Posts Tagged ‘children of God’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: August 12, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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How great is the love of God our Father for us that by our baptism we have upon us an indelible mark of sonship and daughterhood. That is why St Paul with great conviction proclaimed that nothing can separate us from that love of God. Only we can choose to be separated from Him, by our free Will and in the choices we make.

If we choose to live as His child, then we must also recognise that of one another too. Would our Heavenly Father want us then to be bickering, quarreling and being resentful of one another. Or would He want us to be fully reconciled and in full communion with Him. To be One as the Holy Trinity is One?

Let us strive for unity as we pray as One for unity and peace….
Our Father..
Hail Mary..
Glory Be..
Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 9:1-7,10:18-22The cross marks the foreheads of all who are pureAs I, Ezekiel, listened, God shouted, ‘Come here, you scourges of the city, and bring your weapons of destruction.’ Immediately six men advanced from the upper north gate, each holding a deadly weapon. In the middle of them was a man in white, with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt. They came in and halted in front of the bronze altar. The glory of the God of Israel rose off the cherubs where it had been and went up to the threshold of the Temple. He called the man in white with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt and said, ‘Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of all the filth practised in it.’ I heard him say to the others, ‘Follow him through the city, and strike. Show neither pity nor mercy; old men, young men, virgins, children, women, kill and exterminate them all. But do not touch anyone with a cross on his forehead. Begin at my sanctuary.’ So they began with the old men in front of the Temple. He said to them, ‘Defile the Temple; fill the courts with corpses, and go.’ They went out and hacked their way through the city. The glory of the Lord came out from the Temple threshold and paused over the cherubs. The cherubs spread their wings and rose from the ground to leave, and as I watched the wheels rose with them. They paused at the entrance to the east gate of the Temple of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. This was the creature that I had seen supporting the God of Israel beside the river Chebar, and I was now certain that these were cherubs. Each had four faces and four wings and what seemed to be human hands under their wings. Their faces were just as I had seen them beside the river Chebar. Each moved straight forward.

Gospel

Matthew 18:15-20If your brother listens to you, you have won back your brotherJesus said to his disciples: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. ‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. ‘I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.’


Are we behaving as we should as children of God our Heavenly Father? Do we then look upon one another as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ with one goal of leading one another closer to His kingdom? Are we obedient to God our Father’s Will and Word for us? Does the Word of God roll off us like water on a duck’s back? Or do we receive it voraciously like hungry lions deep within us knowing that nothing else will satisfy?The Word made flesh, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ came so that through Him we might be saved. Through Him we have full communion with Him and one another. We become One body in Him. This reality is made present each time we receive Holy Eucharist. Are our hearts and minds open and therefore embracing this reality? If so then will we place ourselves above one another or will we get down on our knees to be of service to one another through Him who loves us dearly, now and forever. AmenSt Clare pray for us….

First reading

Ezekiel 2:8-3:4 ·
He gave me the scroll to eat and it was as sweet as honeyI, Ezekiel, heard a voice speaking. It said, ‘You, son of man, listen to the words I say; do not be a rebel like that rebellious set. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’ I looked. A hand was there, stretching out to me and holding a scroll. He unrolled it in front of me; it was written on back and front; on it was written ‘lamentations, wailings, moanings.’ He said, ‘Son of man, eat what is given to you; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.’ I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and said, ‘Son of man, feed and be satisfied by the scroll I am giving you.’ I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.
Then he said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.’

Gospel

Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14
Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes meThe disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
‘See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.
‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’


O loving Father in Heaven how often must You plead with me to come back fully to You? Why are You so patient with me? You have chosen not to disown me even though I had let You down time and time again! You have given me the greatest gift of Your Only Begotten Son, my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, so that through Him I might be saved.

