Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday November 17

THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

1. We Are People of Hope
2. Good News until the End

Greeting (See Rom 8:38-39)

Neither death nor life,
neither the present nor the future
nor any other creature
can separate us from the love of God,
the love he has made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May the Lord Jesus be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Introduction

1. We Are People of Hope

In all ages there have been “prophets of doom,” as good Pope John XXIII called them. They are people so scared by the problems of their time that they think the end of the world is near. Our day is one of rapid changes, much violence and hunger and suffering. Now we know about them immediately via television and other media. No wonder that many sects arise and speculate about the end of our world. The message of today’s liturgy is: don’t be afraid. Keep trusting in God, be a steadfast Christian and bear witness to God’s love. You are in his hands, and Christ is here among us.

2. Good News Until the End

We call “gospel,” that is, “Good News,” the message brought us by Jesus Christ. Yet the part of the message that we hear today sounds more like bad news, about earthquakes and famine, wars and destruction. Yet what he tells us is still good news for Jesus wants to reassure us that in all miseries and troubles that beset us God is on our side and loves us, and that we should not listen to those who threaten us with a fearful end. We are, and should remain, people of hope. Let us ask Jesus, our Lord here among us, to fill us with trust and hope.

Penitential Act

Let us ask forgiveness from the Lord
for our faith and trust are weak.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, you brought us pardon and peace.
Why should we fear?
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, we seek your face;
you will never desert us:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, we trust in you,
in your strength and your love:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Forgive us all our sins, Lord,
and make us bold witnesses in this world
of your faithful love.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer

Let us pray that we may expect God’s future
with trust and perseverance
(pause)
God our Father,
we believe that your plans for us
are for peace and not for disaster and fear.
Keep us open-eyed to the signs
of the constant coming of Jesus your Son.
Help us to commit ourselves untiringly
to the growth of the kingdom among us
by carrying out your plans for peace and love.
Help us to do what makes our world
more your world and the way to your home.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

First Reading: God’s Sun of Justice

When the Lord comes to judge, happy are those who have been found to be just.

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.

Second Reading: Prepare for the Lord’s Coming by Your Work

Do not prepare for the end of the world and Christ’s return by talking about it and wasting your time, says St. Paul. The best way to be ready is to continue working.

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: Sure of the Final Victory

The destruction of the Temple, calamities and persecution are images of the destruction of the old order and the beginning of a new one. Yet the person who perseveres in faith and hope has nothing to fear; such a one will live in the Lord.

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."

Intercessions

Let us ask the Lord to set all people free from all fear and danger, and let us say: R/ Lord, save us. – From false prophets who mislead themselves, and notwithstanding their zeal, mislead those who follow them, protect us: R/ Lord, save us.
– From wars between nations and from civil strife, from worldwide conflicts and from nuclear arms, protect us: R/ Lord, save us.
– From catastrophes that kill people, from earthquakes, inundations and epidemics, protect us: R/ Lord, save us.
– From famine and malnutrition, from the indifference of those who have all they need and more, protect us: R/ Lord, save us.
– From our refusal to take the risks of faith out of fear of persecution, protect us: R/ Lord, save us.
– From unemployment and misfortune, from injustice and guilty compromises, protect us: R/ Lord, save us.
Lord, you want us to be free. Help us to go through the joys and pains of life with a firm hope in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord our God,
accept this bread and wine
as signs that we are committed
to build up your kingdom in our world.
May our attitudes and decisions in life
be those of Jesus, your Son:
to seek your dawn of love and service
rather than self-destructive selfishness,
to be constructive and creative
in giving shape to a new earth
rather than to be critical of the past.
May we thus fully encounter you one day
in the joys of a new heaven
with Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

With Jesus, we thank God our Father for the trust and living hope he has given us through his risen Son, Jesus Christ.

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

With the fullest hope and trust we pray to God our Father that when our faith is tested he may deliver us from all evil: R/ Our Father...

Prayer for Peace

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles:
“I leave you peace, my peace I give you;
do not worry what to say in your defense,
not a hair of your head will be lost.”
In the face of shocking events,
help us not to panic
but to keep our inner serenity,
and to find and keep the peace
of your lasting kingdom
where you live for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

Invitation to Communion

This is the Lamb of God,
Jesus, the sun of justice.
Every time that we eat his bread
and drink his cup,
we proclaim the death of the Lord
and our hope in his coming. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Prayer after Communion

Lord our God,
your Son Jesus destroyed our death by dying,
and by rising he restored our life.
By the strength of this Eucharist,
may we, and the whole of humanity
grow up in Christ day after day
through the pains and tensions of growth.
But keep alive in us
the joy of a firm hope
that your dawn of justice is coming
to make all things new,
and that Jesus will return
to make us share in his glory
for good and for ever. R/ Amen.

