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Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

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BEING ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT OUR FAITH AND IGNORING THE OBVIOUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Zech. 2:5-9, 14-15 & Lk. 9:43-45

Zechariah, like Haggai, was a prophet. They both shared the same hopes for a restored and renewed Jerusalem. Zechariah had a vision of the city with a defensive wall being built around it. But God told him that no wall should be built, because large numbers of people would come to inhabit Jerusalem, and their access must not be restricted. There would be no need for a wall to protect the citizens, because God Himself would be their protector and would live among them.

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DO NOT BE AFRAID, I AM WITH YOU

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Haggai 1:15-2:9 & Lk. 9:18-22

When the people returned to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon, they must have been discouraged by the huge task that lay before them. They rejoiced to have been freed from captivity and restored to their homeland, of course, but they could see the vast amount of work that needed to be done.

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PUTTING THE INTERESTS OF THE LORD FIRST IN LIFE

Liturgical Colour: 

Haggai 1:1-8 & Lk. 9:7-9

An uneasy conscience is something painful to live with, as we can see in today’s readings. Herod was disturbed by all the reports he was hearing about Jesus. Some people were suggesting that this popular preacher might be John the Baptist risen from the dead. The rumour reminded Herod that it was he who had put John to death, and it pricked his conscience and caused him anxiety.

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CARRYING ON THE WORK OF CHRIST

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezra 9:5-9 & Lk. 9:1-6

The honesty of the prayer of Ezra is to be admired. He felt like the sinner in 'Amazing Grace' who with shame listed the failings of his people and admitted guilt before God. This prayer breathes a spirit both of faith and of trust, pleading for the mercy of God.

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THE TIES THAT BIND

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezra 6:7-8 & 12, 14-20 & Lk. 8:19-21.

The Temple in Jerusalem was very important to every Jew. How it came to be built and the priests chosen are told to us by Ezra, along with the rituals and traditions they observed in accordance with the laws laid down by Moses.

This was the religious heritage into which Jesus was born. He learned from Mary and Joseph the traditions of the Jewish faith. He observed the rituals, kept the Jewish festivals and died with a Jewish prayer on His lips.

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GOD IS ALWAYS IN CHARGE - AND TRUTH MATTERS

Liturgical Colour: 

Ezra 1:1-6 & Lk. 8:16-18

In the sixth century before Christ the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian armies and the people were sent into exile far from their homeland. Although they had to wait His good time God did promise to look after them and protect them. It was a bleak period and they were severely tempted to abandon God completely.

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DO WE OVERLOOK BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 20: 1-16

We can all feel for the men in today's Gospel who had worked hard the whole day and found themselves being paid the same as those who had only worked one hour. Yes, it was true that they had agreed to work for a certain amount and were paid it, but still they felt cheated, because others who had worked less were paid the same.

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THERE IS MEANING TO OUR LIFE

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The author of the book of Ecclesiastes does not sound optimistic. The reason is that despite his belief in God, he lived in an era when there was no clear understanding of the afterlife. The notion of a blessed immortality was not part of his thinking. If death is the end then even the greatest accomplishments are but a fleeting satisfaction, lost forever in the darkness of the grave. The truth is that Jesus, by His own death and resurrection, has overcome death for each of us. It is through Jesus that God the Father calls us to everlasting life.

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DO NOT BE AFRAID - I AM WITH YOU

Liturgical Colour: 

There is an appointed time for everything, as today's First Reading tells us. It describes the events in every life and their place in every life. This is the way God has planned it. Each of these is a moment of grace and opportunity that can draw us closer to God, shape our mission in life and enable us to strengthen the community of the Church.

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WE ARE MORE THAN A MERE BREATH

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You could claim that today's First Reading is the bleakest and most pessimistic passage in the entire Bible. Although the author believed in God, he was of the view that it is impossible to make much sense of life. He saw life as vanity. The Hebrew word he used means a breath. By this word he wished to say that life is something fleeting and transitory. In other words, there is nothing to life.

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