Posts Tagged ‘faith’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 5, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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I cannot hope to build God’s kingdom if I am in charge. Everything I say or do will be a calculated cost. Before embarking on any endeavour I will need to know the numbers, the time needed, the people and the budget in place before considering whether or not to proceed as planned. There is indeed nothing wrong with being prudent except when prudence alone is what prevents us from achieving great things for our Lord. The question at the very beginning for any endeavour for our Lord must be who is in charge? If we say the Lord our God is in charge then where is our faith? Have we prayed fervently as to discern His will for us? Having discerned are we then ready to face unafraid any and all challenges ahead?

Our faith therefore is not one of presuppositions, but one that comes from the heart of our God. In knowing without reservation that we are children so loved by God our Heavenly Father. Through His Son our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we enter into eternal sonship and daughterhood. By our ever loving and growing relationship with Him we are able build up His Kingdom; through Him, with Him and in Him.

Where are you in you faith journey? Do you know about Jesus? Or do you know Him in a deep personal familial way and more!

St Agatha pray for us….

First reading

2 Samuel 24:2,8-17
David takes the guilt on himself to save Israel

King David said to Joab and to the senior army officers who were with him, ‘Now go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and take a census of the people; I wish to know the size of the population.’ Having covered the whole country, they returned to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. Joab gave the king the figures for the census of the people; Israel numbered eight hundred thousand armed men capable of drawing sword, and Judah five hundred thousand men.
But afterwards David’s heart misgave him for having taken a census of the people. ‘I have committed a grave sin’ David said to the Lord. ‘But now, Lord, I beg you to forgive your servant for this fault. I have been very foolish.’ But when David got up next morning, the following message had come from the Lord to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, ‘Go and say to David, “The Lord says this: I offer you three things; choose one of them for me to do to you.”’
So Gad went to David and told him. ‘Are three years of famine to come on you in your country’ he said ‘or will you flee for three months before your pursuing enemy, or would you rather have three days’ pestilence in your country? Now think, and decide how I am to answer him who sends me.’ David said to Gad, ‘This is a hard choice. But let us rather fall into the power of the Lord, since his mercy is great, and not into the power of men.’ So David chose pestilence.
It was the time of the wheat harvest. The Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning till the time appointed and plague ravaged the people, and from Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of them died. The angel stretched out his hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, but the Lord thought better of this evil, and he said to the angel who was destroying the people, ‘Enough! Now withdraw your hand.’ The angel of the Lord was beside the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel who was ravaging the people, he spoke to the Lord. ‘It was I who sinned;’ he said ‘I who did this wicked thing. But these, this flock, what have they done? Let your hand lie heavy on me then, and on my family.’

Gospel

Mark 6:1-6
‘A prophet is only despised in his own country’

Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: December 6, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Jesus loves you and me personally. As we journey on towards the second week of Advent let our hearts be filled with hope. For our Lord wants to restore what is lost, to heal us and fill the void in our lives. Jesus is never deaf nor blind to our pleas and He will surely answer us when we call out to Him in faith.

Let us no longer grope and stumble in darkness nor cling to our sordid past. Hear His call to holiness as He commands us to open our eyes to see the light of our faith. Let us gaze upon His glory as we bear His light to all we meet, illuminating the way to Him.

Open my eyes to see You Lord, open my ears to hear You, open my heart to feel You, open my lips to praise You. Let me glorify You by my hands and feet. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 29:17-24 ·
In a very short time, the deaf will hear and the eyes of the blind will see

The Lord says this:

In a short time, a very short time,
shall not Lebanon become fertile land and fertile land turn into forest?
The deaf, that day, will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord even more and the poorest exult in the Holy One of Israel; for tyrants shall be no more, and scoffers vanish, and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil: those who gossip to incriminate others, those who try at the gate to trip the arbitrator and get the upright man’s case dismissed for groundless reasons.

Therefore the Lord speaks,
the God of the House of Jacob,
Abraham’s redeemer:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale, for he shall see what my hands have done in his midst,
he shall hold my name holy.
They will hallow the Holy One of Jacob, stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Erring spirits will learn wisdom
and murmurers accept instruction.

Gospel

Matthew 9:27-31
‘Take care that no-one learns about this’

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


O hide me in the shadow of your wings O Lord my loving God!

Look not upon my sins Lord but on my faith, as I in revere You as truly Lord of lords, King of kings. Reign in my heart always.

O hide me in the shadow of your wings O Lord my loving God!

