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Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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GOD’S LOVE AND PATIENCE WITH US

Liturgical Colour: 

Ex. 24:3-8 & Mt. 13: 24-30

We see how God ratified His covenant with His people in today's first reading. It was sealed when Moses sprinkled the blood of the sacrificed animals, on the altar which represented God, and then on the people. In this way God and His people were symbolically united. The covenant was a contract and the blood was the signatures which make a contract legal.

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HOW GOD’S COMMANDMENTS MAKE US FREE

Liturgical Colour: 

Ex. 20:1-7 & Mt. 13:18-23

There are different ways to receive God's word - joyfully and fruitfully, or with indifference, resentment and frustration. Sadly we can even just reject it. That is the meaning of today's Gospel parable.

The Ten Commandments are God's word to His people. They are part of the covenant He made with them. By following this He was to be their God and they were to be His people. He would guide, protect and love His people and in return He wanted them to follow His will as manifested in the writing on the stones.

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ARE WE BREAKING THROUGH THE SOUND BARRIER?

Liturgical Colour: 

Ex. 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20 & Mt. 13:1-17

God is everywhere yet He is hidden from us. There seems to be a barrier between Him and us which prevents communication. Is this because He deliberately conceals Himself, or is it that we are incapable of hearing what He has to tell us? We cannot know His reasons but God chooses to reveal His mysteries through an intermediary. For the lsraelites, it was Moses; for us, it is Jesus.

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GOD WILL PROVIDE AND WHAT TYPE OF HEARER ARE YOU?

Liturgical Colour: 

Ex. 16:1-5, 9-15 & Mt. 13:1-9

God our loving Father continually cares for His people and He responds to human need. Even if a 'natural' explanation can be offered for the presence of the manna and quails in the Sinai Peninsula where the lsraelites were wandering, it is clear that the Bible wishes us to know that God Himself was the provider.

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HOW TO BE A RELATIVE OF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Ex. 14: 21-1 5; 1 & Mt. 12: 46-50

Today's first reading always reminds me of the wonderful way in which the lsraelites’ crossing of the Red Sea was portrayed in the 'Ten Commandments' epic film. Those lsraelites who escaped must have seen the hand of God in their destiny. They had to admit that God alone was responsible for their freedom.

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WE SHOULD BE SATISFIED WITH GOD'S PLAN FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Ex. 14:5-18 & Mt. 12:38-42

There are some people in this world who are never satisfied. In a sense the Israelites mentioned in today's first reading were like that. After 430 years of slavery in Egypt, God was leading them into freedom. They should have known from His dealings with Pharaoh and the Egyptians what a powerful God He was and how He would look after them. But still they grumbled.

The same can be said of the scribes and Pharisees in the Gospel. After all Jesus had said and done, they were not satisfied. They wanted something more and something different.

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WHAT RIGHT HAVE WE TO CRITICISE?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 13:24-43

How many of us to some degree are gossips and judgemental? The parable Our Lord tells us today is so relevant - and we have much to learn from it.

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A GOOD LIFE CANNOT BUY HEAVEN FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 7:1-11 & Mt. 13:24-30

Jeremiah condemned the superstition of his time. Some of the people believed that simply because they possessed the temple in Jerusalem, God would favour them. Their triple invocation of 'the temple of the Lord,' was the indication of their superstition. It was as if they were saying, 'With the Temple in our midst, what more need be done?' Jeremiah's response was that there was more to be done - and that was to live an upright life.

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HOW GOD IS WITH US

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 3:14-17 & Mt. 13:18-23

There are different ways to receive God's word - joyfully and fruitfully, or with indifference, resentment and frustration. Sadly we can even just reject it. That is the meaning of today's Gospel parable.

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WE MUST NEVER TAKE GOD FOR GRANTED

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13 & Mt. 13:1-17

Both of today's readings, I find, are very sad. God and His Son Jesus have done so much for us and we do not return the love and adoration He is due.

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