Jesus my Lord I come before You with a contrite spirit, plant in me Your living Word. Till the soil of my heart and nourish it so that Your Word will take deep root and be fruitful for Your greater glory. Now and forever, Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 3:14-17Come back, my disloyal childrenCome back, disloyal children – it is the Lord who speaks – for I alone am your Master. I will take one from a town, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. I will give you shepherds after my own heart, and these shall feed you on knowledge and discretion. And when you have increased and become many in the land, then – it is the Lord who speaks – no one will ever say again: Where is the ark of the covenant of the Lord? There will be no thought of it, no memory of it, no regret for it, no making of another. When that time comes, Jerusalem shall be called: The Throne of the Lord; all the nations will gather there in the name of the Lord and will no longer follow the dictates of their own stubborn hearts.

Gospel

Matthew 13:18-23The man who hears the word and understands it yields a rich harvestJesus said to his disciples: ‘You are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the man who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But he has no root in him, he does not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and he falls away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so he produces nothing. And the one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’


Two Sundays ago we identified ourselves as seed having fallen perhaps not so much on rocks, since we have encountered the Lord and He has a special place in our heart; but more so like seed having fallen on some soil, thorns and so on such that time and time again we are robbed of His Word and Will for us. Are we not as correctly pointed out in today’s first reading ‘leaky cisterns that hold no water.’ Are we not tired of thinking and behaving as ‘darnel weed’ when we should be majestic ‘Wheat’? Has our Lord not been patient enough waiting for us to grow up as mature children of God our Father?

We need to wake up from our slumber and make a decision to plug the gaps in our lives. We need to fill them up with the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through His Word, prayer and desiring to live in His presence. Then we will be healed! Such that we can boldly declare that we are happy that our eyes see, our ears hear! For many prophets and holy men longed to see what we see, and never saw it; to hear what we hear, and never heard it. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 2:1-3,7-8,12-13 ·I brought you to a fertile country and you defiled itThe word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying, ‘Go and shout this in the hearing of Jerusalem:‘“The Lord says this:I remember the affection of your youth,the love of your bridal days:you followed me through the wilderness,through a land unsown.Israel was sacred to the Lord,the first-fruits of his harvest;anyone who ate of this had to pay for it,misfortune came to them –it is the Lord who speaks.”‘I brought you to a fertile country to enjoy its produce and good things; but no sooner had you entered than you defiled my land, and made my heritage detestable.The priests have never asked, “Where is the Lord?”Those who administer the Law have no knowledge of me.The shepherds have rebelled against me;the prophets have prophesied in the name of Baal, following things with no power in them.‘You heavens, stand aghast at this,stand stupefied, stand utterly appalled– it is the Lord who speaks.Since my people have committed a double crime: they have abandoned me,the fountain of living water, only to dig cisterns for themselves, leaky cisterns that hold no water.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:10-17Prophets and holy men longed to hear what you hearThe disciples went up to Jesus and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled:You will listen and listen again, but not understand, see and see again, but not perceive. For the heart of this nation has grown coarse, their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, for fear they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted and be healed by me.‘But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’


How strong are your familial ties at home? Is there love and mutual respect? Are you a family that eats and prays together? Do you honour your Father and Mother?Jesus is inviting us today to think about our very own relationship with God our Heavenly Father. For if we truly love Him then as His loving children we will honour Him by being obedient to His Will for us. It is through our familial ties with Him that our whole family is Blessed.Ever loving and faithful Father in Heaven, through Your Son my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, I will faithfully do Your Will for me. Amen

First reading

Micah 7:14-15,18-20 ·Have pity on us one more timeWith shepherd’s crook, O Lord, lead your people to pasture, the flock that is your heritage, living confined in a forestwith meadow land all around.Let them pasture in Bashan and Gileadas in the days of old. As in the days when you came out of Egypt grant us to see wonders.What god can compare with you: taking fault away, pardoning crime, not cherishing anger for ever but delighting in showing mercy?Once more have pity on us, tread down our faults, to the bottom of the sea throw all our sins.Grant Jacob your faithfulness, and Abraham your mercy, as you swore to our fathersfrom the days of long ago.

