Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 14, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Children of God our Father listen and be obedient unto Him. For He loves us all dearly and only wants the best for us.

Do not be stubborn for it only leads to doom and gloom! See for yourselves where has it led you? Do you live with joy in your hearts? Does it carry throughout the day and night? Do you have peace of mind?

Come Lord Jesus, come. Come into my heart dear saviour. Wash me clean and I will be white as snow. Let me live fully in your love. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 48:17-19
If you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like a river

Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is good for you,
I lead you in the way that you must go.
If only you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like a river, your integrity like the waves of the sea.
Your children would have been numbered like the sand, your descendants as many as its grains.
Never would your name have been cut off or blotted out before me.

Gospel

Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘What description can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place:

“We played the pipes for you,
and you wouldn’t dance;
we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t be mourners.”

‘For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom has been proved right by her actions.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 13, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

O that you would listen to my word, harden not your hearts! Open your ears and listen. Says the Lord!

Yet we are indeed a stubborn lot! We hear only what we want. We choose to obey what we think makes the most sense. And we let our salvation pass us by!

The promises of the Lord our God has been fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord. We have new life in and through Him. So unless we are in communion with Him through our fidelity we have nothing. Let us open our minds and turn to Him. Let the living word of God transform our hearts. Listen and be saved. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 41:13-20
I, the Holy One of Israel, am your redeemer

I, the Lord, your God, I am holding you by the right hand;I tell you, ‘Do not be afraid, I will help you.’

Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm, Israel, puny mite.’
I will help you – it is the Lord who speaks – the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.

See, I turn you into a threshing-sled, new, with doubled teeth;you shall thresh and crush the mountains, and turn the hills to chaff.

You shall winnow them and the wind will blow them away,
the gale will scatter them.
But you yourself will rejoice in the Lord,and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The poor and needy ask for water, and there is none,
their tongue is parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

I will make rivers well up on barren heights,and fountains in the midst of valleys;turn the wilderness into a lake,and dry ground into waterspring.

In the wilderness I will put cedar trees, acacias, myrtles, olives.
In the desert I will plant juniper, plane tree and cypress side by side; so that men may see and know, may all observe and understand that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Gospel

Matthew 11:11-15

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm. Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading; and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 12, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

True Christians possesses joy in their hearts. For they carry with them the peace and joy of the Risen Lord in their hearts. They never tire or grow weary while doing His Will for them. For the Lord’s strength is upon them. It is He whom they turn to and are renewed, nourished.

So turn to Him indeed all you who labour and are overburdened and our Lord Jesus Christ will give you rest. He will restore you and grant you peace. His love will flow through your very being bringing life. Such is the love of our Lord. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 40:25-31
The Lord strengthens the powerless

‘To whom could you liken me
and who could be my equal?’ says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look.
Who made these stars if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name? So mighty is his power, so great his strength, that not one fails to answer.

How can you say, Jacob,
how can you insist, Israel,
‘My destiny is hidden from the Lord, my rights are ignored by my God’?
Did you not know?
Had you not heard?

The Lord is an everlasting God, he created the boundaries of the earth.
He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming. He gives strength to the wearied, he strengthens the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary, youths may stumble, but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles. They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire.

Gospel

Matthew 11:28-30
My yoke is easy and my burden light

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 11, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Do you realise just how much God our Father loves you? How precious you are to Him? Such is His love for you that it defies logic and human understanding. Would you a Shepherd leave ninety nine of your sheep to go in search of the one who strayed away? Yet it is the Lord himself who comes looking for you. Tenderly He picks you up, cleans you up and restores you fully. No anger, no resentment, pure joy! You were once lost but now are found.

Come now people be humble and turn to the Lord your God. For He only desires the best for you. Let us turn our hearts to Him and be filled with His grace. So that we may be one with Him as He is one with us. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 40:1-11
Consolations from the heart of Jerusalem

‘Console my people, console them’ says your God.
‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in,every mountain and hill be laid low.
Let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley;then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice commands, ‘Cry!’
and I answered, ‘What shall I cry?’”– ‘All flesh is grass
and its beauty like the wild flower’s.
The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on them. (The grass is without doubt the people.) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.’

