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Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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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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WE SHOW OUR TRUE COLOURS IN TIMES OF ADVERSITY

Liturgical Colour: 

Num. 13:1-2, 25-14:1, 26-29, 34-35 & Mt. 15:21-28

The lsraelites found it tough in the wilderness. Their past should have told them that their God really cared for them. They had been slaves in Egypt where life was unbearable but with extraordinary signs God freed them from the tyranny of Pharaoh leading them through the wilderness and seeing that they were fed.

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NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Num. 12:12:1-13 & Mt. 14:22-36

Were Aaron and Miriam jealous of Moses when they said, “Has the Lord spoken to Moses only?”

In this incident a virtue of Moses is mentioned – “Now Moses was the most humble of men, the humblest man on Earth” – it is those words of God that have increased my devotion to Moses.

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NEVER FORGET THAT NO TASK IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!

Liturgical Colour: 

Numb. 11:1-15 & Mt.14:13-21

Did the Apostles believe Jesus had the power to feed this large crowd of people who followed Him and were hungry? He was testing them in today's Gospel reading and they had forgotten what He could do, telling Our Lord to send them home. Their faith in Him was too weak.

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HOW WE CAN LIVE WISELY

Liturgical Colour: 

Lk. 12:13-21

No one wants to be thought of or called a fool. As far as I know today's Gospel is the only time in the Bible that God calls a specific man a fool, although there are many instances of people acting foolishly. What kind of man was he? He was obviously a hard worker, a careful planner and a good businessman. These are traits that we all admire. But the truth is that God called him a fool for what he failed to do – the things he left out of his life. This man has something to say to you and me.

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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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