would not exist. And though we were obviously not present at His Resurrection we know it to be true! Why? Because many thousands upon thousands were martyred refusing to renounce a single truth that Jesus son of the living God was born into the world, died for our sins and rose from the dead so that we might have new life in Him. We know it to be true and can bear witness to this in our very own lives. How we were very much dead in sin waking only to face the drudgery of life. And how that all changed when we encountered our risen Lord. We are now living life to the full in Him! We still face challenges and often times hardships but we have our Lord beside us every step of the way.

Many however have still not encountered Him the way we have. Perhaps the comforts some live and pursue have blinded them to the reality that life on earth is only temporary, and such material comforts are shortlived and insatiable. While others simply refuse to believe in an all loving and merciful creator, who loves them dearly and they would rather believe in their own abilities hardwork and determination. Failing to dwell in the miracle of their birth and the awesome hand of the Lord their God in all things visible and invisible. Will whether they believe it or not the fact remains, that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lords, King of kings and His peace alone reigns in our hearts.

Jesus my Lord and my God. I adore You. By Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world. Amen

First reading

Romans 4:20-25 ·
We must believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead

Since God had made him a promise, Abraham refused either to deny it or even to doubt it, but drew strength from faith and gave glory to God, convinced that God had power to do what he had promised. This is the faith that was ‘considered as justifying him.’ Scripture however does not refer only to him but to us as well when it says that his faith was thus ‘considered’; our faith too will be ‘considered’ if we believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, Jesus who was put to death for our sins and raised to life to justify us.

Gospel

Luke 12:13-21
Fool! This very night your soul will be demanded of you

A man in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’ ‘My friend,’ he replied, ‘who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’
Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.” But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?” So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , ,

Rejoice for our faith in our Lord Jesus has brought us new life in Him! Just as the first reading reminds us that father Abraham was father of many nations not by bloodline but as seen by the Lord our God whom he worshipped, loved and served. That very faith of Abraham in the one God unites us from all nations.

Today in our present age and for all eternity it is our Lord God and saviour Jesus Christ which gathers us all to Himself. We are one Body In Him not by blood but through water! The water of our baptism.

So then how are we living as one Body In Him? Do we love one another as He loved us? As we are called to do? Are we praying together as one? Are we sharing His mercy and His love with the rest of God’s children? All who have yet to know Jesus? Are we ourselves growing in our faith and deepening our relationship with our Lord through the promptings and power of the Holy Spirit? For if we are then we will be on fire for Lord! We will face rejection, trials and tribulations head on, as we know it is in the furnace of humility that purifies us. We also know that by our faith and love in Jesus Christ, He stands together with us now and forever more. Amen

First reading

Romans 4:13,16-18 ·
Abraham hoped and believed and became the father of many nations

The promise of inheriting the world was not made to Abraham and his descendants on account of any law but on account of the righteousness which consists in faith. That is why what fulfils the promise depends on faith, so that it may be a free gift and be available to all of Abraham’s descendants, not only those who belong to the Law but also those who belong to the faith of Abraham who is the father of all of us. As scripture says: I have made you the ancestor of many nations – Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist.
Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars.

Gospel

Luke 12:8-12
If you declare yourselves for me, I will declare myself for you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of the angels. But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels.
‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
‘When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , ,

Do we offer the peace of Christ with one another? If we do not then how are we going to offer it to others outside of the faith? A simple ”peace be with you” would suffice when uttered by man or woman of God. For they carry within them the peace, joy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ within them. Will it always be received the way it is intended? Well obviously not, some will even challenge this little gesture or read more than there is into it. These will only be a few. Others may be a little uncomfortable hearing such a greeting for the first time and may not even know how to respond? But after a while you will see the remarkable changes it makes in people’s lives? How offering the peace of Christ unites us all His one Body.

We cannot offer what we do not have. Therefore we must strive to be faithful followers of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. We must dwell on and live His word through the divine Scriptures. Frequent reception of the Sacraments of which Christ Himself provides, by His great love and mercy confers the graces we need to share His love and mercy with all of whom we meet. A simple ”Peace be with you” is the doorway in which we can enter to bring the fullness of His love through the Gospel message of the Kindom of God which awaits us. Amen

St Luke Pray for Us…

First reading

2 Timothy 4:10-17 ·
Only Luke is with me

Demas has deserted me for love of this life and gone to Thessalonika, Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia; only Luke is with me. Get Mark to come and bring him with you; I find him a useful helper in my work. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and the scrolls, especially the parchment ones. Alexander the coppersmith has done me a lot of harm; the Lord will repay him for what he has done. Be on your guard against him yourself, because he has been bitterly contesting everything that we say.
The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Gospel

Luke 10:1-9
Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

What does it matter if we observe a fast or not when our hearts are not changed by our act? Whether we are veiled or unveiled? If we are generous with our money but uncharitable with our words putting others down? If we welcome our brethren with open arms but do nothing to lead them closer to Christ? If we embrace sinners but do nothing to help them overcome their sin and guide them towards reconciliation with the Lord our God? If we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, mind and strength but do nothing to share His love with those who do not yet know Him?

