Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 13, 2016
Wisdom 11:22-12:2; Psalm 145; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2; Luke 19:1-10

            “Keep calm and carry on” is the message in the readings today. Lessen the effects of the drama by downplaying them. You do not have to get caught up in the craziness of others. You simply have to do your job quietly and pay little attention to turbulence around you. Christ will guide you through the messiness, but it does not have to be your personal chaos.

            Have you ever been confronted by a person that needs to constantly talk about their problems and does not listen to any advice? You are handcuffed by that person’s hold on you and you cannot get away from them or their drama. They suck you into their problems. You do not even think they want their problems solved. You want to be polite. You see they are in pain and you realize they need to be heard. You want to be kind to them, but you realize something about them wants to hold onto the chaos and not solve the problems. You realize there is no way you can help them. They are a hornet’s nest of pain. You avoid them. Do you know anyone like that? Sometimes those people hang around at church because they know kind people will listen to them and give them the time they do not get elsewhere. Sometimes church is where people with poor manners come and expect their behavior to be tolerated and welcomed.

            We cannot deal effectively with cosmic realities if we do not do well with our local, personal drama. Malachi says there will be a day of judgment when the proud and the evildoers will be destroyed leaving only the faithful ones to stand before the sun of justice. Luke tells us in the Gospel that the temple will knocked down leaving only rubble. The people will face pestilence and hardships and life will be turned upside-down. In the midst of this destruction, many will raise their voices shouting that they have the solutions. Jesus says, “Do not trust them. Learn how to read the signs of the times. Face your persecution calmly. It is going to hurt your feelings, and you will be betrayed by those closest to you, but it will not harm your soul.” He cautions us to simply believe, breathe comfortably, and wait out the turbulence. In the end, all will be well, and if all is not well, it is not the end.

            We have to practice reading the signs of the times and to lessen the drama around us in small matters first. Through experience, we endure the larger drama. In other words, we have to set positive boundaries around people with bad behavior so we are not pulled into their mess. The anxieties of others do not have to make us anxious. We have control over our demeanor by learning techniques to keep us in balance when the bad behaviors of others assail us. We have to frame our relationship firmly with proper boundaries.

            St. Paul helps us to stay balanced and keep focused on the important parts of life. We are to do our jobs well, just like Paul and the elders did, and we are to provide for ourselves as best we can. We do not accept handouts or expect excessive payments for usual activities. We practice fairness and we do not let ourselves get sidetracked by honor or shame. We keep focused on our main goals and do it quietly, without drama.

            The church year is ending and from behind the scenes, Jesus is taking up everyone to himself in heaven. The whole heavenly company is working for our good and helping us to persevere. Keep the drama low and trust in God’s promises for you. Keep calm and keep matters simple. Your lives will be secure. Keep calm and carry on.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Revelation 1) To the church in Ephesus: I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked. You have suffered for my name.
Tuesday: (Revelation 3) To the church in Sardis: I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. A few of you will be spared because they are worthy.
Wednesday: (Revelation 4) I saw a vision from heaven: In the center were four living creatures that surrounded the one who sits on the throne.
Thursday: (Revelation 5) In the midst of the throne was a lamb ready to be slain. He was the one worthy to open the scroll of scripture.  
Friday (Revelation 10) Take the scroll and swallow it. You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.  
Saturday (Revelation 11) A great battle was waged between the beasts and the inhabitants of the earth. All died, but after 3.5 days the breath of life from God entered them. Those who fell stood on their feet. They went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.

Monday: (Luke 18) A blind beggar heard Jesus was passing by: Son of David, have pity on me. What do you want me to do for you? Lord, please let me see.
Tuesday: (Luke 9) Zachhaeus, the tax collector, climbed a tree to see Jesus, who offered him salvation. Because of his mercy, he repaid all those he defrauded.    
Wednesday (Luke 19) Jesus told a parable near Jerusalem: A nobleman went off for a while and told his servants to engage in trade with his coins. Some invested wisely, but one did not. He was chastised and all was taken away from him.
Thursday (Luke 19) If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.
Friday (Luke 19) Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple and went teaching in the temple area. Meanwhile, many were plotting his death.
Saturday (Luke 20) Jesus settles the dispute about the resurrection and tells the people that all who have died are alive to God and to us.  

