Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category


Following yesterday’s reflection on death and new life in Christ; St Paul through the grace of our Lord and the Holy Spirit gives us a wonderful, keen insight on how and what it will be like for us in our resurrected form. Just as how it is like for him and all the saints in Heaven. And by our faith we know this to be true for through our baptism the Holy Spirit has awakened in us the new birth of life in Him. We no longer see just with our eyes or hear just with our ears. And the peace, love and joy that we have comes not from this world but through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

So today the question for us is, are we then living in the Spirit that has been outpoured in us? How can we say that we are, if we do not spend time daily reflecting on His Word for us? If we do not cherish His Word by living it out daily in our lives? If we do not constantly struggle and fight to resist all evil and temptation? If the gifts we have been given are not used for the good of others?

For if we are living in the Spirit as we should then we will see the gifts we had been given bear fruit. For others will see and experience the joy of our Lord through the work of our hands. We will always discover new and wonderful gifts we can use for His glory. Our reward is simply the joy of living in the Spirit in His presence. Amen!

First reading
1 Corinthians 15:35-37,42-49 ·
The resurrected body is heavenly by nature

Someone may ask, ‘How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?’ They are stupid questions. Whatever you sow in the ground has to die before it is given new life and the thing that you sow is not what is going to come; you sow a bare grain, say of wheat or something like that. It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised it embodies the spirit.
    If the soul has its own embodiment, so does the spirit have its own embodiment. The first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul; but the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, first the one with the soul, not the spirit, and after that, the one with the spirit. The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. As this earthly man was, so are we on earth; and as the heavenly man is, so are we in heaven. And we, who have been modelled on the earthly man, will be modelled on the heavenly man.


Gospel
Luke 8:4-15
The parable of the sower

With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, Jesus used this parable:
    ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’
    His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, ‘The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that they may see but not perceive, listen but not understand.

‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.’


First and Last: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
Isaiah 55:6–9
Psalm 145:2–3, 8–9, 17–18
Philippians 1:20–24, 27
Matthew 20:1–16

 

The house of Israel is the vine of God, who planted and watered it, preparing the Israelites to bear fruits of righteousness (see Isaiah 5:7; 27:2–5).

Israel failed to yield good fruits and the Lord allowed His vineyard, Israel’s kingdom, to be overrun by conquerors (see Psalm 80:9–20). But God promised that one day He would replant His vineyard and its shoots would blossom to the ends of the earth (see Amos 9:15; Hosea 14:5–10).

This is the biblical backdrop to Jesus’ parable of salvation history in today’s Gospel. The landowner is God. The vineyard is the kingdom. The workers hired at dawn are the Israelites, to whom He first offered His covenant. Those hired later in the day are the Gentiles, the non-Israelites, who, until the coming of Christ, were strangers to the covenants of promise (see Ephesians 2:11–13). In the Lord’s great generosity, the same wages, the same blessings promised to the first-called, the Israelites, will be paid to those called last, the rest of the nations.

This provokes grumbling in today’s parable. Doesn’t the complaint of those first laborers sound like that of the older brother in Jesus’ prodigal son parable (see Luke 15:29–30)? God’s ways, however, are far from our ways, as we hear in today’s First Reading. And today’s readings should caution us against the temptation to resent God’s lavish mercy.

Like the Gentiles, many will be allowed to enter the kingdom late—after having spent most of their days idling in sin.

But even these can call upon Him and find Him near, as we sing in today’s Psalm. We should rejoice that God has compassion on all whom He has created. This should console us, too, especially if we have loved ones who remain far from the vineyard.

Our task is to continue laboring in His vineyard. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, let us conduct ourselves worthily, struggling to bring all men and women to the praise of His name.


The idea of dying can send many into having panic attacks. Why? Because we have never experienced it for ourselves and so have many unanswered questions. Such as, is it really the end? Do we disappear into nothingness? All memories of our existence gone forever?  What will happen to our loved ones? Therefore the idea of death alone pains us.

We Christians have the answer and it lies in the truth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For indeed by His resurrection Christ has redeemed the world from eternal death. Through our faith in our resurrected Lord we have hope for eternal life with Him. So together with St Paul and with conviction we declare “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” and like the Saints who have gone ahead we too can die with peace and joy in our hearts in knowing we will rise again with Him.

Today we pause, reflect and remember the many women who have walked and those who are still walking in the presence of our Lord. Whose dedication to follow in His footsteps by their own lives have inspired us to do likewise. I have been blessed to know such women in my life including my own mother.

Blessed Mother Queen of Heaven we consecrate all these women after your own heart through you, to Your Son Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 ·
If Christ has not been raised, your belief is useless

Now if Christ raised from the dead is what has been preached, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself cannot have been raised, and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and your believing it is useless; indeed, we are shown up as witnesses who have committed perjury before God, because we swore in evidence before God that he had raised Christ to life. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins. And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.
    But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.


Gospel
Luke 8:1-3
The women who accompanied Jesus

Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 17, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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When others look upon us what will they see? Will they see us living in the joy of the Resurrected Lord whom we profess to believe in and follow? Will they be curious, even eager to find out secret for the hope that we carry within us? Or will they see us just like they see themselves, simply trying to get by each day. Some even bickering, criticising and finding fault with others just as they might do. Can others see our true self each and every time from up close or afar? Or does duality exist within us and they see only what we want them to see?

To be able to live in the joy of our Lord’s resurrection we must first have a heart of gratitude. That is to remember that we have been forgiven our many sins and it is only through the love and grace of Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we have been redeemed. Through Him we are able to live life fully in His love. We have joy because we carry the peace and love of our Lord within us.  And so are we humble before the presence of our Lord to get down on our knees to welcome Him, anoint and wash His feet; by our deeds of love and mercy for our brethren?

Guide me Lord to live in Your light always! Glory and praise be Yours now and forever. Amen

First reading
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 ·
I preached what the others preach, and you all believed

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.
    I am the least of the apostles; in fact, since I persecuted the Church of God, I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless. On the contrary, I, or rather the grace of God that is with me, have worked harder than any of the others; but what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.


Gospel
Luke 7:36-50
Her many sins have been forgiven, or she would not have shown such great love

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.
    When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’
    Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 16, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Once again it is time for us to reflect on our lives. Are we living our lives in the light of our resurrected Lord and saviour Jesus Christ? Have we matured in our faith? Is our hope in the life that awaits us strong? Have we grown deep in our love for brethren and for our Lord such that it is our inner most desire to glorify Him with all that we say and do?

We are all aging and sooner than we think, the window to do all that we plan in our minds and in our time closes. Even then we do not know if tomorrow will come for us. And so if we die today, are we more concerned about who will remember us in this world for all that we have done and how we have lived? Or is it more important that we are remembered in Heaven for being found worthy of the rewards of eternal life through the promises of Christ.

Lord Jesus forgive me my shortcomings and indiscretions. Purify my thoughts, words, actions and grant me an ardent desire to always do Your will. That I may one day be remembered as a witness to Your love. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

The supremacy of charityBe ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known. In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Gospel

Luke 7:31-35

‘We played the pipes, and you wouldn’t dance’Jesus said to the people: ‘What description can I find for the men of this generation? What are they like? They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market-place:‘“We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t cry.”‘For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet Wisdom has been proved right by all her children.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 15, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Do we recognize the great blessing of the various spiritual gifts that has been outpoured on all of us baptised? Instead of being envious of one another do we praise and thank God by affirming one another’s gifts? That is being used for us all and to glorify the Lord our God. We should do well to respect the dignity of all our individual calling for every one of us was called by Him to serve Him and one another in His love. Moreover we cannot say we are lacking in anything, for He qualifies and equips all He has called. Eventually we begin to realise that in our desire to do His Will, more and more gifts have been bestowed upon for He has said, “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance.”Today we remember as well, the great gift that was given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the gift of His mother and now ours. Our Blessed mother who stood by Him to the very end will do likewise for us. Hail mary full of grace…… AmenOur Lady of Sorrows pray for us….

First reading

1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27-31 ·
You together are Christ’s body: each of you a different partJust as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
    Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts. Now you together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it. In the Church, God has given the first place to apostles, the second to prophets, the third to teachers; after them, miracles, and after them the gift of healing; helpers, good leaders, those with many languages. Are all of them apostles, or all of them prophets, or all of them teachers? Do they all have the gift of miracles, or all have the gift of healing? Do all speak strange languages, and all interpret them? Be ambitious for the higher gifts.

Gospel

John 19:25-27
‘Woman, this is your son’Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.


What are the fiery serpents in our lives? Following yesterday’s first reading and Gospel, is unforgiveness not a fiery serpent which is a result of anger and resentment put together? Is giving in to sexual temptation and desires not a fiery serpent? Is gossiping not a fiery serpent? Is speaking ill of our priests not a fiery serpent? All these fiery serpents and more are what bites us and leads us to our death!

Let us look upon Jesus who was lifted high upon the cross to save us from death through our many sins. Far better that we look upon Him even before the fiery serpents come any closer. For by placing our faith and hope in our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ; we are redeemed, protected, sanctified and free to live in His great love and mercy. Amen

We adore You O Christ and we praise You. Because by Your Holy cross, You have redeemed the World. Amen

First reading

Numbers 21:4-9 ·If anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked up at the bronze serpent and livedOn the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’ At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Gospel

John 3:13-17God sent his Son so that through him the world might be savedJesus said to Nicodemus:‘No one has gone up to heavenexcept the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lostbut may have eternal life.For God sent his Son into the worldnot to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.’