How heavy is the cross we are willing to bear for our Lord Jesus Christ? Are we living the beautitudes in our lives? Have we strived to perform corporal and spiritual acts of mercy? By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” says our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jn 13:35

Teach me to love Lord as You love, to be merciful as You are merciful. Guide my every step so that I may live out my Christian vocation according to Your will. Amen

St Ignatius Pray for us….

First reading

Romans 3:21-30 ·
It is the same justice of God that comes to Jew and pagan alike

God’s justice that was made known through the Law and the Prophets has now been revealed outside the Law, since it is the same justice of God that comes through faith to everyone, Jew and pagan alike, who believes in Jesus Christ. Both Jew and pagan sinned and forfeited God’s glory, and both are justified through the free gift of his grace by being redeemed in Christ Jesus who was appointed by God to sacrifice his life so as to win reconciliation through faith. In this way God makes his justice known; first, for the past, when sins went unpunished because he held his hand, then, for the present age, by showing positively that he is just, and that he justifies everyone who believes in Jesus.
So what becomes of our boasts? There is no room for them. What sort of law excludes them? The sort of law that tells us what to do? On the contrary, it is the law of faith, since, as we see it, a man is justified by faith and not by doing something the Law tells him to do. Is God the God of Jews alone and not of the pagans too? Of the pagans too, most certainly, since there is only one God.

Gospel

Luke 11:47-54
You have not gone in yourselves and have prevented others who wanted to

Jesus said: ‘Alas for you who build the tombs of the prophets, the men your ancestors killed! In this way you both witness what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building.
‘And that is why the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will slaughter and persecute, so that this generation will have to answer for every prophet’s blood that has been shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the sanctuary.” Yes, I tell you, this generation will have to answer for it all.
‘Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves, and have prevented others going in who wanted to.’
When he left the house, the scribes and the Pharisees began a furious attack on him and tried to force answers from him on innumerable questions, setting traps to catch him out in something he might say.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , ,

The number one enemy for those striving for Holiness is pride. Especially those who pride themselves in thinking they know more and are constantly comparing themselves with others. Some lay claim to know the will of God and instruct others using His name to push their very own agendas. Some will appoint leaders of others without proper and strenuous discernment stating that it is God who qualifies those He has chosen; yes indeed it is the Lord our God who will qualify those He has chosen to do His Will, and are prepared to sacrifice all for His flock.

Let us look within our hearts to see then if we are humble before the Lord our God and before our fellow servants of the Lord. I for want struggle daily with whether my words, thoughts and deeds are for building His Kingdom or my very own? Do I have the interest of His flock in mind or my own? I pray that I may never be pridefully blind to my own failings and shortcomings.

Lord grant Your servant a listening ear to always hear Your soft promptings guiding and showing me the way to Your Kingdom. Amen

First reading

Romans 2:1-11 ·
Do you think you will escape God’s judgement?

No matter who you are, if you pass judgement you have no excuse. In judging others you condemn yourself, since you behave no differently from those you judge. We know that God condemns that sort of behaviour impartially: and when you judge those who behave like this while you are doing exactly the same, do you think you will escape God’s judgement? Or are you abusing his abundant goodness, patience and toleration, not realising that this goodness of God is meant to lead you to repentance? Your stubborn refusal to repent is only adding to the anger God will have towards you on that day of anger when his just judgements will be made known. He will repay each one as his works deserve. For those who sought renown and honour and immortality by always doing good there will be eternal life; for the unsubmissive who refused to take truth for their guide and took depravity instead, there will be anger and fury. Pain and suffering will come to every human being who employs himself in evil – Jews first, but Greeks as well; renown, honour and peace will come to everyone who does good – Jews first, but Greeks as well. God has no favourites.

Gospel

Luke 11:42-46
You overlook justice and the love of God

The Lord said to the Pharisees: ‘Alas for you Pharisees! You who pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and overlook justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without leaving the others undone. Alas for you Pharisees who like taking the seats of honour in the synagogues and being greeted obsequiously in the market squares! Alas for you, because you are like the unmarked tombs that men walk on without knowing it!
A lawyer then spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘when you speak like this you insult us too.’
‘Alas for you lawyers also,’ he replied ‘because you load on men burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not move a finger to lift.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , ,

Purity of heart, mind and spirit through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the mark of a Catholic fully alive in faith and in love of our Risen Lord. A holiness that permeates from within and shines forth on our faces and in our actions. And possessing an increasing zeal to share the good news of our Risen Lord who desires the salvation of all of God our Father’s children.

When the Lord our God is absent in the minds and hearts of men; and women alike, then all is vanity. For they chase for themselves superiority in knowledge, honour, power driven by greed and have insatiable desires for self gratification. By this token they worship themselves or their fellow men by their accomplishments and carve for themselves images of false gods. All in vainglory! For all shall crumble into dust and blown away.

Let us therefore look, not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Cor 4:18) Amen

St Theresa of Avilla pray for us..

