Posts Tagged ‘God’s children’


Does our Lord love the Jews more than us Christians? Does He love Christians more than Muslims, Hindus, or even Atheists? If we start comparing or even entertain such notions then in truth we do not know Jesus nor will we ever draw closer in knowing God our Father. For the Lord our God has no favourites and Jesus had said it clearly, “And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.”Do we ourselves even hear the voice of our beloved Shepherd speaking to us as He does so daily? If we do not, then how will we ever hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit to be instruments of God’s grace for the unbelievers of the downcasts?Jesus laid down His life for love of us; God’s children. All of us are God’s children. By our baptism our hearts are opened to the awareness that we have entered into eternal sonship and daughterhood of God our Heavenly Father. So then let us lead the rest of God’s children into the same gate by which we have entered; through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

Acts 11:1-18
God can grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to lifeThe apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that the pagans too had accepted the word of God, and when Peter came up to Jerusalem the Jews criticised him and said, ‘So you have been visiting the uncircumcised and eating with them, have you?’ Peter in reply gave them the details point by point: ‘One day, when I was in the town of Jaffa,’ he began ‘I fell into a trance as I was praying and had a vision of something like a big sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners. This sheet reached the ground quite close to me. I watched it intently and saw all sorts of animals and wild beasts – everything possible that could walk, crawl or fly. Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Now, Peter; kill and eat!” But I answered: Certainly not, Lord; nothing profane or unclean has ever crossed my lips. And a second time the voice spoke from heaven, “What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane.” This was repeated three times, before the whole of it was drawn up to heaven again.
‘Just at that moment, three men stopped outside the house where we were staying; they had been sent from Caesarea to fetch me, and the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going back with them. The six brothers here came with me as well, and we entered the man’s house. He told us he had seen an angel standing in his house who said, “Send to Jaffa and fetch Simon known as Peter; he has a message for you that will save you and your entire household.”
‘I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, “John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” I realised then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who was I to stand in God’s way?’
This account satisfied them, and they gave glory to God. ‘God’ they said ‘can evidently grant even the pagans the repentance that leads to life.’

Gospel

John 10:11-18
The good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheepJesus said:‘I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;
this is because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep.‘I am the good shepherd;
I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And there are other sheep I have
that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.‘The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me;
I lay it down of my own free will,
and as it is in my power to lay it down, so it is in my power to take it up again; and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’


Obedience to God comes before obedience to men. Yes there are indeed a few who have chosen to be obedient to their parents, spouse, inner circle of friends, employers, etc. by surrendering their religious freedom to them. Generally to keep the peace and the camaraderie among them. But more often than not, it is about obedience to one’s own will rather than God’s will. Will it surprise you to learn that many have decided to take a religious break so to speak? Using covid 19 as an excuse not to participate in online masses or have simply stopped contributing towards the maintenance and well being of the parishes they belong to? What about poor and the desolate in these times of extreme measures put in place to stop the spread. Does anyone think about them? What happens to them? Are they to die? And not at all due to the pandemic?We must choose to focus on our Risen Lord and be outward looking towards true discipleship in Him! Let us pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to awaken our hearts and minds to those in dire need of our help. So that we can put the love we have of Christ Jesus in our hearts into action for them. Let us bring glory to our almighty ever living God and Bless His Holy name through the way we live our lives in Him. Amen

First reading

Acts 5:27-33 ·
We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy SpiritWhen the officials had brought the apostles in to face the Sanhedrin, the high priest demanded an explanation. ‘We gave you a formal warning’ he said ‘not to preach in this name, and what have you done? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and seem determined to fix the guilt of this man’s death on us.’ In reply Peter and the apostles said, ‘Obedience to God comes before obedience to men; it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a tree. By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
This so infuriated them that they wanted to put them to death.

Gospel

John 3:31-36
The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to himJohn the Baptist said to his disciples:‘He who comes from above is above all others; he who is born of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way.
He who comes from heaven bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, even if his testimony is not accepted; though all who do accept his testimony are attesting the truthfulness of God, since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words:
God gives him the Spirit without reserve.
The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to him.
Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 5, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: , ,

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.


We can just as easily lose the light received in obedience of the Lord our God when our mission is completed out of obligation rather than love. That is love without condition.

Let’s see Today’s first reading in a different way, perhaps you alone witnessed an accident in which a bus drove off road and flipped. You rushed to the crash site to offer assistance. As you draw near you see the passengers are convicts who were being transported to the correction facility. Few you recognise from reading the news papers of their heinous crimes. You want to quickly get back into your car and drive off but your Christian sensibilities and the voice in your head tells you that it is your responsibility to help. So you do everything you can to save them. You learn later on that everyone on that bus survived! Instead of rejoicing or giving thanks to God for His love and mercy you are dismayed. In your mind and heart they deserved to die. How different are you from Jonah?

There are many other forms of prejudices some often subtley hidden even within the hearts of those in Church. There are folks treated as social outcasts egs. Foreign workers, domestic helpers, divorcees, those with same sex attraction to name a few. Are all of these not God’s children? Does God our Father love you any less if the same love and mercy is given to them?

So let us reflect more deeply on the prayer our Lord taught us as we pray…..

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

[‘The Lord’s Prayer ‘is truly the summary of the whole gospel.’ ‘Since the Lord… after handling over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, ‘Ask and you will receive, ‘ and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer (the Lord’s Prayer) is said first, as the foundation of further desires.’ – Tertullian, De orat. from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 2761.]

First reading

Jonah 4:1-11 ·
Jonah is angry at God’s mercy

Jonah was very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘Ah, Lord, is not this just as I said would happen when I was still at home? That was why I went and fled to Tarshish: I knew that you were a God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, relenting from evil. So now, Lord, please take away my life, for I might as well be dead as go on living.’ The Lord replied, ‘Are you right to be angry?’
Jonah then went out of the city and sat down to the east of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God arranged that a castor-oil plant should grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head and soothe his ill-humour; Jonah was delighted with the castor-oil plant. But at dawn the next day, God arranged that a worm should attack the castor-oil plant – and it withered.
Next, when the sun rose, God arranged that there should be a scorching east wind; the sun beat down so hard on Jonah’s head that he was overcome and begged for death, saying, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living.’ God said to Jonah, ‘Are you right to be angry about the castor-oil plant?’ He replied, ‘I have every right to be angry, to the point of death.’ The Lord replied, ‘You are only upset about a castor-oil plant which cost you no labour, which you did not make grow, which sprouted in a night and has perished in a night. And am I not to feel sorry for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’

Gospel

Luke 11:1-4
How to pray

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’
He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray:

‘“Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.”’