Posts Tagged ‘Catholicjules.net’


Jesus is our lifespring and He bestows life giving water!

In our desert journey towards Easter, He is our hope and water source. Even if it should get more arid for lack of a place to gather in His name. He fills our hearts with His peace, love and joy. For He will not withhold His grace for our well being.

In an atmosphere of fear that no one is coming to help us and that we should die in our illness. Jesus has come to heal and restore, we only need to cry out to Him in response as He extends His loving hand to help us up.

How is it others will surely ask, that no matter how gloomy life gets; you Christians seems to teem with life? And we shall tell them…..

Jesus is our lifespring and He bestows life giving water! Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 47:1-9,12 ·
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. The man went to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross. He then said, ‘Do you see, son of man?’ He took me further, then brought me back to the bank of the river. When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river. 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 5:1-3,5-16
The healing at the pool of Bethesda

There was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem there is a building, called Bethzatha in Hebrew, consisting of five porticos; and under these were crowds of sick people – blind, lame, paralysed – waiting for the water to move. One man there had an illness which had lasted thirty-eight years, and when Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in this condition for a long time, he said, ‘Do you want to be well again?’ ‘Sir,’ replied the sick man ‘I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets there before me.’ Jesus said, ‘Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk.’ The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and walked away.
Now that day happened to be the sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been cured, ‘It is the sabbath; you are not allowed to carry your sleeping-mat.’ He replied, ‘But the man who cured me told me, “Pick up your mat and walk.”’ They asked, ‘Who is the man who said to you, “Pick up your mat and walk”?’ The man had no idea who it was, since Jesus had disappeared into the crowd that filled the place. After a while Jesus met him in the Temple and said, ‘Now you are well again, be sure not to sin any more, or something worse may happen to you.’ The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had cured him. It was because he did things like this on the sabbath that the Jews began to persecute Jesus.


‘So you will not believe unless you see signs and portents!’

Has our hearts changed? What are we waiting for? Retreat after retreat receiving His grace urging on to grow in our faith yet refusing to carry our cross to follow Him! Refusing to move ahead in our mission to bear fruit for Him by serving our brethren. Are we not grateful for the many blessings He has showered upon us, or families, our communities? Do we only turn to Him in our hour of need?

By our Lord’s life, death and Resurrection, He has indeed created new heavens and a new earth. So that we might live fully in His love, His peace and joy! We must therefore choose and strive, to live in holiness and in His light. Leaving our past and the darkness behind forever. Let us not tarry any longer but choose to believe in Him, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him, give thanks to His holy name. Amen

Lord Jesus our world as we have known it, is dying. In Your most precious name we believe, heal, restore and renew the face of the earth we call home. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 65:17-21 ·
Be glad and rejoice for ever at what I am creating

Thus says the Lord: Now I create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered, and will come no more to men’s minds. Be glad and rejoice for ever and ever for what I am creating, because I now create Jerusalem ‘Joy’ and her people ‘Gladness.’ I shall rejoice over Jerusalem and exult in my people. No more will the sound of weeping or the sound of cries be heard in her; in her, no more will be found the infant living a few days only, or the old man not living to the end of his days. To die at the age of a hundred will be dying young; not to live to be a hundred will be the sign of a curse. They will build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

Gospel

John 4:43-54
Go home: your son will live

Jesus left Samaria for Galilee. He himself had declared that there is no respect for a prophet in his own country, but on his arrival the Galileans received him well, having seen all that he had done at Jerusalem during the festival which they too had attended.
He went again to Cana in Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a court official there whose son was ill at Capernaum and, hearing that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judaea, he went and asked him to come and cure his son as he was at the point of death. Jesus said, ‘So you will not believe unless you see signs and portents!’ ‘Sir,’ answered the official ‘come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go home,’ said Jesus ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said and started on his way; and while he was still on the journey back his servants met him with the news that his boy was alive. He asked them when the boy had begun to recover. ‘The fever left him yesterday’ they said ‘at the seventh hour.’ The father realised that this was exactly the time when Jesus had said, ‘Your son will live’; and he and all his household believed.
This was the second sign given by Jesus, on his return from Judaea to Galilee.


