33rd Week of the Year (c)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (c)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 17th 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 18th November: Monday of 33rd week of the year.
Two Books of Maccabees were probably written about a hundred years before Christ, telling of events that had taken place a few years before that. They tell the story of a particular family, nicknamed the Maccabees, who decided to rebel against the country’s leaders who were trying to impose a foreign religious culture. The revolt was led, first by the father Matthias and later by his three sons, Judas, Jonathan and Simon.
In today’s passage we hear of the king supporting the move to suppress the traditional religion of the Jews by burning the books and setting up practices that were against the faith. A statue of Zeus Olympus was erected and the people were expected to pay reverence to it. Some stood firm and would not contaminate themselves.
The healing of the blind man near Jericho gives us a further insight into the nature of Jesus’ work. He is to give sight to the blind, not just in a physical sense but also spiritually. The blind man’s faith helps him to recognise Jesus as the one promised to the people of Israel throughout their history – he is the Son of David.
Tuesday 19th November: Tuesday of 33rd week of the year.
Pork was forbidden by the law. Antiochus, the ruler outlawed all Jewish customs and there were many persecutions. Eleazar refuses to break the Jewish law and became a martyr.
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 20th November: Wednesday of 33rd week of the year.
Today we hear of more martyrs. It is a story we heard recently in the Sunday cycle of readings. Each son gives a different reason for refusing to obey the king. Their mother too was not prepared to compromise her faith and as a result is martyred. As a result of their example, the traditional Jews eventually won the day and were able to restore their temple.
The Gospel reminds us that we are all given some talents in life. We are to use them to build up Christ’s kingdom wherever we find ourselves. The reward God promises will depend on the effort we put into using them.
Thursday 21st November: Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This feast goes back to 543 when a church, built near the Temple in Jerusalem, was dedicated to Our Lady. The feast helps reminds us of Our Lady’s dedication to God from her earliest years. According to an early Christian tradition, she was taken to the Temple as a child to be offered to the service of God.
Friday 22nd November: Memorial of St. Cecilia.
All that we know, with any certainty, about St. Cecilia is that she was a Roman lady who lived in the third century and founded a church which is named after her. A legend has been woven around her life and supposed martyrdom. According to one incident in that legend, she sang to God as she was being executed for her faith. This has resulted in her being name the patroness of all musicians. We ask her prayers today for all those who enhance the Church’s worship by music and song.
Saturday 23rd November: Saturday of 33rd week of the year.
Antiochus, the King of the region suffered because of the persecution he had inflicted on the Jews. He died with all his plans gone astray and far away from his own home. This was seen as punishment from God for the evil he had done.
Jesus takes the debate on to a different level. Jesus speaks with authority and confounds the Sadducees who said there was no resurrection. We are all going to rise on the last day.