Posts Tagged ‘Catholicjules.net’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 3, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus is a loving God who saves! He will restore all that is lost so that we might live to the full in Him. All that is required of us is to have faith and trust in Him.

But what faith will He find in us?

If we say we have placed all our trust and faith in Him and have decided to carry our cross to follow Him. Will He find us grumbling, complaining or even speaking ill of another in any given situation? Will He find us withholding mercy and love for someone who has offended us? Will we remain bystanders in the face of injustices committed in front of us?

Lord Jesus Son of the most High God, have mercy on me! Open my eyes to see Your Glory in everything! And the courage to take up my cross to follow after You always. Amen

Saint Francis Xavier Pray for us….

First reading

Isaiah 29:17-24 ·

In a very short time, the deaf will hear and the eyes of the blind will see

The Lord says this:

In a short time, a very short time,

shall not Lebanon become fertile land

and fertile land turn into forest?

The deaf, that day,

will hear the words of a book

and, after shadow and darkness,

the eyes of the blind will see.

But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord even more

and the poorest exult in the Holy One of Israel;

for tyrants shall be no more, and scoffers vanish,

and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil:

those who gossip to incriminate others,

those who try at the gate to trip the arbitrator

and get the upright man’s case dismissed for groundless reasons.

Therefore the Lord speaks,

the God of the House of Jacob,

Abraham’s redeemer:

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,

no more shall his face grow pale,

for he shall see what my hands have done in his midst,

he shall hold my name holy.

They will hallow the Holy One of Jacob,

stand in awe of the God of Israel.

Erring spirits will learn wisdom

and murmurers accept instruction.

Gospel

Matthew 9:27-31

‘Take care that no-one learns about this’

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

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 2, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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You know what is sad? Most of us have built our houses on sand and we don’t even realise it! That is why we continue to cry our Lord, Lord but nothing seems to change or happen and we quietly blame all that has happened or is happening on the Lord our God. We think our prayers are being ignored and rightfully so!

For time after time we have taken shortcuts and taken our faith for granted. We have not fully reconciled with the Lord and our God and surrendered ourselves to His Holy Will for us. And so the Lord says this to us…..

“Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Is 59:2

Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight”. Psalm 24:3-4: “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.”

So then in order for us to build our houses on our everlasting Rock, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; we must set our hearts and minds to be right with Him. To turn to Him with contrite hearts and to allow Him to heal us through the mercy of His grace so that we can once again hear His voice and unite our wills with His. Only then can we always know what the Will of God our Father is and we will eagerly seek to accomplish His Will for us with joy in our hearts. For we have built our houses on Rock! 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.

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: December 1, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Many indeed are suffering in the world and suffering with this on-going pandemic has been elevated to a whole new level. While many of us are blessed to remain safe and healthy we cannot say it is the same for everyone that we know. Too many have died and are still dying whether it is from COVID or other known ‘killers’ like Cancer and so on. What about those so stricken by poverty that they are dying of hunger, thirst even common curable diseases, because they have means of seeking medical attention. What hope do they have?

God our Father never intended for His Children to suffer to begin with. But as a result of sin our we now live in a fallen world with all its challenges and misery. Even then He did not leave us to suffer and die, for He sent His only begotten Son to bring forth His salvation. So that whosoever comes to believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will have eternal life! For He our way, truth and life!

He will heal and restore this broken world and breathe forth new life. This is our God! Amen Alleluia

Go, tell it on the mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

Go, tell it on the mountain

That Jesus Christ is Lord! (Go Tell it)

First reading

Isaiah 25:6-10 ·

The Lord will prepare a banquet for every nation

On this mountain,

the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples

a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines,

of food rich and juicy, of fine strained wines.

On this mountain he will remove

the mourning veil covering all peoples,

and the shroud enwrapping all nations,

he will destroy Death for ever.

The Lord will wipe away

the tears from every cheek;

he will take away his people’s shame

everywhere on earth,

for the Lord has said so.

That day, it will be said: See, this is our God

in whom we hoped for salvation;

the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.

We exult and we rejoice

that he has saved us;

for the hand of the Lord

rests on this mountain.

Gospel

Matthew 15:29-37

The crowds praised the God of Israel

Jesus reached the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and he went up into the hills. He sat there, and large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were astonished to see the dumb speaking, the cripples whole again, the lame walking and the blind with their sight, and they praised the God of Israel.

    But Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them off hungry, they might collapse on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where could we get enough bread in this deserted place to feed such a crowd?’ Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said ‘and a few small fish.’ Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and he gave thanks and broke them and handed them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected what was left of the scraps, seven baskets full.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 30, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We are the fishermen called to leave our nets behind and to follow after Jesus our Lord. To leave our comfort zones in total abandonment and entrust ourselves to God our Father’s providence so that we can truly become fishers of mean and women. Leading them into their Heavenly inheritance as promised by Christ our Lord.

After all His command was for all of us! Not just His Apostles but all of us disciples; that we therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that our Lord commanded us. And surely He is with us always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:19-20

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Jesus my Lord let me make You known throughout the world by love, my words and my deeds. Amen

St Andrew pray for us…..

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.

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.


Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Let us pray with all our hearts, the adapted words used by the Centurion just before we go up to receive the Holy Eucharist, “Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Lord I surrender to You my intellect, for Your thoughts and words are supreme and above all. “Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

I surrender to You my body, mind and Spirit so that You can fill be with Your grace and correct all that is not right within me. “Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Sanctify my eyes, ears, mouth and heart so that all I do bring Glory to You O Lord, “Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Let us walk in Your light Lord now and forevermore. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 2:1-5 ·

The Lord gathers all nations together into the eternal peace of God’s kingdom

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In the days to come

the mountain of the Temple of the Lord

shall tower above the mountains

and be lifted higher than the hills.

All the nations will stream to it,

peoples without number will come to it; and they will say:

    ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

    to the Temple of the God of Jacob

    that he may teach us his ways

    so that we may walk in his paths;

    since the Law will go out from Zion,

    and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’

He will wield authority over the nations

and adjudicate between many peoples;

these will hammer their swords into ploughshares,

their spears into sickles.

Nation will not lift sword against nation,

there will be no more training for war.

O House of Jacob, come,

let us walk in the light of the Lord.

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.’

1st Sunday of Advent

Posted: November 27, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Heads Up: Scott Hahn Reflects on the First Sunday of Advent

Readings:

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Psalm 25:4-5,8-10,14

1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Every Advent, the Liturgy of the Word gives our sense of time a reorientation. There’s a deliberate tension in the next four weeks’ readings—between promise and fulfillment, expectation and deliverance, between looking forward and looking back.

In today’s First Reading, the prophet Jeremiah focuses our gaze on the promise God made to David, some 1,000 years before Christ. God says through the prophet that He will fulfill this promise by raising up a “just shoot,” a righteous offspring of David, who will rule Israel in justice (see 2 Samuel 7:16; Jeremiah 33:17; Psalm 89:4–5; 27–38).

Today’s Psalm, too, sounds the theme of Israel’s ancient expectation: “Guide me in your truth and teach me. For you are God my savior and for you I will wait all day.”

We look back on Israel’s desire and anticipation knowing that God has already made good on those promises by sending His only Son into the world. Jesus is the “just shoot,” the God and Savior for Whom Israel was waiting.

Knowing that He is a God who keeps His promises lends grave urgency to the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel.

Urging us to keep watch for His return in glory, He draws on Old Testament images of chaos and instability—turmoil in the heavens (see Isaiah 13:11, 13; Ezekiel 32:7–8; Joel 2:10); roaring seas (see Isaiah 5:30; 17:12); distress among the nations (see Isaiah 8:22; 14:25) and terrified people (see Isaiah 13:6–11).

He evokes the prophet Daniel’s image of the Son of Man coming on a cloud of glory to describe His return as a “theophany,” a manifestation of God (see Daniel 7:13–14).

Many will cower and be literally scared to death. But Jesus says we should greet the end-times with heads raised high, confident that God keeps His promises, that our “redemption is at hand,” that “the kingdom of God is near” (see Luke 21:31).


three teenagers praying in a church

Anyone who thinks him/herself invulnerable to sin and temptation is a fool! And the fool is one who thinks the devil has no power.

Why then do you think then that even the most faithful and anointed ones will pray prayers for protection, precious blood prayer, Prayer to St Michael and many others including the Psalms? Well because the threat is very real, the more you strive for holiness you can be sure that Satan and his minions are striving for your un-holiness!

Do we then have to live in fear? NO! For again God with us who can be against us? Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ reigns victorious over death and sin! And we He is present with His faithful for all time. If and when we fall, we can turn swiftly to Him with contrite hearts and His mercy will be upon us. Is there something we can do to prevent ourselves from falling to begin with?

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Amen (Ephesians 6:10-18)

First reading

Daniel 7:15-27

His sovereignty will be an eternal sovereignty

I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through my head alarmed me. So I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him to tell me the truth about all this. And in reply he revealed to me what these things meant. “These four great beasts are four kings who will rise from the earth. Those who are granted sovereignty are the saints of the Most High, and the kingdom will be theirs for ever, for ever and ever.” Then I asked to know the truth about the fourth beast, different from all the rest, very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, eating, crushing and trampling underfoot what remained; and the truth about the ten horns on its head – and why the other horn sprouted and the three original horns fell, and why this horn had eyes and a mouth that was full of boasts, and why it made a greater show than the other horns. This was the horn I had watched making war on the saints and proving the stronger, until the coming of the one of great age who gave judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High, when the time came for the saints to take over the kingdom. This is what he said:

‘The fourth beast

is to be a fourth kingdom on earth,

different from all other kingdoms.

It will devour the whole earth,

trample it underfoot and crush it.

As for the ten horns: from this kingdom

will rise ten kings, and another after them;

this one will be different from the previous ones

and will bring down three kings;

he is going to speak words against the Most High,

and harass the saints of the Most High.

