31st Sunday of the Year (b) – Solemnity of All Saints.
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 1st November: Solemnity of All Saints. (B)
This feast is probably Celtic in origin. It is a feast to enable us to venerate those many saints who have not been formally canonised nor included in the Church’s calendar. They are often known as ‘the anonymous saints.’ These may well include people we have known and loved in our own lives. We are linked with them in the Communion of Saints as they now intercede for us before God.
Monday 2nd November: Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed – All Souls Day.
As far back as the seventh century, it was the custom to set aside a day for prayers for those who have died. It was a Benedictine Abbot, St. Odilo, who set it on November 2nd following the lead of St. Augustine who stressed the need of praying for the dead outside their actual anniversary since they needed our prayers to reach heaven
Tuesday 3rd November: Tuesday of the 31st week of the year.
St. Paul’s letter is now drawing to a close and he gives some practical advice. This is based on the new law of love and not the old law. He stresses that we are all unique with different gifts and these gifts should be used for the good of everyone. He uses the imagery of the body to highlight this. He stresses the need to be sincere in all we do.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the ungrateful guests who make all sorts of excuses for not accepting the invitation to the banquet. It is a reminder that the Good News is not restricted to a closed number of people but is there for all to hear and accept or reject.
Wednesday 4th November: Memorial of St. Charles Borremeo
Charles was born in Arona, near Lake Maggiore in Italy. At the age of 21 he graduated with degrees in both civil and Canon Law. He was ordained a priest at the age of 24 and then called to Rome to serve in the Vatican. He was created a Cardinal and became Archbishop of Milan. He played a major part in the final session of the Council of Trent in 1562. He made many enemies as a result of his condemnation of the abuses within the Roman curia. However, in Milan, he established seminaries (which was a major innovation), personally preached and catechised everywhere, gave to the poor and cared for the sick. He died, worn out by his efforts, in 1584 at the age of 46.
Thursday 5th November: Thursday of the 31st week of the year.
In this chapter, St. Paul deals with some moral problems. He reminds us that we must not give scandal to one another; the strong should have consideration for the weak. At the end of time, we will all have to stand before the throne of God and give an account of ourselves to God himself.
The parable of the lost sheep and the lost money highlights how God seeks out the sinner to welcome them back. We should be doing the same.
Friday 6th November: Friday of the 31st week of the year.
Today and tomorrow, we reach the final extracts from St. Paul’s letter. He reminds the Romans of why he wrote the letter and praises them for all their efforts. He has done his duty to Christ and his teaching. Now they must do the same.
Jesus uses the parable of the unjust steward to highlight the need for his followers to be as energetic and as resourceful in looking after their spiritual affairs as the unjust steward was in protecting his interests and his job.
Saturday 7th November: Saturday of the 31st week of the year.
St. Paul concludes his letter with some personal greetings to the few people he knew in Rome. It ends with another great hymn of praise to God.
The major obstacle to the true following of Jesus, in Luke’s view, is money. The lesson on how to use it follows on. Aware of the injustices and imbalances in our world, the gospel challenges us to be careful and use the goods of this world correctly. We are to make sure they do not become our master or tempt us away from our following of Christ.