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Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

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THE VALUE OF UNSELFISH PRAYER

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Kings 3:4-13 & Mk. 6:30-34

The prayer of Solomon pleased God because it was an unselfish prayer. The gift he asked for, although for himself, was to benefit others. He was a young king who wanted to govern his people well, so he asked for the ability to judge wisely and fairly.

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GOD FORGIVES AND FORGETS OUR SINS

Liturgical Colour: 

Eccles. 47:2-11. & Mk. 6:14-29

The book of Ecclesiasticus was written many centuries after the death of King David. It looked back upon his life in much the same way as do with our national heroes, such as Nelson and Churchill, whose virtues we remember while forgetting or ignoring their faults. The author recalled David's considerable faults with only a fleeting reference.

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DAVID’S LAST MOMENTS

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12 & Mk. 6:7-13

David knows his death is near and so, very peacefully and in a calm voice, he speaks his last words to Solomon, his son and king to be. He had witnessed so much death in his long life; most of those who were very close to him in this world had already gone to their rest. For them he had wept bitter tears.

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PLACING OUR COMPLETE TRUST IN GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Sam. 24:2, 9-17 & Mk. 6:1-6

What is wrong in having a census? It might have been that David was acting as a prudent ruler but, in doing so, he offended God.

A head count gave a king power over his subjects, a little like the power that tax records and driver's licenses give modern governments. Census results could be milked for information about levying taxes, conscription for the army, or even finding able-bodied workers for forced labour.

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CHRIST CAME TO DISTURB THE COMFORTABLE

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Chron. 36:14-16,19-23; Eph. 2:4-10 & Mk. 1:21-28.

People were profoundly affected both by the things Jesus said and the way that He said them. In today's Gospel Mark deals with the reaction of His listeners. Most of the people were favourably impressed. “He spoke unlike the scribes and taught with authority” but one man was plainly offended. "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?" Mark explains his behaviour by saying he "was possessed by an unclean spirit" and he saw Jesus as a threat to his present way of living.

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JESUS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN OUR LIVES

Liturgical Colour: 

Heb. 13:15-17, 20-21 & Mk. 6:30-34

On returning from a missionary journey, Jesus said to His apostles, “You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while.” He was eager for them to enjoy physical rest, but also the opportunity to recharge their spiritual batteries. He was concerned that amid the demands of ministry they might lose a sense of union with Him. He wanted them to spend time alone with Him.

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THE HALLMARK OF JOHN THE BAPTIST MUST BE OURS

Liturgical Colour: 

Heb. 13:1-8 & Mk. 6:14-29

John the Baptist was a man with a mission. His whole life was completely absorbed around the person of Jesus Christ. His vocation in life was to point Jesus out to others. In fact it is hard to think of John the Baptist without thinking of Jesus. How much would we like that to be said about ourselves?

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WHAT GOD’S EVERLASTING COVENANT MEANS FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Heb. 12:18-19, 21-24 & k. 6:7-13

The making of the two covenants between God and humankind are among the most dramatic moments in recorded history. But they could not have been more different.

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WHERE IS GOD IN OUR LIVES?

Liturgical Colour: 

Heb. 12:4-7, 11-15 & Mk. 6:1-6

Why does God allow suffering? He is not some ogre who delights in seeing His creatures in pain and misery. He is good and loving, so in His plan suffering must have some higher purpose.

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JESUS DIED FOR US - WHETHER 'BIG' PEOPLE OR 'LITTLE' PEOPLE

Liturgical Colour: 

Heb. 12:1-4 & Mk. 5:21-43

All the men and women of faith who have gone before us and who remained true to God are models of encouragement and hope. By their lives and often by their martyrdom, they display their dedication to God and His people. But the One person who stands head and shoulders above all of them has to be Jesus, the Son of God, Whose entire life was one of dedication to His Father and to His people.

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