32nd Sunday of the Year (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 8th November: 32nd Sunday of the Year. (b)
The first reading is from the First Book of Kings. In the middle of a famine, a poor widow shares the last of her food with the prophet Elijah and far from losing by so doing she is enriched.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Hebrews. Jesus is the great High Priest and the Victim of the sacrifice offered. Through his death, Christ has taken our sins upon himself and has opened for us the door to salvation.
In the Gospel, the generosity of the widow is contrasted with the greed and the selfishness of the scribes and the lawyers. In the eyes of others, the offering of the widow was the least, but in the eyes of Jesus, it was the greatest.
Monday 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.’
Tuesday 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.
Wednesday 11th 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.
Thursday 12th November: Memorial of St. Josaphat.
Josaphat was born in the Ukraine in 1580 and belonged to the Orthodox Church. He became a catholic, was ordained and became Bishop of Polock where he worked tirelessly to strengthen the union of his province of Kiev with the Holy See. He was met both with success and with suspicion, some of it coming from Catholics. He was murdered by his enemies in 1623, a martyr to Christian unity.
Friday 13th November: Friday in the 32nd week of the year.
The third section of the Book of Wisdom deals with beauty of God’s creation. He warns against turning all this beauty into a god and stresses the need to worship the author of all this beauty, God himself.
The Gospel presents us with a reference to the last day and the last judgement a theme which will increase as we move through these last days of the Church’s year. We are reminded of the need to be constantly ready.
Saturday 14th November: Saturday in the 32nd week of the year.
We have another extract from the Book of Wisdom. The author has been referring to many of the powerful actions in saving the People of Israel from the Egyptians who did not read the signs and understand the special relationship between God and his people. The author reminds the people that God will reward the good and punish the evil doer.
In the parable from St. Luke’s Gospel, the message is that of persevering in our prayer, following the example of the old lady with the judge.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
Grant unto them
Let perpetual light
shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.