Gospel

Matthew 12:46-50My mother and my brothers are anyone who does the will of my Father in heavenJesus was speaking to the crowds when his mother and his brothers appeared; they were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him. But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’


It is not about giving up our autonomy neither is it about relinquishing our self reliance but rather acknowledging and embracing the fact that we have a loving God who is infinitely wiser and only wants what is best for us; for great love of us. What was the sin of Adam and Eve? With their little knowledge they thought they knew better than the Lord their God. They desired to be His equal if not then better. And through their disobedience the floodgates of sin was opened on humanity.

When we embrace the fact that we are children of God our Father so loved by Him then we will seek His will for us, we will seek His wisdom and grace. And we will be Blessed by Him as we have Blessed Him by our sole desire to glorify Him by our lives. We have a semblance understanding of this in our own relationships with our children. When they honour us with their obedience and rely on our wisdom to guide and counsel them.

God our loving Father, Your will be done now and forever. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 10:5-7,13-16 ·
Assyria’s arrogance and coming ruinThe Lord of hosts says this:Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger, the club brandished by me in my fury!
I sent him against a godless nation; I gave him commission against a people that provokes me, to pillage and to plunder freely and to stamp down like the mud in the streets.
But he did not intend this, his heart did not plan it so. No, in his heart was to destroy,
to go on cutting nations to pieces without limit.For he has said:‘By the strength of my own arm I have done this and by my own intelligence, for understanding is mine; I have pushed back the frontiers of peoples and plundered their treasures.
I have brought their inhabitants down to the dust. As if they were a bird’s nest, my hand has seized the riches of the peoples.
As people pick up deserted eggs I have picked up the whole earth, with not a wing fluttering, not a beak opening, not a chirp.’Does the axe claim more credit than the man who wields it, or the saw more strength than the man who handles it?
It would be like the cudgel controlling the man who raises it, or the club moving what is not made of wood!
And so the Lord of Hosts is going to send a wasting sickness on his stout warriors;
beneath his plenty, a burning will burn
like a consuming fire.

Gospel

Matthew 11:25-27
You have hidden these things from the wise and revealed them to little childrenJesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’


Why do we allow our differences to divide us? Salt and pepper are vastly different and yet when put together they bring about a flavourful excellence. We are so much more than that! We are all God our Father’s children regardless of race, culture, language, financial status and so on. Our uniqueness and the gifts we possess when brought together for love one another, are that which give Him glory.And through the power of our resurrected Lord who died for our sins, we are able to be completely united as One with and in Him. Let us therefore unite ourselves more fully with our Lord Jesus Christ and always be ready to share His love and mercy with one another. Amen

First reading

Acts 22:30,23:6-11 ·‘You have borne witness in Jerusalem: now you must do the same in Rome’Since the tribune wanted to know what precise charge the Jews were bringing, he freed Paul and gave orders for a meeting of the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin; then he brought Paul down and stood him in front of them. Now Paul was well aware that one section was made up of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, so he called out in the Sanhedrin, ‘Brothers, I am a Pharisee and the son of Pharisees. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.’ As soon as he said this a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was split between the two parties. For the Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, while the Pharisees accept all three. The shouting grew louder, and some of the scribes from the Pharisees’ party stood up and protested strongly, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man. Suppose a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?’ Feeling was running high, and the tribune, afraid that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered his troops to go down and haul him out and bring him into the fortress.Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.’

Gospel

John 17:20-26Father, may they be completely oneJesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:‘Holy Father, I pray not only for these,but for those also who through their words will believe in me.May they all be one.Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.I have given them the glory you gave to me,that they may be one as we are one.With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.Father, I want those you have given meto be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.’


