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Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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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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WE SHOULD BEAR FRUIT IN THE MIDST OF ADVERSITIES

Liturgical Colour: 

Jer. 1:1, 4-10 & Mt. 13:1-9

A series of 15 readings from Jeremiah begins today. He was reluctant to accept the call from God in 626 BC because of his youth, but God told him, “Before l formed you in the womb I knew you … l have appointed you as prophet to the nations.”

The first part of Jeremiah's ministry occurred during the reign of the devout king Josiah who in 622 began a series of religious reforms. During that era Jeremiah's words were like the seed spoken of by Jesus, which fell on good soil and yielded a rich harvest. But then things changed.

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HOW TO BE AKIN TO JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 & Mt. 12:46-50

Today's First Reading is a beautiful prayer asking God to shepherd His people. From an early period in the Old Testament era God as Shepherd was a warm and heartening image for the people. Jesus used that image for Himself, and for centuries later it still held much meaning while society continued seeing shepherds and grazing sheep.

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WHAT GOD ASKS OF US...

Liturgical Colour: 

Micah 6:1-4, 6-8 & Mt. 12:38-42

The court scene in today's reading is of cosmic dimensions. All of Nature is called upon to be a witness in this trial of the people, in which God is both prosecutor and judge. Despite all that God has done for them, the people have been unfaithful, thinking that external religious rites could substitute for a life of true devotion. The people have no case. They deserved to be condemned.

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'DRAT! I HAVE TO CHANGE MY PLANS'

Liturgical Colour: 

Mk. 6: 30-34

Jesus planned a short break for Himself and His Apostles. They needed it. As Saint Mark says, “There were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat.” The details are not given but doubtless there was some planning and eager anticipation. But then they were confronted with a crowd of needy people reaching out for help.

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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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