Posts Tagged ‘discipleship’


Generally we are all very good at what we do for a living, for how can we not be when it is the bread and butter that our lives depend on. If fact in our daily dealings with others we have to be shrewd and often have to pick and choose our battles carefully. How did we get so good at it? Years of experience we might proudly declare!

How is it then that we do not seem to be equally if not more concern about the ‘bread and butter’ even milk and honey that our eternal lives depend on? Does not our all loving Lord and God who gave us all that we have deserve our commitment? Our faithfulness? To build upon our relationship with Him as to experience Him more profoundly? And through our deep encounter with Him, share our wonderful experience of His love with all that we meet. Not quite there yet? Well what are you doing different today to make it happen? After it is not everyone who says to Him, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of our Father who is in heaven. And the will of our Heavenly Father is that we should all be saved. Therefore our mission is make disciples of all nations.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. 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.’


Have you counted the cost of loving the Lord Your God and loving your neighbour thereafter? The cost of discipleship that demands we love God and others more than we love ourselves. The cost of loving without benefits only than to love. To carry our cross to follow after Jesus is to love as He does to the very end. So let us reflect on this a little more…

Do I truly love my spouse such that I would never look at anyone else lustfully let alone entertain the thought of adultery? Do I love my children with an endearing love that I should punish them when they do wrong with my Lord in mind and without starving them of my love? Do I love my aged parents tenderly even though I might struggle with the demands of my own life and family? Do I love my sisters and brothers in Christ inspite of their many faults and shortcomings, striving to be patient with them as my Lord was patient with me? Do I love the stranger that comes before me hoping only to see the face of Christ? Do I love such that my eyes are opened to see those who are poor, sick and in need, and do what I must to help them? Our only debt indeed as St Paul says, is the debt of mutual love. If we remember nothing else today, let us remember this… Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments. (Rm 13:10)

Lord Jesus I embrace my cross for love of You. Lead me to where You want me to go. 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: October 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What does it matter if we observe a fast or not when our hearts are not changed by our act? Whether we are veiled or unveiled? If we are generous with our money but uncharitable with our words putting others down? If we welcome our brethren with open arms but do nothing to lead them closer to Christ? If we embrace sinners but do nothing to help them overcome their sin and guide them towards reconciliation with the Lord our God? If we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, mind and strength but do nothing to share His love with those who do not yet know Him?

How heavy is the cross we are willing to bear for our Lord Jesus Christ? Are we living the beautitudes in our lives? Have we strived to perform corporal and spiritual acts of mercy? By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” says our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jn 13:35

Teach me to love Lord as You love, to be merciful as You are merciful. Guide my every step so that I may live out my Christian vocation according to Your will. Amen

St Ignatius Pray for us….

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.


How do you change the hearts of those closest around you? How do you lead them closer to God our Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit our One triune God? Yes you very well know that those closest to you are the toughest to reach out to. Even your own ministry members are unlikely to listen to anyone, when they have this idea that they have come to ‘serve’ the Lord on their own terms. They are simply volunteers and so choose how, what and when they want to serve. And so afraid of losing them you may say Oh well in God’s time they will have a change of heart, afterall everyone’s journey is different.

That may very well be true, but does that mean you do nothing to lead them into discipleship? Yes the keyword is LEAD, that is to lead by your very example. Your committment, your integrity, your own desire to grow, change, and most important of all; it is by your love of God and for them that all will know that you are the Lord’s disciple.

We do this by honouring the Lord our God above all. We repent continuously of our sins and offer the best we have to offer of our lives for Him. By His grace, strength and through our very own witness; hearts and minds can and will be changed. For we have become beacons of His love and light by the way we lead our lives in Him.

Yes Jesus Himself did not work many miracles where the people were obstinate because of their lack of faith. But what about those whom He managed to work miracles in? For our Lord did say there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. That one repentant sinner filled with joy can touch a hundredfold times a hundredfold by His/Her own testimony as we have seen in the lives of St Paul, St Peter and literally too many others to mention.

O Lord my God help me, not to allow the lack of faith of others discourage me, but increase in me my very own faith, love and zeal to bear my cross to follow You always. Amen

First reading

Leviticus 23:1,4-11,15-16,27,34-37
The law of the festivals of the Lord

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said:

‘These are the Lord’s solemn festivals, the sacred assemblies to which you are to summon the sons of Israel on the appointed day.

‘The fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the Passover of the Lord; and the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of Unleavened Bread for the Lord. For seven days you shall eat bread without leaven. On the first day you are to hold a sacred assembly; you must do no heavy work. For seven days you shall offer a burnt offering to the Lord. The seventh day is to be a day of sacred assembly; you must do no work.’

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said:

‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them:

‘“When you enter the land that I give you, and gather in the harvest there, you must bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest, and he is to present it to the Lord with the gesture of offering, so that you may be acceptable. The priest shall make this offering on the day after the sabbath.

‘“From the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the sheaf of offering, you are to count seven full weeks. You are to count fifty days, to the day after the seventh sabbath, and then you are to offer the Lord a new oblation.

‘“The tenth day of the seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. You are to hold a sacred assembly. You must fast, and you must offer a burnt offering to the Lord.

‘“The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of Tabernacles for the Lord, lasting seven days. The first day is a day of sacred assembly; you must do no heavy work. For seven days you must offer a burnt offering to the Lord. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly, you must offer a burnt offering to the Lord. It is a day of solemn meeting; you must do no heavy work.

‘“These are the solemn festivals of the Lord to which you are to summon the children of Israel, sacred assemblies for the purpose of offering burnt offerings, holocausts, oblations, sacrifices and libations to the Lord, according to the ritual of each day.”’

Gospel

Matthew 13:54-58

A prophet is only despised in his own country

Coming to his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter’s son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?’ And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house’, and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.