Archive for March, 2020


Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved.

Have we allowed the virus to infect our souls such that we have given up on prayer? On seeking the Lord in the quiet and being in His presence? While we must do everything in our power to keep ourselves and everyone safe, we must all…

Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved.

We are truly loved by the God our Heavenly Father and He will never abandon us. The greatest gift and sign of His love for us is His only Begotten Son who redeemed us by His death, so that we can rise to be life with our Him and our Heavenly Father. So let us is lovingly…

Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved. Amen

Let us pray…

Jesus, Son of the living God have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen

First reading

Numbers 21:4-9 ·
If anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked up at the bronze serpent and lived

The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt the land of Edom. On the way the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’
At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Gospel

John 8:21-30
When you have lifted up the Son of Man then you will know that I am He

Jesus said to the Pharisees:

‘I am going away; you will look for me
and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.’

The Jews said to one another, ‘Will he kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ Jesus went on:

‘You are from below; I am from above.
You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He,
you will die in your sins.’

So they said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered:

‘What I have told you from the outset.
About you I have much to say and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is truthful, and what I have learnt from him
I declare to the world.’

They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said:

‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself: what the Father has taught me is what I preach; he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases him.’

As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.


We tend to see more clearly the sins and wrongdoings of others and are rather quick to judge, even condemn. But are we ourselves right before the Lord our God? Have we cast the first stone without first doing a proper examination of conscience? Many have given in to lustful desires be it from watching movies, television, social media, even from reading books of a certain persuasion. Their hearts are tainted and they are blinded by insatiable desires. Others lust for honour and power and will sometimes do anything to have it. Let us NOT cast reason aside, making every effort to turn our eyes to heaven, and Never forgetting its demands of virtue.

Before we spiral out of control let us make every effort to return to Jesus who is not waiting to condemn us but to save us from our sins. Make every effort to contact a priest to make an appointment for the Sacrament of reconciliation if you able to. And if the current situation does not allow you to, then turn your heart to Jesus and pray fervently to Him. And He will grant you, your hearts desire for full reconciliation with Him. Thereafter go and sin no more. Live and love fully in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

Daniel 13:41-62
Susannah and the elders

Susanna was condemned to death. She cried out as loud as she could, ‘Eternal God, you know all secrets and everything before it happens; you know that they have given false evidence against me. And now have I to die, innocent as I am of everything their malice has invented against me?’
The Lord heard her cry and, as she was being led away to die, he roused the holy spirit residing in a young boy named Daniel who began to shout, ‘I am innocent of this woman’s death!’ At which all the people turned to him and asked, ‘What do you mean by these words?’ Standing in the middle of the crowd he replied, ‘Are you so stupid, sons of Israel, as to condemn a daughter of Israel unheard, and without troubling to find out the truth? Go back to the scene of the trial: these men have given false evidence against her.’
All the people hurried back, and the elders said to Daniel, ‘Come and sit with us and tell us what you mean, since God has given you the gifts that elders have.’ Daniel said, ‘Keep the men well apart from each other for I want to question them.’ When the men had been separated, Daniel had one of them brought to him. ‘You have grown old in wickedness,’ he said ‘and now the sins of your earlier days have overtaken you, you with your unjust judgements, your condemnation of the innocent, your acquittal of guilty men, when the Lord has said, “You must not put the innocent and the just to death.” Now then, since you saw her so clearly, tell me what tree you saw them lying under?’ He replied, ‘Under a mastic tree.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God has already received your sentence from him and will slash you in half.’ He dismissed the man, ordered the other to be brought and said to him, ‘Spawn of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you, lust has led your heart astray! This is how you have been behaving with the daughters of Israel and they were too frightened to resist; but here is a daughter of Judah who could not stomach your wickedness! Now then, tell me what tree you surprised them under?’ He replied, ‘Under a holm oak.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God is waiting, with a sword to drive home and split you, and destroy the pair of you.’
Then the whole assembly shouted, blessing God, the saviour of those who trust in him. And they turned on the two elders whom Daniel had convicted of false evidence out of their own mouths. As prescribed in the Law of Moses, they sentenced them to the same punishment as they had intended to inflict on their neighbour. They put them to death; the life of an innocent woman was spared that day.

Gospel

John 8:1-11
‘Let the one among you who has not sinned be the first to throw a stone’

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?’ They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, ‘If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she replied. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus ‘go away, and do not sin any more.’

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

At Lazarus’ Tomb: Scott Hahn Reflects on the

Readings:
Ezekiel 37:12–14
Psalm 130:1–8
Romans 8:8–11
John 11:1–45
 
As we draw near to the end of Lent, today’s Gospel clearly has Jesus’ passion and death in view.

That’s why John gives us the detail about Lazarus’ sister, Mary—that she is the one who anointed the Lord for burial (see John 12:37). His disciples warn against returning to Judea; Thomas even predicts they will “die with Him” if they go back.

When Lazarus is raised, John notices the tombstone being taken away, as well as Lazarus’ burial cloths and head covering—all details he later notices with Jesus’ empty tomb (see John 20:167).
Like the blind man in last week’s readings, Lazarus represents all humanity. He stands for “dead man”—for all those Jesus loves and wants to liberate from the bands of sin and death.

