The Word of God

November 30, 2022


Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle

Lectionary: 684

Reading I – Rom 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

    Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
        and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial Psalm – 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R.    (10)  The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    (John 6:63)  Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
    refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
    giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
    enlightening the eye.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
    all of them just.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
    than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
    or honey from the comb.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Alleluia – Mt 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father 
and followed him.

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 684


“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Apart from being so close to the water and thus positioned by the Sea of Galilee, there must be other more powerful reasons why Jesus called Fishermen to follow Him and why fishing has become a very important image for all of us in discipleship. What do fishing and living a Christian life have in common? Here are some possibilities:

You’ve got to be prepared. “For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” (First Reading)
You’ve got to get up early. “At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Gospel)
You’ve got to be quiet. “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul.” (Psalm)
You’ve got to wait. “Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” (First Reading)
You’ve got to be persistent and determined. “The command of the LORD is clear enlightening the eye.” (Psalm)
You’ve got to practice and enjoy the process. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” (First Reading)

Let us conclude our Reflection today with the brilliant prayer of St. Andrew, whose feast is today:

O glorious St. Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend, St. John, you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led your brother, St. Peter, to Christ and many others after him, draw us also to Him. Teach us to lead others to Christ solely out of love for Him and dedication in His service. Help us to learn the lesson of the Cross and to carry our daily crosses without complaint so that they may carry us to Jesus. Amen.

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November 29, 2022


Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Lectionary: 176

Reading 1 – IS 11:1-10

On that day,
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.

On that day,
The root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
The Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

R. (see 7)  Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment. 
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save. 
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Alleluia 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 10:21-24

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike. 
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. 
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 176


One day in the Jubilee Year 2000, a young and very curious 5-year-old son of a very busy and dedicated Mom approached her just days before the Great Holiday of Christmas and asked, “What does Jesus get for His birthday?” That one very honest and simple question launched years of joy-giving traditions with this particular family that turned wish lists into giving lists, love packages of baked goods for lonely neighbors, and looking through special catalogs to purchase food and much-needed items for poor children all across the globe. Can you stop for a minute and imagine the kind of adult that little boy has become today? Yes, you can: “I give you praise, Father, Lord of Heaven and earthy, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”

This Advent time invites us all to accomplish many fine things. Among them, we can make a list of all the blessings we have received and not a list of all the things we want or even need. There is also the pull upon all our hearts to spend more time in silence and then listen intensely. We can share our faith in ways that we never thought possible. This would be the voice of hope and comfort for those around us whom we would never have imagined: “Behold, our Lord shall come with power; he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.”

“The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things.” Thomas S. Monson

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November 28, 2022


Monday of the First Week of Advent

Lectionary: 175

Reading 1 – Is 4:2-6

On that day,
The branch of the LORD will be luster and glory,
and the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor
for the survivors of Israel.
He who remains in Zion
and he who is left in Jerusalem
Will be called holy:
every one marked down for life in Jerusalem.
When the LORD washes away
the filth of the daughters of Zion,
And purges Jerusalem’s blood from her midst
with a blast of searing judgment,
Then will the LORD create,
over the whole site of Mount Zion
and over her place of assembly,
A smoking cloud by day
and a light of flaming fire by night.
For over all, the LORD’s glory will be shelter and protection:
shade from the parching heat of day,
refuge and cover from storm and rain.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 122:1-2, 3-4b, 4CD-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Alleluia – See Ps 80:4

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come and save us, LORD our God;
let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 8:5-11

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”  
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 175


There is something quite marvelous that has happened every Christmas Eve in Finland since the early 14th century: it is known as the “Declaration of Peace.” It accompanies various musical instruments, including drums, choral singing, and even symphonic strings. What is it? It is basically a highly anticipated announcement made in the old capital of Turku that attests and demands everyone to act with peace and love during the Christmas Season.

Here is the actual text: “Tomorrow, God willing, is the graceful celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior; and thus is declared a peaceful Christmas time to all, by advising devotion and to behave otherwise quietly and peacefully, because he who breaks this peace and violates the peace of Christmas by any illegal or improper behavior shall under aggravating circumstances be guilty and punished according to what the law and statutes prescribe for each and every offense separately. Finally, a joyous Christmas feast is wished to all inhabitants of the city.”

This Declaration helps us understand and work for the meanings found in our Readings today: “On that day, The branch of the LORD will be luster and glory, and the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor for the survivors of Israel,” and in the Responsorial Psalm: “Because of my relatives and friends I will say, ‘Peace be within you!'” The great Season of Advent attempts the same as the Finnish declaration: we are called to be people of peace and comfort for each other, and we are to be people of faith and hope that call upon the name of Christ in every situation. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”

“Peace on earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day.” Helen Steiner Rice

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November 27, 2022


First Sunday of Advent

Lectionary: 1

Reading 1 – Is 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2 – Rom 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Alleluia – Cf. Ps 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 1


Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus! We are here again at yet another installment of this adventure we call life, sandwiched between the two memory-seeking holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although those super-technically astute would not agree, time is about to move faster and faster right about now. This we know from previous experiences of these days that are so filled with grace and opportunities for growth that there could be a time when time stands still. This is now the Advent Season with its character and texture, and if we understand it and move forward with it, we not only stand to have an awesome Christmas but also an amazing year and life ahead. What do the Scriptures beckon us to accomplish?

“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” Have you ever climbed anything tall and overwhelming? There are several aspects of such a feat that are also applicable to our reflection. You’ve got to prepare, know the terrain, and decide that you are going to finish. During this spiritual Advent season, our whole focus is to prepare. We are getting ready for yet another Christmas, but it cannot be the same old same old. Our hearts must be open to wonderful moments of grace and beauty, and yes, joy as we await these beautiful celebrations.

“Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day.” Have you ever noticed how our lives can be divided into the two daily segments of our 24-hour existence? Light and darkness. The Scriptures clearly refer to good and evil deeds, of which temptations constantly surround our daily lives. We will have to make choices all day and all night long. In these choices, we will find the recipe for deep happiness or disaster. And thank God we will have the Scriptures to guide us through these moments leading up to the great experience of Christmas.

“So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Carry on with our eyes wide open and ready for anything. In many ways, Advent is like a dress rehearsal for our last breath before seeing God face-to-face. Just think about the image for just a second. Christmas is the First Coming of Christ. The Second Coming will arrive when our time on this planet is finished. Will we be sad or worried? If we approach Christmas with the joy and love of a child’s heart, we can hope to face our own death similarly.

“The problem is solved. Now go and utterly enjoy all remaining days. Not only is it “Always Advent,” but every day can now be Christmas because the one we thought we were just waiting for has come once and for all.” Richard Rohr

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The Party


lake with lined trees in the background

“What life expects of us is that we celebrate.” Jose Eduardo Agualusa

Somewhere walking around, maybe in your neighborhood, in your office space, or sitting next to you at the movie theater, is a truly remarkable forty-something year-old-man, or at least I would put real money that he still is, if I were a betting man. The reason I say this is because I knew him as an insightful ten-year-old who one day, with his mother driving him and his sister to school, passed a rather large billboard advertising the latest craze in beer advertisement with the well-known phrase, “Life is a party,” with young, loosely clad people drinking up a storm without showing any weight gain or hung over nausea. His mother was astounded when he told her, “Mom, life isn’t a party; it’s a privilege.”

Now to be sure, thirty years ago I completely agreed with this little guy’s cute but pithy assessment. However, after all those years, I would like to not deny it—but rather amend it. Life can easily be compared to a party. And to the extent that we live it to the fullest, it is also a privilege. This definite shift in my opinion was recently caused in no small way by a beautiful soul who crossed my path. We will from this moment forward call her “Charlotte.” Miss Charlotte was a patient of mine who had lived ninety-seven years and, from all apparent clues, was going strong. She was born the same year that Mount Rushmore was dedicated, Sears opened its first store and in the same year that other “greats” first graced the planet such as Johnny Carson and Richard Burton.

Her family was as numerous as they were friendly and equally hospitable. Counting all the sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grand and great grandchildren, I counted over fifty different framed faces in the front patio-den area where we often sat overlooking a magnificent river that flowed into a lake sandwiched between two groves of trees lining the banks. “You don’t have to come way out here just to see me,” she often reminded me. “Just come on out, grab a glass of sweet tea and watch the unfolding power of nature. It’ll take your mind off what ever might be troubling you.”

It was good advice.

You will recall that I said she looked great “from all apparent clues,” because there was nothing apparently suggesting that the end was near, but it was. Internally, her body was simply, slowly shutting down and the normal aches and pains for just getting around began to become amplified. Her breathing and blood levels all suggested that she was definitely on the path to the window to eternal life and it was my responsibility, heavy but honorable, to get her ready for that last visit to the lakefront patio and head on out for more incredibly beautiful scenes, already waiting for her.

