Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts & Reflections’ Category


What sort of legacy are we leaving behind for our children and their children? Will they have faith? Faith in the one loving God who will see them through it all? Faith that is alive through the living water that never runs dry? Or will that faith be lukewarm? Will it cease to exists after we are buried?

If we truly love our children will we not want them to live life to the full? And as you and I know, life to the full is and only to be found in a relationship with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. At the very end will we not want our children to be reunited with us in heaven? What then are we doing for their souls? To prepare them for the challenges they will face ahead? While we are still able, it is our duty to lead them on the journey into the ‘promised land’ so that together with all the angels and the saints before us we will one day rejoice as we praise, worship and glorify the Lord our God in Heaven.

Likewise all of us are created in the likeness and image of God our Father. Hence all of us are His children and therefore we must love one another as He loves us. It is our duty to lead one another into greater Holiness thereby paving the way to our Heavenly inheritance. Let us not look upon our differences but the unity to be found through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

Deuteronomy 31:1-8 ·
Joshua shall cross the Jordan at your head

Moses proceeded to address these words to the whole of Israel, ‘I am one hundred and twenty years old now, and can no longer come and go as I will. The Lord has said to me, “You shall not cross this Jordan.” It is the Lord your God who will cross it at your head to destroy these nations facing you and dispossess them; and Joshua too shall cross at your head, as the Lord has said. The Lord will treat them as he treated Sihon and Og the Amorite kings and their land, destroying them. The Lord will hand them over to you, and you will deal with them in exact accordance with the commandments I have enjoined on you. Be strong, stand firm, have no fear of them, no terror, for the Lord your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you.’
Then Moses summoned Joshua and in the presence of all Israel said to him, ‘Be strong, stand firm; you are going with this people into the land the Lord swore to their fathers he would give them; you are to give it into their possession. The Lord himself will lead you; he will be with you; he will not fail you or desert you. Have no fear, do not be disheartened by anything.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14
Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me

The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
‘See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.
‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 12, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The Lord of Lords, King of Kings, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ laid down His life to pay for us a debt He did not owe, for He knew it was too hefty a debt for us to ever pay. So that we might have life to the full with and in Him.

Can you fathom the awesome, abundant love the Lord our God has for you and me? The intimate relationship He desires for us to have with Him. When it is we who should desire it more!? One full shekel paid fully for Peter and Himself at the temple. The full communion we have with Him at every Eucharistic Celebration through the one for all Holy sacrifice at the altar. Are we then living our fully redeemed lives for His glory?

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world have mercy on us and grant us Your peace. Now and forever Amen.

First reading

Deuteronomy 10:12-22 ·
The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords

Moses said to the people:
‘Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you? Only this: to fear the Lord your God, to follow all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, to keep the commandments and laws of the Lord that for your good I lay down for you today.
‘To the Lord your God belong indeed heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all it contains; yet it was on your fathers that the Lord set his heart for love of them, and after them of all the nations chose their descendants, you yourselves, up to the present day. Circumcise your heart then and be obstinate no longer; for the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, triumphant and terrible, never partial, never to be bribed. It is he who sees justice done for the orphan and the widow, who loves the stranger and gives him food and clothing. Love the stranger then, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. It is the Lord your God you must fear and serve; you must cling to him; in his name take your oaths. He it is you must praise, he is your God: for you he has done these great and terrible things you have seen with your own eyes; and though your fathers numbered only seventy when they went down to Egypt, the Lord your God has made you as many as the stars of heaven.’

Gospel

Matthew 17:22-27
‘They will put the Son of Man to death’

One day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men; they will put him to death, and on the third day he will be raised to life again.’ And a great sadness came over them.
When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel came to Peter and said, ‘Does your master not pay the half-shekel?’ ‘Oh yes’ he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when he replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’


Can you imagine the Lord teaching you how to face very challenging situations that you will be facing ahead through His Shepherd and His Word then minutes later He tests to see if you had learnt it and know how to apply it?

This just happened to me on the 2nd day of the combined ministry retreat! Put the helmet of salvation on. Eph 6:17 know that you are redeemed. No one can say anything about you or demeaning to you because you know who you are before the Lord. And again 1 Peter 5:8-9 remain alert or rather sober. Do not allow yourself to be drunk with anger, irritation, despair etc.

