Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 25, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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All leadership perhaps starts out innocently enough with the sole desire of serving the Lord our God and brethren. But after a while if we do not ground ourselves by focusing both on our crucified Christ and His resurrection thereby carrying our own to cross to follow Him; we will be tainted by the world! It may start subtly with seeking affirmation, approval, then recognition and honour. Truth is withheld to keep the ‘peace’ the unified consensus, never mind that the way of Christ is through the narrow gate. Prayers are written and everyone is encouraged to pray, so that our Lord might listen to the construct of the beautiful words and overlook the agenda we want passed. Are we then serving the Lord? Or is He meant to serve us?

Why does Jesus put His arm around the child and set the child before His disciples? His action spoke volumes even before His words reached their ears! You and I should see ourselves as that child. I am that child so loved by God my Father. My Lord and God’s protective arm is around me. I am under His providence and so desire only that which I can use to build His Kingdom. I bask in His great and complete love for me and therefore seek no other kind of love of which only brings discontent. The more I want to hold on to His love for me, the more I must give it away to my brethren especially the least; that is to the stranger, the widow, the defenseless child, the poor. It is only through the Cross that I carry for love of my God, that I am truly alive in His presence.

Abba I am Your child. I’ve come to do Your will. Amen

First reading

James 4:1-10 ·
Resist the devil and he will run away

Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you haven’t got it; so you are prepared to kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force. Why you don’t have what you want is because you don’t pray for it; when you do pray and don’t get it, it is because you have not prayed properly, you have prayed for something to indulge your own desires.
You are as unfaithful as adulterous wives; don’t you realise that making the world your friend is making God your enemy? Anyone who chooses the world for his friend turns himself into God’s enemy. Surely you don’t think scripture is wrong when it says: the spirit which he sent to live in us wants us for himself alone? But he has been even more generous to us, as scripture says: God opposes the proud but he gives generously to the humble. Give in to God, then; resist the devil, and he will run away from you. The nearer you go to God, the nearer he will come to you. Clean your hands, you sinners, and clear your minds, you waverers. Look at your wretched condition, and weep for it in misery; be miserable instead of laughing, gloomy instead of happy. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.

Gospel

Mark 9:30-37
Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me

Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 24, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Lord together with my brethren we have prayed fervently, give us today our daily bread but those perhaps those far wiser than us have decided to deny us direct access to You for a time.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

We are weak Lord and evil surrounds us ready to pounce for we have little left to defend ourselves.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

We want to gather together in the sanctity of our homes to praise, worship and listen to Your Word for us, but fear now rules and keeps us away.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

We humbly submit ourselves to You Holy Will for us, as we embrace this cross we have been given.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

Lift this curse Lord we pray, for everything is possible with You. All our faith and trust we give You Lord.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have! Amen

First reading

James 3:13-18
Show wisdom and avoid ambition

If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions. But if at heart you have the bitterness of jealousy, or a self-seeking ambition, never make any claims for yourself or cover up the truth with lies – principles of this kind are not the wisdom that comes down from above: they are only earthly, animal and devilish. Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.

Gospel

Mark 9:14-29
Help the little faith I have!

When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 24, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Lord together with my brethren we have prayed fervently, give us today our daily bread but those perhaps those far wiser than us have decided to deny us direct access to You for a time.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

We are weak Lord and evil surrounds us ready to pounce for we have little left to defend ourselves.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

We want to gather together in the sanctity of our homes to praise, worship and listen to Your Word for us, but fear now rules and keeps us away.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

We humbly submit ourselves to You Holy Will for us, as we embrace this cross we have been given.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have!

Lift this curse Lord we pray, for everything is possible with You. All our faith and trust we give You Lord.

Lord Jesus we do have faith, help the little faith we have! Amen

First reading

James 3:13-18
Show wisdom and avoid ambition

If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions. But if at heart you have the bitterness of jealousy, or a self-seeking ambition, never make any claims for yourself or cover up the truth with lies – principles of this kind are not the wisdom that comes down from above: they are only earthly, animal and devilish. Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.

Gospel

Mark 9:14-29
Help the little faith I have!

When Jesus, with Peter, James and John came down from the mountain and rejoined the disciples, they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them. The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked. A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him, and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’ ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand. When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’ ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 22, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Simple question, can you be Catholic if you do Not pledge allegiance and obedience to the Bishop of Rome, His Holiness our Pope? Answer is no!