There were two items on her heart that would dominate our further conversations and that brought no small amount of anxiety upon her during our time together. One was the obvious way her body was speaking to her and having occupied that body for nearly a century, she knew what the signs were saying. The second was the unexpected pressure she was feeling concerning the upcoming pre-Thanksgiving party that her relatives were planning to celebrate her long life and double as a huge family reunion to be attended by members as far away as Idaho and Florida, which caused her to worry as to whether she would be able to welcome all those people and truly be present to them. Both moments were troubling her, and it was up to me to try to help her articulate not only her deep thoughts mixed in with remarkable memories, but also to ease her growing panic.

On one of those soft, quiet, idyllic afternoons that reminded me of a scene from the old Andy Griffith Show, we sat alone on the porch with just the sounds of the water splashing against the shore, an occasional bird cawing, and maybe just maybe a train whistle in the far distance. I caught her crying just a bit and after a nice pause, I leaned over and offered her my thoughts:

“You know, Charlotte, the problem here is quite simple. You need to decide on which party sounds more interesting and fun. You have over fifty people traveling miles and miles just to see you. And you have the possibility of another grand and exciting Homecoming in Heaven, a party that has been going on for quite some time now. What do you think about that?”

She laughed and shot me a Cheshire Cat grin that said it all. “Looks like I am going to be alright!” After promising to review the events of her special day with her sometime in late November, I said my goodbyes, told her how wonderfully blessed she is, and made my way back to the multi-layered fabric of life waiting for me, all the better for the experience of sharing this part of Charlotte’s amazing life.

The following Sunday I received a call from the on-duty nurse who was clearly distraught. Although I had received similar calls in the not-so-distant past, I guess you could say I was not all that ready to receive the news. Charlotte died peacefully Saturday morning at 11:18. Her party was to begin at 12 noon. I will leave the drawing of the inescapable conclusion to our readers.

I wish I could say that I wrote this closing summary of thought, and although I did not, I certainly endorse it more than I could say. Here it is, an anonymous reflection I found hand-written in the back of a donated book to be placed in one of our homeless shelters:

Life is kind of like a party. You invite a lot of people. Some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late. But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess. These people are your true friends in life. They are the only ones who matter.

And so they are.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” —A.A. Milne

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” —DR. SEUSS

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November 26, 2022


Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 508

Reading 1 – RV 22:1-7

John said:
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water,
sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb down the middle of the street,
On either side of the river grew the tree of life
that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month;
the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found anymore.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun,
for the Lord God shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever and ever.

And he said to me,
“These words are trustworthy and true, 
and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits,
sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”
“Behold, I am coming soon.”
Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

R. (1 Cor 16: 22B, see Rev. 22: 20C) Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great king above all gods;
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the tops of the mountains are his.
His is the sea, for he has made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Alleluia – LK 21:36

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 508


“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy.” One of the hardest things we have to learn to do as human beings is waiting, yet it is something we do every day. We wait for the green light, for the toast, for lunch hour, and to go home at the end of a long day. According to Taylor Forbush, who is a traffic engineer in Utah, we spend about five months of our life waiting in traffic at the red light. That is certainly quite a bit, and yet we are called upon to wait for the Lord without becoming drowsy or listless.

Here is the point: Waiting for the Lord is not idle laziness nor an abandonment of effort. It means that waiting can and should be an active process; that is, we are actively looking forward to hearing and listening and following Jesus and making sure that the normal distractions of this life do not block or confuse that peaceful, active waiting period that we call life. It is also possible that we must let go of the life we have planned to accept the one He has waiting for us. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

“Vigilance in oneself is very important. Vigilance means to be alert to what happens inside, so you can catch an old, collective habit pattern.” Eckhart Tolle

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November 25, 2022


For the Optional Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 507

Reading 1 – RV 20:1-4, 11—21:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,
holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.
He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,
which is the Devil or Satan,
and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,
which he locked over it and sealed,
so that it could no longer lead the nations astray
until the thousand years are completed.
After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,
and who had not worshiped the beast or its image
nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.
They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A

R. (Rev. 21:3B) Here God lives among his people.
My soul yearns and pines 
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. Here God lives among his people.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. Here God lives among his people.
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. Here God lives among his people.

Alleluia – LUKE 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, 
but my words will not pass away.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 25 – Optional Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr


For the Readings for Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 683C

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs (#713-718), or the Common of Virgins (#731-736).
 

Reading 1 – Rv 21:5-7

The One who was seated on the throne said:
“Behold, I make all things new.”
Then he said, “Write these words down,
for they are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me, “They are accomplished.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
To the thirsty I will give a gift
from the spring of life-giving water.
The victor will inherit these gifts,
and I shall be his God,
and he will be my son.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 124:2-3, 4-5, 7CD-8

R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive
When their fury was inflamed against us.  
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.  
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.  
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

Alleluia – See Te Deum

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praises you.  
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 10:28-33

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 507


“I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.” Here we are treated to John’s vision of how it will all end. While it is also painted in a mega-dramatic fashion, amidst the clamor and uproar of the background scene, the hope of Jesus is shown through the chaos for all to welcome or fear, depending on the disposition and readiness.

“Jesus told his disciples a parable. ‘Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.'” In the Gospel of today, a different kind of imagery takes shape. This time, the fig tree is quite obvious in its appearance when it is ready to burst out with fruit for those patiently waiting.

So you must see the pattern: amidst the chaos, some patiently wait for the fulfillment, and they are not disappointed. It all depends on which chaos you choose and how much patience you can muster. The time to prepare is now. Let us resolve to take stock of our lives and see what is important and what is not. Jesus is coming!

“In the never-ending battle between order and chaos, clutter sides with chaos every time. Anything that you possess that does not add to your life or your happiness eventually becomes a burden.” John Robbins

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November 24, 2022


For the First Suggested Readings on the Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, please go here.
For the Second Suggested Readings on the Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, please go here.

Thanksgiving Day

Lectionary: 943-947

The following are a selection of the readings that may be chosen for this day.

Reading I – Sir 50:22-24

And now, bless the God of all,
    who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
    and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
    and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
    to deliver us in our days.

Responsorial Psalm – 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (see 1)  I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
    and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
    his greatness is unsearchable. 
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
    and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
    and tell of your wondrous works. 
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
    and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your justice.
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
    and compassionate toward all his works.
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
    and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
    and speak of your might.
R.       I will praise your name for ever, Lord 

Reading II – 1 Cor 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alleluia – 1 Thes 5:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed. 
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. 
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine? 
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” 
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 24 – 2nd Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs


For the Readings for Thanksgiving Day, please go here.

Lectionary: 683B

From the Common of Martyrs (vol. II, III, or IV, nos. 713-718), or:

Reading 1 – Wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
    and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
    and their passing away was thought an affliction
    and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
    yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
    because God tried them
    and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
    and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
    and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
    and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
    and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
    and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 126:1-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R. (5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
    we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with rejoicing.  

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Then they said among the nations,
    “The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
    we are glad indeed.  

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
    shall reap rejoicing.  

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Although they go forth weeping,
    carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
    carrying their sheaves.  

R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Alleluia – 1 Pt 4:14

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.  

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 10:17-22

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
    and scourge you in their synagogues,
    and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
    as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
    do not worry about how you are to speak
    or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
    but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
    and the father his child;
    children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
    but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

November 24 – 1st Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs


For the Readings for Thanksgiving Day, please go here.

Lectionary: 506

Reading 1 – RV 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9A

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven,
having great authority,
and the earth became illumined by his splendor.
He cried out in a mighty voice:“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
a cage for every unclean bird,
a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast.”

A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone
and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion.”

After this I heard what sounded like
the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot 
who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

They said a second time:

“Alleluia!  Smoke will rise from her forever and ever.”

Then the angel said to me,

“Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Alleluia – LK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let those within the city escape from it,
and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment
when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword
and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 943-947


A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a tin can at his feet. He emptied it to see if he had enough to buy some food for dinner. A sign next to him said: I am blind; please help. There were only a few coins in there. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the can. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the can began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote: “Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.”
Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were blessed and that they were not blind. Their generosity increased exponentially as their gratitude grew within their hearts.

