Posts Tagged ‘Catholicjules.net’


Dearest Mother of my Lord my mother, born without the stain of original sin, without blemish, chosen to bear Emmanuel. Your fiat at the very beginning brought joy and hope into this world. For the light of the world would be conceived in your immaculate womb to be born for us.

Mother it is our deepest desire to be pure and Holy for our Lord, intercede for us dear mother as we ask to share your purity of heart and mind. Obtain for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may be wise with your wisdom, understand with your understanding, know with your knowledge, be prudent with your prudence, be patient with your patience, be courageous with your fortitude and desire justice ardently for everyone with the all consuming desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus your Son.

Let us then bear witness to His light in the world so that all can come to know Him  and be saved. Through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

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First reading

Genesis 3:9-15,20 ·

The mother of all those who live

After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘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.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.

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Second reading

Ephesians 1:3-6,11-12 ·

Before the world was made, God chose us in Christ

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.

Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ,

to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,

determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ

for his own kind purposes,

to make us praise the glory of his grace,

his free gift to us in the Beloved,

And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own,

chosen from the beginning,

under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things

as he decides by his own will;

chosen to be,

for his greater glory,

the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.

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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.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 7, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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After John 3:16 this bible verse is one of the most popular for Christians…

Matt 11:18-30 Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

It is not only comforting to read, to dwell on, but it is a promise from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Indeed He gives strength to the wearied, he strengthens the powerless. For those who hope in the Lord renew their strength.

I am sure you already know this but here are some of the sure ways You will encounter the Lord and be renewed…

  • Community prayer meetings
  • Quiet time with the Lord through prayer, worship and reading the Word.
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Holy Mass
  • Healing services

Be still and know that I am God says the Lord. Amen

Ps 46:10

Saint Ambrose pray for us…
 

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First reading

Isaiah 40:25-31 ·

The Lord strengthens the powerless

‘To whom could you liken me

and who could be my equal?’ says the Holy One.

Lift your eyes and look.

Who made these stars

if not he who drills them like an army,

calling each one by name?

So mighty is his power, so great his strength,

that not one fails to answer.

How can you say, Jacob,

how can you insist, Israel,

‘My destiny is hidden from the Lord,

my rights are ignored by my God’?

Did you not know?

Had you not heard?

The Lord is an everlasting God,

he created the boundaries of the earth.

He does not grow tired or weary,

his understanding is beyond fathoming.

He gives strength to the wearied,

he strengthens the powerless.

Young men may grow tired and weary,

youths may stumble,

but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength,

they put out wings like eagles.

They run and do not grow weary,

walk and never tire.

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Gospel

Matthew 11:28-30

My yoke is easy and my burden light

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 6, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Let us no longer look within ourselves and dwell to see if we are, but instead declare with all our hearts that we are joyful messengers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

The world has seen a new light for He had come to dispel the darkness of our lives and therefore we rejoice as we proclaim His glory. We look forward each and every time for our community prayer meetings so we can praise, worship and listen to His Word as One Body in Him.

We then go out with joy in our hearts to search out the lost sheep and lead them home to Him who had anointed and sent us His shepherds.

Glory and Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is our Shepherd there is nothing we shall want. Amen

Saint Nicholas, Bishop pray for us…

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First reading

Isaiah 40:1-11

Consolations from the heart of Jerusalem

‘Console my people, console them’

says your God.

‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem

and call to her

that her time of service is ended,

that her sin is atoned for,

that she has received from the hand of the Lord

double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness

a way for the Lord.

Make a straight highway for our God

across the desert.

Let every valley be filled in,

every mountain and hill be laid low.

Let every cliff become a plain,

and the ridges a valley;

then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed

and all mankind shall see it;

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice commands, ‘Cry!’

and I answered, ‘What shall I cry?’”

– ‘All flesh is grass

and its beauty like the wild flower’s.

The grass withers, the flower fades

when the breath of the Lord blows on them.

(The grass is without doubt the people.)

The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God remains for ever.’

Go up on a high mountain,

joyful messenger to Zion.

Shout with a loud voice,

joyful messenger to Jerusalem.

Shout without fear,

say to the towns of Judah,

‘Here is your God.’

Here is the Lord coming with power,

his arm subduing all things to him.

The prize of his victory is with him,

his trophies all go before him.

He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,

gathering lambs in his arms,

holding them against his breast

and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

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Gospel

Matthew 18:12-14

The one lost sheep gives him more joy than the ninety-nine that did not stray

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘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: December 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How can we not rejoice when our Lord in His mercy forgives and liberates the burden of sin from our hearts! For only then can we truly praise and worship Him as we should. Only then are our hearts set free to love others as we should.

Hence sisters and brothers Jesus came for this very reason, for God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. So why wait for a penitential service, go now as soon as possible for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and meet with Jesus who is patiently waiting to love and set you free. Courage! Do not be afraid, He has come to save you.

Then together as One with and in Him we will rejoice and sing for joy! Joy and gladness will follow us wherever we go, sorrow and lament will be ended. Amen

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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.

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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.’

The houses so far unearthed at Capernaum are tiny enclosures, built of stone, huddled higgledy-piggledy together in the warm lakeside village. As the crowd was blocking the door Mark says that the sick man’s companions simply dug a hole in the roof, presumably thin slats of timber and palm-leaves, designed to keep off the sun rather than the rare rain. Luke, coming from a more sophisticated society, thinks of roof tiles to be taken off.

    The striking part of the healing is not the physical cure but the forgiveness of sins inserted in the middle of the story. In the Gospels ‘paralytic’ means not someone cramped immobile into a distorted position, but only someone bed-ridden. The physical healing is merely the proof-by-parallel that the sins have been forgiven. This is what shocks the on-looking Pharisees and especially their legal members, the ‘scribes’, who were literate and so could read the Law and discuss it. Quite apart from the Law, it stands to reason that only God can forgive sin. Indeed, to forgive is almost God’s chief prerogative. The meaning of his sacred Name, too holy and too intimate to be pronounced, had been revealed to Moses in Exodus 34 as ‘God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and constancy, forgiving fault, crime and sin.’ They knew their Bible, and to see the man standing before them claim to do just this must have been stunning. The Gospel has already shown Jesus acting with outstanding authority, but now he implies a claim to an authority specifically divine. He forgives sin with just the same sweeping authority with which he tells the man to pick up his sleeping-mat.

Second Sunday in Advent

Posted: December 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Kingdom Come: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday in Advent

Readings:

Isaiah 11:1–10

Psalm 72:1–2, 7–8, 12–13, 17

Romans 15:4–9

Matthew 3:1–12

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” John proclaims. And the Liturgy today paints us a vivid portrait of our new king and the shape of the kingdom He has come to bring.

The Lord whom John prepares the way for in today’s Gospel is the righteous king prophesied in today’s First Reading and Psalm. He is the king’s son, the son of David—a shoot from the root of Jesse, David’s father (see Ruth 4:17).

He will be the Messiah, anointed with the Holy Spirit (see 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Kings 1:39; Psalm 2:2), endowed with the seven gifts of the Spirit—wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

He will rule with justice, saving the poor from the ruthless and wicked. His rule will be not only over Israel—but will extend from sea to sea, to the ends of the earth. He will be a light, a signal to all nations. And they will seek Him and pay Him homage.

In Him, all the tribes of the earth will find blessing. The covenant promise to Abraham (see Genesis 12:3), renewed in God’s oath to David (see Psalm 89:4,28), will be fulfilled in His dynasty. And His name will be blessed forever.

In Christ, God confirms His oath to Israel’s patriarchs, Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. But no longer are God’s promises reserved solely for the children of Abraham. The Gentiles, too, will glorify God for His mercy. Once strangers, in Christ they will be included in “the covenants of promise” (see Ephesians 2:12).

John delivers this same message in the Gospel. Once God’s chosen people were hewn from the rock of Abraham (see Isaiah 51:1–2). Now, God will raise up living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5)—children of Abraham born not of flesh and blood but of the Spirit.

This is the meaning of the fiery baptism He brings—making us royal heirs of the kingdom of heaven, the Church.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Today as we move towards the second week of Advent let us reflect and put into action our resolve to live as disciples of our Lord.

There are many sheep without a shepherd crying out in distress, do we hear them with God our Father’s heart?

Or are we still concerned with our worldly affairs, constantly fighting our inner demons of habitual sin and making no headway! Why?  Because in our struggle against sin we have not yet resisted to the point of shedding our blood. (Hebrews 12:4) For had we done so and turned our hearts fully to our Lord, then we will already be living fully in His light!

We would already be out there proclaiming that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. We would be healing the sick, even raising the dead, and casting out devils in Jesus’s name.

Anoint me Lord and send me! I am Yours. Amen

Saint Francis Xavier Pray for us… 

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First reading

Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26 ·

The Lord God will be gracious to you and hear your cry

Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:

    People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more. He will be gracious to you when he hears your cry; when he hears he will answer. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, follow it.’ He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. Your cattle will graze, that day, in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat a salted fodder, winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter – like the light of seven days in one – on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people and heals the bruises his blows have left.

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Gospel

Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8

The harvest is rich but the labourers are few

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.

