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Year B, Cycle II

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HOW GOD IS WITH US

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 3:14-17 & Mt. 13:18-23

There are different ways to receive God's word - joyfully and fruitfully, or with indifference, resentment and frustration. Sadly we can even just reject it. That is the meaning of today's Gospel parable.

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WE MUST NEVER TAKE GOD FOR GRANTED

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13 & Mt. 13:1-17

Both of today's readings, I find, are very sad. God and His Son Jesus have done so much for us and we do not return the love and adoration He is due.

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WE SHOULD BEAR FRUIT IN THE MIDST OF ADVERSITIES

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 1:1, 4-10 & Mt. 13:1-9

A series of 15 readings from Jeremiah begins today. He was reluctant to accept the call from God in 626 BC because of his youth, but God told him, “Before l formed you in the womb I knew you … l have appointed you as prophet to the nations.”

The first part of Jeremiah's ministry occurred during the reign of the devout king Josiah who in 622 began a series of religious reforms. During that era Jeremiah's words were like the seed spoken of by Jesus, which fell on good soil and yielded a rich harvest. But then things changed.

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HOW TO BE AKIN TO JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 & Mt. 12:46-50

Today's First Reading is a beautiful prayer asking God to shepherd His people. From an early period in the Old Testament era God as Shepherd was a warm and heartening image for the people. Jesus used that image for Himself, and for centuries later it still held much meaning while society continued seeing shepherds and grazing sheep.

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WHAT GOD ASKS OF US...

Liturgical Colour: 

Micah 6:1-4, 6-8 & Mt. 12:38-42

The court scene in today's reading is of cosmic dimensions. All of Nature is called upon to be a witness in this trial of the people, in which God is both prosecutor and judge. Despite all that God has done for them, the people have been unfaithful, thinking that external religious rites could substitute for a life of true devotion. The people have no case. They deserved to be condemned.

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'DRAT! I HAVE TO CHANGE MY PLANS'

Liturgical Colour: 

Mk. 6: 30-34

Jesus planned a short break for Himself and His Apostles. They needed it. As Saint Mark says, “There were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat.” The details are not given but doubtless there was some planning and eager anticipation. But then they were confronted with a crowd of needy people reaching out for help.

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WE MUST ACT IN JUSTICE – BUT WITH LOVE TOWARDS ALL

Liturgical Colour: 

Micah 2:1-5 & Mt. 12:14-21

Some scholars have referred to the prophets of the Old Testament as being the conscience of the people of God. Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, was one of these men. In today's reading he attacks the wealthy landowners who have been dispossessing the poor by illegal means. He condemns exploitation of the underprivileged.

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GOD SPEAKS TO US IN SUBTLE WAYS

Liturgical Colour: 

Is. 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8 & Mt. 12:1-8

Hezekiah, king of Judah, was desperate. Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, had declared war on all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. Now he was heading towards Jerusalem, the capital and Hezekiah's home. To make matters even worse, Hezekiah was facing a mortal illness. He turned to God in fervent prayer, and the Lord sent Isaiah with a message: Hezekiah would be healed, and the Lord would rescue the city.

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OUR SAVIOUR'S LOVE FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Is. 26:7-9, 16-19 &n Mt. 11:28-30

A loving husband and wife who really want children look forward to the birth of their first child. The thought of bringing a child into the world fills them with joy. Imagine a wife who is convinced that she is pregnant, tells a delighted husband and then visits the doctor who, instead of confirming her pregnancy, has to inform her that she has been mistaken. It is a bitter disappointment although they hope that a child will be theirs in the future.

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GOD'S SPECIAL LOVE FOR THE CHILDLIKE

Liturgical Colour: 

Is. 10:5-7, 13-16 & Mt. 11:25-27

Today's First Reading from the prophet Isaiah has a strange and bellicose ring to it. We must understand its background. At that time Assyria was the great military power bent on conquering all its neighbours. In their pride they attributed their victories to their own power and to Ashur their national god. But Isaiah knew and proclaimed that Assyria was but an instrument in the hands of God to purify sinful Judah, and that God would in time humble Assyria.

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