Jesus has conquered the world! Do we realise how awesome this is and what it means for us? Yes we have it in mind that Jesus died for us to save us from sins and that we have hope of eternal life with Him. However we often overlook the fact that because Jesus conquered the world, we too can conquer the world through Him! This means we can live fully liberated in His love and in the spirit of truth.Our call then as children of God our Father is to live Holy chaste lives. While not all of us will be chosen to have anointed venerable hands like our shepherds in Holy orders; we are all chosen people, a royal priesthood! And so are called to lead others into a deeper conversion, by their repentance and reconciliation to God our Heavenly Father. Those of us who are willing to sacrifice for our Lord’s namesake and for our brethren will be given the grace to lay hands amongst other things. For our Lord promised “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” John 14:12 Amen

First reading

Acts 19:1-8 ·
The moment Paul laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on themWhile Apollos was in Corinth, Paul made his way overland as far as Ephesus, where he found a number of disciples. When he asked, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ they answered, ‘No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit.’ ‘Then how were you baptised?’ he asked. ‘With John’s baptism’ they replied. ‘John’s baptism’ said Paul ‘was a baptism of repentance; but he insisted that the people should believe in the one who was to come after him – in other words, Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of these men.
He began by going to the synagogue, where he spoke out boldly and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. He did this for three months.

Gospel

John 16:29-33
Be brave, for I have conquered the worldHis disciples said to Jesus, ‘Now you are speaking plainly and not using metaphors! Now we see that you know everything, and do not have to wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them:‘Do you believe at last?
Listen; the time will come – in fact it has come already – when you will be scattered,
each going his own way and leaving me alone.
And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.’


How can we fathom the depths, wisdom, power but most of all the love of God our Father for us His children. That He would allow and thus give us free Will to reject Him; or to choose to love and honour Him by our lives. Even then when many had chosen to reject and dishonour Him by their heinous sins, He gave us His only Begotten Son Jesus to save them together with all of us that is all His children. He chose once again not to abandon any of us. By the rising of Jesus from the dead, we have hope of eternal life with Him.And so the Spirit of truth reveals to us that we should repent and turn our hearts back to Him. For the choices we ultimately make will determine if we will have our heavenly inheritance or not. The reality of it all is that our lives on earth are shortlived! Let us choose then to live our lives to the full in the Lord our God’s mercy and love. Amen

First reading

Acts 17:15,22-18:1I proclaim the God you already worship without knowing itPaul’s escort took him as far as Athens, and went back with instructions for Silas and Timothy to rejoin Paul as soon as they could. So Paul stood before the whole Council of the Areopagus and made this speech: ‘Men of Athens, I have seen for myself how extremely scrupulous you are in all religious matters, because I noticed, as I strolled round admiring your sacred monuments, that you had an altar inscribed: To An Unknown God. Well, the God whom I proclaim is in fact the one whom you already worship without knowing it. ‘Since the God who made the world and everything in it is himself Lord of heaven and earth, he does not make his home in shrines made by human hands. Nor is he dependent on anything that human hands can do for him, since he can never be in need of anything; on the contrary, it is he who gives everything – including life and breath – to everyone. From one single stock he not only created the whole human race so that they could occupy the entire earth, but he decreed how long each nation should flourish and what the boundaries of its territory should be. And he did this so that all nations might seek the deity and, by feeling their way towards him, succeed in finding him. Yet in fact he is not far from any of us, since it is in him that we live, and move, and exist, as indeed some of your own writers have said:“We are all his children.”‘Since we are the children of God, we have no excuse for thinking that the deity looks like anything in gold, silver or stone that has been carved and designed by a man. ‘God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant, but now he is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent, because he has fixed a day when the whole world will be judged, and judged in righteousness, and he has appointed a man to be the judge. And God has publicly proved this by raising this man from the dead.’ At this mention of rising from the dead, some of them burst out laughing; others said, ‘We would like to hear you talk about this again.’ After that Paul left them, but there were some who attached themselves to him and became believers, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman called Damaris, and others besides. After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

Gospel

John 16:12-15The Spirit of truth will lead you to the complete truthJesus said to his disciples:‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come.He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine.Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’