For Jesus our Lord and saviour chose to institute His One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church through St. Peter our first Pope when He said, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.” And so by the grace of the Lord our God we have Apostolic Succession from St Peter down to Pope Francis. By the power of God and through the workings of the Holy Spirit we will stand firm upon our rock and our Church will continue to the end of time; to be the Light of the world.

We pray Lord that You watch over our Holy father Pope Francis and keep him in Your loving care. Be with him, strengthen and guide him so that He and together with your Shepherds will lead us faithfully unto You. Amen

First reading

1 Peter 5:1-4 ·
Watch over the flock, not simply as a duty but gladly

Now I have something to tell your elders: I am an elder myself, and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and with you I have a share in the glory that is to be revealed. Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, because God wants it; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it. Never be a dictator over any group that is put in your charge, but be an example that the whole flock can follow. When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the crown of unfading glory.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-19
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 21, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 20, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of God!

The most generous people I know and have witnessed are the poor or those who have experienced poverty. They share with joy and freely from what little they have as if they they share out of their abundance. They know not for certain when their next meal will be, they only know that their brethren not necessarily of blood is together with them and for that they rejoice. Another day to live in God’s grace they might say. Truly the Lord our God is closest to the poor and the poor in spirit. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” Mark 8:36

When we are humble, hungry and thirsting after the Lord our God to fill our spiritual emptiness and poverty. To know that we need His wisdom, His healing grace and strength upon us, only then are we fully united with Him. We not only embrace our sufferings but seek to unite them with His for the redemption of the world. Every little suffering or sacrifice is an opportunity to draw closer to Him for us, our loved ones and our neighbour.

Lord Jesus, show us Your way, Your truth and life and we will follow. Amen

First reading

James 2:1-9 ·

God chose the poor but you do not respect them

My brothers, do not try to combine faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, with the making of distinctions between classes of people. Now suppose a man comes into witnessed synagogue, beautifully dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes, and you take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, ‘Come this way to the best seats’; then you tell the poor man, ‘Stand over there’ or ‘You can sit on the floor by my foot-rest.’ Can’t you see that you have used two different standards in your mind, and turned yourselves into judges, and corrupt judges at that?
Listen, my dear brothers: it was those who are poor according to the world that God chose, to be rich in faith and to be the heirs to the kingdom which he promised to those who love him. In spite of this, you have no respect for anybody who is poor. Isn’t it always the rich who are against you? Isn’t it always their doing when you are dragged before the court? Aren’t they the ones who insult the honourable name to which you have been dedicated? Well, the right thing to do is to keep the supreme law of scripture: you must love your neighbour as yourself; but as soon as you make distinctions between classes of people, you are committing sin, and under condemnation for breaking the Law.

Gospel

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

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

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 19, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Oh how I miss Your touch Lord Jesus! Your loving embrace in Holy Communion. How You have helped me see more clearly my sisters and brothers in You. Touch me once again Lord that I may see more fully with my heart, all the wonder of Your works. But most of all that I may see my brethren who are in need, so that I may reach out and minister to them in Your name.

Let my prayer and reflections on Your living Word draw me every closer to You. That I may dwell in Your love and bring Your love to those in need by the service of my hands and feet. And may all that I say and do be a reflection of You, my Lord and my God. Amen

First reading

James 1:19-27

The Word is not only to be listened to, but obeyed

Remember this, my dear brothers: be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper; God’s righteousness is never served by man’s anger; so do away with all the impurities and bad habits that are still left in you – accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. But you must do what the word tells you, and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. To listen to the word and not obey is like looking at your own features in a mirror and then, after a quick look, going off and immediately forgetting what you looked like. But the man who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and makes that his habit – not listening and then forgetting, but actively putting it into practice – will be happy in all that he does.
Nobody must imagine that he is religious while he still goes on deceiving himself and not keeping control over his tongue; anyone who does this has the wrong idea of religion. Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.

Gospel

Mark 8:22-26
The blind man was cured and could see everything distinctly

Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, ‘Can you see anything?’ The man, who was beginning to see, replied, ‘I can see people; they look like trees to me, but they are walking about.’ Then he laid his hands on the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly. And Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’