Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 20, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

I know I am created in the image and likeness of God my Father. All that I am and all that I have comes from Him.

If one truly has faith and believes wholeheartedly in the above statements then why would it be difficult to let go of your possessions? Of your pride? Your titles of honour? To pick up your cross and follow Jesus?

Instead many choose to hold on to all of their possessions and even then, some desire to take hold the possessions of others! Will they only learn when everything is taken away?

The only desire we should have is to enter into loving embrace of the Lord our God and to be with Him in His kingdom. Let us then hold fast to His commands, to love Him and our neighbour with all our hearts. To follow His way, the truth and the life. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 24:15-24
The Lord will profane his sanctuary

The 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 own

There 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.

Prayer of The Faithful

Posted: August 18, 2018 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

When the children of God gather in Jesus’s name to pray for a special intention whether they are laying hands over someone or lifting up their hearts praying in unity. The Lord in His mercy and love answers their prayers. For He knows the sincerity of their hearts and the intention and desire to grow in their relationship with Him and in His love.

Thank You Lord for ministering to all of us even while we were praying for a only few individuals. And how swiftly You act! Glory and Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

*update*after this reflection I picked up the book I’m reading turned a page and read this….


Man of God

I have often looked upon those few men and women of God (laity> and marveled at how they seem so much closer to the kingdom of God. Moreover they would never think of themselves as such though they simply are by the way they live their lives. How could I ever walk in their shoes? It seemed impossible for me.

Today when I heard someone call me a man of God, I broke down and wept. I know it is an affirmation, but it also weighed heavily on me that I am very much a sinner fully in need of the Lord’s grace.

No this is not the first time, I have been called as such. In fact a total of four times as far as I can remember, once by a priest. Still I would rather be known simply as a servant of God in need of His mercy. Do pray for me… 🙏🏼❤️

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 18, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

A little child is trusting, loving, curious, innocent and in awe of God our Father’s creations. Thankful and grateful for all it has been given even though it may not always know how to express it. This is the heart of a child which belongs in the kingdom of heaven. Can we not possess such a childlike heart?

While it is true that the sins of the father or mother for that matter, can be passed on to the child; in that they either pickup the wrong thing learnt from the parent’s mistakes or they react badly to them. Still they can repent and be changed through the loving mercy and grace of the Lord our God. For the Lord looks at the heart of the individual child who is unique in His eyes.

I am a child of God unique in His eyes and so loved by Him. And so are you. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32
You, not your children, will suffer for your sins: so repent, and live

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows:
‘Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge”?
‘As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel. See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.
‘The upright man is law-abiding and honest; he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the idols of the House of Israel, does not seduce his neighbour’s wife or sleep with a woman during her periods. He oppresses no one, returns pledges, never steals, gives his own bread to the hungry, his clothes to the naked. He never charges usury on loans, takes no interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between man and man, keeps my laws and sincerely respects my observances – such a man is truly upright. It is the Lord who speaks.
‘But if anyone has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, then this son shall certainly not live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will have to die, and his blood be on his own head.
House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!’

Gospel

Matthew 19:13-15
Do not stop the little children coming to me

People brought little children to Jesus, for him to lay his hands on them and say a prayer. The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 17, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Sons and daughters of God our Father, born into holiness through the Holy Spirit by the waters of our baptism. Indeed we were created for Heaven, our final destination.

And so we must refrain from being tempted by the wiles of this world. To remain pure in thought, word and deed. So that He the Lord our God can dwell in us as we dwell in Him, in perfect Holy Communion. Then all who look upon us can see that we are Christians by our fidelity, integrity and love for one another as we; love, honour and worship the Lord our God.

Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. One God forever and ever. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63
I clothed you with my own splendour but you made yourself a prostitute

The 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 body

Some 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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The painful reality of unforgiveness is that we remain bound by our anger, hurts and pain. Such that it drives a wedge between us and our merciful ever loving God. For when there is no mercy there is no love. And God our Father is love.

Because our hearts are not quite centred on the Lord our God by our unforgiveness;all else spins into disarray. Our sins get the better of us and we find ourselves exiled and alone.

Let us never forget that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered a terrible death for us and He forgave us from the cross in which He hung. No matter how great the pain anyone has caused us, let us turn to our Lord for His healing grace and forgive them their trespasses as we want to be forgiven for our many trespassers against the almighty ever loving God. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 12:1-12
The oracle of exile against the whole House of Israel

The 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 15, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Is it not fitting that the mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, our mother was gently brought up into heaven when her life on earth had ended?

Where she now sits as queen of heaven interceding for all nations to come into full knowledge of her Son our Lord Jesus Christ. To turn away from sin and enter into a deep personal relationship with Him. She is Co-Redemptrix a humble role she assumes to save souls through and with Her beloved son our Lord.

Mother dear O pray for us, now and forever. Amen

First reading

Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman adorned with the sun

The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail.
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, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days.
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, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.’

Second reading

1 Corinthians 15:20-26
Christ will be brought to life as the first-fruits and then those who belong to him

Christ 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 1:39-56
The Almighty has done great things for me

Mary 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 Lord
and 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.