Archive for May, 2022

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 31, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Just a few days ago as a fellow sister in Christ and I went over to the home of a dear sister who is migrating to another country in a month or so. When she saw us at her doorstep her face lit up and greeted us with joy, then we briefly embraced in a warm hug. In that moment I recalled the visitation of our Blessed Mother to her cousin’s Elisabeth’s home; how when Elisabeth heard our Blessed Mother’s greeting St John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother’s womb. We were there visiting after all to do the 7th Sunday of Easter reflections and so in a sense we too brought Jesus with us. Our intention was to magnify Him in our reflections, to deepen our relationship with Him and one another; And to go on thereafter glorifying Him by our lives!

How many of us would have looked upon this as an opportunity to bring Christ Jesus our Lord with us? Wherever we go? Are we willing to sacrifice our time? To bring Jesus with us when we journey to a Church meeting, community prayer meeting, Ministry meeting, when we visit our aged parents, a home for the aged and sick, Children’s home, Hospice even to a wake. If we are not willing to do so then how are magnifying the Lord by our lives?

When was the last time you brought the joy of our risen Lord with you to someone’s home?

Come dwell in me Lord Jesus Christ as I live my life for You. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Zephaniah 3:14-18 ·

The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion,

Israel, shout aloud!

Rejoice, exult with all your heart,

daughter of Jerusalem!

The Lord has repealed your sentence;

he has driven your enemies away.

The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;

you have no more evil to fear.

When that day comes, word will come to Jerusalem:

Zion, have no fear,

do not let your hands fall limp.

The Lord your God is in your midst,

a victorious warrior.

He will exult with joy over you,

he will renew you by his love;

he will dance with shouts of joy for you

as on a day of festival.


Luke 1:39-56

The Almighty has done great things for me

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

    And Mary said:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord

and my spirit exults in God my saviour;

because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.

Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,

for the Almighty has done great things for me.

Holy is his name,

and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.

He has shown the power of his arm,

he has routed the proud of heart.

He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.

He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy

– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –

of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 30, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The baptism of the Holy Spirit as many call it, is in fact an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Which again many would have already received during their baptism and later again at confirmation. If given an opportunity however, we all should attend such a retreat where it ends with the outpouring. Why? Because it is the Holy Spirit that teaches, guides and shows us how we should be living fully in God our Father’s love. Fully alive with joy in our hearts and emboldened to share the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Gospel with all! And we all have need of a reawakening, reigniting, rekindling if you will.

Yes indeed I have witnessed the transformation of many over the years after they had attended such retreats because I either helped facilitate the sessions or was present to help in any way I could. Apart from witnessing their gifts put into action, like praising the Lord in tongues, healing of others and too many to list, they began new lives in church ministry or in neighborhood communities serving with joy.

Do not worry, if you don’t have an opportunity to attend such a retreat now. You can still pray to the Holy Spirit to enter into your life more profoundly and prepare your hearts to receive Him at Pentecost through prayer, fasting, and dwelling on His Word.

Come Holy Spirit, come. Amen Alleluia!

First reading
Acts 19:1-8 ·
The moment Paul laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul made his way overland as far as Ephesus, where he found a number of disciples. When he asked, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ they answered, ‘No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit.’ ‘Then how were you baptised?’ he asked. ‘With John’s baptism’ they replied. ‘John’s baptism’ said Paul ‘was a baptism of repentance; but he insisted that the people should believe in the one who was to come after him – in other words, Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of these men.
    He began by going to the synagogue, where he spoke out boldly and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. He did this for three months.

John 16:29-33
Be brave, for I have conquered the world

His disciples said to Jesus, ‘Now you are speaking plainly and not using metaphors! Now we see that you know everything, and do not have to wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them:

‘Do you believe at last?
Listen; the time will come – in fact it has come already –
when you will be scattered,
each going his own way and leaving me alone.
And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.’

7th Sunday of Easter

Posted: May 28, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Perfection as One: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Seventh Sunday of Easter


Acts 7:55–60
Psalm 97:1–26–79
Revelation 22:12–1416–1720
John 17:20–26

(In dioceses where Ascension is celebrated on Sunday, see also the reflection for the Ascension of the Lord.)

Jesus is praying for us in today’s Gospel. We are those who have come to believe in Him through the Word of the Apostles, handed on in His Church.

Jesus showed the Apostles His glory, made known the Father’s name and the love He has had for us from “before the foundation of the world.”

He revealed that He and the Father are one (see John 14:9).

Jesus is the “first and the last” (see Isaiah 44:6), the root of David (see Isaiah 11:102 Samuel 7:12), as today’s Second Reading declares.

Wrapped in clouds and darkness as God was at Sinai (see Exodus 19:16), He is “the king . . . the Most High over all the earth,” as we sing in today’s Psalm.

Exalted at God’s right hand, as Stephen sees in the First Reading, the Lord calls to us through the Church, His Bride.

He calls us to “the tree of life,” to communion with God. This is the goal of His love, His saving purpose from all eternity—that each of us enter into the life of the Blessed Trinity and be “brought to perfection as one” with the Father and Son in the Spirit.

The story of Stephen, the first martyr, shows us how we are to answer His call.

Listen for the echoes of the Crucifixion: Stephen, like Jesus, sees the Son of Man in glory and dies with words of forgiveness and self-offering on his lips (compare Acts 7:56–60Matthew 26:64–65Luke 23:24,46).

We, too, are to commend our spirits to the Father, to pray and offer our lives in love for our brethren, awaiting His coming in judgment. We renew our vows in every Mass, coming forward to receive the gift of His life.

We answer His call by crying out a call of our own: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

And in our communion we answer our Lord’s prayer: “That they may all be one, as You, Father are in Me and I in You.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 28, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How well do you know scriptures? “Oh not well but I believe Jesus Christ and that is enough!” Really?

How are you then ever going to grow deeper in your faith and relationship with the Lord Your God? Such that you are able to help others who are struggling in their faith or do not yet know Him. For the bible is not simply a book! It is the inspired work of God, and His Word give life! Pray to the Holy Spirit and He will guide you and your life will be enriched greatly. In time you will be able to boldly proclaim that Jesus is the Christ the Lord of all nations!

Because you would understand most profoundly today’s Gospel of God our Father’s love for You and me. Amen Alleluia

First reading

Acts 18:23-28 ·

Apollos demonstrated from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ

Paul came down to Antioch, where he spent a short time before continuing his journey through the Galatian country and then through Phrygia, encouraging all the followers.

    An Alexandrian Jew named Apollos now arrived in Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, with a sound knowledge of the scriptures, and yet, though he had been given instruction in the Way of the Lord and preached with great spiritual earnestness and was accurate in all the details he taught about Jesus, he had only experienced the baptism of John. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak boldly in the synagogue, they took an interest in him and gave him further instruction about the Way.

    When Apollos thought of crossing over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote asking the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived there he was able by God’s grace to help the believers considerably by the energetic way he refuted the Jews in public and demonstrated from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.


John 16:23-28

The Father loves you for loving me and believing that I came from God

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

anything you ask for from the Father he will grant in my name.

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.

Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.

I have been telling you all this in metaphors,

the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in metaphors;

but tell you about the Father in plain words.

When that day comes you will ask in my name;

and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you,

because the Father himself loves you for loving me

and believing that I came from God.

