Archive for the ‘Life’s Journeys’ Category

Lessons in Holy Week

Posted: April 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Some lessons I’ve learnt over these few days in Holy week..

1. When the Lord tells you He has plans for you, expect the challenges you’ll face almost instantaneously.

2. You can choose to react the same old way or you can accept the humility of it all and be the first to love and be merciful.

3. People especially fellow parishioners are watching your every move. Hence either you lead by good example or lead them astray by your poor choices.

4. You are not entitled or privelleged just because you’re serving in some ministry, but rather as Jesus said you must be a servant for others.

5. Speak up for the truth always even if it is unpopular. For a disciple has a higher calling to follow after His master; who has said the truth will set you free!

Unnailing Vespers

Posted: April 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Today in our Parish the Church of St Anthony, after the 3pm Good Friday service we returned at 6:30pm for the unnailing vespers.

After hearing the echo of our voices in the crowd shouting crucify him, crucify him at the 3pm service, it was refreshing to join the ranks of his disciples Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus as they brought our Lord down from the cross. It was very touching for many as we sang with one voice the vespers while witnessing the unnailing and at the very end the carrying off an almost life size Jesus. There was a certain feel of a more complete tridium this year.

Yes it will only end with Easter Sunday vespers which is something I look forward too, however we who attended this evening vespers are certainly thankful for the unique experience.

Praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

On Today’s Gospel

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

Does our Lord Jesus Christ have to constantly convince us that He is the one true God sent by our Heavenly Father to save us all from death?

If not why then are we constantly unfaithful? Why do we choose sin over love for Him? Why do we hold on to unforgiveness of others when this distances ourselves from Him? Why do we not make every effort and time to hear His voice through prayer and the reading of His Word but are willing to be fully absorbed by our work, television, social media, games and other pleasures?

Lord Jesus I hear Your call to be faithful to Your Word and lift up to You my desire and intention to do this today and everyday. May the Holy Spirit be with me to show me the path to eternal life with You. Amen

First reading

Genesis 17:3-9 †
Abraham, the father of a multitude of nations

Abram bowed to the ground and God said this to him, ‘Here now is my covenant with you: you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. You shall no longer be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a multitude of nations. I will make you most fruitful. I will make you into nations, and your issue shall be kings. I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land you are living in, the whole land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity, and I will be your God.’

Gospel

John 8:51-59
Your father Abraham saw my Day and was glad

Jesus said to the Jews:

‘I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death.’

The Jews said, ‘Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’ Jesus answered:

‘If I were to seek my own glory that would be no glory at all; my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, “He is our God” although you do not know him.
But I know him, and if I were to say: I do not know him, I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves.
But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my Day; he saw it and was glad.’

The Jews then said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly, before Abraham ever was, I Am.’

At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 4, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Stubbornness of heart, refusing to repent and come back to the Lord our God. Thinking your job is going to provide all you need for yourself and one or two loved ones who depend on you and of whom you care for. You choose what, when and why and no one not even God is going to tell you otherwise. You say I don’t care what others say, so what if they have good intentions? They should not invade into my private affairs!

Do you even listen to yourself speak? Do you not realise you have made yourself into the molten calf? You have made yourself the centre of the universe, there is no room for the Lord Your God. No faux piety or prayer will be heard for the Lord sees into your heart. Come now be sensible, without the love of God in your heart, you cannot love the ones you profess to love the way you ought to. The nature of the sinful God-free life you choose prevents you from truly loving and caring.

Jesus came so that you might have life to the full in Him. Turn your heart towards Him. He wants to take your hand and lead you into the promised land. It is time to let go of your past and look to the future with and in Him. Amen

Pray for me as I do for you…

First reading

Exodus 32:7-14 †
Moses pleads with the Lord his God to spare Israel

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

Gospel

John 5:31-47
You place your hopes on Moses but Moses will be your accuser

Jesus said to the Jews:

‘Were I to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid; but there is another witness who can speak on my behalf, and I know that his testimony is valid.
You sent messengers to John,
and he gave his testimony to the truth: not that I depend on human testimony; no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this.
John was a lamp alight and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.
But my testimony is greater than John’s: the works my Father has given me to carry out, these same works of mine testify that the Father has sent me.
Besides, the Father who sent me bears witness to me himself. You have never heard his voice, you have never seen his shape,
and his word finds no home in you because you do not believe in the one he has sent.

