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Year C, Cycle I

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ROUSE FROM DROWSINESS YOUR HEART!

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 7:15-27 & Lk. 21:34-36

Today is the last day of the Church's liturgical year. Tomorrow the season of Advent begins.

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THE KINGDOM IS NEAR

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 7:2-14 & Lk. 21:29-33

Four beasts merge from the sea in the vision of Daniel in today's first reading. The lion, bear and leopard represent empires that dominated Israel; the fourth beast was an empire yet to come. The beasts rule for a while and then are destroyed.

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JESUS SUFFERS WITH US

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 6:1218 & Lk. 21:20-28

We think of God as a loving Father who cares for all His children. What then are we to make of today's readings? Are we wondering, 'How can God love His children if He treats them so badly?'

Daniel was forced to spend a night in a pit with lions. He had to endure the terrible fear of being killed by those ferocious animals, an ordeal which you and I would certainly not like to face, before God saved him.

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ENCOURAGEMENT IN TIMES OF TRIAL

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28 & Lk. 21:12-19

Today's episode from the Book of Daniel tells about King Belshazzar's feast in which he used the Temple vessels and thereby desecrated them.

In the course of the feast the words “Mene, Tekel, Peres” appeared on the wall which Daniel was able to interpret. The gist of the message was “The party is over.” Not only had he profaned the vessels of the Temple but having committed atrocities he had become spiritually bankrupt. The division and loss of his kingdom were inevitable.

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ONLY THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL ENDURE TO THE END

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 2:31-45 & Lk. 21:5-11

King Nebuchadnezzar has a vision of a huge idol with a head of gold, chest of silver, belly of bronze, legs of iron and feet of clay – and a stone hurtles towards it and smashes the idol to pieces!

Daniel interprets these various materials as different kingdoms, all of which are replaced or brought to an end by God’s kingdom, as represented by the stone. Kingdoms and empires have turned to dust, to be blown away throughout history, while God's Kingdom remains.

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THE WAY TO GIVE TO SHOW OUR GRATITUDE TO GOD ...

Liturgical Colour: 

Dan. 1:1-6, 8-20 & Lk. 21:1-4

The Book of Daniel is about Jewish people in a foreign land and how they kept faith. The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, was a powerful leader and a great general. When he conquered a country, he took the most talented people back to Babylon to work in his court, leaving the poor behind to work the land.

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THE KING’S VICTORY OVER EVIL

Liturgical Colour: 

Luke 23: 35-43

When Christ died on the cross Pontius Pilate wrote this inscription, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” For a crown He was given not jewels but thorns; for royal purple, His blood; for a sceptre, a nail; for a throne, a cross. The Chief Priests objected to the title Pilate had written because Jesus was no King of theirs. They would never dream of giving Him allegiance.

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A CLEAR CONSCIENCE AND LIFE AFTER DEATH

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Macc. 6:1-13 & Lk. 20:27-40

Antiochus IV is given much adverse coverage in this Book of Maccabees, for he was a constant menace to the lsraelites. We see him defeated, sick, unable to sleep and facing death in today's reading. This passage proclaims the teaching that you cannot live a life of sin and violence, and be at peace when you come to die. Antiochus had attempted to do just that.

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BEWARE OF THE RIGHTEOUS ANGER OF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Macc. 4:36-37, 52-59 & Lk. 19:45-48

The rededication of the Temple, after Judas Maccabeus recaptured it from the king who had desecrated it, is recounted in today's first reading. The celebrations went on for eight days. This is the historic origin of the Jewish Hanukah, the Feast of Lights, a celebration of reconsecration.

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DO WE STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Macc. 2:15-29 & Lk. 19:41-44

Mattathias was so on fire with zeal for the worship of the one true God and His law that even while he fought against God's enemies he enjoyed an inner peace. His world was destroyed, he and his family lost all their possessions and had to flee into the hills, but he had the priceless treasure of a clear conscience and the knowledge that he had stood up for what was right.

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