I came from the Father and have come into the world

and now I leave the world to go to the Father.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 27, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Happy Easter everyone! Yes for many Easter was just one day, but for us who know our faith it is fifty days in Eastertide! This Sunday marks the 7th Sunday in Easter as we count down to Pentecost. So sisters and brothers in Christ, how joyful are you? Are you walking in the light of our Lord’s resurrection? Are you bringing hope, peace and joy to those who have none?

If all of us do our part in sharing the joy of the Gospel with world, then surely God our Father in Heaven will bless all His children and dwell in their hearts then there will be no senseless violence and massacres by those without hope, peace and joy for they would have heard that God our Father loves them and would have experienced the peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Today let us not be afraid to speak out in love, nor allow ourselves to be silenced as we share the Gospel truths: Our Resurrected Lord is with us! Amen Alleluia

First reading

Acts 18:9-18 ·

‘I have many people on my side in this city’

At Corinth one night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid to speak out, nor allow yourself to be silenced: I am with you. I have so many people on my side in this city that no one will even attempt to hurt you.’ So Paul stayed there preaching the word of God among them for eighteen months.

    But, while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a concerted attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal. ‘We accuse this man’ they said ‘of persuading people to worship God in a way that breaks the Law.’ Before Paul could open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, ‘Listen, you Jews. If this were a misdemeanour or a crime, I would not hesitate to attend to you; but if it is only quibbles about words and names, and about your own Law, then you must deal with it yourselves – I have no intention of making legal decisions about things like that.’ Then he sent them out of the court, and at once they all turned on Sosthenes, the synagogue president, and beat him in front of the court house. Gallio refused to take any notice at all.

    After staying on for some time, Paul took leave of the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut off, because of a vow he had made.


John 16:20-23

Your hearts will be full of joy that no-one will take from you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

you will be weeping and wailing

while the world will rejoice;

you will be sorrowful,

but your sorrow will turn to joy.

A woman in childbirth suffers,

because her time has come;

but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering

in her joy that a man has been born into the world.

So it is with you: you are sad now,

but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy,

and that joy no one shall take from you.

When that day comes,

you will not ask me any questions.’

Ascension of the Lord

Posted: May 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Great Catholic Articles
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The Good News: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Ascension of the Lord

Acts 1:1–11
Psalm 47:2–3, 6–7, 8–9
Ephesians 1:17–23 or Hebrews 9:24–28; 10:19–23
Luke 24:46–53

In today’s First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke gives the surprising news that there is more of the story to be told. The story did not end with the empty tomb, or with Jesus’ appearances to the Apostles over the course of forty days. Jesus’ saving work will have a liturgical consummation. He is the great high priest, and He has still to ascend to the heavenly Jerusalem, there to celebrate the feast in the true Holy of Holies.

The truth of this feast shines forth from the Letter to the Hebrews, where we read of the great high priest’s passing through the heavens, the sinless intercessor’s sacrifice on our behalf (see Hebrews 4:14–15).

Indeed, His intercession will lead to the Holy Spirit’s descent in fire upon the Church. Luke spells out that promise in the First Reading for the feast of the Ascension: “in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5). The Ascension is the preliminary feast that directs the Church’s attention forward to Pentecost. On that day, salvation will be complete; for salvation is not simply expiation for sins (that would be wonder enough), but it is something even greater than that. Expiation is itself a necessary precondition of our adoption as God’s children. To live that divine life we must receive the Holy Spirit. To receive the Holy Spirit we must be purified through Baptism.

The Responsorial Psalm presents the Ascension in terms familiar from the worship of the Jerusalem Temple in the days of King Solomon: “God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord” (Psalm 47). The priest-king takes his place at the head of the people, ruling over the nations, establishing peace.

The Epistle strikes a distinctively Paschal note. In the early Church, as today, Easter was the normal time for the baptism of adult converts. The sacrament was often called “illumination” or “enlightenment” because of the light that came with God’s saving grace (see, for example, Hebrews 10:32). Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, speaks in terms of glory that leads to greater glories still, as Ascension leads to Pentecost:

“May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,” he writes, as he looks to the divinization of the believers. Their “hope” is “his inheritance among the holy ones,” the saints who have been adopted into God’s family and now rule with Him at the Father’s right hand.

This is the “good news” the Apostles are commissioned to spread—to the whole world, to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem—at the Ascension. It’s the good news we must spread today

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 25, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Why is it that we often dumb down our faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ around others who may not yet be believers in Him? We are afraid to overwhelm them and want to gradually bring them in perhaps by way of ‘hooks’. Let us ask ourselves then, why did St Paul who managed to garner the attention of the non-believers with his eloquence on how their Unknown God was indeed the same One true God that we all believe; go on to talk about Jesus rising from the dead? Why not save that for later when they are more convinced? Why not take time to build the relationship with them first before leading them to Jesus?

Jesus is the truth, the way and the life! He is the Lord of lords, King of kings! This is truth that we hold dear in our hearts does not change in the presence of unbelievers. If the LORD does not build the house, the work of the builders is useless; if the LORD does not protect the city, it does no good for the sentries to stand guard. Ps 127:1 It is the Lord who will grow the relationship we are only called to sow the seeds of love. For our Lord had said, ““Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matt 10:32-33

O Holy Spirit Lord, lead us all to the complete truth now and forever. Amen

First reading

Acts 17:15,22-18:1

I proclaim the God you already worship without knowing it

Paul’s escort took him as far as Athens, and went back with instructions for Silas and Timothy to rejoin Paul as soon as they could.

    So Paul stood before the whole Council of the Areopagus and made this speech:

    ‘Men of Athens, I have seen for myself how extremely scrupulous you are in all religious matters, because I noticed, as I strolled round admiring your sacred monuments, that you had an altar inscribed: To An Unknown God. Well, the God whom I proclaim is in fact the one whom you already worship without knowing it.

    ‘Since the God who made the world and everything in it is himself Lord of heaven and earth, he does not make his home in shrines made by human hands. Nor is he dependent on anything that human hands can do for him, since he can never be in need of anything; on the contrary, it is he who gives everything – including life and breath – to everyone. From one single stock he not only created the whole human race so that they could occupy the entire earth, but he decreed how long each nation should flourish and what the boundaries of its territory should be. And he did this so that all nations might seek the deity and, by feeling their way towards him, succeed in finding him. Yet in fact he is not far from any of us, since it is in him that we live, and move, and exist, as indeed some of your own writers have said:

“We are all his children.”

‘Since we are the children of God, we have no excuse for thinking that the deity looks like anything in gold, silver or stone that has been carved and designed by a man.

    ‘God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant, but now he is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent, because he has fixed a day when the whole world will be judged, and judged in righteousness, and he has appointed a man to be the judge. And God has publicly proved this by raising this man from the dead.’

    At this mention of rising from the dead, some of them burst out laughing; others said, ‘We would like to hear you talk about this again.’ After that Paul left them, but there were some who attached themselves to him and became believers, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman called Damaris, and others besides.

    After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.


John 16:12-15

The Spirit of truth will lead you to the complete truth

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I still have many things to say to you

but they would be too much for you now.

But when the Spirit of truth comes

he will lead you to the complete truth,

since he will not be speaking as from himself

but will say only what he has learnt;

and he will tell you of the things to come.