We cannot appreciate the richness of today’s Gospel if we possess no genuine love for brethren let alone for our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For many today love of brethren is shallow if not, then one of lip service. Yet do they not still call out Lord, Lord? Blood is thicker than water they declare! Really? Have they forgotten how it was through the waters of Baptism that they entered into sonship and daughterhood of God our Heavenly Father? That we are all His children and belong to Him. Through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ we enter into full communion with Him and with one another. So then, how can our love for our brethren be any less than our claim of love for the Lord our God?

The answer to loving our brethren the way we should is to be found upon the foundation of our very own personal relationship with Jesus our Lord. By choosing always to follow His Will for us even though we might encounter challenges and hardships; we have the blessed assurance of His presence. His peace, love and grace will never leave us as we continue to love and to serve Him; and our brethren with joy in our hearts. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 10:14-22 ·We are a single body because we all share the one breadMy dear brothers, you must keep clear of idolatry. I say to you as sensible people: judge for yourselves what I am saying. The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf. Look at the other Israel, the race, where those who eat the sacrifices are in communion with the altar. Does this mean that the food sacrificed to idols has a real value, or that the idol itself is real? Not at all. It simply means that the sacrifices that they offer they sacrifice to demons who are not God. I have no desire to see you in communion with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take your share at the table of the Lord and at the table of demons. Do we want to make the Lord angry; are we stronger than he is?

Gospel

Luke 6:43-49Whoever hears me builds his house on a rockJesus said to his disciples: ‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles. A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart. ‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say? ‘Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them – I will show you what he is like. He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built. But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations: as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!’


Once I used to attend formation talks, retreats and would often see a fellow parishioner attending the very same ones. I thought to myself how can he attend, listen intently and not change? How could he continue to act all ‘holy’ and yet be so critical of others? Did he think that all the stuff he picked up at the retreats and formation was to guide someone else lesser than him? I will pray that the Lord open his eyes to see!

How did I neglect to see that he my fellow parishioner was my brother in Christ? How blind was I? How prideful? How did I fail to recognise the PLANK in my very own eyes? Had I thought that deep down, the word of God I was reflecting on daily was meant to be shared for everyone else’s sake? Had I subconsciously rejected the hardships of living the word in my own life?

St Paul reminds me today that we are all in a race to the finish! That is to our Heavenly destination. If my brother or sister is humble then I must strive harder to be more humble, by laying down my pride more and carrying my cross for my Lord more. If they are loving I must strive to more loving and so on. NO it is not about being in competition; but rather about encouraging one another to do better, to be better by the way we live our very own lives through Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-27We go into strict training, like fighters at the gamesI do not boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which has been put into my hands. Do you know what my reward is? It is this: in my preaching, to be able to offer the Good News free, and not insist on the rights which the gospel gives me. So though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could. I made myself all things to all men in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings. All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win. All the fighters at the games go into strict training; they do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither. That is how I run, intent on winning; that is how I fight, not beating the air. I treat my body hard and make it obey me, for, having been an announcer myself, I should not want to be disqualified.

Gospel

Luke 6:39-42Can the blind lead the blind?Jesus told a parable to the disciples: ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 10, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Yes love the sinners not the sins indeed; but lead them with great patience, gradually back to the bosom of the Lord our God. Otherwise we risk losing their souls to greater sin unwittingly perhaps, by our very own unloving thoughts and actions.

Today we hear our call to love beyond human rationale, wisdom and understanding. To love one another with the love of God!

How then can we comprehend the love of the Lord our God for us? That our Lord Jesus Christ suffered injustice grievously for our sake. He was blameless, without sin yet took upon Himself the heavy burden of our sins in the World, so that we might walk blameless in His love. What pain or struggle do we have that can ever compare to His? Let us strive therefore ato repay the debt of His love for us through our debt of mutual love for one another. As we live out our call to love another with an extraordinary love that is to be found with and in Him. To be compassionate as our Heavenly Father is compassionate. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 8:1-7,11-13 ·Your brethren may be weaker than you: do not lead them astrayNow about food sacrificed to idols. ‘We all have knowledge’; yes, that is so, but knowledge gives self-importance – it is love that makes the building grow. A man may imagine he understands something, but still not understand anything in the way that he ought to. But any man who loves God is known by him. Well then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: we know that idols do not really exist in the world and that there is no god but the One. And even if there were things called gods, either in the sky or on earth – where there certainly seem to be ‘gods’ and ‘lords’ in plenty – still for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things come and for whom we exist; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things come and through whom we exist. Some people, however, do not have this knowledge. There are some who have been so long used to idols that they eat this food as though it really had been sacrificed to the idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled by it. In this way your knowledge could become the ruin of someone weak, of a brother for whom Christ died. By sinning in this way against your brothers, and injuring their weak consciences, it would be Christ against whom you sinned. That is why, since food can be the occasion of my brother’s downfall, I shall never eat meat again in case I am the cause of a brother’s downfall.

Gospel

Luke 6:27-38Love your enemiesJesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 9, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We have to work hard to make a living so that we can provide for ourselves and for our loved ones. On top of that, all of us Christians have a higher calling and that is to glorify the Lord our God by our lives. To live not just for ourselves but for love of one another. And so all of us have different gifts and talents, which when used together for the single purpose of glorifying the Lord our God we become more than the sum of ourselves through Him!

We understand more fully what was said, “And now something greater than Solomon is here, and now One greater than Jonah is here.” This happens when we live in His presence uniting ourselves with source of life itself, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! The world as we know it is passing away indeed, but His Word will never pass away. And so we journey on in our struggles, but in the hope that awaits us; by living in His love now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 7:25-31 ·The world as we know it is passing awayAbout remaining celibate, I have no directions from the Lord but give my own opinion as one who, by the Lord’s mercy, has stayed faithful. Well then, I believe that in these present times of stress this is right: that it is good for a man to stay as he is. If you are tied to a wife, do not look for freedom; if you are free of a wife, then do not look for one. But if you marry, it is no sin, and it is not a sin for a young girl to get married. They will have their troubles, though, in their married life, and I should like to spare you that. Brothers, this is what I mean: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Gospel

Luke 6:20-26Happy are you who are poor, who are hungry, who weepFixing his eyes on his disciples Jesus said:‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’


Dearest Blessed Mother,

As Holy mother Church celebrates your birthday, we call to mind that you were the Lord our God’s specially chosen one. To bring to fruition His great love for us His children, through the Incarnation of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

You lived your life with grace, dignity and with such joy of the Lord in your heart; That we often forget that you too had to endure bitter struggles, pain and sorrow which you carried in your heart.

Today O dearest mother, through your loving intercession may our eyes be opened to see and live our lives through yours. To know deep in our hearts that we too are specially chosen and loved tenderly by our ever loving Father in Heaven. As we go forth glorifying Him by our lives, by uniting our will fully to His Will for us. This and everyday, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Micah 5:1-4 ·He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the LordThe Lord says this:But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the one who is to rule over Israel; his origin goes back to the distant past, to the days of old.The Lord is therefore going to abandon them till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.Then the remnant of his brothers will come back to the sons of Israel.He will stand and feed his flock with the power of the Lord, with the majesty of the name of his God.They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power to the ends of the land. He himself will be peace.

Gospel

Matthew 1:1-16,18-23The ancestry and conception of Jesus ChristA genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:Abraham was the father of Isaac,Isaac the father of Jacob,Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,Perez was the father of Hezron,Hezron the father of Ram,Ram was the father of Amminadab,Amminadab the father of Nahshon,Nahshon the father of Salmon,Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,Obed was the father of Jesse;and Jesse was the father of King David.David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,Joram the father of Azariah,Azariah was the father of Jotham,Jotham the father of Ahaz,Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,Manasseh the father of Amon,Amon the father of Josiah;and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.Then the deportation to Babylon took place.After the deportation to Babylon:Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,Abiud the father of Eliakim,Eliakim the father of Azor,Azor was the father of Zadok,Zadok the father of Achim,Achim the father of Eliud,Eliud was the father of Eleazar,Eleazar the father of Matthan,Matthan the father of Jacob;and Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary;of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us.’


We cannot be impartial to sin and sinfulness in all its forms. We are responsible for one another’s soul just as we are our very own. If we do not see and understand this, then we do not yet know what it means to be One in communion with Christ Jesus our Lord! For any one person’s tiny sin is like a little drop of black ink in a glass of water. It spreads and taints the whole of the water in the glass. When the community comes together to pray and intervene in Jesus’s name it is like tainted water passing through membrane; through this filtration process, the water becomes pure again.

There is no ‘right’ time and place to do good whether individually or collectively. We must strive at all times and at every opportunity to be merciful, loving, to save souls. This must be the good that we do in Jesus’s name. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 5:1-8 ·

Get rid of the old yeast of evil and wickedness

I have been told as an undoubted fact that one of you is living with his father’s wife. This is a case of sexual immorality among you that must be unparalleled even among pagans. How can you be so proud of yourselves? You should be in mourning. A man who does a thing like that ought to have been expelled from the community. Though I am far away in body, I am with you in spirit, and have already condemned the man who did this thing as if I were actually present. When you are assembled together in the name of the Lord Jesus, and I am spiritually present with you, then with the power of our Lord Jesus he is to be handed over to Satan so that his sensual body may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

The pride that you take in yourselves is hardly to your credit. You must know how even a small amount of yeast is enough to leaven all the dough, so get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, then, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Gospel

Luke 6:6-11

Is it against the law on the sabbath to save life?

