Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 1, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus is the way, the Truth and life. Therefore I choose Jesus above all!

Easy to proclaim but is it easy to put our words into action? Especially when making very tough life choices? Choices that might lead us into ‘fire’ so to speak. Such as when the boss tells you to ignore an entry in the accounting books and that he will account for it? Choosing abortion? Choosing in vitro fertilisation? Choosing contraception? Choosing to be in a sexual same sex relationship? Choosing to hate? Choosing unforgiveness? Choosing to ignore the plight of the poor and marginalised in favour of capitalism? Choosing to fall into temptation and sin? And more…

If Jesus is truly my choice then I must be His disciple and that means I must carry my cross to follow Him. That means I choose to face head on the consequences that follow by being His disciple. And no matter how great the challenge, how great the pains He will be by side through it all. And with truth on my side, I am indeed free! Free from bondage and captivity. Free to live in His love and to serve Him and brethren.

You are the Way, the Truth and the life! Jesus I choose You. Amen

First reading

Daniel 3:14-20,24-25,28
God has sent his angel to rescue his servants

King Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have erected? When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, or any other instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you must be thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace; and where is the god who could save you from my power?’ Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your question hardly requires an answer: if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, O king, he will save us; and even if he does not, then you must know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have erected.’ These words infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar; his expression was very different now as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He gave orders for the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual, and commanded certain stalwarts from his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the burning fiery furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, ‘Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’ ‘But,’ he went on ‘I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: he has sent his angel to rescue the servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.’

Gospel

John 8:31-42
If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed

To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said:

‘If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples, you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free.’

They answered, ‘We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, “You will be made free”?’ Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
everyone who commits sin is a slave.
Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured, but the son’s place is assured.
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
I know that you are descended from Abraham; but in spite of that you want to kill me because nothing I say has penetrated into you. What I, for my part, speak of is what I have seen with my Father; but you, you put into action the lessons learnt from your father.’

They repeated, ‘Our father is Abraham.’ Jesus said to them:

‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did. As it is, you want to kill me when I tell you the truth as I have learnt it from God; that is not what Abraham did.
What you are doing is what your father does.’

‘We were not born of prostitution,’ they went on ‘we have one father: God.’ Jesus answered:

‘If God were your father, you would love me, since I have come here from God; yes, I have come from him; not that I came because I chose, no, I was sent, and by him.’


Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved.

Have we allowed the virus to infect our souls such that we have given up on prayer? On seeking the Lord in the quiet and being in His presence? While we must do everything in our power to keep ourselves and everyone safe, we must all…

Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved.

We are truly loved by the God our Heavenly Father and He will never abandon us. The greatest gift and sign of His love for us is His only Begotten Son who redeemed us by His death, so that we can rise to be life with our Him and our Heavenly Father. So let us is lovingly…

Look upon our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and be saved. Amen

Let us pray…

Jesus, Son of the living God have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen

First reading

Numbers 21:4-9 ·
If anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked up at the bronze serpent and lived

The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt the land of Edom. On the way 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 8:21-30
When you have lifted up the Son of Man then you will know that I am He

Jesus said to the Pharisees:

‘I am going away; you will look for me
and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.’

The Jews said to one another, ‘Will he kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ Jesus went on:

‘You are from below; I am from above.
You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He,
you will die in your sins.’

So they said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered:

‘What I have told you from the outset.
About you I have much to say and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is truthful, and what I have learnt from him
I declare to the world.’

They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said:

‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself: what the Father has taught me is what I preach; he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases him.’

As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.


We tend to see more clearly the sins and wrongdoings of others and are rather quick to judge, even condemn. But are we ourselves right before the Lord our God? Have we cast the first stone without first doing a proper examination of conscience? Many have given in to lustful desires be it from watching movies, television, social media, even from reading books of a certain persuasion. Their hearts are tainted and they are blinded by insatiable desires. Others lust for honour and power and will sometimes do anything to have it. Let us NOT cast reason aside, making every effort to turn our eyes to heaven, and Never forgetting its demands of virtue.

Before we spiral out of control let us make every effort to return to Jesus who is not waiting to condemn us but to save us from our sins. Make every effort to contact a priest to make an appointment for the Sacrament of reconciliation if you able to. And if the current situation does not allow you to, then turn your heart to Jesus and pray fervently to Him. And He will grant you, your hearts desire for full reconciliation with Him. Thereafter go and sin no more. Live and love fully in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

