Archive for November, 2019

First Sunday in Advent

Posted: November 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
Tags: ,

In a Dark Hour: Scott Hahn Reflects on the First Sunday in Advent

Readings:

Isaiah 2:1–5
Psalm 122:1–9
Romans 13:11–14
Matthew 24:37–44

Jesus exaggerates in today’s Gospel when He claims not to know the day or the hour when He will come again.
He occasionally makes such overstatements to drive home a point we might otherwise miss (see Matthew 5:34; 23:9; Luke 14:26).
His point here is that the exact “hour” is not important. What is crucial is that we not postpone our repentance, that we be ready for Him—spiritually and morally—when He comes. For He will surely come, He tells us—like a thief in the night, like the flood in the time of Noah.

In today’s Epistle, Paul too compares the present age to a time of advancing darkness and night.

Though we sit in the darkness, overshadowed by death, we have seen arise the great light of our Lord who has come into our midst (see Matthew 4:16; John 1:9; 8:12). He is the true light, the life of the world. And His light continues to shine in His Church, the new Jerusalem promised by Isaiah in today’s First Reading.
In the Church, all nations stream to the God of Jacob, to worship and seek wisdom in the House of David. From the Church goes forth His word of instruction, the light of the Lord—that all might walk in His paths toward that eternal day when night will be no more (see Revelation 22:5).

By our Baptism we have been made children of the light and day (see Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5–7). It is time we start living like it—throwing off the fruitless works of darkness, the desires of the flesh, and walking by the light of His grace.

The hour is late as we begin a new Advent. Let us begin again in this Eucharist.
As we sing in today’s Psalm, let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord. Let us give thanks to His name, keeping watch for His coming, knowing that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Are you a Fisher of men?
Each and everyone one of us will have to answer this question? If the answer is no then the follow up question will be why not? If the answer is not yet then what are you waiting for? If your answer is yes, then how many more will you catch for Him?

If Jesus the resurrected Lord is whom you love and believe in, then you surely must be a fisher of men. For how can you, who live in the light of the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ not one others to be saved? God our Father willed that you be saved, that is why He sent His only Begotten Son. So if we are one with our Lord Jesus Christ then surely our wills must be one with His. And so our fight must be for the redemption of souls!

With the same faith and zeal of the apostles, let us leave everything behind to follow after our Lord. Amen

St Andrew pray for us….

First reading

Romans 10:9-18 ·
Faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ

If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
But they will not ask his help unless they believe in him, and they will not believe in him unless they have heard of him, and they will not hear of him unless they get a preacher, and they will never have a preacher unless one is sent, but as scripture says: The footsteps of those who bring good news are a welcome sound. Not everyone, of course, listens to the Good News. As Isaiah says: Lord, how many believed what we proclaimed? So faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ. Let me put the question: is it possible that they did not hear? Indeed they did; in the words of the psalm, their voice has gone out through all the earth, and their message to the ends of the world.

Gospel

Matthew 4:18-22
‘I will make you fishers of men’

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.


When there is life in our our families, church, communities and we are life giving in our dealings with one another; then truly the kingdom of God is at hand and His reign is established. Jesus the living Word of God reigns in our hearts, minds and souls. For the Son of man, Son of the most high came so that we might have life to the full.

Mighty and powerful kingdoms with all their vainglories have come and gone. Those who seek to build their own kingdoms will perish in the end and will be forgotten. Can we still not see that over the centuries only those who strove to build God’s kingdom are remembered forever. Let us then be counted amongst the Saints who have gone before us.

Abba Father, Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Daniel 7:2-14 ·
‘I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man’

I, Daniel, have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea; four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion with eagle’s wings; and as I looked its wings were torn off, and it was lifted from the ground and set standing on its feet like a man; and it was given a human heart. The second beast I saw was different, like a bear, raised up on one of its sides, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. “Up!” came the command “Eat quantities of flesh!” After this I looked, and saw another beast, like a leopard, and with four bird’s wings on its flanks; it had four heads, and power was given to it. Next I saw another vision in the visions of the night: I saw a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate, crushed and trampled underfoot what remained. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns.
While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts. As I watched:

Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat.
His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool.
His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire.
A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence.
A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
A court was held and the books were opened.

The great things the horn was saying were still ringing in my ears, and as I watched, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames. The other beasts were deprived of their power, but received a lease of life for a season and a time.

I gazed into the visions of the night.
And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,
one like a son of man.
He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence.
On him was conferred sovereignty,
glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty
which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Gospel

Luke 21:29-33
My words will never pass away

Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’

A little on the communities I am part of…

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

On Today’s Gospel

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

Oh what inspiring faith! You and I should hope to possess the faith of Daniel, to be known as men and women of the One living God. Such that when we are faced with adversity and death, even non believers should fast and unite in prayer for us! How many this very day would be led into a relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by our very own alive and active faith! This is evangelisation of old and new!

