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On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 19, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Oh how I miss Your touch Lord Jesus! Your loving embrace in Holy Communion. How You have helped me see more clearly my sisters and brothers in You. Touch me once again Lord that I may see more fully with my heart, all the wonder of Your works. But most of all that I may see my brethren who are in need, so that I may reach out and minister to them in Your name.

Let my prayer and reflections on Your living Word draw me every closer to You. That I may dwell in Your love and bring Your love to those in need by the service of my hands and feet. And may all that I say and do be a reflection of You, my Lord and my God. Amen

First reading

James 1:19-27

The Word is not only to be listened to, but obeyed

Remember this, my dear brothers: be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper; God’s righteousness is never served by man’s anger; so do away with all the impurities and bad habits that are still left in you – accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. But you must do what the word tells you, and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. To listen to the word and not obey is like looking at your own features in a mirror and then, after a quick look, going off and immediately forgetting what you looked like. But the man who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and makes that his habit – not listening and then forgetting, but actively putting it into practice – will be happy in all that he does.
Nobody must imagine that he is religious while he still goes on deceiving himself and not keeping control over his tongue; anyone who does this has the wrong idea of religion. Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.

Gospel

Mark 8:22-26
The blind man was cured and could see everything distinctly

Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, ‘Can you see anything?’ The man, who was beginning to see, replied, ‘I can see people; they look like trees to me, but they are walking about.’ Then he laid his hands on the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly. And Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’


We must strive daily to resist all forms of sin and temptation especially now that many do not have access to the sacraments. For even the tiniest of sin grows and spread its evil. Often enough what is said comes from a place of pride, of thinking one knows better, from demanding justice, self preservation maybe even self benefit and so the gossip and rumour mill begins. It spreads injures, destroys and takes no prisoners except the one who started it. Two of the many deadly sins have been and continue to be the downfall of many men and women alike. They are pride and lust! Of course greed follows closely behind. None of which comes from the Lord our God who is without sin and therefore nothing sinful comes from one who is blameless.

Therefore it is right and just, always and everywhere; to give Him thanks and praise. For our Lord Jesus Christ by His life, death and Resurrection had conquered sin and through Him we have life eternal. Through Him, we can live life to the full in His love. Every morning we awake and before we lay our head to sleep, we should come into the presence of our Lord and give Him the truth of our heart. We plead for His mercy and the grace to begin aright and new. We surrender the day and night to Him, most of all, our lives! So that through Him we will lead fruitful lives glorifying the Lord our God Amen.

First reading

James 1:12-18 ·
Temptation is not from God

Happy the man who stands firm when trials come. He has proved himself, and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Never, when you have been tempted, say, ‘God sent the temptation’; God cannot be tempted to do anything wrong, and he does not tempt anybody. Everyone who is tempted is attracted and seduced by his own wrong desire. Then the desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it too has a child, and the child is death.
Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers: it is all that is good, everything that is perfect, which is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow of a change. By his own choice he made us his children by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he had created.

Gospel

Mark 8:14-21
Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod

The disciples had forgotten to take any food and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them this warning, ‘Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ And they said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you not yet understand? Have you no perception? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear? Or do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ They answered, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ And they answered, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Are you still without perception?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 17, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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And so in this time of uncertainty, trial and the challenges that await us; we are called to learn and to be patient. We turn to the Lord our God’s wisdom to show us the way. We hold on dearly to our faith and look upon the cross in which our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ hung for us. Truly the sign of God’s endearing love for us for all time.

We remember how He loved us and that the cross was not the end! But only the beginning of new life with Him through His resurrection. Christ conquered death so that we might live free in His love.

So let us continue to pray fervently that our Lord Jesus’s mercy, justice and peace will prevail in our day, in our minds and in our hearts. Amen

First reading

James 1:1-11 ·
Your faith is put to the test so that your patience may make you complete

From James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Greetings to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion.
    My brothers, you will always have your trials but, when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege; you understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient, but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully-developed, complete, with nothing missing.
    If there is any one of you who needs wisdom, he must ask God, who gives to all freely and ungrudgingly; it will be given to him. But he must ask with faith, and no trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves thrown up in the sea when the wind drives. That sort of person, in two minds, wavering between going different ways, must not expect that the Lord will give him anything.
    It is right for the poor brother to be proud of his high rank, and the rich one to be thankful that he has been humbled, because riches last no longer than the flowers in the grass; the scorching sun comes up, and the grass withers, the flower falls; what looked so beautiful now disappears. It is the same with the rich man: his business goes on; he himself perishes.


