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Year A, Cycle I

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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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GOD IS ALWAYS READY

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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