Do we know about Jesus or do we know Jesus? For to know all about someone is vastly different from having a deep personal relationship with him or her. To know their likes and dislikes, to share in their joys and in their sorrows. To be present in good times and in bad. To offer up the best of ourselves for the good of the other. This is the sort of loving, intimate relationship our Lord Jesus desires to have with us. And so we should fear and love Him with all our heart. Fear not as in being afraid of but rather of offending Him, of losing our relationship with Him through our unfaithfulness.

How then will our own prayer to the Lord our God be? One that comes from a superficial relationship of trying to impress Him by our religiousness? False piety?
Or will our prayer be that from the heart of having a deep personal relationship with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Of knowing that we are deeply and uniquely loved even in our shortcomings and imperfections. And that it is only through Christ our Lord we are perfected. And so we strive to live faithfully in His love for ourselves, our families and for the communities we serve in for His glory.

Grant my desire to deepen my relationship with You Lord, that I may grow to be more and more like You each and every day. Amen

First reading

Hosea 5:15-6:6 ·
What I want is love, not sacrifice and holocausts

The Lord says this:

They will search for me in their misery.
‘Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds; after a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence.
Let us set ourselves to know the Lord; that he will come is as certain as the dawn his judgement will rise like the light, he will come to us as showers come, like spring rains watering the earth.’

What am I to do with you, Ephraim?
What am I to do with you, Judah?
This love of yours is like a morning cloud, like the dew that quickly disappears. This is why I have torn them to pieces by the prophets, why I slaughtered them with the words from my mouth, since what I want is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.

Gospel

Luke 18:9-14
The tax collector, not the Pharisee, went home justified.

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else: ‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.” The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 20, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

We live in trying times and holding on to our faith is a struggle especially when we no longer have access to the sacraments our Lord provided for us or a place to gather and worship. Fear has gripped our hearts and so communities that once provided stability; and was a source of strength have disbanded.

The Lord speaks to our hearts today reminding us that He is near to us and has never left. He is in charge and we have nothing to fear. He will lift all curses, scourges and take away all our iniquities and sins. All we need do is turn our hearts to Him and remain faithful in our prayers, attentive listening to His Word and Will for us; and to continue to love one another us as He loves us.

In today’s context loving our neighbour includes amongst other things; being socially responsible, not giving in to panic and adopting a ‘my family’ against the world mentality or its a survival of the fittest one. We should never forget that loving the least of our brethren is what gives us hope for an eternal future with the Lord our God.

O Blessed Mother, pray for me. That I remain pure and true and that all that I say and do may be pleasing to Your Son Jesus my Lord. Amen

First reading

Hosea 14:2-10
A call to conversion and promise of safety

The Lord says this:

Israel, come back to the Lord your God; your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.
Provide yourself with words
and come back to the Lord.
Say to him, ‘Take all iniquity away so that we may have happiness again and offer you our words of praise.
Assyria cannot save us, we will not ride horses any more, or say, “Our God!” to what our own hands have made, for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.’
– I will heal their disloyalty,
I will love them with all my heart, for my anger has turned from them.
I will fall like dew on Israel.
He shall bloom like the lily,
and thrust out roots like the poplar, his shoots will spread far; he will have the beauty of the olive and the fragrance of Lebanon.
They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow corn that flourishes, they will cultivate vines as renowned as the wine of Helbon.
What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when it is I who hear his prayer and care for him? I am like a cypress ever green, all your fruitfulness comes from me.

Let the wise man understand these words.
Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning.
For the ways of the Lord are straight, and virtuous men walk in them, but sinners stumble.

Gospel

Mark 12:28-34
‘You are not far from the kingdom of God’

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 20, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

We live in trying times and holding on to our faith is a struggle especially when we no longer have access to the sacraments our Lord provided for us or a place to gather and worship. Fear has gripped our hearts and so communities that once provided stability; and was a source of strength have disbanded.

The Lord speaks to our hearts today reminding us that He is near to us and has never left. He is in charge and we have nothing to fear. He will lift all curses, scourges and take away all our iniquities and sins. All we need do is turn our hearts to Him and remain faithful in our prayers, attentive listening to His Word and Will for us; and to continue to love one another us as He loves us.

