32nd Sunday of the Year (b)
Sunday 11th 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 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.
Tuesday 13th November: Tuesday of the 32nd week of the year.
Now Paul widens his advice out to the men and women of the Christian Community in Crete. The older and more experienced ones must guide and train the younger ones in the ways of the Gospel. They must be aware of the grace of God, bringing salvation to all.
We are reminded, in the Gospel, of the basic call we have received. It is to do our duty before God and our fellow human beings.
Wednesday 14th November: Wednesday of the 32nd week of the year.
Now St. Paul moves on to give guidance for all they citizens. Each one has been given the opportunity to build a new relationship with God who brings us his love and peace. He brings us his grace and his forgiveness. This is what needs to be passed on to everyone.
The Gospel passage reminds us that within our prayer, there should always be a prayer of thanksgiving for all that God has done for us and for all that He has given us.
Thursday 15th November: Thursday of the 32nd week of the year.
Today we have a short extract from the only ‘private’ letter written by St. Paul. It is written to his slave Philemon who had become a Christian after escaping from his captivity and fleeing to Rome. Paul stresses his responsibilities now that he is a Christian particularly with regard to looking after Onesimus.
Jesus again preaches about his forthcoming suffering and death and his rejection by those who should know better. It is a teaching the disciples find hard to take.
Friday 16th November: Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland.
Margaret was born in Hungary in 1046. She was a relative of Edward the Confessor. When she was 24, she married Malcolm Canmore, the King of Scotland and bore him eight children. She was a good wife and promoted family values as well as promoting education and faith in her adopted country. She tried to ensure that priests came to all parts of Scotland and lived a life of prayer and austerity. She died in 1093 and is the secondary patron of Scotland, after St. Andrew.
Saturday 17th November: Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
Elizabeth was born in 1207, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary. She was married and had three children. After the death of her husband, she led a life of poverty and spent her life caring for the sick in a hospice that she had built. She died in 1231, aged 24.
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.