Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category


Time and time again we hear how the spoken Word of God breathes life to where there is none. How it turns hearts from stone into flesh. Brings about renewal and change otherwise thought impossible.

Yet many still refuse to embrace and live the Word of God in their lives. They choose instead to live out their days as closet Christians (Catholics). Happy to simply attend the Eucharistic Celebration as an obligation then go about their week trying their best to avoid sin and temptations. Is this the life the Lord our God wants for us?

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (Jn 10:10) says the Lord and so we must open our hearts to receive our Risen Lord Jesus Christ deep into our very being. We should then desire to live in His light by being the light for others. And soon we will become great instruments of His grace and mercy so that those who live in darkness will be lead into the light of Christ. This is how we truly live grace filled lives to the full. Through Him, with Him and in Him. Amen

First reading

Ezra 1:1-6 ·
Cyrus king of Persia frees the Jews to return to Jerusalem

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord that was spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom: ‘Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia, “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; he has ordered me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah to build the Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel – he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, wherever he lives, be helped by the people of that place with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, as well as voluntary offerings for the Temple of God which is in Jerusalem.”’
Then the heads of families of Judah and of Benjamin, the priests and the Levites, in fact all whose spirit had been roused by God, prepared to go and rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem; and all their neighbours gave them every assistance with silver, gold, goods, cattle, quantities of costly gifts and with voluntary offerings of every kind.

Gospel

Luke 8:16-18
Anyone who has will be given more

Jesus said to the crowds:
‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’


Ah how I wish I could declare like St Paul, that I am a prisoner in the Lord! Then I will not demand to be treated fairly. To be included or affirmed! To be recognised and thanked. To be loved in return for having loved!

Being His prisoner would liberate me from the cares of this world! I can face all hardship, trials and tribulations for I am not alone. My Lord is yoked with me!

I am a sinful man not worthy yet to be called a prisoner of my Lord Jesus Christ, so I turn to Him for His mercy and grace. That one day soon I will mature in my faith and in the fullness of Christ my Lord Himself. Amen

St Matthew pray for us…

First reading

Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13 ·
We are all to come to unity, fully mature in the knowledge of the Son of God

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

Gospel

Matthew 9:9-13
It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick

As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’


Praying and going for regular Mass and Adoration does not make one Holy and so there is no need. A praying community does not help in spiritual growth, if members do not come for meetings we must find out the ‘real’ reason why they do not and change ourselves first. These are words from a brother serving in ministry for more than ten years and still serving! What keeps him going is when parishioners smile at him from time to time. Then there are those who congregate for drinks and merry making and part of their activity is to gossip about church members who are ‘unholy’ or who have appeared ‘Holy’ but have sinned greatly by cheating, stealing or having affairs. Really? So we can see clearly how the struggles with the early Church communities in the days of St Paul are prevalent today and very likely in the ages to come.

Yes indeed we are all sinners and because we are all sinners it is all the more we need our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our lives! That is why we strive for holiness by praying, by learning the will of God for us through His Word, by sitting by His feet before the Blessed Sacrament, by receiving Him and many graces through the reception of Holy Eucharist. So then we can grow and draw closer to Him each time. Yes we may fall from time to time yet we know He is patiently waiting for us when we seek Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to minister to us and set us free. We must therefore be outward looking in our faith, to reach out to others and to be there for others so as to lead them closer to Christ. Never ever neglecting the poor and those living in the peripheries.

In today’s Gospel although we hear little of the women mentioned they were all dedicated women of faith who devoted their lives in serving our Lord and the community. What little they must have had on their own yet they offered it all up. Women such as these, together with our Blessed Mother continue to be great models for us to follow. They carry their crosses in love for our Lord and for their fellow sisters and brothers. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 6:2-12
We brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it

This is what you are to teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit – with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit. Religion, of course, does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, let us be content with that. People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction. ‘The love of money is the root of all evils’ and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.
But, as a man dedicated to God, you must avoid all that. You must aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith and win for yourself the eternal life to which you were called when you made your profession and spoke up for the truth in front of many witnesses.

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 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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O Lord why do you love me so?

All those years You gently called me home to You and I walked on further away in silence. For had I responded I would have said” Leave me alone I want to live my life my own way!”

O Lord why do you love me so?

And so I ‘loved’ and lived a sinful life exploring the many forms of sexual delights. Unbridled tongue wielded as I pleased. Who was I? But one shrouded in my own mystery.

O Lord why do you love me so?

The further I travelled down the wide open road the harder my heart became. The seven daily Sins were my companions! Who could love me now? When I did know or understand love? Love is something you say or ‘do’ to get what you want!

O Lord why do you love me so?

Troubled, restless, despairing at my loss of my identity retaining only a shred of sanity and a tiny morsel of human dignity, I found myself at Your feet before the Blessed Sacrament weeping for all I had done and all I had failed to do. Then I set my gaze upon You and saw that You loved me and had never stopped! I was liberated from a debt I could not pay! You O Lord are Love!

