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Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FOR US

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 9:11-15 & Mt. 9:14-17

Sometimes Amos has been referred to as a prophet of doom. Certainly his warnings about the infidelity of the people towards God were strong. But since he was truly God's prophet he had to inspire the people with hope. Today's reading is full of hope and encouragement.

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BE NOT PREJUDICED

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12 & MT. 9:9-13

There is an obvious connection between today's two readings - they both condemn greed and injustice. Amos criticises those businessmen who exploit the poor and make huge amounts of money for themselves by dishonest means. In Jesus' time the tax collectors were also regarded as crooks.

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NEVER JUDGE BY APPEARANCES

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 7:10-17 & Mt. 9:1-8

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, considered Amos obnoxious and insufferable, because he preached that everyone in the kingdom of lsrael should repent. This included the king and the priests. He persuaded the king to get rid of Amos, not only because he took his preaching as an insult, but because he held him in contempt.

He considered him a nobody. He wasn't a prophet in his own right. He was nothing more than a shepherd and dresser of sycamores. On top of all this he was not from Israel but from the hated south of Judah.

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WE ONLY LIVE WHEN WE LOVE

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24 & Mt. 8:28-34

A story is told about a king who was making a tour of his kingdom. He came across a very old man working in his vineyard. He asked him his age. 'Your Majesty, I am four years old!' The king laughingly protested until he explained, 'Your majesty, I count only those moments I have faithfully served the Lord. Those were the only moments I lived.'

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ANXIETY, WORRY AND LACK OF TRUST BRING DISAPPOINTMENT TO GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12 & Mt. 8:23-27

Having entered into a covenant with His chosen people the response God expected was faith and love. Sadly, He did not get it. It was Amos' task to point out to the people that because no response was forthcoming from them, this relationship was doomed to failure.

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FINDING TRUE FREEDOM IN OUR LIVES

Liturgical Colour: 

Amos 2:6-10 & 13-16, & Mt. 8:18-22

In the time of Amos, Israel was a prosperous country but also a corrupt one. Many people had become wealthy through exploiting the poor and many had sunk into moral depravity. Amos was sent by God to remind them that they were His chosen people. He had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and in return it was expected of them that they would observe His law.

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TRUE FREEDOM IS NOT WHAT IT MIGHT SEEM!

Liturgical Colour: 

Luke 9: 51-62

Everyone wants to be free. Children don’t like being told when to go to bed or what vegetables to eat! Teenagers look forward to having their driver’s licence and the freedom it will bring.

Jesus was a free Man. He grew up in a religion that imposed strict restraints on people, but He refused to be bound by petty meaningless rules. He lived in a nation that was under the heel of Rome but He was not intimidated by those in authority. He pursued His own course with all the freedom of a bird in flight.

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GOD WRITES STRAIGHT WITH CROOKED LINES

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 27:1-5, 15-29 & Mt. 9:14-17

Taking advantage of his father’s blindness and with the connivance of Rebekah, his mother, Jacob deceived the old man. He was his mother’s favourite child and she was ready to cheat her elder son of his inheritance. As a result Jacob benefited from the blessing which his father intended for his elder son and which ensured that Jacob and his descendants would possess fertile lands.

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OBEDIENCE AND MERCY ENDEAR US TO GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 23:1-4, 19: 24:1-8, 62-67 & Mt. 9:9-13.

Mourning the death of his wife, Abraham knew that he was soon to follow her. He also believed that God's plan of making him the father of a great nation would be carried on through his son. That is why he was so specific about the kind of wife Isaac should have and where they were to live. His attitude was not that of an overbearing father but of God’s faithful servant who wanted to make sure that God's will would be done.

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FAITH IS TOTAL OBEDIENCE

Liturgical Colour: 

Gen. 22:1-19 & Mt. 9:1-8

We are children of Abraham. That is why, In the Eucharistic Prayer, we refer to him as “our father in faith”. For him faith meant much more than believing that there is a God - it meant turning his whole life over to God in complete obedience and trust.

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