‘You study the scriptures,
believing that in them you have eternal life; now these same scriptures testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me for life!
As for human approval, this means nothing to me. Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you.
I have come in the name of my Father and you refuse to accept me; if someone else comes in his own name
you will accept him.
How can you believe, since you look to one another for approval and are not concerned with the approval that comes from the one God?
Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father: you place your hopes on Moses, and Moses will be your accuser.
If you really believed him
you would believe me too,
since it was I that he was writing about; but if you refuse to believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 2, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

There are indeed illnesses and conditions that are caused as a result of sin though not all. That being said, it is not for us to start judging others as to whom committed what and as a result is paying the price for this and that sin. What we must all do individually, is to examine our very own conscience and to pray to the Holy Spirit to show us the truth of what we have done and what we have failed to do. Then we turn to Jesus with contrite hearts who is waiting to restore us. Who will ask us do we want to be well? To be free of the sin that plagues our wretched bodies? To be fully restored and guilt free? Our act of contrition is our Yes to Him.

Our merciful and loving Lord instituted His Holy Church by which His graces flow. He provided for us a means to be fully reconciled with the Lord our God through the Sacrament of reconciliation and to be nourished and strengthened through the Holy Eucharist so as to be fruitful. Let us then be grateful as we are joyful to receive the sacraments and glorify Him by the way we live out the Gospel in our lives. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 47:1-9,12 †
Wherever the water flows, it will bring life and health

The angel brought me to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. The man went to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross. He then said, ‘Do you see, son of man?’ He took me further, then brought me back to the bank of the river. When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’

Gospel

John 5:1-3,5-16
The healing at the pool of Bethesda

There was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem there is a building, called Bethzatha in Hebrew, consisting of five porticos; and under these were crowds of sick people – blind, lame, paralysed – waiting for the water to move. One man there had an illness which had lasted thirty-eight years, and when Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in this condition for a long time, he said, ‘Do you want to be well again?’ ‘Sir,’ replied the sick man ‘I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets there before me.’ Jesus said, ‘Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk.’ The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and walked away.
Now that day happened to be the sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been cured, ‘It is the sabbath; you are not allowed to carry your sleeping-mat.’ He replied, ‘But the man who cured me told me, “Pick up your mat and walk.”’ They asked, ‘Who is the man who said to you, “Pick up your mat and walk”?’ The man had no idea who it was, since Jesus had disappeared into the crowd that filled the place. After a while Jesus met him in the Temple and said, ‘Now you are well again, be sure not to sin any more, or something worse may happen to you.’ The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had cured him. It was because he did things like this on the sabbath that the Jews began to persecute Jesus.

While in Adoration…

Posted: March 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Memory Book

While in Adoration this morning…

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 29, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

The Lord our God loves us dearly and only wants the best for us. That is to live most fully in His love. And so if we say we truly love Him with all our heart then we must be obedient to Him in all things. There can be no other gods, no idols for there is only one true living God! For God Himself came to redeem us when no one could or would. Glory and Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes indeed if we love God with all our heart, mind and strength we are not far from the kingdom of God. How much closer we are, is the distance of our love and hearts put into action for the least of our brethren. The sick, poor, hungry, widowed, thirsty, prisoner, orphans and those who cannot fend for themselves.

Lord let me walk in Your ways. Grant me the grace to remain steadfast and to grow in love for You and neighbour. Amen

First reading

Hosea 14:2-10
A call to conversion and promise of safety

The Lord says this:

Israel, come back to the Lord your God;your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.
Provide yourself with words
and come back to the Lord.
Say to him, ‘Take all iniquity away so that we may have happiness again
and offer you our words of praise.
Assyria cannot save us,
we will not ride horses any more,or say, “Our God!” to what our own hands have made,
for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.’
– I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them with all my heart,
for my anger has turned from them.
I will fall like dew on Israel. He shall bloom like the lily, and thrust out roots like the poplar,
his shoots will spread far;
he will have the beauty of the olive and the fragrance of Lebanon.
They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow corn that flourishes,
they will cultivate vines
as renowned as the wine of Helbon.
What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when it is I who hear his prayer and care for him?
I am like a cypress ever green, all your fruitfulness comes from me.

Let the wise man understand these words. Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning.
For the ways of the Lord are straight, and virtuous men walk in them, but sinners stumble.

Gospel

Mark 12:28-34
‘You are not far from the kingdom of God’

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.