Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 18, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Without proper disposition, reverence and right worship of the Lord our God, then what we offer Him is superficial, out of duty then of love. Hence begs the question on what is our relationship with Him? If we truly love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul then would we not offer Him the best we have?

The Pharisees were given many signs pointing to the Messiah who would come to save them. And when He came to live among them they could not see Him for who He was. Their hearts, minds and souls were not ready to receive Him. They were full of themselves and thought they could earn their way to heaven by observances! Hence they looked but did not see!

By our baptism we are inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have an indelible mark conferred upon us as we enter into a covenantal relationship with the Lord our God. We are His children. Jesus who was, who is and who is to come will lead us to everlasting life with Him. Let us then be ourselves signs of His love today and every day. Amen

First reading

Genesis 4:1-15,25
The mark of Cain

The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. ‘I have acquired a man with the help of the Lord’ she said. She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for the Lord, while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast. The Lord asked Cain, ‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head? But if you are ill disposed, is not sin at the door like a crouching beast hungering for you, which you must master?’ Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out’; and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.
The Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I do not know’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’ ‘What have you done?’ the Lord asked. ‘Listen to the sound of your brother’s blood, crying out to me from the ground. Now be accursed and driven from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. When you till the ground it shall no longer yield you any of its produce. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth.’ Then Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. See! Today you drive me from this ground. I must hide from you, and be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!’ ‘Very well, then,’ the Lord replied ‘if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken for him.’ So the Lord put a mark on Cain, to prevent whoever might come across him from striking him down.
Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth, ‘because God has granted me other offspring’ she said ‘in place of Abel, since Cain has killed him.’

Gospel

Mark 8:11-13
No sign shall be given to this generation

The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Our loving God will never abandon you because of His great love for you. So while there are consequences for your sins and penance to be done it is only so that you can grow in love, faith and Holiness. We must therefore own up to our sins and turn to Jesus with contrite hearts and He will free us from our sins to live in His love. He will embrace us and clothe us with ‘skins’, His grace so that we can live in the warmth of His love. He restores for us the way to eternal life with Him.

Our loving Lord and saviour Jesus Christ knew that on our pilgrim journey back that we run on empty. So again in His great love for us He nourished us of Himself, in the Holy Eucharist. Filling us with His grace and love. We partake of the bread of life, so that we can move onward to share in His love now and forever. Amen

First reading

Genesis 3:9-24 †
The expulsion from the Garden of Eden

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

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

To the woman he said:

‘I will multiply your pains in childbearing,
you shall give birth to your children in pain.
Your yearning shall be for your husband,
yet he will lord it over you.’

To the man he said, ‘Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,

‘Accursed be the soil because of you.
With suffering shall you get your food from it
every day of your life.
It shall yield you brambles and thistles,
and you shall eat wild plants.
With sweat on your brow
shall you eat your bread,
until you return to the soil,
as you were taken from it.
For dust you are
and to dust you shall return.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live. The Lord God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on. Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live for ever.’ So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Gospel

Mark 8:1-10
The feeding of the four thousand

A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 15, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Evil lurks and seeks to trap those on the journey towards Holiness. Planting seeds of doubt, wanton suggestions, playing on our unfettered desires. Many desire power but not the responsibility to wield it with loving care. Yes the Lord our God desires that we be like Him but how can we be like Him, apart from Him? Those who live in sin cannot hear Him nor can they open their lips to praise His Holy name. Those who have fallen and returned to Him can attest that being apart from the Lord our God is more painful than anything!

Still our loving Saviour comes to us when we call out to Him with contrite hearts. “Be opened!” He commands… Be free from your sins, be opened to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, to receive my precious body and blood. Then go glorify the Lord your God by your lives!

Thank You Abba Father, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit. Glory and Praise to You now and forever. Amen

First reading

Genesis 3:1-8 †
The fall of man

The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, “You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Gospel

Mark 7:31-37
‘He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak’

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 14, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We were fashioned different and yet are of the same flesh. Created in the image and likeness of God. To complement, enhance, accompany one another on our pilgrim journey to heaven. And we have been given the most precious gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. So that we can unite ourselves with Him, the Word made flesh. One Body, One Spirit, One Universal Church!

Do we instead look at our differences? Allowing it to divide and to scatter us. To find the tiniest fault, crack causing it to expand and shatter? Nay! sisters and brothers let us always turn to Christ our Lord who gathers us together. Who wills that we be one with and in Him. Let us build upon our gifts and collective strengths, allowing Him to perfect our many weaknesses. As we have prayed for Him to look not upon our sins but on the faith of our Church. And it is by this faith we have in Him that we are saved.

