31st Sunday of the Year (b)
Sunday 4th November: 31st Sunday of the Year. (B)
The first reading, from the Book of Deuteronomy, presents the central command given to the Jewish people, a command which is still at the heart of their faith today. They are to love God above all else.
The second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews shows the superiority of Jesus as High Priest over the priests of the Old Testament.
In the Gospel, Jesus repeats the commandment precious to the Jews but then adds to it the importance of the love of neighbour.
Monday 5th November: Monday of the 31st week of the year.
We continue this week with extracts from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.
St. Paul reminds us that all selfishness and ambition must be avoided if we truly to be united in Christ.
In the Gospel, Jesus continues in the vein of Saturday’s Gospel. Don’t let ambition and pride make you think you are better than the person next to you.
Tuesday 6th November: Tuesday of the 31st week of the year.
In today’s reading from St. Paul, there is a great hymn of praise and thanksgiving for all Jesus has done for us. We should bend our knees and proclaim the glory of God.
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 7th November: Wednesday of 31st week of the year
St. Paul gives very practical advice to the Philippians and urges them to deepen their faith and trust in God.
Jesus warns that being a true follower of his will not always be easy A firm sense of commitment is required.
Thursday 8th 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.
Friday 9th November: Feast 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.’
Saturday 10th 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.
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.