He will glorify me,

since all he tells you

will be taken from what is mine.

Everything the Father has is mine;

that is why I said:

All he tells you

will be taken from what is mine.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 24, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

In times of adversity how many of us would think to turn to our Lord in prayer not so much as to offer petitions for ourselves but simply to offer our praise and worship of the Lord our God? How many would sing God’s praises?

For if we truly in believe our resurrected Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ then we know that the victory is already ours! For He had already conquered death and set us free to live fully in His love. And nothing can separate us from the love of God our Heavenly Father. Heaven and earth will move to liberate us! That is why we should Glorify the Lord our God at all times. In good times as well as in bad times, for all the time God is good! And He makes all things new!

Come Holy Spirit come; Come and lead the way. Amen Alleluia


First reading

Acts 16:22-34 ·

Become a believer and you will be saved, and your household too

The crowd joined in and showed their hostility to Paul and Silas, so the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be flogged. They were given many lashes and then thrown into prison, and the gaoler was told to keep a close watch on them. So, following his instructions, he threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

    Late that night Paul and Silas were praying and singing God’s praises, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the prison to its foundations. All the doors flew open and the chains fell from all the prisoners. When the gaoler woke and saw the doors wide open he drew his sword and was about to commit suicide, presuming that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted at the top of his voice, ‘Don’t do yourself any harm; we are all here.’ The gaoler called for lights, then rushed in, threw himself trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas, and escorted them out, saying, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They told him, ‘Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, and your household too.’ Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all his family. Late as it was, he took them to wash their wounds, and was baptised then and there with all his household. Afterwards he took them home and gave them a meal, and the whole family celebrated their conversion to belief in God.


John 16:5-11

Unless I go, the Advocate will not come to you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Now I am going to the one who sent me.

Not one of you has asked, “Where are you going?”

Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this.

Still, I must tell you the truth:

it is for your own good that I am going

because unless I go,

the Advocate will not come to you;

but if I do go,

I will send him to you.

And when he comes,

he will show the world how wrong it was,

about sin,

and about who was in the right,

and about judgement:

about sin: proved by their refusal to believe in me;

about who was in the right: proved by my going to the Father and your seeing me no more;

about judgement: proved by the prince of this world being already condemned.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 23, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Even before the pandemic hit very few folks were willing to open their homes for community prayer meetings. They might gladly do so for family gatherings which was infrequent or for one or two close friends but prayer meetings were by far too much of a hassle.

That said I have been Blessed to know a few ‘Lydias’ who are not simply hospitable but outright generous, loving and kind. They do not only prepare their homes for the Lord’s coming (presence) for the meetings but they seem to look upon you their guest as`Jesus’ In other words, they made feel you welcomed as they would have welcomed our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! No exaggeration! They are true witnesses of living life in the Spirit!

Come Holy Spirit come, come live inside of me. Amen

First reading
Acts 16:11-15 ·
The Lord opened Lydia’s heart to accept what Paul was saying

Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day for Neapolis, and from there for Philippi, a Roman colony and the principal city of that particular district of Macedonia. After a few days in this city we went along the river outside the gates as it was the sabbath and this was a customary place for prayer. We sat down and preached to the women who had come to the meeting. One of these women was called Lydia, a devout woman from the town of Thyatira who was in the purple-dye trade. She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptised she sent us an invitation: ‘If you really think me a true believer in the Lord,’ she said ‘come and stay with us’; and she would take no refusal.

John 15:26-16:4
The Spirit of truth will be my witness

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘When the Advocate comes,
whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,
he will be my witness.
And you too will be witnesses,
because you have been with me from the outset.

‘I have told you all this that your faith may not be shaken.
They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy duty for God.
They will do these things
because they have never known either the Father or myself.
But I have told you all this,
so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you.’

6th Sunday Of Easter

Posted: May 21, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
Tags: ,

Council of Jerusalem: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixth Sunday of Easter 


Acts 15:1–2, 22–29 

Psalm 67:2–3, 5–6, 8

Revelation 21:10–14, 22–23

John 14:23–29

The first Church council, the Council of Jerusalem we hear about in today’s First Reading, decided the shape of the Church as we know it.

Some Jewish Christians had wanted Gentile converts to be circumcised and obey all the complex ritual and purity laws of the Jews.

The council called this a heresy, again showing us that the Church in the divine plan is meant to be a worldwide family of God, no longer a covenant with just one nation.

Today’s Liturgy gives us a profound meditation on the nature and meaning of the Church. The Church is One, as we see in the First Reading: “the Apostles [bishops] and presbyters [priests], in agreement with the whole Church [laity].”

The Church is Holy, taught and guided by the Spirit that Jesus promises the Apostles in the Gospel.

The Church is Catholic, or universal, making known God’s ways of salvation to all peoples, ruling all in equity, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

And the Church, as John sees in the Second Reading, is Apostolic—founded on the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

All these marks of the Church are underscored in the story of the council.

Notice that everybody, including Paul, looks to “Jerusalem [and] . . . the Apostles” to decide the Church’s true teaching. The Apostles, too, presume that Christian teachers need a “mandate from us.”

And we see the Spirit guiding the Apostles in all truth. Notice how they describe their ruling: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us.”

Knowing these truths about the Church, our hearts should never be troubled. The Liturgy’s message today is that the Church is the Lord’s, watched over and guarded by the Advocate, the Holy Spirit sent by the Father in the name of the Son.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 21, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Are we docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? How can we if we will not spend time in prayer, reflection of His Word for us in His presence? When we do  We do not discern His Will as a community or family? Where is the Lord our God in our lives? When we make our own travel plans, our own decisions to migrate, to switch jobs, ministries and so on? Then when something goes wrong whom do we choose to blame?

God our Heavenly Father only wants what is best for His Children and the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us if we ask Him for help. He does not impose His Will on us. We will do well to remember this scripture text by hard, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jer 29:11-13

Following after Christ as a disciple, we will be led on a great adventure in His love with many twists and turns. Challenges and trials are to be expected. Yes we will indeed face rejection! For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ too was rejected as He died on a cross for us. He rose from the dead and through Him we know that we too will be raised up by the power of His resurrection; so we gladly await our Heavenly reward of eternal life with Him. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 16:1-10 ·

‘Come across to Macedonia and help us’

From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.

    As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.

    So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.

    They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.

    One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.


John 15:18-21

The world hated me before it hated you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If the world hates you,

remember that it hated me before you.

If you belonged to the world,

the world would love you as its own;

but because you do not belong to the world,

because my choice withdrew you from the world,

therefore the world hates you.

Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.

If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too;

if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.

But it will be on my account that they will do all this,

because they do not know the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 20, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How do we truly love one another? Do we go out of our way for one another? Are we willing to sacrifice time? Our talents and gifts? Are we at willing to lay down our life for a friend? If not then how do we hope to bear fruit for our Lord?

Is it enough to simply send our prayers and well wishes by whatsapp, messenger, text message, instagram or tweeter to a friend in need? Is it right not to be there for family or friend at a wake? Is it enough to simply give money instead of helping with the care for the poor? Entrust someone else with the care for the downtrodden? If we will not be present for a friend or community then we will not be present for the stranger in need! We will not be present for Jesus!