Our First Reading today gives us this inspiring thought: “Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to his will!” What we can learn from this passage is the power and crucial place that God’s Will has in the life of the Christian. His Will takes precedence over everything and everyone. Psalm 145 reiterates this for us: “They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works.” With this in mind, we can certainly trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—to be perfect, albeit in a strange, mysterious way. The Portuguese have this wonderful saying, “Deus escreve direito por linhas tortas,” which basically translates as, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” I’ve also heard it expressed like this: “Not everything that looks good at first is actually good, and likewise, not every seemingly bad thing turns out that way.” The Second Reading underscores that rich idea when it assures us, “He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Gospel certainly reminds us that there are still so many ungrateful people in the world that make it very hard for us to fully understand and experience what it means to live freely with God’s amazing grace. God does not need for us to say “thank you.” We do. If we are not grateful, we will stop appreciating all that is around us, and when that happens, we begin a path along the road of total destruction. Maybe it is because, for some people, life has been hard and disappointing. For these, the great mercy and generous heart of God our Father must be sought and found constantly. Terrible, bad, even horribly tragic and disappointing things will happen to us, but that does not mean it’s the end of the world. A close relative of mine used to invest way too much of himself in relationships, and when they went sour, he thought his world was over. It was just the world he built, a delicate and unbalanced universe of wayward feelings and crushing emotions. He confidently says today, “in the end, it’s all going to be OK; and if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”

So Today, on Thanksgiving:
Be thankful for what you have.
Be creative. Be innovative.
Think differently and positively.
When life gives you 100 reasons to cry,
show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile.
Face your past without regret.
Handle your present with confidence.
Prepare for the future without fear.

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November 23, 2022


For the Optional Readings on the Memorial of Saint Clement I, please go here.
For the Optional Readings on the Memorial of Saint Columban, please go here.

Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 505

Reading 1 – RV 15:1-4

I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring:
seven angels with the seven last plagues,
for through them God’s fury is accomplished.

Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire.
On the sea of glass were standing those
who had won the victory over the beast
and its image and the number that signified its name.
They were holding God’s harps,
and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 7-8, 9

R. (Rev. 15: 3B) Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia – RV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 23 – Optional Memorial of Saint Columban, abbot


For the Readings for Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 683

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.
 

Reading 1 – Is 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”

Hark!  Your sentinels raise a cry,
together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
the LORD restoring Zion.
Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the LORD comforts his people,
he redeems Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth will behold
the salvation of our God.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 7-8A, 10

R.    (3)  Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Alleluia – Jn 8:12

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey,
someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
He said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

November 23 – Optional Memorial of Saint Clement I, pope and martyr


For the Readings for Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 682

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718, or the Common of Pastors: For a Pope, #719-724.
 

Reading 1 – 1 Pt 5:1-4

Beloved:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing it not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 21-22, 25 and 27

R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.'”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – Mk 1:17

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 505


“Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire. On the sea of glass were standing those who had won the victory over the beast and its image and the number that signified its name.” The topic of perseverance is extremely important in our walk with God because, often, our lives seem out of order, unorganized, and even chaotic. Bad and disappointing things happen, which may tempt us to believe that somehow the Lord has abandoned us, which is precisely why we constantly need to remember what marvels God has done and keeps on accomplishing. How do we translate this into our spiritual lives?

“By your perseverance, you will secure your lives.” Here are some examples:

  • Keep your promises, especially if it takes more effort than anticipated.
  • Never betray a friend’s trust.
  • Avoid gossip.
  • Remain true to your friends and spouse.
  • Return money that you have found without expecting a reward.
  • Always know that Jesus is present when making any choices, big or small.

These are just a few examples, and more will be revealed throughout the day. This is what the Lord would say: “Remain faithful until death, And I will give you the crown of life.”

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.'” Mary Anne Radmacher

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November 22, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

Lectionary: 504

Reading 1 – RV 14:14-19

I, John, looked and there was a white cloud,
and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man,
with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
Another angel came out of the temple,
crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud,
“Use your sickle and reap the harvest,
for the time to reap has come,
because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.”
So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth,
and the earth was harvested.

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven
who also had a sharp sickle.
Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire,
and cried out in a loud voice
to the one who had the sharp sickle,
“Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines,
for its grapes are ripe.”
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage.
He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 96:10, 11-12, 13

R. (13B) The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice 
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Alleluia – RV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:5-11

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” 
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ 
Do not follow them! 
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.” 
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”  

Read Today’s Reflection

November 22 – Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr


For the Readings on the Memorial of Saint Cecilia, please go here.

Lectionary: 681

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718, or the Common of Virgins, #726-731.
 

Reading 1 – Hos 2:16BC, 17CD, 21-22

Thus says the LORD:
I will lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart.
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.

I will espouse you to me forever:
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17

R.    (11)  Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord, and you must worship him.
R.    Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters;
her raiment is threaded with spun gold.
In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king;
behind her the virgins of her train are brought to you.
R.    Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
The place of your fathers your sons shall have;
you shall make them princes through all the land.
R.    Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.

Alleluia

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the wise bridesmaid, whom the Lord found waiting;
at his coming, she went in with him to the wedding feast.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 504


“So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage. He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury.” After a quick review of human history, there has been a protracted preoccupation with the idea of how a person’s life and the world will end. The end of the universe as we know it has been a fascination of all cultures and all peoples for a long time, including the Scriptures today: “Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” In the Gospel, the worry about the last days was becoming neurotic: “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them!”

Imagine spending a pretty penny on a novel or movie only to be told as you began reading or watching how the plot would be resolved and who would die, survive, marry, get arrested, etc. You would probably be thinking: “Spoiler Alert!” Why did you bother spending money on this? That concept works with entertainment venues, but it needs to be revised regarding our Salivation. “The Lord comes to judge the earth.” Jesus has already set the stage for our triumphant and glorious entry into Heaven, but we must take the necessary steps to get there. So this is what we know about the end of our world: a) it is going to happen, 2) it is going to happen when we least suspect, 3) there is no need for fear, just action: “Remain faithful until death, And I will give you the crown of life.”

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November 21, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lectionary: 503

Reading 1 – Rv 14:1-3, 4B-5

I, John, looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion,
and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand
who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
I heard a sound from heaven
like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder.
The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne,
before the four living creatures and the elders.
No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand
who had been ransomed from the earth.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
They have been ransomed as the first fruits
of the human race for God and the Lamb.
On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R.        (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

R.        Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.

R.        Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

R.        Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Alleluia – Mt 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 21 – Memorial of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary


For the Readings for the Memorial of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, please go here.

Lectionary: 680

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, #707-712.
 

Reading 1 – Zec 2:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
He stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

Responsorial Psalm – Lk 1:46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

R.    (49)  The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“For he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.

Alleluia – Lk 11:28

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother?  
Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 503


“On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.” You can always tell what sort of person you are meeting by the direction the conversation takes concerning what is important right now in life. For some people, there will be a new, certain relationship that takes precedence or a new home, job, or prized possession. Basically, we reveal to others who we are by what we believe is of top priority. How long does it take us to talk about anything spiritual when conversing with others? Now, this is decisively different than talking about religion or politics, subjects which in and of themselves do not have any real conclusions or winners. Still, the value of Heaven and eternal things are the sources of the topics we mention here. What is truly central and important should be very obvious to those who know me and also love me. That is because of whom we have met, the Lamb that was slain to set us free forever.

The same is true about what people do with their money. There is perhaps no other greater barometer of priorities than to assess what people believe is worth paying for or purchasing and to what extent. “When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.”

When the Lord saw what the poor widow was offering, He knew right away that it was the height of generosity, love, and faith. The good news for all of us today is that Jesus can see right through the otherwise misleading and confusing appearances and what constitutes value. As we near the First Sunday of Advent, it is clear that we are called to take another look at our lives and see what we have been doing with them thus far. It is a necessary task and one that will bring great peace. “Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.”

“The older you get, the more you realize that life isn’t about the material things, or pride, or selfish ego. It is about hearts and who they beat for.”

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November 20, 2022


The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Lectionary: 162

Reading 1 – 2 Sm 5:1-3

In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
“Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you,
‘You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.'”
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5

R. (cf. 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2 – Col 1:12-20

Brothers and sisters:
Let us give thanks to the Father,
who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Alleluia – Mk 11:9, 10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 23:35-43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 162


“King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel.” What a marvelous and glorious way to end the Church’s Calendar Year with the Feast of Christ the King! Next Sunday, we begin all over again with the First Sunday of Advent, but for now, let us finish a full year of faith and hopefully much spiritual growth since the last time we were at this “Movable Feast.” Why “movable”? Because in a very mysterious and providential way, we take this moment with us wherever we go, preparing one day to stand, as it were, face-to-face with Jesus when everything is said and done. So my friends, one day, it will indeed be our last reflection, our final use of our intellect on this planet, and the final moment to use the time we have been given to discover our purpose in this life and to uncover the courage necessary to meet the challenges we daily face.

“He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” What will they write on your tombstone or grave marker? How will people remember you? How do you remember the people you have loved and missed and cared for? The Gospel today gives us the most impeccable clue.

“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” We will be remembered based on all the times we sought and found the face of Jesus in the lives in which we were situated, especially the people we did not always see eye to eye or get along with. When did we ever turn and actually see Christ the King in our midst? Every day we got up from sleep and began our day!