It is one thing to be disliked, quite another to be hated. What does it mean to be hated? Total rejection! Such that anything spoken or thoughts of what might be spoken causes irritation and disgust. Out of sight! Otherwise out of mind retaliation sets in? But why Lord? Why is there hate in the world and especially for us Christians?The truth as spoken is that we are created in the image and likeness of God our Heavenly Father. And so we are not products or rather children of the world, we belong to God our Father. Therefore there is no room for sin or evil in our hearts, of which such thrives in the world. And so long as we are living in the world, striving to avoid all sin and to be loving after the heart of God, we will be hated. I’m sure some of you might have had this experience, where there was a group of friends you hung out with partying without consequences or care. Then one day when you decided to follow Jesus the same group of ‘friends’ treated you like an outcast and avoided you like the plague! Well this is to be expected says our Lord in today’s Gospel. We can only pray that one day our friends too will experience the joy of the Risen Lord in their lives.For now let us live in the spirit, sharing the joy of the Gospel with all whom will listen and living out the Gospel truths in our very own lives. Amen

First reading

Acts 16:1-10 ·
‘Come across to Macedonia and help us’From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.
As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.
So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.
They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.
One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.

Gospel

John 15:18-21
The world hated me before it hated youJesus said to his disciples:‘If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice withdrew you from the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this, because they do not know the one who sent me.’


We live in a rather narcissistic world and so often find ourselves rather self absorbed. While not everyone lives to take selfies to garner likes and affirmations, we often compare ourselves with others. How far up the ladder we have climbed, well travelled and experienced, self sufficient and living out our lives to the fullest. If unchecked this form of narcissism can spiral out of control. In the case of the have nots, the moaning and groaning of a miserable life too can spiral out of control! Question is, where is God in either one of our lives?

The Lord our God indeed wants us to live life to the full and this life to the full is only be found in Him. All other notions of living life to the full are shortlived and riddled with discontent. To have the life we ought to be living is to be Holy and united fully with the Lord our God. We do this first by acknowledging that we are children of God so loved by our Heavenly Father. We therefore strive daily to renounce all evil and sin so as to live fully as His children. And if we are to live authentic lives as His children then we must acknowledge that our fellow sisters and brothers too are His children. How then can we continue living individual lives thinking how we treat our sisters and brothers does not matter? If we have caused hurt, pain and suffering then we must quickly make amends. If we have turned a blind eye to the needs of the least of our brethren then we must quickly make amends. Only then will offering at the altar of our Lord be pleasing. For then we will be living as one Body In Him.

In Your mercy and love Lord may I be likewise merciful and loving to all. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 18:21-28 ·
I prefer to see the wicked man renounce his wickedness and live

Thus says the Lord:
‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:20-26
Anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’


The Lord our God will humble the conceited. Their vanity will be their undoing! Just as Absalom hung helpless by the fine set of hair on his head. Still a Father is heard weeping for his fallen child. Shall we then not dwell on how we have been living our own lives? Are we too proud and haughty in our dealings with others? Have we humbled ourselves before the Lord our God to plead for His mercy for our wrongdoings against Him and our brethren? Or do we go in pursuit of that which is not ours to take, to our own tragic end. Who is it then that will weep for us?

Again we learn today that the Lord our God has no favourites. Whether you are a son or a daughter, you are a beloved child so loved by your Heavenly Father. Old or young our Lord Jesus heals and restores without reservation. For He hears the cries of His faithful, be it our very own or through the intercession of our beloved ones. My son, my daughter we will surely hear Him say, your faith has healed you. Go in peace to love, serve and glorify the Lord Your God by Your lives. Amen

First reading

2 Samuel 18:9-10,14,24-25,30-19:3 ·
David mourns Absalom

Absalom happened to run into some of David’s followers. Absalom was riding a mule and the mule passed under the thick branches of a great oak. Absalom’s head caught fast in the oak and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule he was riding went on. Someone saw this and told Joab. ‘I have just seen Absalom’ he said ‘hanging from an oak.’ Joab took three lances in his hand and thrust them into Absalom’s heart while he was still alive there in the oak tree.
David was sitting between the two gates. The lookout had gone up to the roof of the gate, on the ramparts; he looked up and saw a man running all by himself. The watch called out to the king and told him. The king said, ‘If he is by himself, he has good news to tell.’ The king told the man, ‘Move aside and stand there.’ He moved aside and stood waiting.
Then the Cushite arrived. ‘Good news for my lord the king!’ cried the Cushite. ‘The Lord has vindicated your cause today by ridding you of all who rebelled against you.’ ‘Is all well with young Absalom?’ the king asked the Cushite. ‘May the enemies of my lord the king’ the Cushite answered ‘and all who rebelled against you to your hurt, share the lot of that young man.’
The king shuddered. He went up to the room over the gate and burst into tears, and weeping said, ‘My son Absalom! My son! My son Absalom! Would I had died in your place! Absalom, my son, my son!’ Word was brought to Joab, ‘The king is now weeping and mourning for Absalom.’ And the day’s victory was turned to mourning for all the troops, because they learned that the king was grieving for his son. And the troops returned stealthily that day to the town, as troops creep back ashamed when routed in