Jesus by the power of Your resurrection free me from everything that holds me back from loving my friends, family, even the stranger as I should. Grant me the courage, strength, grace and humility to put their needs first before my very own. Let me glorify You by my love and my life for You and my brethren. Amen

First reading

Acts 15:22-31 ·

It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by us not to burden you beyond these essentials

The apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them:

    ‘The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of pagan birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some of our members have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds. They acted without any authority from us; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with Barnabas and Paul, men we highly respect who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written in this letter. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols; from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.’

    The party left and went down to Antioch, where they summoned the whole community and delivered the letter. The community read it and were delighted with the encouragement it gave them.


John 15:12-17

What I command you is to love one another

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘This is my commandment:

love one another,

as I have loved you.

A man can have no greater love

than to lay down his life for his friends.

You are my friends,

if you do what I command you.

I shall not call you servants any more,

because a servant does not know

his master’s business;

I call you friends,

because I have made known to you

everything I have learnt from my Father.

You did not choose me:

no, I chose you;

and I commissioned you

to go out and to bear fruit,

fruit that will last;

and then the Father will give you

anything you ask him in my name.

What I command you is to love one another.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 19, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

God our Father’s Commandments are a gift for us because it brings about order, peace, love, joy and most importantly life. Hence the sanctity of life is protected.

Why then do many frown upon them, shrug and give up saying too difficult to follow? “I need my distractions, I have needs and desires to be fulfilled!”

When we have disagreements amongst ourselves, how many would turn to scripture for a solution? To invite the Holy Spirit to come, guide and bring about resolution? How many would allow for a new and better way instead of holding fast to the norms and traditional approaches to matters outside of faith?

Yes Lord I love You and I endeavour this and every day to keep Your commandments. Bless, Protect and guide me Lord to know and do Your Will always. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 15:7-21 ·

I rule that we do not make things more difficult for the pagans who turn to God

After the discussion had gone on a long time, Peter stood up and addressed the apostles and the elders.

    ‘My brothers,’ he said ‘you know perfectly well that in the early days God made his choice among you: the pagans were to learn the Good News from me and so become believers. In fact God, who can read everyone’s heart, showed his approval of them by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he had to us. God made no distinction between them and us, since he purified their hearts by faith. It would only provoke God’s anger now, surely, if you imposed on the disciples the very burden that neither we nor our ancestors were strong enough to support? Remember, we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus.’

    This silenced the entire assembly, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul describing the signs and wonders God had worked through them among the pagans.

    When they had finished it was James who spoke. ‘My brothers,’ he said ‘listen to me. Simeon has described how God first arranged to enlist a people for his name out of the pagans. This is entirely in harmony with the words of the prophets, since the scriptures say:

After that I shall return

and rebuild the fallen House of David;

I shall rebuild it from its ruins

and restore it.

Then the rest of mankind,

all the pagans who are consecrated to my name,

will look for the Lord,

says the Lord who made this known so long ago.

‘I rule, then, that instead of making things more difficult for pagans who turn to God, we send them a letter telling them merely to abstain from anything polluted by idols, from fornication, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has always had his preachers in every town, and is read aloud in the synagogues every sabbath.’


John 15:9-11

Remain in my love

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘As the Father has loved me,

so I have loved you.

Remain in my love.

If you keep my commandments

you will remain in my love,

just as I have kept my Father’s commandments

and remain in his love.

I have told you this

so that my own joy may be in you

and your joy be complete.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 18, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Yes our Church indeed has its fair share of problems, challenges even obstacles to overcome. One of the main ones today amongst many others is how to bring those who have left the Church back? And we are truly Blessed to have a Pope who has already inspired everyone in starting the synodal process. A means to hear from everyone and allow the Holy Spirit to open new doors as Christ once again makes all things new!

Question is how many are truly connected to the Vine, the source and summit of our lives who gives us life? That is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! How many meetings have we attended where the focus was on Him, He was the centre of our meetings not the agenda! Meetings where we started with Adoration (not a 5-10 minute one) prayer, praise and worship, breaking of the Word only after did we begin our meeting with the invocation of the Holy Spirit. For unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. PS 127:1

Lord Jesus I remain Yours, through You, with You and in You. You are my rock and my salvation and so I pledge to take up my cross and follow after You this and every day. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 15:1-6

They were to go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders

Some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, ‘Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.’ This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders.

    All the members of the church saw them off, and as they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria they told how the pagans had been converted, and this news was received with the greatest satisfaction by the brothers. When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by the church and by the apostles and elders, and gave an account of all that God had done with them.

    But certain members of the Pharisees’ party who had become believers objected, insisting that the pagans should be circumcised and instructed to keep the Law of Moses. The apostles and elders met to look into the matter.


John 15:1-8

I am the vine, you are the branches

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I am the true vine,

and my Father is the vinedresser.

Every branch in me that bears no fruit

he cuts away,

and every branch that does bear fruit

he prunes to make it bear even more.

You are pruned already,

by means of the word that I have spoken to you.

Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,

but must remain part of the vine,

neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine,

you are the branches.

Whoever remains in me, with me in him,

bears fruit in plenty;

for cut off from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me

is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;

these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,

and they are burnt.

If you remain in me

and my words remain in you,

you may ask what you will

and you shall get it.

It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,

and then you will be my disciples.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 17, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Do not let your hearts be troubled for the prince of this world has no power over Jesus. We have been inserted into the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God our Heavenly Father through our baptism, therefore the prince of this world has no power over us too! For we are children of God our Heavenly Father so loved and protected by Him.

That is why even when St Paul was terribly beaten, stoned and left to die outside of town, he picked him himself up and went back to the very town that left him for dead! Unthinkable? Why would he do such a thing? How did he do it? Well he carried the peace, love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with him! Recuperated and renewed by Jesus he went on with St. Barnabas to preach the Good News and put fresh heart into the disciples. For every disciple knows that before we enter the kingdom of God we will have face many hardships and persevere in our faith.

We can do so, because having searched the world over we know that only true peace and joy is to be found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ alone. He is the way, the truth and the life. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 14:19-28 ·

They gave an account of how God had opened the door of faith to the pagans

Some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium, and turned the people against the apostles. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the town, thinking he was dead. The disciples came crowding round him but, as they did so, he stood up and went back to the town. The next day he and Barnabas went off to Derbe.

    Having preached the Good News in that town and made a considerable number of disciples, they went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. ‘We all have to experience many hardships’ they said ‘before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.

    They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.

    On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans. They stayed there with the disciples for some time.


John 14:27-31

A peace the world cannot give is my gift to you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,

a peace the world cannot give,

this is my gift to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return.

If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father,

for the Father is greater than I.

I have told you this now before it happens,

so that when it does happen you may believe.

I shall not talk with you any longer,

because the prince of this world is on his way.

He has no power over me,

but the world must be brought to know

that I love the Father

and that I am doing exactly what the Father told me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 16, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Every level in our faith journey is a test of our faithfulness and love for our Lord, our saviour Jesus Christ.  For if we do bear fruit for Him we will often have an opportunity to witness these fruits in others. Many touched deeply by our Lord through us being instruments of His grace may shower us with fervour, gifts and affirmation. Be wary for the evil one lurks and is waiting to snare you and I! Many have fallen into believing that power and glory is theirs! Even if the Lord is added at the end of ” ‘I’ did this for the Lord!” By St Barnabas and St Paul’s example in today’s first reading, we too should be ‘tearing’ at our clothes at this juncture shouting ‘Friends, what do you think you are doing? We are only human beings like you. We have only come to share in the good news of the Gospel and to turn your hearts back to the Lord our God.