First reading

Romans 1:16-25
These people knew God and failed to honour him

I am not ashamed of the Good News: it is the power of God saving all who have faith – Jews first, but Greeks as well – since this is what reveals the justice of God to us: it shows how faith leads to faith, or as salvation says: The upright man finds life through faith.
The anger of God is being revealed from heaven against all the impiety and depravity of men who keep truth imprisoned in their wickedness. For what can be known about God is perfectly plain to them since God himself has made it plain. Ever since God created the world his everlasting power and deity – however invisible – have been there for the mind to see in the things he has made. That is why such people are without excuse: they knew God and yet refused to honour him as God or to thank him; instead, they made nonsense out of logic and their empty minds were darkened. The more they called themselves philosophers, the more stupid they grew, until they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for a worthless imitation, for the image of mortal man, of birds, of quadrupeds and reptiles. That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments and the practices with which they dishonour their own bodies, since they have given up divine truth for a lie and have worshipped and served creatures instead of the creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen!

Gospel

Luke 11:37-41
Give thanks for what you have and it will all be clean

Jesus had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at the table. The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal. But the Lord said to him, ‘Oh, you Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness. Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too? Instead, give alms from what you have and then indeed everything will be clean for you.’


Today this wonderful start of the week we give thanks to the Lord our God for His loving embrace of us His children. Through our baptism we have been inserted into the life, death and Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Through Him we have life to the full and hope for eternal life with Him. The hold of sin has been broken and death has been conquered! So while we grief the loss of loved ones dear to us we must stop mourning and rejoice for they have returned to our Lord and are praying for us. We must move forwards with our call to holiness so that we can one day soon be reunited with the Saints who are now in heaven.

On our pilgrim journey as saints on earth, we are called to be the light of Christ. Signs of His everlasting love and mercy. So our job is to point and lead others to Him. This is our mission to preach and teach the Good news of our Risen Lord! Through repentance of sin and the reception of His divine mercy and grace of new life in Him through baptism; the Prince of Peace will reign in our hearts, minds and all of our land!

Jesus my Lord, just as You are the greatest sign of God our Father’s love for His children. Let me be a sign of Your love. Amen

First reading

Romans 1:1-7 ·
Our apostolic mission is to preach the obedience of faith to all pagan nations

From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus who has been called to be an apostle, and specially chosen to preach the Good News that God promised long ago through his prophets in the scriptures.
This news is about the Son of God who, according to the human nature he took was a descendant of David: it is about Jesus Christ our Lord who, in the order of the spirit, the spirit of holiness that was in him, was proclaimed Son of God in all his power through his resurrection from the dead. Through him we received grace and our apostolic mission to preach the obedience of faith to all pagan nations in honour of his name. You are one of these nations, and by his call belong to Jesus Christ. To you all, then, who are God’s beloved in Rome, called to be saints, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send grace and peace.

Gospel

Luke 11:29-32
As Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign

The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them:
‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.’

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Returning Thanks: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

2 Kings 5:14–17
Psalm 98:1–4
2 Timothy 2:8–13
Luke 17:11–19

A foreign leper is cleansed and in thanksgiving returns to offer homage to the God of Israel. We hear this same story in both the First Reading and Gospel today.

There were many lepers in Israel in Elisha’s time, but only Naaman the Syrian trusted in God’s Word and was cleansed (see Luke 5:12–14). Today’s Gospel likewise implies that most of the ten lepers healed by Jesus were Israelites—but only a foreigner, the Samaritan, returned.

In a dramatic way, we’re being shown today how faith has been made the way to salvation, the road by which all nations will join themselves to the Lord, becoming His servants, gathered with the Israelites into one chosen people of God, the Church (see Isaiah 56:3–8).
Today’s Psalm also looks forward to the day when all peoples will see what Naaman sees—that there is no God in all the earth except the God of Israel.

We see this day arriving in today’s Gospel. The Samaritan leper is the only person in the New Testament who personally thanks Jesus. The Greek word used to describe his “giving thanks” is the word we translate as “Eucharist.”
And these lepers today reveal to us the inner dimensions of the Eucharist and sacramental life.

We, too have been healed by our faith in Jesus. As Naaman’s flesh is made again like that of a little child, our souls have been cleansed of sin in the waters of Baptism. We experience this cleansing again and again in the Sacrament of Penance—as we repent our sins, beg and receive mercy from our Master, Jesus.

We return to glorify God in each Mass, to offer ourselves in sacrifice—falling on our knees before our Lord, giving thanks for our salvation.
In this Eucharist, we remember “Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David,” Israel’s covenant king. And we pray, as Paul does in today’s Epistle, to persevere in this faith—that we too may live and reign with Him in eternal glory.


I had in the past seen today’s Gospel text as a reminder of sorts not to entertain lofty ideas on how blessed we are to bring forth blessings upon on others through the grace of God, but to embrace more deeply the source of all life, the Word of God through faithful obedience. In a milder sense it is a lesson in humility.