Lord Jesus Christ, You are the light of all nations. Let Your light shine through Your faithful. Now and forever. Amen

A reading from

the Book of Genesis 2:18-25

The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.” So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed: “This at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh! This is to be called woman, for this was taken from man.” This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.
Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame in front of each other.

A reading from

the holy Gospel according to Mark7:24-30

Jesus left Gennesaret and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not pass unrecognised. A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him straightaway and came and fell at his feet. Now the woman was a pagan, by birth a Syrophoenician, and she begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter. And he said to her, “The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.” But she spoke up: “Ah yes, sir,” she replied, “but the house-dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps.” And he said to her, “For saying this, you may go home happy: the devil has gone out of your daughter.” So she went off to her home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone.

On Today’s Gospel SG

Posted: February 14, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

How Blessed are we to have the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. When indeed our good shepherd reigns. Where the Lord our God dwells, so His flock gathers to honour, love and worship Him.

You have Blessed Your people Lord with a Shepherd after your own heart. Whose guidance and vision to build a vibrant, evangelistic and missionary Church has set the churches of Singapore on fire for love of You.

Bless and anoint Your Church Lord so that together we will lead one another into greater holiness and into our heavenly inheritance. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 8:22-23,27-30 †
‘Listen to the prayer your servant makes in this place’

In the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord and, stretching out his hands towards heaven, said, ‘O Lord, God of Israel, not in heaven above nor on earth beneath is there such a God as you, true to your covenant and your kindness towards your servants when they walk wholeheartedly in your way. Yet will God really live with men on the earth? Why, the heavens and their own heavens cannot contain you. How much less this house that I have built! Listen to the prayer and entreaty of your servant, O Lord my God; listen to the cry and to the prayer your servant makes to you today. Day and night let your eyes watch over this house, over this place of which you have said, “My name shall be there.” Listen to the prayer that your servant will offer in this place.
‘Hear the entreaty of your servant and of Israel your people as they pray in this place. From heaven where your dwelling is, hear; and, as you hear, forgive.’

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 13, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The Lord our God did not just Will us into being, He lovingly fashioned us. And knowing we will bring harm upon ourselves for lack of complete knowledge and wisdom, He willed that we rely on Him till perhaps we were ready. How much have changed from the very beginning? Aren’t we still disobedient? Impatient? Stubborn? Wilful?

Are our hearts and minds connected to the Lord our God? Do we constantly seek His wisdom, knowledge and guidance? For if we are not connected to the source of life then we are likely to go awry and lost to the darkness. For indeed all that is good comes from within us when our hearts are connected to all that is good, the Lord our God. It is when we are disconnected that evil lurks to pounce!

Lord Jesus Christ You are the vine and we are the branches. Let us never be apart from You. Amen

First reading

Genesis 2:4-9,15-17 †
The Lord God fashioned man out of dust

At the time when the Lord God made earth and heaven there was as yet no wild bush on the earth nor had any wild plant yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth, nor was there any man to till the soil. However, a flood was rising from the earth and watering all the surface of the soil. The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being.
The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. The Lord God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it. Then the Lord God gave the man this admonition, ‘You may eat indeed of all the trees in the garden. Nevertheless of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat, for on the day you eat of it you shall most surely die.’

Gospel

Mark 7:14-23
It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean

Jesus called the people to him and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
When he had gone back into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Do you not understand either? Can you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot make him unclean, because it does not go into his heart but through his stomach and passes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he pronounced all foods clean.) And he went on, ‘It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 9, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Often we overlook the fact that as leaders of our church communities are bound to look after the souls of our members. To nurture their growth towards Holiness and to lead them into a deeper relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord. We can only do so if we are ourselves are leading a grace filled sacramental life. Going often for the Sacrament of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. Spending time with our Lord in prayer and Adoration. Through the Holy spirit we will be guided on how best to lead our flock.

Who better to lead us then our faithful and loving shepherd our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Through His example and by His Word we become better shepherds to lead His flock.

Lord Jesus Bless, anoint and guide your Shepherds so that we may serve You and Your flock faithfully. Amen

First reading

Hebrews 13:15-17,20-21 †
May God turn us all into whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ

Through Christ, let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, a verbal sacrifice that is offered every time we acknowledge his name. Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are sacrifices that please God.
Obey your leaders and do as they tell you, because they must give an account of the way they look after your souls; make this a joy for them to do, and not a grief – you yourselves would be the losers. I pray that the God of peace, who brought our Lord Jesus back from the dead to become the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant, may make you ready to do his will in any kind of good action; and turn us all into whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.

Gospel

Mark 6:30-34
They were like sheep without a shepherd

The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.