17 Oct
28th Week in Ordinary Time
Rom. 2:1-11
Ps. 62:1-2, 5-6, 8
Lk. 11:42-46
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What was wrong with the Parisees that they deserved such a harsh rebuke from Jesus in the Gospel reading today?

The Pharisees were expositors of the law. They were a sect within Judaism dedicated to the observance of the law. This meant that their whole life was dedicated to interpreting the law. What was missing from them then? The answer is that in spite of the fact that their whole life was dedicated to the law, there was no "heart" in what they did. Legalism ruled them rather than a genuine inner desire to do what pleased God. They put the obligation of the law onto people in the most severe manner. They were people who claimed to live by the law but missed the whole point of the law. The law was supposed to help the people to live a life that was in harmony with God but this was no longer the case with the Pharisees of Jesus' time.

Jesus spoke rightly when He said that they imposed heavy burdens on the people. The Pharisees insisted on meticulous observance of 613 commandments (365 prohibitions and 248 prescriptions) and in the end all of this became more important than God Himself.

For us today, it is good to check and see whether we have the most basic thing in our Christian life, that is, a one to one relationship with God.

O Lord, help us not to lose sight of You in our lives.

Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day; my thoughts, words, joys and sufferings. Grant that, vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my life this day may be of service to You and to others. I also pray that all those preparing for marriage discover in Sacrament the source of Christ's grace for living a fithful and fruitful love. Amen.

That we may recognise and revere the cultural and spiritual riches of the different ethnic groups and religious minorities present in every country.

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P R A Y I N G    W I T H    T H E    C H U R C H    

INTENTION : That we may recognise and revere the cultural and spiritual riches of the different ethnic groups and religious minorities present in every country.

This month we are invited to give thanks to God for the variety of gifts he has given to humankind. There is hardly a country in the world today which is not marked by the coming together of different cultural traditions. It ought to be recognised that religion has influenced cultures and is the soul of a particular culture. Vatican II also mentions the good that is to be found in the rites and customs of peoples, recognising this as having been sown by God's Word (LG 17). In fact, Christians belong to many different cultures which have been deeply marked by the Christian faith.

In order to appreciate these cultural and religious riches we are called to make an effort to understand and appreciate all that is good in another person and in that person's culture. We are invited to look upon our fellow human beings with the eyes of God who created man in his own image and likeness and who saw all that he had made and found it very good. We are therefore encouraged to consider prayerfully how God is at work in all peoples.

In this context our prayer will be that the ongoing dialogue between the Gospel message and cultures may produce fruits of true freedom, joy and peace for the whole of humanity.

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