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Our only aim must be to enter the kingdom of Heaven. To be with our Heavenly Father. Just as Elijah proclaimed this, and we know it to be true in our hearts; there is but one God alone whom we must all worship and adore. For the Lord our God had loved us first from the very beginning and will love us to the end.

Let us then heed the call of St John the baptist to repent of our sins and to turn back to God. He had pointed the way to our Redeemer, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Through Him alone, we shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven where He reigns forever. Therefore how ever many times we might have been distracted, and fallen back into sin let us turn our gaze back to the loving face of our Lord and see that He still loves us. He is the lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world and He will have mercy on us when we turn to Him with our contrite hearts. Amen

Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us…

First reading

Isaiah 41:13-20 ·
I, the Holy One of Israel, am your redeemer

I, the Lord, your God,
I am holding you by the right hand;
I tell you, ‘Do not be afraid,
I will help you.’need

Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm,
Israel, puny mite.
I will help you – it is the Lord who speaks –
the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.

See, I turn you into a threshing-sled,
new, with doubled teeth;
you shall thresh and crush the mountains,
and turn the hills to chaff.

You shall winnow them and the wind will blow them away,
the gale will scatter them.
But you yourself will rejoice in the Lord,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The poor and needy ask for water, and there is none,
their tongue is parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them,
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

I will make rivers well up on barren heights,
and fountains in the midst of valleys;
turn the wilderness into a lake,
and dry ground into waterspring.

In the wilderness I will put cedar trees,
acacias, myrtles, olives.
In the desert I will plant juniper,
plane tree and cypress side by side;

so that men may see and know,
may all observe and understand
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.


Matthew 11:11-15

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm. Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading; and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 11, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Oh how easily tired I got and frustrated with life in general, church ministry, community and so on. Till I came to the realisation that I was running on my own steam, my own strength, my own wisdom; when I absolutely did not have to! I have Jesus! All I have to do is deepen my relationship with Him through prayer and His Word. Keep my focus on Him as I do His Will for me and all else is taken care of. Literally the Lord is my Shepherd there is nothing I shall want.

Makes no difference to me anymore if things don’t change or move as swiftly as I would like. If mindsets stay the same through stubbornness. I am not in charge, my Lord is. All in His time, through His grace. I simply do as I am called to do. I stay yoked to my Lord, His wisdom, most importantly His love.

Jesus my Lord, I rest in Your love. Amen

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 regularised, 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.


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.’

How wonderful it must have been to be born without sin. To walk with the Lord our God in Holiness, joy and peace in our hearts. Instead of aspiring to achieve greater holiness through fidelity, we turned our eyes instead to that we were explicitly told to avoid. In choosing so we severed our connection to the vine, the source of life.

In His great mercy and love for us, God our Father through His infinite grace; chose a young girl to be born without sin so that she might bear His only begotten Son, the light and hope of all into the world. The same free Will was accorded to our Blessed Mother and she chose fidelity to God over all else. By her faithfulness, she brought forth the Saviour of the world, who will reconcile all God our Father’s children to Himself. The vine and the branches become One as it should be.

All of us have a choice to make this Second holy week of Advent, do we go about our merry way as we have always done so? Or do we seek to be fully reconciled so as to grow in Holiness, to have a complete change of heart through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. To prepare room in our hearts for the indwelling of our Lord and Saviour. Amen

Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us….

First reading

Genesis 3:9-15,20 ·
‘The offspring of the woman will crush your head’

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.

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.


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.

Second Sunday in Advent

Posted: December 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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Kingdom Come: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday in Advent


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.

This year’s LISS (life in the spirit seminar) journey has given me a new perspective on Today’s first reading and Gospel.

In order for conversion of hearts there must be repentance first before God’s grace can flow. And so the bread of suffering and water of distress teaches us the effects of sin in our lives. How lost we were without our Lord in our lives. Then when we cry out to the Lord for mercy, He comes swiftly to heal, restore and nourish us. In the early weeks of the LISS, participants learn of just how much God our Father loves each and everyone of them. They begin to see how disordered their lives had become by not placing our Lord above all. Slowly but surely His grace begins to flow into their lives as they move towards full reconciliation with the Lord their God. They are then ready for the full outpouring of His love and grace through the Holy Spirit.

The LISS team and facilitators are the labourers! And the labourers are indeed few! Who wants to be a labourer? One who has to be invested and committed every week for nine weeks. To journey with, hand hold, pray fervently for and with the flock entrusted to their care. So that they can have a deep conversion experience, encounter the Lord in all His glory and become disciples (labourers) themselves. It is truly a labour of love! So then can such a labourer check their schedules to pick and choose when she or he is available to the flock? Yes Lord send me… But in my own time please? What I will and will not do? You receive without charge, give without charge! In other words no pre-conditions! Love freely and unconditionally. Only then we will see the fruits of our labour through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here I am Lord send me! Amen

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.


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

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

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

First reading

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

The Lord says this:

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

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

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


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 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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I have often pondered why certain ministries, communities even families do not grow in love, unity and simply go about serving with little happiness rather than joy in their hearts. The reason as I see it, is that there is too much individualism going on and everyone builds their own sandcastles. Some bigger and more intricate than others depending on their own strengths and talents. Prayer if any are devotionals so that little thought or effort goes into conversing with God. They will definitely pray a little more when they or someone dear to them is in dire need. Collective prayer is not their cup of tea and Adoration of our Lord is a private affair. They do not see the need to attend prayer meetings and reflections choosing to remain with what is comfortable for them. All it takes is a gale of wind in the form of change, challenges, disagreement and so on; and everything crumbles to dust!

Disciples come together first and foremost to praise and worship the Lord their God. Their prayers are primarily of thanksgiving and heartfelt gratitude. They pray and often together to discern His Will for them. If they build, they build upon their Rock, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And it is His Kingdom alone they seek to build. If they build ‘Castles’ at all, it is only to protect the weak, those who cannot fend for themselves against evil. They serve one and all with much, joy, peace and love. Most of all with great charity and mercy.

Lord Jesus Christ You are my Rock, now and forever. Amen

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.


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!’