Posts Tagged ‘discipleship’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

There will always be those who will succumb to mob mentality. Afterall it is better to be part of the majority then to be treated as a social outcast. Such is the ‘power’ of the mob that they are inclined to take their notion of the law into their own hands. Ok so not everyone will be subject to such extreme pressure but what about subtle ones like gossip through peer pressure. Is it not partaking in character assassination?

We who identify ourselves as Christian will find ourselves in varied forms of ostracism or in some form of persecution for standing up for justice and truth. The Gospel values we cherish will be challenged for it is the way of the cross. We must likewise cling to the knowledge that we are not of this world, for we will all return to the bosom of our Heavenly Father.

We Adore You, O Christ, and We Praise You. Because by Your Holy Cross, You Have Redeemed the World. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 11:18-20 ·
‘Let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten’

The Lord revealed it to me; I was warned. O Lord, that was when you opened my eyes to their scheming. I for my part was like a trustful lamb being led to the slaughter-house, not knowing the schemes they were plotting against me, ‘Let us destroy the tree in its strength, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name may be quickly forgotten!’

But you, the Lord of Hosts, who pronounce a just sentence, who probe the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you.

Gospel

John 7:40-52
The Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without hearing him

Several people who had been listening to Jesus said, ‘Surely he must be the prophet’, and some said, ‘He is the Christ’, but others said, ‘Would the Christ be from Galilee? Does not scripture say that the Christ must be descended from David and come from the town of Bethlehem?’ So the people could not agree about him. Some would have liked to arrest him, but no one actually laid hands on him.
The police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’ The police replied, ‘There has never been anybody who has spoken like him.’ ‘So’ the Pharisees answered ‘you have been led astray as well? Have any of the authorities believed in him? Any of the Pharisees? This rabble knows nothing about the Law – they are damned.’ One of them, Nicodemus – the same man who had come to Jesus earlier – said to them, ‘But surely the Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without giving him a hearing and discovering what he is about?’ To this they answered, ‘Are you a Galilean too? Go into the matter, and see for yourself: prophets do not come out of Galilee.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 11, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

What makes a Christian different from any other person of faith? Do they not all teach us to do good and engage in some form of social work? Do they not all have high moral standards to live by? To protect the sanctity of marriage and families? To contribute to the betterment of society and our nation? To promote justice and equality and so on? So regardless of race, language or religion; if we are all working towards the same goals then what makes Christians different? There is no difference! Other than the way we worship the Lord our God.

Unless…..we are truly living out our call to be true disciples of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. This means we take up our cross daily to follow Him. We understand that it is only through our sacrifice and sometimes extreme hardship that we can truly bring about the work of Christ, that is redemption for ourselves and for those whom we serve. And so it is our duty that we must always seek out and help the poor, the orphan, the challenged, those who lives at the peripheries of society. We never seek personal glory or affirmation, our joy is to see our Lord in the faces in whom we serve. And together we live in His peace, mercy and love. So then If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to our Lord Jesus Christ! This is what it means to be a follower of Christ, this is what it means to be called Christian.

Grant me the grace Lord, to never be lukewarm in my service or my faith. That I may serve my brethren with the same zeal You have always, to do Your Father’s will. Let Your will be done in my life. Amen

First reading

Jeremiah 18:18-20
My enemies are digging a pit for me

‘Come on,’ they said, ‘let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah; the priest will not run short of instruction without him, nor the sage of advice, nor the prophet of the word. Come on, let us hit at him with his own tongue; let us listen carefully to every word he says.’

Listen to me, O Lord,
hear what my adversaries are saying.
Should evil be returned for good?
For they are digging a pit for me.
Remember how I stood in your presence
to plead on their behalf,
to turn your wrath away from them.

Gospel

Matthew 20:17-28
They will condemn the Son of Man to death

Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one side and said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.’
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’


Our Lord Jesus Christ has come for me and you. To save us from our sins and to set us free. Let us listen to His call to follow Him. Have we already forgotten that by our baptism we have been anointed priest, prophet and King?

Yes we had been consecrated, set apart to light and guard, to rule and guide others unto Him. To build His Kingdom. Are we then living in the light of Christ? Are we then sharing His light with others? Proclaiming His love for one and all?

Thank You Jesus for in Your love, You have called me to follow You. You have healed and set me free. Let me be a disciple after Your own heart. Amen

First reading

1 Samuel 9:1-4,17-19,10:1 ·
The Lord chooses Saul as king; Samuel anoints him

Among the men of Benjamin there was a man named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah; a Benjaminite and a man of rank. He had a son named Saul, a handsome man in the prime of life. Of all the Israelites there was no one more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders taller than the rest of the people.Lord Jesus Christ has ch Now some of the she-donkeys of Saul’s father Kish had strayed, so Kish said to Saul, ‘My son, take one of the servants with you and be off; go and look for the she-donkeys.’ They passed through the highlands of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but did not find them; they passed through the land of Shaalim, they were not there; they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.
When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, ‘That is the man of whom I told you; he shall rule my people.’ Saul accosted Samuel in the gateway and said, ‘Tell me, please, where the seer’s house is?’ Samuel replied to Saul, ‘I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place. You are to eat with me today. In the morning I shall take leave of you and tell you all that is in your heart.’
Samuel took a phial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head; then he kissed him, saying, ‘Has not the Lord anointed you prince over his people Israel? You are the man who must rule the Lord’s people, and who must save them from the power of the enemies surrounding them.’

Gospel

Mark 2:13-17

Jesus went out to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’


Fidelity to the Lord our God and our willingness to put all else aside to respond to His Will for us. This is our call today to greater discipleship.

Let us reflect on how faithful are we to the Lord our God? How often do we worship Him and give Him thanks for all His blessings upon us? Daily? Weekly? Annually? Are we hopeful and eager to bear fruit for our Lord? Are we willing to suffer taunts for His namesake? Do we love and revere Him above all? How wonderful to hear the loving voice of our bridegroom remind us; “Am I not more to You then anything or anyone else?” ”For I love you with an everlasting love.”

And so are we able to leave our life in the world behind to follow Him? To let go of any insecurities, perceived shortcomings so as to become instruments of His grace. For we trust and know that all things are possible through and with Him. And so we carry our cross to follow Him. As we cast the net of His Love far and wide to draw as many we can to Him. Amen

First reading

1 Samuel 1:1-8 ·
Hannah’s rival taunts her for being barren

There was a man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the highlands of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, one called Hannah, the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children but Hannah had none. Every year this man used to go up from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there as priests of
One day Elkanah offered sacrifice. He and used to give portions to Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; to Hannah, however, he would give only one portion, although he loved her more, since the Lord had made her barren. Her rival would taunt her to annoy her, because the Lord had made her barren. And this went on year after year; every time they went up to the temple of the Lord she used to taunt her. And so Hannah wept and would not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her, ‘Hannah, why are you crying and why are you not eating? Why so sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?’

Gospel

Mark 1:14-20
I will make you into fishers of men

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.


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
Tags: ,

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.