Blessing

Much is changing today,
some for the better, some for the worse.
We seem to be at a turning point of history
both in the Church and in the world.
There is much anxiety among people.
But the point is not:
Is this the end of the world?
We should leave that to the Lord.
It is rather: What do we do
to make this world human, livable,
conformable to the message of the gospel?
May we prepare for the Lord’s coming
with the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Let us go in peace,
hoping and trusting in the Lord.
R/ Thanks be to God.

Commentary

We observe many catastrophes around us and often plenty of evil. In the movies, we see evil villains progressing while the good suffer, are persecuted or attacked. Through the plotting of the villains, sometimes the good ones lose (at least apparently) the love of their lives or children. The good thing about movies is that we know in the end, good will triumph most of the time. Which is the same thing the prophet Malachi tells us today in the first reading.
People wonder why there is so much evil, why bad things happen to good people and why bad people prosper. It is a question most of us have had at one time or another. The problem of evil in the world has always been a huge philosophical issue that can only be answered from a firm hope in the promises of Christ of a new heaven and earth.
The call in the face of serious problems of the world is to have faith and trust that the promises of God are always fulfilled and that we know the ending because we have known Christ.
On the other hand, many people think that the natural catastrophes, earthquakes, floods, misfortunes are signs that the end of the world is near. We don’t know that, because no one knows the day or the hour and the only way to prepare ourselves, Jesus says, is to remain firm in the faith, joyful and confident because we know the end of this story, although we don’t know when it will happen. How can we keep firm, joyful, and confident? First, by praying, turning to God in every moment of our lives, both good and bad. Second, by doing the works of the Kingdom of God, which includes works of love, healing and mercy toward everyone; everything that entails the good toward all, even if it means personal sacrifices, such as being attentive to what can help the truth and justice of God to reign, contributing our grain of sand so that evil does not always conquer. While we wait, we must work tirelessly.

Points to Ponder

Do I get discouraged or depressed when I perceive that evil appears to be winning?
In what ways can I make the kingdom of God present in my own family, community, and work place?

Merely Servants

Tuesday November 12

MERELY SERVANTS

Introduction

When he sees life cut short by the will of people, the author of the book of Wisdom understands that the reward for fidelity does not always come during life. But human persons are imperishable. God will reward them after death. Death is already overcome by the way the faithful face it and so by their free act of accepting death, the just express their trust in God. They are in the hands of God.
The words of Jesus in the Gospel of today seem to be directed more to the Pharisees and scribes, who claimed to be servants of God, than to the apostles. They were self-assured servants; they computed their merits for what they had done for God and asserted their right to his rewards. Perhaps, the apostles too, were not always too modest in their claims as companions of Jesus. All should put their trust in God and leave everything to him. Not what we have done for God counts, but what he does for us in his mercy. We are in his hands.

Opening Prayer

God merciful Father,
you know what is in our hearts.
Whether our intentions are good or selfish,
we leave everything
to your compassionate judgment.
But this we ask of you:
Confirm us in the will
to serve you and our people
in loyalty and love
and for the rest, we are in your hands,
for you are our God and Father
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Reading 1: Wis 2:23–3:9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But 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 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19

R. (2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
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 me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

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.'"

Intercessions

– Lord, let rewards and honors come to us as surprises, rather than as something we deserve, we pray:
– Lord, for us and all who are baptized, that we may follow Christ your perfect servant, and that with him, we may serve rather than demand to be served, we pray:
– That leaders in the Church and in the world may serve the interests of their people rather than their own, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

God our Father,
we have often been useless servants
who have not done what you expected of us.
And yet you invite us to your table
and serve us the best food and drink,
your Son, Jesus Christ.
Make us trustworthy and loyal
like your faithful servant,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

God our Father,
without any merit on our part,
you have called us to be
your sons and daughters
through your loyal Son and servant, Jesus Christ.
Give us the humble strength
not to consider this gift from you
as a title to privileges and awards
but a trust and a responsibility
to serve you in people
and to make your love known to all.
We ask you this through Christ, our Lord.