battle.

Gospel

Mark 5:21-43
Little girl, I tell you to get up

When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside. Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.’ Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.
Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years; after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she spent all she had without being any the better for it, in fact, she was getting worse. She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak. ‘If I can touch even his clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I shall be well again.’ And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. Immediately aware that power had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’ But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.’
While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?’ But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith.’ And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha, kum!’ which means, ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up.’ The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.


Envy often builds into jealousy and is prevalent everywhere. It can be found in the workplace, in church even at home between siblings. Why does it happen? Well for one it is due to our fallen nature which makes us susceptible to sin. However that is not to say we cannot resist it entirely. Especially if we are grounded in our faith and in our love for our Lord Jesus Christ; and in the certitude that we are all children so loved by our Heavenly Father who has no favourites.

Yes jealousy can happen even in church, even though everyone starts with the purest of intentions to simply serve the Lord and our brethren. Let us not forget that even the disciples squabbled amongst themselves at who among them was the greatest. They at that point walked with Christ, but did not walk in Christ. They like many in our day are not filled with the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore they struggle with insecurities but lash out at others thinking they know better, are holier, are more prayerful, are more Christ centric then others. Some leaders shut their ears with palm facing out to ideas or concerns raised which are not align to their own. They often force their agendas in the guise that it is for the greater good.

Let us pray for one another, our families, especially our Church leaders. That our eyes, ears and hearts will always be open to recognise that we need the Son of God, our Lord Jesus in the very centre of our lives. And so we strive each day to unite ourselves more fully with Him. So that through Him, with Him and in Him, we will glorify the Lord our God in all that we say and do. Amen

First reading

1 Samuel 18:6-9,19:1-7
Saul’s envy and Jonathan’s loyal friendship

On their way back, as David was returning after killing the Philistine, the women came out to meet King Saul from all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing to the sound of tambourine and lyre and cries of joy; and as they danced the women sang:

‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.’

Saul was very angry; the incident was not to his liking. ‘They have given David the tens of thousands,’ he said ‘but me only the thousands; he has all but the kingship now.’ And Saul turned a jealous eye on David from that day forward.
Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants of his intention to kill David. Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, held David in great affection; and so Jonathan warned David; ‘My father Saul is looking for a way to kill you,’ he said ‘so be on your guard tomorrow morning; hide away in some secret place. Then I will go out and keep my father company in the fields where you are hiding, and will talk to my father about you; I will find out what the situation is and let you know.’
So Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father; he said, ‘Let not the king sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you, and what he has done has been greatly to your advantage. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it yourself and rejoiced; why then sin against innocent blood in killing David without cause?’ Saul was impressed by Jonathan’s words and took an oath, ‘As the Lord lives, I will not kill him.’ Jonathan called David and told him all these things. Then Jonathan brought him to Saul, and David attended on him as before.

Gospel

Mark 3:7-12
He warned them not to make him known as the Son of God

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known.


Both the vertical and horizontal dimension of the cross in which our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ hung for love of us serves as a great and loving reminder; that He died not just for you and me but for all of us! That by liberating us from sin we are not just united in Him individually but with one another in Him. Therefore all of God’s children are One Body through our Lord Jesus Christ. Can we then say we love God but not our sister and brother in Christ?

