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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The End of our Pilgrimage The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                           The End of our Pilgrimage

The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 13, 2022

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Malachi 3:19-20; Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19


          As the church approaches the end of its liturgical year, the readings ask us to interpret the hidden and underlying events that beckon us the adjust our lives to the goals of faith and the final judgment. That means we have to see the events around us through a lens of faith. We have to take off the ways we currently view the world and church and put on new lenses that can help us see the invisible movements of the Holy Spirit as it tills the earth. The church is not yet complete and never will be, and it is inseparable from God’s grace in history.


The Second Vatican Council asked all disciples to be aware of the signs of the times and to make choices with the end goal in mind. It adopted this language to help the People of God become active participants in being a church beyond the walls of a building, and to maturely understand the temporal and spiritual forces at work. These current days of reflection help us to assess where the church is going and what each of us has to do for one’s own personal faith development.


It is important for us to see the church as an ever-changing reality, and that we are pilgrims on a faith journey. Some people view the church as unchanging, possessing eternal truths, and rock solid in its tradition when there was a golden age, but the truth is that the church has always developed and evolved as it mediates God’s rule through Jesus to the People of God of their current times. The church is movement itself and it is always going forward as it aligns itself with God, sometimes accepting grace, and sometimes rejecting it, but eventually bringing itself right with God. Therefore, when the church faces discouragement, it has to remain united and respond faithfully to the urgings of the Spirit and the challenges of discipleship. The church originally was called the people of “The Way” because it saw itself as a community on the move.


As pilgrims on the way, we have certain dynamics to keep in mind. We have a common goal that unites us, but that unity never eliminates individuality, and we ought to honor those differences. We are not in control of much and we need not get too upset about how the church is changing. It is evolving according to the faith life of the people inside the pews and outside the doors. We hold onto mystery because we cannot determine who besides us Christ calls into the community, and we must respond to unexpected events and occurrences. The church is at its best when it learns how to respond to changes in society and within its own community. It must be prepared for unpredictable incidences because it makes us reflect back on the reason for our pilgrim mission, and therefore, it enables us to engage comfortably with the world around us, as we know these encounters will contribute to the richness of our journey. We as church must be open to change, always open to ongoing conversion.


These last weeks of the church year are ones of self and communal reflection for the sake of our ongoing conversion. As we journey together, we know that we are entering into times of uncertainty, which might seem like walking into the dark. The church throughout its history has not turned back. It learns to set its face squarely upon God’s providence and it continues to move forward, sometimes awkwardly, but always onward. The Church needs to be a community of imagination and creativity, especially in decision making, on undertaking bold ventures. It is doing so in its Synod and its commitment to dialogue and to walk together as the church modifies its style, its way of being in the world. We are walking to humbly meet our God, and as we decide to appreciate the one we are walking beside, we will find God by our side.


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 


Monday: (Revelation 1) “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,
and that you cannot tolerate the wicked; you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not and discovered that they are impostors.


 Tuesday: (Revelation 3) If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you. However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white,
because they are worthy.


Wednesday: (Revelation 4) A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian. Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald. Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones on which twenty-four elders sat, dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.


Thursday: (Revelation 5) One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed, enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”


Friday (Revelation 10) So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour,
but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.”


Saturday (Revelation 11) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and devours their enemies. In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain.




Monday: (Luke 18) As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”


Tuesday: (Luke 19) At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. 


Wednesday (Luke 19) While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.


Thursday (Luke 19) “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.


Friday (Luke 19) Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” And every day he was teaching in the temple area.


Saturday (Luke 20) Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.


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


·      November 13, 1865. The death of James Oliver Van de Velde, second bishop of the city of Chicago from 1848 to 1853.

·      November 14, 1854. In Spain, the community left Loyola for the Balearic Isles, in conformity with a government order.

·      November 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.

·      November 16, 1989. In El Salvador, the murder of six Jesuits connected with the University of Central America together with two of their lay colleagues.

·      November 17, 1579. Bl Rudolph Acquaviva and two other Jesuits set out from Goa for Surat and Fattiphur, the Court of Akbar, the Great Mogul.

·      November 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.

·      November 19, 1526. The Inquisition in Alcala, Spain examined Ignatius. They were concerned with the novelty of his way of life and his teaching.

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