John even recalls the blind man in his account today (see John 11:37). Like the man’s birth in blindness, Lazarus’ death is used by Jesus to reveal “the glory of God” (see John 9:3). And again like last week, Jesus’ words and deeds give sight to those who believe (see John 11:40).

If we believe, we will see—that Jesus loves each of us as He loved Lazarus, that He calls us out of death and into new life.
By His Resurrection Jesus has fulfilled Ezekiel’s promise in today’s First Reading. He has opened the graves that we may rise, put His Spirit in us that we may live. This is the Spirit that Paul writes of in today’s Epistle. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will give life to we who were once dead in sin.

Faith is the key. If we believe as Martha does in today’s Gospel—that Jesus is the resurrection and the life—even if we die, we will live.
“I have promised and I will do it,” the Father assures us in the First Reading. We must trust in His word, as we sing in today’s Psalm—that with Him is forgiveness and salvation.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

There will always be those who will succumb to mob mentality. Afterall it is better to be part of the majority then to be treated as a social outcast. Such is the ‘power’ of the mob that they are inclined to take their notion of the law into their own hands. Ok so not everyone will be subject to such extreme pressure but what about subtle ones like gossip through peer pressure. Is it not partaking in character assassination?

We who identify ourselves as Christian will find ourselves in varied forms of ostracism or in some form of persecution for standing up for justice and truth. The Gospel values we cherish will be challenged for it is the way of the cross. We must likewise cling to the knowledge that we are not of this world, for we will all return to the bosom of our Heavenly Father.

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Praise You. Because by Your Holy Cross, You Have Redeemed the World. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 11:18-20 ·
‘Let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten’

The Lord revealed it to me; I was warned. O Lord, that was when you opened my eyes to their scheming. I for my part was like a trustful lamb being led to the slaughter-house, not knowing the schemes they were plotting against me, ‘Let us destroy the tree in its strength, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten!’

But you, the Lord of Hosts, who pronounce a just sentence, who probe the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.

Gospel

John 7:40-52
The Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without hearing him

Several people who had been listening to Jesus said, ‘Surely he must be the prophet’, and some said, ‘He is the Christ’, but others said, ‘Would the Christ be from Galilee? Does not scripture say that the Christ must be descended from David and come from the town of Bethlehem?’ So the people could not agree about him. Some would have liked to arrest him, but no one actually laid hands on him.
The police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’ The police replied, ‘There has never been anybody who has spoken like him.’ ‘So’ the Pharisees answered ‘you have been led astray as well? Have any of the authorities believed in him? Any of the Pharisees? This rabble knows nothing about the Law – they are damned.’ One of them, Nicodemus – the same man who had come to Jesus earlier – said to them, ‘But surely the Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without giving him a hearing and discovering what he is about?’ To this they answered, ‘Are you a Galilean too? Go into the matter, and see for yourself: prophets do not come out of Galilee.’


Our hour has not yet come. That very hour in which we prepare ourselves to finally meet our creator. What have we to show for ourselves? Had we lived a life in the light of our Lord and saviour’s resurrection? Have we embraced our cross to follow Him? Have we united our sufferings with His for the redemption of the world? Have we cared for the least of our brethren?

Or have we instead embroiled ourselves with the workings, cares, calculations, schemings of the world. Only interested in what’s in it for me, myself, I and maybe a little for those we deem family. Survival of the fittest! Afterall we live in a dog eat dog World! Are we then surprised at all at the panic buying? Every mask for oneself? Why do people need so much toilet paper? Well isn’t it obvious that these people live out of their toilets? All their self centred problems and woes are easily and quickly flushed away together with their precious toilet paper. ( those with a genuine need for that many not included*grins*)

Let us be grateful our hour has not yet come, let us turn our hearts to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ who has redeemed us. So that we can live out Holy loving lives as we are called to do. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 2:1,12-22
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man and condemn him to a shameful death

The godless say to themselves, with their misguided reasoning:

‘Our life is short and dreary, nor is there any relief when man’s end comes, nor is anyone known who can give release from Hades.
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our breaches of the law and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
He claims to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a son of the Lord.
Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
his way of life is not like other men’s,
the paths he treads are unfamiliar.
In his opinion we are counterfeit;
he holds aloof from our doings as though from filth; he proclaims the final end of the virtuous as Happy and boasts of having God for his father.
Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’

This is the way they reason, but they are misled, their malice makes them blind.
They do not know the hidden things of God,
they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded, they can see no reward for blameless souls.

Gospel

John 7:1-2,10,25-30
They would have arrested him, but his time had not yet come

Jesus stayed in Galilee; he could not stay in Judaea, because the Jews were out to kill him.
As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, but quite privately, without drawing attention to himself. Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Isn’t this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking freely, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have made up their minds that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.’
Then, as Jesus taught in the Temple, he cried out:

‘Yes, you know me
and you know where I came from.
Yet I have not come of myself:
no, there is one who sent me
and I really come from him,
and you do not know him,
but I know him because I have come from him and it was he who sent me.’