Daniel 13:41-62
Susannah and the elders

Susanna was condemned to death. She cried out as loud as she could, ‘Eternal God, you know all secrets and everything before it happens; you know that they have given false evidence against me. And now have I to die, innocent as I am of everything their malice has invented against me?’
The Lord heard her cry and, as she was being led away to die, he roused the holy spirit residing in a young boy named Daniel who began to shout, ‘I am innocent of this woman’s death!’ At which all the people turned to him and asked, ‘What do you mean by these words?’ Standing in the middle of the crowd he replied, ‘Are you so stupid, sons of Israel, as to condemn a daughter of Israel unheard, and without troubling to find out the truth? Go back to the scene of the trial: these men have given false evidence against her.’
All the people hurried back, and the elders said to Daniel, ‘Come and sit with us and tell us what you mean, since God has given you the gifts that elders have.’ Daniel said, ‘Keep the men well apart from each other for I want to question them.’ When the men had been separated, Daniel had one of them brought to him. ‘You have grown old in wickedness,’ he said ‘and now the sins of your earlier days have overtaken you, you with your unjust judgements, your condemnation of the innocent, your acquittal of guilty men, when the Lord has said, “You must not put the innocent and the just to death.” Now then, since you saw her so clearly, tell me what tree you saw them lying under?’ He replied, ‘Under a mastic tree.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God has already received your sentence from him and will slash you in half.’ He dismissed the man, ordered the other to be brought and said to him, ‘Spawn of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you, lust has led your heart astray! This is how you have been behaving with the daughters of Israel and they were too frightened to resist; but here is a daughter of Judah who could not stomach your wickedness! Now then, tell me what tree you surprised them under?’ He replied, ‘Under a holm oak.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God is waiting, with a sword to drive home and split you, and destroy the pair of you.’
Then the whole assembly shouted, blessing God, the saviour of those who trust in him. And they turned on the two elders whom Daniel had convicted of false evidence out of their own mouths. As prescribed in the Law of Moses, they sentenced them to the same punishment as they had intended to inflict on their neighbour. They put them to death; the life of an innocent woman was spared that day.

Gospel

John 8:1-11
‘Let the one among you who has not sinned be the first to throw a stone’

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?’ They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, ‘If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she replied. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus ‘go away, and do not sin any more.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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There will always be those who will succumb to mob mentality. Afterall it is better to be part of the majority then to be treated as a social outcast. Such is the ‘power’ of the mob that they are inclined to take their notion of the law into their own hands. Ok so not everyone will be subject to such extreme pressure but what about subtle ones like gossip through peer pressure. Is it not partaking in character assassination?

We who identify ourselves as Christian will find ourselves in varied forms of ostracism or in some form of persecution for standing up for justice and truth. The Gospel values we cherish will be challenged for it is the way of the cross. We must likewise cling to the knowledge that we are not of this world, for we will all return to the bosom of our Heavenly Father.

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Praise You. Because by Your Holy Cross, You Have Redeemed the World. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 11:18-20 ·
‘Let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten’

The Lord revealed it to me; I was warned. O Lord, that was when you opened my eyes to their scheming. I for my part was like a trustful lamb being led to the slaughter-house, not knowing the schemes they were plotting against me, ‘Let us destroy the tree in its strength, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten!’

But you, the Lord of Hosts, who pronounce a just sentence, who probe the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.

Gospel

John 7:40-52
The Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without hearing him

Several people who had been listening to Jesus said, ‘Surely he must be the prophet’, and some said, ‘He is the Christ’, but others said, ‘Would the Christ be from Galilee? Does not scripture say that the Christ must be descended from David and come from the town of Bethlehem?’ So the people could not agree about him. Some would have liked to arrest him, but no one actually laid hands on him.
The police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’ The police replied, ‘There has never been anybody who has spoken like him.’ ‘So’ the Pharisees answered ‘you have been led astray as well? Have any of the authorities believed in him? Any of the Pharisees? This rabble knows nothing about the Law – they are damned.’ One of them, Nicodemus – the same man who had come to Jesus earlier – said to them, ‘But surely the Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without giving him a hearing and discovering what he is about?’ To this they answered, ‘Are you a Galilean too? Go into the matter, and see for yourself: prophets do not come out of Galilee.’


Our hour has not yet come. That very hour in which we prepare ourselves to finally meet our creator. What have we to show for ourselves? Had we lived a life in the light of our Lord and saviour’s resurrection? Have we embraced our cross to follow Him? Have we united our sufferings with His for the redemption of the world? Have we cared for the least of our brethren?

Or have we instead embroiled ourselves with the workings, cares, calculations, schemings of the world. Only interested in what’s in it for me, myself, I and maybe a little for those we deem family. Survival of the fittest! Afterall we live in a dog eat dog World! Are we then surprised at all at the panic buying? Every mask for oneself? Why do people need so much toilet paper? Well isn’t it obvious that these people live out of their toilets? All their self centred problems and woes are easily and quickly flushed away together with their precious toilet paper. ( those with a genuine need for that many not included*grins*)

Let us be grateful our hour has not yet come, let us turn our hearts to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ who has redeemed us. So that we can live out Holy loving lives as we are called to do. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 2:1,12-22
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man and condemn him to a shameful death

The godless say to themselves, with their misguided reasoning:

‘Our life is short and dreary, nor is there any relief when man’s end comes, nor is anyone known who can give release from Hades.
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our breaches of the law and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
He claims to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a son of the Lord.
Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
his way of life is not like other men’s,
the paths he treads are unfamiliar.
In his opinion we are counterfeit;
he holds aloof from our doings as though from filth; he proclaims the final end of the virtuous as Happy and boasts of having God for his father.
Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’

This is the way they reason, but they are misled, their malice makes them blind.
They do not know the hidden things of God,
they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded, they can see no reward for blameless souls.