He will consider changing seasons and the Law,

and the saints will be put into his power

for a time, two times, and half a time.

But a court will be held and his power will be stripped from him,

consumed, and utterly destroyed.

And sovereignty and kingship,

and the splendours of all the kingdoms under heaven

will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty

and every empire will serve and obey him.’

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 26, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Even today we see leaders in the world ‘rule’ as though they are kings and lord it over their people through tyranny! Like many before them, they too shall pass away. The Lord our God never forgets His flock and abandons them. Through Him we have hope, peace and joy even amidst chaos and unrest.

Jesus the Son of the living God has come and is with us in every situation and every time. And even while we await His second coming we the faithful are already living our lives in His presence. Our dear and loving Lord has given two wonderful gifts that if we should ever lose our way, we can find Him again. The gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the supreme gift of the Holy Eucharist. So sisters and brothers in Christ as we journey on together this Advent, let us prepare our hearts to greet Him when He comes again.

‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’  Thank You Jesus, Glory hallelujah!

First reading

Daniel 7:2-14 ·

‘I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man’

I, Daniel, have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea; four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion with eagle’s wings; and as I looked its wings were torn off, and it was lifted from the ground and set standing on its feet like a man; and it was given a human heart. The second beast I saw was different, like a bear, raised up on one of its sides, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. “Up!” came the command “Eat quantities of flesh!” After this I looked, and saw another beast, like a leopard, and with four bird’s wings on its flanks; it had four heads, and power was given to it. Next I saw another vision in the visions of the night: I saw a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate, crushed and trampled underfoot what remained. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns.

    While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts. As I watched:

Thrones were set in place

and one of great age took his seat.

His robe was white as snow,

the hair of his head as pure as wool.

His throne was a blaze of flames,

its wheels were a burning fire.

A stream of fire poured out,

issuing from his presence.

A thousand thousand waited on him,

ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

A court was held

and the books were opened.

The great things the horn was saying were still ringing in my ears, and as I watched, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames. The other beasts were deprived of their power, but received a lease of life for a season and a time.

I gazed into the visions of the night.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,

one like a son of man.

He came to the one of great age

and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred sovereignty,

glory and kingship,

and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty

which shall never pass away,

nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

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.’


When I reflect on the readings of today the words of the Lord, “Seek it first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto to you.” Matt 6:33 For when it is our desire to remain steadfast and faithful in carrying out His Will that the Lord our God is truly present with us. And so God with us who then can be against us?  Romans 8:33

We can also be sure that when we rebel against Him, enter into sin and debauchery that we enter into our own destruction!

Lord we choose to endure hardships and challenges as we carry our cross to follow after You. For rest in Your Blessed assurance that paradise awaits us. Glory and praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Daniel 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28

The writing on the wall

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen; a thousand of them attended, and he drank wine in company with this thousand. As he sipped his wine, Belshazzar gave orders for the gold and silver vessels to be brought which his father Nebuchadnezzar had looted from the sanctuary in Jerusalem, so that the king, his noblemen, his wives and his singing women could drink out of them. The gold and silver vessels looted from the sanctuary of the Temple of God in Jerusalem were brought in, and the king, his noblemen, his wives and his singing women drank out of them. They drank their wine and praised their gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared, and began to write on the plaster of the palace wall, directly behind the lamp-stand; and the king could see the hand as it wrote. The king turned pale with alarm: his thigh-joints went slack and his knees began to knock.

    Daniel was brought into the king’s presence; the king said to Daniel, ‘Are you the Daniel who was one of the Judaean exiles brought by my father the king from Judah? I am told that the spirit of God Most Holy lives in you, and that you are known for your perception, intelligence and marvellous wisdom. As I am told that you are able to give interpretations and to unravel difficult problems, if you can read the writing and tell me what it means, you shall be dressed in purple, and have a chain of gold put round your neck, and be third in rank in the kingdom.’

    Then Daniel spoke up in the presence of the king. ‘Keep your gifts for yourself,’ he said ‘and give your rewards to others. I will read the writing to the king without them, and tell him what it means. You have defied the Lord of heaven, you have had the vessels from his Temple brought to you, and you, your noblemen, your wives and your singing women have drunk your wine out of them. You have praised gods of gold and silver, of bronze and iron, of wood and stone, which cannot either see, hear or understand; but you have given no glory to the God who holds your breath and all your fortunes in his hands. That is why he has sent the hand which, by itself, has written these words. The writing reads: Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin. The meaning of the words is this: Mene: God has measured your sovereignty and put an end to it; Tekel: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; Parsin: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.’

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 23, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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And so says the Lord, heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Matt 24:35) And so the only constant we all have and for all eternity is the love of God our Heavenly Father through His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. For He had promised that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  Amen

Nothing in this world lasts forever! Generation upon generation have seen their histories pass them by and change inevitably takes place. All that is once bright and shiny will lose its lustre.

First reading

Daniel 2:31-45 ·

Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, ‘You have had a vision, O king; this is what you saw: a statue, a great statue of extreme brightness, stood before you, terrible to see. The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet part iron, part earthenware. While you were gazing, a stone broke away, untouched by any hand, and struck the statue, struck its feet of iron and earthenware and shattered them. And then, iron and earthenware, bronze, silver, gold all broke into small pieces as fine as chaff on the threshing-floor in summer. The wind blew them away, leaving not a trace behind. And the stone that had struck the statue grew into a great mountain, filling the whole earth. This was the dream; now we will explain to the king what it means.

    ‘You, O king, king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given sovereignty, power, strength and glory – the sons of men, the beasts of the field, the birds of heaven, wherever they live, he has entrusted to your rule, making you king of them all – you are the golden head. And after you another kingdom will rise, not so great as you, and then a third, of bronze, which will rule the whole world. There will be a fourth kingdom, hard as iron, as iron that shatters and crushes all. Like iron that breaks everything to pieces, it will crush and break all the earlier kingdoms. The feet you saw, part earthenware, part iron, are a kingdom which will be split in two, but which will retain something of the strength of iron, just as you saw the iron and the clay of the earthenware mixed together. The feet were part iron, part earthenware: the kingdom will be partly strong and partly weak. And just as you saw the iron and the clay of the earthenware mixed together, so the two will be mixed together in the seed of man; but they will not hold together any more than iron will blend with earthenware. In the time of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not pass into the hands of another race: it will shatter and absorb all the previous kingdoms, and itself last for ever – just as you saw the stone untouched by hand break from the mountain and shatter iron, bronze, earthenware, silver and gold. The great God has shown the king what is to take place. The dream is true, the interpretation exact.’

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 22, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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When we dedicate our lives to the Lord our God and offer up our all, He fills us with what we are lacking and provides for us. By emptying ourselves with the cares and wiles of the world, we live fulfilled lives to the full in His grace. For He is our Shepherd, we shall not want.

Even if you have to die, says the Lord,

keep faithful, and I will give you

the crown of life. Rv2:10

Lord Jesus I trust in You. Amen
 

St Cecilia pray for us…..

 

First reading

Daniel 1:1-6,8-20 ·

Daniel and his companions are trained to be the king’s servants in Babylon

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hands, with some of the furnishings of the Temple of God. He took them away to the land of Shinar, and stored the sacred vessels in the treasury of his own gods.

    The king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to select from the Israelites a certain number of boys of either royal or noble descent; they had to be without any physical defect, of good appearance, trained in every kind of wisdom, well-informed, quick at learning, suitable for service in the palace of the king. Ashpenaz himself was to teach them the language and literature of the Chaldaeans. The king assigned them a daily allowance of food and wine from his own royal table. They were to receive an education lasting for three years, after which they were expected to be fit for the king’s society. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who were Judaeans. Daniel, who was most anxious not to defile himself with the food and wine from the royal table, begged the chief eunuch to spare him this defilement; and by the grace of God Daniel met goodwill and sympathy on the part of the chief eunuch. But he warned Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king: he has assigned you food and drink, and if he sees you looking thinner in the face than the other boys of your age, my head will be in danger with the king because of you.’ At this Daniel turned to the guard whom the chief eunuch had assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He said, ‘Please allow your servants a ten days’ trial, during which we are given only vegetables to eat and water to drink. You can then compare our looks with those of the boys who eat the king’s food; go by what you see, and treat your servants accordingly.’ The man agreed to do what they asked and put them on ten days’ trial. When the ten days were over they looked and were in better health than any of the boys who had eaten their allowance from the royal table; so the guard withdrew their allowance of food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. And God favoured these four boys with knowledge and intelligence in everything connected with literature, and in wisdom; while Daniel had the gift of interpreting every kind of vision and dream. When the period stipulated by the king for the boys’ training was over, the chief eunuch presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king conversed with them, and among all the boys found none to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they became members of the king’s court, and on whatever point of wisdom or information he might question them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

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 21, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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A Royal Truth: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of Christ the King

Readings:

Daniel 7:13-14
Psalm 93:1-2,5
Revelation 1:5-8
John 18:33-37

What’s the truth Jesus comes to bear witness to in this last Gospel of the Church’s year?

It’s the truth that in Jesus God keeps the promise He made to David of an everlasting kingdom, of an heir who would be His Son, “the first born, highest of the kings of the earth” (see 2 Samuel 7:12–16Psalm 89:27–38).

Today’s Second Reading, taken from the Book of Revelation, quotes these promises and celebrates Jesus as “the faithful witness.” The reading hearkens back to Isaiah’s prophecy that the Messiah would “witness to the peoples” that God is renewing His “everlasting covenant” with David (see Isaiah 55:3–5).

But as Jesus tells Pilate, there’s far more going on here than the restoration of a temporal monarchy. In the Revelation reading, Jesus calls Himself “the Alpha and the Omega,” the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. He’s applying to Himself a description that God uses to describe Himself in the Old Testament—the first and the last, the One who calls forth all generations (see Isaiah 41:444:648:12).