    And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’

    He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 2, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We may not be physically blind but many of us are spiritually blind! Blind to the wonders of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Blind to the miracles and wonders He performs through His disciples this very day. Blind to His light that shines through in our lives revealing all that is hidden. Blind to the plight of our sisters and brothers in need of kindness, mercy, healing, peace and love.

Yes Lord we believe You can heal us, open the eyes of our hearts Lord so that we may see Your glory! That we may see what Your heart holds for us, and how we must love our brethren the way we ought to. Your will be done now and forever in our lives. Amen

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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.

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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.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 1, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Time after time we have made promises to do better, to resist sin and temptations. To grow in holiness and to be faithful! And so let us dwell a little on the progress we have made.

Are we eager each morn to sit in the presence of our Lord to listen His Word and will for us? Are we ecstatic to go out each day seeking someone to love into His Kingdom. Do we pray each day desiring more and more of the spiritual gifts so as to build up His Church, our Lord’s Kingdom. Nothing fazes us for we know our Lord is with us every step of the way!

Or are we still thrown into a frenzy when challenges and obstacles come our way? Are we one of many who calls on the Lord only in times of difficulty? Are our prayers only devotional? Do we meetup only for fellowship but do nothing to testify to our Lord’s goodness in our lives? Are we silent when we should be speaking up for Him? Is our praise and worship of Him only lip service?

Jesus You are my Rock! Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will! Amen

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First reading

Isaiah 26:1-6 ·

Open the gates; let the upright nation come in

That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

We have a strong city;

to guard us he has set

wall and rampart about us.

Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in,

she, the faithful one

whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace,

because she trusts in you.

Trust in the Lord for ever,

for the Lord is the everlasting Rock;

he has brought low those who lived high up

in the steep citadel;

he brings it down, brings it down to the ground,

flings it down in the dust:

the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor

trample on it.

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Gospel

Matthew 7:21,24-27

The wise man built his house on a rock

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 30, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, when He spoke, He did so with the authority over Heaven and earth. His powerful Word redeemed, healed, cast our demons, forgave, empowered and loved into existence.

If we follow after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ then at all times, are our words for Him or against Him? Are our spoken words, life giving or life taking? Does our words spoken in His name heal, give hope, restore, empower or do they tear down, maim, hurt and so on?

Your word Lord is a lamp unto my feet and I will follow closely after You, to lead all who would follow into Your Kingdom. Amen

Saint Andrew pray for us…

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First reading

Romans 10:9-18 ·

Faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ

If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

    But they will not ask his help unless they believe in him, and they will not believe in him unless they have heard of him, and they will not hear of him unless they get a preacher, and they will never have a preacher unless one is sent, but as scripture says: The footsteps of those who bring good news are a welcome sound. Not everyone, of course, listens to the Good News. As Isaiah says: Lord, how many believed what we proclaimed? So faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ. Let me put the question: is it possible that they did not hear? Indeed they did; in the words of the psalm, their voice has gone out through all the earth, and their message to the ends of the world.

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Gospel

Matthew 4:18-22

‘I will make you fishers of men’

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 29, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How wonderful and peaceful is the vision of the new Eden, where even the animals are at peace with one another.  Are we ready then for the paradise that awaits us?

Do we share in the intimate relationship Jesus has with God our Heavenly Father such that His peace and love already reigns in our hearts? Are we living a life in the Spirit where we know with His knowledge, wisdom and insight? We go about each day with the counsel and power of the Holy Spirit exercising each gift we have received, for the building up of His Church and His Kingdom.

If we are then the kingdom of God is upon us, through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour; We are already living as God our Father’s children. We are children of light. Amen

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First reading

Isaiah 11:1-10 ·

A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse

A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse,

a scion thrusts from his roots:

on him the spirit of the Lord rests,

a spirit of wisdom and insight,

a spirit of counsel and power,

a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

(The fear of the Lord is his breath.)

He does not judge by appearances,

he gives no verdict on hearsay,

but judges the wretched with integrity,

and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.

His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless,

his sentences bring death to the wicked.

Integrity is the loincloth round his waist,

faithfulness the belt about his hips.

The wolf lives with the lamb,

the panther lies down with the kid,

calf and lion feed together,

with a little boy to lead them.

The cow and the bear make friends,

their young lie down together.

The lion eats straw like the ox.

The infant plays over the cobra’s hole;

into the viper’s lair

the young child puts his hand.

They do no hurt, no harm,

on all my holy mountain,

for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord

as the waters swell the sea.

That day, the root of Jesse

shall stand as a signal to the peoples.

It will be sought out by the nations

and its home will be glorious.

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Gospel

Luke 10:21-24

No-one knows who the Son is except the Father

Filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said:

    ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

    Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 28, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus Christ is the Lord Supreme and when we submit ourselves to come under His Authorithy then we rise beyond our human dignity. His grace is upon us to perform greater works than He, we can heal, cast our demons, prophesy and open the gates of Heaven that all may see His glory. We are His kingdom builders!

His truth prevails in us as we speak against the evil that says we are not holy, worthy, strong, good enough! We declare and live out our identity as children of God so loved by Him.  And all, believer and unbeliever alike will see His glory through us.

Let us journey this Advent with the light of Christ already shining brightly in us. Amen

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First reading

Isaiah 4:2-6 ·

The fruit of the earth shall be the pride and adornment of Israel’s survivors

That day, the branch of the Lord

shall be beauty and glory,

and the fruit of the earth

shall be the pride and adornment

of Israel’s survivors.

Those who are left of Zion

and remain of Jerusalem

shall be called holy

and those left in Jerusalem, noted down for survival.

When the Lord has washed away

the filth of the daughter of Zion

and cleansed Jerusalem of the blood shed in her

with the blast of judgement and the blast of destruction,

the Lord will come and rest

on the whole stretch of Mount Zion

and on those who are gathered there,

a cloud by day, and smoke,

and by night the brightness of a flaring fire.

For, over all, the glory of the Lord

will be a canopy and a tent

to give shade by day from the heat,

refuge and shelter from the storm and the rain.

________

Gospel

Matthew 8:5-11

‘I am not worthy to have you under my roof: give the word, and my servant will be healed’

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.’

First Sunday in Advent

Posted: November 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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In a Dark Hour: Scott Hahn Reflects on the First Sunday in Advent

 

Readings:

Isaiah 2:1–5

Psalm 122:1–9

Romans 13:11–14

Matthew 24:37–44

Jesus exaggerates in today’s Gospel when He claims not to know the day or the hour when He will come again. Christ occasionally makes such overstatements to drive home a point we might otherwise miss (see Matthew 5:34; 23:9; Luke 14:26).

His point here is that the exact “hour” is not important. What is crucial is that we not postpone our repentance, that we be ready for Him—spiritually and morally—when He comes. For He will surely come, He tells us—like a thief in the night, like the flood in the time of Noah.

In today’s Epistle, Paul too compares the present age to a time of advancing darkness and night.

Though we sit in the darkness, overshadowed by death, we have seen arise the great light of our Lord who has come into our midst (see Matthew 4:16; John 1:9; 8:12). He is the true light, the life of the world. And His light continues to shine in His Church, the new Jerusalem promised by Isaiah in today’s First Reading.

In the Church, all nations stream to the God of Jacob, to worship and seek wisdom in the House of David. From the Church goes forth His word of instruction, the light of the Lord—that all might walk in His paths toward that eternal day when night will be no more (see Revelation 22:5).

By our Baptism we have been made children of the light and day (see Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5–7). It is time we start living like it: throwing off the fruitless works of darkness, rejecting the desires of the flesh, and walking by the light of His grace.

The hour is late as we begin a new Advent. Let us begin again in this Eucharist.

As we sing in today’s Psalm, “let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” Let us give thanks to His name, keeping watch for His coming, knowing that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The final day of the liturgical year has come as we enter into a new year through Advent.  Is it simply for us that another year has gone and now it is time again to enter into a somewhat penitential mode in preparing our hearts for the coming of our Lord?

Or do we take this opportunity to reflect on how we have been living out our faith in our lives and are already ready, to greet Him when He comes. Desiring earnestly to grow day by day in our relationship with Him. Hungry and thirsty for His greater presence in our lives!

Lord Jesus if I must then let me be intoxicated only by Your love and presence in my life. Let me not care or worry for the ways of the world, but care only for Your flock whom You send my way. You are my rock, my stronghold my salvation! Let this Advent draw me ever closer to You. Amen

Blessed Virgin Mary pray for us…

________

First reading

Apocalypse 22:1-7 ·

The Lord God will shine on them; it will never be night again

The angel showed me, John, the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing crystal-clear down the middle of the city street. On either side of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit in a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure for the pagans.

    The ban will be lifted. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.

    The angel said to me, ‘All that you have written is sure and will come true: the Lord God who gives the spirit to the prophets has sent his angel to reveal to his servants what is soon to take place. Very soon now, I shall be with you again.’ Happy are those who treasure the prophetic message of this book.

________

Gospel

Luke 21:34-36

That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 25, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We children of light who live out lives in the power of the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; have hope because the Word of God is everlasting. We hold fast to that hope because come what may we will rise with Him who has conquered death.

Question for us really is are we truly living as children of light? How many have we brought into the light by our love put into action? Are we fully awake and alive in our faith that we stand ready to receive our Lord when He comes again?

