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WHY JESUS HAD TO SUFFER AND DIE

Liturgical Colour: 

Luke 9:19-24

One day when Jesus was alone with His Apostles He told them that He must suffer, experience rejection, and eventually be put to death. Jesus was such a wonderful Man, in love with life, His friends and His work. He had every reason to live. Why must He die?

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GOD’S LOVE FOR US - AND OUR LOVE FOR HIM

Liturgical Colour: 

2 Sam. 12:7-10, 13 & Lk. 7:36-8:3

The nature of love is such that it always evokes a response from the beloved. A person cannot remain neutral in the face of love: we respond either by accepting it or by rejecting it and behaving ungratefully.

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THE COMPASSION OF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Lk.7:11-17

How do you respond to the misfortunes of others? In a number of places the Gospel records that Jesus was "moved to the depths of His heart" when He met with individuals or groups of people. Our modern word compassion does not fully convey the deeper meaning of the original Hebrew which expresses heartfelt sympathy and personal empathy with the suffering person. Why was Jesus so moved on this occasion when He met a widow and a crowded funeral procession on their way to the cemetery?

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THE DIVINE LAW OF INCREASE

Liturgical Colour: 

Lk. 9:11-17

With five barley loaves and two fish, Jesus and His disciples fed over 5000 people. After everyone's hunger had been satisfied, the leftovers filled 12 baskets. This means that what they had at the end was more than they had at the beginning. How can that remarkable increase be explained? In terms of logic and reason, it cannot. But there are two things for us to learn from this miracle.

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THE MYSTERY OF THE BLESSED TRINITY AS REVEALED TO US

Liturgical Colour: 

Prov. 8:22-31; Rom. 5:1-5 & Jn. 16:12-15

Every relationship we value involves a revelation of ourselves to another person. Ordinarily, this is a gradual process, becoming deeper as the relationship grows. It can begin before a personal meeting, especially through an individual's works. An artist reveals something of himself in his painting, a musician through the playing of her instrument. We can be impressed by how a son looks after his elderly mother or the dedication a woman brings to her work in a care home.

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IS THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTIVE OR DORMANT IN MY LIFE?

Liturgical Colour: 

Today is Pentecost, the feast day of the Holy Spirit. Let us acknowledge this fact and invite Him into our lives. This is what Our Blessed Lady, the Apostles and the early disciples of Jesus did on that first Pentecost almost 2,000 years ago.

He made His presence felt with a mighty wind that rushed through the room in which they were, and with tongues of fire that rested on each of their heads. For nine days since Ascension Thursday, at Jesus’ request, they had been pleading with Him to come among them. When He did He changed them forever.

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ARE WE MAKING OUR LIVES FRUITFUL?

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 15:1-8.

All of us have but one life to live and we would all like to make a success of it. This is the message of today's Gospel reading. Jesus compared Himself and His disciples to a grapevine. Within a vine there are branches that bear fruit and those that do not. The barren branches are cut away, gathered into piles and burned. The fruitful branches are nurtured in order to make them more productive.

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BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY

Liturgical Colour: 

John 10:11-18

This is Good Shepherd Sunday and Vocation Sunday. A little thought can help us to see the connection between the two titles. In today’s Gospel Jesus compares a “hired man” a “good shepherd” - the difference was their level of commitment at the point of crisis. There would come a day in the lonely desert when the flock was threatened by wolves. The hired man would flee in order to save his own life but the good shepherd would stay and, if necessary, die protecting the flock.

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THE PRESENCE OF THE RISEN LORD IN OUR WORLD

Liturgical Colour: 

Acts. 3:13-15, 17-19; 1 Jn.2:1-5 & Lk.24:35-48

In celebrating the Resurrection we marvel, not only at the fact of the event, but also at the transforming effect it had on the disciples. Each time the risen Jesus appeared to His disciples, there was a gradual and predictable pattern of recognition. Initially, on seeing Him they did not recognize Him: they mistook Him for someone else, perhaps a gardener, or a visitor, or even a ghost as in today’s Gospel passage.

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ARE WE READY TO TAKE A GAMBLE?

Liturgical Colour: 

John 20:19-31

The post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to the apostles, with Thomas not present, was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to anyone in the history of the world. They were convinced that Jesus was alive again, that they had actually seen Him with their own eyes, and heard Him with their own ears.

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