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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What do you want? The Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

                                                        What do you want?

The Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

October 24, 2021

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Isaiah 53:10-11; Psalm 33; Hebrews 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45


When we come across the passage of the blind Bartimaeus in the readings, we know that the end of the church year is upon us. It is the time when Jesus concludes his earthly ministry and sets his eyes squarely upon Jerusalem where he will meet his handing over and death. Bartimaeus represents the type of disciple who full comes to belief and can follow Jesus along the way. He is in contrast with those others who are healed or come to partial sight, that is, partial faith. Bartimaeus proclaims that Jesus is the son of David, the one sent by God to bring salvation to the people.


Jesus asks Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” and it is a preview of the ultimate question that we need to answer about our faith. In the short term, we answer by saying, “we want a loved one to be healed or to have her suffering eased, or even to say that we want a difficult relationship restored to its original loving characteristic, but this question is different. This asks the ultimate question that only we can answer for the long-term. What do I want Jesus to do for me personally? There is a very personal nature to this question, and it concerns the salvation of my soul, and is directed only to me? The truth is: We each have to give answer to this question before we follow Jesus to the Cross and to salvation. Have we established enough of a friendship with him in order to be a companion to him in his suffering? Will I be enough of a friend to stay with him throughout his ordeal. This direct, penetrating question is never about me alone. It establishes if I trust Jesus enough and have become enough of a friend to him.


It might take some time for us over the next few weeks to answer the question he poses to us: What do you want me to do for you? It is not an easy question to answer, and it cannot be given quickly, because it is about how much we want to align our friendship to one another. I would imagine as we get closer to the end of our lives the answer becomes clearer, because it involves whether my life has meaning and integrity, whether I will be remembered after my death (and for how long), how will people remember me, and whether I have established enough trust in God to believe in the power of the resurrection and the promise of the life that is to come. These are questions that we have to wrestle with now before the end of our days approach. The manner and style of the way we love our closest circles of relationships is crucial for our consolation. 


This week, see if you can get to the core of your answer: What do you want Jesus to give you. This is the big question. Bring it to prayer. Ask for the courage to tell him. Ask also for the mercy and the warm invitation of Jesus to accept you as a friend, as one who will walk with him on a difficult journey ahead. Ask for the gift of magnanimous sight, that brings you faith, for that understanding heart will bring you salvation. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Romans 8) We are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 


Tuesday: (Romans 8) I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God.


Wednesday: (Romans 8) The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.


Thursday: (Ephesians 2) You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.


Friday (Romans 9) They are children of Israel; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever.


Saturday (Romans 11) I ask, then, has God rejected his people? Of course not!
For I too am a child of Israel, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.



Monday: (Luke 13) Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” 


Tuesday: (Luke 13) “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”.


Wednesday (Luke 13) Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.


Thursday (Luke 6) Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.


Friday (Luke 14) In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him.


Saturday (Luke 14) On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.


Saints of the Week


October 24: Anthony Claret, bishop (1807-1870) adopted his father's weaving career as a young man but continued to study Latin and printing. After entering seminary, he began preaching retreats and giving missions. He published and distributed religious literature and founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was appointed archbishop of Cuba but was called back to Spain to be Queen Isabella II's confessor. He resumed publishing until the revolution of 1868 sent him into exile. 


October 28: Simon and Jude, apostles (first century) were two of the Twelve Disciples called by Jesus, but little is known about them. We think they are Simon the Zealot and Judas, the son of James. Simon was most likely a Zealot sympathizer who would have desired revolution against Rome; Jude is also called Thaddeus, and is patron saint of hopeless causes. Both apostles suffered martyrdom. 


October 30: Dominic Collins, S.J., priest and martyr (1566-1602), was a Jesuit brother who was martyred in his native Ireland. He became a professional solider in the Catholic armies of Europe after the Desmond Rebellion was put down in 1583. He joined the Jesuits in 1584 at Santiago de Compostela and was sent back to Ireland in 1601 with a Spanish contingent. He was captured, tried for his faith, and sentenced to death.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • October 24, 1759: 133 members of the Society, banished from Portugal and put ashore at Civita Vecchia, were most kindly received by Clement XIII and by the religious communities, especially the Dominicans. 
  • October 25, 1567. St Stanislaus Kostka arrived in Rome and was admitted into the Society by St Francis Borgia. 
  • October 26, 1546. The Province of Portugal was established as the first province in the Society, with Simao Rodriguez as its first provincial superior. 
  • October 27, 1610. The initial entrance of the Jesuits into Canada. The mission had been recommended to the Society by Henry IV. 
  • October 28, 1958. The death of Wilfrid Parsons, founder of Thought magazine and editor of America from 1925 to 1936. 
  • October 29, 1645. In the General Chapter of the Benedictines in Portugal, a statement published by one of their order, that said St Ignatius had borrowed the matter in his Spiritual Exercises from a Benedictine author, was indignantly repudiated. 
  • October 30, 1638. On this day, John Milton, the great English poet, dined with the Fathers and students of the English College in Rome.

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