33rd Sunday of the Year (c)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (c)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 13th November: 33rd Sunday of the Year. (c)
The first reading is from the Prophet Malachi. He is one of the prophets who reminds us that there are consequences to our actions. If we do evil, it will others and ourselves. When we do good, it makes us happy and adds to the happiness of others. In those good works, the light of God shines through.
St. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, is encouraging honesty among them Waiting for the second coming is no excuse for sitting around and letting the values and ideals of Jesus slip.
Jesus is telling those who are following him that there will be challenges ahead for them. They will face persecution and hostility. They will enjoy happy times and good times but Jesus warns tham about taking those for granted.
Monday 14th November: Monday of 33rd week of the year.
In these last two weeks of the Liturgical Year we begin a series from the Book of Revelation, written when the early Church was under persecution. They were expected to treat the Emperor publicly as a god but refused and as a result found themselves under ferocious and horrifying attack. In this first extract, we are told that this is God’s revelation to his people. It is written for the Church at Ephesus, a city notorious for its pagan lifestyle. Those who remain loyal to Christ are praised.
The Gospel reminds us of the power of faith. The story of the healing of the blind man reminds that the healings which Jesus carried out were not just to be seen as physical events but were also intended to build up the faith of those affected.
Tuesday 15th November: Tuesday of 33rd week of the year.
As we move towards the end of the Church’s year the first reading comes from the Book of Revelation, written during the persecution of the Christians who were expected to treat the emperor as a god. The readings describe the chaos of the last days and then those who remain faithful are praised in the form of letters.
John continues with his letters to the main Churches, one in Sardis and one in Laodicea. Both are heavily criticised because of the approach to morality and Christian principles. One very immoral the other was lukewarm. They are warned very explicitly about what might happen if they do not change their ways.
Zaccheus becomes the host of Jesus. He overcame his physical size to look for Christ – another act of faith. His faith saved him from his sins. Those who criticised Jesus for going to a sinner’s house have completely missed the point.
Wednesday 16th November: Feast of St. Margaret.
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.
Thursday 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.
Friday 18th November: Friday of 33rd week of the year.
Again, we have a very symbolic action put before us. The eating of the scroll and prophesying goes back to the time of Ezekiel when we learned how the Jews when learning the alphabet used a mixture of flower and honey to make the letters. Once the child mastered the sound, they were allowed to lick the letter off the slate. Now the people are to prophesy and witness to their faith before all nations.
We are very clearly warned that we should have respect for the Temple of the Lord. It is to be first and foremost a place of prayer.
Saturday 19th November: Saturday of 33rd week of the year.
The two witnesses presented are modelled on Elijah and Moses. The antichrist is the one who is trying to lead the people of God astray. Those who have survived the great persecution give glory to God and are signs that good will triumph over evil at the end of time.
Again the scribes try to trap Jesus with what is meant to be an unanswerable question. Because he can speak with authority, Jesus takes the debate on to a higher level. He uses the debate to teach the truth of the resurrection. We are all going to rise on the last day.
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.