Posts Tagged ‘stay awake’


‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.’ The year is slowly drawing to a close what have done to build God’s Kingdom? How have we served our brethren entrusted to us as stewards of His?

This year alone I have had two brothers and a sister in Christ pass on. They were models of fidelity to our faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And their return to the Lord has left me mourning the loss of their friendship and warmth.  They had their own struggles and challenges but it was always a joy to be in their company. Their patience, love and humility in serving their families and their brethren is a testimony of their love for the Lord their God. I miss them fondly and can only hope that I too might one day be missed fondly, as someone who loved our Lord as His faithful servant; and loved my neighbour as I loved myself a child of God so loved by my Heavenly Father. Amen

First reading

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13 ·

Now we can breathe again, as you are still holding firm in the Lord

Brothers, your faith has been a great comfort to us in the middle of our own troubles and sorrows; now we can breathe again, as you are still holding firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel before our God on your account? We are earnestly praying night and day to be able to see you face to face again and make up any shortcomings in your faith.

    May God our Father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, make it easy for us to come to you. May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints.

Gospel

Matthew 24:42-51

He is coming at an hour you do not expect

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    ‘What sort of servant, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you solemnly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the dishonest servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time,” and sets about beating his fellow servants and eating and drinking with drunkards, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’


Having been blessed with a mighty renewal through the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; and knowing that our Blessed Mother is constantly interceding for us, have we begun to take up our cross to follow Jesus our Lord? Or are we going back to our old way of lives now that the ‘spiritual high’ is gone from us? Placing family, friends, career, personal leisure above everything else!

Nay sisters and brothers! It is time for us to stay awake and alert! To be thankful for the great mercy and love the Lord our God has shown us. Even if we give our all and more, it will be nothing compared to the graces and mighty outpouring bestowed upon us by our loving Father in Heaven. It is time for us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord our God. Time for us to bear abundant fruit for Him through our Holy Sacrifices laid before His altar. To share our lived joy of the Gospel with one and all in His love. Amen

First reading

Ecclesiasticus 35:2-15 ·

Give to the Most High as he has given to you

A man multiplies offerings by keeping the Law; he offers communion sacrifices by following the commandments.

By showing gratitude he makes an offering of fine flour, by giving alms he offers a sacrifice of praise.

Withdraw from wickedness and the Lord will be pleased,   withdraw from injustice and you make atonement.

Do not appear empty-handed in the Lord’s presence; for all these things are due under the commandment.

A virtuous man’s offering graces the altar, and its savour rises before the Most High.

A virtuous man’s sacrifice is acceptable, its memorial will not be forgotten.

Honour the Lord with generosity, do not stint the first-fruits you bring.

Add a smiling face to all your gifts, and be cheerful as you dedicate your tithes.

Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously as your means can afford; for the Lord is a good rewarder, he will reward you seven times over.

Offer him no bribe, he will not accept it, do not put your faith in an unvirtuous sacrifice; since the Lord is a judge who is no respecter of personages.

Gospel

Mark 10:28-31

Whoever has left everything for the sake of the gospel will be repaid

At that time Peter began to tell Jesus, ‘What about us? We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.

    ‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’


Many of us through Advent had struggled to break away from habitual sin and temptation. Some realised that in order to do so in this extraordinary times, that they needed to journey on with a community and so either rejoined one or joined one striving to be faithful to Christ. Many of us went to great lengths to go for the Sacrament of reconciliation so as to prepare room in our hearts for our Saviour this Christmas. Having Him ‘reborn’ again in our hearts many had even decided to surrender the tradition of the past: that is of drunken revelry to welcome the new year. And so we all received the Blessings at the start of the year mentioned in the first reading of the Solemnity of Mary mother of God.

Today we are reminded to hold fast to our anointing received at our baptism where we became God our Father’s children. Having been fully united with Him through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we are called to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. And so having entered into the new year, St John in the first reading reminds us to stay awake and alert, “Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.”