Gospel

John 7:1-2,10,25-30
They would have arrested him, but his time had not yet come

Jesus stayed in Galilee; he could not stay in Judaea, because the Jews were out to kill him.
As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, but quite privately, without drawing attention to himself. Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Isn’t this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking freely, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have made up their minds that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.’
Then, as Jesus taught in the Temple, he cried out:

‘Yes, you know me
and you know where I came from.
Yet I have not come of myself:
no, there is one who sent me
and I really come from him,
and you do not know him,
but I know him because I have come from him and it was he who sent me.’

They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.


With all that is going on in the world, the lock downs, the closures, the social distancing, where is the Lord our God? Has He left us to our own device? And so have we turned to our own ‘golden calfs’? Television, movies, pornography, games, alcohol, anything and everything else that would take our minds off the darkness of life. How different are we from the people in the time of Moses? Or have we become like the Pharisees and scribes? Concerned only with judging others, the system, the governance and everything else instead of turning out hearts to God? Instead of listening intently to His prophets, most importantly to God’s Will for us through His only Begotten Son Jesus!In truth our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ has never left! He is very much with us yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is us who have initiated our very own lock downs, we have closed our hearts to Him, we have distanced ourselves from Him! In His great mercy and love for us, He will never abandon us. In actual fact He wants us to discover the many new and varied ways He is present to us. Have we been listening to His promptings through His shepherds or have we shut our ears to them? Thinking they have let us down in some way?Let us stay awake and alert my dearest sisters and brothers in Christ. Let the love and grace of our Lord fill our hearts as we seek Him out in new ways. Amen

First reading

Exodus 32:7-14 ·
Moses pleads with the Lord his God to spare IsraelThe Lord spoke to Moses, ‘Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostatised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. “Here is your God, Israel,” they have cried “who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘I can see how headstrong these people are! Leave me, now, my wrath shall blaze out against them and devour them; of you, however, I will make a great nation.’
But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘why should your wrath blaze out against this people of yours whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with arm outstretched and mighty hand? Why let the Egyptians say, “Ah, it was in treachery that he brought them out, to do them to death in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth”? Leave your burning wrath; relent and do not bring this disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your servants to whom by your own self you swore and made this promise: I will make your offspring as many as the stars of heaven, and all this land which I promised I will give to your descendants, and it shall be their heritage for ever.’
So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

Gospel

John 5:31-47
You place your hopes on Moses but Moses will be your accuserJesus said to the Jews:‘Were I to testify on my own behalf,
my testimony would not be valid; but there is another witness who can speak on my behalf, and I know that his testimony is valid.You sent messengers to John, and he gave his testimony to the truth: not that I depend on human testimony; no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this. John was a lamp alight and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.But my testimony is greater than John’s:
the works my Father has given me to carry out, these same works of mine testify that the Father has sent me. Besides, the Father who sent me bears witness to me himself.
You have never heard his voice, you have never seen his shape, and his word finds no home in You because you do not believe in the one he has sent.‘You study the Scriptures, believing that in them you have eternal life; now these same scriptures testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me for life!
As for human approval, this means nothing to me. Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you.I have come in the name of my Father
and you refuse to accept me; if someone else comes in his own name you will accept him.
How can you believe, since you look to one another for approval and are not concerned with the approval that comes from the one God?Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father: you place your hopes on Moses, and Moses will be your accuser.
If you really believed him you would believe me too, since it was I that he was writing about; but if you refuse to believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 25, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In loving obedience I offer up my life to You, O Lord.Just as our Blessed mother Mary lovingly did from her birth. Through her fiat the light of the world was conceived, God’s grace and presence filled the earth; through God our Father’s only Begotten Son, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Through Him we are redeemed, through Him we are made Holy.And it all began with Jesus’s loving obedience to God our Heavenly Father. From the moment of His birth, throughout His life and at the culmination of His death it was always “Not my will, but yours be done.”There is nothing I own nor anything I possess that did not come from You O Lord. And so the only thing I can offer You Lord is the gift of my free Will.In loving obedience I offer up my life to You, O Lord. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 7:10-14,8:10 ·
The maiden is with childThe Lord spoke to Ahaz and said, ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.’ ‘No,’ Ahaz answered ‘I will not put the Lord to the test.’
Then Isaiah said:‘Listen now, House of David:
are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men without trying the patience of my God, too? The Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son
whom she will call Immanuel,
a name which means “God-is-with-us.”’

Second reading

Hebrews 10:4-10 ·
God’s will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.Bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are useless for taking away sins, and this is what Christ said, on coming into the world:You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin; then I said, just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book, ‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

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.