Archive for January, 2020


What seed shall I sow for my Lord?

The seed of unconfessed or rather hidden sins? Dug deep left to be forgotten and yet sprouts an ever growing evil. Perpetuating itself further when one sin seeks to cover another! Do I want to wait till I’m crushed inevitably to certain death by its weight?

Shall I sow instead the seed of faith and trust in my ever merciful and loving Lord? Turning back each time I stray away from Him. Allowing His grace to heal and strengthen me such that I sin no more. Allowing the seed of His love to grow within me, that I may bear much fruit for Him. By tending and leading His flock into the shelter of His wings.

Lord Jesus sow what You Will within me, let Your grace be upon me that I may be fertile as to produce for You a hundredfold over. Amen

First Reading

2 Samuel 11:1-4,5-10,13-17 ·
David and Bathsheba

At the turn of the year, the time when kings go campaigning, David sent Joab and with him his own guards and the whole of Israel. They massacred the Ammonites and laid siege to Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
It happened towards evening when David had risen from his couch and was strolling on the palace roof, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David made inquiries about this woman and was told, ‘Why, that is Bathsheba, Eliam’s daughter, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent messengers and had her brought. She came to him, and he slept with her. She then went home again. The woman conceived and sent word to David; ‘I am with child.’
Then David sent Joab a message, ‘Send me Uriah the Hittite’, whereupon Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came into his presence, David asked after Joab and the army and how the war was going. David then said to Uriah, ‘Go down to your house and enjoy yourself.’ Uriah left the palace, and was followed by a present from the king’s table. Uriah however slept by the palace door with his master’s bodyguard and did not go down to his house.
This was reported to David; ‘Uriah’ they said ‘did not go down to his house.’ The next day David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk. In the evening Uriah went out and lay on his couch with his master’s bodyguard, but he did not go down to his house.
Next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. In the letter he wrote, ‘Station Uriah in the thick of the fight and then fall back behind him so that he may be struck down and die.’ Joab, then besieging the town, posted Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce fighters. The men of the town sallied out and engaged Joab; the army suffered casualties, including some of David’s bodyguard; and Uriah the Hittite was killed too.

Gospel

Mark 4:26-34
The kingdom of God is a mustard seed growing into the biggest shrub of all

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.


In those days the light of King David shone like no other! He led Israel out of darkness uniting them with the Lord their God. He was anointed and truly Blessed by the Lord our God.

Let us not forget however that he was far from Saintly. He was blinded by power, driven by ambition and gave in to his insatiable sexual appetites. He was one of us in all regards, for just like us he too was conceived with original sin. Yet each time he fell into sin and awoke in realisation, his heart was in great anguish. His contrite spirit cried out to the Lord our God and he repented. Then once again He was able to sing beautiful psalms of gratitude and praise to God. It is with his ever grateful heart that he continued to serve the Lord and was able to shine once again for Him!

Let us never wallow in our sin but turn back always to our Jesus Christ who awaits to embrace us in His mercy and love. So that we can once again shine for Him in all that we say and do. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 7:18-19,24-29
‘The house of your servant will be blessed for ever’

After Nathan had spoken to him, King David went in and, seated before the Lord, said: ‘Who am I, O Lord, and what is my House, that you have led me as far as this? Yet in your sight, O Lord, this is still not far enough, and you make your promises extend to the House of your servant for a far-distant future. You have constituted your people Israel to be your own people for ever; and you, Lord, have become their God.
‘Now, O Lord, always keep the promise you have made your servant and his House, and do as you have said. Your name will be exalted for ever and men will say, “The Lord of Hosts is God over Israel.” The House of your servant David will be made secure in your presence, since you yourself, Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, “I will build you a House”; hence your servant has ventured to offer this prayer to you. Yes, Lord, you are God indeed, your words are true and you have made this fair promise to your servant. Be pleased, then, to bless the House of your servant, that it may continue for ever in your presence; for you, Lord, have spoken; and with your blessing the House of your servant will be for ever blessed.’