O Holy Spirit, great counsellor and guide, One with the Father the Son; take us by the hand and lead us on in this new year. Amen

First reading
1 John 2:22-28 ·
The anointing he gave you teaches you everything


The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ – he is the liar,
he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son, because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning: as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,
you will live in the Son and in the Father;
and what is promised to you by his own promise is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything; you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.


Gospel
John 1:19-28
‘One is coming after me who existed before me’

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

a voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.


Evil has no hold over us, for victory is ours through our Lord Jesus Christ! Happy are we who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

We have no time to mope and complain of how difficult our life is and to make excuses for our inertia. Neither have we the luxury of looking to our distractions from the burden of carrying our cross to follow our Lord. For if we continue to behave this way, then the choices we make will leave us behind in desolation!

Arise and stay awake! Prepare for His coming! Then we will take our rightful place together with the Angels and the Saints praising God our Heavenly Father.

For Evil has no hold over us, victory is ours through our Lord Jesus Christ! Happy are we who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Amen Alleluia!

First reading
Apocalypse 18:1-2,21-23,19:1-3,9
Babylon the Great has fallen

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory. At the top of his voice he shouted, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty, loathsome bird.’ Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, ‘That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again.

Never again in you, Babylon,
will be heard the song of harpists and minstrels,
the music of flute and trumpet;
never again will craftsmen of every skill be found
or the sound of the mill be heard;
never again will shine the light of the lamp,
never again will be heard
the voices of bridegroom and bride.
Your traders were the princes of the earth,
all the nations were under your spell.

After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, ‘Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous prostitute who corrupted the earth with her fornication; he has avenged his servants that she killed.’ They sang again, ‘Alleluia! The smoke of her will go up for ever and ever.’ The angel said, ‘Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb’, and he added, ‘All the things you have written are true messages from God.’


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.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: November 13, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags: ,

As we draw closer to Advent we are reminded to stay awake as disciples of our Lord, to remain steadfast in our faith and to love one another in His love.

There is a danger of seeking spiritual highs and looking for new varied forms of attaining them rather than to remain in the peace which is found in Christ Jesus alone. Going beyond what was taught by the word of God made flesh only leads to emptiness and void.

Let us choose to be fully alive and awake in the presence of our Lord and saviour Jesus, seeking to love in His love from the moment we wake, to the time we fall asleep. So then come what may, we stand ready to meet Him when He comes again. Amen

First reading
2 John 4-9 ·
The commandment which you have heard since the beginning is to live a life of love

It has given me great joy to find that your children have been living the life of truth as we were commanded by the Father. I am writing now, dear lady, not to give you any new commandment, but the one which we were given at the beginning, and to plead: let us love one another.
    To love is to live according to his commandments: this is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, to live a life of love.
    There are many deceivers about in the world, refusing to admit that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They are the Deceiver; they are the Antichrist. Watch yourselves, or all our work will be lost and not get the reward it deserves. If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him: only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them.

Gospel
Luke 17:26-37
When the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed

Jesus said to the disciples:
    ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
    ‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.’


How wonderful it will be to hear Jesus say to us, ”Ah here comes my disciple who had spoke the truth and strived for holiness come dine with your master.” Then we might say, ” ”Lord You know who I am?” and He will reply, ”Yes, how often have I seen and heard you praying to me. I know how you have struggled to do my will always therefore the gates of heaven are opened to you.”

How have we progressed in deepening our relationship with the Lord our God and living our faith in Him from the start of the year? Have we truly been striving to lead our families and one another closer to this heavenly reality? We are already past the halfway mark for the year closing in on Advent have we stayed awake? Ready to greet our Lord when He returns?

My Lord, my God, from my heart; I’ve come to do Your Will. Amen

Saint Bartholomew pray for us…

First reading

Apocalypse 21:9-14 ·
He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel

John 1:45-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’