Posts Tagged ‘mercy’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 21, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Has all the fighting, squabbling, arguing for what you or what they think is right in the ministry or community brought anyone closer to God? Do you achieve democracy by inciting violent protests thereby creating fear and paranoia? In your stand and fight for justice, are the fruits peace, love and joy? The fundamental question we must ask ourselves is the fight we choose, is it for God and His people or with God and His people? If we say it is for God, then does He reign in our hearts, minds and soul? What are the fruits we see?

The prince of peace, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had come to share the message of God our Father’s endearing love for us. He wills that all His children be with Him for all eternity, living the fullness of life in Him; with His peace, love and joy in our hearts. Are we still not listening? Let us be clear on what our mission is and that is to always do the will of our Heavenly Father, to grow in Holiness as we lead one another to become Holy as He our Heavenly Father is Holy, to love one another as Christ loved us and to lead everyone into His Kingdom. Amen

Pray for us O Holy mother Of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

First reading

1 Maccabees 2:15-29
‘Heaven preserve us from forsaking the Law and its ordinances’

The commissioners of King Antiochus who were enforcing the apostasy came to the town of Modein to make them sacrifice. Many Israelites gathered round them, but Mattathias and his sons drew apart. The king’s commissioners then addressed Mattathias as follows, ‘You are a respected leader, a great man in this town; you have sons and brothers to support you. Be the first to step forward and conform to the king’s decree, as all the nations have done, and the leaders of Judah and the survivors in Jerusalem; you and your sons shall be reckoned among the Friends of the King, you and your sons shall be honoured with gold and silver and many presents.’ Raising his voice, Mattathias retorted, ‘Even if every nation living in the king’s dominions obeys him, each forsaking its ancestral religion to conform to his decrees, I, my sons and my brothers will still follow the covenant of our ancestors. Heaven preserve us from forsaking the Law and its observances. As for the king’s orders, we will not follow them: we will not swerve from our own religion either to right or to left.’ As he finished speaking, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein as the royal edict required. When Mattathias saw this, he was fired with zeal; stirred to the depth of his being, he gave vent to his legitimate anger, threw himself on the man and slaughtered him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s commissioner who was there to enforce the sacrifice, and tore down the altar. In his zeal for the Law he acted as Phinehas did against Zimri son of Salu. Then Mattathias went through the town, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘Let everyone who has a fervour for the Law and takes his stand on the covenant come out and follow me.’ Then he fled with his sons into the hills, leaving all their possessions behind in the town.
At this, many who were concerned for virtue and justice went down to the desert and stayed there.

Gospel

Luke 19:41-44
Jesus sheds tears over the coming fate of Jerusalem

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it and said, ‘If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace! But, alas, it is hidden from your eyes! Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you – and all because you did not recognise your opportunity when God offered it!’


How grounded are we in our faith and in our relationship with the Lord our God that nothing or no one can come between us?

Many of us however are content just to follow and observe the rituals of our faith without understanding the depth, the richness and the sacred realities behind them. So then, when challenged as to why we do what we do? Or the legitimacy of being faithful to our God whom we are often blind to, we cave in to the lures of the world! Typically what often follows is a mob mentality. We convince others to follow suit, or when in doubt on whether we ourselves are living as we should, we choose to listen to the loud voices of those cheering us on to live as they do! Never mind that there never is peace of mind or true joy in our hearts. That we are constantly searching for and wanting more. Never mind that we seem discontent with everything and everyone.

Come now, why continue to live in darkness? To be blind to the wonders of God’s great love that surrounds us. To continue to live out shallow meaningless lives. Let us cry out to Him with contrite hearts and spirit, “Jesus Son of the living God, have pity on us!” for surely the doors of heaven will be opened to us as He grants us His mercy and love.

Open our hearts and minds to see You Lord, now and forever. Amen

First reading

1 Maccabees 1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-64
The persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes

There grew a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus; once a hostage in Rome, he became king in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks. It was then that there emerged from Israel a set of renegades who led many people astray. ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us reach an understanding with the pagans surrounding us, for since we separated ourselves from them many misfortunes have overtaken us.’ This proposal proved acceptable, and a number of the people eagerly approached the king, who authorised them to practise the pagan observances. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, such as the pagans have, disguised their circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant, submitting to the heathen rule as willing slaves of impiety.
Then the king issued a proclamation to his whole kingdom that all were to become a single people, each renouncing his particular customs. All the pagans conformed to the king’s decree, and many Israelites chose to accept his religion, sacrificing to idols and profaning the sabbath. The king erected the abomination of desolation above the altar; and altars were built in the surrounding towns of Judah and incense offered at the doors of houses and in the streets. Any books of the Law that came to light were torn up and burned. Whenever anyone was discovered possessing a copy of the covenant or practising the Law, the king’s decree sentenced him to death.
Yet there were many in Israel who stood firm and found the courage to refuse unclean food. They chose death rather than contamination by such fare or profanation of the holy covenant, and they were executed. It was a dreadful wrath that visited Israel.

