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Year A, Cycle I

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USE IT OR LOSE IT

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 21:33-43

An eviction notice to the nation of Israel is the subject of today's Gospel reading. Jesus was warning the Jews that they would either pay their rent or they would lose their place in His kingdom.

The warning came in the form of a parable. It was about a landowner who planted a vineyard, made all the necessary preparations for an abundant harvest, and then leased it out to tenant farmers. The agreement was that when the crop was gathered, the tenant would pay an agreed percentage to the landowner.

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WHAT PRIVILEGES ARE OURS WHEN WE LOVE JESUS!

Liturgical Colour: 

Baruch 4:5-12 27-29 & Lk. 10:17-24

A beautiful appreciation of God’s eagerness to forgive is reflected in today's first reading. The Israelites had been guilty of abandoning God so many times and as a result they had been driven out of their homeland. Now Baruch exhorts them to take courage and have hope that God will deliver them. “For as He brought down those disasters on you, so will He rescue you and give you eternal joy.” As we read this passage it should give us hope.

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WHY WE HAVE TO LIVE BETTER LIVES

Liturgical Colour: 

Baruch 1:15-22 & Lk. 10:13-16

A repeated heartache of many a parent today is to see their children lapse from the Church and abandon their faith. Even though they have had the example of good Catholic parents and a sound Catholic education they have turned their back upon their religious upbringing. If this causes great pain to parents how much more acute is the pain that our heavenly Father feels when His children abandon Him?

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BEWARE OF MAKING EMPTY PROMISES

Liturgical Colour: 

Neh. 2:1-8 & Lk. 9:57-62

Nehemiah was a Jew who had risen to some prominence in the court of King Artaxterxes of Persia but his heart was in his beloved city of Jerusalem. He received permission from the king to return there where practical problems needed to be solved.

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THE BEGINNING OF ECUMENISM

Liturgical Colour: 

Zech. 8:20-23 & Lk. 9:51-58

Zechariah looked forward to a day when Jerusalem would be a source of blessing, not only for the Jews but for pagans as well. That hope has been fulfilled through the person of Jesus Christ in the Church.

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A WARNING FOR OUR TIMES FROM JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Zech. 8:1-8 & Lk. 9:46-50

Zechariah preached when times were hard for his people. They were discouraged and disheartened about their future. But in the rebuilding of the temple he saw a sign of hope.

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HAVE WE TURNED OVER A NEW LEAF IN GOD'S VINEYARD?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 21: 28-31.

In today's parable of the two sons Jesus was direct and came right to the point. He showed up the hypocrisy of the chief priests and elders of the Jews. He pointed out to them the perilous position in which they stood in relation to God and Heaven.

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BEING ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT OUR FAITH AND IGNORING THE OBVIOUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Zech. 2:5-9, 14-15 & Lk. 9:43-45

Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet. They both shared the same hopes for a restored and renewed Jerusalem. Zechariah had a vision of the city with a defensive wall being built around it. But God told him that no wall should be built, because large numbers of people would come to inhabit Jerusalem, and their access must not be restricted. There would be no need for a wall to protect the citizens, because God Himself would be their protector and would live among them.

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DO NOT BE AFRAID, I AM WITH YOU

Liturgical Colour: 

Haggai 1:15-2:9 & Lk. 9:18-22

When the people returned to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon, they must have been discouraged by the huge task that lay before them. They rejoiced to have been freed from captivity and restored to their homeland, of course, but they could see the vast amount of work that needed to be done.

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PUTTING THE INTERESTS OF THE LORD FIRST IN LIFE

Liturgical Colour: 

Haggai 1:1-8 & Lk. 9:7-9

An uneasy conscience is something painful to live with, as we can see in today’s readings. Herod was disturbed by all the reports he was hearing about Jesus. Some people were suggesting that this popular preacher might be John the Baptist risen from the dead. The rumour reminded Herod that it was he who had put John to death, and it pricked his conscience and caused him anxiety.

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