Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 7, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Like Lent before Easter, Advent is an opportunity to go out into the desert, that is to free ourselves from all that weighs us down and holds us back from being fully reconciled with God our loving Father. To make straight the path so that Jesus can come deep into our hearts. We are healed, restored, liberated such that we can leap for joy as we praise and worship the Lord our God. Through this journey we will arrive at the oasis that awaits us. An oasis only to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ!

Come Lord Jesus, come… Amen

Bishop St Ambrose pray for us…

First reading
Isaiah 35:1-10 ·
The return of the redeemed through the desert

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.

The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it,
the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendour of our God.

Strengthen all weary hands,
steady all trembling knees
and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look, your God is coming,
vengeance is coming,
the retribution of God;
he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
the ears of the deaf unsealed,
then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy;

for water gushes in the desert,
streams in the wasteland,
the scorched earth becomes a lake,
the parched land springs of water.

The lairs where the jackals used to live
become thickets of reed and papyrus…

And through it will run a highway undefiled
which shall be called the Sacred Way;
the unclean may not travel by it,
nor fools stray along it.

No lion will be there
nor any fierce beast roam about it,
but the redeemed will walk there,
for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.

They will come to Zion shouting for joy,
everlasting joy on their faces;
joy and gladness will go with them
and sorrow and lament be ended.


Gospel
Luke 5:17-26
‘Your sins are forgiven you: get up and walk’

Jesus was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing. Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he said to the paralysed man – ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
    They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

First Sunday of Advent

Posted: November 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Watch for Him: Scott Hahn Reflects on the First Sunday of Advent

Readings:
Isaiah 63:16–17, 19
Psalm 80:2–3, 15–16, 18–19
1 Corinthians 1:3–9
Mark 13:33–37

The new Church year begins with a plea for God’s visitation. “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,” the prophet Isaiah cries in today’s First Reading.

In today’s Psalm, too, we hear the anguished voice of Israel, imploring God to look down from His heavenly throne—to save and shepherd His people.

Today’s readings are relatively brief. Their language and “message” are deceptively simple. But we should take note of the serious mood and penitential aspect of the Liturgy today—as the people of Israel recognize their sinfulness, their failures to keep God’s covenant, their inability to save themselves.

And in this Advent season, we should see our own lives in the experience of Israel. As we examine our consciences, can’t we, too, find that we often harden our hearts, refuse His rule, wander from His ways, withhold our love from Him?

God is faithful, Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle. He is our Father. He has hearkened to the cry of His children, coming down from heaven for Israel’s sake and for ours to redeem us from our exile from God, to restore us to His love.

In Jesus, we have seen the Father (see John 14:8–9). The Father has let His face shine upon us. He is the good shepherd (see John 10:11–15) come to guide us to the heavenly kingdom. No matter how far we have strayed, He will give us new life if we turn to Him, if we call upon His holy name, if we pledge anew never again to withdraw from Him.

As Paul says today, He has given us every spiritual gift—especially the Eucharist and penance—to strengthen us as we await Christ’s final coming. He will keep us firm to the end—if we let Him.

So, in this season of repentance, we should heed the warning—repeated three times by our Lord in today’s Gospel—to be watchful, for we know not the hour when the Lord of the house will return.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 13, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In a blink of an eye we are fast approaching the third Sunday of Advent. It is time to pause and reflect on how well we have been responding to God’s call to deepen our relationship with Him during this season of Advent. Have we been steadfast in our observances? Are we more prayerful? Have we been more charitable with our time? More merciful and forgiving of others? Have we grown in holiness? Have we touched anyone with a simple act of kindness? Have we spoken to anyone of God’s love for us and for them? If we have Not done any of the above then is it not time to reconsider? To turn our hearts to our Lord Jesus Christ so that He transform us from within so as to live in the Holy Spirit in His love.

