Archive for December, 2019

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 31, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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As we close off the year 2019 and cross over into 2020; let us give thanks to the Lord our God for the continued Blessings and graces He had showered upon us. We look ahead to the new year in which we will strive to deepen our relationship with Him.

Before we do so let us look back to 2019 to see if we have lived out our fully redeemed lives in the Lord our God? Have we been living in the light of Christ Jesus? Have we resisted all sin as best we could and have frequently received the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist? Have we been beacons of His light for others? Have we shared the joy of the Gospel with others? Have we grown in Holiness as children of God our Father?

As we move ahead let us encourage one another to do more, to be more. To live more fully in the light of our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ and to be witnesses of His love for all. Amen

First reading

1 John 2:18-21 ·
You have been anointed by the Holy One

Children, these are the last days; you were told that an Antichrist must come, and now several antichrists have already appeared; we know from this that these are the last days.
Those rivals of Christ came out of our own number, but they had never really belonged; if they had belonged, they would have stayed with us; but they left us, to prove that not one of them ever belonged to us.
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received the knowledge.
It is not because you do not know the truth that I am writing to you but rather because you know it already
and know that no lie can come from the truth.

Gospel

John 1:1-18
The Word was made flesh, and lived among us

In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.

A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light.

The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man
but of God himself.

The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.

John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me ranks before me because he existed before me.’

Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received – yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

On Today’s Gospel

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

How will we know the will of God for us let alone do it when most of us are so distracted by the cares and lures of the world? One of the biggest distractions since it is now so easily available on mobile phones as well is television and movies. Games too! There never seems a good time to pray or read and dwell on the Word but there is always time for the above distractions. Afterall we need to de-stress! Some how the most effective way to do so is not as appealing. Until such time we wake up to realise that we are not of this world and that we are all on a pilgrim journey back to home to the Lord our God, we will lead discontented, unfulfilled lives!

For Jesus alone offers the fullness of life! And there are many men and women who have dedicated and devoted their lives to the service of God and their brethren who can attesr to this. They indeed live life to the full! And just like Anna in today’s Gospel, they praise God and speak the wonders of His love through both their lips and their hands.

Let us offer a prayer for all the Annas in our churches who have dutifully served often quietly in the background day in and day out. Amen

First reading

1 John 2:12-17
Observance of the will of God

I am writing to you, my own children, whose sins have already been forgiven through his name;
I am writing to you, fathers,
who have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning;
I am writing to you, young men, who have already overcome the Evil One;
I have written to you, children, because you already know the Father;
I have written to you, fathers,
because you have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning;
I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and God’s word has made its home in you, and you have overcome the Evil One.
You must not love this passing world or anything that is in the world.
The love of the Father cannot be in any man who loves the world, because nothing the world has to offer – the sensual body, the lustful eye,
pride in possessions – could ever come from the Father
but only from the world;
and the world, with all it craves for, is coming to an end; but anyone who does the will of God remains for ever.

Gospel

Luke 2:36-40
Anna speaks of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem

There was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.


Leading others to what is sacred…

This is indeed one of the toughest things to do. How do you do so when eyes have not seen, ears have not heard? How might one put it as charitably across so as not to offend but rather to help open the eyes of another to see what is sacred before them?

That we enter on to sacred ground when we enter the church. And so other than to read the readings and Gospel our mobile phones should be switched off. Silence should be observed to pray and prepare our hearts and minds to receive Jesus in the Word and Holy Eucharist. If one arrives late then one should stand or sit behind till an appropriate time to make way to seats available, rather than barge one’s way in and disrupting the Gospel proclamation or homily for others. That we should be united in the way we follow the postures as laid out for us during the liturgy.