“He has made the world,” today’s Psalm cries, and His dominion is over all creation (see also John 1:3Colossians 1:16–17). In the vision of Daniel we hear in today’s First Reading, He comes on “the clouds of heaven”—another sign of His divinity—to be given “glory and kingship” forever over all nations and peoples.

Christ is King and His kingdom, while not of this world, exists in this world in the Church. We are a royal people. We know we have been loved by Him and freed by His blood and transformed into “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father” (see also Exodus 19:61 Peter 2:9).

As a priestly people, we share in His sacrifice and in His witness to God’s everlasting covenant. We belong to His truth and listen to His voice, waiting for Him to come again amid the clouds


It is quite sad if we go back to being mournful Catholics one day or for some 50 days after Easter each year and again a day after Christmas! We should always remember that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died once for us all so that we can rise with Him and live as Children of God our Father in the light of His Resurrection. For we have a Living God who loves us dearly, how then can we as His children live as though we are dead?

No doubt twice a year we go through a time of penance, sombre recollection through Lent and Advent. Anamnesis if you will as we recall what our Lord has done for us to bring about our Salvation. But always we look ahead towards the hope of Christmas and Easter fulfilled!

So let us remain steadfast in the Joy of our Lord and turn back to Him immediately whenever we fall into sin so that He can liberate us to live fully in the light of His Resurrection. Amen

First reading

1 Maccabees 6:1-13 ·

‘I remember the wrong I did in Jerusalem’

King Antiochus was making his way across the upper provinces; he had heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais, renowned for its riches, its silver and gold, and its very wealthy temple containing golden armour, breastplates and weapons, left there by Alexander son of Philip, the king of Macedon, the first to reign over the Greeks. He therefore went and attempted to take the city and pillage it, but without success, since the citizens learnt of his intention, and offered him a stiff resistance, whereupon he turned about and retreated, disconsolate, in the direction of Babylon. But while he was still in Persia news reached him that the armies that had invaded the land of Judah had been defeated, and that Lysias in particular had advanced in massive strength, only to be forced to turn and flee before the Jews; these had been strengthened by the acquisition of arms, supplies and abundant spoils from the armies they had cut to pieces; they had overthrown the abomination he had erected over the altar in Jerusalem, and had encircled the sanctuary with high walls as in the past, and had fortified Bethzur, one of his cities. When the king heard this news he was amazed and profoundly shaken; he threw himself on his bed and fell into a lethargy from acute disappointment, because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. And there he remained for many days, subject to deep and recurrent fits of melancholy, until he understood that he was dying. Then summoning all his Friends, he said to them, ‘Sleep evades my eyes, and my heart is cowed by anxiety. I have been asking myself how I could have come to such a pitch of distress, so great a flood as that which now engulfs me – I who was so generous and well-loved in my heyday. But now I remember the wrong I did in Jerusalem when I seized all the vessels of silver and gold there, and ordered the extermination of the inhabitants of Judah for no reason at all. This, I am convinced, is why these misfortunes have overtaken me, and why I am dying of melancholy in a foreign land.’

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 19, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Is your temple a house of prayer? Are you fervent in praying to the Holy Spirit such that you hear His soft promptings as He leads and guides You? Is your temple dedicated to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Are you striving for holiness? Are you prepared to receive Christ Your King when He comes again? Are you rejoicing with your fellow sisters and brothers in Christ as One in prayer and in sharing the joy of the Gospel? Encouraging one another to live the Word in your lives and one that is worthy of the promises of Christ?

Or will you hear the Lord say “You have turned it into a robbers’ den!’”

Let us pray….

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary

Pure and holy, tried and true

With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living

Sanctuary for You. Amen

(Lord, Prepare Me To Be A) Sanctuary

First reading

1 Maccabees 4:36-37,52-59 ·

Judas and his brothers purify the sanctuary and dedicate it

Judas and his brothers said, ‘Now that our enemies have been defeated, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and dedicate it.’ So they marshalled the whole army, and went up to Mount Zion.

    On the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight, they rose at dawn and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of holocausts which they had made. The altar was dedicated, to the sound of zithers, harps and cymbals, at the same time of year and on the same day on which the pagans had originally profaned it. The whole people fell prostrate in adoration, praising to the skies him who had made them so successful. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar, joyfully offering holocausts, communion sacrifices and thanksgivings. They ornamented the front of the Temple with crowns and bosses of gold, repaired the gates and the storerooms and fitted them with doors. There was no end to the rejoicing among the people, and the reproach of the pagans was lifted from them. Judas, with his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel, made it a law that the days of the dedication of the altar should be celebrated yearly at the proper season, for eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month Chislev, with rejoicing and gladness.

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 18, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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The Lord said: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. You will call upon me, and I will answer you, and I will lead back your captives from every place. Jer 29: 11, 12, 14

‘If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace!

So now do we understand the message of Peace? The Peace that only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can give? For without the Lord our God in our lives true peace as we are meant to experience it cannot exists. 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world – the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches – comes not from the Father but from the world.” Hence if we choose the ways of the world and sin over the Lord our God we can expect to face our very own demise. Spiritual death eventually leading to physical death!

Let us pray…..

“A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, And your Holy Spirit take not from me.” Amen (Psalm 51: 10-11)

First reading

1 Maccabees 2:15-29

‘Heaven preserve us from forsaking the Law and its ordinances’

The commissioners of King Antiochus who were enforcing the apostasy came to the town of Modein to make them sacrifice. Many Israelites gathered round them, but Mattathias and his sons drew apart. The king’s commissioners then addressed Mattathias as follows, ‘You are a respected leader, a great man in this town; you have sons and brothers to support you. Be the first to step forward and conform to the king’s decree, as all the nations have done, and the leaders of Judah and the survivors in Jerusalem; you and your sons shall be reckoned among the Friends of the King, you and your sons shall be honoured with gold and silver and many presents.’ Raising his voice, Mattathias retorted, ‘Even if every nation living in the king’s dominions obeys him, each forsaking its ancestral religion to conform to his decrees, I, my sons and my brothers will still follow the covenant of our ancestors. Heaven preserve us from forsaking the Law and its observances. As for the king’s orders, we will not follow them: we will not swerve from our own religion either to right or to left.’ As he finished speaking, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein as the royal edict required. When Mattathias saw this, he was fired with zeal; stirred to the depth of his being, he gave vent to his legitimate anger, threw himself on the man and slaughtered him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s commissioner who was there to enforce the sacrifice, and tore down the altar. In his zeal for the Law he acted as Phinehas did against Zimri son of Salu. Then Mattathias went through the town, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘Let everyone who has a fervour for the Law and takes his stand on the covenant come out and follow me.’ Then he fled with his sons into the hills, leaving all their possessions behind in the town.

    At this, many who were concerned for virtue and justice went down to the desert and stayed there.

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 17, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Pray we will never be put to such a test of having to choose life or death over our faith in the Lord our God. Many would rather not even think about such things for they live worlds apart from such happenings so why put themselves through such stress and anxiety?

How then are we to empathise with our sister and brothers who are constantly under threat of extermination and living under such conditions? Are we even keeping up with what is happening in the world? Do we know that there were two bomb blasts in Uganda? What about the terrorist attack in Liverpool? How can we pray earnestly and intercede for their salvation if we will not even spare a thought for them or when we choose to simply block out all such negative news, out of mind, out of sight!  How then can we pray for our Lord’s peace to reign in the World? Have you chosen to wrap your one pound safely in a linen cloth to return it as is, to the Lord Your God?

Are you just happy to live your cushy life not caring about anyone else other than  your immediate family. Well then you are likely to sell your soul for less than what its worth! For when a sexual temptation comes along you will give in readily. You will feed your greed, lust for honour and power and so on. For the Lord is far from your mind, heart and soul. And so from the man or woman who has not, even what he or she has will be taken away!

Let us pray….. If I live, I live for You Lord; and if I die, I gladly die for You Lord. So, whether I live or die, I belong to You Lord. Amen (Rm 14:8}

First reading

2 Maccabees 7:1,20-31 ·

The creator of the world will give you back both breath and life

There were seven brothers who were arrested with their mother. The king tried to force them to taste pig’s flesh, which the Law forbids, by torturing them with whips and scourges. But the mother was especially admirable and worthy of honourable remembrance, for she watched the death of seven sons in the course of a single day, and endured it resolutely because of her hopes in the Lord. Indeed she encouraged each of them in the language of their ancestors; filled with noble conviction, she reinforced her womanly argument with manly courage, saying to them, ‘I do not know how you appeared in my womb; it was not I who endowed you with breath and life, I had not the shaping of your every part. It is the creator of the world, ordaining the process of man’s birth and presiding over the origin of all things, who in his mercy will most surely give you back both breath and life, seeing that you now despise your own existence for the sake of his laws.’

    Antiochus thought he was being ridiculed, suspecting insult in the tone of her voice; and as the youngest was still alive he appealed to him not with mere words but with promises on oath to make him both rich and happy if he would abandon the traditions of his ancestors; he would make him his Friend and entrust him with public office. The young man took no notice at all, and so the king then appealed to the mother, urging her to advise the youth to save his life. After a great deal of urging on his part she agreed to try persuasion on her son. Bending over him, she fooled the cruel tyrant with these words, uttered in the language of their ancestors, ‘My son, have pity on me; I carried you nine months in my womb and suckled you three years, fed you and reared you to the age you are now (and cherished you). I implore you, my child, observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of what did not exist, and that mankind comes into being in the same way. Do not fear this executioner, but prove yourself worthy of your brothers, and make death welcome, so that in the day of mercy I may receive you back in your brothers’ company.’

    She had scarcely ended when the young man said, ‘What are you all waiting for? I will not comply with the king’s ordinance; I obey the ordinance of the Law given to our ancestors through Moses. As for you, sir, who have contrived every kind of evil against the Hebrews, you will certainly not escape the hands of God.’