Yes indeed Lord I am not worthy that You should come dwell within me, yet it is only You who could make me worthy.

O hide me in the shadow of your wings O Lord my loving God!

Hear my prayers Lord for my loved ones for Your Word alone gives new life. Grant that I may intercede successfully for those who are in need of your mercy and grace yet are not able to pray for themselves.

O hide me in the shadow of your wings O Lord my loving God!

Lord Jesus help my faith grow stronger and deeper this Advent that You might find your servant eager, fully awake and alive in You love upon Your return. Amen

O hide me in the shadow of your wings O Lord my loving God!

First reading

Isaiah 4:2-6 ·
The fruit of the earth shall be the pride and adornment of Israel’s survivors

That day, the branch of the Lord
shall be beauty and glory, and the fruit of the earth shall be the pride and adornment of Israel’s survivors.
Those who are left of Zion
and remain of Jerusalem shall be called holy and those left in Jerusalem, noted down for survival.

When the Lord has washed away
the filth of the daughter of Zion
and cleansed Jerusalem of the blood shed in her with the blast of judgement and the blast of destruction, the Lord will come and rest on the whole stretch of Mount Zion and on those who are gathered there, a cloud by day, and smoke, and by night the brightness of a flaring fire.
For, over all, the glory of the Lord
will be a canopy and a tent
to give shade by day from the heat, refuge and shelter from the storm and the rain.

Gospel

Matthew 8:5-11
‘I am not worthy to have you under my roof: give the word, and my servant will be healed’

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 28, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Oh what inspiring faith! You and I should hope to possess the faith of Daniel, to be known as men and women of the One living God. Such that when we are faced with adversity and death, even non believers should fast and unite in prayer for us! How many this very day would be led into a relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by our very own alive and active faith! This is evangelisation of old and new!

The world we live in is filled with folks bent on living in sin and debauchery. They have a disregard for life, and many choose to kill themselves slowly all for little moments of euphoria and ecstasy; through drugs, cigarettes, vaping, alcohol, liberal sexual escapades and so on. Others mock the faith we have in our living God, calling us weak minded. They rely on their ‘own’ strength and wisdom reveling in their successes thinking those who have faith in God will never amount to much. If only all of them knew just how much God our Father loves them all. Still it comes down to free will, everyone has to make on their own choice. They can choose sin which leads to certain death and destruction or choose to live in the light of the Lord our God which leads to eternal life.

Even as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You O Lord Jesus are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. Amen

First reading

Daniel 6:12-28 ·
Daniel in the lions’ den

The presidents and satraps came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading with God. They then came to the king and said, ‘Have you not just signed an edict forbidding any man for the next thirty days to pray to anyone, god or man, other than to yourself O king, on pain of being thrown into the lions’ den?’ ‘The decision stands,’ the king replied ‘as befits the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.’ Then they said to the king, ‘O king, this man Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, disregards both you and the edict which you have signed: he is at his prayers three times each day.’ When the king heard these words he was deeply distressed, and determined to save Daniel; he racked his brains until sunset to find some way out. But the men came back in a body to the king and said, ‘O king, remember that in conformity with the law of the Medes and the Persians, no edict or decree can be altered when once issued by the king.’
The king then ordered Daniel to be fetched and thrown into the lion pit. The king said to Daniel, ‘Your God himself, whom you have served so faithfully, will have to save you.’ A stone was then brought and laid over the mouth of the pit; and the king sealed it with his own signet and with that of his noblemen, so that there could be no going back on the original decision about Daniel. The king returned to his palace, spent the night in fasting and refused to receive any of his concubines. Sleep eluded him, and at the first sign of dawn he was up, and hurried off to the lion pit. As he approached the pit he shouted in anguished tones, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God, whom you serve so faithfully, been able to save you from the lions?’ Daniel replied, ‘O king, live for ever! My God sent his angel who sealed the lions’ jaws, they did me no harm, since in his sight I am blameless, and I have never done you any wrong either, O king.’ The king was overjoyed, and ordered Daniel to be released from the pit. Daniel was released from the pit, and found to be quite unhurt, because he had trusted in his God. The king sent for the men who had accused Daniel and had them thrown into the lion pit, they, their wives and their children: and they had not reached the floor of the pit before the lions had seized them and crushed their bones to pieces.
King Darius then wrote to men of all nations, peoples and languages throughout the world, ‘May peace be always with you! I decree: in every kingdom of my empire let all tremble with fear before the God of Daniel:

‘He is the living God, he endures for ever,
his sovereignty will never be destroyed
and his kingship never end.
He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth;
he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’

Gospel

Luke 21:20-28
There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!
‘For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.
‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’


The great difficulty in praying with the word of God in our hearts is only ‘great’ by the number of obstacles we place before ourselves. Too tired, no or not enough time in a day, too great a sinner, don’t know how, boring, useless, more pressing things to attend to, unimportant. Which one of these is from the Lord our God?