“When your life flashes before your eyes at the end, make sure it’s a good movie you’re watching.” Stewart Stafford

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November 19, 2022


Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 502

Reading – Rv 11:4-12

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me:
Here are my two witnesses:
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the earth.
If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths
and devours their enemies.
In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain.
They have the power to close up the sky
so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying.
They also have power to turn water into blood
and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.

When they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up from the abyss
will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them.
Their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city,
which has the symbolic names “Sodom” and “Egypt,”
where indeed their Lord was crucified.
Those from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation
will gaze on their corpses for three and a half days,
and they will not allow their corpses to be buried.
The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them
and be glad and exchange gifts
because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth.
But after the three and a half days,
a breath of life from God entered them.
When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them.
Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, “Come up here.”
So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 144:1, 2, 9-10

R.    (1B) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia – See 2 Tm 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 20:27-40

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called  ‘Lord’
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
Some of the scribes said in reply,
“Teacher, you have answered well.”
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 502


“Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.” There are more than just a few people who have wondered what may sound to others to be unthinkable: is it possible that pursuing happiness is actually a cause of sour, distasteful unhappiness? Perhaps in all of Scripture, there can be found no more perfect of a focus group to highlight those who have fallen into a happiness trap than the sad group (no pun intended) in today’s Gospel Reading: “Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him…” The real clue here as to why these people are so miserable is because they do not hope for or believe in the Resurrection. How sad for the Sadducees! (pun intended)

“You are greatly misled.” This is definitely not a phrase you nor I would ever want to hear from Jesus, which is why we are so richly blessed to have the Word nourish us today. The Resurrection of Christ is everything. Life would not be worth living if we did not realize that a much better eternal life was simply waiting for us when our time approaches. Today, lift your head and shake off any regrets or sadness that could lead you to take your focus off the great Miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus. Commit this phrase to memory as you may never know when you might need it for yourself or to share it with someone who needs it even more: “He is not God of the dead but of the living.”

“The more we try to avoid the basic reality that all human life involves pain, the more we are likely to struggle with that pain when it arises, thereby creating even more suffering.” Russ Harris

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November 18, 2022


For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, please go here.

Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 501

Reading 1 – RV 10:8-11

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me.
Then the voice spoke to me and said:
“Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel
who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll.
He said to me, “Take and swallow it.
It will turn your stomach sour,
but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.”
I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it.
In my mouth it was like sweet honey,
but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Then someone said to me, “You must prophesy again
about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131

R. (103A) How sweet to my taste is your promise!
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
 they are my counselors.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
How sweet to my palate are your promises,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
I gasp with open mouth
in my yearning for your commands.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Alleluia – JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written,
My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”

And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
because all the people were hanging on his words.

Read Today’s Reflection

November 18 – Optional Memorial of Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles


For the Readings for Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 679

The readings for this memorial are proper.

Reading 1 – Acts 28:11-16, 30-31

After three months
we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island [of Malta].
It was an Alexandrian ship with the Dioscuri
as its figurehead.
We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days,
and from there we sailed round the coast and arrived at Rhegium.
After a day, a south wind came up and in two days we reached Puteoli.
There we found some brothers
and were urged to stay with them for seven days.
And thus we came to Rome.
The brothers from there heard about us
and came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us.
On seeing them, Paul gave thanks to God and took courage.
When he entered Rome,
Paul was allowed to live by himself,
with the soldier who was guarding him.

He remained for two full years in his lodgings.
He received all who came to him,
and with complete assurance and without hindrance
he proclaimed the Kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R.    (see 2B)  The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

Alleluia – See Te Deum

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 14:22-33

After the crowd had eaten their fill,
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 501


“Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” The entire wealth of the Holy Scriptures is replete with celebrations. Sacrifices, parties, and gatherings of all kinds literally strewn the panorama of scenes set before us to highlight the kind of activity that accompanies all the experiences that humanity provides as a result of following the Lord and living in His presence.

Such was the episode when the Incarnate Word of God, Jesus, steps into the Gospel with riveting action: “Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, ‘It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” For this and many other actions and confrontations documented throughout the Gospels, the elite class of religiosity and other power-enthused leaders wanted to put Christ to death but could not find the effective means or vehicle “because all the people were hanging on his words.”

As we near the great and vigilant Season of Advent, this sweet and sour serving of Scripture has all the potential of the world to prepare us for great things ahead. Realizing that well done is always better than well said, let us begin the gargantuan task of bringing both the attractiveness and inspirational nature of God’s Word and fusing it with good and effective deeds every day we are given. In this way, we will begin to understand Heaven as the celestial banquet and live lives of grateful service to one another.

“Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.” Robert Louis Stevenson

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November 17, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Lectionary: 500

Reading 1 – RV 5:1-10

I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.
It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals.
Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth
was able to open the scroll or to examine it.
I shed many tears because no one was found worthy
to open the scroll or to examine it.
One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.
The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed,
enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”

Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne
and the four living creatures and the elders
a Lamb that seemed to have been slain.
He had seven horns and seven eyes;
these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world.
He came and received the scroll from the right hand
of the one who sat on the throne.
When he took it,
the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
fell down before the Lamb.
Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense,
which are the prayers of the holy ones.
They sang a new hymn:

“Worthy are you to receive the scroll
and break open its seals,
for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God
those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.
You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on earth.”
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R. (Rev. 5:10) The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 17 – Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious


For the Readings on the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, please go here.

Lectionary: 678

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Those Who Work for the Underprivileged, #737-742, or For Religious, #737-742.
 

Reading 1 – 1 Jn 3:14-18

Beloved:
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that anyone who is a murderer
does not have eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him?
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (2)  I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    (9)  Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear and be glad.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing.
R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – Jn 13:34

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say,
love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 500


“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Perhaps some among us have come across people in our lives who, as we might say, “just don’t get it.” We should point out quickly, before time and comfort get the better of us, that we are most certainly in that very same category at least a few times in our lives. Why is it that the most profound answers and solutions to life’s most perplexing problems are right in front of us, and we don’t seem to notice? The answer to that may be found in the question that creeps upon us in the daily doses of Scripture of, which we also have today: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

This apparent spiritual blindness was not just a simple, arbitrary aspect of human nature. It made Jesus cry. “How sad!” we might think, but let us be careful. Am I making Jesus cry right now as well? We would hope not because that would be an even sadder chapter of the fabric of our lives today. How could this be in a time when we want to be open and disposed to all that the Lord wants to give us and bestow upon us on a daily basis? The only explanation is the daily distraction of life that keeps us from thinking and praying about the things that really matter.

“You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on earth.” As we move closer to the end of the Liturgical Year, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and dare we say it, yes, even our New Year, we can and must begin a review of our lives right here, right now.

“An unexamined life is not worth living, and an unexamined faith is not worth holding.” Ergun Caner

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November 16, 2022


For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Gertrude, please go here.
For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Margaret of Scotland, please go here.

Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 499

Reading 1 – Rv 4:1-11

I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven,
and I heard the trumpetlike voice
that had spoken to me before, saying,
“Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards.”
At once I was caught up in spirit.
A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one
whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian.
Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald.
Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones
on which twenty-four elders sat,
dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.
From the throne came flashes of lightning,
rumblings, and peals of thunder.
Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne,
which are the seven spirits of God.
In front of the throne was something that resembled
a sea of glass like crystal.

In the center and around the throne,
there were four living creatures
covered with eyes in front and in back.
The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf,
the third had a face like that of a man,
and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight.
The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,
were covered with eyes inside and out.
Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down
before the one who sits on the throne
and worship him, who lives forever and ever.
They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming:

“Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created.”

Responsorial Psalm – 150:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.    (1B) Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise the LORD in his sanctuary,
praise him in the firmament of his strength.
Praise him for his mighty deeds,
praise him for his sovereign majesty.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,
praise him with lyre and harp,
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipe.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with sounding cymbals,
praise him with clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD! Alleluia.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia – See Jn 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.’”

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

Read Today’s Reflection

November 16 – Optional Memorial of Saint Margaret of Scotland


For the Readings for Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 676

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Those Who Work for the Underprivileged, #737-742.
 

Reading 1 – Is 58:6-11

Thus says the LORD:
This is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R.    (1) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness  for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
An evil report he shall not fear.
His heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 13:34

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

November 16 – Optional Memorial of Saint Gertrude, virgin


For the Readings for Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 677

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins, #731-736, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.
 

Reading 1 – Eph 3:14-19

Brothers and sisters:
I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 23:1B-3A, 4, 5, 6

R.    (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia – Jn 15:9B, 5B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 499


Our First Reading today is from one of the most intriguing books of the Bible: Revelation: “Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created.” Have you ever wondered what those first few moments will be like when we walk into Heaven? It will simply be glorious, based on all we know about it from the Scriptures. We also understand that we must develop a life of integrity to be welcomed. What is integrity? Some have stated that it is the choice we make when confronted with paths of doing what is convenient or what is right. It is how Jesus lived and died and thus calls us to emulate: “I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.”