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 16, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Today let us ask ourselves what are we prepared to surrender? To sacrifice or do in order for Jesus to come dine with us? To enter into our dwelling place and bring about salvation for us and our families? How are we preparing to receive our Lord of Lords, our King of kings! Are we waiting by lip service for the Solemnity this Sunday so that we proclaim His Kingship in our lives but not so in our hearts?

Are we then instead going forth boldly, to proclaim our love for Jesus by sharing the Gospel with all; Especially with our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles who have drifted away from our Lord? Are we reaching out to parishioners who no longer attend Holy Eucharist? Are we afraid of making fools of ourselves for our Lord by refusing to climb the ‘Sycamore tree’? Be it taking up some form of leadership in our Parishes, communities or ministries. Or perhaps starting something new through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Are we ready to offer a fast, prayer, almsgiving or more for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls.

Lord Jesus I welcome You with joyful heart, I repent fully of my sins and offer my intellect, my will, my all to You. Let everything I do and say be according to Your Will for me. Amen

First reading

2 Maccabees 6:18-31 ·

‘I will make a good death, eagerly and generously, for the holy laws’

Eleazar, one of the foremost teachers of the Law, a man already advanced in years and of most noble appearance, was being forced to open his mouth wide to swallow pig’s flesh. But he, resolving to die with honour rather than to live disgraced, went to the block of his own accord, spitting the stuff out, the plain duty of anyone with the courage to reject what it is not lawful to taste, even from a natural tenderness for his own life. Those in charge of the impious banquet, because of their long-standing friendship with him, took him aside and privately urged him to have meat brought of a kind he could properly use, prepared by himself, and only pretend to eat the portions of sacrificial meat as prescribed by the king; this action would enable him to escape death, by availing himself of an act of kindness prompted by their long friendship. But having taken a noble decision worthy of his years and the dignity of his great age and the well earned distinction of his grey hairs, worthy too of his impeccable conduct from boyhood, and above all of the holy legislation established by God himself, he publicly stated his convictions, telling them to send him at once to Hades. ‘Such pretence’ he said ‘does not square with our time of life; many young people would suppose that Eleazar at the age of ninety had conformed to the foreigners’ way of life, and because I had played this part for the sake of a paltry brief spell of life might themselves be led astray on my account; I should only bring defilement and disgrace on my old age. Even though for the moment I avoid execution by man, I can never, living or dead, elude the grasp of the Almighty. Therefore if I am man enough to quit this life here and now I shall prove myself worthy of my old age, and I shall have left the young a noble example of how to make a good death, eagerly and generously, for the venerable and holy laws.’

    With these words he went straight to the block. His escorts, so recently well disposed towards him, turned against him after this declaration, which they regarded as sheer madness. Just before he died under the blows, he groaned aloud and said, ‘The Lord whose knowledge is holy sees clearly that, though I might have escaped death, whatever agonies of body I now endure under this bludgeoning, in my soul I am glad to suffer, because of the awe which he inspires in me.’

    This was how he died, leaving his death as an example of nobility and a record of virtue not only for the young but for the great majority of the nation.

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 15, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Sin always leads to blindness! Praise be God if He prevents physical blindness to occur in us, but Spiritual blindness is just as if not more devastating.  For we are not able to see and experience the wonders the Lord our God has planned for us. For He wills that we all should live good Holy lives in the fullness of His love and grace.

But too often we allow the wiles of the world take a hold of us, and let the raised voices intimidate into submission, as it seeks to drown out our Lord’s call to return to Him. We must take courage and cry out all the louder, “Son of David the most High take pity on us!” And when His gentle voice asks what we want Him to do for us? We cry out to Him for mercy, as we humbly ask to see His glory once again in our lives. We can be sure He will heal us of our afflictions and set us free once again to live lives worthy of Him. Amen

Praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ now and forever!

First reading

1 Maccabees 1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-64

The persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes

There grew a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus; once a hostage in Rome, he became king in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks. It was then that there emerged from Israel a set of renegades who led many people astray. ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us reach an understanding with the pagans surrounding us, for since we separated ourselves from them many misfortunes have overtaken us.’ This proposal proved acceptable, and a number of the people eagerly approached the king, who authorised them to practise the pagan observances. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, such as the pagans have, disguised their circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant, submitting to the heathen rule as willing slaves of impiety.

    Then the king issued a proclamation to his whole kingdom that all were to become a single people, each renouncing his particular customs. All the pagans conformed to the king’s decree, and many Israelites chose to accept his religion, sacrificing to idols and profaning the sabbath. The king erected the abomination of desolation above the altar; and altars were built in the surrounding towns of Judah and incense offered at the doors of houses and in the streets. Any books of the Law that came to light were torn up and burned. Whenever anyone was discovered possessing a copy of the covenant or practising the Law, the king’s decree sentenced him to death.

    Yet there were many in Israel who stood firm and found the courage to refuse unclean food. They chose death rather than contamination by such fare or profanation of the holy covenant, and they were executed. It was a dreadful wrath that visited Israel.

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 13, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Hope in Tribulation: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Daniel 12:1-3

Psalm 16:5,8-11

Hebrews 10:11-14,18

Mark 13:24-32

In this, the second-to-last week of the Church year, Jesus has finally made it to Jerusalem.

Near to His passion and death, He gives us a teaching of hope—telling us how it will be when He returns again in glory.

Today’s Gospel is taken from the end of a long discourse in which He describes tribulations the likes of which haven’t been seen “since the beginning of God’s creation” (see Mark 13:9). He describes what amounts to a dissolution of God’s creation, a “devolution” of the world to its original state of formlessness and void.

First, human community—nations and kingdoms—will break down (see Mark 13:7–8). Then the earth will stop yielding food and begin to shake apart (13:8). Next, the family will be torn apart from within and the last faithful individuals will be persecuted (13:9–13). Finally, the Temple will be desecrated, the earth emptied of God’s presence (13:14).

In today’s reading, God is described putting out the lights that He established in the sky in the very beginning—the sun, the moon and the stars (see also Isaiah 13:1034:4). Into this “uncreated” darkness, the Son of Man, in whom all things were made, will come.

Jesus has already told us that the Son of Man must be humiliated and killed (see Mark 8:31). Here He describes His ultimate victory, using royal-divine images drawn from the Old Testament—clouds, glory, and angels (see Daniel 7:13). He shows Himself to be the fulfillment of all God’s promises to save “the elect,” the faithful remnant (see Isaiah 43:6Jeremiah 32:37).

As today’s First Reading tells us, this salvation will include the bodily resurrection of those who sleep in the dust.

We are to watch for this day, when His enemies are finally made His footstool, as today’s Epistle envisions. We can wait in confidence knowing, as we pray in today’s Psalm, that we will one day delight at His right hand forever.


How easily we forget that while we were still sinners our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, our Lord and God came down from Heaven; was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. He conquered death for us by his own death and rose again so that we may have life eternal with Him. We are the new ‘Israelites’ delivered from slavery, free from bondage and death. We are given the once for all time gift of the new ‘Passover’ the Holy Eucharist where we offer thanksgiving and sing His praises our deliverer!

We who hold fast to our Lord, faith in Him and desire to growth deeply our relationship will never forget. For we wake each morning crying Abba Father we love you! Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be done. We unite our with His Will for us and are given opportunities to stand in the breach for others. (Ps 106:23, Ezk 22:30, Gen 18:23-33)  And so we will pray fervently until the Ancient of Days comes and pronounces judgment in favour of the holy people of the Most High, and the time will came when we possess the kingdom.(Dan 7:22) Amen! Alleluia

First reading

Wisdom 18:14-16,19:6-9 ·

The Red Sea became an unimpeded way

When peaceful silence lay over all,

and night had run the half of her swift course,

down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word;

into the heart of a doomed land the stern warrior leapt.

Carrying your unambiguous command like a sharp sword,

he stood, and filled the universe with death;

he touched the sky, yet trod the earth.

For, to keep your children from all harm,

the whole creation, obedient to your commands,

was once more, and newly, fashioned in its nature.

Overshadowing the camp there was the cloud,

where water had been, dry land was seen to rise,

the Red Sea became an unimpeded way,

the tempestuous flood a green plain;

sheltered by your hand, the whole nation passed across,

gazing at these amazing miracles.

They were like horses at pasture,

they skipped like lambs,

singing your praises, Lord, their deliverer.

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 12, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Our greatest obstacle preventing us from entering into a deep personal relationship with the Lord our God…..Ourselves! We are our greatest obstacle! When we refuse to surrender our intellect, our wills our base desires. When we do not trust enough to fall into His loving embrace. Our doubts lead to fear, fear of the unknown and more. Fear prevents us from taking up our cross to follow Jesus.

The night before during a Prophetic Intercessory workshop, I saw Jesus seating at a well waiting for us to come to Him. Many however were fearful about moving forward towards Him. The accompanying message that came to me was “Do not let your doubts prevent you from coming to me and drinking from the well spring of living water.”

Let turn away from sinful indulgences, habitual sin and turn our eyes and heart to our Lord. Give Him full reign in our lives and we will be set free to live fully in His presence. Let us start this very day, as move closer to Advent to prepare the way for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 13:1-9 ·

How have those who investigated the world been so slow to find its Master?

Naturally stupid are all men who have not known God

and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is, or, by studying the works, have failed to recognise the Artificer.

Fire however, or wind, or the swift air, the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, heaven’s lamps, are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.

If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken things for gods,

let them know how much the Lord of these excels them,

since the very Author of beauty has created them.

And if they have been impressed by their power and energy,

let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them,

since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures

we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author.

Small blame, however, attaches to these men,

for perhaps they only go astray

in their search for God and their eagerness to find him;

living among his works, they strive to comprehend them

and fall victim to appearances, seeing so much beauty.

Even so, they are not to be excused:

if they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge

to be able to investigate the world,

how have they been so slow to find its Master?

Gospel

Luke 17:26-37

When the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed

Jesus said to the disciples:

    ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.

    ‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 11, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Sanctify me O Lord and let Your wisdom permeate my very being.  For Your Word is unchanging, let Your wisdom pass into my holy soul prepared for You. For You love me and I long to live only with Your Wisdom.

Even as I will soon pass into Your Heavenly Kingdom, I cherish every moment with You in Your Kingdom here and now. For You O Lord reign in my heart.

With unfailing love I pray, Your Kingdom come Lord, Your Will be done. Now and forever. Amen Alleluia

First reading

Wisdom 7:22-8:1

Wisdom is a breath of the power of God

Within Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy,

unique, manifold, subtle,

active, incisive, unsullied,

lucid, invulnerable, benevolent, sharp,

irresistible, beneficent, loving to man,

steadfast, dependable, unperturbed,

almighty, all-surveying,

penetrating all intelligent, pure

and most subtle spirits;

for Wisdom is quicker to move than any motion;

she is so pure, she pervades and permeates all things.

She is a breath of the power of God,

pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;

hence nothing impure can find a way into her.

She is a reflection of the eternal light,

untarnished mirror of God’s active power,

image of his goodness.

Although alone, she can do all;

herself unchanging, she makes all things new.

In each generation she passes into holy souls,

she makes them friends of God and prophets;

for God loves only the man who lives with Wisdom.

She is indeed more splendid than the sun,

she outshines all the constellations;

compared with light, she takes first place,

for light must yield to night,

but over Wisdom evil can never triumph.

She deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other,

ordering all things for good.

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 10, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Give a humble man or woman a title, praise them for their many good deeds, offer thanks to them often enough and soon enough they will change. Soon their ears and eyes will be shut to those found unworthy of their time even though they appear to be looking and listening. “I have prayed and discerned and this is how it is going to be!”

What does a humble man or woman after the heart of God look like in His eyes?

A child of God our Heavenly Father so loved that he/she only desires to do His Will and if there is any affirmation to be got then it must come from Him alone. This child’s heart is filled with thanksgiving and praise for the Lord God and seeks only to glorify Him in all that is said and done. Who loves brethren in as much, if not more than him or her self and with the love of God.

If there is no thanksgiving and praise of God then there is no true faith!

Lord forgive me the many times I had forgotten to offer You thanks and praise. Not that You have any need of my thanks and praise but because I had taken Your love for me for granted. Keep me Your unworthy servant humble Lord, in my service of You and my brethren. Amen

St Leo pray for us…..

First reading

Wisdom 6:1-11

Kings, your power is a gift to you from the Lord

Listen, kings, and understand;

rulers of remotest lands, take warning;

hear this, you who have thousands under your rule,

who boast of your hordes of subjects.

For power is a gift to you from the Lord,

sovereignty is from the Most High;

he himself will probe your acts and scrutinise your intentions.

If, as administrators of his kingdom, you have not governed justly

nor observed the law,

nor behaved as God would have you behave,

he will fall on you swiftly and terribly.

Ruthless judgement is reserved for the high and mighty;

the lowly will be compassionately pardoned,

the mighty will be mightily punished.

For the Lord of All does not cower before a personage,

he does not stand in awe of greatness,

since he himself has made small and great

and provides for all alike;

but strict scrutiny awaits those in power.

Yes, despots, my words are for you,

that you may learn what wisdom is and not transgress;

for they who observe holy things holily will be adjudged holy,

and, accepting instruction from them, will find their defence in them.

Look forward, therefore, to my words;

yearn for them, and they will instruct you.

Gospel

Luke 17:11-19

No-one has come back to praise God, only this foreigner

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’


Today as we celebrate the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica we also call to mind our allegiance to the Bishop of Rome; and to our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church consecrated throughout the World by Jesus Christ our Lord.

However before we can truly rejoice as One on this feast day,  we must reflect on our birth or rather entry into Holy Mother Church by way of our Baptism, through which  we were inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Through Him we had become children of God our Heavenly Father and were sanctified by Him to live out Holy lives. Our bodies therefore became temples of the Holy Spirit. How then have kept our sanctuaries Holy unto our Lord? Are we then living tabernacles for Him who dwells in us?

Search me, O God, and know my heart today,

Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts, I pray;

See if there be some wicked way in me;

Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;

Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;

Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;

Grant my desire to magnify Thy name. 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.’

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, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Let me seek You in simplicity of heart and find myself in Your loving presence Lord.

The world seeks to confound me with its thinking and its ways. Let no doubts hold me back from Your loving embrace.

Let me seek You in simplicity of heart and find myself in Your loving presence Lord.

I want to be holy Lord as You are Holy. Let me be quick…

to close my eyes to temptation,

to close my ears to wicked whispers,

to close my mouth so as to speak no evil,

to close off my mind to sinful thoughts and inclinations.

Sanctify me sweet Jesus!

Let me seek You in simplicity of heart and find myself in Your loving presence Lord.

Your Peace Lord has to two arms, one is Love and the other mercy. Let me be quick to love and quick to forgive. Free me from any and all unforgiveness of heart so that I may live free in Your Peace and love.

Let me seek You in simplicity of heart and find myself in Your loving presence Lord.

Jesus I trust in You!

Let me seek You in simplicity of heart and find myself in Your loving presence Lord. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 1:1-7 ·

Love virtue, you who are judges on earth,

let honesty prompt your thinking about the Lord,

seek him in simplicity of heart;

since he is to be found by those who do not put him to the test,

he shows himself to those who do not distrust him.

But selfish intentions divorce from God;

and Omnipotence, put to the test, confounds the foolish.

No, Wisdom will never make its way into a crafty soul

nor stay in a body that is in debt to sin;

the holy spirit of instruction shuns deceit,

it stands aloof from reckless purposes,

is taken aback when iniquity appears.

Wisdom is a spirit, a friend to man,

though she will not pardon the words of a blasphemer,

since God sees into the innermost parts of him,

truly observes his heart,

and listens to his tongue.

The spirit of the Lord, indeed, fills the whole world,

and that which holds all things together knows every word that is said.

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.’


The Widows’ Faith: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

1 Kings 1:10–16

Psalm 146:7–10

Hebrews 9:24–28

Mark 12:41–44

We must live by the obedience of faith, a faith that shows itself in works of charity and self-giving (see Galatians 5:6). That’s the lesson of the two widows in today’s liturgy.

The widow in the First Reading isn’t even a Jew, yet she trusts in the word of Elijah and the promise of his Lord. Facing sure starvation, she gives all that she has, her last bit of food—feeding the man of God before herself and her family.

The widow in the Gospel also gives all that she has, offering her last bit of money to support the work of God’s priests in the Temple.

In their self-sacrifice, these widows embody the love that Jesus last week revealed as the heart of the Law and the Gospel. They mirror the Father’s love in giving His only Son, and Christ’s love in sacrificing Himself on the Cross.

Again in today’s Epistle, we hear Christ described as a new high priest and the suffering servant foretold by Isaiah. On the Cross, He made sacrifice once and for all to take away our sin and bring us to salvation (see Isaiah 53:12).

And again we are called to imitate His sacrifice of love in our own lives. We will be judged, not by how much we give—for the scribes and the wealthy contribute far more than the widow. Rather, we will be judged by whether our gifts reflect our livelihood, our whole beings, all our heart and soul, mind and strength.

Are we giving all that we can to the Lord—not out of a sense of forced duty, but in a spirit of generosity and love (see 2 Corinthians 9:6–7)?

Do not be afraid, the man of God tells us today. As we sing in today’s Psalm, the Lord will provide for us, as He sustains the widow.

Today, let us follow the widows’ example, doing what God asks, confident that our jars of flour will not grow empty, nor our jugs of oil run dry.


Use money as we must to survive and to help those in need, but let us not be ‘used’ by money that is to sway us into greed, licentiousness and all that is loathsome in the sight of the Lord our God. For we must be slaves of Jesus Christ as St Paul puts it in the longer passage of today’s first reading, not slaves of our own appetites, confusing the simple-minded with our pious and persuasive arguments.

By our fidelity and love for our Lord Jesus Christ we strive each and every day to live the Gospel in our lives. So that the mercy, love and grace that we have received from Him who so loves us, will be outpoured to the rest of the world. So that God’s endearing love is made known to all in this time of uncertainty. Amen

First reading

Romans 16:3-9,16,22-27 ·

The mystery kept secret for endless ages must be broadcast everywhere

My greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked death to save my life: I am not the only one to owe them a debt of gratitude, all the churches among the pagans do as well. My greetings also to the church that meets at their house.

    Greetings to my friend Epaenetus, the first of Asia’s gifts to Christ; greetings to Mary who worked so hard for you; to those outstanding apostles Andronicus and Junias, my compatriots and fellow prisoners who became Christians before me; to Ampliatus, my friend in the Lord; to Urban, my fellow worker in Christ; to my friend Stachys. Greet each other with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.

    I, Tertius, who wrote out this letter, greet you in the Lord. Greetings from Gaius, who is entertaining me and from the whole church that meets in his house. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends his greetings; so does our brother Quartus.

    Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.

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.’


For all our wheeling, dealing and bargaining we have done in our lives, how much of it was for the glory of God our Heavenly Father? How many new souls have we brought to Jesus to live in His love, peace and joy in this year 2021 alone? How many have we touched by our love for them and led them back home to His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?

If only each and every one us spoke to at least one person about Jesus and then held their hand to lead them to Him, the world would be set ablaze by the fire of His love! But why are we timid or fearful to do so? How is it that we dare not even share this Gospel message of His love by clicking ‘Share’ to our Whatsapp groups, FB messenger, Instagram and so on? Are we afraid that it will be viewed as spam? As a chain letter/message? Or that we will be viewed as religious fanatics?

Well I for one am proud to be a fanatic for Christ Jesus my Lord! And why not? For He possessed fanatical love for me such that He suffered on the cross and died to save me from my sins. And through His Resurrection I have hope of eternal life with Him.

