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Thursday

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OUR DEBTS OF LOVE

Liturgical Colour: 

Philemon 7-20 & Lk. 17:20-25

During his imprisonment in Rome, Saint Paul wrote a short letter to a follower and friend named Philemon. He was a prosperous Gentile who converted to Christianity through Paul's preaching. As fate would have it, during Paul’s stay in Rome, he met and converted a runaway slave who had once belonged to Philemon. This ex-slave had become almost indispensable to Paul during his time of house arrest, serving Paul both as a housekeeper and as a friend.

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DO WE REALISE HOW MUCH JESUS LOVES US?

Liturgical Colour: 

Phil. 3:3-8 & Lk. 15:1-10

Before Paul of Tarsus met Jesus on the road to Damascus he tried to lead the life of a perfect Pharisee. He prided himself on this. He obeyed the law to the letter. But after he met Christ he would describe that life as emptiness. He could write, “I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Knowledge of Christ and oneness with Him was all that mattered. Everything else he described as disadvantages.

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WE ARE CALLED TO BE SAINTS

Liturgical Colour: 

Mt. 5:1-12

Today we keep the feast of all our brothers and sisters who have gone before us and live with God in Heaven.

They include the many famous saints who have been canonised by an official decree of the Church. We revere them as role models, people who lived good lives and received from the Lord eternal happiness.

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THE LOVE OF CHRIST

Liturgical Colour: 

Eph. 3:14-21 & Lk. 12:49-53

What a powerful prayer Saint Paul has for the Ephesians and for us - that they and we may grasp the breadth, the length, the height and the depth of Christ's love.

The breadth of Christ's love is immense because it includes the whole human race. Christ died for all people regardless of where they live or ethnic background, be they just or sinner. He does not want to lose one of them.

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SPEAK UP FOR GOD AND YOU WILL BE PERSECUTED

Liturgical Colour: 

Eph. 1:1-10 & Lk. 11:47-54

If ever we wonder what life is about or why God created us, today's First Reading will enlighten us. Saint Paul lists four great truths that apply to each of us and which we often forget.

He praises God for having blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. How often do we reflect on the graces of faith, friendship, family, Christian teaching, a parish to attend, the sacraments and the ability to pray? These are often graces that go unnoticed.

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GOD IS ALWAYS READY TO ANSWER OUR REQUESTS

Liturgical Colour: 

Gal. 3:1-5 & Luke 11:5-13

We are so accustomed to our priests and leaders avoiding stepping on people's toes that Saint Paul's withering blast against the Galatians comes as a surprise. He simply tells it like it is: "Are you people in Galatia mad? Has someone put a spell on you?" He speaks like this because he wants them to understand that now they are Christians they must not rely on observance of the Mosaic Law to be saved but on Christ Whose death and resurrection have saved them.

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LAMBS IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES

Liturgical Colour: 

Job 19:21-27 & Lk. 10:1-12

Probably one of the most depressing of all human experiences is to feel all alone. I refer to a situation in which there seems to be no one who understands and cares about us. Three friends came to see Job in his time of suffering. Rather than console him they condemned him as guilty of some terrible sin which had brought God's wrath upon his head. Job was pushed to cry out to them, “Why do you hound me down like God, will you never have enough of my flesh?”

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WE ARE MORE THAN A MERE BREATH

Liturgical Colour: 

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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WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF CHRIST’S FORGIVENESS

Liturgical Colour: 

Hard-headed rationalists boast that they only believe what they are able to discover for themselves. That kind of boast may impress people who aspire to become independent thinkers. But the only problem with this proud claim is that no one actually believes it!

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LOVE SOLVES ALL PROBLEMS

Liturgical Colour: 

1 Cor. 8:1-7, 11-13 & Lk. 6:27-38

The first century Church at Corinth was struggling to establish itself in a predominantly pagan environment. Animals were sacrificed to pagan gods, and afterwards the meat was consumed at temple banquets or sold in the markets. Sometimes this was the only meal available to the Christians. The question arose as to whether Christians could eat this meat.

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