In today’s context loving our neighbour includes amongst other things; being socially responsible, not giving in to panic and adopting a ‘my family’ against the world mentality or its a survival of the fittest one. We should never forget that loving the least of our brethren is what gives us hope for an eternal future with the Lord our God.

O Blessed Mother, pray for me. That I remain pure and true and that all that I say and do may be pleasing to Your Son Jesus my Lord. Amen

First reading

Hosea 14:2-10
A call to conversion and promise of safety

The Lord says this:

Israel, come back to the Lord your God; your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.
Provide yourself with words
and come back to the Lord.
Say to him, ‘Take all iniquity away so that we may have happiness again and offer you our words of praise.
Assyria cannot save us, we will not ride horses any more, or say, “Our God!” to what our own hands have made, for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.’
– I will heal their disloyalty,
I will love them with all my heart, for my anger has turned from them.
I will fall like dew on Israel.
He shall bloom like the lily,
and thrust out roots like the poplar, his shoots will spread far; he will have the beauty of the olive and the fragrance of Lebanon.
They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow corn that flourishes, they will cultivate vines as renowned as the wine of Helbon.
What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when it is I who hear his prayer and care for him? I am like a cypress ever green, all your fruitfulness comes from me.

Let the wise man understand these words.
Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning.
For the ways of the Lord are straight, and virtuous men walk in them, but sinners stumble.

Gospel

Mark 12:28-34
‘You are not far from the kingdom of God’

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.


Through faith, hope and trust in the Lord our God, father Abraham became Father of many nations as many as the stars.

Through faith, hope and trust in the Lord our God, St Joseph of the line of David fulfilled God’s promise and became father of Jesus, Lord of lords, King of kings, the salvation of the world.

Amidst all trials and challenges I too must have faith, hope and trust in the Lord our God. For through Jesus Christ my Lord and God I have a share in the heavenly inheritance.

O St Joseph pure and chaste spouse of our Blessed Mother Mary, father of Jesus, pray for me. That I may have your purity of heart, your attentive ear to hear the will of God, strength in faith and your zeal for a virtuous life in the Lord our God. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14,16 ·
The Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David

The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
‘Go and tell my servant David, Thus the Lord speaks: “When your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my became, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’

Second reading

Romans 4:13,16-18,22 ·
Abraham hoped, and he believed

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. This is the faith that was ‘considered as justifying him.’

Gospel

Matthew 1:16,18-21,24
How Jesus Christ came to be born

Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 18, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

What is the purpose of having laws and why should we obey them? Have we not heard the saying, laws are meant to be broken? Or there are always loopholes in the law we can exploit? What happens then when people disobey or break the law? Simply society as we know it, is plunged into disarray and chaos! How about if just one person breaks it? There are consequences, repercussions and effects that will kick in even though the crime may be or thought to be small. For instance, running a red light because of an important appointment someone knocks down a pregnant woman. The woman survives but loses the child. How many lives are affected? How do we know the child would not have grown up to be a leading scientist that would discover a cure for a dreaded disease in which millions of lives might have been saved?

How precious then is it to know God’s laws and obey them? For what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? Our peace, love and joy lie in the heart of our love and relationship with the Lord our God. Breaking God’s laws not only plunges us into a world of darkness, we sever our deep and meaningful relationship with Him. Our sin not only affects us but our family and community in ways we might not even be aware of.

So then if we declare that we love our children dearly and want what is best for them. How can we not teach them to love God and observe all His commandments as best best can? How can we say let them discover the Lord on their own? Or there is lots time for that, they need to be academically sound first. Are we guiding them towards heaven or robbing them of it?

First reading

Deuteronomy 4:1,5-9
Keep these laws and observe them

Moses said to the people:
‘Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you.
‘See, as the Lord my God has commanded me, I teach you the laws and customs that you are to observe in the land you are to enter and make your own. Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation.” And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today?
‘But take care what you do and be on your guard. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life; rather, tell them to your children and to your children’s children.’

Lord Jesus complete the law written in my heart, that I may always be faithful and loving in carrying out Your will. Amen

Gospel

Matthew 5:17-19
I have not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to complete them

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’