Thank You Jesus, praise You Jesus, alleluia, alleluia, Amen.

First reading

Romans 15:14-21 ·

My duty is to bring the Good News from God to the pagans

My brothers, I am quite certain that you are full of good intentions, perfectly well instructed and able to advise each other. The reason why I have written to you, and put some things rather strongly, is to refresh your memories, since God has given me this special position. He has appointed me as a priest of Jesus Christ, and I am to carry out my priestly duty by bringing the Good News from God to the pagans, and so make them acceptable as an offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit.

    I think I have some reason to be proud of what I, in union with Christ Jesus, have been able to do for God. What I am presuming to speak of, of course, is only what Christ himself has done to win the allegiance of the pagans, using what I have said and done by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus all the way along, from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have preached Christ’s Good News to the utmost of my capacity. I have always, however, made it an unbroken rule never to preach where Christ’s name has already been heard. The reason for that was that I had no wish to build on other men’s foundations; on the contrary, my chief concern has been to fulfil the text: Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand.

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.’


We give up too easily when challenges come or when we feel that we are all alone in our endeavour to serve the Lord and our brethren. We question why there are so many lukewarm ‘disciples’ in our church? Why is everyone else’s individual schedules more important then the one we have set for our Lord? St Paul reminds us today “Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying.”

For if it is truly the Lord God’s will we have in our innermost desire to fulfil, then He will provide and send the right people for building His Kingdom. We only need to ‘let go and let God’ takeover. Indeed we all have been given different gifts according to the grace given us; but the real problem in many ministries and communities is that we do not recognise and affirm one another’s gifts. Which can only happen if we are praying community! ONE in body and mind and prayer who seeks to discern the Will of the Lord our God.  For our Lord will not only reveal the gifts He has provided for the growth of His Kingdom but increase it hundredfold.

O Good Shepherd my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, lead me in all things, body, mind and Spirit and I will gather Your flock unto You. Amen

First reading

Romans 12:3-13 ·

Use the gifts you have been given

In the light of the grace I have received I want to urge each one among you not to exaggerate his real importance. Each of you must judge himself soberly by the standard of the faith God has given him. Just as each of our bodies has several parts and each part has a separate function, so all of us, in union with Christ, form one body, and as parts of it we belong to each other. Our gifts differ according to the grace given us. If your gift is prophecy, then use it as your faith suggests; if administration, then use it for administration; if teaching, then use it for teaching. Let the preachers deliver sermons, the almsgivers give freely, the officials be diligent, and those who do works of mercy do them cheerfully.

    Do not let your love be a pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as much as brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other. Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of spirit. If you have hope, this will make you cheerful. Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying. If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care.

Gospel

John 10:11-16

The good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep

Jesus said:

‘I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.

The hired man, since he is not the shepherd

and the sheep do not belong to him,

abandons the sheep and runs away

as soon as he sees a wolf coming,

and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;

this is because he is only a hired man

and has no concern for the sheep.

‘I am the good shepherd;

I know my own

and my own know me,

just as the Father knows me

and I know the Father;

and I lay down my life for my sheep.

And there are other sheep I have

that are not of this fold,

and these I have to lead as well.

They too will listen to my voice,

and there will be only one flock,

and one shepherd.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 3, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How can we truly love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength if we put all others and all things before Him? So then how can we truly love one another as we ought to with His love when our choices come from loving ourselves more?

For God is love and if we want to know how to truly love as He loves then all we have to do is turn to Jesus Christ our Lord and see! How God truly loved us that He bore our sins, hung on the cross and died for us. To liberate all of us from the bondages of sin so that we might live freely and completely in His love.

And so to love as He loves and to love neighbour as we love ourselves is to carry our cross and follow after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Then we will know how to love the unlovable and those really challenging to love. For we love as He loved us. Amen

First reading

Romans 13:8-10 ·

Your only debt should be the debt of mutual love

Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. All the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.

Gospel

Luke 14:25-33

Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

    ‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 2, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Today as we remember all souls who have passed on, we lift up our prayers for them in the joyful hope and Blessed assurance that through the power of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, they now rest in His loving embrace.

For Christ our Lord died for us to save us from our sins so that fully reconciled with our Heavenly Father we can one day rise with Jesus to live in the glory of His Resurrection. This is the hope all Christians possess for the way, the truth and the life has come and will come again!

Save us Saviour of the world, for by Your Cross and Resurrection You have set us free! Amen

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.

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.

Gospel

Mark 15:33-39,16:1-6

Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last

When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah.’ Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink saying; ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.’ But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, ‘In truth this man was a son of God.’

    When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.

    They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ But when they looked they could see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 1, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We rejoice this day with all the Saints in Heaven! For they stand in the Glory of God for all eternity. And many of whom we have seen and heard in our lifetime continue to be inspirations for us, as we turn to them to pray for us so that one day soon we too will all be reunited with them in Heaven.

Glory and praise be to God our Heavenly Father, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit,  from whom we have received anointing and have been given the seal of sonship and daughterhood at our Baptism.  We are saints on our pilgrim journey home. And as we struggle to live the beatitudes in our lives we know we are not alone for we know we have the Saints in Heaven praying for us and the Holy Spirit guiding us every step of the way. Even if we should falter and fall we know that we can turn back to our merciful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with contrite hears and He will liberate and set us free once again to live a life of holiness in His love.

O when the saints go marching in,

O when the saints go marching in,

O Lord, I want to be in that number

when the saints go marching in. Amen

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.’

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.

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.’

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 30, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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The Law of Love: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Deuteronomy 6:2–6

Psalm 18:2–44751

Hebrews 7:23–28

Mark 12:28–34

Love is only law we are to live by. And love is the fulfillment of the Law that God reveals through Moses in today’s First Reading (see Romans 13:8–10Matthew 5:43–48).

The unity of God—the truth that He is one God, Father, Son, and Spirit—means that we must love Him with one love, a love that serves Him with all our hearts and minds, souls and strength.

We love Him because He has loved us first. We love our neighbor because we can’t love the God we haven’t seen unless we love those made in His image and likeness, whom we have seen (see 1 John 4:19–21).

And we are called to imitate the love that Christ showed us in laying His life down on the Cross (see 1 John 3:16). As we hear in today’s Epistle, by His perfect sacrifice on the Cross, He once and for all makes it possible for us to approach God.

There is no greater love than to lay down your life (see John 15:13). This is perhaps why Jesus tells the scribe in today’s Gospel that he is not far from the kingdom of God.

The scribe recognizes that the burnt offerings and sacrifices of the old Law were meant to teach Israel that it is love that God desires (see Hosea 6:6). The animals offered in sacrifice were symbols of the self-sacrifice, the total gift of our selves, that God truly desires.

We are called today to examine our hearts. Do we have other loves that get in the way of our love for God? Do we love others as Jesus has loved us (see John 13:34–35)? Do we love our enemies and pray for those who oppose and persecute us (see Matthew 5:44)?

Let us tell the Lord we love Him, as we do in today’s Psalm. And let us take His Word to heart, that we might prosper and have life eternal in His kingdom, the heavenly homeland flowing with milk and honey.


Have we grown tired and given up on our loved ones, friends, community members who have lost faith turned away from God and who seem to be doing well on their own? Well think of it this way, where will we be today if the Lord our God was weary of our obstinacy and gave up on us? I reckon we would be constantly be searching for peace of mind, looking for love in all the wrong places and never satisfied with what we have. Knowing this we must continue to be patient as our Heavenly Father is patient, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Let us continue to reach out to all who have left the Church and lead them back to the loving arms of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Today’s Gospel reminds me of Romans 2:11 where St Paul says God has no favourites. So then to whom who do we seek to be honoured? Affirmed? Do we seek recognition from our fellow sisters and brothers? From our peers? Colleagues? Community members? Leaders? In today’s context, will we be one of those who rush to sit at the table with the priest? Bishop etc.? Do we prance around like social butterflies to see and be seen? Have we forgotten that God our Father sees it all? Would He approve of such behaviour from His children?

My Lord and my God, I desire only to be in Your presence. Keep me humble so that my service of others reflects my love for You; and in so doing I remain fully in Your presence now and forever. Amen

First reading

Romans 11:1-2,11-12,25-29

The Jews have not fallen for ever

Let me put a question: is it possible that God has rejected his people? Of course not. I, an Israelite, descended from Abraham through the tribe of Benjamin, could never agree that God had rejected his people, the people he chose specially long ago. Do you remember what scripture says of Elijah – how he complained to God about Israel’s behaviour? Let me put another question then: have the Jews fallen for ever, or have they just stumbled? Obviously they have not fallen for ever: their fall, though, has saved the pagans in a way the Jews may now well emulate. Think of the extent to which the world, the pagan world, has benefited from their fall and defection – then think how much more it will benefit from the conversion of them all. There is a hidden reason for all this, brothers, of which I do not want you to be ignorant, in case you think you know more than you do. One section of Israel has become blind, but this will last only until the whole pagan world has entered, and then after this the rest of Israel will be saved as well. As scripture says: The liberator will come from Zion, he will banish godlessness from Jacob. And this is the covenant I will make with them when I take their sins away.

    The Jews are enemies of God only with regard to the Good News, and enemies only for your sake; but as the chosen people, they are still loved by God, loved for the sake of their ancestors. God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice.

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 29, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Will I ever dare utter such words let alone mean them? When I say that I would willingly be condemned and separated from Christ if it would help bring back the lost souls who have turned away from God?

Can you even begin to comprehend the love St Paul had for his brothers of Israel that he saw them as his own flesh and blood? Can anyone of us say at this point of our lives, that we possess that same kind of love for our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ? At the very least in our own parishes?

How then can we love one another as Christ commanded us to when we cannot place others before self? To love beyond legalistic conventions? To love first before being loved!

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my concerns.

