XXXIII Sunday of Ordinary Time

By: New Word Writing

Palabra de Hoy
Palabra de Hoy

November 15, 2020

World Poor Day

Let us serve the Lord and the brethren in the hope that He will say to us on the last day: “Good and faithful servant; as you have been faithful in the little… enter into the joy of your Lord.”

Readings

First Reading

Reading the book of Proverbs 31, 10-13. 19-20. 30-31

A strong woman, who will find her? It outweighs pearls in value.
Her husband trusts her, for he does not lack riches.
It brings you profits, not losses, every day of your life.
He looks for wool and linen and works them with the dexterity of his hands.
He applies his hands to the spindle, with his fingers holding the wheel.
He opens his hands to the needy and reaches out to the poor.
Deceptive is grace, fleeting beauty; The one who fears the Lord deserves praise.
Sing to her for the success of her work, that her works praise her in public.

Psalm

Come out 127, 1-2. 3. 4-5

R/. Blessed is he who fears the Lord.

Blessed is he who fears the Lord and follows his ways.
You will eat the fruit of your work, you will be blissful, you will do well. R/.

Your wife, as a fruitful parra, in the middle of your house;
your children, like olive trees, around your table. R/.

This is the blessing of the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion, may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem every day of your life. R/.

Second Reading

Reading St Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians 5, 1-6

With regard to time and circumstances, brethren, you do not need me to write to you, for you know perfectly well that the Lord’s Day will come as a thief at night. When they are saying, “peace and security,” then, suddenly, they will be ruined, like the labor pains to which she is pregnant, and they will not be able to escape.
But you, brethren, do not live in darkness, so that that day will surprise you as a thief; for they are all children of the light and children of the day; we are not of night or darkness.
So let us not give ourselves to the dream like the others, but be awake and live soberly.

Gospel

Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 25, 14-30

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples this parable:
“A man, as he went on a trip, called his servants and left them in charge of his goods: he left five talents, another two, the other one, each according to his capacity; then he left.
The one who received five talents immediately went to negotiate with them and won another five. The one who received two did the same thing and won two more.
Instead, the one who received one went to make a hole in the ground and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time comes the lord of those servants and sets out to settle the accounts with them.
He approached the one who had received five talents and introduced him to another five, saying:
‘Lord, five talents you left me; look, I’ve won another five.’
His lord said to him:
‘Well, good and faithful servant; As you have been faithful in the little, I will give you an important position; enter into the joy of your lord.’
Then came the one who had received two talents and said:
‘Lord, two talents left me; look, I’ve won two more.’
His lord said to him:
‘Well, good and faithful servant; As you have been faithful in the little, I will give you an important position; enter into the joy of your lord.’
The one who had received a talent also came up and said:
‘Lord, I knew you’re picky, that you mowing where you don’t sow and pick up where you don’t spread, I was afraid, and I went to hide your talent underground. Here’s your thing.’
The lord replied:
‘You are a negligent and lazy servant. So you knew I’m following where I don’t sow and pick up where I don’t spread? Well, you should have put my money in the bank, so that when I got back, I could pick up my interest. Take off the talent and give it to the one who is ten. Because the one he has will be given and left over, but the one he doesn’t have will be taken away from him until what he’s got. And that useless servant, throw him out, into darkness; there will be crying and grinding of teeth.'”

Comment

Before entering the contents of today’s Word of God, we are placed in the context of this Sunday, penultimate of the Liturgical Year, before the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe, in which Pope Francis invites us to celebrate the Fourth World Day of the Poor.

“I invite the whole Church and men and women of goodwill to keep their eyes fixed on those who reach out to them by crying out for help and asking for our solidarity. They are our brothers and sisters, created and loved by the heavenly Father. This Day aims, first of all, to encourage believers to react to the culture of discarding and waste, making their own the culture of encounter. At the same time, the invitation is addressed to all, regardless of their religious confession, so that they may prepare to share with the poor through any action of solidarity, as a concrete sign of fraternity. God created heaven and earth for all; it is men, unfortunately, who have erected borders, walls and fences, betraying the original gift destined for humanity without any exclusion.” This is what Pope Francis told us in the Message for the First Day held in 2017 under the motto: “Let us not love by word but by works”.

The motto of this year’s Day is: “Reach out to the poor” (Yes 7:32). And in his message the Pope explains this: “To reach out is a sign: a sign that immediately recalls proximity, solidarity, love. In these months, when the whole world has been overwhelmed by a virus that has brought pain and death, discouragement and bewilderment, how many hands we have been able to see! The lying hand of the doctor who cares about each patient trying to find the right remedy. The lying hand of the nurse and nurse who, far beyond their working hours, remain to care for the sick. The lying hand of the one who works in the administration and provides the means to save as many lives as possible. The pharmacist’s lying hand, who is exposed to so many requests in risky contact with people. The priest’s stretched hand that blesses with a torn heart. The volunteer’s lying hand helps those who live on the street and those who, despite having a roof, have no food. The lying hand of men and women working to provide essential services and safety. And other hands stretched out that we could describe until we compose a litany of good deeds. All these hands have defied contagion and fear to give support and comfort.”