If the central theme of our Readings today the integrity of life, then the Gospel makes perfect sense: “I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

The gift and presence of integrity in a person’s life give true and lasting freedom. Why? Because if we live complete and honest lives, we have nothing to fear because we have nothing to hide. Therefore, we are guided by such a strong inner principle that we move toward the right thing to do in every circumstance and every opportunity because there is no pathetic guilt to stand in the way. Selfish, weak, and dishonest folks lose what little self-respect they have just to get by and be liked. You see, “image” is what we want people to think of us and work hard to maintain; integrity is the real story. It is who we know we are before God.

“Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” Don Miguel Ruiz

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November 15, 2022


For the Optional Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 498

Reading 1 – RV 3:1-6, 14-22

I, John, heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this:

“‘The one who has the seven spirits of God
and the seven stars says this: “I know your works,
that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent.
If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief,
and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.
However, you have a few people in Sardis
who have not soiled their garments;
they will walk with me dressed in white,
because they are worthy.“‘

The victor will thus be dressed in white,
and I will never erase his name from the book of life
but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father
and of his angels.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”“

“To the angel of the Church in Laodicea, write this:

“‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the source of God’s creation, says this:
“I know your works;
I know that you are neither cold nor hot.
I wish you were either cold or hot.
So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’
and yet do not realize that you are wretched,
pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich,
and white garments to put on
so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed,
and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise.
Be earnest, therefore, and repent.

“‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
then I will enter his house and dine with him,
and he with me.
I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne,
as I myself first won the victory
and sit with my Father on his throne.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 15:2-3A, 3BC-4AB, 5

R. (Rev. 3: 21) I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.

Alleluia – 1 JN 4:10B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God loved us, and sent his Son
as expiation for our sins.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, 
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature. 
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, 
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.” 
And he came down quickly and received him with joy. 
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, 
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” 
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. 
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 15 – Optional Memorial of Saint Albert the Great, bishop and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 675

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724, or the Common of Doctors of the Church, #725-730.
 

Reading 1 – Sir 15:1-6

He who fears the LORD will do this;
he who is practiced in the law will come to wisdom.
Motherlike she will meet him,
like a young bride she will embrace him,
Nourish him with the bread of understanding,
and give him the water of learning to drink.
He will lean upon her and not fall,
he will trust in her and not be put to shame.
She will exalt him above his fellows;
and in the midst of the assembly she will open his mouth
and fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
and clothe him with the robe of glory.
Joy and gladness he will find,
an everlasting name he will inherit.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R.    (12) Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall a young man be faultless in his way?
By keeping to your words.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Alleluia – See Acts 16:14B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 13:47-52

Jesus said to the crowds:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.  
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 498


There are two very stellar examples of faith and integrity we have today whose names are also very telling: John, in his famous Book of Revelation, the final chapter, the end of the Greatest Story ever told, starts us with this timely image: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” Zacchaeus so wanted to see Jesus that he climbed a tree to catch a glimpse and so much more. Let’s take a look at the invitation from Christ and the tree-climber’s response:

The Invitation of Jesus: “Zacchaeus (calls by name) come down quickly (there is urgency), for today (now in the present moment) I must stay at your house (upfront and personal).”

The Response of Zacchaeus: “And he came down quickly and received him with joy (fruit of the decision brings deep happiness). “When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.'” (there is always opposition.) “But Zacchaeus stood there (he faces the opposition in front of and with Jesus) and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.'” (Action follows commitment)

Both John and Zacchaeus men stood their ground with the Lord in their midst. Both men believed that their only long-term (eternal) happiness would depend on one simple decision to follow God. One was at the end of a long life of integrity, and the other was just beginning. Jesus went home with Zacchaeus, while John, the youngest Apostle who never left Jesus’ side, went home to God.

Definitely a happy ending, wouldn’t you agree?

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November 14, 2022


Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 497

Reading 1 – RV 1:1-4; 2:1-5

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him,
to show his servants what must happen soon.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
who gives witness to the word of God
and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud
and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message
and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace
from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits before his throne.

I heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this:

“‘The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands says this:
“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,
and that you cannot tolerate the wicked;
you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not,
and discovered that they are impostors.
Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name,
and you have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.
Realize how far you have fallen.
Repent, and do the works you did at first.
Otherwise, I will come to you
and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”’”
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (Rev. 2:17) Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.

Alleluia – JN 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 497


“Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary.” The First Reading calls out to us to realize that whenever we are faced with the devious temptations of this world, what is truly evil will attack and feed on and off our feelings of being unloved, unimportant, or insecure. One of the most successful of the devil’s tactics is simple: everyone is doing this; why do you want to be left out? In these moments, we must remember to whom we belong. You see, the same price for our lives was paid by the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, and that payment made all of us not only members of a club but actually and really living parts of the Body of Christ, each having our individuality and strength, weakness and struggle. This is the great gift of the Church, and we move closer every day to the Heavenly City that awaits all the billions that have ever brought the precious name of Jesus to their lips.

“Lord, please let me see.” Daily there is a deep call to renew, maintain and nourish this belonging in a world that values selfishness, earthly possessions, and power. These unfortunate priorities create such misery and emptiness that even in some circles, from those who should know better, there are vicious attacks on the very source of beauty and healing that are celebrated, proclaimed, and lived in the Church. Resist the urge to settle, give in, go along and participate with evil. On our own, we cannot do this. We need a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus, who understands every aspect of our broken world and lives. “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”

“One beautiful day, you will open your eyes and recognize that you have no fear or worries, just the pure vibration of love. Then you will see Jesus.”

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November 13, 2022


Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 159

Reading 1 – Mal 3:19-20A

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
 when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
 and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
 leaving them neither root nor branch,
 says the LORD of hosts.
 But for you who fear my name, there will arise
 the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (CF. 9)  The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
he will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Reading 2 – 2 Thes 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly
and to eat their own food.

Alleluia – Lk 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

“Before all this happens, however,
they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 159


“Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire.” As we move closer and closer to the last Sunday in Ordinary Time and the great Feast of Christ the King, the official end of the Liturgical Calendar, we will be hearing more and more about the final things, the last days and our fulfillment of the time we have spent here on the earth trying to follow Jesus and find our way with all the Saints, all the Holy Souls and live forever in Heaven with Jesus: “The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.” Hopefully, our waiting time should not be something of fear or fright but rather of the kind of anticipation of waiting to see someone that we truly love and miss.

“Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” Still, the end of anything as wonderful and full as life itself is almost, by definition, more than a little traumatic. Questions and tears abound, so we are in little need of being convinced to be vigilant. We can always be better, and we can always keep asking for forgiveness and forgiving, especially members of our own families. “All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” It then becomes overwhelmingly apparent that we must live our lives in the present moment, always knowing that this could be our last day. But why so sad? So much more is waiting for us than we can ever imagine! How are we going to die? We will die the same way we live, so today is the day we live to the fullest and make each minute count.

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” St. Pope Paul VI

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November 12, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

Lectionary: 496

Reading 1 – 3 JN 5-8

Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters,
especially for strangers;
they have testified to your love before the Church.
Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.
For they have set out for the sake of the Name
and are accepting nothing from the pagans.
Therefore, we ought to support such persons,
so that we may be co-workers in the truth.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – See 2 THES 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel,
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. 
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being. 
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, 
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’” 
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. 
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night? 
Will he be slow to answer them? 
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. 
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 12 – Memorial of Saint Josaphat, bishop and martyr


For the Readings on the Memorial of Saint Josaphat, please go here.

Lectionary: 674

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718, or the Common of Pastors, #719-724.
 

Reading 1 – Eph 4:1-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace:
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R.    (40:5A) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    (2A) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    (92:13-14)  The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.

Alleluia – Jn 15:9B, 5B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever lives in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
“Holy Father,
I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 496


“Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.” I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear someone tell me, “Pay attention!” I tend to stop what I’m doing and take special notice. The judge is being “pestered” by the widow to hear her complaint and do his job. Clearly, the judge is NOT God, and this is no ordinary widow. “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?”

With the proper attentive reading of today’s word of God, we will realize that God is the one who “pesters” us to answer and act in this adventure we call life. “Will he be slow to answer them?” Clearly, God is always poised and ready to answer all of our prayers. “I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.”

“Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.” Time continues to move swiftly and almost surprisingly. They say that the older we get, the faster it goes. Pray for those who have asked you to pray for them. Ask God for your miracle. Don’t miss a single opportunity to spend some time with the Lord. Talk to God now. He can’t wait to hear from you.

