bible_11. Luke presents Jesus as a prophet, capable of reading the signs of the times, and one who offered wise and insightful advice on how to cope with difficult times. Who are the people you see who act like this in the troubled times we live in today? Maybe you yourself have been a calming influence in the face of turmoil within your family, parish, church, workplace or elsewhere. Can you claim that gift and give thanks for being such a person?

eastern_godThirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

This gospel uses language known as ?apocalyptic?, commonly used at the time, to describe the end of time.

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The language is symbolic and should not be read literally.

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Ultimately, this text is designed to give faith and hope to those who were suffering persecution.

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God will protect and sustain them.

about_liturgyEaster, of course, is the prime time of the year when we think about Jesus? resurrection from the dead.
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The end of the liturgical year, when the liturgy invites us to look to the Parousia or Christ?s second coming, is another time when we think of resurrection and this time as it also applies to ourselves.

bibleLuke 20:27-38

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1 The question of the Sadducees suggests that our status here in this life influences how we will be in the afterlife. The reply of Jesus affirms that we are important not because of any ?status? we might have, but because we are children of God. Recall moments when you saw your worth or the worth of another, as something other than worldly status.

god_of_the_livingThirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Traditionally black has been the colour associated with mourning, but since the Second Vatican Council, violet or white vestments may be worn at the celebration of a funeral.

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This is to emphasise the connection between the joy of the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of all believers that they, too, will share this resurrection.

book"And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?? - Wisdom 11:25

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These words from the Book of Wisdom, remind us that every single gift, skill, talent or blessing that we have, has been called forth for us from God.

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The incredible abundance that surrounds us is all given to us by our heavenly Father for a reason.

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These gifts are not given for us to hoard but rather for us to share.

bible_1Luke 19:1-10

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1 Zacchaeus showed himself open to the call of Jesus, to the surprise of his contemporaries who thought there was no good in tax collectors. Sometimes the people who give us lessons in goodness may be people we previously disregarded. Recall when this happened to you.

zacheusThirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Zacchaeus? encounter with Jesus led him to reassess the way he lived in the world and the way he related to those around him. He repented his past wrongs, made restitution and entered into a new way of being.
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This same journey is the one to which baptism into the Church calls all believers.

new_words_bible_75We have inherited a spirituality from the past that has not always portrayed humility in the best light. When we hear in this Sunday?s gospel Jesus admonish us to humble ourselves, we can hear that as putting ourselves down, degrading ourselves, not acknowledging our gifts and talents. This is really a false humility.

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Humility comes from the latin word humus, which means ?ground? or ?soil?. It reminds us of the second creation account (see Gen 2:7) in which God forms the first human beings from the dust of the ground and breathes life into them.

bibleLuke 9:1-6

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1 Today is Mission Sunday, a reminder to us that the Church and all its members are called to bring the good news of the gospel to others. Jesus sent out his disciples on a mission to let people know ?The Kingdom of God has come near to you?. Recall when you have reached out to another in word or in deed to help them realise that they were cherished, perhaps by a word of sympathy or encouragement, or by giving a hand with a difficult task. What was it like for you to experience yourself as a person bringing help and encouragement to another?

?for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.? Luke 18:14

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Do we exalt ourselves?

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We do if we think that we get credit for any of the good things in our lives. As stewards it is important that we remember that every good thing on this earth is a gift from God. We should be humbled by God?s abundant generosity. Our hearts should be filled with gratitude.

new_words_bible_75A ?one hit wonder? from 1989 was the song by Bobby McFerrin, Don?t Worry, Be Happy.

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It was a laid-back, a cappella song that still frequently appears in film and television soundtracks. In some
ways, the song became the catchcry of a generation who were overwhelmed by the pace of change
that was occurring in society, technology and the world in general. A glance at today?s gospel may
leave the reader thinking that Jesus, too, is basically saying to us, don?t worry, be happy. But the
message of Jesus is not as simplistic as that.

bible_1When we read in today?s gospel that we are ?not to worry?, the word, worry, might better be translated as distracted.

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Jesus says to not be distracted or consumed by the pursuit of money, food and nice clothes.

bible Of course we all understand that liturgy is prayer. There are a number of indicators within the liturgy itself. For example, before the opening prayer and at the post-Communion prayer the presider specifically invites us to pray: ?Let us pray?. The heart of the Liturgy of the Eucharist is called the eucharistic prayer. The prayer of the faithfully concludes the Liturgy of the Word. We pray together the Our Father, probably one of the first prayers we learned as children. How is it, though, that liturgy is more than just a stringing together of prayers? How is the liturgy itself a single, seamless prayer?

?Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?? - Luke 17:18

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Jesus seems so sad and disappointed in the nine lepers who did not return to thank Him.

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Do we regularly return to thank God?

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Or do we run off to our busy lives, taking for granted all the wonderful blessings that God gives to us every day?

eucharistEucharist defines Catholic worship and even Christians themselves because, in Christ, God has given us the most profound gift of sharing in divine life. Our only response can be faithfulness and thankfulness.

bibleLuke 17:11-19

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1 The cure of the lepers is not just a physical cure, it also brought the people healed back from exclusion into the community. Perhaps you have experienced the movement from exclusion to inclusion. What was it like for you to be accepted once again when you had been excluded?

take_pitytake pity

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praise to god always

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faithful

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Today's gospel is another example of Jesus being recognised by an outsider - in this case, both a leper and a Samaritan - while those who should know who he is, his own countrymen, do not respond appropriately. We often witness 'acts of faith' from surprising quarters!

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Readings for 17/10 Exodus 17: 8-13 Timothy 3: 14-4:2; Luke :18: 1-8

mustard_seed_treemustard seed

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merely servants

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the upright

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Two key concepts are linked in this short gospel passage: faith and service.

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To be a person of faith is to be a person of service and faithful service to others in the name of the gospel and this will have its own reward.

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This gift of faith is precious. Read today?s Second Reading (Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14) and contemplate how you can guard this precious gift.

bible1 The first of the faults attributed to the rich man is his insensitivity to the abject poverty of those around him. When have you discovered that it is when you are aware of the needs of those around you and seek to make some response that you bring out the best in yourself?