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Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Baruch 1:15-22 & Lk. 10:13-16

A repeated heartache of many a parent today is to see their children lapse from the Church and abandon their faith. Even though they have had the example of good Catholic parents and a sound Catholic education they have turned their back upon their religious upbringing. If this causes great pain to parents how much more acute is the pain that our heavenly Father feels when His children abandon Him?

There are some who would say that God does not need our love. To some extent this is true because as our Creator He is completely self-sufficient and lacks nothing. Yet time and again He tells us that He is a loving Father who wants to receive our love in return. If this were not so, why would He send His Son to suffer and die to win us back to Him?

In today's first reading we can see the chaos that was caused when the lsraelites rejected God. The disasters which befell them were not God's doing but an inevitable consequence of their disobedience and selfishness. Instead of obeying His wishes they had gone their own way, worshipping alien gods even though God had given them everything they could possibly want or need. How hurt He must have been at their disloyalty!

God had expected much from the lsraelites because much had been given to them. In the same way, Jesus had taught the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum the truth and backed up His teaching with miracles yet they had turned a deaf ear to His message. Jesus warned them of the consequences of rejecting Him, and the One who sent Him. They had a greater responsibility than the pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon who had not been taught the truth.

Today the temptation to follow alien gods can be very strong. Society encourages each one of us to follow the dictates of his or her own heart, even if this means doing what is displeasing to God. But we, who have the example and teaching of the faith and of good parents, are expected to repudiate such temptations. More is expected of us, who have been taught the difference between right and wrong. It is not always easy to keep the commandments when all around us are following the alien gods of greed, selfishness, or lust but it is our duty and responsibility.

Heavenly Father, You have given us so much, and loved us so much. We owe it to You to obey You and remain loyal. Let us listen to the teachings of Jesus, Your Son, the One You sent to save us, instead of following the world's ways.

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