“Many Christians have the mistaken notion that eternal life begins when they die. But that is not biblically accurate. Eternal life begins when we are born again into the Kingdom of God.” David Jeremiah

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November 11, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop

Lectionary: 495

Reading 1 – 2 JN 4-9

[Chosen Lady:]
I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth
just as we were commanded by the Father.
But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning,
in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh;
such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for
but may receive a full recompense.
Anyone who is so “progressive”
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God;
whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18

R. (1B) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
 With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Alleluia – LK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.” 
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”

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November 11 – Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, bishop


For the Readings on the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, please go here.

Lectionary: 673

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.
 

Reading 1 – Is 61:1-3ABCD

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,
to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God,
to comfort all who mourn;
To place on those who mourn in Zion
a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning,
a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 21-22, 25 and 27

R.    (see 2A) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.'”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – Jn 13:34

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 25:31-40

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

Reflection – Lectionary: 495


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson went on a camping trip. After sharing a good meal and a bottle of fine French wine, they retire to their tent for the night. At about 3 AM, Holmes nudges Watson and asks, “Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?” Watson said, “I see millions of stars.” Holmes asks, “And, what does that tell you?” Watson replies, “Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, it tells me that it’s about 3 AM. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?” Holmes retorts, “Someone stole our tent.”

“Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense.” Perhaps the most disturbing hurdles Christians face in following the Lord are distractions. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the most expected places to the most surprising. The issue here is how to spot the obvious signs and wonders which Jesus places right in front of our eyes.

The journey cannot be lonely when one follows another because at least two are involved. Are we required to be brilliant or clever, or even knowledgeable? What is needed is faithfulness and courage. The disciple of Jesus sets out for the land of absolute freedom when following the Lord into his destiny as the most awesome and divine Hero. “They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.” Jesus lets us all know that it may not be so obvious that it is hidden. Just take a few minutes to fathom how wonderful life is while He is in the world. Then, look at the stars and tell Him what you see.

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November 10, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 494

Reading 1 – PHMN 7-20

Beloved:
I have experienced much joy and encouragement from your love,
because the hearts of the holy ones
have been refreshed by you, brother.
Therefore, although I have the full right in Christ
to order you to do what is proper,
I rather urge you out of love,
being as I am, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment,
who was once useless to you but is now useful to both you and me.
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the Gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
And if he has done you any injustice
or owes you anything, charge it to me.
I, Paul, write this in my own hand: I will pay.
May I not tell you that you owe me your very self.
Yes, brother, may I profit from you in the Lord.
Refresh my heart in Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 146:7, 8-9A, 9BC-10

R. (5A) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 15:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord:
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 10 – Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and doctor of the Church


For the Readings on the Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, please go here.

Lectionary: 672

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors:For a Pope, #719-724, or the Common of Doctors of the Church, #725-730.

Reading 1 – Sir 39:6-11

If it pleases the Lord Almighty,
he who studies the law of the Most High
will be filled with the spirit of understanding;
He will pour forth his words of wisdom
and in prayer give thanks to the Lord,
Who will direct his knowledge and his counsel,
as he meditates upon his mysteries.
He will show the wisdom of what he has learned
and glory in the law of the Lord’s covenant.
Many will praise his understanding;
his fame can never be effaced;
Unfading will be his memory,
through all generations his name will live;
Peoples will speak of his wisdom,
and in assembly sing his praises.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 30-31

R.            (30A)  The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

Trust in the Lord and do good
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.

R.            The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

Commit to the Lord your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.

R.            The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom
and his tongue utters what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart,
and his steps do not falter.

R.            The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

Alleluia – MK 1:17

R.            Alleluia, alleluia.

Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.

R.            Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 

Reflection – Lectionary: 494


Let’s take a look at this astounding Gospel passage because it has so many ways it deals with matters and issues that we must face every single day of our lives on multi-levels of variety:

“Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,” People are seemingly always asking questions that begin with “when.” When will I find a good job? When will I get a raise? When will dinner be served? When will I know when I’m in love?

“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.'” We read that Jesus was asked by some Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would finally come because, in their mind, they wanted to be “on top of things” when the big moment finally arrived, with their power and influence all intact. However, as you may have heard, we make plans, and God laughs.

“For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” The great and mysterious message for all of us today is simple. The Kingdom cannot be found by looking around for telltale signs so that you can say it is ‘here’ or ‘there.’ In other words, it is right in front of us. First and foremost, the Kingdom is in the very person of Jesus, who is the incarnation embodiment of God’s Reign. He is the Messiah-King ruling here right now in the hearts of those who love Him.

“But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.” So while The Lord’s reign is already in play, the search for the exact time can stop right here right now and find its resting place among our day-to-day struggles and little deaths along the way. The Kingdom is truly among us, and we need to look no further than the daily experiences of our own lives to know and experience the power and presence of Jesus. You see, the time of that final coming which will be the end of all suffering and rejection is not for us to decide – nor to worry about. When will the Kingdom of God arrive? You’ll know when you know.

“The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom.” Nhat Hanh

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November 9, 2022


Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Lectionary: 671

Reading I – Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The angel brought me
back to the entrance of the temple,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

Responsorial Psalm – 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R.    (5) The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
God is our refuge and our strength,
    an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken
    and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R.    The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
    the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
    God will help it at the break of dawn.
R.    The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
The LORD of hosts is with us;
    our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
    the astounding things he has wrought on earth. 
R.    The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

Reading II – 1 Cor 3:9C-11, 16-17

Brothers and sisters:
You are God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Alleluia – 2 Chr 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord,
that my name may be there forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 2:13-22

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
    Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 671


Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome/History and Background: Each diocese has a cathedral. The cathedral church in Rome is St. John Lateran. When Emperor Constantine officially recognized Christianity, he made generous gifts to the church, one of which was a palace and grounds formerly belonging to the Laterani family. In 324, he added a large church on the grounds. Later a baptistery was added and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. In subsequent years the entire edifice became known as St. John of the Lateran Basilica. It is our oldest church. Despite many fires, earthquakes, and wars, it has survived, thereby becoming a symbol of the endurability of Christianity. The observance of this feast connects our local church with the Church of Rome, which is the center of our unity. The dedication of any church recalls the heavenly Jerusalem that all church buildings symbolize.

The Apostles are the pillars of the Church, and Christ has given them the spiritual authority to teach and guide, which the Chair, cathedra, symbolizes in every cathedral. All this is seen within this magnificent structure. The people are the Church, the living Body of Christ with many members: that much is clear, but that concept or expression of unlocking the mystery of the Church is not exclusive. We are also a “Sacramental” people who have enlisted art and architecture, literature, and music to embody and describe tangibly, that is, to the touch and all the senses, what great mystery we not only celebrate but also actually see. The church building is not just a tent or skin in which the People of God gather, but in and of itself is of great symbolic and sacramental importance. This is why we celebrate the Feast of the dedication of that first structure in Rome from which all the many millions of structures have been built and dedicated since then.

The Church building is meant to be the Temple. The First Reading from the Prophet Ezekiel describes that. The Psalms were also composed to be chanted and sung as people made their way to the Temple for worship. Today, just as in the Temple of the Old Testament, there are the areas that are set apart in Catholic Churches where we find the Tabernacle, where the Body and Blood of Jesus are conserved, as the “Holy of Holies,” the living presence of God. This is why we bow and genuflect upon entering this space. It also explains why many make the Sign of the Cross when passing by the Church from the outside. We also have altars predominantly and immediately seen in a foremost position. You see, the church building itself is not just a gathering place or hall. So why is there an altar? Because there is a sacrifice to be conducted. And those sacrifices are offered by priests. So you have the same Temple structure that clearly exhibits the elements that were first established in the First or Old Covenant. The Church, in addition to being a structure that helps gather people, also reflects the mystery of the People as well: Tabernacle, altar, priests, and sacrifice. So when the temple/church building is rightly ordered, water will be “flowing out” for the world’s renewal. (First Reading)

The Church building is to symbolize the New Jerusalem. In Revelation, the vision describes a magnificent new heavenly city coming down to earth to be complete and restore all humanity to God at the end of time. Thus, in addition to a gathering space, Church buildings should attempt to draw us into another world, a heavenly experience like the jeweled walls of the New Jerusalem, with sparkling and vivid colors filled with signs and symbols of heavenly realities. We see figures of Angels and Saints everywhere in the Church because they are citizens of Heaven, the New Jerusalem, and we join with them in singing praises to God:
This great company of witnesses spurs us on to victory,
to share their prize of everlasting glory,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
With angels and archangels
and the whole company of saints
we sing our unending hymn of praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord…

The Church building is meant to signal Noah’s Ark. Since the early installments of Church History, the ark was seen as a symbolic type of the Church. In the same way, Noah and his family were spared the destruction of both the spiritual and physical world around them, so too are we safe and saved in the Church, the boat, as it were, atop the waters of Baptism. This is an on-going occurrence in every age throughout the centuries, and the Church is the ongoing, continual and steady “rescue mission for humanity.” (Bishop Robert Barron) When we gather for Mass, we remain close together, huddled for the Eucharist, waiting for “floodwaters” to recede and then go out to the world to begin again.