Gospel

Mark 8:11-13
No sign shall be given to this generation

The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.


We are one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. And so just as we are One Body In Christ we must stand united in our faith and in our worship bound together to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Through His Vicar our Pope and obedience to our Archbishop we are of One Body as we are of One mind. Church is therefore not just a building but built on a foundation of living stones. 1 Peter 2:5

And all of us, sinners that we are must turn frequently to our Lord Jesus Christ for the necessary graces through the sacraments He bestowed upon us; so that we might remain steadfast and to grow in Holiness. Let us then rejoice for through Him or hearts, minds are opened to praise, worship and adore Him. To glorify Him by our lives by living free from sin, in His love one Body In Him. Amen

Dearest Mother intercede for our Church as we pray, Hail Mary….

A reading from

the first Book of Kings11:29-32; 12:19

One day when Jeroboam had gone out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh accosted him on the road. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak; the two of them were in the open country by themselves. Ahijah took the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve strips, saying to Jeroboam, “Take ten strips for yourself, for thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel, ‘I am going to tear the kingdom from Solomon’s hand and give ten tribes to you. He shall keep one tribe for the sake of my ­servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.’”
And Israel has been separated from the House of David until the present day.
The word of the Lord.

A reading from

the holy Gospel according to Mark7:31-37

Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, “Ephphatha”, that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. “He has done all things well,” they said, “he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 13, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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From the very beginning, our almighty and ever-living God has no name. For He is all in all, above everything, everyone and has no beginning and no end. Therefore there can exist no other God, there is only one, the God of Abraham, God of Issac and God of Jacob. One living triune God for all time. So loved He the world and to save us from eternal death by our sins, the Son of God became the Son of Man and bore the name Jesus who saves! He revealed for all time, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58

Such is His mercy and love that He even hears the intercessions of non-believers who cry out to Him in desperation. He heals and restores by their faith in Him. How great and loving is our God! We are all indeed sinners in need of His mercy and compassion.

Let us all not wait to change but come swiftly and enter into His presence, so that He can change us from within. He can free us from all evil, so as to live Holy lives in His love.

Jesus is for everyone. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 11:4-13
‘The half was not told me’

When Solomon grew old his wives swayed his heart to other gods; and his heart was not wholly with the Lord his God as his father David’s had been. Solomon became a follower of Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians, and of Milcom, the Ammonite abomination. He did what was displeasing to the Lord, and was not a wholehearted follower of the Lord, as his father David had been. Then it was that Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the god of Moab on the mountain to the east of Jerusalem, and to Milcom the god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrifice to their gods.
The Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned from the Lord the God of Israel who had twice appeared to him and who had then forbidden him to follow other gods; but he did not carry out the Lord’s order. The Lord therefore said to Solomon, ‘Since you behave like this and do not keep my covenant or the laws I laid down for you, I will most surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. For your father David’s sake, however, I will not do this during your lifetime, but will tear it out of your son’s hands. Even so, I will not tear the whole kingdom from him. For the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen, I will leave your son one tribe.’

Gospel

Mark 7:24-30
The astuteness of the Syro-Phoenician woman

Jesus left Gennesaret and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not pass unrecognised. A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him straightaway and came and fell at his feet. Now the woman was a pagan, by birth a Syrophoenician, and she begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter. And he said to her, ‘The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ But she spoke up: ‘Ah yes, sir,’ she replied ‘but the house-dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps.’ And he said to her, ‘For saying this, you may go home happy: the devil has gone out of your daughter.’ So she went off to her home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 12, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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A Christian must always and everywhere reflect the heart of God in all that is said and done. There cannot be any or slightest form of duplicity.

