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Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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OUR SUFFERING IN THE FACE OF FAITH IS A MYSTERY

Liturgical Colour: 

Habakkuk 1:12-2:4 & Mt. 17:14-20

A woman was diagnosed as having terminal cancer. She prayed for a cure but her condition only worsened. One friend told her that it was foolish to pray because prayer accomplished nothing. Another told her that the only reason she was not cured was that her faith was not strong enough. She said that anyone who had enough faith will be cured. Both friends were wrong.

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ONLY JESUS HAS THE ANSWER TO DEATH

Liturgical Colour: 

Nahum 2:1, 3:1-3, 6-7 & Mt. 16:24-28

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A HAPPY ENDING!

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 31:31-34 & Mt. 16:13-23

In recent times, when America was going through a great depression in the 1930s, Hollywood came to the rescue. Many films were based on the rags to riches theme and there was always a happy ending.

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INDOMITABLE FAITH

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 31:1-7 & Mt. 15:21-28

This passage from Jeremiah has always been one of my favourites because of those beautiful words of God, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Yes, there are times when life is hard, problems seem insurmountable and perhaps we feel unloved or unappreciated - it is then we can recall these assuring words of God our Father. If no one else loves us, He does. They are words to boost our drooping spirits!

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NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22 & Mt. 14:22-36

Nothing can save the Israelites. God admits this in today's first reading. Their sins of disobedience and unfaithfulness have caused them injuries beyond healing and they have no one to plead their cause. Yet as desperate as the situation is, God remains committed to His Covenant with Israel and determines not to abandon them.

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JESUS HAD NO TIME TO GRIEVE

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 28:1-17 & Mt. 14:13-21

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WHAT DO WE EXPECT FROM CHRIST?

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 6:24-35

People whom Jesus had miraculously fed with five loaves and two fish came to Him with false expectations. Here was a man, they thought, to meet their material needs. Saint John tells us that as a result they wanted to make Him their king. But Jesus had something altogether different in mind.

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FAITH IN THE BIBLE DEMANDS A PRACTICAL RESPONSE

Liturgical Colour: 

Deut. 6:4-13 & Mt. 17:14-20

There is a familiar ring to the words in today's first reading about loving God with one's whole being. This is because Jesus quotes those very words in the Gospel. These words formed part of a prayer or profession of faith which every devout lsraelite recited daily. They were written on a tiny scroll, placed in a small box and worn on their foreheads. The whole idea was that the love of God was to be the guiding principle of their whole lives.

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ACCEPTING THE CROSS IS CHRIST’S GAUGE OF OUR LOVE FOR HIM

Liturgical Colour: 

Deut. 4:32-40 & Mt. 16:24-28

We must lose our life for Jesus' sake in order to save it and thus never experience death, Saint Matthew tells us in today's Gospel reading.

For each of us this can be achieved, in part, by how we respond when Jesus asks us to carry our cross. What does that word ‘cross’ conjure up in our minds? Do we draw a long face and say ‘O no! This means penance, and doing what we dislike?’

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TO KNOW AND LOVE THE REAL CHRIST

Liturgical Colour: 

Num. 20:1-13 & Mt. 16:13-23

If ever we have experienced real thirst we can appreciate how the lsraelites felt without water, especially in the desert, until God miraculously produced some from a rock and they survived. Commenting on this passage, Saint Paul sees the rock as a sign of Christ Himself, the source of our life. (1Cor. 10:4). He understood that the favours and blessings of God upon His people in the long history of Israel reached a fullness in Jesus Christ.

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