Gospel

Luke 18:35-43
‘Son of David, have pity on me’

As Jesus drew near to Jericho there was a blind man sitting at the side of the road begging. When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about, and they told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. So he called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.’ The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him, and when he came up, asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Sir,’ he replied ‘let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.’ And instantly his sight returned and he followed him praising God, and all the people who saw it gave praise to God for what had happened.


How do we glorify, praise and thank the Lord our God for His great mercy and love outpoured unto us through our Lord Jesus Christ? By taking our very own lives? By robbing the life of others? Are lives ours to take to begin with?

By letting our sinfulness and sins consume us, are we not essentially taking our own lives? By allowing it to spread through our minds and bodies like leprosy! Instead of turning to our Lord and running straight into His loving, healing embrace. When we deal harshly with others through our words and deeds, are we not killing their spirit? Are we not robbing them of theirs lives?

Through God our Father’s great love for us we have been inserted into the life, death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ through our very own baptism. We, His children following after His Son our Lord Jesus Christ; become priests, prophets and kings to lead one another into greater holiness. How then do we govern those placed under our care? Are we life taking or are we life giving?

Lord Jesus Christ Son of the living God; Source of all life! Through You, with You and in You, grant that I may live and lead others to the fullness of life to be found in You alone. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 6:1-11
Kings, your power is a gift to you from the Lord

Listen, kings, and understand;
rulers of remotest lands, take warning;
hear this, you who have thousands under your rule, who boast of your hordes of subjects. For power is a gift to you from the Lord, sovereignty is from the Most High;
he himself will probe your acts and scrutinise your intentions.

If, as administrators of his kingdom, you have not governed justly nor observed the law, nor behaved as God would have you behave, he will fall on you swiftly and terribly.
Ruthless judgement is reserved for the high and mighty; the lowly will be compassionately pardoned, the mighty will be mightily punished.
For the Lord of All does not cower before a personage, he does not stand in awe of greatness, since he himself has made small and great and provides for all alike; but strict scrutiny awaits those in power.

Yes, despots, my words are for you,
that you may learn what wisdom is and not transgress; for they who observe holy things holily will be adjudged holy,
and, accepting instruction from them, will find their defence in them. Look forward, therefore, to my words; yearn for them, and they will instruct you.

Gospel

Luke 17:11-19
No-one has come back to praise God, only this foreigner

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’ When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: September 17, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Can you fathom a mother’s anguish of losing an only beloved son in the beginning of her twilight years. The sorrowful tears and despair of losing the love of her life whom she bore into the world now to being all alone. Perhaps very soon she might join him as there was no one else to fend or care for her. What work will there be for her to earn her keep? How will she live? Perhaps in the Gospel of today the mother too had already ‘died’ with her son. Then we see the great love of our ever loving God, Jesus who looked upon her with her great compassion and mercy. He raised them both from the dead! Two lives were restored, made whole once again and everyone rejoiced as they praised God for visiting His people.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He is ever loving and compassionate and will always be by our side in our own moments of anguish and despair. He will surely come to comfort and restore us for He hears us crying out to Him. How great indeed is our God!

We are all called to be merciful, compassionate and kind. More is therefore expected of us called to lead His flock and so we must model ourselves after our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is mercy and love personified. Amen

First reading

1 Timothy 3:1-13 ·
The president must be of impeccable character

Here is a saying that you can rely on: To want to be a presiding elder is to want to do a noble work. That is why the president must have an impeccable character. He must not have been married more than once, and he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher; not a heavy drinker, nor hot-tempered, but kind and peaceable. He must not be a lover of money. He must be a man who manages his own family well and brings his children up to obey him and be well-behaved: how can any man who does not understand how to manage his own family have responsibility for the church of God? He should not be a new convert, in case pride might turn his head and then he might be condemned as the devil was condemned. It is also necessary that people outside the Church should speak well of him, so that he never gets a bad reputation and falls into the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons must be respectable men whose word can be trusted, moderate in the amount of wine they drink and with no squalid greed for money. They must be conscientious believers in the mystery of the faith. They are to be examined first, and only admitted to serve as deacons if there is nothing against them. In the same way, the women must be respectable, not gossips but sober and quite reliable. Deacons must not have been married more than once, and must be men who manage their children and families well. Those of them who carry out their duties well as deacons will earn a high standing for themselves and be rewarded with great assurance in their work for the faith in Christ Jesus.