For whether we like it or not, want it or not, people are watching our every move; hanging on our every word. And No this is not paranoia but a simple reality. They look to see from afar what we say and do both in church and outside of church. One clearest example is social media, like Facebook and Instagram. There are lurkers who will not like, dislike or comment but are watching what we post, and what we comment on the post of others. And so we have the power to evangelise the faith we hold dear, by the way we live our lives; bringing glory to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ or by our own choosing bring forth scandal, disarray and dismay by failing to live our Lord’s Kingdom values.

Let us then hold fast to our Lord Jesus’s commandment. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul. And to love one another as He had loved us. Then our light will break forth like the dawn, and our healing will quickly appear; then our righteousness will go before us, and the glory of the LORD will be our rear guard. Is 58:8

First reading

1 Kings 10:1-10 ·
Solomon prays to the Lord in the Temple

The fame of Solomon having reached the queen of Sheba, she came to test him with difficult questions. She brought immense riches to Jerusalem with her, camels laden with spices, great quantities of gold, and precious stones. On coming to Solomon, she opened her mind freely to him; and Solomon had an answer for all her questions, not one of them was too obscure for the king to expound. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon, the palace he had built, the food at his table, the accommodation for his officials, the organisation of his staff and the way they were dressed, his cup-bearers, and the holocausts he offered in the Temple of the Lord, it left her breathless, and she said to the king, ‘What I heard in my own country about you and your wisdom was true, then! Until I came and saw it with my own eyes I could not believe what they told me, but clearly they told me less than half: for wisdom and prosperity you surpass the report I heard. How happy your wives are! How happy are these servants of yours who wait on you always and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God who has granted you his favour, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s everlasting love for Israel, he has made you king to deal out law and justice.’ And she presented the king with a hundred and twenty talents of gold and great quantities of spices and precious stones; no such wealth of spices ever came again as those given to King Solomon by the queen of Sheba.

Gospel

Mark 7:14-23
It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean

Jesus called the people to him and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
When he had gone back into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Do you not understand either? Can you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot make him unclean, because it does not go into his heart but through his stomach and passes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he pronounced all foods clean.) And he went on, ‘It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 11, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Prayer is a means by which we unite ourselves most fully with the Lord our God. We listen intently for His will for us as we share our struggles and lift up our intentions. We fall into His loving embrace and by His grace we are transformed, strengthened and emboldened to go forth to touch others by our lives in His love.

What good are our prayers if we are not changed from within? If we are not contrite, merciful or loving towards others? If we entertain grandeur thoughts that we are above others; that all we say, do and instuct others is for their good and the good of all! Let us ask ourselves then have we acted in the humble servitude of the Lord our God and our brethren? Have they drawn closer to Him by our words and actions? Have we laid down our lives for Him and brethren.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Cor 13:11. I am now a man of God, therefore my love and actions must reflect the image of God my Father, creator of Heaven and earth through Christ my Lord. Amen

First reading

1 Kings 8:22-23,27-30 ·

‘Listen to the prayer your servant makes in this place’

In the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord and, stretching out his hands towards heaven, said, ‘O Lord, God of Israel, not in heaven above nor on earth beneath is there such a God as you, true to your covenant and your kindness towards your servants when they walk wholeheartedly in your way. Yet will God really live with men on the earth? Why, the heavens and their own heavens cannot contain you. How much less this house that I have built! Listen to the prayer and entreaty of your servant, O Lord my God; listen to the cry and to the prayer your servant makes to you today. Day and night let your eyes watch over this house, over this place of which you have said, “My name shall be there.” Listen to the prayer that your servant will offer in this place.

‘Hear the entreaty of your servant and of Israel your people as they pray in this place. From heaven where your dwelling is, hear; and, as you hear, forgive.’

Gospel

Mark 7:1-13

You get round the commandment of God to preserve your own tradition

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture:

This people honours me only with lip-service,
while their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless,
the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.

You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’ And he said to them, ‘How ingeniously you get round the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition! For Moses said: Do your duty to your father and your mother, and, Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death. But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is Corban (that is, dedicated to God), then he is forbidden from that moment to do anything for his father or mother.” In this way you make God’s word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down. And you do many other things like this.’