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Be ever vigilant

In the middle of the ordinary Sundays of the liturgical year, the readings for this week make a sudden shift in theme.

This week, the theme is about being vigilant in anticipation of the second coming of the Lord, rather something we would expect to find in the liturgy in the days prior to Advent—at the end of the liturgical year.

However, it reminds us that we need to be vigilant all year round, not just when we anticipate something may happen.

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Born to give not to store

An image that comes to mind is being God’s hands, eyes, feet and heart. Consequently, as Christians, we have been given an example of life by Jesus to help us understand how to live for others and not ourselves.

As the hands, eyes, feet and heart of God for others, our lives must reflect the generosity of God. We are challenged to live our lives in harmony with one another, whether as nations, families, communities or as individuals.

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How’s your image of God?

Today’s liturgy reminds us of our close relationship with God. The disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, how they can talk to God.

Jesus advises them to call God, Father, which must have been a big surprise to them all. They must have asked, “Can we really address God in such intimate and loving terms?”

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Breaking the mould

Martha wants to cook a fantastic meal for Jesus. To do so she needs a little bit of help from Mary.

At this point in the story, there is a clash of interests, as Mary wants to listen to what Jesus has to say without the distraction of Martha organising the kitchen or the rattle of utensils.

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A tough story

Jesus was a great story-teller. His stories have become some of the most famous the world has ever known, to the extent that certainly the English language, and many others as well, have absorbed their concepts as everyday expressions.

We often refer to Good Samaritans as people who go out of their way in order to bring some unexpected kindness of assistance to someone or respond generously, without conditions when people are in trouble.

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Building the kingdom

St. Luke outlined the demands that Jesus makes for discipleship in the gospel reading of today’s Mass.

We hear of the sending out of the 72 on their missionary journeys. The 12 apostles had previously been sent and the second wave was dispatched to all the towns and places he was to visit.

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Keep your eye on the line

Although no longer seen too much in Hong Kong, ploughing the land is a vital part of keeping our food supply chain in place.

People born and brought up on the land understand the need to plough in straight lines, but their cousins from the big cities may not understand the need to be so particular.

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Keep us in your love

St. Paul offers us an understanding of our faith heritage. When we are baptised, we are clothed in Christ. We are recreated as members of the body of Christ. In this, St. Paul tells us, there are no distinctions, we are all equal and, therefore, we are all one in Christ. In this faith we are children of God.

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To sin is to suffer too

After journeying through Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Eastertide, St. Luke seems to be reinforcing the truth that God’s ways are not our ways. By aligning Simon, the Pharisee, with the woman and with Jesus, he helps us to understand the way in which God’s ways are different from ours.

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Get up and walk

We have all heard the phrase a fair weather Catholic. This is usually a derogatory term aimed at people who are faithful to the Church when things are going well, who think well of God when life is
bubbling along, but as soon as something goes wrong, as soon as suffering comes into their lives or plans do not work out in the anticipated manner, suddenly the Church is forgotten about and God somehow becomes the enemy.