Lord Jesus find us all dressed like a bride waiting for You. Amen

Saint Catherine of Alexandria pray for us..

________

First reading

Apocalypse 20:1-4,11-21:2

The book of life was opened, and the dead were judged

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven with the key of the Abyss in his hand and an enormous chain. He overpowered the dragon, that primeval serpent which is the devil and Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and shut the entrance and sealed it over him, to make sure he would not deceive the nations again until the thousand years had passed. At the end of that time he must be released, but only for a short while.

    Then I saw some thrones, and I saw those who are given the power to be judges take their seats on them. I saw the souls of all who had been beheaded for having witnessed for Jesus and for having preached God’s word, and those who refused to worship the beast or his statue and would not have the brand-mark on their foreheads or hands; they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of his throne, while the book of life was opened, and other books opened which were the record of what they had done in their lives, by which the dead were judged.

    The sea gave up all the dead who were in it; Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and every one was judged according to the way in which he had lived. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death; and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was thrown into the burning lake.

    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband.

________

Gospel

Luke 21:29-33

My words will never pass away

Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 24, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Where many of us live, we live safe and sound. And so it may be quite hard for us to imagine the dark days of debauchery, oppression, slavery and idolatry found in today’s readings. Still this rings true today in some nations where Christians are still very much persecuted.

The Lord our God is ever faithful and so we must remain faithful where we are at and at anytime of the day. For the victory has already been won for us by Christ our King who reigns the universe! But He must reign first in our hearts and minds; only then will we be able to stand ready when He comes again.

Happy are those who are invited to the wedding-feast of the Lamb. Amen

Saints Andrew Dũng-Lạc and his Companions pray for us…

________

First reading

Apocalypse 18:1-2,21-23,19:1-3,9

Babylon the Great has fallen

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory. At the top of his voice he shouted, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty, loathsome bird.’ Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, ‘That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again.

Never again in you, Babylon,

will be heard the song of harpists and minstrels,

the music of flute and trumpet;

never again will craftsmen of every skill be found

or the sound of the mill be heard;

never again will shine the light of the lamp,

never again will be heard

the voices of bridegroom and bride.

Your traders were the princes of the earth,

all the nations were under your spell.

After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, ‘Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous prostitute who corrupted the earth with her fornication; he has avenged his servants that she killed.’ They sang again, ‘Alleluia! The smoke of her will go up for ever and ever.’ The angel said, ‘Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb’, and he added, ‘All the things you have written are true messages from God.’

________

Gospel

Luke 21:20-28

There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!

    ‘For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.

    ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 23, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, says the Lord. Mt 28: 20

It is with this promise and hope that we carry in our hearts that we face unafraid the challenges of today and tomorrow! We have all fallen short at one time or another but let always turn to our Lord who is our strength and our rock. It is through Him alone that we are perfected. And so sisters and brothers, let us go forth this day with perseverance and endure all that comes our way. Let us be patient, merciful and kind and strive to show only the face of our Lord whom we carry with us.

Lord Jesus help us become worthy of your love, grant us unfailing obedience to your commands. Amen

Saint Clement I & Saint Columbanus pray for us…

________

First reading

Apocalypse 15:1-4 ·

The victors sang the hymn of Moses and of the Lamb

What I, John, saw in heaven was a great and wonderful sign: seven angels were bringing the seven plagues that are the last of all, because they exhaust the anger of God. I seemed to see a glass lake suffused with fire, and standing by the lake of glass, those who had fought against the beast and won, and against his statue and the number which is his name. They all had harps from God, and they were singing the hymn of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb:

‘How great and wonderful are all your works,

Lord God Almighty;

just and true are all your ways,

King of nations.

Who would not revere and praise your name, O Lord?

You alone are holy,

and all the pagans will come and adore you

for the many acts of justice you have shown.’

________

Gospel

Luke 21:12-19

Your endurance will win you your lives

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 22, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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As we approach Advent the readings point us once again to the end times, it is stark reminder also of our human frailty. The fact is that we will all have to die, question is whether we will rise again with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who conquered death for us. Have we been fruitful? Have we turned away from sin and are faithful to the Gospel as we were marked at the beginning of Lent?

Or we still drawn to the beauty of this passing world with all our desires, passion and indulgences! Thinking tomorrow will always come for us. We all need to awake from our slumber if we haven’t already and live as children of light here and now.

Come Holy Spirit take reign of my life and lead me. Amen

Saint Cecilia Pray for us… 

________

First reading

Apocalypse 14:14-19 ·

The harvest and the vintage of the earth are ripe

In my vision I, John, saw a white cloud and, sitting on it, one like a son of man with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the sanctuary, and shouted aloud to the one sitting on the cloud, ‘Put your sickle in and reap: harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then the one sitting on the cloud set his sickle to work on the earth, and the earth’s harvest was reaped.

    Another angel, who also carried a sharp sickle, came out of the temple in heaven, and the angel in charge of the fire left the altar and shouted aloud to the one with the sharp sickle, ‘Put your sickle in and cut all the bunches off the vine of the earth; all its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel set his sickle to work on the earth and harvested the whole vintage of the earth and put it into a huge winepress, the winepress of God’s anger.

________

Gospel

Luke 21:5-11

The destruction of the Temple foretold

When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘All these things you are staring at now – the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.’ And they put to him this question: ‘Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’

    ‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand.” Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 21, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Are we living as the chosen ones of God our Heavenly Father, so loved by Him that He sanctified us by the blood of His only begotten Son. Always speaking the truth and giving our all for His namesake.

Just as Mary our Blessed mother did by offering her whole life up to God our Heavenly Father and how the widow in today’s Gospel did by not withholding even her livelihood and offering it up! For they knew in their hearts that He will provide for all they will ever need.

Let us therefore live out our identity as sons and daughters of God our Heavenly Father who have been redeemed to live life to the full by His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So that all may see we have Christ and His Father’s name written on foreheads, and that we carry His peace, love, mercy and joy with us. Giving our all for His glory. Amen

________

First reading

Apocalypse 14:1-5 ·

The redeemed have Christ and his Father’s name written on their foreheads

In my vision I, John, saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound coming out of the sky like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it seemed to be the sound of harpists playing their harps. There in front of the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four animals and the elders, a hymn that could only be learnt by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been redeemed from amongst men to be the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb. They never allowed a lie to pass their lips and no fault can be found in them.

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Gospel

Luke 21:1-4

The widow’s mite

As Jesus looked up, he saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; then he happened to notice a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all contributed money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in all she had to live on.’

Solemnity of Christ the King

Posted: November 19, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Kingdom of the Son: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of Christ the King

Readings:

2 Samuel 5:1–3

Psalm 122:1–5

Colossians 1:12–20

Luke 23:35–43

________________________________________

Week by week, the Liturgy has been preparing us for the revelation to be made on this, the last Sunday of the Church year.

Jesus, we have been shown, is truly the Chosen One, the Messiah of God, the King of the Jews. Ironically, in today’s Gospel we hear these names on the lips of those who don’t believe in Him—Israel’s rulers, the soldiers, a criminal dying alongside Him.

They can only see the scandal of a bloodied figure nailed to a cross. They scorn Him in words and gestures foretold in Israel’s Scriptures (see Psalm 22:7–9; 69:21–22; Wisdom 2:18–20). If He is truly King, God will rescue Him, they taunt. But He did not come to save Himself, but to save them—and us.

The good thief shows us how we are to accept the salvation He offers us. He confesses his sins and acknowledges he deserves to die for them. And he calls on the name of Jesus, seeking His mercy and forgiveness.

By his faith he is saved. Jesus “remembers” him—as God has always remembered His people, visiting them with His saving deeds, numbering them among His chosen heirs (see Psalm 106:4–5).

By the blood of His cross, Jesus reveals His Kingship—not in saving His own life, but in offering it as a ransom for ours. He transfers us to “the kingdom of His beloved Son,” as today’s Epistle tells us.

His kingdom is the Church, the new Jerusalem and House of David that we sing of in today’s Psalm.

By their covenant with David in today’s First Reading, Israel’s tribes are made one “bone and flesh” with their king. By the New Covenant made in His blood, Christ becomes one flesh with the people of His kingdom—the head of His body, the Church (see Ephesians 5:23–32).

We celebrate and renew this covenant in every Eucharist, giving thanks for our redemption, hoping for the day when we too will be with Him in Paradise.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 19, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Free picture () from https://torange.biz/ua/fx/christmas-background-bright-overlay-image-160359

Our transfiguration begins within us when we put our faith into action, for abundance of grace is poured forth into our being; more and more, as we give it away! The more we put love into action, pray for others, testify to the Lord, the stronger and bolder we become for Him. We will open the gates of Heaven for others to see His glory.

Otherwise talk after talk, formation, after formation, retreat after retreat, we will make no headway in our faith; Unless we step out of our comfort zone to love and serve. To form others as we have been formed by Him who so loves us.

What is it that we are afraid of that we do not prophesy? Do not love? Do not share the joy of the Gospel? Are we afraid of losing our lives? Our Lord has spoken to our hearts, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matt 16:25 or again in Mark 8:35 “For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” So we can assured that if must lay down our lives for Him, we will be raised up by Him, resurrected to live in His glory. Amen

Mary Blessed Mother pray for us….

