Posts Tagged ‘Baptism’


Even though we have sinned many times and took matters into our own hands instead of discerning and following our Lord’s will for us. He still loves us very much and wants to make us whole.  It is fitting therefore that we should bow down low and seek His mercy.

Through the sacrament of reconciliation we are restored, healed, made whole as pure as when we entered anew as God our Heavenly Father’s children. So that we can live up to the names He gave us, so as to live life to the full in His love. We become beacons of His love for others so that they too can live as His children so loved by Him.

Thank you Jesus for loving me, let me live in Your presence always. Amen

First reading

Genesis 17:1,9-10,15-22 ·

The Lord make a covenant and gives Abram and Sarai new names

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am El Shaddai. Bear yourself blameless in my presence, and I will make a Covenant between myself and you. You on your part shall maintain my Covenant, yourself and your descendants after you, generation after generation. Now this is my Covenant which you are to maintain between myself and you, and your descendants after you: all your males must be circumcised.’

    God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah. I will bless her and moreover give you a son by her. I will bless her and nations shall come out of her; kings of peoples shall descend from her.’ Abraham bowed to the ground, and he laughed, thinking to himself, ‘Is a child to be born to a man one hundred years old, and will Sarah have a child at the age of ninety?’ Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, let Ishmael live in your presence!’ But God replied, ‘No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son whom you are to name Isaac. With him I will establish my Covenant, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him. For Ishmael too I grant you your request: I bless him and I will make him fruitful and greatly increased in numbers. He shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. But my Covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear you at this time next year.’ When he had finished speaking to Abraham God went up from him.

Gospel

Matthew 8:1-4

‘If you want to, you can cure me’

After Jesus had come down from the mountain large crowds followed him. A leper now came up and bowed low in front of him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘if you want to, you can cure me.’ Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’ And his leprosy was cured at once. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Mind you do not tell anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses, as evidence for them.’


It is far easier to say that our baptism was simply a conversion event in which we all became children of God our Father and our sins were washed away momentarily, or rather till we fell into sin again. This is far from the truth! For by our baptism we were inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We were baptised with living water and the fire of the Holy Spirit was infused within us. We had received an indelible mark upon us and as God our Father’s children, we are called to live our lives in Holiness. Are we then living our lives in the Spirit today and everyday?

Let us pray earnestly to the Lord our God, as we prepare our hearts minds and soul for a powerful renewal this Sunday. Through a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we shall go out to set the world ablaze with the fire of His love; and we shall renew the face of the earth though Him, with Him and in Him. Amen Alleluia!

First reading

Acts 19:1-8 ·

The moment Paul laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul made his way overland as far as Ephesus, where he found a number of disciples. When he asked, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ they answered, ‘No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit.’ ‘Then how were you baptised?’ he asked. ‘With John’s baptism’ they replied. ‘John’s baptism’ said Paul ‘was a baptism of repentance; but he insisted that the people should believe in the one who was to come after him – in other words, Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of these men.

    He began by going to the synagogue, where he spoke out boldly and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. He did this for three months.

Gospel

John 16:29-33

Be brave, for I have conquered the world

His disciples said to Jesus, ‘Now you are speaking plainly and not using metaphors! Now we see that you know everything, and do not have to wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them:

‘Do you believe at last?

Listen; the time will come – in fact it has come already –

when you will be scattered,

each going his own way and leaving me alone.

And yet I am not alone,

because the Father is with me.

I have told you all this

so that you may find peace in me.

In the world you will have trouble,

but be brave: I have conquered the world.’


Did Jesus choose you? Did He command you to love one another as He loved you? Did He commission You to go out and bear fruit?

If not you then who? Only the Apostles? Are you not His friend but a mere servant? Or are you a complete stranger to Him?

Unless we embrace our baptism for what it truly is we will always think that the responsibility of evangelisation both of Word and in deed falls to another. Perhaps Priests, clergy and religious not so much the laity? Do we not share the same baptism as they do? We are all baptised in Christ, that is we have been inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, therefore we are all God our Father’s Children through baptism. Hence it is our duty to take up  our ‘office’ which is to live in and build His Kingdom!

Yes Lord I hear Your call. I will go! Amen Allelulia

St. Matthias Pray for us….

First reading

Acts 1:15-17,20-26 ·

‘Let someone else take his office’

One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers – there were about a hundred and twenty persons in the congregation: ‘Brothers, the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who offered himself as a guide to the men who arrested Jesus – after having been one of our number and actually sharing this ministry of ours. Now in the Book of Psalms it says:

Let his camp be reduced to ruin,

Let there be no one to live in it.

And again:

Let someone else take his office.

‘We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was travelling round with us, someone who was with us right from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us – and he can act with us as a witness to his resurrection.’

    Having nominated two candidates, Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias, they prayed, ‘Lord, you can read everyone’s heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place.’ They then drew lots for them, and as the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles.

Gospel

John 15:9-17

You are my friends if you do what I command you

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘As the Father has loved me,

so I have loved you.

Remain in my love.

If you keep my commandments

you will remain in my love,

just as I have kept my Father’s commandments

and remain in his love.

I have told you this

so that my own joy may be in you

and your joy be complete.

This is my commandment:

love one another, as I have loved you.