I no longer ask “O Lord why do you love me so?” But instead ask, “Lord have I loved You more this day.” Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 4:12-16 ·
Be an example to all the believers

Do not let people disregard you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in exhaling love, your faith and your purity. Make use of the time until I arrive by reading to the people, preaching and teaching. You have in you a spiritual gift which was given to you when the prophets spoke and the body of elders laid their hands on you; do not let it lie unused. Think hard about all this, and put it into practice, and everyone will be able to see how you are advancing. Take great care about what you do and what you teach; always do this, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

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.’


Stop complaining! Stop making excuses! Busy, busy, busy! Appointment after appointment, plan after plan. No time for prayer, no time to read a book let alone the Bible. Really? Are you so busy about your Father in Heaven’s affairs? Are you busy with bringing the joy of the Gospel to those who despair? Are you busy touching the lives of those in need? If you are busy with all these then you will have no complaint. For you will be living your life in our Father’s love and in the shelter of His loving embrace.

The light of the world, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has come;to unite Heaven and earth. By His death and resurrection we are given the opportunity to live life to the full and for all eternity with Him. This powerful, wonderful and amazing light in which all darkness dissipates has been offered to each and every one of us. Do we eagerly welcome Him then with open heart, mind and soul? Ever grateful that He wants to minister to us and does so with great tender mercy and love. Or do we choose to live in our familiar darkness which shrouds all that is good within us? As for me and my house we choose to live in His light, even if it means we have to carry our crosses to follow Him.

Lord Jesus if I sing, I sing for You, if I dance, I dance for You. May all that I do bring You glory now and forevermore. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 3:14-16 ·
The mystery of our religion is very deep

At the moment of writing to you, I am hoping that I may be with you soon; but in case I should be delayed, I wanted you to know how people ought to behave in God’s family – that is, in the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is very deep indeed:

He was made visible in the flesh,
attested by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the pagans,
believed in by the world,
taken up in glory.

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 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Can you fathom a mother’s anguish of losing an only beloved son in the beginning of her twilight years. The sorrowful tears and despair of losing the love of her life whom she bore into the world now to being all alone. Perhaps very soon she might join him as there was no one else to fend or care for her. What work will there be for her to earn her keep? How will she live? Perhaps in the Gospel of today the mother too had already ‘died’ with her son. Then we see the great love of our ever loving God, Jesus who looked upon her with her great compassion and mercy. He raised them both from the dead! Two lives were restored, made whole once again and everyone rejoiced as they praised God for visiting His people.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He is ever loving and compassionate and will always be by our side in our own moments of anguish and despair. He will surely come to comfort and restore us for He hears us crying out to Him. How great indeed is our God!

We are all called to be merciful, compassionate and kind. More is therefore expected of us called to lead His flock and so we must model ourselves after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is mercy and love personified. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 3:1-13 ·
The president must be of impeccable character

Here is a saying that you can rely on: To want to be a presiding elder is to want to do a noble work. That is why the president must have an impeccable character. He must not have been married more than once, and he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher; not a heavy drinker, nor hot-tempered, but kind and peaceable. He must not be a lover of money. He must be a man who manages his own family well and brings his children up to obey him and be well-behaved: how can any man who does not understand how to manage his own family have responsibility for the church of God? He should not be a new convert, in case pride might turn his head and then he might be condemned as the devil was condemned. It is also necessary that people outside the Church should speak well of him, so that he never gets a bad reputation and falls into the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons must be respectable men whose word can be trusted, moderate in the amount of wine they drink and with no squalid greed for money. They must be conscientious believers in the mystery of the faith. They are to be examined first, and only admitted to serve as deacons if there is nothing against them. In the same way, the women must be respectable, not gossips but sober and quite reliable. Deacons must not have been married more than once, and must be men who manage their children and families well. Those of them who carry out their duties well as deacons will earn a high standing for themselves and be rewarded with great assurance in their work for the faith in Christ Jesus.

Gospel

Luke 7:11-17
The only son of his mother, and she a widow

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What can be easier than to say I will pray for you? Then quickly say a short prayer lifting the intentions for the person lest we forget then feel guilty about it later; and be done with it once and for all. Well let me be first to admit this is what I started out doing till I started growing in faith and pondering my Lord’s will in everything. So then where is the love behind this very act of praying for someone? Where and what is the kind of faith that lies within us? How then will we ever begin to pray for our enemies let alone love them?

Intercessory prayer is not simply mouthing prayers for someone or on behalf of someone for specific intentions. It is praying with all our heart and mind so as to touch the heart of the Lord our God by our faith, love steadfastness and determination. To plead with Him to come and touch the lives of whom we offer our prayers for. To seek earnestly that His grace, love and mercy will be upon them. Therefore when we pray this way it can take days, weeks, months, even years! And so our prayer list increases over time. By praying thus we unite ourselves and share in the sufferings, the hopes and dreams of those we pray for. And so when our prayers for them are answered, we too can truly rejoice. Even then when our prayers are answered not quite in the way we had hoped, still peace will reign in our hearts. For we know that the Lord our God only desires the best for all of us.

Let us then pray for one another reverently, fervently with all our heart. And may our almighty and ever living God bless us, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 2:1-8 ·
Pray for everyone to God, who wants everyone to be saved

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and – I am telling the truth and no lie – a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.
In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

Gospel

Luke 7:1-10
Give the word, and my servant will be healed

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.