John’s testimony

Feast of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Ein Kerem, the place of the Birth of John the Baptist

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Acts 13,16,22-26

Paul stood up, raised his hand for silence and began to speak: ‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! After he deposed Saul and raised up David to be king, whom he attested in these words, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will perform my entire will.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his course he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; there is someone coming after me whose sandal I am not fit to undo.” My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you godfearers, this message of salvation is meant for you.’ Read More

The prayer of Hezekiah

“That same night the angel of Yahweh went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.”

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2 Kgs 19,9-11.14-21.31-35.36

On hearing that Tirhakah king of Cush was on his way to attack him. Sennacherib again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, ‘Tell Hezekiah king of Judah this, “Do not let your God on whom you are relying deceive you with the promise: Jerusalem will not fall into the king of Assyria’s clutches. You have learnt by now what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries, devoting them to destruction. Are you likely to be saved? Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers’ hands and read it; he then went up to the Temple of Yahweh and spread it out before Yahweh. Read More

God’s measure

“The judgements you give are the judgements you will get”

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Mt 7,1-5

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own? And how dare you say to your brother, “Let me take that splinter out of your eye,” when, look, there is a great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye. Read More

The right fearlessness

“There is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”

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Mt 10,26-33

So do not be afraid of them. Everything now covered up will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Read More

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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Isa 51,9-11

Their race will be famous throughout the nations and their offspring throughout the peoples. All who see them will admit that they are a race whom Yahweh has blessed. I exult for joy in Yahweh, my soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in garments of salvation, he has wrapped me in a cloak of saving justice, like a bridegroom wearing his garland, like a bride adorned in her jewels. For as the earth sends up its shoots and a garden makes seeds sprout, so Lord Yahweh makes saving justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations. Read More

The Love of Jesus

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Mt 11,25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’ Read More

Song of praise for the two prophets

The prophet Elijah

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Sir 48,1-14

Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, his word flaring like a torch. It was he who brought famine on them and decimated them in his zeal. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, three times also he brought down fire. How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah! Has anyone reason to boast as you have? -rousing a corpse from death, from Sheol, by the word of the Most High; dragging kings down to destruction, and high dignitaries from their beds; hearing a rebuke on Sinai and decrees of punishment on Horeb; anointing kings as avengers, and prophets to succeed you; taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses; designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Read More

Elisha follows Elijah

The Fiery Ascension of the Prophet Elijah

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2 Kgs 2,1, 6-14

This is what happened when Yahweh took Elijah up to heaven in the whirlwind: Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, Elijah said, ‘Elisha, you stay here, Yahweh is only sending me to the Jordan.’ But he replied, ‘As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!’ And they went on together. Fifty of the brotherhood of prophets followed them, halting some distance away as the two of them stood beside the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water; and the water divided to left and right, and the two of them crossed over dry-shod. Read More

The ‘Ahabs’ of this world have to convert

The prophet Elijah

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1 Kgs 21,17-29

Then the word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Up! Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, in Samaria. You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard; he has gone down to take possession of it. You are to say this to him, “Yahweh says this: You have committed murder and now you usurp as well. For this — and Yahweh says this — in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick your blood too.” Read More

Overcoming greed

“But as long as we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. “

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1. Kgs 21,1-16

This is what happened next: Naboth of Jezreel had a vineyard close by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria, and Ahab said to Naboth, ‘Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden, since it adjoins my palace; I will give you a better vineyard for it or, if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.’ Naboth, however, said to Ahab, ‘Yahweh forbid that I should give you my ancestral heritage!’ Ahab went home gloomy and out of temper at the words of Naboth of Jezreel, ‘I will not give you my heritage from my ancestors.’ Read More