But today I see it as Jesus elevating Mary His mother’s Blessedness as a model for all of us to follow. For all her life she heard the word of God and kept it ever so close to her immaculate heart. (Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Lk 2:19) Yes Mary our Blessed mother is blessed indeed among all women for the Word made flesh was born into world through her. And yet more deeply she is Blessed for her total obedience and submission to her Creator who was there from the beginning of time, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She is truly a wonderful model for us, her humility, faithfulness, gentleness, most of all her great devotion to the Word and love for the Lord our God.

You O Lord are our shelter, our stronghold, our salvation! May we always be true to Your Word as You reign in our hearts. Amen

First reading

Joel 4:12-21 ·
The day of the Lord is near; sun and moon grow dark

The Lord says this:

‘Let the nations rouse themselves, let them march to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for I am going to sit in judgement there on all the nations round.
Put the sickle in: the harvest is ripe; come and tread: the winepress is full, the vats are overflowing, so great is their wickedness!’

Host on host in the Valley of Decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision!

Sun and moon grow dark, the stars lose their brilliance. The Lord roars from Zion, makes his voice heard from Jerusalem; heaven and earth tremble.

But the Lord will be a shelter for his people,
a stronghold for the sons of Israel.

‘You will learn then that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain.
Jerusalem will be a holy place, no alien will ever pass through it again.’

When that day comes, the mountains will run with new wine and the hills flow with milk, and all the river beds of Judah
will run with water.
A fountain will spring from the house of the Lord to water the wadi of Acacias. Egypt will become a desolation, Edom a desert waste
on account of the violence done to the sons of Judah whose innocent blood they shed in their country.
But Judah will be inhabited for ever,
Jerusalem from age to age. ‘I will avenge their blood and let none go unpunished’,
and the Lord shall make his home in Zion.

Gospel

Luke 11:27-28
‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’

As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’


Time does not stand still for us. Day by day we awake to a new day, and in that new day we have grown older. Once young and carefree we now carry the world on our shoulders with new aches and pains. Will it be today or tomorrow? That we are called back to our Lord. Whether we want to accept it or not the reality remains that the Kingdom of God is indeed at hand.

We have a choice to make on how we are responding to the call to live in the Lord our God’s Kingdom. We can live fully alive in the Lord our God by living in the Spirit according to His Will and striving day by day to grow in holiness. To dwell in the shadow of His wings. Or we can live shallow empty lives where unclean spirits are ‘welcomed’. We cannot afford to remain lukewarm or choose to live partially in Him, for that is like choosing to leave the doors unlocked in a neighbourhood constantly targeted by robbers!

Lord I choose to gather with You. Be thou my light and my guide. Amen

First reading

Joel 1:13-15,2:1-2 ·
Let all tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming

Priests, put on sackcloth and lament.
Ministers of the altar, wail.
Come, pass the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God.
For the house of our God has been deprived
of oblation and libation.
Order a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly;
elders, call together all the inhabitants of the country to the house of the Lord your God.
Cry out to the Lord, ‘Oh, what a day! For the day of the Lord is near, it comes as a devastation from Shaddai.’

Sound the trumpet in Zion, give the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, yes, it is near.

Day of darkness and gloom, day of cloud and blackness. Like the dawn there spreads across the mountains a vast and mighty host, such as has never been before, such as will never be again to the remotest ages.

Gospel

Luke 11:15-26
The finger of God has overtaken you

When Jesus had cast out a devil, some of the people said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils. Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.
‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.
‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, “I will go back to the home I came from.” But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up by being worse than he was before.’

Mary…

Posted: October 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

Brought a tear to my eye, the bit about Jeremiah their son crawling to dad…

https://stpaulcenter.com/how-a-protestant-embraced-mary-as-mother/

Sharing..

Posted: October 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

Sharing by a brother in Christ Augustine Ng *“… ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you…”*

Last evening as I was preparing /selecting the hymns for this morning mass, I came to this song. Knock knock (page 343)

It is very much inline with the gospel reading today. But I didn’t know the tune, tried to search on the internet but couldn’t find the hymn/tune either. I prayed to God to lead me to another hymn at His Will, a hymn that is inline with the gospel reading that I know the tune so that I can lead the hymn during morning mass.

By the guidance of Holy Spirit, With only one flip, I came to the following hymn “Glory to God on High” page 69. Take a look at verse 3… I was speechless, I could only only admire, adore and give thanks to His Almighty. Even I knew this hymn, I never expect verse 3 (we seldom sing) of this hymn is similar to the first hymn I chose which is very much inline with the gospel reading. These two hymns are almost 300 pages apart with similar lyric – “… Seek and you shall find..” When I came to this, I felt the the Holy Spirit ran through my body. As I share this, the focus is not on me, it is on the work of Holy Spirit.

Verse 3:
Seek and you will find
Ask and He will give
Trust the Lord with all our might
And then we’ll always live

May we learn to see God in everything we do. If we fail to see God in small things we do, we probably would fail to see Him in bigger things.

Scripture reading from the Lauds. Indeed each of us (you and me included) has received a special grace. We must use this grace with heart for God. We must be good stewards responsible for all these difference graces of God so that we can grow and get closer to Him, in everything we do we give glory to God through Jesus Christ.