“The Church is like Noah’s ark that was full of both clean and unclean animals. It must have had an unholy smell, and yet it was carrying eight persons to salvation. The world today is tearing up the photographs of a good society, a good family, a happy, individual personal life. But the Church is keeping the negatives. And when the moment comes when the world wants a reprint, we will have them.” —Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

It is also very interesting to go back to the Scriptures and examine the orders that God gave Noah to build what is most likely the most popular boat in human history found in Genesis 6:19: “This is how you shall build it: the length of the ark will be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.” For St. Augustine and other early Church Fathers, these dimensions of the construction plan for the ark suggest a human body, specifically, the body of Christ: “For even its very dimensions, in length, breadth, and height, represent the human body in which He (Jesus) came, as it had been foretold. For the length of the human body, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, is six times its breadth from side to side, and ten times its depth or thickness, measuring from back to front.” The City of God, Book 15

The Church building is meant to symbolize the Mystical Body of Christ. It’s really amazing, when you stop and think about it, so much of both the human and spiritual dimensions of our lives actually happen inside the Church building itself. New life is always being announced with the smell and sound of babies at Baptism, children singing and serving Mass, teenagers are confirmed, marriages are celebrated, and yes, when the circle of life is completed, there we are again, at the Church where it all spiritually began, tearfully saying goodbye and “until we meet again.” It is more than a theater stage or a meeting hall. It is Life.

From life’s start to finish and all the wonderful episodes in between, being in Church and the Church building comprises the place and time in which we hear and experience what some have speculated are three basic sentences that summarize all of Christianity: Please, Thank You, and I’m Sorry. And just like the Temple, in both the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem, where there is a convergence of costly, precious, and holy stones, so too, the Mystical Body is made up of living stones — the people who are transformed by Grace, the Word of God and the Food of the Eucharist day after day, age after age. We become that New Temple.

“The Church is the Body of Christ, and as such, it is both heavenly and earthly. The Church is the communion of saints, and it includes as members both angels and shepherds – cherubim and seraphim, and you, and me.” Scott Hahn

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November 8, 2022


Tuesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 492

Reading 1 – Ti 2:1-8, 11-14

Beloved:
You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women
to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,
under the control of their husbands,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,
showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech
that cannot be criticized,
so that the opponent will be put to shame
without anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of the great God
and of our savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

Responsorial Psalm – 37:3-4, 18 and 23, 27 and 29

R.    (39A) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R.    The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
R.    The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
R.    The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Alleluia – Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 492


“For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age…” Although it may be debatable, albeit clear enough to say that each of us begins our day with both reasonable and unreasonable expectations. We can reasonably expect that the day will have the same amount of hours, there will most likely be enough ups and downs to keep it interesting, and one way or another, it will have an end. Unreasonable or unrealistic expectations, however, sometimes seem to find their way into the fabric of lives and usually involve the behavior of other people. We might, for example, expect another person to change their ways or at least to help us make our day better. This, as we know, is a recipe for deep disappointment.

“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'” There can be no disappointment when we look at the expectations we can expect from our Lord. He has made us out of love with every ounce of good intention and a deep hope that exists in the universe. Therefore, not only can we expect the goodness placed deep within our souls to surface with practice and determination, but we can also expect great help from God to be good and stay that way until He comes again. This means we trust Him with every fiber of our being.

“Many people feel so pressured by the expectations of others that it causes them to be frustrated, miserable and confused about what they should do. But there is a way to live a simple, joy-filled, peaceful life, and the key is learning how to be led by the Holy Spirit, not the traditions or expectations of man.” Joyce Meyer

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November 7, 2022


Monday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 491

Reading 1 – Ti 1:1-9

Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ
for the sake of the faith of God’s chosen ones
and the recognition of religious truth,
in the hope of eternal life
that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
who indeed at the proper time revealed his word
in the proclamation with which I was entrusted
by the command of God our savior,
to Titus, my true child in our common faith:
grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

For this reason I left you in Crete
so that you might set right what remains to be done
and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you,
on condition that a man be blameless,
married only once, with believing children
who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious.
For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant,
not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive,
not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness,
temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled,
holding fast to the true message as taught
so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine
and to refute opponents.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 24:1B-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Alleluia – Phil 2:15D, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 17:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection Lectionary #491


“It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” The Gospel, per usual, does not mince words today. Temptation is hard enough for each of us to encounter as we search for better ways to follow the Lord Jesus, which makes a strong case that we certainly do not need any help from our friends or from anyone else for that matter! However, by extension, think of all the good you can do for one another, especially in our daily routines and casual conversations. We can actually help each other get to heaven!

“Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.” Clearly, as always when reading the Scriptures, we are presented with an awesome choice to go forward: either we help or hurt. Every relationship can be viewed in this light as well. Is this helping me move closer to heaven or not? This is why wisdom from the Holy Spirit is so critical and pivotal. Life is good. It is better with Jesus in it.

“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.” C. S. Lewis

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November 6, 2022


Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 156

Reading 1 – 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:
“What do you expect to achieve by questioning us?
We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

At the point of death he said:
“You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,
but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.
It is for his laws that we are dying.”

After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
“It was from Heaven that I received these;
for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
from him I hope to receive them again.”
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage,
because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died,
they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way.
When he was near death, he said,
“It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;
but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15

R. (15B)  Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Keep me as the apple of your eye,
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Reading 2 – 2 Thes 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
as it did among you,
and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
you are doing and will continue to do.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.

Alleluia – Rv 1:5A, 6B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead;
to him be glory and power, forever and ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 20:27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out ‘Lord, ‘
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”

Or – Lk 20:27, 34-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward.

Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out ‘Lord, ‘
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 156


Our First Reading today is one of the most dramatic, heart-breaking scenes in all of Scripture: “It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.” The depth of faith and true integrity of life that existed in the mother of the seven sons is unfortunately sparsely witnessed today and is desperately and sorely needed. What is integrity? Some have stated that it is the choice we make when confronted with paths of doing what is convenient or what is right. It is the manner in which Jesus lived and died and thus calls us to emulate: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.”

If the central theme of our Readings today is, in fact, the integrity of life-based on the unbreakable faith and hope in the resurrection, then the Gospel makes perfect sense: “That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

The Resurrection of Jesus presents to all of us a gift and presence of integrity in a person’s life, which in turn gives true and lasting freedom. Why? It is because if we live complete and honest lives, we have nothing to fear. After all, we have nothing to hide. Therefore, we are guided by such a strong inner principle that we move toward the right thing to do in every circumstance and every opportunity because there is no pathetic guilt to stand in the way. Selfish, weak, and dishonest folks lose their little self-respect to get by and be liked. You see, “image” is what we want people to think of us and work hard to maintain; integrity is the real story. It is who we know we are before God.

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” Chinua Achebe  

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November 5, 2022


Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 490

Reading 1 – PHIL 4:10-19

Brothers and sisters:
I rejoice greatly in the Lord
that now at last you revived your concern for me.
You were, of course, concerned about me but lacked an opportunity.
Not that I say this because of need,
for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself,
to be self-sufficient.
I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances;
I know also how to live with abundance.
In every circumstance and in all things
I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need.
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.
Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

You Philippians indeed know that at the beginning of the Gospel,
when I left Macedonia,
not a single church shared with me
in an account of giving and receiving, except you alone.
For even when I was at Thessalonica
you sent me something for my needs,
not only once but more than once.
It is not that I am eager for the gift;
rather, I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account.
I have received full payment and I abound.
I am very well supplied because of what I received from you
through Epaphroditus,
“a fragrant aroma,” an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
My God will fully supply whatever you need,
in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 112:1B-2, 5-6, 8A AND 9

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – 2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
So that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 490


“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” Conflict is certainly part of life, but an excessive amount is never good for the soul. This is exactly why Jesus warns us and tries to prevent us from falling into divided loyalties. The pull and lure of this world with all its empty promises can create a severe split in our lives that spells certain trouble, not to mention a chaotic and frenetic lifestyle trying to please everyone, living a two-faced lie, and secretly maintaining a hidden life that costs much more than it is ever worth.