Blessing

We should not boast to God of what we have done for him. Everything we could do was a gift from him. So let us thank God. May he bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Commentary

The belief in personal immortality developed late in Hebrew thought. The Book of Wisdom from the first century BC is its clearest expression. God created humans for “incorruption,...the image of his own eternity.” For those who have lived a just life, there is great blessing in store. In the time of the final visitation, they will shine brightly and even judge nations. The faithful shall abide with God forever.
Still, the Gospel today reminds us that all of this is gift. We can make no claims on God. Even when we carry out whatever is assigned to us, we have only done what we should. At dinner time, it is the responsibility of the hired servant to prepare and serve the meal, not to sit down and eat with the master. When we have accomplished in life whatever has been assigned, we have only done our duty.
This gives us pause. We are gifted with life and immorality, in addition, a redeeming God and a share in his life. This should be the source of our meditation and reflection. We are not only given a call to holiness; we are given the means to obtain it. In none of this can we say that we have been given our due, for none of it is due to us. Unless we see our calling in the light of grati¬tude, we will forever miss the point.

Points to Ponder

Called to be immortal
Responding to duty with gratitude
Sunday Mass: a duty or a privilege?

God kingdom is among us

Thursday November 14

GOD’S KINGDOM IS AMONG US

Introduction

The author of the book of Wisdom gives high praise to wisdom. She is personified, she is like a spirit that moves. She is like the breath of God that orders all things well.
To the Pharisees and perhaps to the disciples too, anxiously looking for signs, Jesus says: The kingdom of God is among you, right in your midst. It is already present in our lives. In other words, be wise and be committed to the present, to building up God’s kingdom now. Seek eternity and eternal life in the present, and God’s good day will come in God’s good time.

Opening Prayer

Lord our God,
your kingdom is not an established order
but something that is alive and always coming.
Make us aware that it is to be found
where we let you reign,
where we and the kingdom of people
give way to your kingdom,
where we let your justice and love and peace
take the place of our fumbling and stumbling.
Lord, establish your kingdom among us
through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Reading 1: Wis 7:22b–8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175

R. (89a) Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Through all generations your truth endures;
you have established the earth, and it stands firm.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
According to your ordinances they still stand firm:
all things serve you.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.

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."

Intercessions

– For the Church, which is not yet the kingdom, that it may be a visible sign of God’s kingdom on earth by its openness to all, its spirit of love and service, we pray:
– That all Christians may contribute to make the Gospel credible by our commitment to justice and love, we pray:
– That we may build roads of peace and service to one another and that we may prepare ourselves and the world to welcome Jesus and the kingdom of God, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord God,
if we let you reign in us
rather than our self-will
or the people and things around us,
we would recognize that there is
a holy communion of love between you and us.
Come among us in Christ,
in this Eucharist and in daily life,
and take possession of us
to rule and forgive, to sanctify and enlighten,
to order all things for the good of all
and to renew us by your grace.
Grant us this through Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Loving and all-wise Father,
in this Eucharistic celebration,
you have again given us Jesus, your Son.
Through his Spirit of wisdom,
make us fully aware
that our human personality and existence
and people and events around us
are the way in which you call us
and in which we respond to your call.
Develop your kingdom among us
through him who is in our midst,
Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord.

Blessing

The kingdom of God is among us. It is here if we have accepted Christ and let him light up our lives, in realities that are not so directly measurable: justice, forgiveness, love, peace, goodness. May Almighty God help us to build up this kingdom with Christ, our Lord and bless you for this task, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Commentary

Jesus lived in a period of intense end-time expectation, with popular hope centered on the coming of the kingdom of God and the messiah. In his response to the Pharisees in today’s Gospel, Jesus indicates that their anticipation that the kingdom of God will come at a specific point in the future is misplaced. Jesus works and his teaching clearly indicate that the kingdom is already present in their midst. The closing verses may well have been directed to his own followers, who were anxious to see the Son of Man in his glory. That day will come, and Christ’s glory will be fully evident. But first he must follow the path of suffering.
Wisdom in today’s first reading is found primarily in God but also in the marvels of creation. Wisdom is pure and unsullied; no form of corruption is found in her. She enters the souls of humans and produces friends of God. Wisdom in the human order is the proper guiding of one’s life in accordance with God’s will. For the Jew, this was the law; for the Christian wisdom is the Spirit of Jesus himself.
Our belief is centered in the fact that the kingdom in its initial stage is present in our life. Baptism, the Eucharist, the scriptures are our expressions of the kingdom. And where do we find wisdom? In our formation in the faith. Sad to say, many of our young people today are instructed for the sacraments and nothing more. But to learn the message of Jesus and to live his life requires a deepening of our faith and a willingness to live a life in conformity with that wisdom that he imparts.