Go up on a high mountain,
joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice,
joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah,‘Here is your God.’

Here is the Lord coming with power, his arm subduing all things to him.
The prize of his victory is with him, his trophies all go before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Gospel

Matthew 18:12-14
The one lost sheep gives him more joy than the ninety-nine that did not stray

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 8, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Fully human, born without sin, Holy, spotless, blameless, pure, set apart. To be the tabernacle of our Lord Jesus Christ. For through God alone all is made possible. By Mary our mother’s fiat we have the Incarnation. Light brought forth into the world.

We too by our baptism have been set apart made Holy. If we model ourselves after our Blessed Mother then our yes too will bring the light of Christ to all that we meet. By His grace we can do this and so we must come before Him often to be renewed and restored. So that by His grace we can live fully in His love and be a blessing for others.

O most Holy Immaculate conception, Mary our mother pray for us…

First reading

Genesis 3:9-15,20
‘The offspring of the woman will crush your head’

After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’
Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,

‘Be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts.
You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

Second reading
Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12
Before the world was made, God chose us in Christ

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,
determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ
for his own kind purposes,
to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved,
And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own, chosen from the beginning, under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will;
chosen to be, for his greater glory, the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.

Gospel

Luke 1:26-38
‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 7, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

If I have peace and love in my heart it is because of You alone my loving Saviour. You who took pity on me, opened my eyes to see You. And the wonders of Your mercy and love. I was so blind before stood before You O Lord! Blind to the needs of others. Blind to the hungry and those starved of attention. Blind to the community around me. Blind to everyone and everything other than to my own selfish needs and wants.

Ever since You restored my sight, how can I be quiet? How can I not sing Your praises with my hands and feet put to service for You and my brethren? How can I not shout from the mountain top that You Jesus are my Lord and God! How can I not work for Your greater glory? For Your peace and love reigns in my Heart now and forever. Amen

St Ambrose pray for us…

First reading

Isaiah 29:17-24
In a very short time, the deaf will hear and the eyes of the blind will see

The Lord says this:

In a short time, a very short time, shall not Lebanon become fertile land and fertile land turn into forest?
The deaf, that day, will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord even more and the poorest exult in the Holy One of Israel; for tyrants shall be no more, and scoffers vanish, and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil:those who gossip to incriminate others, those who try at the gate to trip the arbitrator and get the upright man’s case dismissed for groundless reasons.

Therefore the Lord speaks,
the God of the House of Jacob, Abraham’s redeemer:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale, for he shall see what my hands have done in his midst,
he shall hold my name holy.
They will hallow the Holy One of Jacob, stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Erring spirits will learn wisdom and murmurers accept instruction.

Gospel

Matthew 9:27-31
‘Take care that no-one learns about this’

As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, ‘Take care that no one learns about this.’ But when they had gone, they talked about him all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 6, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Why is it that we pray fervently, call upon the Lord only in times of great distress and need? Then go about our daily lives and routines after the need is met and peace restored. Where then is the exchange of love between the Lord our God and us? What right relationship do we have with Him?

Many still do not realise that the only way to grow deep in our relationship with the Lord our God is to do His will. This has been revealed to us time and time again. But it is our own wills we heed! Too difficult, bothersome first to know and understand His will for us, then to follow through! Hence we reap what we sow! What do you think will happen when our bond with our Lord Jesus Christ is paper thin?

To know His word and will for us; And to do it is to have laid a great foundation built upon His love. Come what may He is always by our side. We are never more safe and secure then when we are in His loving embrace. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 26:1-6
Open the gates; let the upright nation come in

That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city; to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us.
Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace, because she trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord for ever,
for the Lord is the everlasting Rock; he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel; he brings it down, brings it down to the ground,
flings it down in the dust: the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.

Gospel

Matthew 7:21,24-27
The wise man built his house on a rock

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’