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Year A, Cycle I

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WHERE DO OUR LOYALTIES LIE?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 22: 15-21

Jesus is placed by His enemies in what we would call a difficult situation in today's Gospel reading. He is approached by an alliance of two groups, the Herodians who supported the politics of Rome, and the Pharisees who were opposed to the Roman occupation of Palestine!

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ARE WE BOLD WITNESSES FOR CHRIST?

Liturgical Colour: 

Rom. 4:13, 16-18 & Lk. 12:9-12

There was no better example of faith that Saint Paul could choose for the Romans than Abraham. He listened when God spoke to him even though he did not always understand all that God asked of him. But what faith he had when asked to uproot his family and go to a strange land. He believed God when He told him in his old age that he, and his wife who was barren, would have a son. And at God’s request he was even willing to sacrifice his only son who was born after a long wait.

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THE ONLY PERSON WE NEED TO FEAR IS OUR FATHER

Liturgical Colour: 

Rom. 4:1-8 & Lk. 12:1-7

We refer to Abraham as “our father in faith” in the First Eucharistic Prayer which means that we trace the origin of our faith in the one true God back to him. It also means that Abraham is a model to us of how to live a life of faith.

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SPEAK UP FOR GOD AND YOU WILL BE PERSECUTED

Liturgical Colour: 

Rom. 3:21-30 Lk. 11:47-54

Throughout Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans he uses the words law and faith frequently. It is important to understand them as he intended them to be understood. The 'law' refers to the law of Moses which Jews were bound to observe. Paul keeps insisting that it is not by observance of this law that people are made holy, and that is why converts to Christianity did not have to become Jews. It was ‘faith' in Jesus that saved a person but for St. Paul this means much more than an intellectual acceptance of the truth which God has revealed in Christ.

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ARE WE MOTIVATED BY LOVE OF THE LORD?

Liturgical Colour: 

Rom. 2:1-11 & Luke 11:42-46

The Jews of Christ’s time, by their very attitude, had distanced themselves from the rest of society. Highly critical of others, especially of the Gentiles, they were quick to condemn what they saw as evil practices. Saint Paul bluntly told the Jews that even though they were the chosen people, they had no right to condemn the pagans. Why? It was because the Jews were, each in their own way, just as guilty of sin as were the non-believers.

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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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WHO WILL GET TO HEAVEN?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 22:1-14

Another thought-provoking story features in today's Gospel reading. It was directed at the chief priests and elders and God’s chosen people. Jesus loved them. His words were meant to be a wake-up call for them to save them from losing Heaven. It has a message, too, for each one of us.

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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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