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Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

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GOD WOULD RESTORE ISRAEL TO THEIR HOMELAND AND TEMPLE

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 43:l-7 & Mt. 23:1-1 2

The Jews were living in exile. They felt that they were a people very near extinction. But Ezekiel promised that God would restore them to their homeland and their temple. He used the image of flowing water as the sign of God's gift of life. They were to look to God and His gift as the source of their continued existence.

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DO WE THINK OF GOD AS A FRIEND?

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 37:1-14 & MT. 22:34-40

The remarkable vision of the dry bones recorded by Ezekiel took place in Babylon where the conquered Israelites were in exile. The people felt that their nation was as good as dead, like the bones of corpses fallen in battle and allowed to rot and dry in the sun. They thought that their situation was hopeless. Is there anything more dead than dry bones?

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BE SURE YOU ARE NOT REJECTED FROM THE WEDDING FEAST

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 36:23-38 & Mt. 22:1-14

The people of Israel went into exile because they defiled the Promised Land by their sinful deed - they broke the covenant with Yahweh and worshipped idols. God decided to take the initiative, promising to restore His name among the nations by making His people holy, bringing them back to the Promised Land and giving them a new heart and a new spirit.

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LESSONS FOR ANYONE IN AUTHORITY

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 34:1-11 & Mt. 20:1-16

Ezekiel heavily criticizes the leaders of Israel. He compares them to bad shepherds who are cruel to their sheep. They abuse their authority, by only taking care of themselves, ignoring the plea of those who suffer, governing in a harsh and dictatorial fashion, and paying no attention to the overall welfare of those in their charge.

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HOW FOOLISH IT IS TO PLAY GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 28:1-10 & Mt. 19:23-30

The greatest sin is to try to make yourself God. This is what the ruler of Tyre did. He did not worship the Creator of Heaven and Earth - but himself! Having amassed piles of gold and silver he felt completely independent and did not need God. Ezekiel courageously condemned this powerful but foolish man in unmitigated terms.

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A QUALITY OF LIFE THAT LASTS

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 6:51-58

Some people have dreamed about finding the secret of living forever. When we are at our best, with minds at their sharpest and our hopes highest, we might long for immortality. In those hours, there are certain qualities within our lives, certain relationships we have forged, certain dreams that we would like to see last forever.

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EVERYTHING HE DOES, HE DOES FOR GOD

Liturgical Colour: 

Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11, 4:13-17 & Mt. 23:1-12

Ruth and her touching declaration to Naomi that resulted, in time, in her becoming the great grandmother of King David, from whose family line was born in Bethlehem our Saviour, Jesus Christ. For this reason her name has been indelibly etched in the pages of salvation history.

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FRIENDSHIP AND LOVING GOD ABOVE ALL THINGS

Liturgical Colour: 

Ruth 1:1,3-6,14-16,22 & Mt. 22:34-40

Why is the small book of Ruth included in the Bible? The simple answer has to be that it is because she was the great-grand mother of King David and, therefore, was one of Jesus' ancestors.

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BE SURE YOU ARE NOT REJECTED FROM THE WEDDING FEAST

Liturgical Colour: 

Judges 11:29-39 & Mt. 22:1-14

Today’s first reading is one of the most shocking in all the Bible.
Jephthah, chosen by God to rescue the lsraelites from the attacks of the Ammonites, made a vow, the result of which was far beyond his expectation. Even though he was horrified at the thought he must sacrifice his own daughter, an only child, he went through with what he believed to be God's will for him.

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WHAT WILL WE 'DESERVE' FROM GOD?

Liturgical Colour: 

Judges 9:6-15 & Mt. 20:1-16

Today's first reading is very mysterious. What are we to make of Jotham’s parable of the thorn bush? Abimelech and Jotham were sons of Gideon, who was one of God’s great warriors. Abimelech wanted to be king of Israel at a time when God made it clear that the Lord alone was to be ruler. As part of his scheme to seize authority, he killed 70 who could have been contenders for the throne. Jotham, the only surviving brother, came out of hiding to deliver his parable of reproof.

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