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’ Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 5, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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‘When we are cursed, we answer with a blessing’

Wait what? Why? This might only be possible for those who are holy moly! Like if I were an Apostle or the Pope!If we have thoughts like this can we truly call ourselves Christian? Are we only Sunday Catholic Christians? Even then who is this Lord we claim to worship on Sundays? Did we forget that by our baptism we are called to be holy (saints) as our Heavenly Father is Holy? Did we also forget that by our confirmation we are sent (apostles) to share in the good news of the Lord our God? Do we even know what the Good News is and do we dwell in it? If you still don’t know what it is then you have not come to the deeper realisation that it is not an ‘it’ but ‘whom’!

Who can ever be more humble, merciful and loving then the Lord our Lord Jesus Christ; whom we claim to serve who is Lord of Lords, King of Kings? He whom humbled himself for love of us took on flesh, who was mocked, cursed, spat upon, tortured, stripped of everything and nailed on the cross. Yet He forgave us from the cross! When He turned His eyes to Heaven and said, “Father forgive them for they not what they do.”

Lord Jesus through Your death and the power of Your Resurrection let me turn all curses into Blessings in Your most precious name. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 4:6-15 ·What do you have that was not given to you?Take Apollos and myself as an example and remember the maxim: ‘Keep to what is written.’ It is not for you, so full of your own importance, to go taking sides for one man against another. In any case, brother, has anybody given you some special right? What do you have that was not given to you? And if it was given, how can you boast as though it were not? Is it that you have everything you want – that you are rich already, in possession of your kingdom, with us left outside? Indeed I wish you were really kings, and we could be kings with you! But instead, it seems to me, God has put us apostles at the end of his parade, with the men sentenced to death; it is true – we have been put on show in front of the whole universe, angels as well as men. Here we are, fools for the sake of Christ, while you are the learned men in Christ; we have no power, but you are influential; you are celebrities, we are nobodies. To this day, we go without food and drink and clothes; we are beaten and have no homes; we work for our living with our own hands. When we are cursed, we answer with a blessing; when we are hounded, we put up with it; we are insulted and we answer politely. We are treated as the offal of the world, still to this day, the scum of the earth. I am saying all this not just to make you ashamed but to bring you, as my dearest children, to your senses. You might have thousands of guardians in Christ, but not more than one father and it was I who begot you in Christ Jesus by preaching the Good News.

Gospel

Luke 6:1-5The Son of Man is master of the sabbathOne sabbath Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath day?’ Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry how he went into the house of God, took the loaves of offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which only the priests are allowed to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is master of the sabbath.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 4, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Many of us baptized Christians fail to realise that having been baptized we have been inserted into the life, death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence we have become stewards of God’s kingdom and for one another. It is our call therefore to faithfully love, serve the Lord our God
God and one another in holiness. Will we be found worthy of our Lord’s trust? Have we dwelled in and shared in His mysteries that had been entrusted to us?Are we therefore faithful to His living Word, listening to His voice to teach and show us new ways in reaching out to others in His love? Do we keep faith and hold fast to the traditions of Holy mother Church who through the guidance of the Holy Spirit has kept our faith alive and active through the seasons, through the ages and through to the hope filled future that awaits us. We therefore fast when it is time to fast and feast when it is time to feast all in our Lord’s good time. For through Advent we rejoice at Christmas, through Lent with rejoice at Easter. All glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 ·The Lord alone is our judgePeople must think of us as Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one should be found worthy of his trust. Not that it makes the slightest difference to me whether you, or indeed any human tribunal, find me worthy or not. I will not even pass judgement on myself. True, my conscience does not reproach me at all, but that does not prove that I am acquitted: the Lord alone is my judge. There must be no passing of premature judgement. Leave that until the Lord comes; he will light up all that is hidden in the dark and reveal the secret intentions of men’s hearts. Then will be the time for each one to have whatever praise he deserves, from God.

Gospel

Luke 5:33-39When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fastThe Pharisees and the scribes said to Jesus, ‘John’s disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees too, but yours go on eating and drinking.’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely you cannot make the bridegroom’s attendants fast while the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come, the time for the bridegroom to be taken away from them; that will be the time when they will fast.’ He also told them this parable, ‘No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak; if he does, not only will he have torn the new one, but the piece taken from the new will not match the old. ‘And nobody puts new wine into old skins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and then run out, and the skins will be lost. No; new wine must be put into fresh skins. And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. “The old is good” he says.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 3, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In all areas of our lives, have we finally accepted and embraced the fact that the Lord our God is the only one who knows, wants and will provide what is best for us. And not just for us but for all of God our Heavenly Father’s children. He gives and provides us with all that is necessary for us to help one another on the journey to eternal bliss with Him.

We are wiser, kinder, more merciful and loving in as much as we do for our brethren through the love, wisdom, kindness and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord guide me, that I may lead those finding their way and lost souls back to You. Amen

St Gregory the Great pray for us…

First reading

1 Corinthians 3:18-23 ·The wisdom of the world is foolishness to GodMake no mistake about it: if any one of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must learn to be a fool before he really can be wise. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As scripture says: The Lord knows wise men’s thoughts: he knows how useless they are; or again: God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise. So there is nothing to boast about in anything human: Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life and death, the present and the future, are all your servants; but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

Gospel

Luke 5:1-11They left everything and followed himJesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point. When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 2, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Do we compare priests one with another? Spiritual leaders? Church Ministry heads? Group leaders? Why do we do so if we know that the Lord our God is over all and above all in charge? So what if say a wonderful parish priest or Spiritual director is replaced with one who is less than perfect or not as good by our standards. Can the Lord our God not fill the gaps? Perhaps the gaps were created for us as a means to grow in our faith by filling them by our very own needed actions in cooperation with His grace. As St Paul mentions in today’s reading ‘We are fellow workers with God; you are God’s farm, God’s building.’ Therefore our focus must always be on the Lord our God, by growing in our spirituality through deepening our relationship with Him as we strive to build His Kingdom through His grace.

In coming together to build His Kingdom even though our Lord already knows what we need we can and should ask Him whether for ourselves or for others; and He will surely help us so that we can do so fully in His love, peace and joy.

Lord grant me the courage to proclaim the Good News of Your Kingdom to all. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 ·
Neither the planter nor the waterer matters, only God, who makes things growBrothers, I myself was unable to speak to you as people of the Spirit: I treated you as sensual men, still infants in Christ. What I fed you with was milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it; and indeed, you are still not ready for it since you are still unspiritual. Isn’t that obvious from all the jealousy and wrangling that there is among you, from the way that you go on behaving like ordinary people? What could be more unspiritual than your slogans, ‘I am for Paul’ and ‘I am for Apollos’?
After all, what is Apollos and what is Paul? They are servants who brought the faith to you. Even the different ways in which they brought it were assigned to them by the Lord. I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow. Neither the planter nor the waterer matters: only God, who makes things grow. It is all one who does the planting and who does the watering, and each will duly be paid according to his share in the work. We are fellow workers with God; you are God’s farm, God’s building.

Gospel

Luke 4:38-44
He would not allow them to speak because they knew he was the ChristLeaving the synagogue, Jesus went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. Leaning over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to wait on them.
At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them. Devils too came out of many people, howling, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’ And he continued his preaching in the synagogues of Judaea.


How can we know the depths, heights, breadth of the love of God if we do not dwell in His Holy Spirit. Offered to us without cost at the price of His God our Father’s only Begotten Son who laid His life down for us so that we can be free to live in His Spirit and love.

How then can we be rid of the spirits that had rejected the Lord our God, who now seek the ruin of souls. Through mischief, lies, propaganda, temptations of the flesh and more. How can we remain steadfast in our resolve to be Holy as our Heavenly Father?

The answer has been and will always be our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Through Him everything is possible. In His great love and mercy He had given us the gifts of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the supreme gift of Himself through the Holy Eucharist. And when it was time to take His seat at the right hand of God our Heavenly Father, He did not leave us orphans. Through Him and the Holy Spirit we have sonship and daughterhood.

Cleanse me Lord that I may be white as snow. Let my body be a temple, filled with the Holy Spirit. That I may bring You glory by the way I live my life. Amen

First Reading

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 ·
The Spirit reaches even the depths of GodThe Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God. After all, the depths of a man can only be known by his own spirit, not by any other man, and in the same way the depths of God can only be known by the Spirit of God. Now instead of the spirit of the world, we have received the Spirit that comes from God, to teach us to understand the gifts that he has given us. Therefore we teach, not in the way in which philosophy is taught, but in the way that the Spirit teaches us: we teach spiritual things spiritually. An unspiritual person is one who does not accept anything of the Spirit of God: he sees it all as nonsense; it is beyond his understanding because it can only be understood by means of the Spirit. A spiritual man, on the other hand, is able to judge the value of everything, and his own value is not to be judged by other men. As scripture says: Who can know the mind of the Lord, so who can teach him? But we are those who have the mind of Christ.

Gospel

Luke 4:31-37
‘I know who you are: the Holy One of God’Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all. Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’ And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 31, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

It is not with human wisdom, reasoning or understanding that we can fully comprehend the mysteries of the Lord our God. However it is through the grace of the Holy Spirit that we know Him and have entered into a meaningful relationship that fills us with His peace and joy. We are content to dwell in the mystery that has been revealed to us in part, as His presence in our lives is far greater than simply having some knowledge of Him.In accepting Jesus wholly into our lives we are living our call as children of God our Father. It is imperative therefore that we lead others into this wonderful relationship we have with our Lord, so that our fellow sisters and brothers can share in the Heavenly inheritance that awaits us.Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. Amen

First reading

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 ·
The only knowledge I claimed was of the crucified ChristWhen I came to you, brothers, it was not with any show of oratory or philosophy, but simply to tell you what God had guaranteed. During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the crucified Christ. Far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great ‘fear and trembling’ and in my speeches and the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God.

