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Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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WHAT GOD'S CONDITIONAL PROMISES MEAN FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 18:1-10, 13, 30-32 & Mt. 19:13-15

God's love is unconditional. He loves us without any strings attached. But God's promises are another matter. He promises us that we will live, but only if we repent and try to avoid all sin. God cannot give us the blessings He wants for us if we do not keep our side of the bargain.

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GOD LAVISHES HIS LOVE ON HIS PEOPLE

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 16:1-15, 60, 63 & Mt. 19:3-12

Ezekiel recounts, in a tender and graphic style, the immense love and mercy that God had shown His people. He had found them in pitiable and desperate plight, unloved and without hope; He could have left them to their fate but instead He commanded life for them and adopted them as His own.

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DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET HAVE A MESSAGE FOR US?

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 12:1-12 & Mt. 18:21-19:1

When the Lord called Ezekiel to be His prophet, He warned him that the people were a rebellious, impudent and stubborn nation. Ezekiel continually warned the people about their characteristics but they paid no more attention to him than they had to earlier prophets. To impress upon them the need for repentance, Yahweh instructed Ezekiel to perform a symbolic public act which everyone would see.

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DO WE HAVE INDOMITABLE FAITH?

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 9:1-7; 10:18-22 & Mt. 18:15-20

Ezekiel was God's messenger to proclaim a warning that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed because of the appalling sins of its people. The prophet told the people that God was not to be blamed for their coming misfortune since they were bringing punishment upon themselves. As a sign of God's good will, the innocent would be spared, marked on their foreheads with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Tau, which also represents a cross.

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TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD HIS MESSAGE IS SWEETNESS

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 2:8-34 & Mt. 18:1-5, 12-14

Ezekiel, like many of the prophets, was sent by God to proclaim a message of warning to the people. The scroll represented this message of God and Ezekiel's eating of it was a sign that he had assimilated God's word. It became part of his being. He found the word of God as sweet as honey.

Experience will teach us that God's word is our peace. Ultimately, we will always find joy in accepting His word. And yet when Ezekiel proclaimed this word to the people they found it so bitter that they rejected it.

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JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD AND WE ARE TEMPLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezek. 1:2-5, 24-28 & Mt. 17:22-27

The temple in Jerusalem was very precious to the Jews, not because it was made of valuable stones and metals, but because it was the special abode of God on Earth and their supreme place of worship. All Jews had to contribute to the upkeep of this magnificent edifice by means of a temple tax.

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THE HUMANITY OF JESUS ...

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 6:41-51

Across the centuries Christ has been worshipped and served as the virgin-born Son of God. He is unique, and so very different from us. In all of history there has never been, and will never be, another like Him. He is God's special revelation of Himself.

To see Him is to see God; to know Him is to know God; to serve Him is to serve God. The eternal God and the divine Son have become so identified in our minds that we find it impossible to think of One without thinking of the Other.

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OUR COVENANT WITH GOD AND JESUS’ LOVE OF CHILDREN

Liturgical Colour: 

Joshua 24:14-29 & Mt. 19:13-15

Just before his death Joshua gathered the people of Israel together to renew their covenant with the Lord. “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" he said. They followed his example.

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BE LOYAL TO GOD AND EACH OTHER

Liturgical Colour: 

Joshua 24:1-13 & Mt. 19:3-12

Some Pharisees attempt to test Jesus by asking Him whether it is lawful or not to divorce, in today's Gospel reading. His answer to them amazes His disciples as well. The teaching on the indissolubility of marriage appeared too strict to them, and they concluded that it would be better, then, not to marry at all.

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GOD'S POWER AND HIS FORGIVENESS

Liturgical Colour: 

Joshua 3:7-11, 13-17 & Mt. 18:21-19:1

The power and the forgiveness of God are demonstrated in today's two readings. Is it possible to take a group of weak and simple people, devoid of weapons and other resources, and lead them from slavery in a powerful country to a promised land? No human leader could have accomplished this feat.

It is God and God alone who achieved good things for His people. The story of the parting of the waters is so unusual that it should immediately make us realise that God had to be at work for the benefit of His people.

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