All of us should be appropriately dressed in reverence for our Lord and God especially those serving the liturgy whether on a weekday or a weekend. Those who proclaim from the pulpit do you NOT realise you are standing in the sanctuary on hallowed ground? Should you then continue to dress as you please? If the celebrant puts on his vestments each time he celebrates mass whether it is on a weekend or a weekday because he celebrates at the Holy Altar, the Holy sacrifice of Christ why can’t we dress likewise in reverence. Since when is it ok to dress down or to wear what we would wear to sleep? Yes you’d be surprised how irreverent some are for they have fallen asleep!

What is the purpose of trying to lead others to the awareness of what is sacred? Well the reason is simply so that they too can experience the Lord our God in a deeper and more profound way. So that they can deepen their relationship with Him. The more effort they put into revering Him, the greater the graces they will receive for themselves as well as their families. For our Lord Jesus can turn what appears superficial into that which is supersubstantial! We see this most evidently in the transformation of ordinary bread and wine.

So sisters and brothers let us lead one another into greater Holiness and into the sacred by both our words and actions. Amen

Posted: December 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Feast of the Holy Family

Posted: December 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Saving Family: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Feast of the Holy Family

Readings:
Sirach 3:2–6, 12–14
Psalm 128:1–5
Colossians 3:12–21
Matthew 2:13–15, 19–23

Underlying the wisdom offered in today’s liturgy is the mystery of the family in God’s divine plan.
The Lord has set father in honor over his children and mother in authority over her sons, we hear in today’s First Reading. As we sing in today’s Psalm, the blessings of the family flow from Zion, the heavenly mother of the royal people of God (see Isaiah 66:7, 10–13; Galatians 4:26).
And in the drama of today’s Gospel, we see the nucleus of the new people of God—the Holy Family—facing persecution from those who would seek to destroy the child and His Kingdom.
Moses, called to save God’s first born son, the people of Israel (see Exodus 4:22; Sirach 36:11), was also threatened at birth by a mad and jealous tyrant (see Exodus 1:15–16). And as Moses was saved by his mother and sister (see Exodus 2:1–10; 4:19), in God’s plan Jesus too is rescued by His family.

As once God took the family of Jacob down to Egypt to make them the great nation Israel (see Genesis 46:2–4), God leads the Holy Family to Egypt to prepare the coming of the new Israel of God—the Church (see Galatians 6:16).

At the beginning of the world, God established the family in the “marriage” of Adam and Eve, the two becoming one body (see Genesis 2:22–24). Now in the new creation, Christ is made “one body” with His bride, the Church, as today’s Epistle indicates (see Ephesians 5:21–32).
By this union we are made God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved. And our families are to radiate the perfect love that binds us to Christ in the Church.

As we approach the altar on this feast, let us renew our commitment to our God-given duties as spouses, children and parents. Mindful of the promises of today’s First Reading, let us offer our quiet performance of these duties for the atonement of our sins.

As we gather in Jesus’s name….

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


Today as we remember the tiny Martyrs who died in place of our Lord Jesus Christ, we reflect on our own call to live out of lives as children of God our Father.

We are all called to holiness, to live in the light of Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore we must make every effort to avoid sin and all temptations that leads to it. If we should fall then we should quickly turn to Jesus whose mercy ave have will heal and restore to its. For to live in sin is to die is to die in sin.

To truly live is to die and rise in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

1 John 1:5-2:2 ·

The blood of Jesus Christ purifies us all from sin

This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ, and the message that we are announcing to you:

God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.

If we say that we are in union with God while we are living in darkness, we are lying because we are not living the truth. But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves

and refusing to admit the truth; but if we acknowledge our sins, then God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and purify us

from everything that is wrong. To say that we have never sinned is to call God a liar and to show that his word is not in us.

I am writing this, my children, to stop you sinning; but if anyone should sin, we have our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, who is just; he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and not only ours but the whole world’s.

Gospel

Matthew 2:13-18

The massacre of the innocents

After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

I called my son out of Egypt.

Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:

A voice was heard in Ramah,

sobbing and loudly lamenting: it was Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they were no more.