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Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Gen. 11:1-9 & Mk. 8:34-39

Men decided to build a tower which would reach heaven and so make a name for themselves in the First Reading today. But this tower at Babel was done with no reference to God - and the result was disastrous. Their language was confused by God and this brought disunity upon them.

In contrast the day would come when the Father and His Son Jesus would, at Pentecost, send the Holy Spirit who moved people of many languages to unite in a single voice in the praise of God.

Jesus declares that anyone who wishes to follow Him must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow in His steps. Crying out, “Lord, Lord," is not what Jesus wants. He desires not mere words but actions.

Whenever we are at Mass we use many words in addressing God in our prayers. What we say in words must flow into our lives. We tell God in the Lord's Prayer that we want His will to be done. So we are the ones who must seek to do His will here on Earth as His will is done in Heaven.

We may pray in our Bidding Prayers for the homeless or the starving but, if we do nothing practical to help them, our prayers are empty words. Again, we pray for world peace, but can it be said that our homes are not a battleground? We have to work for peace within ourselves first. Only when our words are wedded to our actions are we faithful children in whom the Father is well pleased.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to be people who back up our words of prayer with actions, remembering the advice of Saint Ignatius of Loyola who said we have to pray as if everything depends on God but work as if everything depends on us.

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