________

First reading

Apocalypse 11:4-12 ·

The prophets will die who have been a plague to the world

I, John, heard a voice saying: ‘These, my two witnesses, are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the world. Fire can come from their mouths and consume their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; and if anybody does try to harm them he will certainly be killed in this way. They are able to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying; they are able to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like. When they have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them and overcome them and kill them. Their corpses will lie in the main street of the Great City known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified. Men out of every people, race, language and nation will stare at their corpses, for three-and-a-half days, not letting them be buried, and the people of the world will be glad about it and celebrate the event by giving presents to each other, because these two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world.’

    After the three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up, and everybody who saw it happen was terrified; then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here’, and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud.

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Gospel

Luke 20:27-40

In God all men are alive

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached Jesus and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died. Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’

    Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’

    Some scribes then spoke up. ‘Well put, Master’ they said – because they would not dare to ask him any more questions.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 18, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The Word of God is sweet to taste but the message sometimes is meant for correction, to right a wrong. In today’s Gospel we see Jesus driving out those who were selling, for it was a house of prayer and was turned into a robbers’ den. We can easily think that it does not apply to us in this day and age, for we do not ever sell anything in our Church.

So then is it ok to talk and laugh in the church hall, when folks are praying and preparing themselves for mass? Is it okay to look to play games on our mobiles or check our social media messages during the service? Are our minds and hearts far from listening attentively to the word of God in the liturgy? Do we allow our children to talk and play during mass? Do we walk out immediately after receiving communion? Have we ourselves not turned our church into a robbers’ den then? When we do as we please, stealing our brethren’s peace and quiet time with the Lord our God.

Lord Jesus grant me the strength and grace to always speak and live Your truth. To prophesy boldly as I am called to by You. Amen

________

First reading

Apocalypse 10:8-11 ·

I was told to swallow the scroll, and to prophesy

I, John, heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. ‘Go,’ it said ‘and take that open scroll out of the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.’ I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, ‘Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.’ So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, ‘You are to prophesy again, this time about many different nations and countries and languages and emperors.’

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Gospel

Luke 19:45-48

You have turned God’s house into a robbers’ den

Jesus went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling. ‘According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’

    He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him, but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 17, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Worthy of all praise and Glory is the loving lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world so that we may live free in His love. All powerful and wise is the Lord our God, He is our strength our rock! By His precious Blood poured out for us, we are baptised to new life in Him, to be His priests, prophets and kings for the world.

Do we still not recognise and seize this opportunity offered by the Lord our God? To be His light bearers! To bring His peace, love, mercy and comfort to the poor, widow, orphan, prisoner and to all nations!

Lord Jesus send me! Amen

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary pray for us…

_______

First reading

Apocalypse 5:1-10 ·

The blood of the Lamb bought men for God

I, John, saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that had writing on back and front and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, ‘Is there anyone worthy to open the scroll and break the seals of it?’ But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it. I wept bitterly because there was nobody fit to open the scroll and read it, but one of the elders said to me, ‘There is no need to cry: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and he will open the scroll and the seven seals of it.’

    Then I saw, standing between the throne with its four animals and the circle of the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits God has sent out all over the world. The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne, and when he took it, the four animals prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense made of the prayers of the saints. They sang a new hymn:

‘You are worthy to take the scroll

and break the seals of it,

because you were sacrificed, and with your blood

you bought men for God

of every race, language, people and nation

and made them a line of kings and priests,

to serve our God and to rule the world.’

________

Gospel

Luke 19:41-44

Jesus sheds tears over the coming fate of Jerusalem

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it and said, ‘If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace! But, alas, it is hidden from your eyes! Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you – and all because you did not recognise your opportunity when God offered it!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 16, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We have one God creator of Heaven and earth and we, are His children through baptism having been inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  And so, we worship and praise Him for He is worthy of all praise. He is our Lord of lords, King of kings!

If we accept Him as our King, then it is only just that we offer Him our all! For He has endowed and empowered us to go out to build up His Kingdom. We have all that we need! Where is our zeal? Have we united our wills with the Lord our God? Are we living in the Spirit as we should to go out and make disciples of all nations.

For if we are then we can be assured that we will all be reunited in Heaven singing His praises as One Body in Him. Amen Alleluia

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First reading

Apocalypse 4:1-11

He was, he is, and he is to come

In my vision, I, John, saw a door open in heaven and heard the same voice speaking to me, the voice like a trumpet, saying, ‘Come up here: I will show you what is to come in the future.’ With that, the Spirit possessed me and I saw a throne standing in heaven, and the One who was sitting on the throne, and the Person sitting there looked like a diamond and a ruby. There was a rainbow encircling the throne, and this looked like an emerald. Round the throne in a circle were twenty-four thrones, and on them I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes with golden crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning were coming from the throne, and the sound of peals of thunder, and in front of the throne there were seven flaming lamps burning, the seven Spirits of God. Between the throne and myself was a sea that seemed to be made of glass, like crystal. In the centre, grouped round the throne itself, were four animals with many eyes, in front and behind. The first animal was like a lion, the second like a bull, the third animal had a human face, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle. Each of the four animals had six wings and had eyes all the way round as well as inside; and day and night they never stopped singing:

‘Holy, Holy, Holy

is the Lord God, the Almighty;

he was, he is and he is to come.’

Every time the animals glorified and honoured and gave thanks to the One sitting on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before him to worship the One who lives for ever and ever, and threw down their crowns in front of the throne, saying, ‘You are our Lord and our God, you are worthy of glory and honour and power, because you made all the universe and it was only by your will that everything was made and exists.’

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Gospel

Luke 19:11-28

The parable of the talents

While the people were listening, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and they imagined that the kingdom of God was going to show itself then and there. Accordingly he said, ‘A man of noble birth went to a distant country to be appointed king and afterwards return. He summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds. “Do business with these” he told them “until I get back.” But his compatriots detested him and sent a delegation to follow him with this message, “We do not want this man to be our king.”

    ‘Now on his return, having received his appointment as king, he sent for those servants to whom he had given the money, to find out what profit each had made. The first came in and said, “Sir, your one pound has brought in ten.” “Well done, my good servant!” he replied “Since you have proved yourself faithful in a very small thing, you shall have the government of ten cities.” Then came the second and said, “Sir, your one pound has made five.” To this one also he said, “And you shall be in charge of five cities.” Next came the other and said, “Sir, here is your pound. I put it away safely in a piece of linen because I was afraid of you; for you are an exacting man: you pick up what you have not put down and reap what you have not sown.” “You wicked servant!” he said “Out of your own mouth I condemn you. So you knew I was an exacting man, picking up what I have not put down and reaping what I have not sown? Then why did you not put my money in the bank? On my return I could have drawn it out with interest.” And he said to those standing by, “Take the pound from him and give it to the man who has ten pounds.” And they said to him, “But, sir, he has ten pounds…”. “I tell you, to everyone who has will be given more; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

    ‘“But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.”’

    When he had said this he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 15, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Let us stand firm in our faith of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Let turn our backs to sin and repent for all what we have done and what we have failed to do! Let us apologize with heartfelt sorry for the times we have wronged and hurt others. Ask their forgiveness and pray for our Lord’s peace, mercy and love to cover us all.

His healing grace will be upon us and He will set our hearts on fire for love of Him and neighbour.

In humility let us climb the ‘sycamore’ tree to reach high heaven, for then we shall hear our Lord’s call to say, He will dine with us as we with Him. Amen

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First reading

Apocalypse 3:1-6,14-22 ·

If one of you hears me calling, I will come in to share his meal

I, John, heard the Lord saying to me: ‘Write to the angel of the church in Sardis and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know all about you: how you are reputed to be alive and yet are dead. Wake up; revive what little you have left: it is dying fast. So far I have failed to notice anything in the way you live that my God could possibly call perfect, and yet do you remember how eager you were when you first heard the message? Hold on to that. Repent. If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, without telling you at what hour to expect me. There are a few in Sardis, it is true, who have kept their robes from being dirtied, and they are fit to come with me, dressed in white. Those who prove victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot their names out of the book of life, but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and his angels. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

    ‘Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, “Here is the message of the Amen, the faithful, the true witness, the ultimate source of God’s creation: I know all about you: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say to yourself, ‘I am rich, I have made a fortune, and have everything I want’, never realising that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor, and blind and naked too. I warn you, buy from me the gold that has been tested in the fire to make you really rich, and white robes to clothe you and cover your shameful nakedness, and eye ointment to put on your eyes so that you are able to see. I am the one who reproves and disciplines all those he loves: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him. Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”’

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Gospel

Luke 19:1-10

Salvation comes to the house of Zacchaeus

Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance: he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’ And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 14, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Just two more weeks to Advent and so the question for us to dwell on this very day is are we still living in darkness? Are our minds still clouded with the ways of the world? Or are we living in the light of our resurrected Lord who has opened our blind eyes to see His glory!

Are we then praising the Lord with all our hearts, minds, strength and soul? Such that our praises draws others to hear our testimony. Then they too after hearing the joy of the Gospel in our lives, joins us in our praise and worship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! For they too have encountered Him through us.