Saints of the Week

November 13: Francis Xavier Cabrini, religious (1850-1917) was an Italian-born daughter to a Lombardy family of 13 children. She wanted to become a nun, but needed to stay at her parents’ farm because of their poor health. A priest asked her to help work in a girls’ school and she stayed for six years before the bishop asked her to care for girls in poor schools and hospitals. With six sisters, she came to the U.S. in 1889 to work among Italian immigrants. She was the first American citizen to be canonized.  

November 13: Stanislaus Kostka, S.J., religious (1550-1568) was a Polish novice who walked from his home to Rome to enter the Jesuits on his 17th birthday. He feared reprisals by his father against the Society in Poland so we went to directly see the Superior General in person. Francis Borgia admitted him after Peter Canisius had him take a month in school before applying for entrance. Because of his early death, Kostka is revered as the patron saint of Jesuit novices.

November 14: Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Superior General (1917-1991) was the 28th Superior General of the Jesuits. He was born in the Basque region of the Iberian Peninsula. He is considered one of the great reformers of the Society because he was asked by the Pope to carry out the reforms of Vatican II. November 14th is the commemoration of his birth.

November 14: Joseph Pignatelli, S.J., religious and Superior General (1737-1811) was born in Zaragosa, Spain and entered the Jesuits during a turbulent era. He was known as the unofficial leader of the Jesuits in Sardinia when the Order was suppressed and placed in exile. He worked with European leaders to continue an underground existence and he was appointed Novice Master under Catherine the Great, who allowed the Society to receive new recruits. He secured the restoration of the Society partly in 1803 and fully in 1811 and bridged a link between the two eras of the Society. He oversaw a temperate reform of the Order that assured their survival.

November 15: Albert the Great, bishop and doctor (1200-1280), joined the Dominicans to teach theology in Germany and Paris. Thomas Aquinas was his student. With his reluctance, he was made bishop of Ratisbon. He resigned after four years so he could teach again. His intellectual pursuits included philosophy, natural science, theology, and Arabic language and culture. He applied Aristotle's philosophy to theology.

November 16: Roch Gonzalez, John del Castillo, and Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (1576-1628) were Jesuit priests born to Paraguayan nobility who were architects of the Paraguayan reductions, societies of immigrants based on religious faith. They taught the indigenous population how to plant farms and other basic life skills that would protect them from the insidious slave trades of Spain and Portugal. By the time the Jesuits were expelled, 57 such settlements were established. Roch was a staunch opponent of the slave trade. He, John, and Alphonsus were killed when the envy of a local witch doctor lost his authority at the expense of their growing medical expertise.  

November 16: Margaret of Scotland (1046-1093) was raised in Hungary because the Danes invaded England. She returned after the Norman Conquest in 1066 and sought refuge in Scotland. She married the king and bore him eight children. She corrected many wayward abuses within the church and clarified church practices.

November 16: Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) was placed for childrearing into a Benedictine monastery at age 5 in Saxony. She lived with two mystics named Mechthild and as she developed her intellectual and spiritual gifts, she too became a mystic. Her spiritual instructions are collected into five volumes. She wrote prayers as a first advocate of the Sacred Heart.

November 17: Elizabeth of Hungary, (1207-1231) was the daughter of Andrew II, king of Hungary. She married Ludwig IV of Thuringia and as queen supported many charities. When her husband died in a crusade in 1227, she entered the Third Order of Franciscans.

November 18: The Dedication of the Basilicas of Peter and Paul celebrates churches in honor of the two great church founders. St. Peter's basilica was begun in 323 by Emperor Constantine - directly over Peter's tomb. A new basilica was begun in 1506 and it was completed in 1626. Many great artists and architects had a hand in building it. St. Paul Outside the Walls was built in the 4th century over Paul's tomb. It was destroyed by fire in 1823 and subsequently rebuilt.

November 18: Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852) joined the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and at age 49, traveled to Missouri to set up a missionary center and the first free school west of the Mississippi. She then founded six more missions. She worked to better the lives of the Native Americans.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Nov 13, 1865. The death of James Oliver Van de Velde, second bishop of the city of Chicago from 1848 to 1853.
·      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. Bl 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. The Inquisition in Alcala, Spain examined Ignatius. They were concerned with the novelty of his way of life and his teaching.