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Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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GOD WRITES STRAIGHT WITH CROOKED LINES

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 27:1-5, 15-29 & Mt. 9:14-17

Taking advantage of his father’s blindness and with the connivance of Rebekah, his mother, Jacob deceived the old man. He was his mother’s favourite child and she was ready to cheat her elder son of his inheritance. As a result Jacob benefited from the blessing which his father intended for his elder son and which ensured that Jacob and his descendants would possess fertile lands.

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OBEDIENCE AND MERCY ENDEAR US TO GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 23:1-4, 19: 24:1-8, 62-67 & Mt. 9:9-13.

Mourning the death of his wife, Abraham knew that he was soon to follow her. He also believed that God's plan of making him the father of a great nation would be carried on through his son. That is why he was so specific about the kind of wife Isaac should have and where they were to live. His attitude was not that of an overbearing father but of God’s faithful servant who wanted to make sure that God's will would be done.

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FAITH IS TOTAL OBEDIENCE

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 22:1-19 & Mt. 9:1-8

We are children of Abraham. That is why, In the Eucharistic Prayer, we refer to him as “our father in faith”. For him faith meant much more than believing that there is a God - it meant turning his whole life over to God in complete obedience and trust.

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WE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen 21:5, 8-20 & Mt. 8:28-34

We hear so much today of nationalism and ethnic cleansing. The Jews, like many a nation, had great national pride. They were proud to be the descendants of Abraham and, for the most part, because they were God’s chosen people, they considered their neighbours unworthy of God’s favour. But from the first reading God had a lesson to teach them and us. In showing protection of Ishmael He showed love for a people other than the Jews.

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HOW WE CAN ESCAPE FROM ETERNAL DEATH?

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 19:15-29 & Mt. 8:23-27

Divine justice demanded that the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah be destroyed. But because of His great love for Abraham, God spared his nephew, Lot, and his family until his wife disobeyed God's command and was turned into a pillar of salt.

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THE WOULD BE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 18:16-33 & Mt.8:18-22

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COST OF COMMITMENT

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16; Rom. 6:3-4, 8-11. Mt. 10:37-42.

Is our faith too casual and easy going? Could an entire history of the Church be written in terms of the ways we have devised to make our religious commitment as easy as possible? Do many of us think that merely going to Mass on Sunday will get us to heaven? If that is the case and if we take a long and hard look at the Gospel reading today we are in for a rude awakening. For the Gospel reading confronts us with other tests which cannot be taken so casually and fulfilled so easily.

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 9:11-15 & Mt. 9:14-17

Sometimes Amos has been referred to as a prophet of doom. Certainly his warnings about the infidelity of the people towards God were strong. But since he was truly God's prophet he had to inspire the people with hope. Today's reading is full of hope and encouragement.

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BE NOT PREJUDICED

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12 & MT. 9:9-13

There is an obvious connection between today's two readings - they both condemn greed and injustice. Amos criticises those businessmen who exploit the poor and make huge amounts of money for themselves by dishonest means. In Jesus' time the tax collectors were also regarded as crooks.

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NEVER JUDGE BY APPEARANCES

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 7:10-17 & Mt. 9:1-8

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, considered Amos obnoxious and insufferable, because he preached that everyone in the kingdom of lsrael should repent. This included the king and the priests. He persuaded the king to get rid of Amos, not only because he took his preaching as an insult, but because he held him in contempt.

He considered him a nobody. He wasn't a prophet in his own right. He was nothing more than a shepherd and dresser of sycamores. On top of all this he was not from Israel but from the hated south of Judah.

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