Then guess what, Phil 2:14 began behind me and targeted at me! Well I quickly put on the helmet of salvation and refused to allow anger to consume me, slowly but surely I managed to let it go. Praise the Lord!

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How much do you give for Holy Mother Church? How much do you offer to the Lord your God for His people? From your surpluses? Spare change? Spare time? Thin sowing means thin reaping!

For unless we die to the notion that all that we have, we got by our own means and efforts, we will trust only in ourselves. And hoard everything for ourselves. Even what gifts and talents we possess will be used for, our own ends. How much of all these if anything will we take with us when we die?!

Let us give till it hurts and then some more, for we know that all we will ever have comes from the Lord our God. We give all in love and for love. We give not to receive but receive from God our Father we will. For His graces and blessings flow abundantly unto His children who are obedient to His Son, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. For having died in Him we will rise in and with Him. Amen

First reading

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 ·
God loves a cheerful giver

Do not forget: thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver. And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you – he will make sure that you will always have all you need for yourselves in every possible circumstance, and still have something to spare for all sorts of good works. As scripture says: He was free in almsgiving, and gave to the poor: his good deeds will never be forgotten.
The one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide you with all the seed you want and make the harvest of your good deeds a larger one.

Gospel

John 12:24-26
If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvest

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I tell you, most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.’

On Today’s Gospel

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

I will obey and follow Him!

Two simple words, obey and follow. Yet most find both too difficult to put into action. How do you obey the Lord your God if you do not hear His will for you? Or DO NOT want to hear His will for YOU? I will have to give up many things which I am not prepared to give up just yet. I treasure my autonomy! I want to do what I what, when I want to. One hour a week I set aside for God providing there is no long weekend otherwise a much needed holiday I will take and I’m sure he will understand.

How many i’s did you hear above? ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.’says our Lord Jesus Christ. That is to trust the Lord Your God with all your plans and dreams. To know that He loves you ever so dearly and that He wills only the best for you.

For unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Therefore to die for our Lord, is to rise with and in Him. Many are the fruits we will bear for Him. You have not lived till you have lived in the Lord!

I will obey and follow You Lord. Amen

First reading

Deuteronomy 4:32-40 ·
‘Did ever a people before you hear the voice of the living God, and remain alive?’

Moses said to the people: ‘Put this question to the ages that are past, that went before you, from the time God created man on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything ever heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you heard it, and remain alive? Has any god ventured to take to himself one nation from the midst of another by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors – all this that the Lord your God did for you before your eyes in Egypt?
‘This he showed you so that you might know that the Lord is God indeed and that there is no other. He let you hear his voice out of heaven for your instruction; on earth he let you see his great fire, and from the heart of the fire you heard his word. Because he loved your fathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out from Egypt, openly showing his presence and his great power, driving out in front of you nations greater and more powerful than yourself, and brought you into their land to give it you for your heritage, as it is still today.
‘Understand this today, therefore, and take it to heart: the Lord is God indeed, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other. Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children may prosper and live long in the land that the Lord your God gives you for ever.’

Gospel

Matthew 16:24-28
Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?
‘For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and, when he does, he will reward each one according to his behaviour. I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.’


By our baptism we have been anointed priest, prophet and king. And our primary duty is to lead one another into greater Holiness. That is to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. We may wear many different hats but all with the same role, to take the lead towards Holiness. Whether you are a spouse, a father or mother, child, student, office manager, employer or employee it makes no difference. For our call is to reflect the Holiness of the Lord our God in all that we say and do.

How is this accomplished then if all that people see is impatience? Dismay on our faces? Sarcasm in speech and anger in our tone? Do we reflect the ingratitude of others by our very own ingratitude? Did we somehow forget that all that we have, gifts, talents and power if any were all given to us by the grace of our loving and merciful God? How are we showing the love and mercy of the Lord our God that we preach about?