Sisters and brothers let us look ahead as we live in the light of our Risen Lord. Let the excitement build as we prepare our hearts in anticipation of His second coming, for soon Gaudete Sunday will be upon us and we rejoice a little as One family in Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 48:17-19 ·
If you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like a river

Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is good for you, I lead you in the way that you must go.
If only you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like a river, your integrity like the waves of the sea.
Your children would have been numbered like the sand, your descendants as many as its grains.
Never would your name have been cut off or blotted out before me.

Gospel

Matthew 11:16-19
The Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘What description can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place:

“We played the pipes for you,
and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges,
and you wouldn’t be mourners.”

‘For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom has been proved right by her actions.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus loves you and me personally. As we journey on towards the second week of Advent let our hearts be filled with hope. For our Lord wants to restore what is lost, to heal us and fill the void in our lives. Jesus is never deaf nor blind to our pleas and He will surely answer us when we call out to Him in faith.

Let us no longer grope and stumble in darkness nor cling to our sordid past. Hear His call to holiness as He commands us to open our eyes to see the light of our faith. Let us gaze upon His glory as we bear His light to all we meet, illuminating the way to Him.

Open my eyes to see You Lord, open my ears to hear You, open my heart to feel You, open my lips to praise You. Let me glorify You by my hands and feet. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 29:17-24 ·
In a very short time, the deaf will hear and the eyes of the blind will see

The Lord says this:

In a short time, a very short time,
shall not Lebanon become fertile land and fertile land turn into forest?
The deaf, that day, will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord even more and the poorest exult in the Holy One of Israel; for tyrants shall be no more, and scoffers vanish, and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil: those who gossip to incriminate others, those who try at the gate to trip the arbitrator and get the upright man’s case dismissed for groundless reasons.

Therefore the Lord speaks,
the God of the House of Jacob,
Abraham’s redeemer:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale, for he shall see what my hands have done in his midst,
he shall hold my name holy.
They will hallow the Holy One of Jacob, stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Erring spirits will learn wisdom
and murmurers accept instruction.

Gospel

Matthew 9:27-31
‘Take care that no-one learns about this’

As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, ‘Take care that no one learns about this.’ But when they had gone, they talked about him all over the countryside.


As we draw closer to Advent, we will hear more and more of end times and the impending death of Christ Jesus our Lord who will fulfill God our Father’s plan for the salvation of the world. And so what does it all mean for us or to us for that matter? We can choose to start our merry making ahead of time by taking Christ out of Christmas! To focus only on His birth saying Emmanuel had come! And forgetting that the completion of our salvation came through His death and Resurrection! Or we could unite ourselves as one Body In Christ and observe through the wisdom of our Church the season of Advent as preparation to meet our Lord when He comes again. Thereafter at the appropriate time, we will rejoice together and celebrate as one Body In Him.

We are not called to remain in darkness or gloom and that would never happen for us who live in the light of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Resurrection. For He truly lives in us today, tomorrow and forevermore. We who are baptised must live fully in His love, in the peace He bestowed upon us; with such joy in our hearts that all who do not yet know Jesus our Lord will want to. For they want what we have, of which the world cannot give.

Sisters and brothers let us unite ourselves in prayer and continue to stay awake, standing ready to meet our Lord when He returns. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 13:1-9 ·
How have those who investigated the world been so slow to find its Master?

Naturally stupid are all men who have not known God and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is, or, by studying the works, have failed to recognise the Artificer.
Fire however, or wind, or the swift air, the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, heaven’s lamps,
are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.

If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken things for gods, let them know how much the Lord of these excels them, since the very Author of beauty has created them.
And if they have been impressed by their power and energy,
let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them, since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author.

Small blame, however, attaches to these men, for perhaps they only go astray in their search for God and their eagerness to find him;
living among his works, they strive to comprehend them. and fall victim to appearances, seeing so much beauty.
Even so, they are not to be excused: if they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge
to be able to investigate the world,
how have they been so slow to find its Master?

Gospel

Luke 17:26-37
When the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed

Jesus said to the disciples:
‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’