A man can have no greater love

than to lay down his life for his friends.

You are my friends,

if you do what I command you.

I shall not call you servants any more,

because a servant does not know

his master’s business;

I call you friends,

because I have made known to you

everything I have learnt from my Father.

You did not choose me:

no, I chose you;

and I commissioned you

to go out and to bear fruit,

fruit that will last;

and then the Father will give you

anything you ask him in my name.

What I command you

is to love one another.’


What do we offer to the Lord the God this day and every day from the work of our hands? For if we are faithful to Him we know that He needs absolutely nothing from us, yet we do so because of love for Him and by extension for one another. Our offerings to Him stems from the loving relationship we have with Him. If we give fully from our heart then whatever we offer up is blessed  indeed. We will not look to see what others offer or how they are received. For we only look to being One with our Heavenly Father.

By our baptism we have an indelible mark upon us. We belong to God our Heavenly Father. And so are we loving one another as we should? Do we even recognise one another as fellow children of God our Heavenly Father so loved by Him? If we say that we do then how is it that we are so often harsh with our words, at times even crude and vulgar? Has our actions towards and for one another always be loving in every aspect?

How do we expect to see signs and wonders from the Lord our God when we are not loving others into His Kingdom? When we are fearful of sharing His Gospel with others? How will anyone see the greatest sign of God’s love, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when He does not dwell in us?

Jesus my Lord, make me a living testimony of Your love for all. Come dwell in me as I carry my cross to follow You. Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will. 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.


Many of us through Advent had struggled to break away from habitual sin and temptation. Some realised that in order to do so in this extraordinary times, that they needed to journey on with a community and so either rejoined one or joined one striving to be faithful to Christ. Many of us went to great lengths to go for the Sacrament of reconciliation so as to prepare room in our hearts for our Saviour this Christmas. Having Him ‘reborn’ again in our hearts many had even decided to surrender the tradition of the past: that is of drunken revelry to welcome the new year. And so we all received the Blessings at the start of the year mentioned in the first reading of the Solemnity of Mary mother of God.

Today we are reminded to hold fast to our anointing received at our baptism where we became God our Father’s children. Having been fully united with Him through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we are called to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. And so having entered into the new year, St John in the first reading reminds us to stay awake and alert, “Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.”

O Holy Spirit, great counsellor and guide, One with the Father the Son; take us by the hand and lead us on in this new year. Amen

First reading
1 John 2:22-28 ·
The anointing he gave you teaches you everything


The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ – he is the liar,
he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son, because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning: as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,
you will live in the Son and in the Father;
and what is promised to you by his own promise is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything; you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.


Gospel
John 1:19-28
‘One is coming after me who existed before me’

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

a voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.


The Word of God is alive and active. The Word of God gives life and life to the full. The Word of God is Jesus and through Him we have eternal life. Why on earth then would people reject the Word of God?Let us ponder a little bit on the whys? Fundamentally I suppose we could say it is a result of free will. The same way we have free will to accept the word of God, we also have the free will to reject it. Some might say the word of God is of human construct till our course one day they encounter the Risen Lord themselves. Just like St Paul himself did on the road to Damascus. Others perhaps choose the path of least resistance, that is what they are confortable with; which is pretty much in line with the rest of the world. For the demands of living the Christian life seems all too altruistic, never mind the tomfoolery of it all in choosing narrow paths and carrying of crosses!We however have a strong faith in our Risen Lord because we live in the joy of His presence in our lives. We have seen the Lord! And so we have seen the Heavenly Father also. Why then should we fear rejection for speaking the truth and sharing it with others.
Let us be bold in the Spirit of truth as we share Jesus with all who will listen. Amen

First reading

Acts 13:44-52 ·
Since you have rejected the word of God, we must turn to the pagansThe next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:I have made you a light for the nations,
so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.
But the Jews worked upon some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city and persuaded them to turn against Paul and Barnabas and expel them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Gospel

John 14:7-14
To have seen me is to have seen the fatherJesus said to his disciples:‘If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’
‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.’

My Special Day…

Posted: July 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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How do you celebrate something which is not part of your own tradition to do so? Then again you will only remember it through the records of your parents unless of course they had made it a point to celebrate it as a family all the years before. Again no fault of theirs if they didn’t do so as again it is never really given any significant importance after the fact. What am I talking about?

Today is a very special day for me, for it is the day I was baptised and became a child of God my Heavenly Father, slightly less than a month after coming out of my mother’s womb. It must have been an extra special day for mum as she would have celebrated her own birthday the very next day.

I woke up this morning without fanfare knowing that there will be no elaborate celebration thrown for me but all the same with great joy in my heart. Then I received the one and only gift I was looking forward to receive and the most precious one at that, Jesus Himself in Holy Eucharist. Afterwhich I rushed home to have family breakfast together and to share my joy. If was not to be so as my family had other plans and so it was just me and Hannah.

No matter, I will spend this day reflecting if I have lived up to my baptismal promises, if I have strived enough to be Holy as my Heavenly Father is Holy and if I have brought the joy of Christ into the lives of, family, friends and all. So instead of wishing me Happy Baptism or something like that, instead simply say a prayer for me. Thank you and may our Lord Jesus Christ bless You and family always. Amen