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Year B, Cycle II

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WORK FOR JESUS: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT OTHERS THINK OF US

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 4:1-6 & Lk. 5:33-39

Our modern world lays great importance on status and titles but Saint Paul showed himself to be a true follower of Jesus - by his lack of concern for how others viewed him. How he wanted to be known was quite humble by the standards of his day, “Christ’s servant and steward entrusted with the mystery of God.” They were not affirmations of power!

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GOD KNOWS BETTER THAN WE DO

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 3:18-23 & Lk. 5:1-11.

Each of us can sympathise with Peter in today’s Gospel reading. He was a professional fisherman who knew the waters of the lake and the suitable times for fishing. But having done everything right he and his companions had caught nothing.

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OUR ATTACHMENT IS TO JESUS - AND NOT TO HIS MINISTERS

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 3:1-9 & Lk. 4:38-48

The fact that factions had developed among the Christians of Corinth made Saint Paul very unhappy. One reason for the division was their attachment to the human ministers of the Gospel whether to Paul himself or to Apollos. But our attachment must be to Jesus and not to His ministers who are the instruments of Christ - and their authority and effectiveness are due to His Spirit working within them.

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WITH WHAT AUTHORITY DOES JESUS SPEAK TO US?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 2:10-16 & Lk. 4:31-37

In how many different languages is Mass said around the world every day? And what language does God use when He speaks to us as individuals? It is not any human language, in fact, for He speaks to us through the Spirit.

We can learn something about God through using the intellect He has given us, by reading and thinking about the Scriptures. But to get the best from them we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us.

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CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS GOOD FOR US!

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 2:1-5 & Lk. 4:16-30

In his preaching Saint Paul did not resort to the philosophical rhetoric of his day. He was but a tent maker who spoke a simple message relying on the power of the Spirit, not human ingenuity. The result was that some of the Corinthians were not prepared to accept him. They would have preferred flowery language.

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OUR WORSHIP MUST BE SINCERE

Liturgical Colour: 

Deut. 1:1-2, 6-8 & Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15; 21-23

What type of Catholics are we? Is our worship and love of God sincere or do we just give Him lip-service? When we read today’s Gospel we have to admit from Our Lord’s assessment that the Pharisees fall into the second category. They meticulously followed the traditions of the elders without any real love for God. But Jesus could read their hearts and labelled them as hypocrites.

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ARE WE USING OUR TALENTS FOR GOD?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 1:26-31 & Mt. 25:14-3

In a first class hotel the prime table goes to those people who give the head waiter a handsome tip. That is not God's way. In an expensive department store the person who is smartly dressed, and who spends the most, will be helped before the people who are less affluent. That is not God's way. The label of 'VIP' - very important person - applies only to those who are considered to be prominent citizens. That is not so with God. You will never find God running after a film star or a professional athlete to get his or her autograph!

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WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR THE LORD’S COMING

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 1-17-25 & Mt. 25:1-13

The city of Corinth was a cosmopolitan centre in the first century, similar to places like today’s London or New York. There was some influence of Greek philosophy but the people were worldly wise who would not easily take to the Gospel. It was a miracle of grace that St Paul could win even a few converts there and it was not surprising that some of them began to fall away - Christianity is not a doctrine which appeals to the worldly wise!

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ARE WE READY FOR CHRIST TO COME AGAIN?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 1:1-9 & Mt. 24:42-51

In the port of Corinth, which was known as 'Sin City' around 50 AD, St Paul founded a Christian community. He admitted that he approached his work with trepidation because of the city's moral depravity and its pagan worship. With God's grace he made converts but later, when he was preaching in Ephesus, he received disturbing news that they had fallen into serious errors both in doctrine and practice.

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BE NOT LIKE THE PHARISEES

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Thess. 3:6-10, 16-18 & Mt. 23:27-32

Some of the Thessalonians were so convinced that Jesus would come very soon that they gave up working. They thought if Jesus' second coming is imminent what was the point of ploughing, sowing and harvesting? St Paul told them how he had worked when he was among them and had not wanted to be a burden to them. They must carry on working, too, and was very strong in his condemnation of those who could work and didn’t … they were not to be fed.

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