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Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

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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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WE MUST NOT RELY UPON OURSELVES

Liturgical Colour: 

Judges 6:11-24 & Mt. 19:23-30

A second-generation Israelite in the Promised Land had not grown up under Moses or Joshua, nor witnessed God’s power in parting the Red Sea or giving the people manna in the desert. These works of the Lord were known to Gideon, but they were in the past. To him it seemed that God had abandoned His people who lived under the oppression of the Midianites, having their produce stolen at every harvest. (Judges 6:3-4).

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KEEPING GOD'S COMMANDMENTS IS NOT ENOUGH

Liturgical Colour: 

Judges 2:11-19 & Matthew 19:16-22

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IS GOD THE DELIGHT OF OUR EYES?

Liturgical Colour: 

Ez. 24:15-24 & Mt.19:16-22

When God spoke to Ezekiel in today's Old Testament passage, it was to tell him some sad news. His beloved wife, the delight of his eyes, was to die suddenly. This message must have been very hard for Ezekiel to accept but God told him that he must not weep for her, but simply carry on his ordinary everyday life, eating and dressing as usual.

How was Ezekiel able to do this? Obviously he loved his wife, but he loved God first and was willing to do what God asked of him.

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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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