Gospel

Luke 4:16-30
‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen’Jesus came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’
But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”’
And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’
When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.


We may have all felt invincible at one point in our lives till we realise just how how frail the human condition is. We are susceptible to sickness from viruses, diseases even certain kinds of foods. Even when we are strong and healthy, we are vulnerable to natural disasters and accidents! So even if we have all that we could ever dream of now, everything can stripped from us in an instance. The only constant we have in our lives is the love of God our Father for us His faithful who are strive to live in His truth and in His love to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

St John the Baptist lived a virtuous life and in the truth of the Lord our God. He was undeterred in speaking out the truth for the conversion of souls. For this he will always be remembered for his heroic faith lived in life as in death. Therefore we know without doubt that he is fully alive with Christ in Heaven praying for us. It is Herod and the Herods of the world who by refusing the truth and choosing to live in sin are the ones who have lost their heads. Amen

St John the Baptist pray for us…

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 ·
God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, to shame the wiseTake yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything. The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God’s doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says: if anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord.

Gospel

Mark 6:17-29
The beheading of John the BaptistHerod 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: August 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Knowledge is power and so most will do almost anything to acquire and hold on to it. With it comes wisdom, for having experienced the knowledge of things applied with sound judgement. But what about knowledge of the Lord our God? How much wiser are we in the knowledge of the Lord our God? Have we taken up the invitation to go beyond what we can see, smell, feel and touch? In other words have we opened our hearts to see the Lord our God? To dwell in His mystery revealed to us through His Word?

For truly knowing Jesus is having entered into a relationship with Him.In our deep personal relationship with Jesus can we declare that we truly know our bridegroom? If so then the question for us today is that in knowing he is coming again, what and how much have we done in our lives that will light up the path for Him?

Come deep into my heart Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen

St Augustine pray for us…

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:17-25We preach a crucified Christ, the power and wisdom of GodChrist did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God’s wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach. And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Gospel

Matthew 25:1-13The wise and foolish virginsJesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’


With so many things going on in our lives, can we stay awake to keep watch over and safeguard our souls? Those of our families, as well as our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ entrusted to us? Is it even possible to this alone with the many distractions, temptations and with evil lurking at every corner? That is why apart from needing Jesus in the forefront of our lives we need one another. That is, we need to belong to a community centred on Him. To affirm as well as help one another in the many challenges we face in remaining faithful and steadfast. When we live not for ourselves but for one another we begin to understand more deeply our Lord’s call to communion. With Him and one another.

Let us then devote our lives to living His Word through steadfastness in prayer, in working hand in hand to build His Kingdom and in glorifying our Lord; By our lives lived in His love for Him and for one another. Amen

St Monica pray for us….

First reading

1 Corinthians 1:1-9 ·You have been enriched in many ways in ChristI, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace. I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received through Jesus Christ. I thank him that you have been enriched in so many ways, especially in your teachers and preachers; the witness to Christ has indeed been strong among you so that you will not be without any of the gifts of the Spirit while you are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; and he will keep you steady and without blame until the last day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, because God by calling you has joined you to his Son, Jesus Christ; and God is faithful.

Gospel

Matthew 24:42-51He is coming at an hour you do not expectJesus said to his disciples: ‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. ‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 26, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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If we claim to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ then are we not to emulate our Master? Who worked tirelessly for the building of the Kingdom of God our Heavenly Father through the salvation of souls; sacrificing limb and life! Did His Apostles and disciples not do likewise? Are we then expecting to receive everything without work? Where is the thanksgiving? Where is the communion? Where is the adoration of our Lord? Where is the love for one another? Have we taken our faith for granted?

What are we offering up to the Lord our God today? Are we offering ourselves as living sacrifices acceptable to Him? How so?

What are we doing when we rush to register for formation talks or lessons on scripture but either do not commit to attending or if we do attend we keep whatever we learnt to ourselves? Why register to attend a Eucharistic Celebration with limited slots due to the pandemic but choose instead to go for a family gathering held at the same time or because we just felt too lazy to go? Why rally others to pray for the poor, the sick and suffering when we will not lift a finger to help the very folks we pray for? Are we criticising our parish for lacking in many ways but are doing nothing ourselves to help effect change by getting involved? Have we taken up leadership positions but are far from leading by example and further away from the leadership of Christ whom we say we serve? Are we more concerned about politicking and gossip? Have we not ‘killed’ the prophets amongst us by our own gossip and prejudices? Do we continue to make excuses for our sins, for all that we have done and all that we have failed to do?

Turn my heart to You O Lord, let me be as You have me be. Amen

First reading

2 Thessalonians 3:6-10,16-18 ·We worked night and day not to be a burden on youIn the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, brothers, to keep away from any of the brothers who refuses to work or to live according to the tradition we passed on to you. You know how you are supposed to imitate us: now we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we ever have our meals at anyone’s table without paying for them; no, we worked night and day, slaving and straining, so as not to be a burden on any of you. This was not because we had no right to be, but in order to make ourselves an example for you to follow. We gave you a rule when we were with you: do not let anyone have any food if he refuses to do any work. May the Lord of peace himself give you peace all the time and in every way. The Lord be with you all. From me, PAUL, these greetings in my own handwriting, which is the mark of genuineness in every letter; this is my own writing. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Gospel

Matthew 23:27-32You are the sons of those who murdered the prophetsJesus said: ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of corruption. In the same way you appear to people from the outside like good honest men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who build the sepulchres of the prophets and decorate the tombs of holy men, saying, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our fathers’ day.” So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the sons of those who murdered the prophets! Very well then, finish off the work that your fathers began.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 25, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The Lord our God loves us with an inexhaustible love and we know this to be true, by the countless times He has outpoured His mercy and grace upon us and filled us with His peace. Should we then love Him any less?Are we making every effort to attend Holy Eucharist given the current constraints to worship, adore and receive Him sacramentally? Are we giving what we can to help with the care of His Holy Church or are we withholding it as our ‘right’ to do so.

Do we take shortcuts in our service of His church by citing practical reasons for these times? Are we actively reaching out to those suffering from the effects of the pandemic especially the poor and the aged? Or are we safeguarding our own interests? Are we who call ourselves Christian, the new ‘scribes’ and ‘Pharisees’ in today’s Gospel?

Lord Jesus, let me love others the way You love me. Let my eyes and ears be opened to those in need. Grant me the courage and grace to place them above self. Amen

First reading

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3,14-17 ·
Stand firm and keep the traditions we have taught youTo turn, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in this way.
Through the Good News that we brought God called you to this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

Gospel

Matthew 23:23-26
Clean the inside of the cup first, so that the outside may become cleanJesus said: ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who pay your tithe of mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law – justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practised, without neglecting the others. You blind guides! Straining out gnats and swallowing camels!
‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance. Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 24, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ the gates of heaven has been opened to us. And if we set our sights on heaven and embrace all that is Holy then our eyes will be opened to this reality. Have we not had a foretaste of this? A glimpse? At our baptism? Confirmation? At every Eucharistic Celebration? Have we not felt His liberating grace upon us after every sacrament of reconciliation as He lifted us up high once again?Our souls are laid bare before our Lord and God, there is nothing about us He does know or lays hidden from Him. By uniting ourselves more fully to Him through discerning His Word and Will for us; the mysteries and wonders of the Heavenly Kingdom that awaits us is unraveled a little more, till the day we are fully united with Him in His resurrection. AmenSt Bartholomew pray for us….

First reading

Apocalypse 21:9-14 ·
He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heavenThe angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel

John 1:45-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of ManPhilip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’


People are always watching perhaps from a distance. Observing and listening to what we say and how we say it. Children pick things up both little and big from everyone around them. This is not some conspiracy theory or spy novel but a plain and simple reality. So the question today is what are we showing others about our faith in Jesus? By the way we live our lives, can they see the goodness of the Lord our God through us?That is why it is very important to have; as well as to be role models after His own heart. We are indeed Blessed to have many humble, yet great and wonderful Saints who lead Holy lives by example. Who showed us how their bodies became the Holy temple of the Lord who dwelled within them. Looking upon them many could see the face of God. Our Blessed mother is clearly the most wonderful example for us. AmenO Holy mother, Queen of Heaven pray for us…

First reading

Ezekiel 43:1-7 ·The vision of the coming of the glory of the Lord to the TempleThe angel took me to the gate, the one facing east. I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I prostrated myself. The glory of the Lord arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of the Lord fill the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. The voice said, ‘Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the sons of Israel for ever.’

Gospel

Matthew 23:1-12They do not practise what they preachAddressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi. ‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 21, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Without loving God who is pure and unadulterated love, peace and joy how can we truly hope to love ourselves or others the way we are meant to love them. If you have not truly loved the Lord Your God then you might not fully understand what I’m talking about. Perhaps this might shed a little light….

Even though I am a cradle Catholic I did not really have a relationship with the Lord. Nor could I truly say I loved Him neither would I ever declare that He loved me. So when I would attend Mass on Sunday and folks from time to time would greet me saying, “Peace be with you brother.” I would smile nod my head but say silently under my breath, “What a bunch of fanatics! I have only one sister and so who are you calling brother?” You could say I led a rather self centred life perhaps with care only for my family. And at the time would never admit that I was quite dead inside. Always searching for love and meaning in life.