Lord Jesus sweetheart of ours, we pray that as we lead our sisters and brothers to You; open their eyes to see and know You. Amen

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First reading

Apocalypse 1:1-4,2:1-5

Think what you were before you fell, and repent

This is the revelation given by God to Jesus Christ so that he could tell his servants about the things which are now to take place very soon; he sent his angel to make it known to his servant John, and John has written down everything he saw and swears it is the word of God guaranteed by Jesus Christ. Happy the man who reads this prophecy, and happy those who listen to him, if they treasure all that it says, because the Time is close.

    From John, to the seven churches of Asia: grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits in his presence before his throne.

    I heard the Lord saying to me: ‘Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who lives surrounded by the seven golden lamp-stands: I know all about you: how hard you work and how much you put up with. I know you cannot stand wicked men, and how you tested the impostors who called themselves apostles and proved they were liars. Know, too, that you have patience, and have suffered for my name without growing tired. Nevertheless, I have this complaint to make; you have less love now than you used to. Think where you were before you fell; repent, and do as you used to at first.”’

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Gospel

Luke 18:35-43

‘Son of David, have pity on me’

As Jesus drew near to Jericho there was a blind man sitting at the side of the road begging. When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about, and they told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. So he called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.’ The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him, and when he came up, asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Sir,’ he replied ‘let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.’ And instantly his sight returned and he followed him praising God, and all the people who saw it gave praise to God for what had happened.

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: November 12, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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“Today” is the Day: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Malachi 3:19–20

Psalm 98:5–9

2 Thessalonians 3:7–12

Luke 21:5–19

It is the age between our Lord’s first coming and His last. We live in the new world begun by His life, death, Resurrection, and Ascension, by the sending of His Spirit upon the Church. But we await the day when He will come again in glory.

“Lo, the day is coming,” Malachi warns in today’s First Reading. The prophets taught Israel to look for the Day of the Lord, when He would gather the nations for judgment (see Zephaniah 3:8; Isaiah 3:9; 2 Peter 3:7).

Jesus anticipates this day in today’s Gospel. He cautions us not to be deceived by those claiming “the time has come.” Such deception is the background also for today’s Epistle (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3).

The signs Jesus gives His Apostles seem to already have come to pass in the New Testament. In Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation, we read of famines, earthquakes, and the Temple’s desolation. We read of persecutions—believers imprisoned and put to death, testifying to their faith with wisdom in the Spirit.

These “signs,” then, show us the pattern for the Church’s life—both in the New Testament and today.

We too live in a world of nations and kingdoms at war. And we should take the Apostles as our “models,” as today’s Epistle counsels. Like them we must persevere in the face of unbelieving relatives, friends, forces, and authorities hostile to God.

As we do in today’s Psalm, we should sing His praises and joyfully proclaim His coming as Lord and King. The Day of the Lord is always a day that has already come and a day still yet to come. It is the “today” of our Liturgy.

The Apostles prayed marana tha—“O Lord come!” (see 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20). In the Eucharist He answers, coming again as the Lord of Hosts and the Sun of Justice with its healing rays. It is a mighty sign—and a pledge of that Day to come.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 12, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matt 25:40

We are all missionaries by our call to follow Christ, and so how we would like to be received should be the way we receive our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ on their journey share the joy of the Gospel by their lives.

And our prayers to God our Heavenly Father for ourselves and others should reflect our deep loving relationship with Him. We pray we all our might, persistent and unfailing because we know He will answer. For He is loving, merciful, loving and righteous!

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast

    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?

Though she may forget,

    I will not forget you! Isa 49:15

Thank You Papa for loving us the way that You do. Amen

Saint Josaphat…pray for us…

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First reading

3 John 5-8 ·

It is our duty to welcome missionaries and contribute our share to their work

My friend, you have done faithful work in looking after these brothers, even though they were complete strangers to you. They are a proof to the whole Church of your charity and it would be a very good thing if you could help them on their journey in a way that God would approve. It was entirely for the sake of the name that they set out, without depending on the pagans for anything; it is our duty to welcome men of this sort and contribute our share to their work for the truth.

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Gospel

Luke 18:1-8

The parable of the unjust judge

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’

    And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 11, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We never really embrace the fact that our days are numbered. We always think that tomorrow will come for us and so we very often put off what we must do today and that is to love!

Never mind that we have started losing our hair, our hair line recedes, body sags, wrinkles appear, and muscle tone is diminishing, do we really want to go on living empty lives without Christ?

If we have stayed awake as we are called to do, then we have absolutely nothing to fear! For we will already been living fully in our Lord’s love. Loving our neighbour as ourselves and living the beatitudes. No longer slaves to fear, for we live as children of God so loved by Him.

If however, you have not yet made the decision to follow Jesus, then I urge you to do so as Advent is drawing near. Take this opportunity to be wowed by Him! To be transfigured so as to lead new lives in Him and to live in His light. Amen

Saint Martin of Tours pray for us…

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First reading

2 John 4-9 ·

The commandment which you have heard since the beginning is to live a life of love

It has given me great joy to find that your children have been living the life of truth as we were commanded by the Father. I am writing now, dear lady, not to give you any new commandment, but the one which we were given at the beginning, and to plead: let us love one another.

    To love is to live according to his commandments: this is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, to live a life of love.

    There are many deceivers about in the world, refusing to admit that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They are the Deceiver; they are the Antichrist. Watch yourselves, or all our work will be lost and not get the reward it deserves. If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him: only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.

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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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 10, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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If we already knew that God our Father’s Kingdom is at hand, will we still act as we do? Or fail to do what we are called to? See the reality is that as children of God our Father we are already living in His domain. (King’s domain aka Kingdom) Can we then pray ‘Your Kingdom come; Your Will be done’ without conviction?

The victory over sin and death has already been won for us by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, He who is King over Heaven and earth has given us freedom to live fully in His love. How then are we exercising this freedom? Do we deprive others of this very freedom won for them by our incessant need for control? ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’ And ‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil’ Amen

Saint Leo the Great…pray for us…

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First reading

Philemon 7-20 ·

He is a slave no longer, but a dear brother in the Lord

I am so delighted, and comforted, to know of your love; they tell me, brother, how you have put new heart into the saints.

    Now, although in Christ I can have no diffidence about telling you to do whatever is your duty, I am appealing to your love instead, reminding you that this is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. He was of no use to you before, but he will be useful to you now, as he has been to me. I am sending him back to you, and with him – I could say – a part of my own self. I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the Good News has brought me. However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. I know you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, but it was only so that you could have him back for ever, not as a slave any more, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, as a blood-brother as well as a brother in the Lord. So if all that we have in common means anything to you, welcome him as you would me; but if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, then let me pay for it. I am writing this in my own handwriting: I, Paul, shall pay it back – I will not add any mention of your own debt to me, which is yourself. Well then, brother, I am counting on you, in the Lord; put new heart into me, in Christ.

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Gospel

Luke 17:20-25

The kingdom of God is among you

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, Jesus gave them this answer, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, “Look here! Look there!” For, you must know, the kingdom of God is among you.’

    He said to the disciples, ‘A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it. They will say to you, “Look there!” or, “Look here!” Make no move; do not set off in pursuit; for as the lightning flashing from one part of heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of Man when his day comes. But first he must suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 9, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We are the living stones, the foundation of which living waters flows. Life teems and grows exponentially as healing grace is poured out. The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. For we are Church!

So then sisters and brothers let us dwell on what you and I are doing individually and collectively to build up and strengthen our Church, thereby building the Lord’s Kingdom. How are we giving witness before the world, to witness mother church’s holiness, her loving care, warmth, discipline and fidelity to her wedded spouse Christ Jesus our Lord! How are we sharing the joy of the Gospel in love, through love and by our love? How are we leading the world on the path of salvation?

Jesus my Lord, my God, You are our sanctuary, our salvation. May all come to know that You are their sanctuary their salvation through us Your Church. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 47:1-2,8-9,12 ·

Wherever the water flows, it will bring life and health

The angel brought me to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’

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Gospel

John 2:13-22

Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 8, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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It is our duty as servants of the Lord to be His light in the world. And we can only do so by our lived example as His disciples. That is to reflect the ‘Light of The Nations’ (Lumen Gentium) Christ Jesus our Lord in all that we say, do, behave and love!

Yes, St Paul starts with the older men and women as living as examples for the younger ones to follow that is to give up everything that does not lead to God, all worldly ambitions; that we must all be self-restrained living good religious lives in the world.

While we all wear different hats and different times of the day, we must always wear the crown of Christ upon on our heads. For we were redeemed, sanctified and made Holy to be His priest, prophet and King in the world. So that we will lead one another into His Kingdom.

Lord Jesus Bless me, for while I am only doing my duty as I am called to. You call me friend! So, I know what is in Your heart for me. Thank You Jesus! Amen

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First reading

Titus 2:1-8,11-14 ·

You must preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine

It is for you to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine. The older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and constancy. Similarly, the older women should behave as though they were religious, with no scandal-mongering and no habitual wine-drinking – they are to be the teachers of the right behaviour and show the younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children, how they are to be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and do as their husbands tell them, so that the message of God is never disgraced. In the same way, you have got to persuade the younger men to be moderate and in everything you do make yourself an example to them of working for good: when you are teaching, be an example to them in your sincerity and earnestness and in keeping all that you say so wholesome that nobody can make objections to it; and then any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us. You see, God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.