Be persistent, persevere and endure in other words remain steadfast in your love for the Lord our God. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Cor 13:7) For His love for us is steadfast and everlasting and by His love we can love the same way.

So too must our prayer and desire to grow in Holiness be steadfast. For through our faithfulness we shall become powerful instruments of His grace. We need only ask and He will give us what we need to build His Kingdom. And we have been granted a powerful ally, the Holy Spirit to guide and counsel us.

May all that we say and do be for the glory of God our Father who loves us dearly. Amen

First reading

Malachi 3:13-20 ·
The day that is coming will burn up the wicked
steadfast
You say harsh things about me, says the Lord. You ask, ‘What have we said against you?’ You say, ‘It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? everlasting. Now we have reached the point when we call the arrogant blessed; yes, they prosper, these evil-doers; they try God’s patience and yet go free.’ This is what those who fear the Lord used to say to one another. But the Lord took note and heard them: a book of remembrance was written in his presence recording those who fear him and take refuge in his name. On the day which I am preparing, says the Lord of Hosts, they are going to be my own special possession. I will make allowances for them as a man makes allowances for the son who obeys him. Then once again you will see the difference between an upright man and a wicked one, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him. For the day is coming now, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and the evil-doers will be like stubble. The day that is coming is going to burn them up, says the Lord of Hosts, leaving them neither root nor stalk. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays.

Gospel

Luke 11:5-13
Ask, and it will be given to you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him”; and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it you.” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.
‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’


We can just as easily lose the light received in obedience of the Lord our God when our mission is completed out of obligation rather than love. That is love without condition.

Let’s see Today’s first reading in a different way, perhaps you alone witnessed an accident in which a bus drove off road and flipped. You rushed to the crash site to offer assistance. As you draw near you see the passengers are convicts who were being transported to the correction facility. Few you recognise from reading the news papers of their heinous crimes. You want to quickly get back into your car and drive off but your Christian sensibilities and the voice in your head tells you that it is your responsibility to help. So you do everything you can to save them. You learn later on that everyone on that bus survived! Instead of rejoicing or giving thanks to God for His love and mercy you are dismayed. In your mind and heart they deserved to die. How different are you from Jonah?

There are many other forms of prejudices some often subtley hidden even within the hearts of those in Church. There are folks treated as social outcasts egs. Foreign workers, domestic helpers, divorcees, those with same sex attraction to name a few. Are all of these not God’s children? Does God our Father love you any less if the same love and mercy is given to them?

So let us reflect more deeply on the prayer our Lord taught us as we pray…..

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

[‘The Lord’s Prayer ‘is truly the summary of the whole gospel.’ ‘Since the Lord… after handling over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, ‘Ask and you will receive, ‘ and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer (the Lord’s Prayer) is said first, as the foundation of further desires.’ – Tertullian, De orat. from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 2761.]

First reading

Jonah 4:1-11 ·
Jonah is angry at God’s mercy

Jonah was very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘Ah, Lord, is not this just as I said would happen when I was still at home? That was why I went and fled to Tarshish: I knew that you were a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, relenting from evil. So now, Lord, please take away my life, for I might as well be dead as go on living.’ The Lord replied, ‘Are you right to be angry?’
Jonah then went out of the city and sat down to the east of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God arranged that a castor-oil plant should grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head and soothe his ill-humour; Jonah was delighted with the castor-oil plant. But at dawn the next day, God arranged that a worm should attack the castor-oil plant – and it withered.
Next, when the sun rose, God arranged that there should be a scorching east wind; the sun beat down so hard on Jonah’s head that he was overcome and begged for death, saying, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living.’ God said to Jonah, ‘Are you right to be angry about the castor-oil plant?’ He replied, ‘I have every right to be angry, to the point of death.’ The Lord replied, ‘You are only upset about a castor-oil plant which cost you no labour, which you did not make grow, which sprouted in a night and has perished in a night. And am I not to feel sorry for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’

Gospel

Luke 11:1-4
How to pray

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’
He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray:

‘“Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.”’

Testimony…

Posted: October 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Testimonies

Sharing from a brother in Christ Ivan (focolare) …

Good morning , wish to share my experience with you.
Yesterday I accompanied a Chinese worker to the National Eye Centre for check up. His right eye was blinded in an assault by his colleagues and left eye has blur vision with hearing deterioration and memory loss. His outstanding medical is over 10K as his employer refused to pay the hospital bill. Before going, we were prepared to be chased for bill settlement and even to be rejected for treatment if we couldn’t pay. Another barrier is the language as doctors may not speak Mandarin. That’s why I was asked to go with him. We prayed before we arriving at the Hospital as the worker was just recently baptised. Amazingly, we were not asked about any payment before and after the treatment and the Indian lady ophthalmologist even spoke Mandarin!.. She was very compassionate and asked the worker about his future plans. We spent 5 hours in the Eye Centre but the long wait was all worthwhile. I gained unexpected knowledge on Ophthalmology and most importantly, I could spend precious time with the worker.

Thank God for giving me a chance to love Him in our brother.✝


Why did the ninevites have an almost instantaneous change of heart? Why would they listen to a stranger shouting out to them to repent of their ways when they were living comfortably?