That all changed having encountered the Lord in a deep personal way! My heart bigger and fonder through Him, as He breathed new life into me. I began to see the parishioners in my Church as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. And began to form lasting familial relationships with many of them. Such that attending the Eucharistic Celebration was truly a celebration of life together as one big joyous family.

So sisters and brothers come as you are to the Lord today and everyday. Love Him and allow Him to fill you with His love and with His grace. Then together we sing His praises with joyful hearts. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 37:1-14
A vision of Israel’s death and resurrectionThe hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 22:34-40
The commandments of loveWhen the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’


You know we often tell our children, “How you behave out there reflects upon us, your parents!” “What will people say about us as a family.” Well of course we can say who cares about what people think or say if we have done nothing wrong. So then, can we be sure that we have done nothing wrong? Is it true that we really don’t care about what others think or say? Well then let’s consider adding another dimension to this thought, how we speak, what we do and how we behave reflects on our relationship with God our Heavenly Father. Whilst He will always remain truly good, others who do not yet know Him, will only see how good He is through us. So how are we sharing His goodness with others by our lives?

It does not matter which state of mind you’re in or how formed you are in your faith. Perhaps you read scripture now but have no understanding. Or you listen to the word proclaimed followed by the homilies but are easily distracted with other thoughts. Or that you have to drag yourself to attend the Eucharistic Celebration. What is important is that you come! You come because you were invited by Him who loves you most dearly. Because in choosing so, you had put on the ‘wedding garment’ and by doing, so you have been given the wonderful opportunity to attend the wedding banquet. To join in the joyful celebration of eternal bliss with the Lord our God. How much you choose to put into participating is how much grace you will receive.

Here I am! Bless and thank You Lord. I am eternally grateful. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 36:23-28 I will remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of fleshThe word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘I mean to display the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord – it is the Lord who speaks – when I display my holiness for your sake before their eyes. Then I am going to take you from among the nations and gather you together from all the foreign countries, and bring you home to your own land. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances. You will live in the land which I gave your ancestors. You shall be my people and I will be your God.’

Gospel

Matthew 22:1-14Invite everyone you can to the weddingJesus began to speak to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests. When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment, and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’


We are all searching for meaning in and for our lives. The journey often begins with one of self preservation and survival. Then many responding to the call, enter into marriage and have family. Then it becomes all about their own family. Others have other callings and they respond accordingly, often with their very own priorities in mind. Prayerfully through God’s grace and our responsiveness to His gentle promptings we begin to unravel the wonderful mystery of being His children. How we have a higher calling to live not for ourselves, but for one another in full communion with Him.

Undertaking this labour of love to be in communion and to build His Kingdom is what gives us true meaning to our lives. We live therefore for Him and for one another. So whether you discover this truth now, later or in the future, the grace and love of God our Father awaits you. We all have an equal share to our Heavenly inheritance provided we want it, work at it and respond to His loving call before our time here on earth runs out. The swifter we respond to the call, the more time we live in His presence and in the joy and peace of His love.

Jesus I Labour for You and for my brethren. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 34:1-11
An oracle against bad and selfish shepherdsThe word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them:
‘“Shepherds, the Lord says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock, yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock. You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently. For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far. My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them.
‘“Well then, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. As I live, I swear it – it is the Lord who speaks – since my flock has been looted and for lack of a shepherd is now the prey of any wild animal, since my shepherds have stopped bothering about my flock, since my shepherds feed themselves rather than my flock, in view of all this, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this: I am going to call the shepherds to account. I am going to take my flock back from them and I shall not allow them to feed my flock. In this way the shepherds will stop feeding themselves. I shall rescue my sheep from their mouths; they will not prey on them any more.”
‘For the Lord says this: “I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view.”’

Gospel

Matthew 20:1-16
Why be envious because I am generous?Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’


Many of us want to be Kings and Queens of our own lives. Nothing bad about it really afterall we want to be in control of it. We want to be free to steer our way through, even in unchartered waters. But as it happens and more often than not; we lose control by giving in to our pride, greed, lust, our need for power and honour. Then we want to control the lives of others too! With all the baggage we carry how are we going through the narrow gate to Heaven?

We need to lay them all down and leave everything behind. For to go through the narrow gate we will only be admitted individually one at a time and only in God’s time. We are only able to do so through the mercy, grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the key to heaven! Therefore it has been said that nothing is impossible for God. Laying our lives down for one another through personal sacrifice and struggles are how we quickly lay down our own baggage and strip off from ourselves all that holds us back.

Lord Jesus let me be priest, prophet and king after Your own heart. As I carry my cross and follow You. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 28:1-10 ·Against the arrogance of the king of TyreThe word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, tell the ruler of Tyre, “The Lord says this:Being swollen with pride, you have said: I am a god;
I am sitting on the throne of God, surrounded by the seas.Though you are a man and not a god, you consider yourself the equal of God.You are wiser now than Danel;there is no sage as wise as you.By your wisdom and your intelligence you have amassed great wealth; you have piles of gold and silver inside your treasure-houses.Such is your skill in trading, your wealth has continued to increase, and with this your heart has grown more arrogant.And so, the Lord says this: Since you consider yourself the equal of God, very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations.They will draw sword against your fine wisdom, they will defile your glory; they will throw you down into the pit and you will die a violent death surrounded by the seas.Are you still going to say: I am a god, when your murderers confront you?No, you are a man and not a god in the clutches of your murderers! You will die like the uncircumcised at the hand of foreigners.For I have spoken – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:23-30It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heavenJesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you solemnly, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ When the disciples heard this they were astonished. ‘Who can be saved, then?’ they said. Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he told them ‘this is impossible; for God everything is possible.’Then Peter spoke. ‘What about us?’ he said to him ‘We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life.‘Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 17, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What haughty lives we lead indeed! When we talk down to others thinking that it is fitting they are put in their place. When we are harsh in our words even in our actions with our children, our aging parents. When we think it is our right to lose our temper against the service provider who annoyed us in some way. When we think it is alright to indulge in our many pleasures alone for having earned the right to do so; while abandoning all thought or deed for others in our community, church, workplace especially those who are poor and helpless. For thinking we only need the Lord our God when we are in dire need.How happy will we be? When we are stripped of all our accumulated wealth? Our health, physical, mental or born? Our notion of being invincible? Or if all those we mistreated are taken home leaving us no chance to make amends?For those of us who have discovered the truth, let us always strive to always remember that we are never poor or ever in want when we are rich in the Lord our God. When our lives are enriched by His word and will for us. When all joy and peace is to be found in serving Him and our brethren who has been entrusted to us. Our decision to sell all that we own to follow Him has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life with Him. Now and forever, Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 24:15-24 ·
The Lord will profane his sanctuaryThe word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, I am about to deprive you suddenly of the delight of your eyes. But you are not to lament, not to weep, not to let your tears run down. Groan in silence, do not go into mourning for the dead, knot your turban round your head, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard, do not eat common bread.’ I told this to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening, and the next morning I did as I had been ordered.
The people then said to me, ‘Are you not going to explain what meaning these actions have for us?’
I replied, ‘The word of the Lord has been addressed to me as follows, “Say to the House of Israel: The Lord says this. I am about to profane my sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes, the passion of your souls. Those of your sons and daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword. And you are to do as I have done; you must not cover your beards or eat common bread; you must keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you must not lament or weep. You shall waste away owing to your sins and groan among yourselves. Ezekiel is to be a sign for you. You are to do just as he has done. And when this happens, you will learn that I am the Lord.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:16-22
If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you ownThere was a man who came to Jesus and asked, ‘Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one alone who is good. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said, ‘Which?’ ‘These:’ Jesus replied ‘You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not bring false witness. Honour your father and mother, and: you must love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these. What more do I need to do?’ Jesus said, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard these words he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.


God so loved the world that He gave us His only Begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. There is no need to put chapter or verse for the above because if you don’t know this by hard, then you are unlikely to be living out Your Christian calling let alone Christian life. Indeed our Lord Jesus Christ was God our Father’s only Begotten Son not made, consubstantial with Him. And by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man for our salvation.

Our Blessed mother was chosen to be the new ark of the eternal covenant between God and man. And at the end of her beloved Son’s life she was given to us as a precious gift to be Mother for and of us all! All the days of her live we see the fullness of God’s grace in action, by her obedience, humility, words and actions she magnified and glorified the Lord our God. Is it not fitting then that by God’s grace she was assumed into heaven to be Queen mother; who even today continues to intercede for us.

Mother dear O Pray for us, that we may one day rejoice reunited with you in Heaven. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10 ·A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman adorned with the sunThe sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready. Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ.’

Second reading

1 Corinthians 15:20-26 ·Christ will be brought to life as the first-fruits and then those who belong to himChrist has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.