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Gospel

Luke 17:7-10

You are merely servants

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 7, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In today’s we find St Paul’s invaluable lesson on appointing leaders. But how many of our leaders in our Church today are irreproachable? Are they all clear of providing obstacles which lead for example the youth away from the church? Especially by their tyrannical temperament? How perhaps the way they poorly manage their office at work are brought into the church environment! How many bring their very own unforgiveness to the altar!

How many leaders are devout such that at every meeting the Lord is first in their hearts and in their minds? Worshipping, praising and sharing His word, joy and mercy with one another before any agenda is even discussed? Inviting always the Holy Spirit to lead the meeting instead of by their own strength and performance mentality?

We, disciples of the Lord are meant to move mountains by our faith! Instead of asking our Lord to increase it, we should be putting what little we have to action so as to build on it.

Come Holy Spirit, come and remain in me as I remain in You. Amen

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First reading

Titus 1:1-9 ·

Appoint elders of irreproachable character

From Paul, servant of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ to bring those whom God has chosen to faith and to the knowledge of the truth that leads to true religion; and to give them the hope of the eternal life that was promised so long ago by God. He does not lie and so, at the appointed time, he revealed his decision, and, by the command of God our saviour, I have been commissioned to proclaim it. To Titus, true child of mine in the faith that we share, wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our saviour.

    The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to get everything organised there and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you: that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character; he must not have been married more than once, and his children must be believers and not uncontrollable or liable to be charged with disorderly conduct. Since, as president, he will be God’s representative, he must be irreproachable: never an arrogant or hot-tempered man, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor out to make money; but a man who is hospitable and a friend of all that is good; sensible, moral, devout and self-controlled; and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on for both expounding the sound doctrine and refuting those who argue against it.

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Gospel

Luke 17:1-6

If your brother does wrong, reprove him

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Obstacles are sure to come, but alas for the one who provides them! It would be better for him to be thrown into the Sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones. Watch yourselves!

    If your brother does something wrong, reprove him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him.’

    The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.’


To Rise Again: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

2 Maccabees 7:1–2, 9–14

Psalm 17:1, 5–6, 8, 15

2 Thessalonians 2:16–3:5

Luke 20:27–38

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With their riddle about seven brothers and a childless widow, the Sadducees in today’s Gospel mock the faith for which seven brothers and their mother die in the First Reading.

The Maccabean martyrs chose death—tortured limb by limb, burned alive —rather than betray God’s Law. Their story is given to us in these last weeks of the Church year to strengthen us for endurance—that our feet not falter but remain steadfast on His paths.

The Maccabeans died hoping that the “King of the World” would raise them to live again forever (see 2 Maccabees 14:46).

The Sadducees don’t believe in the Resurrection because they can’t find it literally taught in the Scriptures. To ridicule this belief, they fix on a law that requires a woman to marry her husband’s brother if he should die without leaving an heir (see Genesis 38:8; Deuteronomy 25:5).

But God’s Law wasn’t given to ensure the raising up of descendants to earthly fathers. The Law was given, as Jesus explains, to make us worthy to be “children of God”—sons and daughters born of His Resurrection.

“God our Father,” today’s Epistle tells us, has given us “everlasting encouragement” in the Resurrection of Christ. Through His grace, we can now direct our hearts to the love of God.

As the Maccabeans suffered for the Old Law, we will have to suffer for our faith in the New Covenant. Yet, He will guard us in the shadow of His wing, He will keep us as the apple of His eye, as we sing in today’s Psalm. The Maccabeans’ persecutors marveled at their courage. We too can glorify the Lord in our sufferings and in the daily sacrifices we make.

And we have even greater cause for hope than they did. One who has risen from the dead has given us His word—that He is the God of the living, that when we awake from the sleep of death we will behold His face and be content in His presence (see Psalm 76:6; Daniel 12:2).

A Meaningful Encounter…

Posted: November 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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I was walking with my daughter to the bus stop from mum’s place to go home, when I heard a guy call out “uncle” from behind me. As there was an old man walking towards me I thought the couple walking behind me was calling out to him. But the old man neither acknowledged their call nor did he even look their way. As the old man passed me by I heard a loud call “uncle” again so I turned to have a look.

Lo and behold the tall lanky Chinese guy in his mid fifties wearing a surgical mask was actually calling out to me. He asked if I was a Christian and I replied yes but curious how did he know? It turns out the t shirt I was wearing had ‘Servants of The Lord” printed behind. We then had a wonderful chat all the way to the bus stop.

Turns out Joseph and his Filipino wife are missionaries who  just returned from the Philippines two months ago. He is from an independent non denominational church. He shared that ever since he was baptised some 18 years ago, he was called to the Lord to go on mission. And has done so on His providence all this while.

I was curious how he encountered the Lord to begin with. Apparently prior to a car accident, Joseph was a ‘Tang Kee’ which is a Chinese medium. When he had that terrible accident he saw a vision of the Lord reaching out and pulling him out of the wreck. He did not know who Jesus was at the time. A few months later he was led to a church and when he saw a picture of Jesus he broke down and cried. He was later baptized and had ever since ministered to people through healing and leading them to the Lord.

I briefly shared my own journey with him till his bus arrived first. Told him I would look him up if I was in the neighborhood again. Afterall he is starting two floors above my mum.

Praise the Lord for such a meaningful encounter with a fellow brother in Christ!

The T shirt I was wearing

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 5, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We all need money to survive in this world and in itself money is neither good nor evil. It is how we attain it, how we use it and to our end that we may be judged.

A long time ago I made a decision that I would work hard to make a living to provide enough for my family. But will not chase after riches, fame or fortune! Not for lack of ambition but rather I desired to serve the Lord in whatever time I had to do so. He gave me many opportunites to bring His peace, love and joy into the homes and hearts of His flock over the years. Whether it was giving formation talks, home bound communion or home visit programs. I received freely from Him and so gave freely. The fraternal bonds that grew through ministering in His love are the most precious to me. I remember fondly on one occasion as I finished the last session of a Holy Communion program, the group gifted me with a messenger bag. They had noticed the one I had been carrying was a little worn out. I was deeply touched by their love and kindness. In another a family I was received as a son to a mother and a little later God-Father to her daughter. Many of us share a deep heartfelt appreciation of what it means to live as sisters and brothers, God our Father’s children through Jesus our Lord and Saviour. Truly it is Jesus our Lord who gathers us all and makes us One in Him!

As I look back to see the glory of God in my life, I move forward to glorify Him with renewed vigour for truly there is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength! Amen Alleluia!

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First reading

Philippians 4:10-19 ·

With the help of the One who gives me strength, there is nothing I cannot master

It is a great joy to me, in the Lord, that at last you have shown some concern for me again; though of course you were concerned before, and only lacked an opportunity. I am not talking about shortage of money: I have learnt to manage on whatever I have, I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. All the same, it was good of you to share with me in my hardships. In the early days of the Good News, as you people of Philippi well know, when I left Macedonia, no other church helped me with gifts of money. You were the only ones; and twice since my stay in Thessalonika you have sent me what I needed. It is not your gift that I value; what is valuable to me is the interest that is mounting up in your account. Now for the time being I have everything that I need and more: I am fully provided now that I have received from Epaphroditus the offering that you sent, a sweet fragrance – the sacrifice that God accepts and finds pleasing. In return my God will fulfil all your needs, in Christ Jesus, as lavishly as only God can.

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Gospel

Luke 16:9-15

Use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?

    ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’

    The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him. He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 4, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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“They make foods into their god and they are proudest of something they ought to think shameful; the things they think important are earthly things.”

Stark warning from St Paul on how we can become enemies of the cross of Christ!

We need to account for how we are living each day in the light of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And we must correct the errors of our ways, behaviours, speech and so on. That is why an examination of conscience each day is a must if we want to grow in faithfulness, holiness and to deepen our relationship with Jesus our Lord. For we know we can always turn to Him to transfigure us, so as to live more fully in His love.

Lord You are faithful. You will establish me and guard me against the evil one. Amen (2 Tess 3:3)

Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop pray for us…

First reading

Philippians 3:17-4:1 ·

Our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes Christ to transfigure us

My brothers, be united in following my rule of life. Take as your models everybody who is already doing this and study them as you used to study us. I have told you often, and I repeat it today with tears, there are many who are behaving as the enemies of the cross of Christ. They are destined to be lost. They make foods into their god and they are proudest of something they ought to think shameful; the things they think important are earthly things. For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

    So then, my brothers and dear friends, do not give way but remain faithful in the Lord. I miss you very much, dear friends; you are my joy and my crown.

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Gospel

Luke 16:1-8

The master praised the dishonest servant

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.” Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”

    Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?” “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty.” To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”

    ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 3, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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All our qualifications, status in life means nothing if we do not know Christ Jesus and are living a life in the Spirit! More so if we are not helping our fellow sisters and brothers on their journey back to God our Heavenly Father.

