Posts Tagged ‘love and mercy’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 4, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We who have experienced the Lord our God’s love and mercy know that He has no favourites. For otherwise how could you and I be saved?

And He had commanded us to love one another as He loved us. How then should we put that love into action?

We must love everyone without prejudice! It may be Muslim he sends our way to love, Hindu, Buddhist,  Sikh, Protestant and so on. In all of them we must see Christ and love them with all our heart. For all of them too are His Children! That is why we are called to love even our enemies and to do good to those who hate us. (Matt 5:44)

Obedient to His call to love we become instruments of His grace and we bring life through conversion of hearts to Him. Amen

St Francis of Assisi 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.’


The key to our Heavenly Father’s heart is mercy.

Without mercy in our hearts there is no true love and as such we cannot hope to consecrate ourselves fully to the Lord our God. There can be no communion with Him!

How can we love one another as Jesus loved us if we refuse to forgive our brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, in laws, colleagues, friends, priest, community members let alone the least of our brethren. What could we ever have done to merit our salvation? When we had committed many grievous sins against His Holy and immaculate heart. But God proved His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Let us therefore walk in His light always by forgiving everyone who have trespassed against us. And let us exercise love by mercy through Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading
1 John 2:3-11 ·
Anyone who loves his brother is living in the light


We can be sure that we know God only by keeping his commandments.
Anyone who says, ‘I know him’, and does not keep his commandments is a liar, refusing to admit the truth.
But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him.
We can be sure that we are in God only when the one who claims to be living in him is living the same kind of life as Christ lived.
My dear people, this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you,
but an old commandment that you were given from the beginning, the original commandment which was the message brought to you.
Yet in another way, what I am writing to you, and what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his, is a new commandment; because the night is over and the real light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the dark.
But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light and need not be afraid of stumbling; unlike the man who hates his brother and is in the darkness, not knowing where he is going, because it is too dark to see.

Gospel
Luke 2:22-35
‘You have prepared a light to enlighten the pagans’

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised;because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations  to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’

As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’


“Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You will have to suffer only for a little while” truer words cannot be uttered for our time. And it should not lead us to despair on the contrary we should be geared up and prepared for battle! Our weapons, love, mercy and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.So sisters and brothers are you using the gifts of the Holy Spirit lavished upon you? Do you even know what they are? Have you prayed and discerned? Another truth is simply this, if you don’t use it, you will lose it! Here’s another one you can take and bank on, if all of us use the gifts of the Holy Spirit as humble servants to one another today; and the days that follow, the whole world will be transformed. Everyone will be fully alive in our Risen Lord! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and simply start making little ripples in the pool of His love. AmenSt. Mark pray for us…

First reading

1 Peter 5:5-14 ·
My son, Mark, sends you greetingsAll wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble. Bow down, then, before the power of God now, and he will raise you up on the appointed day; unload all your worries on to him, since he is looking after you. Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.
I write these few words to you through Silvanus, who is a brother I know I can trust, to encourage you never to let go this true grace of God to which I bear witness.
Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark.
Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Gospel

Mark 16:15-20
Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good NewsJesus showed himself to the Eleven and said to them:
‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’
And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.


With all religious piety of attending daily Eucharist, praying our daily devotionals and reading the word have we truly grown in our love for Jesus and for one another? How is this evident in our lives? Are others drawn to our faith by the way we live our lives? Do we have every confidence that when we face the challenges and battles ahead, the Lord our God is truly present with us every step of the way?

The Lord our God truly sees into the depths of our heart. There is nothing we can hide from Him. He not only sees our pain and struggle, He profoundly identifies and shares in it. And so in His mercy and love He truly wants to set us free when we cry out to Him. And He will do so, so that we can live freely in His love. The grace and power of the Lord our God resides in the hearts of His faithful not in the physical weapons they wield in their fight against evil. So let us guard our hearts against all evil and sin striving always to grow in Holiness through the grace of our ever loving God.