Gospel

Luke 1:39-56The Almighty has done great things for meMary 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 Lordand 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: August 14, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How faithful are we to the Lord our God? How faithful are we in our marriages where we were united as One through Him?
Have we become the unfaithful spouse in both instances?Have we been faithful to God by….?
Not neglecting to pray and making time to be in His presence daily.
By dwelling on His Word listening to His Will for us.
By following His commands to love one another as we should.
By performing corporal and spiritual acts of mercy.
By sharing His love with all who do not yet know Him.
By placing Him above all else?Have we been faithful to our spouse by…?
Leading them to greater Holiness by our faithfulness to God.
By praying together as One.
By our small daily acts of love for them.
By not entertaining any indecent thoughts of others.
By not ever speaking ill of them to others especially to our children.
By being loving and merciful first before all else.O loving, faithful, merciful Saviour, teach me Your ways that I too might be loving, faithful and merciful. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63
I clothed you with my own splendour but you made yourself a prostituteThe word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, “The Lord says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins. No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born.
‘“I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live, and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you – it is the Lord who speaks – and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour – it is the Lord who speaks.
‘“You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers. But I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever. And so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Gospel

Matthew 19:3-12
Husband and wife are no longer two, but one bodySome Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’
They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of fornication – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’
The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’


You cannot be a follower of Christ if you have unforgiveness in your heart. In other words you are not Christian if you cannot forgive. For our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ suffered atrocities for us and yet forgave us our sins, from the cross in which He hung; how can we not forgive others for any less? For the Lord our God is mercy and love. Jesus tells us, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matt 9:13 And in teaching us to pray He began with Our Father….all prayer therefore acknowledges our need for forgiveness as well as our need to forgive. If we refuse to forgive then in essence, we exile ourselves from fullness of life to be found in Him alone.

Two very important things for us to note is, one there is no hurt or sin too great against us that we cannot forgive through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. And so we should turn to Him for inner healing. By and through His love, mercy and grace, we will be able to forgive anyone anything. Second that we are not called to doormats, that is we do not allow ourselves to be continually abused verbally or physically. We may forgive the wrong doing against us but are free to move away to live our call to Holiness. We are free to move far away from those who hinder us from doing so.

Jesus make me as forgiving as You are. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 12:1-12 ·
The oracle of exile against the whole House of IsraelThe word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, you are living with that set of rebels who have eyes and never see, ears and never hear, for they are a set of rebels. You, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and emigrate by daylight when they can see you, emigrate from where you are to somewhere else while they watch. Perhaps they will admit then that they are a set of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, for them to see, and leave like an exile in the evening, making sure that they are looking. As they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. As they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the country, since I have made you a symbol for the House of Israel.’
I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hand. I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack as they watched.
The next morning the word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that set of rebels, ask you what you were doing? Say, “The Lord says this: This oracle is directed against Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel wherever they are living.” Say, “I am a symbol for you; the thing I have done will be done to them; they will go into exile, into banishment.” Their ruler will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face rather than see the country.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:21-19:1
‘How often must I forgive my brother?’Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’
Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and he left Galilee and came into the part of Judaea which is on the far side of the Jordan.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 12, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How great is the love of God our Father for us that by our baptism we have upon us an indelible mark of sonship and daughterhood. That is why St Paul with great conviction proclaimed that nothing can separate us from that love of God. Only we can choose to be separated from Him, by our free Will and in the choices we make.

If we choose to live as His child, then we must also recognise that of one another too. Would our Heavenly Father want us then to be bickering, quarreling and being resentful of one another. Or would He want us to be fully reconciled and in full communion with Him. To be One as the Holy Trinity is One?

Let us strive for unity as we pray as One for unity and peace….
Our Father..
Hail Mary..
Glory Be..
Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 9:1-7,10:18-22The cross marks the foreheads of all who are pureAs I, Ezekiel, listened, God shouted, ‘Come here, you scourges of the city, and bring your weapons of destruction.’ Immediately six men advanced from the upper north gate, each holding a deadly weapon. In the middle of them was a man in white, with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt. They came in and halted in front of the bronze altar. The glory of the God of Israel rose off the cherubs where it had been and went up to the threshold of the Temple. He called the man in white with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt and said, ‘Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of all the filth practised in it.’ I heard him say to the others, ‘Follow him through the city, and strike. Show neither pity nor mercy; old men, young men, virgins, children, women, kill and exterminate them all. But do not touch anyone with a cross on his forehead. Begin at my sanctuary.’ So they began with the old men in front of the Temple. He said to them, ‘Defile the Temple; fill the courts with corpses, and go.’ They went out and hacked their way through the city. The glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold and paused over the cherubs. The cherubs spread their wings and rose from the ground to leave, and as I watched the wheels rose with them. They paused at the entrance to the east gate of the Temple of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. This was the creature that I had seen supporting the God of Israel beside the river Chebar, and I was now certain that these were cherubs. Each had four faces and four wings and what seemed to be human hands under their wings. Their faces were just as I had seen them beside the river Chebar. Each moved straight forward.

Gospel

Matthew 18:15-20If your brother listens to you, you have won back your brotherJesus said to his disciples: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. ‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. ‘I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.’


Are we behaving as we should as children of God our Heavenly Father? Do we then look upon one another as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ with one goal of leading one another closer to His kingdom? Are we obedient to God our Father’s Will and Word for us? Does the Word of God roll off us like water on a duck’s back? Or do we receive it voraciously like hungry lions deep within us knowing that nothing else will satisfy?The Word made flesh, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ came so that through Him we might be saved. Through Him we have full communion with Him and one another. We become One body in Him. This reality is made present each time we receive Holy Eucharist. Are our hearts and minds open and therefore embracing this reality? If so then will we place ourselves above one another or will we get down on our knees to be of service to one another through Him who loves us dearly, now and forever. AmenSt Clare pray for us….

First reading

Ezekiel 2:8-3:4 ·
He gave me the scroll to eat and it was as sweet as honeyI, Ezekiel, heard a voice speaking. It said, ‘You, son of man, listen to the words I say; do not be a rebel like that rebellious set. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’ I looked. A hand was there, stretching out to me and holding a scroll. He unrolled it in front of me; it was written on back and front; on it was written ‘lamentations, wailings, moanings.’ He said, ‘Son of man, eat what is given to you; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.’ I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you.’ I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.
Then he said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14
Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes meThe disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
‘See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.
‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’


What makes a cheerful giver? How did the Saints serve with joy in their hearts, some to the very end by laying down their lives for their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ?

This is only possible when we come to the awareness of just how truly loved with are by God our Heavenly Father. And through His Son our Saviour, our hearts become bigger; as we are filled more and more with His love, with His grace. This happens through our ever deepening relationship with Him, we are transformed becoming more and more like Him. We begin to understand how by dying to ourselves and living for others we unite ourselves more fully to His Cross. We can unite our sufferings with His and through Him we will be raised to new life. Such then our joy! Amen

St Lawrence pray for us….

First reading

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 ·God loves a cheerful giverDo not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you – he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten. The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one.

Gospel

John 12:24-26If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvestJesus said to his disciples:‘I tell you, most solemnly,unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too.If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 8, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Every and anybody can claim they have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, but how many truly knows what it means to have faith in Him? A Faith that stems from a loving intimate relationship with Him built on a foundation of love and trust. So why then did our Lord say that that if your faith were the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move; nothing would be impossible for you.’?

Well as I reflected on this today my heart was moved to ask this simple question? What is the purpose of a seed? Is it not to grow outside of itself? Is it not to propagate, to enrich? How then can a seed grow if it hides itself in a drawer? Or any other place other than in the rich soil it is meant to flourish in? And does it not flourish only when it dies unto itself? Then I heard the Lord call me His precious seed! Only then I awoke to realise that come what may, whether it be trials or tribulations, I shall always trust in my faithful Lord, for even when I die and I hope to die with in Him; I shall rise to new life with Him. For He has promised that an upright man will live by his faithfulness.’

St Dominic pray for us. Amen

First reading

Habakkuk 1:12-2:4 ·If the vision comes slowly, wait: it will come without failAre not you, from ancient times the Lord,my God, my Holy One, who never dies? O Lord, you have made this people an instrument of justice, set it firm as a rock in order to punish.Your eyes are too pure to rest on wickedness, you cannot look on at tyranny. Why do you look on while men are treacherous, and stay silent while the evil man swallows a better man than he?You treat mankind like fishes in the sea, like creeping, masterless things.A people, these, who catch all on their hook,who draw them with their net, in their dragnet gather them, and so, triumphantly, rejoice.At this, they offer a sacrifice to their net,and burn incense to their dragnet, for providing them with luxury and lavish food.Are they then to empty their net unceasingly, slaughtering nations without pity?I will stand on my watchtower, and take up my post on my battlements, watching to see what he will say to me, what answer he will make to my complaints.Then the Lord answered and said, ‘Write the vision down, inscribe it on tablets to be easily read, since this vision is for its own time only: eager for its own fulfilment, it does not deceive; if it comes slowly, wait, for come it will, without fail.‘See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights, but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.’

Gospel

Matthew 17:14-20If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, the mountain would moveA man came up to Jesus and went down on his knees before him. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘take pity on my son: he is a lunatic and in a wretched state; he is always falling into the fire or into the water. I took him to your disciples and they were unable to cure him.’ ‘Faithless and perverse generation!’ Jesus said in reply ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.’ And when Jesus rebuked it the devil came out of the boy who was cured from that moment. Then the disciples came privately to Jesus. ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ they asked. He answered, ‘Because you have little faith. I tell you solemnly, if your faith were the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move; nothing would be impossible for you.’GospelMatthew 17:14-20If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, the mountain would moveA man came up to Jesus and went down on his knees before him. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘take pity on my son: he is a lunatic and in a wretched state; he is always falling into the fire or into the water. I took him to your disciples and they were unable to cure him.’ ‘Faithless and perverse generation!’ Jesus said in reply ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.’ And when Jesus rebuked it the devil came out of the boy who was cured from that moment. Then the disciples came privately to Jesus. ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ they asked. He answered, ‘Because you have little faith. I tell you solemnly, if your faith were the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move; nothing would be impossible for you.’


How have I taken up my Cross to follow Jesus? What have I given up for His namesake? How am I living His Kingdom values? How am I living out my call to discipleship? How many people have I shown love and mercy to today? This week? This month? Without taking the time to dwell on this questions we will remain when we are, not drawing any closer to Him who loves us dearly.

