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Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

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ARE WE USING OUR TALENTS FOR GOD?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Thess. 4:9-11 & Mt. 25:14-3

Love is a gift from God. These words are backed up by Saint Paul in today's first reading, “You have learnt from God to love one another.” He praises them for the ways in which they demonstrate this and encourages them to make even greater efforts. For him love is not just a theological virtue but something that has to be put into practise every day.

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FORNICATION IS A SIN AND WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR THE LORD’S COMING

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Thess. 4:9-11 & MT. 25:1-13

The spiritual lives of so many young, and not so young, people is in a pitiful state. More and more are living together without marrying: in the Bible this is known as committing the sin of fornication.

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ARE WE READY FOR CHRIST TO COME AGAIN?

Liturgical Colour: 

Thess. 3:7-13 & Mt. 24:42-51

A key teaching of Christian revelation - often ignored, misunderstood or even ridiculed – is revealed in today's Gospel reading. The teaching is that the return of Jesus is imminent: this means that it could happen at any time but, like a householder surprised by a thief in the night, we may be totally oblivious to this reality.

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BE NOT LIKE THE PHARISEES

Liturgical Colour: 

Thess. 2:9-13 & Mt. 23:27-32

The Thessalonians are being told in today’s first reading by Saint Paul that he treated every one of them as a father. He taught and encouraged them to lead a life worthy of God. This they have done and he cannot stop thanking God that on hearing the message they accepted it as God’s message, and not some human thinking, and that it is still a living power among those who believe it.

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HOW EASY IT IS TO CONDEMN THE PHARISEES!

Liturgical Colour: 

Thess. 2:1-8 & Mt. 23:23-26

When writing to the Thessalonians Paul told of his humiliation in Philippi because of a slave girl who brought a substantial profit to her master by fortune telling. For several days she followed Paul around, making fun of him, until he commanded the spirit to leave her. The girl’s masters were now without a fortune teller. They had lost this source of income and so brought trumped-up charges against him. He was beaten and imprisoned, escaped and went to Thessalonica claiming that it was God who entrusted the ministry of preaching to him.

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BE OPEN TO CHANGE

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Th. 1:2-5, 8-10 & Mt. 23:13-22

Today we begin reading from the earliest book of the New Testament, Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. The first Gospel was written 20 years later. Paul had already preached to them and they did two things for which he was very grateful. They accepted him, eagerly listening to his teaching; they took his message seriously, turning from idols to serve the one true God. Not only did they learn from Paul, but he received a new insight into the power of the Holy Spirit Who made these changes in their lives.

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IS THE NARROW DOOR THE ONE FOR US?

Liturgical Colour: 

Lk. 13:22-30

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem where He was going to die for the salvation of the world. Someone asked Him, "Sir, will there be only a few saved?” Jesus did not answer his question directly but replied, “Try to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and not succeed.”

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ARE WE USING OUR TALENTS FOR GOD?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 1:26-31 & Mt. 25:14-3

In a first class hotel the prime table goes to those people who give the head waiter a handsome tip. That is not God's way. In an expensive department store the person who is smartly dressed, and who spends the most, will be helped before the people who are less affluent. That is not God's way. The label of 'VIP' - very important person - applies only to those who are considered to be prominent citizens. That is not so with God. You will never find God running after a film star or a professional athlete to get his or her autograph!

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WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR THE LORD’S COMING

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 1-17-25 & Mt. 25:1-13

The city of Corinth was a cosmopolitan centre in the first century, similar to places like today’s London or New York. There was some influence of Greek philosophy but the people were worldly wise who would not easily take to the Gospel. It was a miracle of grace that St Paul could win even a few converts there and it was not surprising that some of them began to fall away - Christianity is not a doctrine which appeals to the worldly wise!

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ARE WE READY FOR CHRIST TO COME AGAIN?

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 1:1-9 & Mt. 24:42-51

In the port of Corinth, which was known as 'Sin City' around 50 AD, St Paul founded a Christian community. He admitted that he approached his work with trepidation because of the city's moral depravity and its pagan worship. With God's grace he made converts but later, when he was preaching in Ephesus, he received disturbing news that they had fallen into serious errors both in doctrine and practice.

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