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Year B, Cycle II

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 9:11-15 & Mt. 9:14-17

Sometimes Amos has been referred to as a prophet of doom. Certainly his warnings about the infidelity of the people towards God were strong. But since he was truly God's prophet he had to inspire the people with hope. Today's reading is full of hope and encouragement.

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BE NOT PREJUDICED

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12 & MT. 9:9-13

There is an obvious connection between today's two readings - they both condemn greed and injustice. Amos criticises those businessmen who exploit the poor and make huge amounts of money for themselves by dishonest means. In Jesus' time the tax collectors were also regarded as crooks.

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NEVER JUDGE BY APPEARANCES

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 7:10-17 & Mt. 9:1-8

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, considered Amos obnoxious and insufferable, because he preached that everyone in the kingdom of lsrael should repent. This included the king and the priests. He persuaded the king to get rid of Amos, not only because he took his preaching as an insult, but because he held him in contempt.

He considered him a nobody. He wasn't a prophet in his own right. He was nothing more than a shepherd and dresser of sycamores. On top of all this he was not from Israel but from the hated south of Judah.

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WE ONLY LIVE WHEN WE LOVE

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24 & Mt. 8:28-34

A story is told about a king who was making a tour of his kingdom. He came across a very old man working in his vineyard. He asked him his age. 'Your Majesty, I am four years old!' The king laughingly protested until he explained, 'Your majesty, I count only those moments I have faithfully served the Lord. Those were the only moments I lived.'

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ANXIETY, WORRY AND LACK OF TRUST BRING DISAPPOINTMENT TO GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12 & Mt. 8:23-27

Having entered into a covenant with His chosen people the response God expected was faith and love. Sadly, He did not get it. It was Amos' task to point out to the people that because no response was forthcoming from them, this relationship was doomed to failure.

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FINDING TRUE FREEDOM IN OUR LIVES

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 2:6-10 & 13-16, & Mt. 8:18-22

In the time of Amos, Israel was a prosperous country but also a corrupt one. Many people had become wealthy through exploiting the poor and many had sunk into moral depravity. Amos was sent by God to remind them that they were His chosen people. He had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and in return it was expected of them that they would observe His law.

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TRUE FREEDOM IS NOT WHAT IT MIGHT SEEM!

Liturgical Colour: 

Luke 9: 51-62

Everyone wants to be free. Children don’t like being told when to go to bed or what vegetables to eat! Teenagers look forward to having their driver’s licence and the freedom it will bring.

Jesus was a free Man. He grew up in a religion that imposed strict restraints on people, but He refused to be bound by petty meaningless rules. He lived in a nation that was under the heel of Rome but He was not intimidated by those in authority. He pursued His own course with all the freedom of a bird in flight.

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WE ALL LIVE UNDER AUTHORITY!

Liturgical Colour: 

Lam. 2:2, 1-14, 18-19 & Mt. 8:5-17

The Book of Lamentations has been called the 'Book of Tears' as it expresses the agony, distress, horror and grief over the fall of Jerusalem. When reading today's passage my thoughts went straight to the bombed towns of Syria and the devastation, desolation and weeping. It appears the only One who can help them is the Lord. “Stretch out your hands to Him for the lives of your children who faint with hunger at the entrance to every street.”

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GOD IS OUR LOVING FATHER

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Kings 25:1-12 & Mt. 8:1-4

An important event in Jewish history, the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, is told in today's first reading. The king was captured and tortured, his sons were murdered and his people were deported to Babylon. The writer evidently intended this event to be remembered, for he states the actual day when it occurred.

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THE ROCK ON WHICH TO BUILD OUR LIVES

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Kings 24:8-17 & Mt. 7:21-29

Solomon's son, Rehoboam, burdened his people with heavy taxes to maintain the Temple. This split the nation into two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The kings of the newly-established northern kingdom gradually led the people to idolatry. As a result, God allowed the northern kingdom to be crushed by the Assyrians.

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