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WHERE TO FIND CHRIST THIS CHRISTMAS

Liturgical Colour: 

Luke 3:1-6

The experience of travelling during the time of the Old Testament was very different from our own. Most people walked. Some rode a horse or donkey. For them road conditions were not a serious consideration. But for dignitaries, such as a king, they were. So a messenger would be sent ahead to see that the roads were passable and to alert the people to the impending royal visit.

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DESPAIR AS THE BEGINNING OF HOPE

Liturgical Colour: 

Lk. 21:25-28, 34-36

Today's Gospel reading seems a very strange choice. For the season of Advent is a time of anticipation, looking forward to the coming of Christ, and culminating with the celebration of Christmas. In a few weeks time, the public mood will become increasingly joyous. Yet here we are reading about nations in anguish and people dying of fright.

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LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF CHRIST OUR KING

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 18:33-37

Almost 2,000 years ago Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, accused of being an insurrectionist. The Jewish authorities had brought the charge that He was claiming to be a king. This was the most serious crime in the Roman Empire because it meant that the accused had dared to challenge the authority of the emperor. Pilate found the accusation difficult to believe as he looked at the lonely figure standing before him and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

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IS OUR DESTINATION HEAVEN OR HELL?

Liturgical Colour: 

Mk. 13: 24-32

“The sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from Heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”

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A LESSON IN GIVING

Liturgical Colour: 

Mk. 12:38-44

It seems that Jesus made a point of sitting where He could watch the people put money into the treasury, in the Gospel today. He noticed a widow who dropped two small coins into the collection box; He also saw many givers who came with some large gifts. But what did He say to His disciples? “This poor widow contributed more than all the others.They gave from their surplus wealth, but she gave all that she had.”

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HELL

Liturgical Colour: 

Mk. 9: 38-43, 47-48

It was during a parish Mission that I remember visiting a particular home. The moment I entered I sensed a very unhappy and cold atmosphere. When the husband saw me to the door he said that if I ever preached on Hell, in future, I should use the example of him and his wife who had no love for each other. 'Living like this is really like living in Hell.'

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FOLLOWING THE LORD’S LIFE OF SERVICE

Liturgical Colour: 

Mk. 9:30-37

Our Gospel reading today illustrates just how human the 12 Apostles were! Jesus wanted to spend precious time with them to teach them about His future. But telling them that the Son of Man would be handed over to men who would kill Him, and that in three days He would rise again, seemed to be beyond their comprehension.

Were they really listening to Him? They would not have given up their work to live with Him had they not loved Him - so when He said He was to be killed they chose not to listen!

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THE CROSS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN

Liturgical Colour: 

Is, 50: 5-9; Mark 8: 27-35

There are so many things to admire about Jesus. One of them is His calm and serene disposition throughout His life - despite the fact that He knew what suffering was in store for Him. Today's first reading from Isaiah foretold this. Yet when we witness the calm way He conducts His life we would never have thought that He had any idea of what would have to be endured.

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THANK GOD FOR ALL OUR SENSES

Liturgical Colour: 

Mk. 7:31-37

Do we ever thank God for our five senses? Each can give us much enjoyment and pleasure – and He gave the five of them to us.

We have the sense of sight. How many hours of enjoyment does reading good books bring us, or viewing our favourite television programmes, gazing at a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the beauty of a young child’s happy smile … to mention only a few? How awful it must be to have little or no sight!

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OUR WORSHIP MUST BE SINCERE

Liturgical Colour: 

Deut. 1:1-2, 6-8 & Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15; 21-23

What type of Catholics are we? Is our worship and love of God sincere or do we just give Him lip-service? When we read today’s Gospel we have to admit from Our Lord’s assessment that the Pharisees fall into the second category. They meticulously followed the traditions of the elders without any real love for God. But Jesus could read their hearts and labelled them as hypocrites.

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