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Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

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HOW GREAT IS GOD’S LOVE FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Ecclus. 17:1-15 & Mk. 10:13-16

Praise of humanity and its unique place in God’s creation is the theme of the First Reading today. He made us in His own image and master of His Creation over every beast and bird. Only man and woman, of all God’s creatures, was given the freedom to choose good and reject evil. And they alone, of all God’s creatures, can voice praise to the Creator. With them He made an eternal covenant. All this tells us how much God loves us and how indebted we are to Him.

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FRIENDSHIP AND MARRIAGE

Liturgical Colour: 

Ecclus. 5:5-17 & Mk. 10:1-12

A true and faithful friend is something beyond price. And friendship is the topic of the First Reading today. True friendship should reflect the loving relationship in God, in the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, in Whom you will find no jealousy, possessiveness nor lack of trust. A friend is always there for you, the best person to have around in time of need.

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WE HAVE BEEN FOREWARNED!

Liturgical Colour: 

Ecclus. 5:1-8 & Mk. 9:41-50

There is some very wise advice for us from the author of Ecclesiasticus in the First Reading today. It can be summed up in these few words, “Do not rely on our wealth or upon our strength and when we have sinned we are to be swift in returning to the Lord. We must not take advantage of God’s compassion and mercy.”

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LOVE OF WISDOM AND AN ECUMENICAL SPIRIT

Liturgical Colour: 

Ecclus. 2:11-19 & Mk. 9:38-40

The author of Ecclesiasticus instructs his readers to seek wisdom for they will be filled with happiness, inherit honour and be loved and blessed by the Lord - and their life will be secure. Should they be unsure and fear life’s trials, wisdom will lead them back to the straight road. However, as he warns those who abandon wisdom, they will be handed over to their fate.

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CARRYING THE CROSS AND SERVING OTHERS

Liturgical Colour: 

Ecclus. 2:1-11 & Mk. 9:30-37

Words of practical wisdom are offered by the First Reading's author today. They concern the problem of human suffering. No matter what comes our way we must be patient and endure heavy crosses. We are to be helped by studying the lives of those who have gone before us. They trusted in God and were not disappointed.

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WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS WE STILL CAN HAVE RECOURSE TO PRAYER

Liturgical Colour: 

Ecclus. 1:1-10 & Mk. 8:11-13

The book of Ecclesiasticus was written approximately 200 years before the birth of Christ. Its author Ben Sirach is worried that his fellow Jews were adopting the customs and outlook of pagan Greeks. Through his writing he wanted to bring them back to their religious traditions.

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LIVE IN THE PRESENT

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 5: 38-48

People who long for ‘the good old days’ do not share the spirit of Jesus, according to today’s Gospel reading. He was a true Son of Israel and remembered His heritage with gratitude, but He never expressed any longing for a bygone golden age. Not once but twice He said, “You have learnt how it was said,” and then He added, “But I say this to you.” He took two old commandments and brought them up to date. He was telling His disciples that it was time for them to stop living in the past and start living in the present.

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PRAY AT ALL TIMES

Liturgical Colour: 

James 5:13-20 & Mk. 10:13-16

Prayer should characterise all aspects of our lives and not just moments of crisis, Saint James tells us in today's first reading. "If anyone of you is in trouble, he should pray, if anyone is feeling happy, he should sing a psalm.” He adds that if anyone falls ill the elders of the church should be called and they should pray over the sick person. He goes on to tell us the power of prayer and gives us the example how, through prayer, Elijah brought both a drought and rain to the land.

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JESUS CONDEMNS DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE

Liturgical Colour: 

James 5:9-12 & Mk. 10:1-12

We are not to grumble against one another but, according to Saint James, help and encourage each other in every way possible. We must try to act towards one another as God acts towards us, as in today's responsorial psalm, "The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy."

We must be truthful and people of our word - 'yes' should mean yes and 'no' must mean no.

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NO SACRIFICE IS TOO MUCH IF IT STOPS US FROM COMMITTING DEADLY SINS

Liturgical Colour: 

James 5:1-6 & Mk. 9:41-50

All of us are sinners and Saint James is warning us about the consequences of the injustices we have done. The wrongs over the years and the people we have hurt will be shown to us at our judgement. We may have forgotten many of the injustices we committed but the people we harmed probably have not forgotten the wrong we did. Nor has the Lord. So while we have time let us put to rights the wrongs we have done.

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