I used to think that I when I pass from this life into new life with my Lord, how nice it would be to be remembered by many, like one of the saints who devoted their life to Christ and how many they have touched. But now as I dwell more deeply, I would rather be remembered only by the many lost souls I have led back to Christ and how through their own encounter with Jesus have led others to the same. Then when it is time, we can all stand hand in hand singing the Lord our God’s praises in Heaven. Amen

Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice! Alleluia!

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First reading

Philippians 3:3-8 ·

I was faultless according to the Law; but without knowing Christ I was nothing

We are the real people of the circumcision, we who worship in accordance with the Spirit of God; we have our own glory from Christ Jesus without having to rely on a physical operation. If it came to relying on physical evidence, I should be fully qualified myself. Take any man who thinks he can rely on what is physical: I am even better qualified. I was born of the race of Israel and of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrew parents, and I was circumcised when I was eight days old. As for the Law, I was a Pharisee; as for working for religion, I was a persecutor of the Church; as far as the Law can make you perfect, I was faultless. But because of Christ, I have come to consider all these advantages that I had as disadvantages. Not only that, but I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

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Gospel

Luke 15:1-10

There will be rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:

    ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.

    ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’


While we hope and pray that our departed fellow sisters and brothers are already with Jesus in His Heavenly Kingdom; we also know that some might have need of purging, perhaps of unconfessed sins and impurities of soul.

That aside we remember them for the joys they brought in our lives, while no longer within reach for a warm hug we have confidence that they are in our Lord’s loving embrace. And so we set aside this day to pray for all our dearly departed, that through our merciful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ they are fully united with God our Heavenly Father forever.

Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord, and, as our faith in your Son, raised from the dead, is deepened, so may our hope of resurrection for your departed servants

also find new strength. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, (one) God, for ever and ever. Amen

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First reading

Wisdom 3:1-9 ·

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God

The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God,

no torment shall ever touch them.

In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,

their going looked like a disaster,

their leaving us, like annihilation;

but they are in peace.

If they experienced punishment as men see it,

their hope was rich with immortality;

slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.

God has put them to the test

and proved them worthy to be with him;

he has tested them like gold in a furnace,

and accepted them as a holocaust.

When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out;

as sparks run through the stubble, so will they.

They shall judge nations, rule over peoples,

and the Lord will be their king for ever.

They who trust in him will understand the truth,

those who are faithful will live with him in love;

for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.

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Second reading

Romans 5:5-11 ·

Now we have been reconciled by the death of his Son, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son

Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.

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Gospel

Luke 7:11-17

The only son of his mother, and she a widow

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 1, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Sexual immorality, materialism, consumerism these are just some of the more prevalent challenges we face to overcome in the world. Yet many do not even realise they have fallen prey to these, for their standards are that of the world!

Buy! Buy! Buy! Black day Sales! Exclusive limited time period sales! Or Limited TV series ‘See how she gives in to her darkest desires’ ‘He aims to please all women will he find love?’

Who shall then stand in His Holy place?

Men and Women with clean hands and pure heart, who desires not worthless things.

Today we celebrate our sisters and brothers in Christ who have chosen Jesus above all in their lives. They had all sacrificed for love of Him and of brethren; and were truly Blessed as they in turn shared their Blessings with others. They give us hope of how we too can live new lives with and in Him, our Resurrected Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Till we are reunited in Heaven, all you Saints pray for us…

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First reading

Apocalypse 7:2-4,9-14 ·

I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language

I, John, saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, ‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel.

    After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud, ‘Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words, ‘Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.’

    One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, ‘Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?’ I answered him, ‘You can tell me, my lord.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great persecution, and they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.’

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Second reading

1 John 3:1-3 ·

We shall be like God because we shall see him as he really is

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,

    by letting us be called God’s children;

    and that is what we are.

Because the world refused to acknowledge him,

    therefore it does not acknowledge us.

My dear people, we are already the children of God

    but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;

all we know is, that when it is revealed

    we shall be like him

    because we shall see him as he really is.

Surely everyone who entertains this hope

    must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.

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Gospel

Matthew 5:1-12a

How happy are the poor in spirit

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;

    theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

    they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn:

    they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

    they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful:

    they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

    they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers:

    they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

    theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 31, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We must bring the Eucharistic Celebration that we celebrate on Sundays back into our homes. That is to have meals with family, friends and community where there is the breaking of the Word, thanksgiving and sharing testimonies over the meal. And the doors of our homes must be opened to all! For as St Paul reminds us today, that we should always consider the other person to be better than ourselves, so that nobody thinks of his or her own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.

Can you fathom how powerful a message we send as Christians living our faith in such a setting? By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.  Jn 13:35 Amen

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First reading

Philippians 2:1-4 ·

Be united in your love

If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.

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Gospel

Luke 14:12-14

Do not invite those who might be able to invite you back

Jesus said to his host, one of the leading Pharisees, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 29, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Lover of Souls: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Wisdom 11:22–12:2

Psalm 145:1–2, 8–11, 13–14

2 Thessalonians 1:11–2:2

Luke 19:1–10

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Our Lord is a lover of souls, the Liturgy shows us today. As we sing in today’s Psalm, He is slow to anger and compassionate toward all that He has made.

In His mercy, our First Reading tells us, He overlooks our sins and ignorance, giving us space that we might repent and not perish in our sinfulness (see Wisdom 12:10; 2 Peter 3:9).

In Jesus, He has become the Savior of His children, coming Himself to save the lost (see Isaiah 63:8–9; Ezekiel 34:16).

In the figure of Zacchaeus in today’s Gospel, we have a portrait of a lost soul. He is a tax collector, by profession a “sinner” excluded from Israel’s religious life. Not only that, he is a “chief tax collector.” Worse still, he is a rich man who has apparently gained his living by fraud.

But Zacchaeus’ faith brings salvation to his house. He expresses his faith in his fervent desire to “see” Jesus, even humbling himself to climb a tree just to watch Him pass by. While those of loftier religious stature react to Jesus with grumbling, Zacchaeus receives Him with joy.

Zacchaeus is not like the other rich men Jesus meets or tells stories about (see Luke 12:16–21; 16:19–31; 18:18–25). He repents, vowing to pay restitution to those he has cheated and to give half of his money to the poor.

By his humility he is exalted, made worthy to welcome the Lord into his house. By his faith, he is justified, made a descendant of Abraham (see Romans 4:16–17).

As He did last week, Jesus is again using a tax collector to show us the faith and humility we need to obtain salvation.

We are also called to seek Jesus daily with repentant hearts. And we should make Paul’s prayer in today’s Epistle our own: that God might make us worthy of His calling, that by our lives we might give glory to the name of Jesus.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 29, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How many wants to live long lives in the service of others? To live out their lives focused on one sole mission and that is to win as many souls as possible for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Hard to fathom? Well, this is how we are when we have fallen deeply in love with our Lord. While we desire with all our hearts to be united with Him in Heaven, we also want to lead as many as we can home to Him.


The only affirmation we seek is His and therefore we die to ourselves so as to rise with Him! This is the pure humility of carrying our cross and following after Him.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” John 12:24-25

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First reading

Philippians 1:18-26 ·

Life to me is Christ; but death would bring me more

Christ is proclaimed; and that makes me happy; and I shall continue being happy, because I know this will help to save me, thanks to your prayers and to the help which will be given to me by the Spirit of Jesus. My one hope and trust is that I shall never have to admit defeat, but that now as always I shall have the courage for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good results – I do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake. This weighs with me so much that I feel sure I shall survive and stay with you all, and help you to progress in the faith and even increase your joy in it; and so you will have another reason to give praise to Christ Jesus on my account when I am with you again.

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Gospel

Luke 14:1,7-11

Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled

Now on a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this, ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you would have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 28, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Ever since last week, when I asked the Lord for a Word to share with the participants going through the Pathways Choices series, He has put this on my heart for me as well.  I believe He also wants you His saints to know this. To be encouraged and to be emboldened to share His love with all you meet.

But now thus says the Lord,

    he who created you, he who formed you,

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

    I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

    and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One, your Saviour.

Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you. (Isaiah 43:1-4)

Saints Simon and Jude till we are all reunited in Heaven, pray for us…Amen

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First reading

Ephesians 2:19-22 ·

In Christ you are no longer aliens, but citizens like us

You are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household. You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.

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Gospel

Luke 6:12-16

Jesus chooses his twelve apostles

Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 27, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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You and I may think we are far from Holy, but holiness for us is not an end result but a journey into the loving embrace of our Father in Heaven. Holiness comes from Him and we cannot say that we are not holy because by our baptism we were made holy unto Him. Therefore be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt 5:48

This is why every morning we should put on the helmet of salvation remembering always that Jesus has already won the victory over sin and death for us. We then sit in His presence and ponder on His word for us. We pray in the Spirit for ourselves and for our fellow saints. Only then, we are ready and eager to share the good news and love the world into His kingdom!

Blessed be the Lord our God, now and forever. Amen

________

First reading

Ephesians 6:10-20 ·

Put on God’s armour and resist the devil

Grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. Put God’s armour on so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens. That is why you must rely on God’s armour, or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground.

