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Year C, Cycle I

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HOW TO INCUR GOD'S ANGER

Liturgical Colour: 

Rom. 1:16-25 & Lk. 11:37-41

The Good News has the power of saving all who have faith in God – Jews as well as Greeks. Proud of the Good News he preaches Saint Paul attacks paganism which lacks the ability to give life. The Gentiles worshipped man-made objects or fostered compulsive behaviour aimed at attaining power, knowledge, wealth and popularity, in the hope that such behaviour would satisfy their inner longing for knowledge of God and meaning in life. Worship of anything other than God, despite any short-term satisfaction it may produce, will result in death.

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MAY WE NOT REJECT YOU

Liturgical Colour: 

Rom. 1:1-7 & Lk. 11:29-32

Today we begin reading Saint Paul’s epistle to the Romans in which he claims to be favoured with being an apostle to preach the Good News to the Gentiles. Paul knew that the Gospel was never intended for the Jewish people alone. The Good News is about the Son of God who took to Himself our human nature as a descendant of David.

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FORGIVENESS AND GRATITUDE

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Kings 5:14-17 & Lk.17:11-19

Gratitude is a quality which springs in response to a realisation of a favour received. The greater the magnitude of the favour, the greater should be the gratitude felt and expressed to the benefactor. And yet it often happens that the gratitude expressed to God falls far short of the requests that are made to Him.

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WHY MARY WAS TRULY BLESSED?

Liturgical Colour: 

Joel 4:12-21 & Luke 11:27-28

In “the day of the Lord” God will vindicate His people, judging those who oppose Him and providing refuge to those who call on His name. “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall never again pass through it.” Furthermore, the blessings lost through sin will be restored.

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ARE YOU WITH ME OR AGAINST ME?

Liturgical Colour: 

Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2 & Luke 11:15-26

The people of Israel were punished for their continued disobedience when God allowed the Babylonians to hold them captive for 70 long years. After their chastisement was completed they returned with a new vigour for God. Regrettably, however, their zeal was shallow and short-lived.

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GOD IS ALWAYS READY TO ANSWER OUR REQUESTS

Liturgical Colour: 

Malachi 3:13-20 & Luke 11:5-13

Life can frequently seem unfair to us. Perhaps a fellow worker – someone who boasts of being a total atheist – gains promotion and you are overlooked. Or the irreligious person seems not to have the financial or health problems you or a loved one face. Why is God not rewarding you for your constancy in faith?

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THE MODEL OF ALL PRAYER

Liturgical Colour: 

Jonah 4:1-11 & Luke 11: 1-4

If we want to know how to pray we need look only to Jesus Who gave us the model of all prayer when He taught us the Our Father. In this He teaches us to get our priorities correct. Firstly, we must be concerned with God, honouring His name, willing His Kingdom to come and doing His will. Then, we are to be concerned about our needs, our daily bread, forgiveness of our sins and deliverance from all evil and strength in the face of temptation.

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THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN WORK AND PRAYER

Liturgical Colour: 

Jonah 3:1-10 & Lk. 10:38-42

When Jonah eventually preached repentance to the Ninevites they acknowledged their guilt, doing penance, fasting, wearing sackcloth and sprinkling ashes on themselves. Then followed an interior change; they turned from their evil ways. Finally, they accepted the truth that God would respond to their repentance, in any way He wished.

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HOW TO BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR

Liturgical Colour: 

Jonah 1:1-2:1, 11 & Lk. 10:25-37

Jonah's sea voyage was a journey he would never forget. Caught in a violent storm, the crew blamed him for their misfortunes and threw him overboard, and he was swallowed by a whale. Yet none of this would have happened if he had done as God asked. He would not even have been on that ship.

God had asked him to go and preach to the people of Nineveh and persuade them to change their ways. Perhaps Jonah was afraid that the task was too difficult for him, or he may have felt inadequate or unworthy. All we know is that he ran away.

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CONCENTRATE ON GOD’S LOVE AND NOT ON OUR EFFORTS

Liturgical Colour: 

Lk. 17:5-10

Life for some does not seem fair. Jesus tells a story in today's Gospel about a slave who worked in the fields all day long. Then at sunset he went to the house, only to be told that he was to prepare and serve his master’s evening meal. Only after that was the slave allowed to eat. Then the kitchen would have to be cleaned and made ready for the next morning. Finally, the man was able to get some much needed and deserved refreshment and rest, probably collapsing on his bed, almost too tired to sleep.

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