See if there is any offensive way in me;

lead me in the way everlasting. Amen (Ps 139:22-24)

First reading

Romans 9:1-5 ·

I would willingly be condemned if it could help my brothers

What I want to say now is no pretence; I say it in union with Christ – it is the truth – my conscience in union with the Holy Spirit assures me of it too. What I want to say is this: my sorrow is so great, my mental anguish so endless, I would willingly be condemned and be cut off from Christ if it could help my brothers of Israel, my own flesh and blood. They were adopted as sons, they were given the glory and the covenants; the Law and the ritual were drawn up for them, and the promises were made to them. They are descended from the patriarchs and from their flesh and blood came Christ who is above all, God for ever blessed! Amen.

Gospel

Luke 14:1-6

‘Is it against the law to cure a man on the sabbath?’

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. There in front of him was a man with dropsy, and Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees. ‘Is it against the law’ he asked ‘to cure a man on the sabbath, or not?’ But they remained silent, so he took the man and cured him and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘Which of you here, if his son falls into a well, or his ox, will not pull him out on a sabbath day without hesitation?’ And to this they could find no answer.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 28, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In today’s Gospel dear Jesus I imagine you calling me unto You. To be Your light in the world. To bring hope to those who have none. To bring about Your healing as I lay my hands over those who want to be healed physically as well as spiritually. Most importantly to share the joy of the Gospel which brings life to all who will listen.

For I am one with You as You O Lord are one with me. I stand with Your saints to praise, honour and worship You all the days of my life.

Lord I need not imagine for You have called me and set me apart through my baptism to be your light in the world and to be a saint, that is to be Holy as You are Holy. Amen alleluia!

Saints Simon and Jude pray for us…

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.

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, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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one of the old bunkers (trench) at northern israel from kipur war.

The Kingdom of God can only be entered through the narrow door. Which requires sacrifice, mercy and love for others. To put others before self as we serve them and love them into God’s Kingdom. For this is how we truly glorify our ever loving and merciful Lord and God almighty.

Is it easy to enter through the narrow door? Let’s put it this way, love truly conquers all! How much we love the Lord our God determines how easy or hard it will be for us. For if we truly love Him, the Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. And we who have dwelled in His love know that everything is possible for the Lord our God.

My hope is in You Lord Jesus, guide my steps as I seek to enter through the narrow door, to be with You always. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:26-30 ·

The Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words

The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

    We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory.

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 26, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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If we do not groan at least a little each day then we are not struggling hard enough to live according to the Will of God. We are not sacrificing enough to bring the joy of our Lord in the lives of others. For true disciples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ know that by carrying our cross each day and following after Him, we will bring forth the fruits of our labour. We bring glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit through our three measures of flour leavened all through.

The abandoned, poor, lost, lonely, Christian and non Christian alike can find and take shelter in our branches of love for we remain always connected to the Vine; As we bring His light, love and joy to all who are gathered.

Be with us Lord Jesus, as we strive each day to live our lives in the Spirit. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:18-25 ·

The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons

I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.

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.’


There is nothing greater than love, and so we must love above all. For God is love.

So while it is our duty to correct a wayward child, we must love first. In ensuring safety measures and order in our churches, schools, offices and so on, we must also love and love beyond the safety nets. In all things let us choose to love first and with the love of Christ.

For it is our love and acts of mercy that we will find the Lord our God and we will dwell in His presence. For the Spirit of God lives in us! We are His children so loved by Him.

O God our Heavenly Father we Bless, worship and honour You. Thank You for Your Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for through Him alone we are saved and set free to love. Glory and Praise to the Holy Trinity now and forever. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:12-17 ·

The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God

My brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live.

    Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.

Gospel

Luke 13:10-17

Was it not right to untie this woman’s bonds on the sabbath day?

One sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are rid of your infirmity’ and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God.

    But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and he addressed the people present. ‘There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath.’ But the Lord answered him. ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: October 23, 2021 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections
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Seeing the Son of David: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Jeremiah 31:7–9

Psalm 126:1–6

Hebrews 5:1–6

Mark 10:46–52

Today’s Gospel turns on an irony—it is a blind man, Bartimaeus, who becomes the first person outside of the Apostles to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. And his healing is the last miracle Jesus performs before entering the holy city of Jerusalem for His last week on earth.

The scene on the road to Jerusalem evokes the joyful procession prophesied by Jeremiah in today’s First Reading. In Jesus this prophecy is fulfilled. God, through the Messiah, is delivering His people from exile, bringing them back from the ends of the earth, with the blind and lame in their midst.

Jesus, as Bartimaeus proclaims, is the long-awaited Son promised to David (see 2 Samuel 7:12–16Isaiah 11:9Jeremiah 23:5). Upon His triumphal arrival in Jerusalem, all will see that the everlasting kingdom of David has come (see Mark 11:9–10).

As we hear in today’s Epistle, the Son of David was expected to be the Son of God (see Psalm 2:7). He was to be a priest-king like Melchizedek (see Psalm 110:4), who offered bread and wine to God Most High at the dawn of salvation history (see Genesis 14:18–20).

Bartimaeus is a symbol of his people, the captive Zion of whom we sing in today’s Psalm. His God has done great things for him. All his life has been sown in tears and weeping. Now, he reaps a new life.

Bartimaeus, too, should be a sign for us. How often Christ passes us by—in the person of the poor, in the distressing guise of a troublesome family member or burdensome associate (see Matthew 25:31–46)—and yet we don’t see Him.

Christ still calls to us through His Church, as Jesus sent His Apostles to call Bartimaeus. Yet how often are we found to be listening instead to the voices of the crowd, not hearing the words of His Church.

Today He asks us what He asks Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” Rejoicing, let us ask the same thing of Him—what can we do for all that He has done for us?


The Spirit of the Risen Christ dwells within each and every one of us through our Baptism and is empowering us. Our bodies however are not yet transformed, as they will be in the final resurrection. While we wait for that day, the Spirit gives us strength and zeal to do God’s work in all our ways of life.

When we no longer have a desire to pray, read the Word, attend mass to receive the Holy Eucharist or to attend community prayer meetings; these are signs that we have distanced ourselves from the Lord our God through Sin. For the Spirit of God no longer resides in us, our body, mind and soul have been overtaken by the ways and pleasures of the world. We become fig trees that bear no fruit! And it is clear in today’s first reading, “People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God.”

Therefore let us always turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is waiting to embrace with His mercy and love. To liberate us from all sin so as that we live as sons and daughters of God our Heavenly Father. For everyone moved by the Spirit is a son and daughter of God. The spirit we received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into our lives again; it is the spirit of sons and daughters, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory. (Rm 8:14-15) Amen

First reading

Romans 8:1-11 ·

The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you

The reason why those who are in Christ Jesus are not condemned is that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. God has done what the Law, because of our unspiritual nature, was unable to do. God dealt with sin by sending his own Son in a body as physical as any sinful body, and in that body God condemned sin. He did this in order that the Law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the spirit dictates.

    The unspiritual are interested only in what is unspiritual, but the spiritual are interested in spiritual things. It is death to limit oneself to what is unspiritual; life and peace can only come with concern for the spiritual. That is because to limit oneself to what is unspiritual is to be at enmity with God: such a limitation never could and never does submit to God’s law. People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

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 22, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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For all of us it is a daily struggle to remain sinless and righteous before the Lord our God. There is always the inclination to sin and it is very easy for us to give in. However we must resist with all our might! We shall shout out our battle cry each day as we fight to overcome impatience, rage, sexual desires, greed and any sin that takes us away from God our Loving Father. We must also endeavour to work out our differences between ourselves for in the struggle to do so we are embracing our Lord’s command to love one another.

In order for us to succeed we must strive to live in the Spirit seeking the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit desiring the spiritual gifts with which to glorify the Lord our God. For our Lord Jesus had assured us when He said “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you, and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen

Saint John Paul II Pray for us….

First reading

Romans 7:18-25 ·

Every time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand

I know of nothing good living in me – living, that is, in my unspiritual self – for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing the good things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me.

    In fact, this seems to be the rule, that every single time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s Law, but I can see that my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates. This is what makes me a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body.

    What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?

    Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

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.’


The greatest gift we can offer anyone be it family, friend, colleague, schoolmate or even the stranger, is the gift of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! For it is He alone who can give them true peace of heart and mind, true joy and love. For through Him alone we are all liberated from sin, evil and set free to live in His love.

Here is another truth and for some may be a little difficult to accept and that is we cannot allow anything or anyone to come between us and our relationship with the Lord our God. He must be placed above all and everyone in our lives. Only then can we be free to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul. Only then can we truly love one another as we ought to, the way He loved us all the way to the Cross. Only then can we live in the Spirit to set the world ablaze in His love.

Here I am Lord, I come to do Your Will! Amen

First reading

Romans 6:19-23 ·

Now you are set free from sin, and slaves to God

If I may use human terms to help your natural weakness: as once you put your bodies at the service of vice and immorality, so now you must put them at the service of righteousness for your sanctification.

    When you were slaves of sin, you felt no obligation to righteousness, and what did you get from this? Nothing but experiences that now make you blush, since that sort of behaviour ends in death. Now, however, you have been set free from sin, you have been made slaves of God, and you get a reward leading to your sanctification and ending in eternal life. For the wage paid by sin is death; the present given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 20, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Most if not all of us suffer from concupiscence as a result of original sin. Still it does not excuse us from giving in into temptation and sin. For we must never forget our Baptism, our call to Holiness as children of God our Heavenly Father. We must strive each and everyday to grow in Holiness through prayer, the Word of God and to exercise acts of mercy in all that we say and do for others. We are therefore outward looking in glorifying the Lord by our lives.

With today’s technology, we have far too easy access to information, graphics, pictures, advertisements and much more from all around the world. And whether we intended to see/look or not we might easily chance upon pornography, sexual images, even manuals and ‘cookbooks’ to do evil. We must resist with all our might! That is to close it off immediately and turn to our Lord for His grace to overcome any lingering thoughts from these. We should ask ourselves this fundamental question, whom or what do we love more? The sin before us or the Lord our God?