They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 27, 2020 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Our hour has not yet come. That very hour in which we prepare ourselves to finally meet our creator. What have we to show for ourselves? Had we lived a life in the light of our Lord and saviour’s resurrection? Have we embraced our cross to follow Him? Have we united our sufferings with His for the redemption of the world? Have we cared for the least of our brethren?

Or have we instead embroiled ourselves with the workings, cares, calculations, schemings of the world. Only interested in what’s in it for me, myself, I and maybe a little for those we deem family. Survival of the fittest! Afterall we live in a dog eat dog World! Are we then surprised at all at the panic buying? Every mask for oneself? Why do people need so much toilet paper? Well isn’t it obvious that these people live out of their toilets? All their self centred problems and woes are easily and quickly flushed away together with their precious toilet paper. ( those with a genuine need for that many not included*grins*)

Let us be grateful our hour has not yet come, let us turn our hearts to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ who has redeemed us. So that we can live out Holy loving lives as we are called to do. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 2:1,12-22
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man and condemn him to a shameful death

The godless say to themselves, with their misguided reasoning:

‘Our life is short and dreary, nor is there any relief when man’s end comes, nor is anyone known who can give release from Hades.
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our breaches of the law and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
He claims to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a son of the Lord.
Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
his way of life is not like other men’s,
the paths he treads are unfamiliar.
In his opinion we are counterfeit;
he holds aloof from our doings as though from filth; he proclaims the final end of the virtuous as Happy and boasts of having God for his father.
Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’

This is the way they reason, but they are misled, their malice makes them blind.
They do not know the hidden things of God,
they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded, they can see no reward for blameless souls.

Gospel

John 7:1-2,10,25-30
They would have arrested him, but his time had not yet come

Jesus stayed in Galilee; he could not stay in Judaea, because the Jews were out to kill him.
As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, but quite privately, without drawing attention to himself. Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Isn’t this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking freely, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have made up their minds that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.’
Then, as Jesus taught in the Temple, he cried out:

‘Yes, you know me
and you know where I came from.
Yet I have not come of myself:
no, there is one who sent me
and I really come from him,
and you do not know him,
but I know him because I have come from him and it was he who sent me.’

They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.


With all that is going on in the world, the lock downs, the closures, the social distancing, where is the Lord our God? Has He left us to our own device? And so have we turned to our own ‘golden calfs’? Television, movies, pornography, games, alcohol, anything and everything else that would take our minds off the darkness of life. How different are we from the people in the time of Moses? Or have we become like the Pharisees and scribes? Concerned only with judging others, the system, the governance and everything else instead of turning out hearts to God? Instead of listening intently to His prophets, most importantly to God’s Will for us through His only Begotten Son Jesus!In truth our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ has never left! He is very much with us yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is us who have initiated our very own lock downs, we have closed our hearts to Him, we have distanced ourselves from Him! In His great mercy and love for us, He will never abandon us. In actual fact He wants us to discover the many new and varied ways He is present to us. Have we been listening to His promptings through His shepherds or have we shut our ears to them? Thinking they have let us down in some way?Let us stay awake and alert my dearest sisters and brothers in Christ. Let the love and grace of our Lord fill our hearts as we seek Him out in new ways. Amen

First reading

Exodus 32:7-14 ·
Moses pleads with the Lord his God to spare IsraelThe Lord spoke to Moses, ‘Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostatised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. “Here is your God, Israel,” they have cried “who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘I can see how headstrong these people are! Leave me, now, my wrath shall blaze out against them and devour them; of you, however, I will make a great nation.’
But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘why should your wrath blaze out against this people of yours whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with arm outstretched and mighty hand? Why let the Egyptians say, “Ah, it was in treachery that he brought them out, to do them to death in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth”? Leave your burning wrath; relent and do not bring this disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your servants to whom by your own self you swore and made this promise: I will make your offspring as many as the stars of heaven, and all this land which I promised I will give to your descendants, and it shall be their heritage for ever.’
So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

Gospel

John 5:31-47
You place your hopes on Moses but Moses will be your accuserJesus said to the Jews:‘Were I to testify on my own behalf,
my testimony would not be valid; but there is another witness who can speak on my behalf, and I know that his testimony is valid.You sent messengers to John, and he gave his testimony to the truth: not that I depend on human testimony; no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this. John was a lamp alight and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.But my testimony is greater than John’s:
the works my Father has given me to carry out, these same works of mine testify that the Father has sent me. Besides, the Father who sent me bears witness to me himself.
You have never heard his voice, you have never seen his shape, and his word finds no home in You because you do not believe in the one he has sent.‘You study the Scriptures, believing that in them you have eternal life; now these same scriptures testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me for life!
As for human approval, this means nothing to me. Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you.I have come in the name of my Father
and you refuse to accept me; if someone else comes in his own name you will accept him.
How can you believe, since you look to one another for approval and are not concerned with the approval that comes from the one God?Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father: you place your hopes on Moses, and Moses will be your accuser.
If you really believed him you would believe me too, since it was I that he was writing about; but if you refuse to believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?’