If we continue to let ourselves be deceived then will we not only lose our way but lead others to do likewise. We will begin to take shortcuts, cut corners and soon even irreverence for the Lord our God sets in as we declare “My Will be done!”

Lord Jesus help me to remain steadfast to Your Word and Will for me. Holy Spirit Lord, teach, counsel and guide me to the Way, the Truth and the life! Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 14:5-18

We have come with good news to turn you to the living God

Eventually with the connivance of the authorities a move was made by pagans as well as Jews to make attacks on the apostles and to stone them. When the apostles came to hear of this, they went off for safety to Lycaonia where, in the towns of Lystra and Derbe and in the surrounding country, they preached the Good News.

    A man sat there who had never walked in his life, because his feet were crippled from birth; and as he listened to Paul preaching, he managed to catch his eye. Seeing that the man had the faith to be cured, Paul said in a loud voice, ‘Get to your feet – stand up’, and the cripple jumped up and began to walk.

    When the crowd saw what Paul had done they shouted in the language of Lycaonia, ‘These people are gods who have come down to us disguised as men.’ They addressed Barnabas as Zeus, and since Paul was the principal speaker they called him Hermes. The priests of Zeus-outside-the-Gate, proposing that all the people should offer sacrifice with them, brought garlanded oxen to the gates. When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening they tore their clothes, and rushed into the crowd, shouting, ‘Friends, what do you think you are doing? We are only human beings like you. We have come with good news to make you turn from these empty idols to the living God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that these hold. In the past he allowed each nation to go its own way; but even then he did not leave you without evidence of himself in the good things he does for you: he sends you rain from heaven, he makes your crops grow when they should, he gives you food and makes you happy.’ Even this speech, however, was scarcely enough to stop the crowd offering them sacrifice.


John 14:21-26

The Advocate, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them

will be one who loves me;

and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father,

and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

Judas – this was not Judas Iscariot – said to him, ‘Lord, what is all this about? Do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’ Jesus replied:

‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we shall come to him and make our home with him.

Those who do not love me do not keep my words.

And my word is not my own:

it is the word of the one who sent me.

I have said these things to you while still with you;

but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,

whom the Father will send in my name,

will teach you everything

and remind you of all I have said to you.’

5th Sunday Of Easter

Posted: May 14, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
Tags: ,

New For All Ages: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifth Sunday of Easter 


Acts 14:21-27

Psalm 145:8-13

Revelation 21:1-5

John 13:31-35

By God’s goodness and compassion, the doors of His kingdom have been opened to all who have faith, Jew or Gentile.

That’s the good news Paul and Barnabas proclaim in today’s First Reading. With the coming of the Church—the new Jerusalem John sees in today’s Second Reading—God is “making all things new.”

In His Church, the “old order” of death is passing away and God for all time is making His dwelling with the human race, so that all peoples “will be His people and God Himself will always be with them.” In this the promises made through His prophets are accomplished (see Ezekiel 37:27; Isaiah 25:8; 35:10).

The Church is “the kingdom for all ages” that we sing of in today’s Psalm. That’s why we see the Apostles, under the guidance of the Spirit, ordaining “presbyters” or priests (see 1 Timothy 4:14; Titus 1:5).

Anointed priests and bishops will be the Apostles’ successors, ensuring that the Church’s “dominion endures through all generations” (see Philippians 1:1, note that the New American Bible translates episcopois, the Greek word for bishops, as “overseers”).

Until the end of time, the Church will declare to the world God’s mighty deeds, blessing His holy name and giving Him thanks, singing of the glories of His kingdom.

In His Church, we know ourselves as His “faithful ones,” as those Jesus calls “My little children” in today’s Gospel. We live by the new law, the “new commandment” that He gave in His final hours.

The love He commands of us is no human love but a supernatural love. We love each other as Jesus loved us in suffering and dying for us. We love in imitation of His love.

This kind of love is only made possible by the Spirit poured into our hearts at Baptism (see Romans 5:5), renewed in the sacrifice His priests offer in every Mass.

By our love we glorify the Father. And by our love all peoples will know that we are His people, that He is our God.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 14, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How much do we love one another as Jesus loved us? He loved us so much He was willing to sacrifice Himself by laying His life down for us? Are we will ever willing to do likewise for one another? For community? Our Church? For the love of our God?

What are you willing to sacrifice?

If you called to be a lector do you spend hours dwelling on the word that you are proclaiming? Yes proclaiming not reading out loud! Do you practice over and over making sure your diction and pronunciation is spot on? So that from your lips to the ears of those listening the Lord our God is glorified?

If you are a communion minister do you simply dispense with the communion hosts each mass? Or have you prepared your body, mind and spirit each time dwelling in His presence falling deeply in love with our Eucharistic Lord so that each time you raise the host up reverently and high enough for the communicant to see and respond to “The Body of Christ” they receive Him through the hands of a disciple?

If you are a warden, hospitality minister is your job simply to usher the parishioners to their seats? To ensure smooth parking? To ensure the safety of those you serve? Or are you the stewards of the banquet leading them all, the lame, the poor, the blind into the heavenly banquet of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Serving them with humility, patience and above all love!

Are you willing to sacrifice your time, to love those in your community by your presence? To break the word with your sisters and brothers in Christ, to share in His love and to lift one another up who are struggling with faith, challenges and trials. To be there to pray for one another and to lead one another into greater worship? Or have you simply been absent?

Let me be a servant to my brethren after Your own heart Lord, may I love them as You have loved me. Amen

First reading

Acts 1:15-17,20-26 ·

‘Let someone else take his office’

One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers – there were about a hundred and twenty persons in the congregation: ‘Brothers, the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who offered himself as a guide to the men who arrested Jesus – after having been one of our number and actually sharing this ministry of ours. Now in the Book of Psalms it says:

Let his camp be reduced to ruin,

Let there be no one to live in it.

And again:

Let someone else take his office.

‘We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was travelling round with us, someone who was with us right from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us – and he can act with us as a witness to his resurrection.’

    Having nominated two candidates, Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias, they prayed, ‘Lord, you can read everyone’s heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place.’ They then drew lots for them, and as the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles.


John 15:9-17

You are my friends if you do what I command you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘As the Father has loved me,

so I have loved you.

Remain in my love.

If you keep my commandments

you will remain in my love,

just as I have kept my Father’s commandments

and remain in his love.

I have told you this

so that my own joy may be in you

and your joy be complete.

This is my commandment:

love one another, as I have loved you.

A man can have no greater love

than to lay down his life for his friends.

You are my friends,

if you do what I command you.

I shall not call you servants any more,

because a servant does not know

his master’s business;

I call you friends,

because I have made known to you

everything I have learnt from my Father.

You did not choose me:

no, I chose you;

and I commissioned you

to go out and to bear fruit,

fruit that will last;

and then the Father will give you

anything you ask him in my name.

What I command you

is to love one another.’

Posted: May 13, 2022 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 13, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Why do we let our hearts be troubled by the cares and worries of the world? If we declare that Jesus our Lord is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life then why do we not put all our faith and trust in Him? Why do we turn to vices and sin for distractions? Why do we look any else where for comfort? Why do we not hide in the shadow of His Wings for protection?