Pope Francis invites us to understand that the hand reached out, our dedication to the poor, cannot be separated from our relationship with God, from faith in Him, and prayer to Him. “Prayer to God and solidarity with the poor and suffering are inseparable. To celebrate a worship that is pleasing to the Lord, it is necessary to recognize that every person, even the most destitute and despised, bears the image of God in itself. From this attention derives the gift of divine blessing, attracted by the generosity that is practiced towards the poor. Therefore, the time devoted to prayer can never become an alibi to neglect the neighbor in need; but quite the opposite: the Lord’s blessing descends upon us and prayer accomplishes its purpose when it is accompanied by service to the poor. How current is this ancient teaching, also for us! Indeed, the Word of God goes beyond space, time, religions and cultures. The generosity that sustains the weak, comforts the afflicted, relieves suffering, restores dignity to those deprived of it, is a condition for a fully human life. The option to dedicate themselves to the poor and to meet their many and varied needs cannot be conditioned by time available or private interests, or by pastoral or social projects that are unraged. The power of God’s grace cannot be stifled by the narcissistic tendency to always put oneself first.”

Therefore, when we go to the celebration of the Eucharist, when we share the Word of Christ, together with his Body and Blood, we must carry with us the name, feelings, pain of the poor, known or unknown. Christ is in them, and from them he calls for greater coherence of life with the gospel; that our selfishness and indifference are overcome from His contemplation in them.

Today’s Word of God begins with a song to the strong woman, to the woman who makes goodness and fidelity the best ornaments that beautify her. She says the text of Proverbs, “opens her hands to the needy and reaches out to the poor.” No doubt God has placed in the feminine heart a special sensitivity to the poor and needy. How many charitable, welfare, promotional works have behind them the intelligence and good work of courageous and dedicated women, consecrated or not, both within and outside the Church. Who better than the woman reaches out… to the old man, to the sick, to the children, to those who pass any kind of calamity. Behind his lying hand, sweet and kind, goes also his heart full of love, faithful reflection of the paternal and maternal heart of God.

Today’s Gospel helps us to realize that we are all poor because all that we are and have received from God. He was rich became poor for us to enrich us all. He looked at us with love, gave us existence and filled us with talents, qualities and potentials, each of us differently, without any merit on our part. We are depositaries of your assets. Each of us is a beautiful field planted with seeds, which have been laid there by the Creator to bear fruit.

Of all this, on the final day, we will have to be held accountable, like the servants of the parable. Many times we live so engaged in the things of the present that we forget that life will one day end; perhaps, if we thought about it from time to time, without anguish or burden, we would not wear so much away in what is not worth, in what happens, and we would put more effort into what truly enriches and remains. love for God and neighbour embodied in works of mercy.

The way to multiply the talents God has given us is to use them for the good of others, as works of love that leap into eternal life. St John of the Cross says that “at the end of life, we will be examined in love”. I don’t think the Lord asks us if we did many things, but if we did them with love. I do not believe that it will pass us the account of our miseries, but rather it will demand what, being able to do, we did not do for others. How little do we accuse ourselves of our intentional omissions, cowardly absences and silences, of our laziness and negligence!

Sometimes we deceive ourselves into thinking that if we give ourselves to God, if we say yes, He will ask us for great renunciations and sacrifices, which we are not willing to make. With this excuse we stop being good to others and faithful to Him in the small things of every day, in the normal, in everyday, in the routine, in the little. The little, the small, the poor, the seemingly insignificant are like the brushstrokes of a mural painting that portrays our existence, the woven threads that embellish the fabric of our lives. Being faithful in the little… what a great program of life, how simple, but how difficult at the same time.

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of the Father, the good and faithful Servant, who made his life a gift to others, is given to us again in the Eucharist, under the poor appearances of bread and wine. As children of light, not darkness, every time wecome Him we announce His Death and Resurrection in waiting for the last day when He returns.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, brother of the poor,

in the face of the murky glare of the mighty you became helpless.

From the stellar heights of divinity you lowered man to touching the bottom.

Being wealth, you became poverty.

Being the axis of the world, you became periphery, marginalization, captivity.

You set aside the rich and satisfied and took the torch of the oppressed and forgotten, and you bet on them.

Carrying aloft the flag of mercy you walked the summits and broke behind the wounded sheep.

You said that the rich already had their god and that only the poor offer free spaces to amazement; for them it will be the sun and the kingdom, the trigal and the harvest. Blessed!

It is time to lift the tents and set out on our way to stop misery and sobing, weeping and tears, to break the metal of the chains and sustain the combatant dignity, which has come, relentlessly, the dawn of liberation when swords will be buried in the germinating earth.

There are many poor, Lord; they’re legion. His cry is deaf, growing, impetuous and sometimes threatening as a coming storm.

Give us, Lord Jesus, your sensitive and risky heart; deliver us from indifference and passivity; make us able to engage and bet, too, on the poor and abandoned.

It is time to collect the banners of justice and peace and get to the bottom of the crowds between tensions and conflicts, and challenge materialism with alternative solutions.

Give us, O King of the poor, the wisdom to weave a single garland with those two red flowers: contemplation and combat.

And give us the crown of the Beatitude. Amen.

(Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga)

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