Many of us like Jonah often choose to run in the opposite direction when called to serve the Lord our God and His people. Especially when chosen to speak up for Lord and to be His mouthpiece. No I cannot, I am not good enough, oh the people are more learned than me they will not listen, why embarrass myself? Besides they are neither family nor friends let their own kind speak to them!

The powerful word of God transforms us from within such that a light shines out and is seen on our faces. I believe this same transformation took place in Jonah. He knew he was being sent by an almighty, merciful and loving God and so proclaimed with conviction to the ninevites what was going to take place if they did not listen. And they saw the face of God as he spoke to them and so they listened and obeyed!

Therefore we must always spend time at the feet of our Lord and be attentive to His Word. His life giving Word will minister to us and transform us from within. We will experience His perfect love for us, grace filled we can go out to minister to others. For we ourselves have experienced the ‘better part’. Amen

First reading

Jonah 3:1-10 ·

The Ninevites repent, and God spares them

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

Gospel

Luke 10:38-42

Martha works; Mary listens

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’


We are called first and foremost to Love. Love the Lord your God with all, your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and one another; that is God’s children our fellow sisters and brothers. Loving them with great mercy and compassion as well as undertaking the difficult task of fraternal correction, that it leading them back to the Lord our God by their turning away from sin and steering them towards Holiness.

In today’s Gospel it says a man falls into the hands of brigands and left him half dead. We then see how the priest and Levite had failed to respond to the call to love. I am quite sure they would have responded differently if the man who lay half dead were their own kin, a father, brother even cousin. Here therein lies the real test! Are we able to look at one another through the eyes of God our Father and see one another as truly sisters and brothers? The ‘good’ samaritan is good because He shares in the goodness of the Lord our God who is all loving, merciful and compassionate. He ministers to the man whom he is looks upon as brother. Can we not do likewise? Can the fallen brother look upon us and see Christ who ministers to him?

What about the ‘fallen’ brother who is living a life of sin and who is in darkness? Do we mind our own business and allow him to continue, thinking that he will eventually learn on his own and turn back? If He is someone whom we truly love as a brother will we not want to save his soul?

Jesus my Lord, give me the courage, strength and fortitude to love as you love. May I look upon all You send my way through Your loving eyes. Amen

Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us…

First reading

Jonah 1:1-2:1,11
Jonah flees from his call

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah son of Amittai:
‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and inform them that their wickedness has become known to me.’ Jonah decided to run away from the Lord, and to go to Tarshish. He went down to Joppa and found a ship bound for Tarshish; he paid his fare and went aboard, to go with them to Tarshish, to get away from the Lord. But the Lord unleashed a violent wind on the sea, and there was such a great storm at sea that the ship threatened to break up. The sailors took fright, and each of them called on his own god, and to lighten the ship they threw the cargo overboard. Jonah, however, had gone below and lain down in the hold and fallen fast asleep. The boatswain came upon him and said, ‘What do you mean by sleeping? Get up! Call on your god! Perhaps he will spare us a thought, and not leave us to die.’ Then they said to each other, ‘Come on, let us draw lots to find out who is responsible for bringing this evil on us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell to Jonah. Then they said to him, ‘Tell us, what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country? What is your nationality?’ He replied, ‘I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.’ The sailors were seized with terror at this and said, ‘What have you done?’ They knew that he was trying to escape from the Lord, because he had told them so. They then said, ‘What are we to do with you, to make the sea grow calm for us?’ For the sea was growing rougher and rougher. He replied, ‘Take me and throw me into the sea, and then it will grow calm for you. For I can see it is my fault this violent storm has happened to you.’ The sailors rowed hard in an effort to reach the shore, but in vain, since the sea grew still rougher for them. They then called on the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, do not let us perish for taking this man’s life; do not hold us guilty of innocent blood; for you, the Lord, have acted as you have thought right.’ And taking hold of Jonah they threw him into the sea; and the sea grew calm again. At this the men were seized with dread of the Lord; they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
The Lord had arranged that a great fish should be there to swallow Jonah; and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. The Lord spoke to the fish, which then vomited Jonah on to the shore.

Gospel

Luke 10:25-37
The good Samaritan

There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’
But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’

Our Lady of The Rosary (memorial)

Posted: October 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, which gradually took form in the second millennium under the guidance of the Spirit of God, is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. It blends easily into the spiritual journey of the Christian life, which, after two thousand years, has lost none of the freshness of its beginnings and feels drawn by the Spirit of God to “set out into the deep” (duc in altum!) in order once more to proclaim, and even cry out, before the world that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6), “the goal of human history and the point on which the desires of history and civilization turn”.(1)

The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium.(2) It is an echo of the prayerof Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb. With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer

Extract :APOSTOLIC LETTER
ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE
St John Paul II

Faith

Posted: October 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

..

Posted: October 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Life by Faith: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Habakkuk 1:2–3; 2:2–4
Psalm 95:1–2, 6–9
2 Timothy 1:6–8, 13–14
Luke 17:5–10

Because of his faith, the just man shall live. We hear in today’s First Reading the original prophetic line made so central by St. Paul (see Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).