Perhaps some of our readers and followers find themselves at a point in their spiritual lives where they know they want to grow deeper and with more integrity. Still, there is a weakness in the human condition, and often we can clearly commiserate with St. Paul, who longs to do the right thing but also experiences the pull of selfishness. This is where this great Biblical writer who has penned the majority of the New Testament is so brilliant. “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” Clearly, when we accept our humanity and the people we truly are, we will see the great need we have for the Lord Jesus. Nothing and no one else will ever satisfy.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Abraham Lincoln

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November 4, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Lectionary: 489

Reading 1 – PHIL 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, 
and observe those who thus conduct themselves 
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you 
and now tell you even in tears, 
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach; 
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven, 
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified Body 
by the power that enables him also 
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, 
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.  
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Alleluia – 1 JOHN 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’  
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 4 – Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, please go here.

Lectionary: 670

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724.
 

Reading 1 – Rom 12:3-13

Brothers and sisters:
By the grace given to me I tell everyone among you
not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think,
but to think soberly,
each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.
For as in one body we have many parts,
and all the parts do not have the same function,
so we, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them:
if prophecy, in proportion to the faith;
if ministry, in ministering;
if one is a teacher, in teaching;
if one exhorts, in exhortation;
if one contributes, in generosity;
if one is over others, with diligence;
if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 21-22, 25 and 27

R.    (see 2A) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.'”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – Jn 10:14

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 10:11-16

Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 489


“What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your Stewardship because you can no longer be my steward.” God gives us resources such as finances and time, talents such as culinary skills or musical ability, and spiritual gifts such as encouragement or teaching. We should ask God for wisdom on using those resources and commit ourselves to expend them according to His will so that He may be glorified. This is simply responsible stewardship.

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.” We have been given much, and God desires us to use what He has given to further His Kingdom and proclaim His glory. It’s what we were created to do. We are living sacrifices, giving the things God has given us in service to others, and in that we actually find life. Be thankful for what you have. How can we nurture and develop these talents? Based on the clever and wily steward in the Gospel, let’s take another, more noble route and consider the following: 1. Be creative. 2. Be innovative. 3. Think differently and positively. 4. When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. 5. Face your past without regret. 6. Handle your present with confidence. 7. Prepare for the future without fear. “Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him.”

In whatever way you can do so, according to the talents and gifts God has given you, you are to be salt, and light, and whatever part of the Body of Christ you were made to be. You need to tell us what’s going on with you so the rest of the Body (of which you are a part) can work together with you.”  Chris Manion 

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November 3, 2022


For the Optional Reading for Today’s Memorial, please go here.

Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 488

Reading 1 – PHIL 3:3-8A

Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision, 
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.  
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (3B) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – MT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ 
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Read Today’s Reflection

November 3 – Optional Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, religious


For the Readings on Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 669

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.
 

Reading 1 – Phil 4:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again:  rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 131:1BCDE, 2, 3

R.     In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Alleluia – Jn 13:34

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 488


More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Some might agree with the assertion that a relationship is like a job. You must work hard to get into it and work even harder to stay in it. Whether or not that aligns with your experiences with friends and family, one thing is certain. Love does require work, and some days are easier than others. Today the Scriptures seem to underscore that perception. “Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.” We could even go a little further: the depth and quality of our human relationships have much in common and directly correspond with our relationship with God and He with us.

“In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” We all know how it feels when something goes wrong in a friendship, relationship, or even a close relative. Nobody is happy, and nobody wins. The days looks grim and dark. But imagine how wonderful it feels when we make amends, ask forgiveness and restore things back to an even better level of love and respect. “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.” and “Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.” That’s right, rejoice; we have our friend back. Peace has been restored. It is beautiful. And it all comes from the Lord to whom we are called. Let us respond today: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.”

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November 2, 2022


The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
(All Souls)

Lectionary: 668

The following are a selection of the readings that may be chosen for this day.

Reading I – Wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
    and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
    and their passing away was thought an affliction
    and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
    yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
    because God tried them
    and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
    and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
    and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
    and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
    and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
    and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm – 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R.    (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
He guides me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    for years to come.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Reading II – Rom 6:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus 
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, 
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead 
by the glory of the Father, 
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, 
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him, 
so that our sinful body might be done away with, 
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.

Alleluia – Mt 25:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, you who are blessed by my Father;
inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 668


Today, as many of us already know, is also referred to as the Day of the Dead, and although that may seem remarkably somber and even morbid, it is the truth. Life is good, but it certainly has a beginning and an end with great filler in between, and today, we are called to reflect on the weighty and sobering aspects of its conclusion. The Scripture Readings for today may, in fact, sound familiar to some because they are the same, in part, as many of the Funeral selections, and they are meant to give witness to the mystery of life and death so we may go forward in faith and love. Let’s take a look at a few gems:

“The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.” We are made timely aware of the truth of things as we experience them; even in death, we are with the Lord, who loves and comforts us, especially in our moments of sorrow. “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” No matter where our lives take us, the one constant is change, which includes the dark day of death, but the constant presence is Jesus, who never abandons those He loves. “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” What a remarkable statement that is being made here! Death is actually something we share with Jesus. Because of that, we also share in His victory over death and all the contraptions that accompany our experience, especially grief and dark isolation. “And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

Perhaps the most poignant and pertinent of all the passages comes to us from the Gospel today. We have been given the opportunity to reach out to Christ in each other every day we have been alive. It is as if we have been depositing or withdrawing from a spiritual bank account filled with love, kindness, and generosity. When the bank closes for good, we spend eternity based on the final reckoning. Be hopeful and generous today and pray for those who have died with those you love knowing full well that they will be praying for you.

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality


We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –


We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –


Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –


We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –


Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity

Emily Dickinson

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November 1, 2022


Solemnity of All Saints

Lectionary: 667

Reading I – Rv 7:2-4, 9-14

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

    “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
    and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

    “Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
        honor, power, and might
        be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
    “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
    they have washed their robes
    and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm – 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R.    (see 6)  Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
    the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the rivers.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
    or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
    who desires not what is vain.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
    a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks him,
    that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Reading II – 1 Jn 3:1-3

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

Alleluia – Mt 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 5:1-12A

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 
He began to teach them, saying:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
        for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are they who mourn,
        for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,
        for they will inherit the land.
    Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
        for they will be satisfied.
    Blessed are the merciful,
        for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the clean of heart,
        for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
        for they will be called children of God.
    Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
        for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
        and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
    Rejoice and be glad,
        for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 667


The set of Scriptures we have today are simply breathtaking and inspiring on the Feast of All Saints and critically necessary for us who are trying to “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) in the Lord Jesus without losing hope in the face of all the challenges we face.


Let’s start with the First Reading, which is taken from the last book of the Bible, Revelation. I can’t think of another sacred book more controversial than this one, also known as the “Apocalypse.” This fascinating and mysterious text, ever since it was written, has been the topic of countless theories, teachings, movements, books, commentaries, and, more recently, films and multimedia television series, episodes, and documentaries. Unfortunately, most of them have strayed from the Theological and Scriptural meaning of the intent of the Apostle John and have clearly done much more harm than good. Because of these wild theories, it seems as if every ten years or so, people have been trying to predict the end of the world every time a certain number lines up in a particular order or because of the discovery of some ingenious mathematical equation that spells horrible and imminent destruction. Remember the Year 2000 scare? Or do you recall the December 21, 2012, prediction based on data from an ancient calendar chiseled on some huge stone that would run out of days on that date? People, just get a new rock!


G. K. Chesterton was right when he wrote, “Though St. John saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as his commentators.” St. John is clearly speaking to all Christians worldwide and all over time. “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” His great and marvelous vision for us, however, was shaped by the immense suffering inflicted upon the early Church by the great persecutions of the Roman Empire. The Apostle himself was exiled to the island of Pathos, from where he actually wrote the book of Revelation. That same political and military power was complicit in the death of Jesus. He many thought would be the kind of leader that would overthrow these invaders and give His people power beyond all imagining. But the real force and strength bestowed on all who would follow the Lord in every age are that “Beloved, we are God’s children now.” And even though “what we shall be has not yet been revealed,” it most certainly will be revealed in the glorious Resurrection of those who die believing in Christ. “They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.”


This is all beautifully brought together with the proclamation of St. Matthew’s Gospel. As God’s children now and joyfully anticipating our resurrection, we reasonably ask, “what do we do, and how do we act?” Just as Moses in the Old Testament came down the mountain with the Law in the form of the Ten Commandments, Jesus walked up the mountain and fulfilled what the great Law-giver started and mapped out the way to survive “the time of great distress” for each and every one of us. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, the meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted and insulted. The Beatitudes create the blueprint for living a beautiful, Christian life. These eight blessings are at the heart of Jesus’ preaching and respond to the natural desire that we all have for true and lasting happiness. This is how we become saints! “Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ! Do not be afraid to become the saints of the new millennium! ~Saint John Paul the Great. The Beatitudes also proclaim the blessings and rewards that have already been secured for those who love Jesus. Just imagine there’s a place in Heaven for you with your name on it. So once again, happy Feast Day, everyone.

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.” Saint Catherine of Siena

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