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Year B, Cycle II

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RESPECT LIFE AND SHUN SATAN

Liturgical Colour: 

Sam. 1:9-20 & Mk. 1:21-28.

Hannah was a devout woman whose life was complete except for one thing - she had borne no children. It was a public shame and a private curse to be barren in Old Testament times. The ancient Jew's answer to the problem of death was to live on in one's own children, but if no children came, then there was no hope of personal immortality. Hannah had often taken her problem to God in prayer.

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EACH OF US IS PART OF GOD’S PLAN

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Sam. 1:1-8 & Mk. 1:14-20

As people of faith, trying our best to live the faith each day, we are called upon to believe that God guides and directs our personal lives, as well as world events. At times to emphasis His providential care, God acts in extraordinary ways. One of His favourite ways is to surround, with unusual circumstances, the birth of certain persons who will be particularly instrumental in carrying out His plan.

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WHAT DOES THE BAPTISM OF JESUS SAY TO US?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mark 1:7-11

Why did Jesus, the sinless Son of God, submit Himself to a baptism of repentance? Even John the Baptist was puzzled. I don’t propose to solve the mystery today. Instead I want to consider what the Baptism of Jesus says to you and me – and how it is a testimony to the fact of human sinfulness and our need for repentance. He was well aware of the evil in men and women. Did they not spit upon Him, crown Him with thorns and nail Him to the Cross?

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THE GOD OF ALL NATIONS

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 2:1-12.

People who write biographies like to find in the childhood of their subject some event that symbolizes what that person ultimately became. Today's Gospel reading tells of such an event in the early life of Jesus.

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WITH CHRIST WE HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Jn.5:5-13 & Mk.1:6-13

There have been ambitious men who have wanted to rule the world. Immediately there comes to mind the names of Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus, Napoleon and Hitler. “Who can overcome the world?” asks St John. You never thought your name could be numbered among them! For St. John answer his question, “Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” He adds to this when he says that “God has given us eternal life and this life is His Son.” With Jesus, who is God, we can conquer the world.

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HOW WE MUST LOVE

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Jn. 3:11-21 & Jn. 1:43-45

From the beginning when our first parents lived in harmony loving each other came naturally. Once sin entered our world that harmony was destroyed. Instead of being filled with love and concern for each other we are tempted with feelings of envy and hatred. This was the sin of Cain who murdered his brother.

John calls us back to our original state to love each other. He even goes so far as to tell us to lay down our lives for each other, just like Jesus demonstrated his love for us.

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NEW BEGINNINGS

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 3:7-10 and Jn. 1:35-42

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THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus is a Franciscan devotion and its most prominent, champion is St. Bernardine of Siena, who preached Missions and Retreats all over Italy to promote it in the fifteenth century. Here is just a sample of how he preached about the Holy Name of Jesus …

“The name of Jesus is the foundation of our faith and makes us children of God. Glorious Name! Beautiful Name! Name that tells of love and excellence. Through You we have forgiveness of our sins, victory over our enemies, healing in sickness, strength and joy as we suffer the trials of life.”

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WHO IS GOD AND WHO AM I?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Jn. 2:22-28 & Jn. 1:19-28

John the Apostle is very protective of his converts. He assures them that they have been anointed and need no one to teach them anything. They must keep alive what they have learned. He warns them against those who deny Jesus because this means they also deny the Father. He encourages them to live in Christ and so they will have confidence not shame at His coming.

When the Jews asked John the Baptist “Who are you?” he replied by telling them who he wasn’t. “I am no the Christ.” Knowing who you are not helps us to know who we are.

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THE CAUSE OF OUR SALVATION

Liturgical Colour: 

I wish each one of you a very Happy and Holy New Year on the day when we celebrate the feast of Mary, Mother of God.

We know that God is everything, and that everything else compared to Him is nothing. But in that nothing one person shines out brilliantly - and that person is Mary. In her humility she was able to recognise this. “He looked upon the nothingness of His handmaid, from this day all generations will call me blessed.”

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