Points to Ponder

The meaning of true wisdom
The presence of the kingdom
Growth in our understanding of the faith.

Gratitude

Wednesday November 13

GRATITUDE

Introduction

The Jewish kings were God’s representatives to the people by virtue of their anointing. Now comes the author of the book of Wisdom and says that also pagan rulers have received their authority from God. They must exercise it wisely for doing good, in accordance with God’s law, because they have to give an account to God.
In the account of the cure of the ten lepers, Luke stresses the contrast between the nine Jews who, after their cure, go to comply with the rules of the law, but forget about gratitude, and the Samaritan who returns to thank Jesus. We too, often forget to be grateful for gifts received. Maybe it is a bit humiliating to be reminded of our dependence on others... Let us not forget that God’s love comes to us usually through people who care and help. For all the good done to us, particularly through Jesus Christ, we give thanks in this Eucharist, this thanksgiving.

Opening Prayer

Lord God,
from you comes all we are and have;
we owe you above all forgiveness and life
through your Son, Jesus Christ.
We pray you today for grateful hearts.
Make us thankful for the right things,
not merely for being lucky in life
nor for the happiness of the self-satisfied
but for the joy that in him
even suffering and death have meaning.
Accept all our thanks through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Reading 1: Wis 6:1-11

Hear, O kings, and understand;
learn, you magistrates of the earth's expanse!
Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude
and lord it over throngs of peoples!
Because authority was given you by the Lord
and sovereignty by the Most High,
who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels.
Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly,
and did not keep the law,
nor walk according to the will of God,
Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you,
because judgment is stern for the exalted–
For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy
but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.
For the Lord of all shows no partiality,
nor does he fear greatness,
Because he himself made the great as well as the small,
and he provides for all alike;
but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed
that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin.
For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy,
and those learned in them will have ready a response.
Desire therefore my words;
long for them and you shall be instructed.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 82:3-4, 6-7

R. (8a) Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
Defend the lowly and the fatherless;
render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the lowly and the poor;
from the hand of the wicked deliver them.
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
I said: "You are gods,
all of you sons of the Most High;
yet like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince."
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.

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 lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, 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."

Intercessions

– For the People of God, the Church, that our loving God may bless it for all that it has given us: God’s love, God’s life, and the guidance and strength of the Spirit, we pray:
– For our parents and all who have been good to us, that the heavenly Father may bless them and keep them in his love, we pray:
– For our country and our people, that God may bless them for the riches of our culture passed on to us and for the faith they have handed down to us, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

God our Father,
in this Eucharist, we celebrate
the thanksgiving of Jesus, your Son.
Lord, we have much to thank you for.
With this bread and wine
allow us to praise and thank you,
that by Jesus’ passion
we can win our struggles
and by his resurrection, we gain
the courage to live, to be creative,
and to fill all we do with the depth of the love
of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Lord God, our Father,
accept our gratitude
for the people you place on our way,
those who help us in the hour of need
or who remind us that we cannot be fully happy
as long as many of our brothers and sisters suffer.
May we win the right to be grateful
by committing ourselves to others,
as you have committed yourself to us
through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Blessing

“Go on your way, your faith has made you well.” May these be words we hear from the Lord as we give him thanks in this Eucharist. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Commentary

Today’s Gospel strikes at the very heart of the gospel message. To realize what God has done for us is to live a grateful response. The lepers first cry out to Jesus for a cure. He hears them and then tells them to present themselves before the priest. It was required in Israelite society that one who had been afflicted with leprosy or a skin disorder be quarantined and distanced from the community until a priest, after examination, pronounced the person cured. As the lepers leave Jesus’ presence, they are cured of their illness. Only one of them returned to Jesus to thank him, and this man was a Samaritan, a member of that heterodox group of people from whom the Jews distanced themselves. Jesus commends the man’s faith and sends him on his way.
The reading from Wisdom today is addressed to royalty and those who hold civil authority. They are told very clearly that they have no “blank check” but will be held to a serious account of the way they exercise authority. If they disregard the rule of law and the will of God, judgment wall come quickly. Mercy will not be extended in the same way it is for the lowly person; those who are powerful will be put to the test. The authorities should be steeped in the law and observant of the holy precepts. If they do so, they will be respected and honored.
Violations of the principles of today’s readings are met frequently enough in the course of our lives. We know people whose generosity and kindness have been repaid unkindly.
We have also seen people fall from great heights because they did not observe the very law that they were to uphold. It all proves the saying that virtue is its own reward. But above all, we should turn frequently to the prayer of thanksgiving. Like the leper, wre too have been cured—and more than once—because of a forgiving and loving God.

