Archive for the ‘Life’s Journeys’ Category

On Today’s Gospel

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

Many of the saints in the old testament faithfully bore witness to the Lord our God by laying down their lives for Him. They did not share in the same hope as we do in rising with our Lord Jesus Christ, yet they trusted in the promises of God our Father. For they had faith in the living God who will never abandon them. We are called to have such heroic faith.

For even if we walk in the valley of darkness, no evil shall we fear. For we have Jesus our Lord and saviour who has conquered death by our side with us. He who rules heaven and earth. Therefore so we can praise and Glorify Him by sharing His love with others who are still living in darkness and sin. So that He can free them to share in the same peace and love we have through Him.

Praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 11:32-40

Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets – these were men who through faith conquered kingdoms, did what is right and earned the promises. They could keep a lion’s mouth shut, put out blazing fires and emerge unscathed from battle. They were weak people who were given strength, to be brave in war and drive back foreign invaders. Some came back to their wives from the dead, by resurrection; and others submitted to torture, refusing release so that they would rise again to a better life. Some had to bear being pilloried and flogged, or even chained up in prison. They were stoned, or sawn in half, or beheaded; they were homeless, and dressed in the skins of sheep and goats; they were penniless and were given nothing but ill-treatment. They were too good for the world and they went out to live in deserts and mountains and in caves and ravines. These are all heroes of faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had made provision for us to have something better, and they were not to reach perfection except with us.

Gospel

Mark 5:1-20
The Gadarene swine

Jesus and his disciples reached the country of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake, and no sooner had Jesus left the boat than a man with an unclean spirit came out from the tombs towards him. The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him any more, even with a chain; because he had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broken the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him. All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and fell at his feet and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? Swear by God you will not torture me!’ – for Jesus had been saying to him, ‘Come out of the man, unclean spirit.’ ‘What is your name?’ Jesus asked. ‘My name is legion,’ he answered ‘for there are many of us.’ And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the district.
Now there was there on the mountainside a great herd of pigs feeding, and the unclean spirits begged him, ‘Send us to the pigs, let us go into them.’ So he gave them leave. With that, the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand pigs charged down the cliff into the lake, and there they were drowned. The swineherds ran off and told their story in the town and in the country round about; and the people came to see what had really happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his full senses – the very man who had had the legion in him before – and they were afraid. And those who had witnessed it reported what had happened to the demoniac and what had become of the pigs. Then they began to implore Jesus to leave the neighbourhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to be allowed to stay with him. Jesus would not let him but said to him, ‘Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you.’ So the man went off and proceeded to spread throughout the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 1, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

The fertile soil of our faith was so enriched, and the seeds of sacrifice planted by the precious blood of the Martyrs. They trusted in the Lord and knew that their suffering was only for a moment till they spent eternity in paradise with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. He who laid down His life for His friends, welcomed His friends into heaven. We can now rest in the enormous shade of the mustard tree. The mustard tree of our faith and in the arms of Him who shelters us.

Are we all called to die a heroic Martyrs death? No, there are many Saints who have gone before us whom sacrificed their lives for Christ and brethren in so many varied ways that did not involve a Martyrs death. Still in a deep sense they died for their faith.

Let us take courage, trust in our ever faithful lord, and sow the seeds of love through the joy of the Gospel. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 10:32-39 †
We are the sort who keep faithful

Remember all the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days; sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to insults and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way. For you not only shared in the sufferings of those who were in prison, but you happily accepted being stripped of your belongings, knowing that you owned something that was better and lasting. Be as confident now, then, since the reward is so great. You will need endurance to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.

Only a little while now, a very little while,
and the one that is coming will have come; he will not delay.
The righteous man will live by faith,
but if he draws back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.

You and I are not the sort of people who draw back, and are lost by it; we are the sort who keep faithful until our souls are saved.

Gospel

Mark 4:26-34
The kingdom of God is a mustard seed growing into the biggest shrub of all

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 30, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

When will you begin to grow deeper in love with the word of God? When will you stop putting off reading and reflecting on the scriptures given to you in love? Are the pleasures of the world, the distractions, the games, the work more important than the word. The Word made flesh, who dwelt among us so that we might enter into a personal relationship with Him. With whom had come to save us from our sins now and forever.

Too hard you say? Perhaps you had begun as though you were reading a magazine, comic, or book. No! the precious Word of God must begin with prayer. It is through a prayerful reading of the word that we enter into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. We enter into the realm of the heavenly Kingdom. How much fruit we bear is dependent on how much we have prepared our hearts to receive Him. Are we leading sacramental lives? Going for regularly the Sacrament of reconciliation, receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Are we striving for Holiness? Are we loving others as we should?

Lord open my heart to receive You according to Your will. Through the Holy Spirit grant be the joy of bearing much fruit for You. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 10:11-18 †
Jesus achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying

All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. The Holy Spirit assures us of this; for he says, first:

This is the covenant I will make with them
when those days arrive;

and the Lord then goes on to say:

I will put my laws into their hearts
and write them on their minds.
I will never call their sins to mind,
or their offences.