Jesus tells us to have faith, pray continually and never lose heart. He is saying to us to come to Him sinners that we are and He will transform us from within. Speak to Him, heart to heart and He will listen, then listen with your heart. The Word of God will surely come in the silence and make all things new. For, as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilising it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes from my mouth says our Lord: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do. Isaiah 55:10–11 The Lord our God indeed will answer all the prayers of His faithful, it may take more time in some instances and the answer to some of our prayers may even be No! Still we will rejoice and sing His praises for He only wants what is best for us. His justice and Will be done always. This is the faith we must have in Him who is always faithful.

Prayer unites us with Him who loves us ever so dearly. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 18:14-16,19:6-9 ·
The Red Sea became an unimpeded way

When peaceful silence lay over all,
and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word;
into the heart of a doomed land the stern warrior leapt.
Carrying your unambiguous command like a sharp sword, he stood, and filled the universe with death; he touched the sky, yet trod the earth.

For, to keep your children from all harm,
the whole creation, obedient to your commands, was once more, and newly, fashioned in its nature.
Overshadowing the camp thereu was the cloud, where water had been, dry land was seen to rise, the Red Sea became an unimpeded way, the tempestuous flood a green plain; sheltered by your hand, the whole nation passed across, gazing at these amazing miracles.
They were like horses at pasture, they skipped like lambs, singing your praises, Lord, their deliverer.

Gospel

Luke 18:1-8
The parable of the unjust judge

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 19, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Rejoice for our faith in our Lord Jesus has brought us new life in Him! Just as the first reading reminds us that father Abraham was father of many nations not by bloodline but as seen by the Lord our God whom he worshipped, loved and served. That very faith of Abraham in the one God unites us from all nations.

Today in our present age and for all eternity it is our Lord God and saviour Jesus Christ which gathers us all to Himself. We are one Body In Him not by blood but through water! The water of our baptism.

So then how are we living as one Body In Him? Do we love one another as He loved us? As we are called to do? Are we praying together as one? Are we sharing His mercy and His love with the rest of God’s children? All who have yet to know Jesus? Are we ourselves growing in our faith and deepening our relationship with our Lord through the promptings and power of the Holy Spirit? For if we are then we will be on fire for Lord! We will face rejection, trials and tribulations head on, as we know it is in the furnace of humility that purifies us. We also know that by our faith and love in Jesus Christ, He stands together with us now and forever more. Amen

First reading

Romans 4:13,16-18 ·
Abraham hoped and believed and became the father of many nations

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

Gospel

Luke 12:8-12
If you declare yourselves for me, I will declare myself for you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of the angels. But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels.
‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
‘When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 16, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What can be easier than to say I will pray for you? Then quickly say a short prayer lifting the intentions for the person lest we forget then feel guilty about it later; and be done with it once and for all. Well let me be first to admit this is what I started out doing till I started growing in faith and pondering my Lord’s will in everything. So then where is the love behind this very act of praying for someone? Where and what is the kind of faith that lies within us? How then will we ever begin to pray for our enemies let alone love them?

Intercessory prayer is not simply mouthing prayers for someone or on behalf of someone for specific intentions. It is praying with all our heart and mind so as to touch the heart of the Lord our God by our faith, love steadfastness and determination. To plead with Him to come and touch the lives of whom we offer our prayers for. To seek earnestly that His grace, love and mercy will be upon them. Therefore when we pray this way it can take days, weeks, months, even years! And so our prayer list increases over time. By praying thus we unite ourselves and share in the sufferings, the hopes and dreams of those we pray for. And so when our prayers for them are answered, we too can truly rejoice. Even then when our prayers are answered not quite in the way we had hoped, still peace will reign in our hearts. For we know that the Lord our God only desires the best for all of us.

Let us then pray for one another reverently, fervently with all our heart. And may our almighty and ever living God bless us, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 2:1-8 ·
Pray for everyone to God, who wants everyone to be saved

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and – I am telling the truth and no lie – a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.
In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

Gospel

Luke 7:1-10
Give the word, and my servant will be healed

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.