Points to Ponder

The pain of ingratitude
Conscience and authority
The prayer of thanksgiving.

Ready for the Lord

Friday November 15

READY FOR THE LORD

Introduction

The author of Wisdom accuses non-Jews of being blind. They see the beauty of creation, but they fail to recognize the creator behind them, so much so, that they begin to adore created things.
Jesus reprimands those who fail to see the signs of his coming in judgment. His coming is not an exceptional event, for Jesus blames the people for their careless lack of vigilance in daily life. He keeps coming, and this is why people have to be ready always.

Opening Prayer

Our saving God,
we are your people on the march
who try to carry out the task
of giving shape to your kingdom of love and peace.
When we are discouraged and afraid or careless,
keep us going forward in hope,
make us vigilant in prayer,
that we may see the signs of your Son’s coming.
Let Jesus walk with us already now
on the road he has shown us,
that he may lead us to you,
our living God, for ever and ever.

Reading 1: Wis 13:1-9

Humans were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
But yet, for these the blame is less;
For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 19:2-3, 4-5ab

R.(2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

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."

Intercessions

– For the Church, the People of God, that we may not be self-sure, proud and triumphant, but aware of our poverty, our ills, and our constant need of conversion to the Gospel of Christ, we pray:
– For a world of violence, denial of rights and discrimination, that people may build to one another roads of friendship, respect and freedom, we pray:
– For all of us in this community, that we may hasten the coming of God’s new heaven and new earth by making straight our tortuous ways of selfishness and pride, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

God of our hope,
as a pledge of your promises
you give us your Son, Jesus Christ,
in these signs of bread and wine.
We do not ask you for a life
without problems and risks
but for your Son’s vision
of a world in which you are present
and for your Son’s courage
to answer with our very lives
your call to build up a new world
in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Lord our God,
our hope and our future,
you let your Son speak to us your word of hope
and renewed our strength with his bread of life.
Free our faith from banality and routine
and send us with your Son
to restore integrity and love
and the trust that with him,
we can give shape to a future
beyond all human expectations,
For the future belongs to you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

Blessing

Keep hoping, for there is a future. Christ is with you, and with him you can do away with violence and wars, you can defeat enmity with friendship. Keep your heads high, for the Lord Jesus is among us and with him there is hope and a future. Go with him, with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Commentary

The author of Wisdom lived in a highly intellectual and philosophical milieu. Alexandria in Egypt was the Athens of the East. Philosophers then, like scientists today, studied the natural world around them. In today’s reading, the author of Wisdom argues that God is responsible for the material universe and all the wonders of nature. The power and beauty of the cosmos point to the God who is their Creator. But in their fascination with the visible realities of creation, humans have been distracted from discerning more about the One who is responsible for bringing the natural world into being. It is in this Creator God that we should seek ultimate truth.
The Pharisees in today’s Gospel raise questions about the final days: How will the advent of those days be known? Christ’s answer is that it will be sudden and unexpected, much like the days of the destruction in the time of Noah and the time of Sodom. But when those days come, one will either be prepared to meet them or not.
Most Christians today do not spend much time on questions of the “end of days” because they don’t imagine they will be here to see them. There are some evangelical Christians who argue strongly that the final days are upon us. Some would argue that Palestine in its entirety must be returned to the Jews. For only when the land is theirs will the Lord return and the end of the world be here.
All of us have experienced at some point the fragility of our being. Tragic accidents, the wanton taking of life, the death of a young person. These are reminders of our real destiny and an encouragement to live each day as if it were our last. To contemplate beauty in the light of God himself, to see power in the light of the deity, the world about us as an expression of his goodness. “The heavens are telling the glory of God,” says the psalmist, and we must be alert to that voice.

Points to Ponder

Philosophy and the search for God
The fragility of human life
Living each day consistently.



Fernando Armellini


Fernando Armellini is an Italian missionary and biblical scholar. With his permission we have begun translating his Sunday reflections on the three readings from the original Italian into English.

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Sunday Reflection


There is a video available by Fr. Fernando Armellini with commentary for today’s Gospel