When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.

Gospel

Mark 4:1-20
The parable of the sower

Jesus began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge. He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen! Imagine a sower going out to sow. Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away. Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop. And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables, so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’
He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them. Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy. But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word, but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing. And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

Have you not met a sister or brother in Christ and just love being in their company. The exude peace and love and they are joyful to be with. The spirit of God is with them for they strive to do His will.

And that is why we must strive to do God our Father’s will for us. It is about saying Yes to the relationship He wants to have with us. Jesus then becomes for us the way, the truth and the life! Someone we can embrace in times of difficulty. We begin to see more clearly and profoundly that the will of God is love.

Here I am Lord, I’ve come to do Your will. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 10:1-10 †
Christ’s self-offering sanctifies us

Since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. Instead of that, the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what he said, on coming into the world:

You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;
then I said,
just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’

Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Gospel

Mark 3:31-35
Who are my mother and my brothers? Those that do the will of God

The mother and brothers of Jesus arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

God our Father who loved us dearly made a promise to save us and draw us all unto Him, we belong to Him the sheep of His flock. This promise was fulfilled through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

To say our sins are too great for Him to take away, or say anything against the Holy Spirit who is God Himself, His workings through His chosen ones is in itself a grave sin! How different is it from calling God a liar and His works deceitful?

Let us be mindful to walk always in the Spirit to praise and Glorify the one living God by our lives. To share in the joy of the Lord who freed our contrite hearts from all sin. So that we can live fully in His love. Glory and Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 9:15,24-28 †
Christ offers himself only once to take on the faults of many

Christ brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.

Gospel

Mark 3:22-30
A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 24, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Today in this day and age of technological advancement, where there are so many different modes of communication which can reach masses, why have many still not heard the wonders of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ? Why have they not come in droves to be in His presence in our churches? To be touched and healed? To have their lives transformed by Him so that they live new lives in love, peace and joy?

Are our spirits unclean that we have remained silent? That we cannot praise and Glorify His name?

Come now sister and brother in Christ, the love we have for Jesus in our hearts should be bursting to the the point we cannot but share His love both in word and in deed with everyone we meet. We will use whatever means we have to communicate and share our testimonies of His great love and mercy. To share in the joy of the Gospel.

For Jesus had come to redeem us, so that we can be fully reconciled with God our Heavenly Father. By His life, death and resurrection we have hope of eternal life with Him. Can such a joyous and wonderful message be kept contained within your hearts? No! Let us share in the joy of our Risen Lord with one and all. Amen

St Francis De Sales pray for us…

First reading

Hebrews 7:25-8:6
He has offered sacrifice once and for all by offering himself

The power of Jesus to save is utterly certain, since he is living for ever to intercede for all who come to God through him.
To suit us, the ideal high priest would have to be holy, innocent and uncontaminated, beyond the influence of sinners, and raised up above the heavens; one who would not need to offer sacrifices every day, as the other high priests do for their own sins and then for those of the people, because he has done this once and for all by offering himself. The Law appoints high priests who are men subject to weakness; but the promise on oath, which came after the Law, appointed the Son who is made perfect for ever.
The great point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind. He has his place at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens, and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting which the Lord, and not any man, set up. It is the duty of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so this one too must have something to offer. In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are others who make the offerings laid down by the Law and these only maintain the service of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities. For Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.
We have seen that he has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises.

Gospel

Mark 3:7-12
He warned them not to make him known as the Son of God

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known.

On Today’s Gospel

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

Do we take after our Lord Jesus whom we love and serve? By leading all men and women into the peace and joy to be found in Him.

Or do we instead follow blindly the letter of the law and insists that everyone follow likewise else they be ostracised! What then was the Spirit of the law for which they were written? Was it not out of love for humanity that these were written?

Let us bring all our withered parts to our Lord to be restored and made whole. Those withered by our sins and sinful desires, our unforgiveness, our self righteousness, our indifference to the needs of others, our harmful thoughts, words and deeds against another.

O King of peace, Jesus our Lord reign in our hearts. Let us grow to be more and more like You each and everyday. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 7:1-3,15-17
You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, for ever

You remember that Melchizedek, king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, went to meet Abraham who was on his way back after defeating the kings, and blessed him; and also that it was to him that Abraham gave a tenth of all that he had. By the interpretation of his name, he is, first, ‘king of righteousness’ and also king of Salem, that is, ‘king of peace’; he has no father, mother or ancestry, and his life has no beginning or ending; he is like the Son of God. He remains a priest for ever.
This becomes even more clearly evident when there appears a second Melchizedek, who is a priest not by virtue of a law about physical descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it was about him that the prophecy was made: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.

Gospel

Mark 3:1-6
Is it against the law on the sabbath day to save life?

Jesus went into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.