Yes indeed our Christian call to take up our cross to follow Jesus is never going to be easy. The cross we bear for Him and on the narrow and winding path will be arduous indeed. But we can gladly bear it with joy in our hearts for we know He is with us and leading us home to Him. We know this when we are in communion with Him, for we share in His thoughts and in His ways. For He has told us that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways.” Amen

First reading

Numbers 20:1-13 ·
Moses makes water flow from the rock at Meribah

The sons of Israel, the whole community, arrived in the first month at the desert of Zin. The people settled at Kadesh. It was there that Miriam died and was buried.
There was no water for the community, and they were all united against Moses and Aaron. The people challenged Moses: ‘We would rather have died,’ they said ‘as our brothers died before the Lord! Why did you bring the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, only to let us die here, ourselves and our cattle? Why did you lead us out of Egypt, only to bring us to this wretched place? It is a place unfit for sowing, it has no figs, no vines, no pomegranates, and there is not even water to drink!’
Leaving the assembly, Moses and Aaron went to the door of the Tent of Meeting. They threw themselves face downward on the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Take the branch and call the community together, you and your brother Aaron. Then, in full view of them, order this rock to give water. You will make water flow for them out of the rock, and provide drink for the community and their cattle.’
Moses took up the branch from before the Lord, as he had directed him. Then Moses and Aaron called the assembly together in front of the rock and addressed them, ‘Listen now, you rebels. Shall we make water gush from this rock for you?’ And Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the branch; water gushed in abundance, and the community drank and their cattle too.
Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe that I could proclaim my holiness in the eyes of the sons of Israel, you shall not lead this assembly into the land I am giving them.’
These are the waters of Meribah, where the sons of Israel challenged the Lord and he proclaimed his holiness.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-23
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.’ Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
From that time Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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When will we STOP doubting and believe wholly and wholeheartedly in the love the Lord our God has for us and that He is truly an indeed an almighty God; that nothing is impossible for Him!?

Why do we allow obstacles and challenges deter us from living out our faith with zeal and fervour? Such that we are unable to bear witness to Him? Can the Lord our God not change the hearts of the non-believers in our family? Can He not change the mind of the stubborn spouse? Can He not take away the pain and suffering of a loved one who is critically ill? Can He not forgive us the most heinous sin we have committed against man and Him? What or who are the ‘giants’ in our lives that prevents us from entering into the promised land? What other fears or doubts do you have? Turn to Jesus and lay them at His feet and He will cast them out. He truly is the Lord of Lords, king of Kings!

Let our prayers not be casual but fervent with zeal and love for Him. On our knees we shake and heaven and earth as He will surely say to us ”By your great faith your prayers are answered.” Let this be our faith now and forevermore. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Numbers 13:1-2,25-14:1,26-29,34-35
The spies return from Canaan

The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Paran and said, ‘Send out men, one from each tribe, to make a reconnaissance of this land of Canaan which I am giving to the sons of Israel. Send the leader of each tribe.’
At the end of forty days, they came back from their reconnaissance of the land. They sought out Moses, Aaron and the whole community of Israel, in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They made their report to them, and to the whole community, and showed them the produce of the country.
They told them this story, ‘We went into the land to which you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey; this is its produce. At the same time, its inhabitants are a powerful people; the towns are fortified and very big; yes, and we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekite holds the Negeb area, the Hittite, Amorite and Jebusite the highlands, and the Canaanite the sea coast and the banks of the Jordan.’
Caleb harangued the people gathered about Moses: ‘We must march in,’ he said ‘and conquer this land: we are well able to do it.’ But the men who had gone up with him answered, ‘We are not able to march against this people; they are stronger than we are.’ And they began to disparage the country they had reconnoitred to the sons of Israel, ‘The country we went to reconnoitre is a country that devours its inhabitants. Every man we saw there was of enormous size. Yes, and we saw giants there (the sons of Anak, descendants of the Giants). We felt like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.’
At this, the whole community raised their voices and cried aloud, and the people wailed all that night.
The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said:
‘I have heard the complaints which the sons of Israel make against me. Say to them, “As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – I will deal with you according to the very words you have used in my hearing. In this wilderness your dead bodies will fall, all you men of the census, all you who were numbered from the age of twenty years and over, you who have complained against me. For forty days you reconnoitred the land. Each day shall count for a year: for forty years you shall bear the burden of your sins, and you shall learn what it means to reject me.” I, the Lord, have spoken: this is how I will deal with this perverse community that has conspired against me. Here in this wilderness, to the last man, they shall die.’

Gospel

Matthew 15:21-28
The Canaanite woman debates with Jesus and saves her son

Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’ He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.