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Year B, Cycle II

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JESUS FACES HIS OPPONENTS FIRMLY

Liturgical Colour: 

Ecclus. 51:12-20 & Mk 11:27-33

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DO WE ALLOW GOD'S LOVE INTO OUR HEARTS?

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 25:13-21 & Jn. 21:15-19

Paul is now in Caesaria; he is a Roman citizen and has appealed his case to the emperor, and now he awaits the royal decision.

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RECOGNISING OUR UNITY

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 22:30, 23:6-11 & Jn. 17:20-26

The event described in today's first reading takes place in Jerusalem when the Sanhedrin put Paul on trial. He acts very cleverly to take the pressure off himself by professing his belief in the resurrection of the dead and creates a conflict between the Pharisees who believe in this and the Sadducees who do not.

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NEVER GIVE UP HOPE

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 20:28-38 & Jn. 17:11-19.

St. Paul was aware that there is no more deadly obstacle to the spread of the Gospel than divisiveness among those who claim to be Christian. So he warns his hearers to be on their guard remembering all the hard work he had done to build them into a community.

Paul then reviews his life as a missionary. He tells the truth about his accomplishments, how hard he has worked for them, not asking for a penny for his efforts and reminds them of Our Lord’s words, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”

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A JOB WELL DONE

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 20:17-27 & Jn. 17:1-11

There is a sense of sadness in today's readings as both Paul and Jesus reach the end of their mission on Earth and are bidding farewell to their friends and followers. Yet there is also a feeling of satisfaction and triumph for they both know that they have completed the work they were given.

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DEEPENING OUR FAITH

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 19:1-8 & Jn. 16:29-33

The key word in today's two readings is belief. In the first Paul travelled to Ephesus and found there a number of believers. They had been baptised by John and repented of their sins but when Paul questioned them, to his surprise, he discovered that there were huge gaps in their faith. He could not believe they had never heard of the Holy Spirit, nor of baptism in Jesus.

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WE WILL FOLLOW YOU

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 16:1-10 & Jn.15:18-21

Saint Paul had drawn up his itinerary. But there had to be changes “when they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came to Troas.” Obviously the Holy Spirit had other plans!

It was revealed to Paul one night in a vision, “Come across to Macedonia and help us.” He wasted no time for he was convinced that God had called him to bring the Good News to the people of Macedonia. Paul could claim that he was truly guided by the Holy Spirit.

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THE REAL CHALLENGE OF LOVE

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 15:22-31 & Jn. 15:12-17

When the pagans converted to Christianity there was bound to be a difficult period of adjustment. They needed guidance but they were receiving conflicting advice from leading Jewish converts and even some of the apostles. Should converts from paganism accept circumcision before they could become Christians? The apostles held a council and decided to simplify matters. They did not want to burden the pagans with inessential rules and mentioned only three prohibitions: food sacrificed to idols, meat from strangled animals and fornication.

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TRUE LOVE IS NOT BURDENSOME

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 15:7-21 & Jn. 15:9-11

Jesus commands His disciples to love one another, but He first says that He loves them as the Father loves Him. The Father loves the Son with perfect and infinite love and this same love is shown by Jesus for us. We can never exhaust the full depths of this mystery, but we can ask the Lord to show us more and more fully how unfailing and inexhaustible is His love for us.

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"I AM THE VINE; YOU ARE THE BRANCHES."

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 15:1-6 & Jn. 15:1-8

When Jesus tried to explain to His disciples Who He was, He used several different images … the Good Shepherd leading them, the Bread of Life feeding them, the Gateway to the Father and, in today's Gospel, He says "I am the Vine."

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