Once again we are reminded to stand ready for we truly do not know the hour of our Lord’s return. He who died for love of us and to save us from our sins, wills that each and everyone of us should be with Him in paradise. Amen

First reading

Romans 6:12-18 ·

Make every part of your body a weapon fighting on the side of God

You must not let sin reign in your mortal bodies or command your obedience to bodily passions, you must not let any part of your body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin; you should, instead, offer yourselves to God, and consider yourselves dead men brought back to life; you should make every part of your body into a weapon fighting on the side of God; and then sin will no longer dominate your life, since you are living by grace and not by law.

    Does the fact that we are living by grace and not by law mean that we are free to sin? Of course not. You know that if you agree to serve and obey a master you become his slaves. You cannot be slaves of sin that leads to death and at the same time slaves of obedience that leads to righteousness. You were once slaves of sin, but thank God you submitted without reservation to the creed you were taught. You may have been freed from the slavery of sin, but only to become ‘slaves’ of righteousness.

Gospel

Luke 12:39-48

The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

    Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.

    The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 19, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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In the twinkling of an eye the year is soon coming to a close. How sad it is if we have taken the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for granted. How sad indeed if we had fallen to sin but chose instead to remain oblivious, instead of seeking reconciliation with Him who patiently waits to set us free. For we were made to live life to full in His love, not to whither and die in our sins.

Wake up! All you who have fallen asleep! Advent is fast approaching and it is time to stay awake! Let us be penitent for our shortcomings and turn our hearts back to Jesus. For we truly do not know the hour when He will come again. But if we stand ready to greet Him when He comes, surely we will partake in our Master’s joy whose mercy, peace and love abounds!

Lord Jesus I stand ready to serve You and my brethren, come into my life Lord Jesus Come. Amen

First reading

Romans 5:12,15,17-21

Divine grace, coming through Jesus Christ, came as an abundant free gift

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned; but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of failing, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel

Luke 12:35-38

Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 18, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Yes indeed we have much to learn from and to emulate this great Saint whose feast day we celebrate! St Luke the Evangelist. A doctor who was learned and renowned to have healed many of bodily sickness, was also a healer of spirit through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He saw the face of Christ only through eye witness accounts and yet he lived in always in His presence, for He preached the Gospel message of Christ with great vigour and zeal to the gentiles, Greeks as well as Jews.

While he was not one of the seventy-two sent out in today’s Gospel, he did all that was commanded by our Lord Jesus in it and carried the torch of Christ forwards, passing it on such that our Lord’s loving fire spread throughout the ends of the earth! 

Saint Luke pray for us, so that like you we burn with zeal and conviction in sharing the Gospel to all. Amen

First reading

2 Timothy 4:10-17

Only Luke is with me

Demas has deserted me for love of this life and gone to Thessalonika, Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia; only Luke is with me. Get Mark to come and bring him with you; I find him a useful helper in my work. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and the scrolls, especially the parchment ones. Alexander the coppersmith has done me a lot of harm; the Lord will repay him for what he has done. Be on your guard against him yourself, because he has been bitterly contesting everything that we say.

    The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Gospel

Luke 10:1-9

Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.”’


Cup of Salvation: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Isaiah 53:10-11

Psalm 33:4-5,18-20,22

Hebrews 4:14-16

Mark 10:35-45

The sons of Zebedee hardly know what they’re asking in today’s Gospel. They are thinking in terms of how the Gentiles rule, of royal privileges and honors.

But the road to Christ’s kingdom is by way of His Cross. To share in His glory, we must be willing to drink the cup that He drinks.

The cup is an Old Testament image for God’s judgment. The wicked would be made to drink this cup in punishment for their sins (see Psalm 75:9Jeremiah 25:1528Isaiah 51:17). But Jesus has come to drink this cup on behalf of all humanity. He has come to be baptized—which means plunged or immersed—into the sufferings we all deserve for our sins (compare Luke 12:50).

In this He will fulfill the task of Isaiah’s suffering servant, whom we read about in today’s First Reading.

Like Isaiah’s servant, the Son of Man will give His life as an offering for sin, as once Israel’s priests offered sacrifices for the sins of the people (see Leviticus 5:17–19).

Jesus is the heavenly high priest of all humanity, as we hear in today’s Epistle. Israel’s high priests offered the blood of goats and calves in the temple sanctuary. But Jesus entered the heavenly sanctuary with His own blood (see Hebrews 9:12).

And by bearing our guilt and offering His life to do the will of God, Jesus ransomed “the many”—paying the price to redeem humanity from spiritual slavery to sin and death.

He has delivered us from death, as we rejoice in today’s Psalm.

We need to hold fast to our confession of faith, as today’s Epistle exhorts us. We must look upon our trials and sufferings as our portion of the cup He promised to those who believe in Him (see Colossians 1:24). We must remember that we have been baptized into His passion and death (see Romans 6:3).

In confidence, let us approach the altar today, the throne of grace, at which we drink the cup of His saving blood (see Mark 14:23–24).


The free gift of faith in the Lord our God has been given to everyone and again here I declare that Jesus is truly for everyone! And as in all things there is a beginning, so while the revelation of this truth was first made known to our Jewish brethren; God our Father’s promise of salvation through His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is for all who comes to believe in Him! God has no favourites. (Rm 2:11)

The Lord indeed remembers His covenant for ever. For His blood of the covenant, was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. “God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant forever. The Son is his Father’s definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him” (CCC para 73).

Are we Children of God our faithful Father then reflecting His faithfulness in all that we say and do? Are we ourselves faithful to Him whom so loved us that He gave us His only begotten Son to die for sins so that we shall not perish but have hope of eternal life with Him through the light of His Son’s resurrection?

Let us declare this day that if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  Amen (RM 14:8)

First reading

Romans 4:13,16-18 ·

Abraham hoped and believed and became the father of many nations

The promise of inheriting the world was not made to Abraham and his descendants on account of any law but on account of the righteousness which consists in faith. That is why what fulfils the promise depends on faith, so that it may be a free gift and be available to all of Abraham’s descendants, not only those who belong to the Law but also those who belong to the faith of Abraham who is the father of all of us. As scripture says: I have made you the ancestor of many nations – Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist.

    Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars.

Gospel

Luke 12:8-12

If you declare yourselves for me, I will declare myself for you

Jesus said to his disciples:

    ‘I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of the angels. But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels.

    ‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

    ‘When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 15, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Holy Communion with the Lord our God is not a weekly affair but a daily one. For separated from Him we have no life! That is why we must resist sin and sinful living.

We remain One Body in Him through Holy Eucharist for that is why He gives freely of Himself to us. So that receiving Him through divine grace we are nourished and strengthened to resist all evil and to live life to the full in Him. If we cannot receive Him at Holy Eucharist daily now, then we can still remain in full union with Him through His Word, prayer and by living in the Spirit; resisting with all our might unspiritual things.

Lord Jesus cover me with Your precious Blood, cleanse me so that I may be white as snow and protect me from all evil. So that I may live freely to do Your Will always. Amen

First reading

Romans 8:22-27 ·

The Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words

From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.

    The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

Gospel

John 15:1-8

I am the vine, you are the branches

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I am the true vine,

and my Father is the vinedresser.

Every branch in me that bears no fruit

he cuts away,

and every branch that does bear fruit

he prunes to make it bear even more.

You are pruned already,

by means of the word that I have spoken to you.

Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,

but must remain part of the vine,

neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine,

you are the branches.

Whoever remains in me, with me in him,

bears fruit in plenty;

for cut off from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me

is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;

these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,

and they are burnt.

If you remain in me

and my words remain in you,

you may ask what you will

and you shall get it.

It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,

and then you will be my disciples.’


Jesus is indeed for everyone!  No one is excluded whether it be race, language, culture or religion! Yes religion, for whosoever comes to believe in Him even if they come from a different faith background they too shall have hope of eternal life through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. No sin too great that He would spurn the sinner, for great is His mercy and love for the contrite of heart and spirit.

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice. (Isaiah 42:3)

But woe to the proud of heart, the LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5) Be wary all who act Holy but lead others not into Holiness. Woe to You if you are found to be guilty of preventing any child of God our Heavenly Father from entering into His Kingdom by your words and deeds! Let us remember that the Lord our God Wills that we should love one another as He loves us.

Save us Saviour of the world, for by Your Cross and Resurrection You have set us free! Amen

First reading

Romans 3:21-30 ·

It is the same justice of God that comes to Jew and pagan alike

God’s justice that was made known through the Law and the Prophets has now been revealed outside the Law, since it is the same justice of God that comes through faith to everyone, Jew and pagan alike, who believes in Jesus Christ. Both Jew and pagan sinned and forfeited God’s glory, and both are justified through the free gift of his grace by being redeemed in Christ Jesus who was appointed by God to sacrifice his life so as to win reconciliation through faith. In this way God makes his justice known; first, for the past, when sins went unpunished because he held his hand, then, for the present age, by showing positively that he is just, and that he justifies everyone who believes in Jesus.

    So what becomes of our boasts? There is no room for them. What sort of law excludes them? The sort of law that tells us what to do? On the contrary, it is the law of faith, since, as we see it, a man is justified by faith and not by doing something the Law tells him to do. Is God the God of Jews alone and not of the pagans too? Of the pagans too, most certainly, since there is only one God.

Gospel

Luke 11:47-54

You have not gone in yourselves and have prevented others who wanted to

Jesus said: ‘Alas for you who build the tombs of the prophets, the men your ancestors killed! In this way you both witness what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building.

    ‘And that is why the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will slaughter and persecute, so that this generation will have to answer for every prophet’s blood that has been shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the sanctuary.” Yes, I tell you, this generation will have to answer for it all.

    ‘Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves, and have prevented others going in who wanted to.’

    When he left the house, the scribes and the Pharisees began a furious attack on him and tried to force answers from him on innumerable questions, setting traps to catch him out in something he might say.