Gospel

Luke 7:11-17
The only son of his mother, and she a widow

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 27, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We strive to live as one in an imperfect community. An imperfect community seeking perfection through our Lord Jesus Christ who came so that we might enter into that eternal covenant of life in Him.

So then do we who have many flaws, look upon the flaws of others instead? Are we obstacles for others, preventing them from being Holy by our unholy example of living in sin and giving in to temptations? Do we cause the downfall of others?

The good news is that our merciful Lord is both patient and kind and we are given time to have our hearts changed by Him. And until time runs out for us, He sees us all as ‘wheat.’ So let us turn to Him the source of all life that we might have life to the full in Him. Let us encourage and help one another grow in holiness; mercy and love after our Lord Jesus Christ. So that more of ‘wheat’ shall enter into His Heavenly Kingdom. Amen

First reading

Exodus 24:3-8 ·
This is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you

Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’

Gospel

Matthew 13:24-30
Let them both grow till the harvest

Jesus put another parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 22, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
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Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. Luke 7:47

You and I, we are sinners and yet in His great love and mercy our Lord Jesus Christ saw us fit to receive His mercy and love. This very act of His love for us has transformed our hearts such that we can sing with joy that we have found Him whom our hearts love. Go and sin no more He tells us and so how our heart breaks with each time we lose sight of Him and fall back into sin. Have you seen him whom my heart loves?

Let us choose to stay focused on our love for Him and our mission that we should go and tell our sisters and brothers that He is here with us. The Risen Lord seeks to gather us all unto Himself. And one day soon we will be reunited with Him in paradise. Amen Alleluia!

St Mary Magdalene pray for us….

First reading

Song of Songs 3:1-4 ·

The bride says this:

On my bed, at night, I sought him
whom my heart loves. I sought but did not find him. So I will rise and go through the City; in the streets and in the squares I will seek him whom my heart loves. I sought but did not find him. The watchmen came upon me on their rounds in the City: ‘Have you seen him whom my heart loves?’
Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my heart loves.

Gospel

John 20:1-2,11-18
‘Mary, go and find the brothers and tell them’

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’
Meanwhile Mary stayed outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, still weeping, she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet. They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away’ she replied ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognise him. Jesus said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.’ Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master. Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: July 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What do we do with power given to us from on high? Especially when others are placed at our mercy? Do we toy with them? Do we treat them with disdain? Do we exact revenge for past hurts? or Do we instead care for them? Guide, teach and lead them to the truth? Do we love them as we love ourselves and our families? As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ the only question which we should really ask is what would our Master do and then do it!

We can have many aspirations to be a vibrant, evangelistic and missionary church. But how will we achieve this if we do not first form ourselves through the Word of God, through prayer personal as well as communal. To strive for unity and communion with one another. We therefore must be evangelised ourselves whether as ministry or community! Only then can we go out to the whole world to share God’s love with everyone.

Lord Jesus my shepherd and my guide, teach and show me how I should tend to Your flock and I will do so according to Your will. Amen

First reading

Genesis 41:55-57,42:5-7,17-24
Joseph’s brothers in his power

When the whole country of Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread. But Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.’ There was famine all over the world. Then Joseph opened all the granaries and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine grew worse in the land of Egypt. People came to Egypt from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph, for the famine had grown severe throughout the world.
Israel’s sons with others making the same journey went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan. It was Joseph, as the man in authority over the country, who sold the grain to all comers. So Joseph’s brothers went and bowed down before him, their faces touching the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers he recognised them. But he did not make himself known to them, and he spoke harshly to them. Then he kept them all in custody for three days.
On the third day Joseph said to them, ‘Do this and you shall keep your lives, for I am a man who fears God. If you are honest men let one of your brothers be kept in the place of your detention; as for you, go and take grain to relieve the famine of your families. You shall bring me your youngest brother; this way your words will be proved true, and you will not have to die!’ This they did. They said to one another, ‘Truly we are being called to account for our brother. We saw his misery of soul when he begged our mercy, but we did not listen to him and now this misery has come home to us.’ Reuben answered them, ‘Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you did not listen, and now we are brought to account for his blood.’ They did not know that Joseph understood, because there was an interpreter between them. He left them and wept.

Gospel

Matthew 10:1-7
‘Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel’

Jesus summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the one who was to betray him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows:
‘Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’