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Green is the liturgical colour used for the ordinary times

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WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF CHRIST’S FORGIVENESS

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Hard-headed rationalists boast that they only believe what they are able to discover for themselves. That kind of boast may impress people who aspire to become independent thinkers. But the only problem with this proud claim is that no one actually believes it!

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JESUS' WAY IS THE ONLY WAY

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What is real love? Saint Paul gives us the criteria. Real love is patient and kind, not jealous nor snobbish. Real love does not put on airs and is never rude. It is not selfish and resentful. There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure. That's what real love is all about. Paul advises us to aim for this real love.

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THE COMPASSIONATE CHRIST

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One of the great images of the Church as a body is given by Saint Paul in today's first reading. Just as a body has many parts, so does the Church. The body for its best functioning needs all the parts to interact. As we get older, we realize what happens to our overall health when our hearing becomes less acute, our sight less sharp, our legs less strong, our vitality more diminished. So, in the Church, we need all the parts to function well. Not everyone is a bishop nor a priest. The gifts or parts of the Body of Christ are distributed among the baptised.

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THE VALUE OF CONFLICT

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Saint Paul was greatly concerned to preserve the unity of the church at Corinth. He believed like many of us do that doctrinal and liturgical divisions among Christians are an embarrassment if not a scandal. After all, we all worship the same God, follow the same Lord and read the same Bible. How can the world take us seriously when we cannot get our act together within the church?

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THE CROSS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN

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Is, 50: 5-9; Mark 8: 27-35

There are so many things to admire about Jesus. One of them is His calm and serene disposition throughout His life - despite the fact that He knew what suffering was in store for Him. Today's first reading from Isaiah foretold this. Yet when we witness the calm way He conducts His life we would never have thought that He had any idea of what would have to be endured.

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BY THEIR FRUITS YOU WILL KNOW THEM

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1 Cor. 10:14-22 & Lk. 6:43-49

What does the Eucharist really mean to us? Do we truly believe, as Saint Paul says, that the blessing cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ, that the bread we break is a communion with His Body? This is the truth that he was trying to impress upon his Corinthian converts.

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ARE WE IN TRAINING TO PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS?

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1 Cor. 9:16-19, 22-27 & Lk. 6:39-42

Saint Paul’s conversion to Christianity was, as we know, sudden and dramatic. From that moment he found the Gospel so exciting that he felt impelled to spend the rest of his life sharing it with others. It was so important to him that he gave his preaching freely, supporting himself by working as a tentmaker.

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LOVE SOLVES ALL PROBLEMS

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1 Cor. 8:1-7, 11-13 & Lk. 6:27-38

The first century Church at Corinth was struggling to establish itself in a predominantly pagan environment. Animals were sacrificed to pagan gods, and afterwards the meat was consumed at temple banquets or sold in the markets. Sometimes this was the only meal available to the Christians. The question arose as to whether Christians could eat this meat.

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ARE WE LIVING FOR THE FUTURE?

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1 Cor. 7:25-31& Lk. 6:20-26

The portion of Saint Paul's letter to the Christians at Corinth which is in today's liturgy makes very strange reading. From this some people have gained the impression that he had little time for marriage. But this is not true.

He was so wrapped up in the Lord that he had reached that stage of his life when all that mattered was union with the Lord. Human relationships are important in this life, of course, and Paul would not deny this. But there comes a time when such things pale into insignificance - and all that matters is the Lord.

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LIKE THE APOSTLES WE NEED TO BE CLOSE TO JESUS

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1 Cor. 6:1-11 & Lk. 5:12-19

A difficulty among his Corinthian converts is dealt with by Saint Paul in today's First Reading. He is not at all happy to witness Christians having recourse to the civil authorities. Such matters should be settled by those within the faith. Surely there are wise and good people among them who could help settle issues and reconcile Christians?

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