Since you and I have been brought back to true life with Christ, we must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Col3:1

Have mercy on me Lord for my many failings and shortcomings. I have sinned against heaven and against you. Forgive me your prodigal son, restore me with your loving embrace. Let me live in the light of Son’s resurrection. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 13:26-33 ·

God has fulfilled his promise by raising Jesus from the dead

Paul stood up in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:

    ‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you. What the people of Jerusalem and their rulers did, though they did not realise it, was in fact to fulfil the prophecies read on every sabbath. Though they found nothing to justify his death, they condemned him and asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree and buried him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem: and it is these same companions of his who are now his witnesses before our people.

    ‘We have come here to tell you the Good News. It was to our ancestors that God made the promise but it is to us, their children, that he has fulfilled it, by raising Jesus from the dead. As scripture says in the second psalm: You are my son: today I have become your father.’


John 14:1-6

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God still, and trust in me.

There are many rooms in my Father’s house;

if there were not, I should have told you.

I am going now to prepare a place for you,

and after I have gone and prepared you a place,

I shall return to take you with me;

so that where I am

you may be too.

You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one can come to the Father except through me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 12, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What is passed on by word of mouth can be adulterated even forgotten. But the written word last lifetimes over! And so by the wisdom of the Lord our God, the whole of our salvation history is found in scripture. The Word made flesh, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came so that liberated from our bondages of sin we can live free in His love. And at the very end of our lives here on earth we begin our new and everlasting life with Him.

This is our God! Our servant King who suffered and died for us so that we can live!

And returning to God our Heavenly Father He has not left us orphans. He had given us the Holy Spirit and still sends messengers of His love, peace and joy our way. When we welcome them we welcome Him!

Lord Jesus, let me be a messenger of Your love, peace and joy. Amen

First reading

Acts 13:13-25

God has raised up one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour

Paul and his friends went by sea from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem. The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia. Here they went to synagogue on the sabbath and took their seats. After the lessons from the Law and the Prophets had been read, the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message: ‘Brothers, if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation, please do so.’ Paul stood up, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:

    ‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out, and for about forty years took care of them in the wilderness. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years, he deposed him and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”’


John 13:16-20

Whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me

After he had washed the feet of his disciples, Jesus said to them:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

no servant is greater than his master,

no messenger is greater than the man who sent him.

‘Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly. I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen; but what scripture says must be fulfilled: Someone who shares my table rebels against me.

‘I tell you this now, before it happens,

so that when it does happen

you may believe that I am He.

I tell you most solemnly,

whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me,

and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 11, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Jesus the light of the world has come so that we no longer need to hide in the shadows of the dark by our sins! He illumines our hearts, minds and bodies so that we too can be beacons of His light in the world.

How docile are we then to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? How many calls have we missed to go out into the areas we were called to go? Do we have belong to a community of disciples that affirms, discerns and lays hands according to the will of the Lord our God?

Here I am Lord, I have come to do Your Will. Lead, guide and show me the way that I must go. Amen

First reading

Acts 12:24-13:5 ·

‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart’

The word of God continued to spread and to gain followers. Barnabas and Saul completed their task and came back from Jerusalem, bringing John Mark with them.

    In the church at Antioch the following were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and keeping a fast, the Holy Spirit said, ‘I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them.’ So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

    So these two, sent on their mission by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. They landed at Salamis and proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; John acted as their assistant.


John 12:44-50

I, the light, have come into the world

Jesus declared publicly:

‘Whoever believes in me

believes not in me

but in the one who sent me,

and whoever sees me,

sees the one who sent me.

I, the light, have come into the world,

so that whoever believes in me

need not stay in the dark any more.

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully,

it is not I who shall condemn him,

since I have come not to condemn the world,

but to save the world.

He who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already:

the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.

For what I have spoken does not come from myself;

no, what I was to say,

what I had to speak,

was commanded by the Father who sent me,

and I know that his commands mean eternal life.

And therefore what the Father has told me

is what I speak.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 10, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Can you be a Christian, a follower of Christ and yet do not hear His voice? If so then we have allowed the world to drown out His sweet voice! For Jesus says “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” He knows us all outside, inside, through and through! Because we have entered into a deep personal relationship with Him. And so we are docile to His soft promptings and we follow His word and will for us. This is why we must remain steadfast in prayer, daily entering into His presence to listen to His Word and to be in community. We must be Barnabas for one another!

What do I mean? He urged everyone to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion for he was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. If we read a few chapters earlier chapters of today’s first reading, we see how instrumental he was in bringing St Paul into the community of the Apostles who were wary of the great persecutor of Christians. St Barnabas affirmed and guided St Paul and welcomed him into the fold. Was it an easy feat? No! St Paul was a scholar, a high flyer if you will since he was educated under the famous Jewish teacher Gamaliel. He was known for his zeal in whatever he set out to do. Yet St Barnabas took charge of him and led him just like their shepherd, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And so let us be Barnabas for one another. Amen

First reading

Acts 11:19-26 ·

They started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Lord Jesus

Those who had escaped during the persecution that happened because of Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but they usually proclaimed the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, who came from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch where they started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus to them as well. The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord.

    The church in Jerusalem heard about this and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. There he could see for himself that God had given grace, and this pleased him, and he urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large number of people were won over to the Lord.

    Barnabas then left for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. As things turned out they were to live together in that church a whole year, instructing a large number of people. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians.’


John 10:22-30

The Father and I are one

It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied:

‘I have told you, but you do not believe.

The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness;

but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine.

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.

I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.

The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father.

The Father and I are one.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 9, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Is your soul thirsting for God, the God of your life? For if it were you would naturally seek Him daily in His Word and in His presence ever eager to hear His Will for you. You have a deep connection with Him and though free as you are to live your life to the full; you listen out attentively to His voice to lead you through the day. Is it through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ alone that we will enter into our Heavenly inheritance, and even now we have entered into Heaven on earth through Him.

Lord I seek You alone today and every day, protect me from all evil. For my only desire is to be obedient and to remain steadfast in Your love. Amen Alleluia

First reading

Acts 11:1-18

God can grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life

The apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that the pagans too had accepted the word of God, and when Peter came up to Jerusalem the Jews criticised him and said, ‘So you have been visiting the uncircumcised and eating with them, have you?’ Peter in reply gave them the details point by point: ‘One day, when I was in the town of Jaffa,’ he began ‘I fell into a trance as I was praying and had a vision of something like a big sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. This sheet reached the ground quite close to me. I watched it intently and saw all sorts of animals and wild beasts – everything possible that could walk, crawl or fly. Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Now, Peter; kill and eat!” But I answered: Certainly not, Lord; nothing profane or unclean has ever crossed my lips. And a second time the voice spoke from heaven, “What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.” This was repeated three times, before the whole of it was drawn up to heaven again.

    ‘Just at that moment, three men stopped outside the house where we were staying; they had been sent from Caesarea to fetch me, and the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going back with them. The six brothers here came with me as well, and we entered the man’s house. He told us he had seen an angel standing in his house who said, “Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon known as Peter; he has a message for you that will save you and your entire household.”

    ‘I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, “John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” I realised then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who was I to stand in God’s way?’

