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Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Sometimes a wife complains to her husband that he never says he loves her any more. The husband replies, 'You know I love you. I work hard at my job for you and the children. Surely that shows that I love you?' But that is not enough if she wants to hear the actual words. But that situation is much worse when a man uses the words of love which are hollow because he does not back them up with actions.

The people of the Old Testament, for the most part, were faithful about their acts of worship, expressing their love of God through prayers and sacrifices. But often their Ivies did not reflect their worship. That is why the prophets frequently had to admonish them that external worship was not enough.

That same sentiment is expressed in the book of Proverbs today. “To act virtuously and with justice is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.” Jesus had the same idea when He said, “My mother and My brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice."

To participate In the Mass is to tell God that we love Him and that we wish to dedicate ourselves to doing His will. But that is not enough! We must go from Mass and attempt to do His will. We need a sound relationship between worship and life. Worship must lead to Christian living. We must also recognise that participation in the Mass is the source of strength for Christian living.

In a marriage it is important for a husband and wife to tell each other that they love one another and to back up their expression of love with acts of love. The same is true for us - worship and Christian living must go together. The one is incomplete without the other.

In today’s Gospel we read about the special trip that Jesus’ mother and His family made to be with Him while He was preaching. Told that His family was outside and wanted to see Him, Jesus seized this opportunity to teach about His real family: they are those who hear the word of God and act upon it. Most certainly Jesus was not denigrating His mother whose unique privilege it is to have given birth to Him, but even greater than that was the fact that Mary fully obeyed His Father's will.

Heavenly Father, help us to realize that the most important thing in our lives is to do Your will, and that when we do this we are truly Your children and the brothers and sisters of Your Son Jesus.

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