Daily Email

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 14, 2010

The end-time readings put us in an awkward space. Luke is telling the story of Jesus on his way to Jerusalem, specifically to the Temple. He highlights the consequences for Jerusalem for not heeding the teaching of Jesus as God's prophet, and he insinuates the fall of the Temple is a result of rejecting God's ways. The destruction of the Temple forty years after the death of Jesus is a terrible blow to the consciousness of both Jews and to the new Gentile Christian converts. The religious leaders and people have to imagine worship without their most sacred symbols. It is a time of confusion and fear.

The disciples of Jesus look beyond the calamities and see the vindication of the rejected Jesus. Their faith is bolstered by remaining faithful to him. In the face of adversity the disciples realize they will be rejected because of their allegiance to him. These calamities will be cosmic disasters, persecution, the destruction of Jerusalem and ultimately the end of the world and they will point to the reality that Jesus is the Son of Man, God's prophet, and our Lord.

The disciples are not to equate the destruction of the Temple with the return of Jesus. It is a sign though that we are moving closer to the end time. Jesus is not concerned about answering the question "when will this happen?" as much as he is helping his disciples respond to all the crises that will face them. These crises will become very personal when family members and loved ones join in as one's adversaries. This will tear one's heart apart, but the rejected Jesus has been vindicated and will strengthen each of his beleaguered disciples.

Jesus reminds his friends to follow only him because there will be other false leaders who will try to win their affections. His friends are to keep their attention focused on him rather than to be concerned with the sufferings they are facing. His life brought about great conflict; a faithful disciple's life will generate the same effect. He will, however, be present in spirit to help the person stand tall in the face of this adversity. A believer is to persevere in a manner of life that imitates the life of Jesus. The rejected one will not forget his faithful allies.

We will be strengthened if we remember Christ remains faithful to us in our personal crises. It is easy to take our eyes off of him and think of the psychic, emotional, and physical pain we face. We have to let him be Lord and let his presence reveal itself through our calamities. We believe Jesus will come again to gather the world to himself to present it to God and we also have our individual end time - our own death. With the help of Christ, we can live without fear of anything. Everyone wants to live bolder lives that are more meaningful and rich. As some forces in the world work to hold us back, let's pray to Christ that he will remain steadfast in our times of trial and liberate us from unnecessary anxiety. He will strengthen us to live in the glory that he holds out for us. We can be sure that Christ is always working to support his faithful ones. With his protection, we can withstand anything the universe throws at us.

Quote for the Week

From Luke 19

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes."

Themes for this Week’s Masses

First Reading: In Revelation, John begins to tell of his vision to the seven churches in Asia in order to encourage them in the face of persecution and threats. John tells the people to conserve the tradition that has been handed onto them and to honor the one who reads the Word of God. If anyone hears God's voice and opens the door, the Lord will have supper with him. The vision continues with the Lord God appearing in glory. He is the almighty one who was, and who is, and who is to come. The Lamb of God appears. For you, he was slain and your blood was purchased from every tribe and nation. You have been made into a kingdom of priests. John then took the scroll and swallowed it. He devoured the words so he could prophesy again to many people, nations, and kings. Two witnesses will rise to see two prophets who torment the faithful ones while the beast that comes from the abyss will wreak havoc on the land. Corpses will be on display for 3.5 days until a breath of life from God enters them.

Gospel: On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus passes through Jericho where a blind man comes to sight, a symbol of true belief, after being healed. Jesus then runs into Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, who longs to see Jesus. Jesus invites himself to dinner at his house and Zacchaeus repents. He becomes a generous and just man. In describing the Kingdom of God, Jesus tells a parable of a nobleman who entrusts his gold coins to his servants. Two servants act wisely and invest the money; the third is foolish and hides the coins. Jesus says God has given us talents to use well. We ought not stow them away. As he approaches Jerusalem, he weeps over it because peace is hidden from their eyes. He boldly enters the Temple and drives out those who have desecrated it with their commercial enterprises. Finally, he enters into conflict with the Sadducees who deny the resurrection or the existence of angels.