    This account satisfied them, and they gave glory to God. ‘God’ they said ‘can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.’


John 10:1-10

I am the gate of the sheepfold

Jesus said:

    ‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’

    Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.

    So Jesus spoke to them again:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

I am the gate of the sheepfold.

All others who have come

are thieves and brigands;

but the sheep took no notice of them.

I am the gate.

Anyone who enters through me will be safe:

he will go freely in and out

and be sure of finding pasture.

The thief comes

only to steal and kill and destroy.

I have come

so that they may have life and have it to the full.’

4th Sunday of Easter

Posted: May 7, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
Tags: ,

Shepherd and the Lamb: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fourth Sunday of Easter 


Acts 13:1443–52

Psalm 100:1–35

Revelation 7:914–17

John 10:27–30

Israel’s mission—to be God’s instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth (see Isaiah 49:6)—is fulfilled in the Church.

By the “Word of God” that Paul and Barnabas preach in today’s First Reading, a new covenant people is being born, a people who glorify the God of Israel as the Father of them all.

The Church for all generations remains faithful to the grace of God given to the Apostles, continues their saving work.

Through the Church, the peoples of every land hear the Shepherd’s voice, and follow Him (see Luke 10:16).

The Good Shepherd of today’s Gospel is the enthroned Lamb of today’s Second Reading. In laying down His life for His flock, the Lamb brought to pass a new Passover (see 1 Corinthians 5:7), by His blood freeing “every nation, race, people and tongue” from bondage to sin and death.

The Church is the “great multitude” John sees in his vision today. God swore to Abraham his descendants would be too numerous to count. And in the Church, as John sees, this promise is fulfilled (compare Revelation 7:9Genesis 15:5).

The Lamb rules from the throne of God, sheltering His flock, feeding their hunger with His own Body and Blood, leading them to “springs of life-giving waters” that well up to eternal life (see John 4:14).

The Lamb is the eternal Shepherd-King, the son of David foretold by the prophets. His Church is the Kingdom of all Israel that the prophets said would be restored in an everlasting covenant (see Ezekiel 34:23-3137:23-28).

It is not a kingdom any tribe or nation can jealously claim as theirs alone. The Shepherd’s Word to Israel is addressed now to all lands, calling all to worship and bless His name in the heavenly Temple.

This is the delight of the Gentiles—that we can sing the song that once only Israel could sing, today’s joyful Psalm: “He made us, His we are—His people, the flock He tends.”

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 7, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The sad truth today is that many have turned away from God because they think religion is a sham and only works for those who cannot face the reality of life! How many have left the church saying “How can and all loving and merciful God have allowed Covid-19 to overwhelm the whole world?” Such that we can no longer worship together and when we are allowed we are given so many other restrictions which most other churches do not have! How is it that the authorities have different guidelines for different churches? Where are our Shepherds when we need them?  

Do not lose focus or sight on what is truly important! Where is our Christian faith? Did we tire of doing good or giving to charity? Who is our Lord and Saviour? Who shall we go to?  

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life! For we believers know that He has the message of eternal life and He is the Holy One of God. For He has given us peace, love and joy like no other. And through His most precious name, healing, sights and wonders of God still take place this very day. What is done is done, let us move onward towards and encourage one another as we continue our pilgrim journey as One Body in Him. For the Spirit of life has been given to us by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen Alleluia! 

First reading 

Acts 9:31-42 · 

The churches grew and were filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit 

The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up, living in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit. 

    Peter visited one place after another and eventually came to the saints living down in Lydda. There he found a man called Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you: get up and fold up your sleeping mat.’ Aeneas got up immediately; everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they were all converted to the Lord. 

    At Jaffa there was a woman disciple called Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek, who never tired of doing good or giving in charity. But the time came when she got ill and died, and they washed her and laid her out in a room upstairs. Lydda is not far from Jaffa, so when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men with an urgent message for him, ‘Come and visit us as soon as possible.’ 

    Peter went back with them straightaway, and on his arrival they took him to the upstairs room, where all the widows stood round him in tears, showing him tunics and other clothes Dorcas had made when she was with them. Peter sent them all out of the room and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the dead woman and said, ‘Tabitha, stand up.’ She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter helped her to her feet, then he called in the saints and widows and showed them she was alive. The whole of Jaffa heard about it and many believed in the Lord. 


John 6:60-69 

Who shall we go to? You are the Holy One of God 

After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? 

‘It is the spirit that gives life, 

the flesh has nothing to offer. 

The words I have spoken to you are spirit 

and they are life. 

‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him. 

    Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’ 

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 6, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

You and I can be powerful instruments of the Lord our God’s grace. Question is how much are we willing to suffer for His namesake? To face our fears and go according to His Will for us. To carry our cross and follow after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Couldn’t Saul’s sight be restored instantaneously without human intervention? Yet Ananias was called to face his fears and to go be an instrument of God’s grace for Saul. Likewise we know how Saul, later known as Paul will go on to be a powerful instrument of the Lord our God’s grace for the pagans and rest of the World. He suffered much but glorified our Lord all the more!

How did St Paul and many of the Saints before us push onward amidst trials, pains and challenges? Jesus Himself nourished them through the Holy Eucharist feeding them His body, blood, soul and divinity. He comforted and healed them; At the very end of their lives they went on to their eternal reward with Him.

Jesus my Eucharistic Lord and God I adore You! Amen

First reading

Acts 9:1-20 ·

This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before the pagans

Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord’s disciples. He had gone to the high priest and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he could find.

    Suddenly, while he was travelling to Damascus and just before he reached the city, there came a light from heaven all round him. He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ he asked, and the voice answered, ‘I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me. Get up now and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.’ The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but even with his eyes wide open he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand. For three days he was without his sight, and took neither food nor drink.

    A disciple called Ananias who lived in Damascus had a vision in which he heard the Lord say to him, ‘Ananias!’ When he replied, ‘Here I am, Lord’, the Lord said, ‘You must go to Straight Street and ask at the house of Judas for someone called Saul, who comes from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying, having had a vision of a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to give him back his sight.’

    When he heard that, Ananias said, ‘Lord, several people have told me about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your saints in Jerusalem. He has only come here because he holds a warrant from the chief priests to arrest everybody who invokes your name.’ The Lord replied, ‘You must go all the same, because this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans and pagan kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he himself must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and at once laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on your way here so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately it was as though scales fell away from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. So he was baptised there and then, and after taking some food he regained his strength.

    He began preaching in the synagogues, ‘Jesus is the Son of God.’


John 6:52-59

My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink

The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,

you will not have life in you.

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood

has eternal life,

and I shall raise him up on the last day.

For my flesh is real food

and my blood is real drink.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood

lives in me

and I live in him.

As I, who am sent by the living Father,

myself draw life from the Father,

so whoever eats me will draw life from me.

This is the bread come down from heaven;

not like the bread our ancestors ate:

they are dead,

but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Imagine you are Philip in today’s reading and the Lord speaks to your heart to be ready to set out at noon. Then he tells you to meet a chariot in which an unusual character is seated reading a passage of scripture. What if you thought to yourself is this all in my head? What if you thought better and went a different way? Or decided it was too awkward to start a conversation with a total stranger. How would he react? What would he think of me? How then would the Eunuch have ever had a chance to understand what he read? Or to have encountered Jesus through the sharing of the Good News of Jesus? How could his life have changed such that he would rejoice for coming out of darkness into the light? How would he have eternal life when Jesus the bread of life is kept from him by our very own insecurities and unbelief?

