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Year A, Cycle I

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CARRYING ON THE WORK OF CHRIST

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezra 9:5-9 & Lk. 9:1-6

The honesty of the prayer of Ezra is to be admired. He felt like the sinner in 'Amazing Grace' who with shame listed the failings of his people and admitted guilt before God. This prayer breathes a spirit both of faith and of trust, pleading for the mercy of God.

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THE TIES THAT BIND

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezra 6:7-8 & 12, 14-20 & Lk. 8:19-21.

The Temple in Jerusalem was very important to every Jew. How it came to be built and the priests chosen are told to us by Ezra, along with the rituals and traditions they observed in accordance with the laws laid down by Moses.

This was the religious heritage into which Jesus was born. He learned from Mary and Joseph the traditions of the Jewish faith. He observed the rituals, kept the Jewish festivals and died with a Jewish prayer on His lips.

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GOD IS ALWAYS IN CHARGE - AND TRUTH MATTERS

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezra 1:1-6 & Lk. 8:16-18

In the sixth century before Christ the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian armies and the people were sent into exile far from their homeland. Although they had to wait His good time God did promise to look after them and protect them. It was a bleak period and they were severely tempted to abandon God completely.

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DO WE OVERLOOK BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 20: 1-16

We can all feel for the men in today's Gospel who had worked hard the whole day and found themselves being paid the same as those who had only worked one hour. Yes, it was true that they had agreed to work for a certain amount and were paid it, but still they felt cheated, because others who had worked less were paid the same.

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HOW DOES OUR HEART RECEIVE GOD'S WORD?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Tim. 6:13-16 & Lk. 8:4-15

The importance of perseverance is stressed in today's first reading. Human nature being what it is, we are inclined to become weary and tire of doing good, and would relish some relief from constantly trying. Among people in the modern world perseverance is lacking: they are easily bored, always looking for something new and different, and have little patience in being committed to large or small matters.

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RECOGNISING OUR SPIRITUAL POVERTY

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Tim. 6:2-12 & Lk. 8:1-3

Timothy is being encouraged to teach sound doctrine by Saint Paul in today's first reading. To teach otherwise would be ignorant and full of self-conceit leading to jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another.

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WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF CHRIST’S FORGIVENESS

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Tim. 4:12-16 & Lk. 7:36-50

The young Timothy is being encouraged and counselled by Saint Paul in today's first reading: his age does not mean he has nothing to offer because the way he speaks, and his manner of living, can influence people for good or bad.

He has been empowered by the laying on of hands. He must use his time profitably by reading to the people and taking great care about what he teaches and how he preaches. All this is good advice to every young priest.

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JESUS WAY IS THE ONLY WAY

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Tim. 3:14-16 & Lk. 31-35

What could be described as a beautiful creed about Jesus is today's first reading. It is a wonderful profession of our belief about the life and nature of Our Lord. Both succinct and comprehensive it relays some of His essential qualities and deeds. It is worth memorizing. “He was made visible in the flesh, attested by the Spirit, seen by the angels, proclaimed to the pagan, believed in by the world, taken up in glory.” Yes, how true are the words of Saint Paul, “Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is very deep indeed.”

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THE COMPASSIONATE CHRIST

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Tim. 3:1-13 & Lk. 7:11-17.

Laying the framework for the development of strong and stable communities is Saint Paul's concern in today's first reading. The choice, training and encouragement of Church officials is a vital consideration. They will hold responsible and influential positions. Hence, they must be honest and trustworthy, hard workers, with good character, sound judgment, impeccable morality and experience in the community.

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JESUS HAS CONCERN FOR THE NEEDS OF ALL

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Tim. 2:1-8 & Lk. 7:1-10

Today's two readings complement one another in their message of ecumenical concern for others.

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