26 Oct
29th Week in Ordinary Time
Rom. 7:18-25a
Ps. 118:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94
Lk. 12:54-59
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"Reading the signs of the times" was a catch- phrase that became popular in the Church during and immediately after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. It was a call for Christians to be in touch with the world around them, to become sensitive to the needs of people, to learn how to be responsive to those needs, and to know how to act and behave in a fast- changing society. When Jesus used the phrase (Lk. 12:56), He was referring to the coming of a new era, the age of the Messiah. And He indicated there was an urgency about waking up to this fact. He was critical of people clever enough to be able to "read" the face of the land and sky but who couldn't (or didn't want to) "read" the evidence around them that the power of God was at work among them. To "read the signs of the times" today should surely make us more conscious of how so much of the 'accepted wisdom' of modern society and culture is incompatible with Gospel values and attitudes. This is a challenge for Christians to be advocates for justice and truth in all areas of society. It's also a challenge to see and appreciate God's power at work in people and events around us, and wherever there is healing and reconciliation, unselfish service, the sharing of love which is of God.

Lord Jesus, in the 'new era' of the 21st century make us more aware of Your continuing presence among us, more responsive to the signs of Your Kingdom, and more urgent in action for the redemption of our time.

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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