Archive for the ‘Life’s Journeys’ Category

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 23, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

There are often times that many question their faith. Questioning the faith in itself is not bad since it comes from a desire to know and experience the truth. However doubting our faith is another matter. For how can we doubt if we have experienced Christ in our lives and have entered into a relationship with Him? The Holy Spirit is alive and active in all who have faith. We experience yet unseen realities and have peace and joy in our hearts.

Sin in its many forms is often the cause of the faithful to doubt. For it causes a growing rift away from the Lord our God. Therefore it is very important for every Catholic to go for the sacrament of reconciliation regularly. Daily Eucharist is highly recommended for what better way to be nourished than through the reception of the bread of life, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith for us is the love of God put into action. For faith was given freely to us in love. Hence the more we love the greater our faith. And we rejoice as we hear clearly the voice of God our Father saying ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ 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.

Gospel

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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Who is Jesus for you personally? How has your knowledge of Him grown? Do you have a relationship with Him? Is it cold? Lukewarm? Or are you on fire for Him? Is He an important part of your life? Or the most important? If you have a deep ever growing relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ;then you will begin to understand and appreciate the covenantal relationship that the Lord our God offers and keeps. Jesus is the new and everlasting sign of this covenant.

So that as we look upon the cross in which He hung, we can see, feel and experience the immense love of God, who sacrificed Himself to liberate the world from all sin. Today and everyday we are invited to carry our cross and follow Him. By shunning it and refusing to take it up is in essence shying away from the love of God. Whose yoke is easy and burden light and leads us to everlasting light. Amen alleluia!

First reading

Genesis 9:1-13 †
The sign of the Covenant

God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. Be the terror and the dread of all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven, of everything that crawls on the ground and all the fish of the sea; they are handed over to you. Every living and crawling thing shall provide food for you, no less than the foliage of plants. I give you everything, with this exception: you must not eat flesh with life, that is to say blood, in it. I will demand an account of your life-blood. I will demand an account from every beast and from man. I will demand an account of every man’s life from his fellow men.

‘He who sheds man’s blood
shall have his blood shed by man,
for in the image of God
man was made.

‘As for you, be fruitful, multiply, teem over the earth and be lord of it.’
God spoke to Noah and his sons, ‘See, I establish my Covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; also with every living creature to be found with you, birds, cattle and every wild beast with you: everything that came out of the ark, everything that lives on the earth. I establish my Covenant with you: no thing of flesh shall be swept away again by the waters of the flood. There shall be no flood to destroy the earth again.’
God said, ‘Here is the sign of the Covenant I make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all generations: I set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth.’

Gospel

Mark 8:27-33
The way you think is not God’s way, but man’s

Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’ And they told him. ‘John the Baptist,’ they said ‘others Elijah; others again, one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter spoke up and said to him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

To Be Your Valentine

Posted: February 14, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Are our lives ordered to the Lord our God? Do people see the face of Christ when they look upon us? Are we good stewards of all that He has given us? Are we concerned for our environment and the animals that live in it? Are we then faithful children of God our Father who created us in His image and likeness?

The precious Living Word of God has been given to us so that we may know it, learn it, grow in it, live it and share it with others. Are we then living in the joy of the Risen Lord, bringing life wherever we go? Or have we instead made His Word null and void? By living a life of indifference to our families, communities and especially the least of our brethren. By being lukewarm in our faith growth colder. Leading ‘entitled’ lives instead of one of gratefulness and thanksgiving to the Lord our God.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Word made flesh, fill me with Your presence. Let the fire of Your love burn within me. So that I may always bring glory to You in all that I say and do. Amen

First reading

Genesis 1:20-2:4 †
‘Let us make man in our own image’

God said, ‘Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth within the vault of heaven.’ And so it was. God created great sea-serpents and every kind of living creature with which the waters teem, and every kind of winged creature. God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply upon the earth.’ Evening came and morning came: the fifth day.
God said, ‘Let the earth produce every kind of living creature: cattle, reptiles, and every kind of wild beast.’ And so it was. God made every kind of wild beast, every kind of cattle, and every kind of land reptile. God saw that it was good.
God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.’

God created man in the image of himself,
in the image of God he created him,
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are upon the whole earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this shall be your food. To all wild beasts, all birds of heaven and all living reptiles on the earth I give all the foliage of plants for food.’ And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day.
Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their array. On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he had rested after all his work of creating.
Such were the origins of heaven and earth when they were created.

Gospel

Mark 7:1-13
You get round the commandment of God to preserve your own tradition

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture:

This people honours me only with lip-service,
while their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless,
the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.

