Archive for October, 2019

On Today’s Gospel

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