Saints of the Week

Monday: Albert, bishop and doctor, a German, joined the new Dominican Order in 1229. Thomas Aquinas was his student in theology at the University of Paris. He taught in Cologne and then was named bishop of Ratisbon in 1260. He was known for his intellect and he was a leader in adapting Aristotle's philosophy to theology.

Tuesday: Margaret of Scotland married, Malcolm, the King of Scotland in 1070, four years after the Norman Conquest of England. She fled to Scotland in 1066 for refuge. Her family previously sought refuge in Hungary after the Danes invaded England. As queen, she had a pastoral presence among the people and corrected many church abuses.

Gertrude was raised by the Benedictine nuns in Saxony where she lived with two mystics: Mechthild of Hackenborn and Mechthild of Magdeburg. She also experienced mystical visions and wrote these down into five books. She lived in the 13th century.

Roch Gonzales, John del Castillo, Alphonsus Rodriguez were Jesuit martyrs of the Paraguayan reductions. Gonzalez was a Paraguayan citizen who descended from early Spanish colonists. As Jesuits set up new indigenous villages with Christian values called reductions, jealous opposition increased from the local witch doctors for the influence the Jesuits had over the people. To stop this, the witch doctors set up situations to murder the Jesuits and reclaim their authority.

Wednesday: Elizabeth of Hungary was a generous woman to many charities in Thuringia. When her husband, Ludwig, died on crusade in 1227, his brother expelled her and her children from the royal court. She entered the Third Order of the Franciscans to continue her philanthropy and to spend greater time in prayer.

Thursday: The Dedication of the Basilicas of Peter and Paul in Rome commemorates the monumental work of the first apostles of Christ. St. Peter's basilica was begun in 323 over the grave of Peter and lasted until 1506 when a new church was built. Michelangelo helped with the ideas for the basilica. St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls (of Rome) was built in the 4th century, destroyed by a fire in the 19th century, and was rebuilt shortly thereafter.

Rose Philippine Duchesne was a French missionary of the Society of the Sacred Heart. She traveled to Missouri and set up the first free school west of the Mississippi River. She established six more missions and worked for the Native Americans. She was known for her personal devotion to her prayer.

This Week in Jesuit History

• Nov 14, 1854. In Spain, the community left Loyola for the Balearic Isles, in conformity with a government order.
• Nov 15, 1628. The deaths of St Roch Gonzalez and Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez. They were some of the architects of the Jesuit missions in Uruguay and Paraguay.
• Nov 16, 1989. In El Salvador, the murder of six Jesuits connected with the University of Central America together with two of their lay colleagues.
• Nov 17, 1579. Rudolph Acquaviva and two other Jesuits set out from Goa for Surat and Fattiphur, the Court of Akbar, the Great Mogul.
• Nov 18, 1538. Pope Paul III caused the governor of Rome to publish the verdict proclaiming the complete innocence of Ignatius and his companions of all heresy.
• Nov 19, 1526. Ignatius was examined by the Inquisition in Alcala, Spain. They were concerned with the novelty of his way of life and his teaching.
• Nov 20, 1864. In St Peter's, Rome, the beatification of Peter Canisius by Pope Pius IX.

Jesuit Martyrs of the UCA

On Friday, November 19th, we remember the six Jesuits of the University of Central America and their housekeeper and her daughter who were slaughtered by the Salvadoran government at their residence. Their crime was teaching students at the university in the midst of a civil war.

Each year, Jesuits and their colleagues will gather to protest the U.S. government's role in training the Salvadoran soldiers (and many nations in Central and South America) in guerilla tactics and torture techniques. Formerly called the School of the Americas, WHINSEC in Columbus, Georgia has modified their practices and many nations have dropped their participation in the school.

No comments:

Post a Comment