33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) - 19 November
19th Nov 2023
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) - 19 November
“If, during life, we have been kind to the suffering souls in Purgatory, God will see that help be not denied us after death.” - St Paul of the Cross
Please remember during this month of November to pray for the souls in Purgatory and for all the deceased.
Prayer for the Souls of the Departed
Almighty Eternal God, in Your fatherly goodness, be kind to the souls of Your servants. Cleanse them whom You have called from this world of all their faults, take them into the Realm of Light and Peace and into the Community of Your Saints, and give them their share of Eternal Delight in Your Kingdom. God, You Creator and Saviour of all the faithful, forgive all the sins of all Your servants’ souls. Let them receive forgiveness through our pious prayer, for which they have always been yearning. For this we pray through Jesus, Our Lord. Amen. Immaculate Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, pray for us.
A reflection on today's readings by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:
"A Christian is a man to whom Our Lord has given other men. He breaks bread to the poor through our hands, He consoles the sick through our lips, He visits the sorrowful upon our feet, He sees the fields of harvest through our eyes, and He gathers the bundles into His everlasting barns through our toil.
"To be worthy of the name Christian, then, means that we, too, must thirst for the spread of the divine love; and if we do not thirst, then we shall never be invited to sit down at the banquet of life.
"Crowns shall be given only to the victors, and the chalice of everlasting wine only to those who thirst.
"A Catholic who does not strive to spread his Faith is a parasite on the life of the Church; he who is not girding his loins for apostolate is abdicating his seat on the dais of Christianity; he who is not bearing fruit is like a tree cut down on the road, impeding the march of the army of God. He who is not a conquering spirit is a renegade.
"The torch of faith has been given to us not to delight our eyes but to enkindle the torches of our fellow men. Unless we burn and are on fire for the divine cause, a glacial invasion will sweep the earth, which will be the end, for ‘The Son of man, when He cometh, shall He find, think you, faith on earth?’ (Luke 18:8).
"The measure of our apostolate is the intensity of our love. A human heart loves to talk about the object of his love and loves to hear that object praised.
"If we love Our Lord, then we will love to talk about His holy cause, for ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh’ (Matthew 12:34). To those who have such love, there is never the excuse of a want of opportunity. Our Lord has told us, ‘the harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few’ (Matthew 9:37).
"To the zealous Christian, every country is a mission country; every banquet room, a Simon’s house, where another Magdalen can be found; every ship, another bark of Peter, from which nets of salvation can be let down; every crowded city street, another Tyre and Sidon, where the whelps that eat the crumbs from the master’s table can be rewarded for their faith; and every cross is a throne where thieves become courtiers.
"There are those who would destroy every mark of the Saviour’s feet from the face of the earth. There are those who would renew the Crucifixion by hating those who preach Christ’s love. The wicked today hide not the shame of their sins but seek to find others and make others like unto themselves, in order to find consolation in their corporate decadence.
"But these are not reasons why Christians should go into the catacombs and leave the earth to the race of Cain. While these enemies of divine love live, they are still purchasable by divine grace and are potential children of the kingdom of God. They are our opportunities.
"Our Lord thirsted for them on the Cross, and we must thirst for them too and love them enough to try to save them. One thing is certain; we are not called to be Christians to damn them but to save them, in order that all men may be one great redeemed humanity and Christ its Sacred Heart."
(The Cries of Jesus From the Cross)
Food for thought
A talent, aside from being a unit of weight, has also been interpreted by theologians to be a unit of value, a gift or skill given to each person. To each of the servants in the Gospel talents were given, each according to their ability. Two utilised the talents given to them, one did not. Two increased the treasure of their Lord, one did not. We must ask ourselves, do we utilise our talents to increase God’s Kingdom by bringing more souls to it? Or do we bury our talents, despise them while being envious of those given to others. In His words Christ cautions us that what God gives He can also take away. We therefore must ensure to not only thank Him for those talents He gives to us, but use them for His glory and to bring more souls to Him. We must constantly nurture the greatest gift, our faith in God, with daily prayer and contemplation, and never risk losing it through our own laziness or fear.
World Day of the Poor
We join with Pope Francis in praying for those affected by both material and spiritual poverty. For those who lack the basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and medicine, and those whose souls are unnourished by faith and love of God, and those who feel abandoned by the world.
Prayer: Almighty and Eternal Father, You hear the cry of each of Your children, and especially those who are poor and suffering. We pray that we too might hear the cries of people in need: those who are hungry, homeless, abandoned, the trafficked and abused, the unloved, those who do not know You, all who are poor and vulnerable, crying out for help. Lord, open our hearts that we may hear the cries of the poor as You do and respond as Your hands and feet on earth. We ask this through the precious blood of Your Divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.