I choose to follow You Jesus….Lead me. Amen

First reading

Nahum 2:1,3,3:1-3,6-7Israel restored; Nineveh ruinedSee, over the mountains the messenger hurries!‘Peace!’ he proclaims. Judah, celebrate your feasts, carry out your vows, for Belial will never pass through you again; he is utterly annihilated.Yes, the Lord is restoring the vineyard of Jacob and the vineyard of Israel.For the plunderers had plundered them, they had broken off their branches.Woe to the city soaked in blood, full of lies,stuffed with booty, whose plunderings know no end!The crack of the whip! The rumble of wheels! Galloping horse, jolting chariot, charging cavalry, flash of swords, gleam of spears… a mass of wounded, hosts of dead, countless corpses; they stumble over the dead.I am going to pelt, you with filth, shame you, make you a public show.And all who look on you will turn their backs on you and say, ‘Nineveh is a ruin.’ Could anyone pity her? Where can I find anyone to comfort her?

Gospel

Matthew 16:24-28Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find itJesus said to his disciples: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life? ‘For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour. I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 6, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What joy it is today on the feast day of the transfiguration to be reminded that we are an alleluia people living in the light of our Resurrected Lord and saviour Jesus Christ! For without His resurrection we have no faith! Christianity would not exist!

Have we then be transfigured ourselves by living in His presence through prayer and dwelling On his Word? Does His light shine upon our faces having dwelled in His love, and have we then gone forth to minister to others? Sharing His peace, love with joy in our hearts?

After our Lord’s transfiguration, He would soon face trials and tribulations which would ultimately end with His death on the cross. On the Third day He rose from the dead and through the power of His Resurrection we have hope of eternal life with Him. So while we have a foretaste of heaven by living in the light of His Resurrection now, we too can expect to face our very own trials and tribulations. Yet we carry with us, the joyful hope of rising to new life with Him when we die. Amen

First reading

Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 ·
His robe was white as snowAs I watched:Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat.
His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool.
His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire.
A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence.
A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
A court was held and the books were opened.I gazed into the visions of the night.And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,
one like a son of man.
He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence.
On him was conferred sovereignty,
glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty
which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Gospel

Matthew 17:1-9
His face shone like the sunJesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’ When they heard this the disciples fell on their faces overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘do not be afraid.’ And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order, ‘Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’


Is my faith one in which I feel I am entitled? That is to say the Lord my God must answer my prayers and preferably the manner in which I prayed for it to happen. Or is my faith one of humble reverence for love of my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. And is one that knows His will for me is always best. Hence I must persevere and wait patiently on Him, for in His time He will surely give answer even if the answer is no. Even trials and challenges that come my way can be Blessings in disguise for me.

God our Father loves us all His children dearly, it does not matter which flock one belongs to inside or out. For that is why He sent His only Begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, so that all might be gathered unto Him. Amen

Jesus I trust in You!

First reading

Jeremiah 31:1-7 ·

You shall be rebuilt, virgin of IsraelI will be the God of all the clans of Israel – it is the Lord who speaks – they shall be my people.The Lord says this:They have found pardon in the wilderness,
those who have survived the sword.
Israel is marching to his rest.The Lord has appeared to him from afar:I have loved you with an everlasting love,
so I am constant in my affection for you.
I build you once more; you shall be rebuilt,
virgin of Israel.Adorned once more, and with your tambourines, you will go out dancing gaily.You will plant vineyards once moreon the mountains of Samaria the planters have done their planting: they will gather the fruit.Yes, a day will come when the watchmen shout on the mountains of Ephraim,‘Up! Let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God!’
For the Lord says this:
Shout with joy for Jacob!
Hail the chief of nations!
Proclaim! Praise! Shout:
‘The Lord has saved his people,
the remnant of Israel!’

Gospel

Matthew 15:21-28

The Canaanite woman debates with Jesus and saves her daughterJesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’ He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.


We have disciplines and rules that we must follow for without them we find ourselves facing unrest even chaos. Why then do many of us react badly when they are enforced? Egs. Implementation of Co-vid 19 safety measures or that registration process and procedures are required to attend Mass or to receive the sacraments. Why do we feel and react as though our ‘rights’ or our freedom has been infringed upon? Do we have our Lord in mind before we speak and act? Do we behave as children of God our Father consistently whether it is at our workplace, school or in church?

If we are the ones helping to implement or even enforce them, do we also have the Lord in mind before we act and speak? Do we have the mercy and love of our Lord in mind above all? Can exceptions and allowances be for special cases?

The real question therefore is, are we true followers and disciples of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ? Is the love of God our Father planted in our hearts?

Jesus my Lord, my God, lead me now and forever. Amen

St John Vianney pray for us…

First reading

Jeremiah 30:1-2,12-15,18-22Your wound is incurable but I will heal youThe word addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord: the Lord, the God of Israel says this: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.Yes, the Lord says this:Your wound is incurable, your injury past healing.There is no one to care for your sore, no medicine to make you well again.All your lovers have forgotten you, they look for you no more.Yes, I have struck you as an enemy strikes,with harsh punishment so great is your guilt, so many your sins.Why bother to complain about your wound? Your pain is incurable.So great is your guilt, so many your sins, that I have done all this to you.The Lord says this:Now I will restore the tents of Jacob, and take pity on his dwellings: the city shall be rebuilt on its ruins, the citadel restored on its site.From them will come thanksgivingand shouts of joy.I will make them increase, and not diminish them, make them honoured, and not disdained.Their sons shall be as once they were, their community fixed firm in my presence, and I will punish all their oppressors.Their prince will be one of their own, their ruler come from their own people.I will let him come freely into my presenceand he can come close to me; who else, indeed, would risk his life by coming close to me? – it is the Lord who speaks.And you shall be my people and I will be your God.

Gospel

Matthew 15:1-2,10-14Any plant my Father has not planted will be pulled up by the rootsPharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said, ‘Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat food.’ He called the people to him and said, ‘Listen, and understand. What goes into the mouth does not make a man unclean; it is what comes out of the mouth that makes him unclean.’ Then the disciples came to him and said, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were shocked when they heard what you said?’ He replied, ‘Any plant my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them alone. They are blind men leading blind men; and if one blind man leads another, both will fall into a pit.’


Am I not a false prophet? When I preach mercy and love of God, but am far from merciful and loving in my dealings with others? When I assure others that the Lord God will understand if there are good and valid reasons to go for an abortion, in vitro fertilisation, for unmarried couples to engage in premarital sex, for our young teens to cohabit and experiment. Assisted suicide is OK for terminally ill patients. Single sex marriages is allowed under special circumstances. or when I quote scripture and use my influence over others for a personal agenda or for personal glory.Yes indeed it can be quite challenging and trying at times, when we are caught in having to choose between the ways of the world and the ways of the Lord our God. However we must remain steadfast in our faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ especially in stormy, turbulent times. He will find a way for us! Even if it is not the way we expect or want, but a way which is best for us. He will even make what is impossible for us, possible! For He is truly the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, He is our Lord and God.Jesus I trust in You. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 28:1-17Jeremiah and the lying prophet HananiahAt the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, a Gibeonite, spoke as follows to Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord in the presence of the priests and of all the people. ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says this, “I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. In two years’ time I will bring back all the vessels of the Temple of the Lord which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon carried off from this place and took to Babylon. And I will also bring back Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who have gone to Babylon – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, I am going to break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”’ The prophet Jeremiah then replied to the prophet Hananiah in front of the priests and all the people there in the Temple of the Lord. ‘I hope so’ the prophet Jeremiah said. ‘May the Lord do so. May he fulfil the words that you have prophesied and bring the vessels of the Temple of the Lord and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon. Listen carefully, however, to this word that I am now going to say for you and all the people to hear: From remote times, the prophets who preceded you and me prophesied war, famine and plague for many countries and for great kingdoms; but the prophet who prophesies peace can only be recognised as one truly sent by the Lord when his word comes true.’ The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it. In front of all the people Hananiah then said, ‘The Lord says this, “This is how, two years hence, I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and take it off the necks of all the nations.”’ At this, the prophet Jeremiah went away. After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke which he had taken off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah the word of the Lord was addressed to Jeremiah, ‘Go to Hananiah and tell him this, “The Lord says this: You can break wooden yokes? Right, I will make them iron yokes instead! For the Lord Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: An iron yoke is what I now lay on the necks of all these nations to subject them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. They will be subject to him; I have even given him the wild animals.”’ The prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, ‘Listen carefully, Hananiah: the Lord has not sent you; and thanks to you this people are now relying on what is false. Hence – the Lord says this, “I am going to throw you off the face of the earth: you are going to die this year since you have preached apostasy from the Lord.”’ The prophet Hananiah died the same year, in the seventh month.

Gospel

Matthew 14:22-36Jesus walks on the waterJesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’ Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him, begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were completely cured.


Are we not guilty of innocent blood? When we relay unsubstantiated ‘truths’ about others through gossip or even in passing. When we are unfaithful to family, friends even acquaintances by speaking against them when they are absent. When we pass judgement on others without proper discernment, prayer and seeking the will of God in that given situation.