Everyone who believes has eternal life! Do you truly believe? If you say you do then how many have you brought to Jesus? How many have heard the word of God today through you? How many are rejoicing in Jesus for having met you? Is Jesus really for everyone or do you pick and choose who to speak to about Him?

My Lord and my God! Forgive me my many shortcomings! Open my lips and I shall praise Your name. Amen

First reading

Acts 8:26-40

Philip baptizes a eunuch

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Be ready to set out at noon along the road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza, the desert road.’ So he set off on his journey. Now it happened that an Ethiopian had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem; he was a eunuch and an officer at the court of the kandake, or queen, of Ethiopia, and was in fact her chief treasurer. He was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and meet that chariot.’ When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ ‘How can I’ he replied ‘unless I have someone to guide me?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side. Now the passage of scripture he was reading was this:

Like a sheep that is led to the slaughter-house,

like a lamb that is dumb in front of its shearers,

like these he never opens his mouth.

He has been humiliated and has no one to defend him.

Who will ever talk about his descendants,

since his life on earth has been cut short!

The eunuch turned to Philip and said, ‘Tell me, is the prophet referring to himself or someone else?’ Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture Philip proceeded to explain the Good News of Jesus to him.

    Further along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘Look, there is some water here; is there anything to stop me being baptised?’ He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and Philip baptised him. But after they had come up out of the water again Philip was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, and the eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Philip found that he had reached Azotus and continued his journey proclaiming the Good News in every town as far as Caesarea.


John 6:44-51

I am the living bread which has come down from heaven

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘No one can come to me

unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me,

and I will raise him up at the last day.

It is written in the prophets:

They will all be taught by God,

and to hear the teaching of the Father,

and learn from it,

is to come to me.

Not that anybody has seen the Father,

except the one who comes from God:

he has seen the Father.

I tell you most solemnly,

everybody who believes has eternal life.

‘I am the bread of life.

Your fathers ate the manna in the desert

and they are dead;

but this is the bread that comes down from heaven,

so that a man may eat it and not die.

I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.

Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;

and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,

for the life of the world.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 4, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The Lord our God will never abandon us for even in our hour of great trial and suffering He is with us. For the Church He built is upon rock and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. Through His great love and mercy He has sent instruments of His grace to us, to heal us, bind up wounds and casts out evil.

We too can and should be instruments of His grace, by living first in the light of His resurrection. Choosing to love Him above all things, turning away from sin and temptation and being faithful to the Gospel. He has given us of Himself in Holy Eucharist for He is truly the bread of life! Then surely through the power of the Holy Spirit we will live grace filled lives bringing His hope, peace and love into the world. And He will raise all of us believers up on the last day. Amen

First reading

Acts 8:1-8

They went from place to place, preaching the Good News

That day a bitter persecution started against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except the apostles fled to the country districts of Judaea and Samaria.

    There were some devout people, however, who buried Stephen and made great mourning for him.

    Saul then worked for the total destruction of the Church; he went from house to house arresting both men and women and sending them to prison.

    Those who had escaped went from place to place preaching the Good News. One of them was Philip who went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves. There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.


John 6:35-40

It is my Father’s will that whoever sees the Son should have eternal life

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘I am the bread of life.

He who comes to me will never be hungry;

he who believes in me will never thirst.

But, as I have told you,

you can see me and still you do not believe.

All that the Father gives me will come to me,

and whoever comes to me I shall not turn him away;

because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will,

but to do the will of the one who sent me.

Now the will of him who sent me

is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me,

and that I should raise it up on the last day.

Yes, it is my Father’s will

that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life,

and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Today as we celebrate the feast of St James and St Philip we are reminded that like them we too are chosen, just like these holy men by our Lord’s perfect love. And He gave them eternal glory and He offers us the same.

We must believe in the Gospel truths, that having died for our sins, Jesus rose from the dead so that we too might rise with Him in His eternal glory. And our believing  is shown in the way we live our lives to glorify Him. By our love for Him and for one another. For Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt 25:40 and again “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” And in today’s Gospel it is clear whatever we do or don’t do for our brothers and sisters not only directly affects our relationship with Jesus but also with God our Heavenly Father. Can we then continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to those in need of our help?

Abba Father forgive me my many shortcomings. Help me overcome them, so that I may strengthen my relationship with You, and by Your love may I tend to my sisters and brothers according to Your will for me. Through Your Son, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Saints Philip and James, Apostles Pray for us 

First reading

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 ·

The Lord appeared to James, and then to all the apostles

Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything.

    Well then, in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it.


John 14:6-14

To have seen me is to have seen the father

Jesus said to Thomas:

‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one can come to the Father except through me.

If you know me, you know my Father too.

From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’

    ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?

‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,

so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?

Do you not believe

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:

it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.

You must believe me when I say

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.

I tell you most solemnly,

whoever believes in me

will perform the same works as I do myself,

he will perform even greater works,

because I am going to the Father.

Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,

so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If you ask for anything in my name,

I will do it.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: May 2, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How many brothers and sisters have you seen that when they speak appears to you like the face of angel? A messenger of God who speaks the truth and seems to lead you closer to Him? You are truly blessed if you have seen one because in this day and age it is indeed very rare! Why?

Because most prefer to engage in half-truths, or are very secretive about almost everything. Many seem to think that knowledge is power and to share it diminishes their power. They want to be in total control, for they alone can see the bigger picture, they know things that you do not. Then there are yet others who feel strongly that speaking the truth about our faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to dear friends and family of other faiths is just too uncomfortable and is sure to jeopardize the relationship with them. Really? Do they not want to see these very ‘loved’ ones reunited with them in heaven? Do we not profess our believe in One God every Sunday?

Yet we work hard for the latest in everything, mobile phones, Laptops, watches, bags, game consoles, buffet spreads, fine dining areas, Cruises, travel areas and so on! All that do not endure to eternal life!

Listen to what Jesus is offering you and me, for on Him the Father, God himself, has set his seal. That we must believe in the one He has sent for love of us; Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 6:8-15 ·

They could not get the better of Stephen because the Spirit prompted what he said

Stephen was filled with grace and power and began to work miracles and great signs among the people. But then certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, some from Cyrene and Alexandria who were members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, and others from Cilicia and Asia. They found they could not get the better of him because of his wisdom, and because it was the Spirit that prompted what he said. So they procured some men to say, ‘We heard him using blasphemous language against Moses and against God.’ Having in this way turned the people against him as well as the elders and scribes, they took Stephen by surprise, and arrested him and brought him before the Sanhedrin. There they put up false witnesses to say, ‘This man is always making speeches against this Holy Place and the Law. We have heard him say that Jesus the Nazarene is going to destroy this Place and alter the traditions that Moses handed down to us.’ The members of the Sanhedrin all looked intently at Stephen, and his face appeared to them like the face of an angel.


John 6:22-29

Do not work for food that cannot last, but for food that endures to eternal life

After Jesus had fed the five thousand, his disciples saw him walking on the water. Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread had been eaten. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’

    Jesus answered:

‘I tell you most solemnly,

you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs

but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.

Do not work for food that cannot last,

but work for food that endures to eternal life,

the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,

for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’

Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’