Unforgiveness is in a sense a habitual sin! Why? Because we regularly by our own volition, refuse to allow God’s love and mercy to overshadow us. To allow His grace to set both our heart and that of our brethren free from the hurt, guilt and pain. Unintentionally perhaps we are saying that our Unforgiveness is greater than God’s love and mercy! Why should we allow ourselves to remain captives of the injustice done against us? Let our Lord set us free from all bondages so that we can live free and live to the full in His love as His disciples.

And as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will proclaim His love to all that we meet. We shall bring the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to the poor, to proclaim His liberation to all captives of sin, His healing grace will come upon those who turn to Him and He will set the downtrodden free. That Jesus our Lord loves you and me, He loves us all! Amen

First reading

1 John 4:19-5:4
Anyone who loves God must also love his brother

We are to love, because God loved us first.
Anyone who says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, is a liar, since a man who does not love the brother that he can see cannot love God, whom he has never seen.
So this is the commandment that he has given us, that anyone who loves God must also love his brother.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ
has been begotten by God; and whoever loves the Father that begot him loves the child whom he begets.
We can be sure that we love God’s children
if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us; this is what loving God is –
keeping his commandments; and his commandments are not difficult, because anyone who has been begotten by God
has already overcome the world; this is the victory over the world – our faith.

Gospel

Luke 4:14-22
‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen’

Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.


Every morning as far as I can remember I have awoken praying first for my personal sanctification and holiness. Why? Because the temptation to sin is always before us! And sin with its super stickyness is ever waiting to pounce and prevent us from walking freely in the light of Christ. And so I pray for His grace to be upon me as I start out the day simply to live out my calling to be a child of God so loved by my Heavenly Father. To be Holy as He is Holy. Through and with His grace, I have a fighting chance to win the battle. I say chance even though it is a sure win with God on my side because I must cooperate and want to fight! Because there are times when I am in a state of inertia and often tempted to give in to the distractions.

Jesus the lamb of God my lord and saviour had died to free me from sin, and so the devil and all the evil that prowls about the earth has no hold over me! I can live free and fully in the light of my resurrected Lord and saviour Jesus Christ! Jesus saves; me, you and everyone who calls upon on His name.

By the Holy name of Jesus, I pray for you my dear sisters and brothers. That today and everyday you remain Holy and strive for greater Holiness. So that together we will live out our calling as children of God our Father, one Body In Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

1 John 2:29-3:6
Everyone must try to be as pure as Christ

You know that God is righteous –
then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous has been begotten by him.

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.
Anyone who sins at all breaks the law,
because to sin is to break the law.
Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in him there is no sin;
anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins has never seen him or known him.

Gospel

John 1:29-34
‘Look: there is the Lamb of God’

Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’


We are called first and foremost to Love. Love the Lord your God with all, your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and one another; that is God’s children our fellow sisters and brothers. Loving them with great mercy and compassion as well as undertaking the difficult task of fraternal correction, that it leading them back to the Lord our God by their turning away from sin and steering them towards Holiness.

In today’s Gospel it says a man falls into the hands of brigands and left him half dead. We then see how the priest and Levite had failed to respond to the call to love. I am quite sure they would have responded differently if the man who lay half dead were their own kin, a father, brother even cousin. Here therein lies the real test! Are we able to look at one another through the eyes of God our Father and see one another as truly sisters and brothers? The ‘good’ samaritan is good because He shares in the goodness of the Lord our God who is all loving, merciful and compassionate. He ministers to the man whom he is looks upon as brother. Can we not do likewise? Can the fallen brother look upon us and see Christ who ministers to him?

What about the ‘fallen’ brother who is living a life of sin and who is in darkness? Do we mind our own business and allow him to continue, thinking that he will eventually learn on his own and turn back? If He is someone whom we truly love as a brother will we not want to save his soul?