We can only be free of innocent blood when we walk in the light of the Lord. When in all that we say and do, we strive to glorify Him. Let us then be Holy as He is Holy, let us be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who has been sent to guide us. Let us speak the truth of the Lord always. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 26:11-16,24‘This man has spoken to us in the name of the Lord’The priests and prophets addressed the officials and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Jeremiah, however, replied to the as follows: ‘The Lord himself sent me to say all the things you have heard against this Temple and this city. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of the Lord your God: if you do, he will relent and not bring down on you the disaster he has pronounced against you. For myself, I am as you see in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its citizens, since the Lord has truly sent me to you to say all these words in your hearing.’ The officials and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, ‘This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.’ Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Gospel

Matthew 14:1-12The beheading of John the BaptistHerod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus, and said to his court, ‘This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. For John had told him, ‘It is against the Law for you to have her.’ He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet. Then, during the celebrations for Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and so delighted Herod that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked. Prompted by her mother she said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head, here, on a dish.’ The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her, and sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.


Today as I ponder His Word the message is not about the difficulty or challenge of being a prophet. Neither is it about Evangelisation or even the stubbornness, hard heartedness; nor about our refusal to listen to the call for repentance.

It is about our lack of faith or rather that we have made little or no progress in growing in our faith and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. On His part our loving and merciful Lord desires to do wonders in our lives. He wants to pour out His grace upon us such that we live the fullest of our lives in Him. But how can He do so? When He knocks on our door we do not open our hearts fully to receive Him? When we refuse to increase our prayer life or to dwell longer in His Word and in His presence. When we do not strive for Holiness but give in to our impatience and haughtiness in thinking we know better?

Jesus I open my heart and mind to You. Come dwell in me. Amen

St Ignatius of Loyola pray for us…

First reading

Jeremiah 26:1-9 ·Jeremiah preaches in the Temple of the Lord and is threatened with deathAt the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘The Lord says this: Stand in the court of the Temple of the Lord. To all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of the Lord you must speak all the words I have commanded you to tell them; do not omit one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intended for their misdeeds. Say to them, “The Lord says this: If you will not listen to me by following my Law which I put before you, by paying attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send so persistently to you, without your ever listening to them, I will treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’ The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of the Lord. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets seized hold of him and said, ‘You shall die! Why have you made this prophecy in the name of the Lord, “This Temple will be like Shiloh, and this city will be desolate, and uninhabited”?’ And the people were all crowding round Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 13:54-58A prophet is only despised in his own countryComing to his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter’s son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?’ And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house’, and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.


The Old Testament reveals the new and the New testament unveils the Old. Both are the living Word of God for us. A love letter from the Lord our God that is ever green as it is perennial!

A disciple holds both close to His heart just as He remembers and contemplates the love of God in his/her past present and future.We are uniquely and individually loved just as we were uniquely and individually molded, sculptured. The lessons, trials and challenges we face in His name is the burning furnace of His love which purifies, strengthens; and that which gives us our stature.

Thank you Lord for loving me. Mould me according to Your Will that I might have eternal life with You. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 18:1-6When the clay goes wrong, the potter starts afreshThe word that was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘Get up and make your way down to the potter’s house; there I shall let you hear what I have to say.’ So I went down to the potter’s house; and there he was, working at the wheel. And whenever the vessel he was making came out wrong, as happens with the clay handled by potters, he would start afresh and work it into another vessel, as potters do. Then this word of the Lord was addressed to me, ‘House of Israel, can not I do to you what this potter does? – it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine, House of Israel.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:47-53The fishermen collect the good fish and throw away those that are no useJesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. ‘Have you understood all this?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old.’


Living a Christian life and being true to our faith is a constant struggle. We can frown upon how much easier it is for us if we were not Catholic let alone Christian! No need to stress over being called to a higher standard or in another word higher calling. No need for uncomfortable conversations with non believers about our faith. We only need to abide but the laws of the land and be ‘free’ to live according to our whims and fancies.

If we possess such thoughts then it only means one thing. We have not encountered our Risen Lord! We do not have a deep personal relationship with Him such that our hearts pines for His presence. In trusting and knowing with certainty that He stands with us in every struggle and difficulty we may face. Our heart aches if we do not speak about Him with family, friends even strangers for love of Him; far more than any rejection we might receive from doing so. We strive for Holiness because we have received the grace of His peace, love and joy in our hearts and we want to be more like Him in every way. Let us acclaim with wholehearted conviction as Martha did, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’ Amen, alleluia!

St Martha pray for us…

First reading

Jeremiah 15:10,16-21 ·
They will not overcome you, because I am with you‘Woe is me, my mother, for you have borne me to be a man of strife and of dissension for all the land. I neither lend nor borrow,
yet all of them curse me.‘When your words came, I devoured them:
your word was my delight and the joy of my heart; for I was called by your name,
Lord, God of Hosts.
I never took pleasure in sitting in scoffers’ company; with your hand on me I held myself aloof, since you had filled me with indignation.
Why is my suffering continual, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Do you mean to be for me a deceptive stream
with inconstant waters?’To which the Lord replied, ‘If you come back, I will take you back into my service;
and if you utter noble, not despicable, thoughts, you shall be as my own mouth.
They will come back to you, but you must not go back to them. I will make you a bronze wall fortified against this people.
They will fight against you but they will not overcome you, because I am with you
to save you and to deliver you – it is the Lord who speaks.
I mean to deliver you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the clutches of the violent.’

Gospel

John 11:19-27
I am the resurrection and the lifeMany Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

Yes indeed the Lord our God is merciful, loving, patient and kind. He is the purest form of love. In His great love for us, He has given us His children free will to choose whether or not to love Him and live in His love. When we choose to stray from Him, He gently urges us to come back to Him, for left to our devices the consequences of our actions will only lead us to certain death. There is however a time limit!

Think of it this way…….. When there is a lightning storm outside, the Lord urges to stay inside with Him where it is safe and warm. When it is bright and sunny, we can go outside and bask in His love for in our faithfulness and obedience He walks with us. However if we choose to play outside in the lightning storm and refuse to heed His warnings to turn back to Him, then we will have to face the consequences of our choice which could ultimately lead to an untimely demise. Our decision and consequence thereafter will be final.

Jesus I choose life with You, now and forever. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 14:17-22
We confess our wickedness; you, God, are our hopeThe Lord said to me:Say this word to the people:
‘Tears flood my eyes night and day, unceasingly, since a crushing blow falls on the daughter of my people, a most grievous injury.
If I go into the countryside, there lie men killed by the sword; if I go into the city,
I see people sick with hunger; even prophets and priests plough the land: they are at wit’s end.’‘Have you rejected Judah altogether?
Does your very soul revolt at Zion?
Why have you struck us down without hope of cure?
We were hoping for peace – no good came of it!
For the moment of cure – nothing but terror!
Lord, we do confess our wickedness and our fathers’ guilt: we have indeed sinned against you.
For your name’s sake do not reject us, do not dishonour the throne of your glory.
Remember us; do not break your covenant with us. Can any of the pagan Nothings make it rain?
Can the heavens produce showers? No, it is you, Lord. O our God, you are our hope,
since it is you who do all this.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:36-43
As the darnel is gathered up and burnt, so it will be at the end of timeLeaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us.’ He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that provoke offences and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears!’


Are we growing in our faith? Have we fallen deeper in love with Lord our God? From the very beginning God our Father has desired an intimate relationship with us His children. Such that He made it possible through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ for us to share in an intimate union with Him. How have we repaid His loving kindness, mercy and love? By ingratitude? By continuing to put our ‘idols’ and cares of the world above Him? We will indeed reap what we sow!

There is nothing hidden from us His faithful for we live to love and glorify Him with all our hearts. We live in the mystery revealed to us and that which will be revealed in its fullness in His time. Indeed our tiny hearts have grown for His kingdom reigns in it. We live and love in His presence, our families, our communities, our church and our brethren His children. And it is our ongoing mission to grow in His love and to be fruitful, for His Kingdom come, His Will be done. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 13:1-11
Let this evil people become good for nothingThe Lord said this to me, ‘Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it round your waist. But do not dip it in water.’ And so, as the Lord had ordered, I bought a loincloth and put it round my waist. A second time the word of the Lord was spoken to me, ‘Take the loincloth that you have bought and are wearing round your waist; up! Go to the Euphrates and hide it in a hole in the rock.’ So I went and hid it near the Euphrates as the Lord had ordered me. Many days afterwards the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to the Euphrates and fetch the loincloth I ordered you to hide there.’ So I went to the Euphrates, and I searched, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. The loincloth was spoilt, good for nothing. Then the word of the Lord was addressed to me, ‘Thus says the Lord: In the same way I will spoil the arrogance of Judah and Jerusalem. This evil people who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the dictates of their own hard hearts, who have followed alien gods, and served them and worshipped them, let them become like this loincloth, good for nothing. For just as a loincloth clings to a man’s waist, so I had intended the whole House of Judah to cling to me – it is the Lord who speaks – to be my people, my glory, my honour and my boast. But they have not listened.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:31-35
The smallest of all seeds grows into the biggest shrub of allJesus put a parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’
He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’
In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy:I will speak to you in parables
and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.


Want of the best testimonies of living in the faith and hope of our Lord Jesus Christ can be found in today’s first reading as we celebrate the feast day of St James the Apostle. And a nicely worded reminder of the humility we must embrace as true disciples of Christ. We are mere earthenware jars that can fully hold the treasure to be found in our relationship with Him. Not leaky cisterns that hold no water! But filled with the presence of the Lord our God.

And like our master who came not to be served but who served with love, mercy and compassion for the greater glory of God His Father; we too must follow in His footsteps. Then we can be assured that we will rest with Him in Paradise for ever. Amen

First reading

2 Corinthians 4:7-15 ·
Such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us

We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke – we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.

Gospel

Matthew 20:20-28
‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’

The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’