You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’ And he said to them, ‘How ingeniously you get round the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition! For Moses said: Do your duty to your father and your mother, and, Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death. But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is Corban (that is, dedicated to God), then he is forbidden from that moment to do anything for his father or mother.” In this way you make God’s word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down. And you do many other things like this.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 11, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Lord God Almighty Father, all glory and Praise be Yours now and forever. In Your loving hands creation was formed out of nothing and ordered according to Your will. Heaven and earth a thin divide for all created in Your love.

And the light of the World, Your Son, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ was born to take away our darkness and sin. To free us from the clutches of death and to raise us to new life with You. To heal, restore and make us whole. Such is Your love for us that He came while we were still sinners to redeem us.

We love and adore You, glory and Praise be to our Heavenly Father, to Your Son our Lord and to the Holy Spirit. One God forever and ever. Amen

Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us….

First reading

Genesis 1:1-19 †
God saw that it was good

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, and God’s spirit hovered over the water.
God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night.’ Evening came and morning came: the first day.
God said, ‘Let there be a vault in the waters to divide the waters in two.’ And so it was. God made the vault, and it divided the waters above the vault from the waters under the vault. God called the vault ‘heaven.’ Evening came and morning came: the second day.
God said, ‘Let the waters under heaven come together into a single mass, and let dry land appear.’ And so it was. God called the dry land ‘earth’ and the mass of waters ‘seas’, and God saw that it was good.
God said, ‘Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with their seed inside, on the earth.’ And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the third day.
God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth.’ And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars. God set them in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth, to govern the day and the night and to divide light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the fourth day.

Gospel

Mark 6:53-56
All those who touched him were cured

Having made the crossing, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up. No sooner had they stepped out of the boat than people recognised him, and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, to village, or town, or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were cured.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

It is very difficult for many to warm to, let alone welcome the stranger in our midst. The walls we place between us may protect us from getting hurt, cheated or made used of. But it also prevents us from loving and by that same token from being loved. What if Christ Himself took on the guise of a stranger and stood right there before us? We would have missed the opportunity to love and serve Him, and perhaps to be counselled by Him.

Love one another as I have loved you is not a suggestion but a command from our Lord. It is a call to heroic love! To lay down our life for a ‘friend’ who may be that very stranger among us. Who is a fellow sister or brother, one of God our Father’s children. There is indeed no greater love. Do not give in to worldly suggestions or advice! But remain rooted and steadfast on the Word of God. So that even if we should die, we know we will rise with Him; our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 13:1-8 †
Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and will be for ever

Continue to love each other like brothers, and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Keep in mind those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; and those who are being badly treated, since you too are in the one body. Marriage is to be honoured by all, and marriages are to be kept undefiled, because fornicators and adulterers will come under God’s judgement. Put greed out of your lives and be content with whatever you have; God himself has said: I will not fail you or desert you, and so we can say with confidence: With the Lord to help me, I fear nothing: what can man do to me?
Remember your leaders, who preached the word of God to you, and as you reflect on the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever.

Gospel

Mark 6:14-29
The beheading of John the Baptist

King Herod had heard about Jesus, since by now his name was well known. Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Others said, ‘He is Elijah’; others again, ‘He is a prophet, like the prophets we used to have.’ But when Herod heard this he said, ‘It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead.’
Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Are we ready to be sent into the world to spread the message of God’s love for His children? To share in the joy that the gate to heaven has been opened for us and we can live this very day in the Lord our God’s presence. To heal and restore what was lost in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How can we be ready if we choose sin over a life of prayer and abstinence? Over worldly pleasures in place of seeking to do the will of God? When our minds are consumed by social media, television, movies, games over the word of God? How then do we change?

While there is still breath in you there is little time left to make a difference. For our life here is fleeting just as the short term happiness some might receive from indulging in the pleasures the world offers. Turn to our Lord Jesus Christ and be set free from all vice and addictions. Make a commitment to live a grace filled life through prayer, constantly seeking to grow in Holiness. Then together with our sisters and brothers in Christ we will lead others to the joy and peace to be found in Him alone. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 12:18-19,21-24 †
You have come to Mount Zion and the city of the living God

What you have come to is nothing known to the senses: not a blazing fire, or a gloom turning to total darkness, or a storm; or trumpeting thunder or the great voice speaking which made everyone that heard it beg that no more should be said to them. The whole scene was so terrible that Moses said: I am afraid, and was trembling with fright. But what you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival, with the whole Church in which everyone is a ‘first-born son’ and a citizen of heaven. You have come to God himself, the supreme Judge, and been placed with spirits of the saints who have been made perfect; and to Jesus, the mediator who brings a new covenant and a blood for purification which pleads more insistently than Abel’s.

Gospel

Mark 6:7-13
‘Take nothing with you’

Jesus made a tour round the villages, teaching. Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic.’ And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district. And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.