31st Sunday of the Year (a)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 2nd November: 31st Sunday of the Year.
In the first reading, Malachi attacks the laziness and carelessness that has developed amongst the people. He attacks the religious leaders for their failure to lead by example and so are responsible for the erosion of the faith of the people.
St. Paul, in the second reading, expresses his thanks to the early Christians in Thessalonia because they have taken the Gospel to their hearts.
In the Gospel, we hear how strong Jesus was in criticism of those who used religion to gain power and who do not practice what they preach. He teaches his followers to be humble and to follow his example of loving service.
Monday 3rd November: Monday of the 31st week of the year.
St. Paul finishes off this special section of his letter, written for the Jewish community in Rome. He finishes with a powerful hymn of praise to the all-merciful God.
The social Gospel of St. Luke reaches its high point in this section. The care and concern of Jesus for the poor and the outcast is reflected in the lesson he teaches that our concern is to reach out in a similar way to all peoples.
Tuesday 4th November: Tuesday of the 31st week of the year.
The last part of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans is full of practical advice. He stresses the new law founded on Christ is to be the driving force of their lives, not the old law. He highlights the different gifts of each person and how they must be used to bring the whole Body of Christ together. Sincerity must be the base line for all to work from.
Jesus is highlighting how his message for all. He tells the parable of those who found excuses not to follow him and how their places were taken by those considered by the Jews to be unworthy.
Wednesday 5th November: Memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus.
John Duns Scotus was born in Duns, Berwickshire in 1265. He was a frequent visitor to the Cistercian Abbey at Melrose as he grew up. When he was fifteen, he entered the Franciscan novitiate at Dumfries before finally being ordained in 1291. He then began a series of journeys between England and France to further his studies. He taught in Oxford and Cambridge for about four years before returning to Paris where he came to be called the ‘Marian Doctor’ after defending what is now known as the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. He did this in spite of opposition from the academic body of Paris University He was sent then to Cologne where he lectured until his death in 1308. His tomb is in Cologne Cathedral. He was beatified in 1992 by Pope John Paul. He is the patron of the National Seminary in Scotland.
Thursday 6th November: Memorial of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
This is the cathedral church of Rome where the Pope has a permanent ‘cathedra’ or throne. It has a long history going back to the Emperor Constantine and is dedicated to the Most Holy Saviour. In celebrating the anniversary of its dedication, we proclaim our union with and love for the church of Rome – the ‘mother and head of all the churches.’
Friday 7th November: Memorial of St. Leo the Great.
Leo was probably born in Tuscany and was educated in Rome. He was outstanding as a theologian, statesman, pastor and administrator. He became Pope in 440. His clear teaching on the doctrine of the Incarnation at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 placed him among the greatest fathers and doctors of the Church. He did not have a peaceful pontificate. More than once Rome was threatened with destruction by the barbarian armies. He died in 461.
Saturday 8th November: Memorial of St. Martin of Tours
He was born around 316 in Northern Italy and was conscripted into the army at an early age. He gave up a military career, was baptised and became a priest, founding a monastery in France. In 371, he was elected Bishop of Tours, living a very simple and austere life and making a point of visiting all the parishes in his diocese. He did much to spread the Gospel in fourth century Europe. He died in 397.
We pray that the prayers of all the saints will bring us your forgiveness and love.
We praise you O God and honour all your holy ones.
We ask the help of those men, women and children who struggled against evil and
who loved and served one another,
who worked for justice and peace,
who healed the sick and fed the hungry,
who preached the Good News in season and out of season,
who suffered and died for you.
Make us and all those we love worthy to be called your saints.
Grant unto them
Let perpetual light
shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.