    So stand your ground, with truth buckled round your waist, and integrity for a breastplate, wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace and always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to put out the burning arrows of the evil one. And then you must accept salvation from God to be your helmet and receive the word of God from the Spirit to use as a sword.

    Pray all the time, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all the saints; and pray for me to be given an opportunity to open my mouth and speak without fear and give out the mystery of the gospel of which I am an ambassador in chains; pray that in proclaiming it I may speak as boldly as I ought to.

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Gospel

Luke 13:31-35

It would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem

Some Pharisees came up to Jesus. ‘Go away’ they said. ‘Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.’ He replied, ‘You may go and give that fox this message: Learn that today and tomorrow I cast out devils and on the third day attain my end. But for today and tomorrow and the next day I must go on, since it would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.

    ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! So be it! Your house will be left to you. Yes, I promise you, you shall not see me till the time comes when you say:

‘Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 26, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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There are simply too many volunteers and not enough disciples! Too many in our churches, ministries, communities even families. Let us reflect a little on the latter first. For if we had disciples in the family will we not need to be reminded of our roles in the family? How to be obedient and give honour to our parents? How we need to serve one another with great love, the same love we have found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

How about communities and ministries? Do we belong to one and are we there as disciples of Christ Jesus our Lord? Do we serve with and alongside one another in love? Are all doing our bit to build up His Kingdom by praying together, worshipping and praising Him as one? Do we affirm one another and help one another grow within our communities and ministries? Are we obedient to the leaders? And finally, how have we touched and brought all those outside of our communities and ministries closer to Jesus our Lord as His disciples?

What about Church? Do we even know who or what makes up the Church? Is it the building? The people? One or the other? Both? If we think we do know then what is our commitment to Church? How much do we love our Church? How are we showing that love? Do we participate fully with all our hearts and minds in growing the Church community? Or are our individual ministries and communities all that we are concerned about? Are we a ‘communion’ of volunteers or are we One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? A Holy Communion of saints, disciples after the heart of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face. Amen Cf. Ps 104: 3-4

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First reading

Ephesians 6:1-9

Duties in domestic life

Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord – that is your duty. The commandment that has a promise attached to it is: Honour your father and mother, and the promise is: and you will prosper and have a long life in the land. And parents, never drive your children to resentment but in bringing them up correct them and guide them as the Lord does.

    Slaves, be obedient to the men who are called your masters in this world, with deep respect and sincere loyalty, as you are obedient to Christ: not only when you are under their eye, as if you had only to please men, but because you are slaves of Christ and wholeheartedly do the will of God. Work hard and willingly, but do it for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of men. You can be sure that everyone, whether a slave or a free man, will be properly rewarded by the Lord for whatever work he has done well. And those of you who are employers, treat your slaves in the same spirit; do without threats, remembering that they and you have the same Master in heaven and he is not impressed by one person more than by another.

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Gospel

Luke 13:22-30

The last shall be first and the first last

Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them, ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.

    ‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets” but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”

    ‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

    ‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 25, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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With renewed minds in Christ Jesus our Lord we will raise up His Kingdom! For we are the yeast in three measures of flour, we are the trees fully grown by our faith which provide shelter for those seeking Jesus!

For we are called to emulate the spousal love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for His Church. And we are His Church, His bride! So just as we husbands and wives aim to lead one another to Heaven by and through His love. We too shall lead everyone to His kingdom by our spousal fidelity and love. Amen

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First reading

Ephesians 5:21-33 ·

Give way to one another in obedience to Christ

Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body – and we are its living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church. To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.

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Gospel

Luke 13:18-21

The kingdom of God is like the yeast that leavened three measures of flour

Jesus said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden: it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.’

    Another thing he said, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God with? It is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 22, 2022 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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No Favorites: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Sirach 35:12–14, 16–18

Psalm 34:2–3, 17–19, 23

2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18

Luke 18:9–14

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Jesus draws a blunt picture in today’s Gospel.

The Pharisee’s prayer is almost a parody of the thanksgiving psalms (see for example Psalms 30, 118). Instead of praising God for His mighty works, the Pharisee congratulates himself for his own deeds, which he presents to God in some detail.

The tax collector stands at a distance, too ashamed even to raise his eyes to God (see Ezra 9:6). He prays with a humble and contrite heart (see Psalm 51:19). He knows that before God no one is righteous, no one has cause to boast (see Roman 3:10; 4:2).

We see in the Liturgy today one of Scripture’s abiding themes: that God “knows no favorites,” as today’s First Reading tells us (see 2 Chronicles 19:7; Acts 10:34–35; Romans 2:11).

God cannot be bribed (see Deuteronomy 10:17). We cannot curry favor with Him or impress Him—even with our good deeds or our faithful observance of religious duties such as tithing and fasting.

If we try to exalt ourselves before the Lord, as the Pharisee does, we will be brought low (see Luke 1:52).

This should be a warning to us—not to take pride in our piety, not to slip into the self-righteousness of thinking that we’re better than others, that we’re “not like the rest of sinful humanity.”

If we clothe ourselves with humility (see 1 Peter 5:5–6), if we recognize that all of us are sinners in need of His mercy, we will be exalted (see Proverbs 29:33).

The prayer of the lowly, the humble, pierces the clouds. Paul testifies to this in today’s Epistle as He thanks the Lord for giving him strength during his imprisonment.

Paul tells us what the Psalmist sings today—that the Lord redeems the lives of His humble servants.

We too must serve Him willingly. And He will hear us in our distress, deliver us from evil, and bring us safely to His heavenly kingdom.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 22, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Are we all exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to us all at baptism and rekindled, set ablaze by our confirmation? Or for many sisters and brothers during a baptism of the Holy Spirit after LISS (Life in The Spirit Seminar), a retreat and so on.

If we are, then we know just how powerful and wonderful it is to be instruments of His grace for one another; as we build up His Church, His Kingdom! During a recent zoom meeting we were broken off into small groups of two or three and asked to pray, then discern a message from God for one another. I was grouped with a beautiful couple in the US. The wife said this to me, “I see you searching, and searching, like someone looking hard to find jewels here and there. But here’s the thing, you do not need or lack of anything, you already have it all.” She by exercising the gift she had received from Holy Spirit gave me great hope, strength, courage, even empowerment by that ‘simple’ message. I would go on the next day to step out in faith and pray for a sister who needed physical healing.

So, if Jesus came in person today to see us, will He find fruit?

Jesus my friend, my Lord and Saviour, grant me more of You in my life. So that through and with You I will always bear much fruit for You. Glory and Praise to You O Lord. Amen

Saint John Paul II, Pope pray for us…

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First reading

Ephesians 4:7-16 ·

By grace, we shall not be children any longer

Each one of us has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. It was said that he would:

When he ascended to the height, he captured prisoners,

he gave gifts to men.

When it says, ‘he ascended’, what can it mean if not that he descended right down to the lower regions of the earth? The one who rose higher than all the heavens to fill all things is none other than the one who descended. And to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

    Then we shall not be children any longer, or tossed one way and another and carried along by every wind of doctrine, at the mercy of all the tricks men play and their cleverness in practising deceit. If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow in all ways into Christ, who is the head by whom the whole body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each separate part to work according to its function. So the body grows until it has built itself up, in love.

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Gospel

Luke 13:1-9

‘Leave the fig tree one more year’

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’

    He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 21, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How do we read the times with eyes opened afresh through the Holy Spirit? Through the One same spirit that binds us all together through Jesus Christ our Lord. Do we rely simply on tried and tested methods, templates, song choices or do we move where the Lord leads us? For His Way is always better! And He makes all things new!

If Covid has taught us anything, it is that we must all quickly adapt and change or be left behind to die! The question today is how do we bring about a revival in our Church? In our communities, families, nation and the World? How do we share Jesus our Lord with everyone in ways that will open ears, minds and hearts?

Yes Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb 13:8 And yet Jesus said in John 4:13-14 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” He invites us in Isaiah 55:1-2 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. (John 7:38) Lord Jesus let Your living water well out from within me, that I may bring You anew into this world thirsting for You. Amen

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First reading

Ephesians 4:1-6 ·

One Body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

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Gospel

Luke 12:54-59

Do you not know how to interpret these times?

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does. And when the wind is from the south you say it will be hot, and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?

    ‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right? For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 20, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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There are many still living lives with taglines, thinking that these will remind and help them to stay on track. “Let go and let God!”, “What would Jesus do?”, “Jesus is my God, my strength”, “The Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” and so on…

But in truth they are far from letting go and letting God. Will Jesus really do the things they have done? And if He is their strength then how come there is no growth or revival in their community, their church? How is it then, that their answers to questions raised by others are administrative, cold and without resolve? How many of God’s children were trampled upon by their harsh words, actions even attitudes?

Instead of what would Jesus do. We should press in on what would Jesus think. What is on the mind and heart of the Lord our God for our lives? He should therefore already be the One above all, everyone and everything in our lives! And so are loving our brethren as we love ourselves; for great is our love of Him.

Lord Jesus set my heart on fire for You. For it You I long for, You I thirst for. Amen

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First reading

Ephesians 3:14-21

A prayer that faithful may know the love of Christ

This is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:

    Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

    Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.

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Gospel

Luke 12:49-53

How I wish it were blazing already!

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!

    ‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’