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Year B, Cycle II

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NO FREEDOM WITHOUT HOLINESS

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 3:14-20, 24-25, 28 & Jn. 8:31-42

What is freedom? Does it mean doing whatever we wish, going wherever we please, having everything we want? Today's readings tell us that we can only find true freedom when our lives are centred, not on ourselves, but on the one true God.

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OPPORTUNITIES KNOCK, BUT NOT FOREVER!

Liturgical Colour: 

Num. 21:4-9 & Jn. 8:21-30

The Israelites grumble against Moses and are punished by biting serpents, but they are delivered by looking upon a bronze serpent erected by Moses following the directives of the Lord. Like the Israelites we have all sinned and become estranged from God, but we are rescued by Jesus lifted up on the Cross.

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WHAT RIGHT HAVE WE TO JUDGE?

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62 & Jn. 8:1-11

The two readings for today correspond perfectly: women accused of adultery are about to be stoned to death but, at the last moment, they are rescued by 'saviours' … Daniel and Jesus.

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WHEN RELIGION BECOMES UNHEALTHY

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 8: 1-11

When a woman guilty of adultery was brought to Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees they reminded Him that, according to the Law of Moses, she should be stoned but they wanted to know what He would recommend. His response took them totally by surprise.

“If there is anyone of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Knowing they had been outsmarted, these self-righteous guardians of public morality, one by one, beginning with the eldest, melted into the crowd.

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JESUS KNOWS AND SHARES OUR FEAR

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 12:20-33

Jesus, the Son of God, was reaching the end of His mission. The time was rapidly approaching when He would give up His life on Earth so that the salvation of sinners could be accomplished. Jesus stood in our place, as a man like us in all things except sin, and today's Gospel reminds us of what His sacrifice meant in human terms.

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HOW MUCH EVIDENCE DO WE NEED?

Liturgical Colour: 

Exod. 32:7-14 & Jn. 5:31-47

After all God had done for His chosen people, saving them from the hand of Pharaoh and the Egyptians with wonders and miracles, they were fickle and unfaithful. They made for themselves a calf of molten metal to worship. To such a loving God they could not have been more ungrateful and stupid! As a result God wanted to abandon them but Moses pleaded with Him not to do so for their idolatry. His prayer was so powerful that God relents.

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CARRY YOUR CROSS WITH JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Wis. 2:1,12-22 & Jn. 7:1-2, 10,25-30

"The godless say to themselves, ‘Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man since he annoys us.’” I am sure we can all recognise that situation. You try your best to do something worthwhile but there is always someone waiting to criticise you and thwart you. Life is full of trials and it sometimes seems as if the good people have a particularly hard time and the ‘baddies’ have an easy ride.

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THE RIGHT ROLE MODEL

Liturgical Colour: 

Is. 49:8-15 & Jn. 5:17-30

A desolate cry is heard in today's first reading, “The Lord has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.” This is so untrue! The Lord is quick to reassure us and could there be a warmer response? “Does a mother forget the baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the son of her womb? Yet even if these forget, I will never forget you.”

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FROM THE HEALING HAND OF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezek. 47:1-9,12 & John 5:1-3, 5-16.

The theme of life-giving water dominates the readings and texts of today’s Mass beginning with the Entrance Antiphon, “Come to the waters, all who thirst; though you have no money, come and drink with joy.”

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BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE

Liturgical Colour: 

Is. 65:17-21 & Jn. 4:43-54

The coming of an era when redemption would begin with the death and resurrection of Christ was foretold by Isaiah, and in today's Gospel we see the court official experiencing the start of this redemption.

Is it true that when we meet trouble our initial reactions are almost always negative? We feel frightened, helpless and insecure. We ask, 'Why me?' We wish it had never happened and, most of all, that it would go away. Yet trouble can be the means of drawing us closer to Jesus as exemplified by the court official.

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