Jesus my Lord, be present with me this day and everyday. Amen

First reading

1 Samuel 4:1-11 ·
Israel is defeated and the ark of God is captured

It happened at that time that the Philistines mustered to fight Israel and Israel went out to meet them in battle, encamping near Ebenezer while the Philistines were encamped at Aphek. The Philistines drew up their battle line against Israel, the battle was hotly engaged, and Israel was defeated by the Philistines and about four thousand of their army were killed on the field. The troops returned to the camp and the elders of Israel said, ‘Why has the Lord allowed us to be defeated today by the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of our God from Shiloh so that it may come among us and rescue us from the power of our enemies.’’ So the troops sent to Shiloh and brought away the ark of the Lord of Hosts, he who is seated on the cherubs; the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, came with the ark. When the ark of the Lord arrived in the camp, all Israel gave a great shout so that the earth resounded. When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, ‘What can this great shouting in the Hebrew camp mean?’ And they realised that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp. At this the Philistines were afraid; and they said, ‘God has come to the camp.’ ‘Alas!’ they cried ‘This has never happened before. Alas! Who will save us from the power of this mighty God? It was he who struck down Egypt with every kind of plague! But take courage and be men, Philistines, or you will become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been slaves to you. Be men and fight.’ So the Philistines joined battle and Israel was defeated, each man fleeing to his tent. The slaughter was great indeed, and there fell of the Israelites thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured too, and the two sons of Eli died, Hophni and Phinehas.

Gospel

Mark 1:40-45
The leprosy left the man at once, and he was cured

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.


Are we prepared to offer our all to the Lord our God? To exercise obedience, fidelity and to trust Him wholeheartedly? In knowing that our living God of wisdom, power and might will provide for all that we need. How much then is our all? ‘Our two small coins’ representing our thinning means for our existence?

In choosing to forgo certain luxuries but more importantly in our desire to sacrifice for our Lord and for our brethren do we count the cost in doing so? Or do we have faith that our Heavenly Father who loves us ever so dearly will fill in all the gaps. He will give all that we need and more!

O Jesus living fountain of mercy and love, I trust in You. Amen

First reading

Daniel 1:1-6,8-20 ·

Daniel and his companions are trained to be the king’s servants in Babylon

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hands, with some of the furnishings of the Temple of God. He took them away to the land of Shinar, and stored the sacred vessels in the treasury of his own gods.

The king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to select from the Israelites a certain number of boys of either royal or noble descent; they had to be without any physical defect, of good appearance, trained in every kind of wisdom, well-informed, quick at learning, suitable for service in the palace of the king. Ashpenaz himself was to teach them the language and literature of the Chaldaeans. The king assigned them a daily allowance of food and wine from his own royal table. They were to receive an education lasting for three years, after which they were expected to be fit for the king’s society. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who were Judaeans. Daniel, who was most anxious not to defile himself with the food and wine from the royal table, begged the chief eunuch to spare him this defilement; and by the grace of God Daniel met goodwill and sympathy on the part of the chief eunuch. But he warned Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king: he has assigned you food and drink, and if he sees you looking thinner in the face than the other boys of your age, my head will be in danger with the king because of you.’ At this Daniel turned to the guard whom the chief eunuch had assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He said, ‘Please allow your servants a ten days’ trial, during which we are given only vegetables to eat and water to drink. You can then compare our looks with those of the boys who eat the king’s food; go by what you see, and treat your servants accordingly.’ The man agreed to do what they asked and put them on ten days’ trial. When the ten days were over they looked and were in better health than any of the boys who had eaten their allowance from the royal table; so the guard withdrew their allowance of food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. And God favoured these four boys with knowledge and intelligence in everything connected with literature, and in wisdom; while Daniel had the gift of interpreting every kind of vision and dream. When the period stipulated by the king for the boys’ training was over, the chief eunuch presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king conversed with them, and among all the boys found none to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they became members of the king’s court, and on whatever point of wisdom or information he might question them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

Gospel

Luke 21:1-4

The widow’s mite

As Jesus looked up, he saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; then he happened to notice a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all contributed money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in all she had to live on.’


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.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 1, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Our mission is to grow in holiness on our pilgrim journey to the new ‘Jerusalem’ and to beckon others to journey on with us. The cross which we carry for our mission is the key to the gateway.

The rejection we will surely face is an opportunity to extend the love and mercy of Lord Jesus Christ whom we serve. And in time when such hearts are touched and changed by our Lord, the victory won for Him is that much sweeter. Therefore wherever we go, mercy and love must follow.

Praise and glory be to You or Lord Jesus Christ! Amen

First reading

Zechariah 8:20-23 ·
Many peoples and great nations will come to seek the Lord of Hosts

The Lord of Hosts says this:
‘There will be other peoples yet, and citizens of great cities. And the inhabitants of one city will go to the next and say, “Come, let us go and entreat the favour of the Lord, and seek the Lord of Hosts; I am going myself.” And many peoples and great nations will come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the Lord.’
The Lord of Hosts says this:
‘In those days, ten men of nations of every language will take a Jew by the sleeve and say, “We want to go with you, since we have learnt that God is with you.”’

Gospel

Luke 9:51-56
Jesus sets out for Jerusalem

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.