Jesus my Lord, give me the courage, strength and fortitude to love as you love. May I look upon all You send my way through Your loving eyes. Amen

Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us…

First reading

Jonah 1:1-2:1,11
Jonah flees from his call

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah son of Amittai:
‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and inform them that their wickedness has become known to me.’ Jonah decided to run away from the Lord, and to go to Tarshish. He went down to Joppa and found a ship bound for Tarshish; he paid his fare and went aboard, to go with them to Tarshish, to get away from the Lord. But the Lord unleashed a violent wind on the sea, and there was such a great storm at sea that the ship threatened to break up. The sailors took fright, and each of them called on his own god, and to lighten the ship they threw the cargo overboard. Jonah, however, had gone below and lain down in the hold and fallen fast asleep. The boatswain came upon him and said, ‘What do you mean by sleeping? Get up! Call on your god! Perhaps he will spare us a thought, and not leave us to die.’ Then they said to each other, ‘Come on, let us draw lots to find out who is responsible for bringing this evil on us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell to Jonah. Then they said to him, ‘Tell us, what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country? What is your nationality?’ He replied, ‘I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.’ The sailors were seized with terror at this and said, ‘What have you done?’ They knew that he was trying to escape from the Lord, because he had told them so. They then said, ‘What are we to do with you, to make the sea grow calm for us?’ For the sea was growing rougher and rougher. He replied, ‘Take me and throw me into the sea, and then it will grow calm for you. For I can see it is my fault this violent storm has happened to you.’ The sailors rowed hard in an effort to reach the shore, but in vain, since the sea grew still rougher for them. They then called on the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, do not let us perish for taking this man’s life; do not hold us guilty of innocent blood; for you, the Lord, have acted as you have thought right.’ And taking hold of Jonah they threw him into the sea; and the sea grew calm again. At this the men were seized with dread of the Lord; they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
The Lord had arranged that a great fish should be there to swallow Jonah; and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. The Lord spoke to the fish, which then vomited Jonah on to the shore.

Gospel

Luke 10:25-37
The good Samaritan

There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’
But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’


God our loving Father dotes on us His children always looking out for us to keep us safe. All He asks of us is that we love one another, be obedient and faithful unto Him. For He wills only the best for us which is to live life to the full in Him.

Which father’s heart will not break when he’s child says to him, I don’t want you, I want another father! I don’t care what you say and I choose to live my life in sin! It’s my choice! Yes indeed it is our choice to make whether we want to honour God our Heavenly Father or Not.

O Heavenly Father I am your little child so loved by you. Forgive me all my sins, and I am truly sorry for having offended you in the past. Let me always run back into Your loving embrace. Let me live my life in the light of Your Son my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Such that I will proclaim Your love and message of salvation to all I meet; as I declare with conviction ”As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’’ Amen

First reading

Joshua 24:14-29
‘The Lord is a holy God, a jealous God’

Joshua said to all the people, ‘Fear the Lord and serve him perfectly and sincerely; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’
The people answered, ‘We have no intention of deserting the Lord and serving other gods! Was it not the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery, who worked those great wonders before our eyes and preserved us all along the way we travelled and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed? What is more, the Lord drove all those peoples out before us, as well as the Amorites who used to live in this country. We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’
Then Joshua said to the people, ‘You cannot serve the Lord, because he is a holy God, he is a jealous God who will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you desert the Lord to follow alien gods he in turn will afflict and destroy you after the goodness he has shown you.’ The people answered Joshua, ‘No; it is the Lord we wish to serve.’ Then Joshua said to the people, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.’ They answered, ‘We are witnesses.’ ‘Then cast away the alien gods among you and give your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel!’ The people answered Joshua, ‘It is the Lord our God we choose to serve; it is his voice that we will obey.’
That day, Joshua made a covenant for the people; he laid down a statute and ordinance for them at Shechem. Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a great stone and set it up there, under the oak in the sanctuary of the Lord, and Joshua said to all the people, ‘See! This stone shall be a witness against us because it has heard all the words that the Lord has spoken to us: it shall be a witness against you in case you deny your God.’ Then Joshua sent the people away, and each returned to his own inheritance.
After these things Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died; he was a hundred and ten years old.

Gospel

Matthew 19:13-15
Do not stop the little children coming to me

People brought little children to Jesus, for him to lay his hands on them and say a prayer. The disciples turned them away, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.