Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 15
May the Light of God’s Divine Presence in Our Daily Lives Always Illumine Our Way, for His Love is Truly the Compass Which Guides Our Journey to Eternal Life, the Gateway Through Which All Our Hopes Shall Ultimately Be Realized.
In today’s Gospel, we hear our Lord praising an industrious servant in the “Parable of the Talents” – “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.”
For those of us who live the teachings of Jesus Christ by placing into practice all that our faith teaches us, we symbolize that industrious servant who invested the talents he was given and doubled their value. We do the same with the charisms and graces which we receive from God.
Our faith does not become just a Sunday practice; instead we live the Beatitudes and God’s Commandments seven days a week, investing the gifts which God has given us – bearing witness to this faith which you and I espouse with love, so that our holy and righteous example may give glory to God by helping to influence others in the practice of their faith.
We do not have to proselytize; we do not have to catechize. Oftentimes, all that is required is the example we live in our daily lives – decency in our moral conduct, appropriate speech, respect for the Holy Name of God, consideration and compassion for the needs of others, always being selfless in our relationship with our neighbor, and not being afraid to show our love for both God and one another.
And such conduct is exemplified in the virtues of “a worthy wife”, about whom we read today from the Book of Proverbs. These verses in our First Reading illustrate the qualities one finds in a virtuous and faithful person – man or woman – who lives a life focused on the needs of others rather than self!
The example which is demonstrated must truly come from the depths of one’s being and from one’s heart, not just for the sake of pretentious or hollow showmanship. For we read, “Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.”
And the “reward for her labors” is found in our Lord’s response, “Come, share your master’s joy.” And the “city gates” is the threshold to Heaven itself!
Today, on this 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, we find ourselves approaching the end of the liturgical year. Next Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, and then we begin the celebration of the season of Advent, as we start a new year in the life of the Church.
And as we begin to prepare ourselves for the time of Advent, when we begin to contemplate the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies relating to the advent, the arrival of the promised Messiah, we continue to turn our attention today to the needs of our soul, in which we are reminded that a day shall come when we will have to give an accounting of all that we have said and done in this life.
At the end of each liturgical year, the Church has chosen Readings which help us to focus on all that our Lord expects of us, and on the Day of Judgment which will inevitably come, whether it follows the end of the normal course of our life on Earth, or whether it follows the events which lead up to the awesome and glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which we call the Parousia!
It is a time of fulfillment, a time in which God will call all peoples to judgment, a time in which, as Saint Paul reminds us today in our Second Reading, “For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.” And then he goes on to say, “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.”
For those who live a righteous life, for those who live a virtuous and faith-filled life focusing on what God asks of each of us, as exemplified in our First Reading, then, as “children of the light”, Paul again reminds us not to become ambivalent in the practice of our faith, but rather “…let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.”
For whatever reason, known only to God Himself, you and I have been given this most wondrous gift of faith in His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! And we are each invited to live this faith by conducting ourselves in such a way that, by the example we give to others, we conscientiously fulfill our Christian obligations by living a blameless and morally virtuous life.
For it is through our Baptism that you and I have been consecrated to Christ. It is through our Baptism that each of us is called to be priest, prophet and king, living a holy life in imitation of the life of Christ Himself.
And such a calling is truly a mystery, if we were to take the time to truly think about it. We could have come into this world and been introduced into an entirely different culture or faith persuasion.
But instead, God created our soul at the very moment of our conception, to be born of parents over whom we had no choice, so that you and I would be given the opportunity of responding to His grace. And, in that response, we are living today this faith which we hold so dear, giving Him glory, praise and honor – all which are rightfully His due!
Sadly, there are many in this world who take this life for granted, with no attempt at understanding the unfathomable Love which God has for each of us, with no concern for the state of their soul in the eyes if God.
And one day, in a time known only to our Creator, our life here, as we know it, will come to an end. Whether it ends through the normal course of human events – such as aging, human illness, or an unexpected accident – or whether it ends through the fulfillment of all the Biblical prophecies concerning the “end-of-times”, we will stand in judgment before the Throne of God’s Justice, and we shall be held accountable for all that we did or did not do over the course of our lifetime!
For those of us, however, who stand true to the teachings of our faith, for those of us who place into practice the virtues which emulate the very life of Christ Himself, for those of us who have lived our lives in selfless love for both God and neighbor, and for those of us who implore God’s Mercy for times in which we have failed in love, then we will NOT hear the words spoken by our Lord at the end of today’s Gospel, “…throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
May each one of us always focus on the Face of Jesus Christ in our every thought, in our every word and deed. And, may the Light of His Divine Presence in our daily lives always illumine our way, for His Love is truly the compass which guides our journey to eternal life.
His Love is truly the Gateway through which all our hopes will ultimately be realized!
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’” (Matthew 25:21)
- “Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value. Her husband trusts her judgment; he does not lack income. She brings him profit, not loss, all the days of her life…She girds herself with strength; she exerts her arms with vigor.” (Proverbs 31,10-12, 17)
- “Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31)
- “For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night…But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4-5a)
- “Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
- “Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” (Malachi 3:19-20a)
- “Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)
- “Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create.” (Isaiah 65:17-18a)
- “But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.” (2 Peter 3:13-14)
- “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gateway to heaven!” (Genesis 28:17)
- “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: ‘To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.’” (Revelation 5:13)
Prayer for the Day
“Heavenly and Eternal Father,
You break the power of evil
And make all things new
In Your Son, Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe,
Lord and Savior and Just Judge of all mankind.
“May all the angelic hosts in Heaven
And all Your children on Earth acclaim Your Holiness
And never cease to praise the wonders of Your Glory.
“We offer this prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son,cf. LOH Concluding Prayer (from the Solemnity of Christ the King)
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.”