The world we live in is filled with folks bent on living in sin and debauchery. They have a disregard for life, and many choose to kill themselves slowly all for little moments of euphoria and ecstasy; through drugs, cigarettes, vaping, alcohol, liberal sexual escapades and so on. Others mock the faith we have in our living God, calling us weak minded. They rely on their ‘own’ strength and wisdom reveling in their successes thinking those who have faith in God will never amount to much. If only all of them knew just how much God our Father loves them all. Still it comes down to free will, everyone has to make on their own choice. They can choose sin which leads to certain death and destruction or choose to live in the light of the Lord our God which leads to eternal life.

Even as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You O Lord Jesus are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. Amen

First reading

Daniel 6:12-28 ·
Daniel in the lions’ den

The presidents and satraps came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading with God. They then came to the king and said, ‘Have you not just signed an edict forbidding any man for the next thirty days to pray to anyone, god or man, other than to yourself O king, on pain of being thrown into the lions’ den?’ ‘The decision stands,’ the king replied ‘as befits the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.’ Then they said to the king, ‘O king, this man Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, disregards both you and the edict which you have signed: he is at his prayers three times each day.’ When the king heard these words he was deeply distressed, and determined to save Daniel; he racked his brains until sunset to find some way out. But the men came back in a body to the king and said, ‘O king, remember that in conformity with the law of the Medes and the Persians, no edict or decree can be altered when once issued by the king.’
The king then ordered Daniel to be fetched and thrown into the lion pit. The king said to Daniel, ‘Your God himself, whom you have served so faithfully, will have to save you.’ A stone was then brought and laid over the mouth of the pit; and the king sealed it with his own signet and with that of his noblemen, so that there could be no going back on the original decision about Daniel. The king returned to his palace, spent the night in fasting and refused to receive any of his concubines. Sleep eluded him, and at the first sign of dawn he was up, and hurried off to the lion pit. As he approached the pit he shouted in anguished tones, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God, whom you serve so faithfully, been able to save you from the lions?’ Daniel replied, ‘O king, live for ever! My God sent his angel who sealed the lions’ jaws, they did me no harm, since in his sight I am blameless, and I have never done you any wrong either, O king.’ The king was overjoyed, and ordered Daniel to be released from the pit. Daniel was released from the pit, and found to be quite unhurt, because he had trusted in his God. The king sent for the men who had accused Daniel and had them thrown into the lion pit, they, their wives and their children: and they had not reached the floor of the pit before the lions had seized them and crushed their bones to pieces.
King Darius then wrote to men of all nations, peoples and languages throughout the world, ‘May peace be always with you! I decree: in every kingdom of my empire let all tremble with fear before the God of Daniel:

‘He is the living God, he endures for ever,
his sovereignty will never be destroyed
and his kingship never end.
He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth;
he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’

Gospel

Luke 21:20-28
There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!
‘For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.
‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’

Reflection

Posted: November 27, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book


Little things such as praying grace before and after meals should never ever be a chore! Neither should we be privately, individually or quietly thankful in our hearts in the company of family and friends. If we cannot give thanks and praise to our God who loves us dearly in these little moments of thanksgiving for the food, nourishment that we receive from Him; how can we ever hope to be truly grateful and thankful for the supreme gift of the Holy Eucharist? The source and summit of our faith!

Being thankful to the Lord our God adds nothing to Him, being thankful to Him is grace upon us. For it is our response to His great love and mercy outpoured upon us and a movement towards greater union with Him. The deeper our gratitude the deeper our relationship. Then gradually we will learn to be grateful even for the trials that come out way. For it is through them we draw ever closer to the cross of His love for us and to Him. We can endure all things for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Rm 14 :8)

First reading

Daniel 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28
The writing on the wall

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen; a thousand of them attended, and he drank wine in company with this thousand. As he sipped his wine, Belshazzar gave orders for the gold and silver vessels to be brought which his father Nebuchadnezzar had looted from the sanctuary in Jerusalem, so that the king, his noblemen, his wives and his singing women could drink out of them. The gold and silver vessels looted from the sanctuary of the Temple of God in Jerusalem were brought in, and the king, his noblemen, his wives and his singing women drank out of them. They drank their wine and praised their gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared, and began to write on the plaster of the palace wall, directly behind the lamp-stand; and the king could see the hand as it wrote. The king turned pale with alarm: his thigh-joints went slack and his knees began to knock.
Daniel was brought into the king’s presence; the king said to Daniel, ‘Are you the Daniel who was one of the Judaean exiles brought by my father the king from Judah? I am told that the spirit of God Most Holy lives in you, and that you are known for your perception, intelligence and marvellous wisdom. As I am told that you are able to give interpretations and to unravel difficult problems, if you can read the writing and tell me what it means, you shall be dressed in purple, and have a chain of gold put round your neck, and be third in rank in the kingdom.’
Then Daniel spoke up in the presence of the king. ‘Keep your gifts for yourself,’ he said ‘and give your rewards to others. I will read the writing to the king without them, and tell him what it means. You have defied the Lord of heaven, you have had the vessels from his Temple brought to you, and you, your noblemen, your wives and your singing women have drunk your wine out of them. You have praised gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone, which cannot either see, hear or understand; but you have given no glory to the God who holds your breath and all your fortunes in his hands. That is why he has sent the hand which, by itself, has written these words. The writing reads: Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin. The meaning of the words is this: Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.’

Gospel

Luke 21:12-19
Your endurance will win you your lives

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.’