Archive for February 18, 2023

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 18, 2023 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
Tags: ,

Holy as God: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Leviticus 19:1–217–18
Psalm 103:1–481012–13
1 Corinthians 3:16–23
Matthew 5:38–48

We are called to the holiness of God. That is the extraordinary claim made in both the First Reading and the Gospel this Sunday.

Yet how is it possible that we can be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect?

Jesus explains that we must be imitators of God as His beloved children (Ephesians 5:1–2).

As God does, we must love without limit—with a love that does not distinguish between friend and foe, overcoming evil with good (see Romans 12:21).

Jesus Himself, in His Passion and death, gave us the perfect example of the love that we are called to.

He offered no resistance to the evil—even though He could have commanded twelve legions of angels to fight alongside Him. He offered His face to be struck and spit upon. He allowed His garments to be stripped from Him. He marched as His enemies compelled Him to the Place of the Skull. On the Cross, He prayed for those who persecuted Him (see Matthew 26:53–546727:2832Luke 23:34).

In all this, He showed Himself to be the perfect Son of God. By His grace, and through our imitation of Him, He promises that we too can become children of our heavenly Father.

God does not deal with us as we deserve, as we sing in this week’s Psalm. He loves us with a Father’s love. He saves us from ruin. He forgives our transgressions.

He loved us even when we had made ourselves His enemies through our sinfulness. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (see Romans 5:8).

We have been bought with the price of the blood of God’s only Son (see 1 Corinthians 6:20). We belong to Christ now, as St. Paul says in this week’s Epistle. By our baptism, we have been made temples of His Holy Spirit.

And we have been saved to share in His holiness and perfection. So let us glorify Him by our lives lived in His service, loving as He loves.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 18, 2023 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Faith begets faith! That is faith put into action for love of God and for love of neighbour after the heart of God. We who have faith in God our Father’s beloved Son will always seek to listen to Him and do as He wills us to.

Many years ago the Lord put it into my heart to start a neighbourhood community for faith sharing. In faith I reached out to three families, we started one and our faith grew exponentially, including the size of our group. We went from struggling how to find passages in our physical bibles to entering into ministries! Same thing happened when the Lord put it on my heart to take lead of a community in the business district. From our little testimonies to the Lord and our bible sharing, we became bolder in speaking and sharing about the Word of God. Many even did so by sharing the Gospel with office colleagues.

Personally, I had a bad experience of stage fright in my childhood. Nerves got the better of me in a story telling competition at age 9, which drew laughter from the crowd. Ever since then, I was very reluctant to do any form of public speaking! But later on in years and through the prompting of the Holy Spirit as well as the encouragement of my Parish priest, I went on to give talks to parents of children in our church as well in one or two Church events. Never liked the fear that gripped me ever so often, but the Holy Spirit helped me overcome and conquer! And I started witnessing changes on the faces of the parents I was ministering to through the talks, I knew all this could only come from the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Spending weeks on end with different small groups, I have also witnessed ‘transfigurations’ of the lives of both parents and children while facilitating our First Holy Communion programs over the years. And again I saw the ‘transfigurations’ of the adult discussion groups I was facilitating in during the Life in the Spirit Seminar. The most recent on was the ‘transfigurations’ of those in our discussion groups during the Choice Series of Pathways!

I am still seeking daily to listen to my Lord and hope you too are doing likewise. So that we can all go on exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit, ministering to all He sends our way. Faith begets faith! Let us all be bold in our endeavours for the Lord. Amen


First reading

Hebrews 11:1-7 ·

It is by faith that we understand that the world was created by one word from God

Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen. It was for faith that our ancestors were commended.

    It is by faith that we understand that the world was created by one word from God, so that no apparent cause can account for the things we can see.

    It was because of his faith that Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain, and for that he was declared to be righteous when God made acknowledgement of his offerings. Though he is dead, he still speaks by faith.

    It was because of his faith that Enoch was taken up and did not have to experience death: he was not to be found because God had taken him. This was because before his assumption it is attested that he had pleased God. Now it is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and rewards those who try to find him.

    It was through his faith that Noah, when he had been warned by God of something that had never been seen before, felt a holy fear and built an ark to save his family. By his faith the world was convicted, and he was able to claim the righteousness which is the reward of faith.



Mark 9:2-13

Jesus was transfigured in their presence

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

    As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean. And they put this question to him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True,’ he said ‘Elijah is to come first and to see that everything is as it should be; yet how is it that the scriptures say about the Son of Man that he is to suffer grievously and be treated with contempt? However, I tell you that Elijah has come and they have treated him as they pleased, just as the scriptures say about him.’