We are to live by faith in Christ who loved us and gave Himself on the Cross for us (see Galatians 2:20).

The world, though, can seem to us as seventh-century Judah seemed to Habakkuk—in the control of God’s enemies. The strife and discord we face in our own lives can sometimes cause us to wonder, as the prophet does, why God doesn’t seem to hear or intervene when we cry for help.
We can’t let our hearts be hardened by the trials we undergo. As today’s Psalm reminds us: Israel forgot His mighty works, lost faith in the sound words of His promise. They tested God in the desert, demanding a sign.

But God didn’t redeem Israel from Egypt only to let them die in the desert. And He didn’t ransom us from futility only to abandon us in our trials. He is our God and we are the people He shepherds always—though at times His mercy and justice seem long delayed.

If we call on the Lord, as the Apostles do in today’s Gospel, He will increase our faith, will stir to a flame the Holy Spirit who has dwelt within us since Baptism.

As Paul tells us in today’s Epistle, the Lord will always give us the love and self-control we need to bear our share of hardship for the Gospel—with a strength that can come from God alone.

Our task is to continue doing what He has commanded—to love and to build up His kingdom—trusting that His vision still presses on to its fulfillment.

For His vision still has its time. One day, though we are but “unprofitable servants,” we will be invited to eat and drink at our Master’s table. It is that day we anticipate with each celebration of the Eucharist.

..

Posted: October 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys


Yes we have all sinned but after turning back to our Lord we should rejoice for He had liberated us to fully live in His love! No more mourning and groaning and worrying about falling into the next sin. Instead we must make every effort to remain steadfast by frequent reception of the sacraments and growing in love; and our relationship with Jesus through His Word.

Instead of seeking constantly to avoid sin, we should be outward looking; living not for ourselves but to glorify the Lord our God in the service of others. We would then have no time to sin for we will be too busy building His Kingdom. Indeed we have much to rejoice and be glad. For our Saviour has given us much power and strength to conquer evil, to heal, comfort and lead others back to Him.

My fellow children of God our loving Father, let us live according to His Word and Will for us. Amen.

First reading

Baruch 4:5-12,27-29 ·
Take courage, my children, call on God

Take courage, my people, constant reminder of Israel. You were sold to the nations, but not for extermination.
You provoked God; and so were delivered to your enemies, since you had angered your creator by offering sacrifices to demons, not to God.
You had forgotten the eternal God who reared you. You had also grieved Jerusalem who nursed you, for when she saw the anger fall on you from God, she said:

Listen, you neighbours of Zion:
God has sent me great sorrow.
I have seen my sons and daughters taken into captivity, to which they have been sentenced by the Eternal.
I had reared them joyfully; in tears, in sorrow, I watched them go away.
Do not, any of you, exult over me, a widow, deserted by so many; I suffer loneliness because of the sins of my own children, who turned away from the Law of God.

Take courage, my children, call on God:
he who brought disaster on you will remember you.
As by your will you first strayed away from God, so now turn back and search for him ten times as hard; for as he brought down those disasters on you, so will he rescue you and give you eternal joy.

Gospel

Luke 10:17-24
Rejoice that your names are written in heaven

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’
It was then that, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said:
‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’


Hear the cries of our Lord Jesus Christ calling out to you, to return to His fold. It does not matter what you have done or failed to do. He loves you dearly and wills that you live in the fullness of His love. Do not let obstinacy lead you to your doom for you do not know the time and day you will be called to judgement.

You have wandered too far away from Him if you cannot hear His voice, one that speaks to your heart daily. Now He has come in search of you and is calling out to you to come home to Him. He knows the heavy burdens you carry with you. Give Him the truth of your heart even though He already knows it all. For it is your response in lifting your heart to Him that His healing grace is outpoured. Fully reconciled you will be truly free to love as He loves, living as one with and in Him!

You O Lord are generously merciful, let me never take Your mercy and love for granted. Amen

St Francis of Assisi pray for us….

First reading

Baruch 1:15-22 ·
We have been disobedient to the Lord our God

Integrity belongs to the Lord our God; to us the look of shame we wear today, to us, the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, to our kings and princes, our priests, our prophets, as to our ancestors, because we have sinned in the sight of the Lord, have disobeyed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God telling us to follow the commandments which the Lord had ordained for us. From the day when the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until today we have been disobedient to the Lord our God, we have been disloyal, refusing to listen to his voice. And so the disasters, and the curse which the Lord pronounced through his servant Moses the day he brought our fathers out of Egypt to give us a land where milk and honey flow, have seized on us, disasters we experience today. Despite all the words of those prophets whom he sent us, we have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God, but, each following the dictates of his evil heart, we have taken to serving alien gods, and doing what is displeasing to the Lord our God.

Gospel

Luke 10:13-16
Anyone who rejects me rejects the one who sent me

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And still, it will not go as hard with Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement as with you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell.
‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.’

My mission..

Posted: October 3, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book, Personal Thoughts & Reflections


Is the word of God alive and active in your life? Are you dwelling on His Word for you? Are you sharing His Word with others?