Gospel

Mark 4:21-25
A lamp is to be put on a lampstand. The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given

Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Would you bring in a lamp to put it under a tub or under the bed? Surely you will put it on the lamp-stand? For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
He also said to them, ‘Take notice of what you are hearing. The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given – and more besides; for the man who has will be given more; from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’


All our offerings, physical or otherwise, of praise and thanksgiving, adds nothing to the Lord our God. He has neither need or want of them. We offer them up to Him nonetheless for ourselves. For we acknowledge with deepest gratitude, the great love of God for us. Our greatest act of love for Him is when we lay down our lives for Him and our brethren, we can do so without physical death for very few are chosen for martyrdom. We are simply called to love beyond what we think ourselves capable often with great sacrifice. And we can surely do so, for He is with us always and reigns in our hearts when we embrace His Word in our daily lives.

Therefore it is imperative that we guard our hearts against all forms of sin and temptations so that our Lord’s Word can take root deeply. And we will yield a great harvest for Him by our lives. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 7:4-17 ·
‘Your house and sovereignty will stand secure’

The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today, but have always led a wanderer’s life in a tent. In all my journeying with the whole people of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of Israel my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” This is what you must say to my servant David, “The Lord of Hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’
Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.

Gospel

Mark 4:1-20
The parable of the sower

Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen! Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’
He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’


There is nothing more freeing than to lie in the palm of the Lord my God’s hand. Having renounced all sin and sinful pleasures and to accept unreservedly that I do not know much of anything except that I must do the will of God with every fibre of my being. When all of us seek only to do our Lord’s Will, we come to the realisation that we are most fully united and One with Him. While we are all not connected by blood we are are most fully connected by the waters of our baptism. We are more than sisters and brothers, we make up His one Body that is Christ Jesus our Lord.

Only then like David, can we raise our hands high in the air, dancing, singing hymns and shouting our Lord’s praises as we worship in glad adoration!

Thy Will O Lord, be done, now and forever. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 6:12-15,17-19 ·
David dances before the ark of the Lord

David went and brought the ark of God up from Obed-edom’s house to the Citadel of David with great rejoicing. When the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fat sheep. And David danced whirling round before the Lord with all his might, wearing a linen loincloth round him. Thus David and all the House of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with acclaim and the sound of the horn. They brought the ark of the Lord in and put it in position inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered holocausts before the Lord, and communion sacrifices. And when David had finished offering holocausts and communion sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Hosts. He then distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israelites, men and women, a roll of bread to each, a portion of dates, and a raisin cake. Then they all went away, each to his own house.

Gospel

Mark 3:31-35
Who are my mother and my brothers? Those that do the will of God

The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’
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On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 27, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We must all strive for unity that is Christians, united as one in our Lord Jesus Christ. For our Lord has taught us that if a kingdom is divided then it will not last. And we have many enemies prowling and waiting to tear all that we believe in down. They spread propaganda and insists on imposing their own belief systems on us. Such as the right to choose, to take life through abortion or euthanasia. The right to same sex marriage. Pornagraphy and vulgarity are allowed to spread rampantly wiring the young to think it is OK to objectify and to be objectified. How are we to stand up to combat all these if we are not One in our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ?!

For through Him alone we are delivered from all evil and sin. Through Him we have the power to overcome evil and bring healing and peace. By His flesh and blood we are nourished, grace filled and fully united with Him and one another. Let us all stand faithfully united with Him and in Him for the sake of our future and that of all children’s. So that One in prayer, and grounded on His Word we all have hope of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 5:1-7,10
‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel’

All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron. ‘Look’ they said ‘we are your own flesh and blood. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, “You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.
David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years. He reigned in Hebron over Judah for seven years and six months; then he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
David and his men marched on Jerusalem against the Jebusites living there. These said to David, ‘You will not get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off.’ (That is to say: David will never get in here.) But David captured the fortress of Zion, that is, the Citadel of David.
David grew greater and greater, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, was with him.