The deep spirit-filled relationship and connection with our Lord through His Word must come from our very own lived experience. It is not good enough to read the reflections of others and share them; we must experience our Lord Jesus Christ first hand through His Word. So that the joy and the fire of His love will be enkindled within us coupled with a strong desire to share His love with all that we encounter on our pilgrim journey.

Our mission is the salvation of souls through the preparation of hearts to receive our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a mission of sharing in the Love of our Lord and God and so it makes no difference to us if we are met with rejection. For love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:7) There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:7)

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Amen

First reading

Nehemiah 8:1-12 ·
All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law

When the seventh month came, all the people gathered as one man on the square before the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses which the Lord had prescribed for Israel. Accordingly Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, consisting of men, women, and children old enough to understand. This was the first day of the seventh month. On the square before the Water Gate, in the presence of the men and women, and children old enough to understand, he read from the book from early morning till noon; all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden dais erected for the purpose. In full view of all the people – since he stood higher than all the people – Ezra opened the book; and when he opened it all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people raised their hands and answered, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and, face to the ground, prostrated themselves before the Lord. And Ezra read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense, so that the people understood what was read.
Then Nehemiah – His Excellency – and Ezra, priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people, said to all the people, ‘This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not be mournful, do not weep.’ For the people were all in tears as they listened to the words of the Law.
He then said, ‘Go, eat the fat, drink the sweet wine, and send a portion to the man who has nothing prepared ready. For this day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your stronghold.’ And the Levites calmed all the people, saying, ‘Be at ease; this is a sacred day. Do not be sad.’ And all the people went off to eat and drink and give shares away and begin to enjoy themselves since they had understood the meaning of what had been proclaimed to them.

Gospel

Luke 10:1-12
Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.” I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Like many if not most of you, I have too often neglected to acknowledge the presence of my guardian angel. Even when I would recite the ‘Angel of God’ prayer it would be simply something to do and get over with. That being said I have always known my GA has always been by my side, even when I was committing a sin though at that point for me it was ‘out of sight out of mind’. So while my GA was surely leading me away from it, I however was too stubborn to care! Still my faithful GA would intercede on my behalf and light my way back into the arms of my Lord and God. My GA has helped me in many ways and through many situations too numerous to list. From preventing a fall to helping me listen to God’s call. From my sheer pettiness to virtues towards Holiness.

Yes indeed all of us children of God our Father, have a powerful ally by our side. All of them have been entrusted to guard our purity of heart and soul. And to gently remind us that we have a great and loving Father we can always depend on as we should. He will give us anything we ask for, to build His Kingdom. And one day soon we will enter it into the glory of God our Father.

So on this day as we remember and honour our Holy Guardian Angels, let us pray that through their tireless guidance and intercessions we strive to become perfect as our Heavenly is perfect. Amen

First reading

Nehemiah 2:1-8 ·
‘Give me leave to go to the city of my ancestors and rebuild it’

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, the wine being my concern, I took up the wine and offered it to the king. Now I had never been downcast before. So the king said, ‘Why is your face so sad? You are not sick, surely? This must be a sadness of the heart.’ A great fear came over me and I said to the king, ‘May the king live for ever! How could my face be other than sad when the city where the tombs of my ancestors are lies in ruins, and its gates have been burnt down?’ ‘What’ the king asked ‘is your request?’ I called on the God of heaven and made this reply to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, and if you are satisfied with your servant, give me leave to go to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ tombs, and rebuild it.’ The king, with the queen sitting there beside him, said, ‘How long will your journey take, and when will you return?’ So I named a date that seemed acceptable to the king and he gave me leave to go. I spoke to the king once more, ‘If it please the king, could letters be given me for the governors of Transeuphrates to allow me to pass through to Judah? And also a letter for Asaph, keeper of the king’s park, to supply me with timber for the gates of the citadel of the Temple, for the city walls and for the house I am to occupy?’ This the king granted me, for the kindly favour of my God was with me.

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10
Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me

The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Our mission is to grow in holiness on our pilgrim journey to the new ‘Jerusalem’ and to beckon others to journey on with us. The cross which we carry for our mission is the key to the gateway.

The rejection we will surely face is an opportunity to extend the love and mercy of Lord Jesus Christ whom we serve. And in time when such hearts are touched and changed by our Lord, the victory won for Him is that much sweeter. Therefore wherever we go, mercy and love must follow.

Praise and glory be to You or Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

First reading

Zechariah 8:20-23 ·
Many peoples and great nations will come to seek the Lord of Hosts

The Lord of Hosts says this:
‘There will be other peoples yet, and citizens of great cities. And the inhabitants of one city will go to the next and say, “Come, let us go and entreat the favour of the Lord, and seek the Lord of Hosts; I am going myself.” And many peoples and great nations will come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the Lord.’
The Lord of Hosts says this:
‘In those days, ten men of nations of every language will take a Jew by the sleeve and say, “We want to go with you, since we have learnt that God is with you.”’

Gospel

Luke 9:51-56
Jesus sets out for Jerusalem

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.