Gospel

Mark 3:22-30
A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: January 25, 2020 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

History Redeemed: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 8:23–9:3
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13–14
1 Corinthians 1:10–13, 17
Matthew 4:12–23

Today’s liturgy gives us a lesson in ancient Israelite geography and history.
Isaiah’s prophecy in today’s First Reading is quoted by Matthew in today’s Gospel. Both intend to recall the apparent fall of the everlasting kingdom promised to David (see 2 Samuel 7:12–13; Psalm 89; 132:11–12).

Eight centuries before Christ, that part of the kingdom where the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali lived was attacked by the Assyrians, and the tribes were hauled off into captivity (see 2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26).

It marked the beginning of the kingdom’s end. It finally crumbled in the sixth century BC, when Jerusalem was seized by Babylon and the remaining tribes were driven into exile (see 2 Kings 24:14).

Isaiah prophesied that Zebulun and Naphtali, the lands first to be degraded, would be the first to see the light of God’s salvation. Jesus today fulfills that prophecy—announcing the restoration of David’s kingdom at precisely the spot where the kingdom began to fall.

His Gospel of the Kingdom includes not only the twelve tribes of Israel but all the nations—symbolized by the “Galilee of the Nations.” Calling His first disciples, two fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, He appoints them to be “fishers of men”—gathering people from the ends of the earth.

They are to preach the Gospel, Paul says in today’s Epistle, to unite all peoples in the same mind and in the same purpose—in a worldwide kingdom of God.

By their preaching, Isaiah’s promise has been delivered. A world in darkness has seen the light. The yoke of slavery and sin, borne by humanity since time began, has been smashed.
And we are able now, as we sing in today’s Psalm, to dwell in the house of the Lord, to worship Him in the land of the living.


Can a leopard change it’s spots? Certainly not on the outside! But through Jesus our Lord, all the spots from within are removed. Purified, sanctified made Holy to know God’s will and to share in His love. 1 Peter 3:3-4 1 “Your adornment should be not an exterior one, consisting of braided hair or gold jewellery or fine clothing, but the interior disposition of the heart, consisting in the imperishable quality of a gentle and peaceful spirit, so precious in the sight of God.” By our obedience and through the grace of the Lord our God, we become powerful witnesses to what we have seen and heard of our Lord Jesus Christ. So that the many who come to believe shall be saved through Him.

And so we are sent into the world to combat evil, to bring His healing grace and to share in the good news of our salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

St Paul pray for us….

May the abundant Blessings of our Almighty and loving God be upon you my sisters and brothers who are celebrating the Lunar New Year. May the peace and love of Lord Jesus be in your hearts and homes. Amen

Happy New Year!

First reading

Acts 22:3-16 ·
‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

Paul said to the people, ‘I am a Jew and was born at Tarsus in Cilicia. I was brought up here in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was taught the exact observance of the Law of our ancestors. In fact, I was as full of duty towards God as you are today. I even persecuted this Way to the death, and sent women as well as men to prison in chains as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify, since they even sent me with letters to their brothers in Damascus. When I set off it was with the intention of bringing prisoners back from there to Jerusalem for punishment.
‘I was on that journey and nearly at Damascus when about midday a bright light from heaven suddenly shone round me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” I answered: Who are you, Lord? and he said to me, “I am Jesus the Nazarene, and you are persecuting me.” The people with me saw the light but did not hear his voice as he spoke to me. I said: What am I to do, Lord? The Lord answered, “Stand up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told what you have been appointed to do.” The light had been so dazzling that I was blind and my companions had to take me by the hand; and so I came to Damascus.
‘Someone called Ananias, a devout follower of the Law and highly thought of by all the Jews living there, came to see me; he stood beside me and said, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” Instantly my sight came back and I was able to see him. Then he said, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Just One and hear his own voice speaking, because you are to be his witness before all mankind, testifying to what you have seen and heard. And now why delay? It is time you were baptised and had your sins washed away while invoking his name.”’

Gospel

Mark 16:15-18
Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News

Jesus showed himself to the Eleven and said to them:
‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’