Monday, November 23, 2020

Monday of the Thirty-Fourth, or Last, Week in Ordinary Time

Pope Saint Clement I (c. 100); Saint Columbanus, Abbot and Missionary (c.543-615); Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, Martyr (1891-1927)

Other saints: Saint Amphilochius, Bishop (339-400); Saint Gregory of Girgenti, Bishop (c. 603); Saint Trond (c. 630-692)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 44 Satisfaction by the Excommunicated

Mass: Rev 14:1-3,4b-5; Resp Ps 24; Lk 21:1-4

Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? or who may stand in His holy place?

JESUS, SPLENDOR OF THE FATHER,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

I have been waiting for today's Gospel about the poor widow who offered her two small coins for the treasury (Lk 21:1-2). Some months ago a friend sent a line from a text she read by Soren Kierekegaard (1813-1855), She couldn't recall precisely, but it was from either Fear and Trembling or Purity of Heart. Kierekegaard's text, which my friend described as a "totally marvellous little piece about the widow who have her ALL". The text was loosely related as follows: Soren Kierkegaard says kind men observing the widow would probably have said "There, there little Mother. You keep those coins ..." But the Lord God says YES! Give me the LOT!

It is true, Our Lord asks us for everything, from our wealth and from our poverty. As my friend added: "The Lord God takes us seriously enough to ask us to give absolutely everything." Amen. May we offer all that we say and do to God, and trust in His merciful love and care. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

POPE SAINT CLEMENT I,
SAINT COLUMBANUS,
BLESSED MIGUEL AUGUSTIN PRO,
PRAY FOR US.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe

Other saints: Saint Cecilia, Martyr (?Third Century); The Eighty-Five Blessed Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales; Bd Salvator Lilli and Companions, Martyrs (1895)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 43:13-19

Mass: Ezk 34:11-12, 15-17; Resp Ps 23; 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28; Mt 25:31-46

Beside restful waters He leads me; He refreshes my soul.

HEART OF JESUS, OF INFINITE MAJESTY,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Welcome to the Last Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, a solemnity instituted by Pope Pius XI (1857-1939) in 1925. Jesus is no ordinary king. Jesus is Our True God and King, the Good Shepherd, who is living among us here and now, to enlighten, strengthen and free us (EG 164). This is the compassionate King, Jesus, who moved around to all the towns and villages, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. Our Lord sees us, His heart is moved with pity because we are troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd (Mt 9:35-36). We are in need of this solemnity in these days as in the days of Pope Pius XI, who "asserted that the most effective defense against the destructive forces of the age is the recognition of the kingship of Christ" (Universalis). These are the times to call upon Jesus, Our True King and Good Shepherd to help us. We must do our part and help proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, the kingdom of God that is among us now (Lk 17:21), in our minds and in our hearts. We must do our part to build the kingdom of God, first and foremost, within us. What do I need to do to further open my heart and mind to the healing, compassionate, merciful, and unconditional love of the Good Shepherd so that I can reach out to those in need, whether near or far? We are meant to care for one another as Jesus cares for us. What we do to others, we do to Jesus, as He tells us in today's Gospel: Whatever you did to one of the least of my brothers or sisters, you did to me (Mt 25:40).  Let us do our part to defend ourselves, the Church, our nation, and our world against the destructive forces of our age. Whether we like it or not, Jesus will judge us by our choices, as Pope Francis said in his homily today. If we choose hatred and evil we can never be happy. However, "if we choose God, we grow daily in His love, and if we choose to love others, we find true happiness." 

Rejoice in the Lord always. Let me say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, whatever is true, brothers and sisters, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
(Ph 4:4-8)

© Gertrude Feick 2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Saturday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

World Fisheries Day

Other saints: Pope Saint Gelasius I (496); Bd Mary Siedlinska, Foundress (1842-1902); 

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 43:1-12 Tardiness at the Work of God or at Table

Mass: For the feria: Rev 11:4-12; Resp Ps 144; Lk 20-27-40; For the memorial: Prov 8:22-31; Resp Ps 44; Lk 2:15-19

I will make your name renowned through all generations.

Today we celebrate the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and also observe World Fisheries Day and the work of Stella Maris that supports fishers and their families. We can do this by praying the Ave Stella Maris (Hail Star of the Sea) included here. May we all grow in our love for Jesus with the aid of His Blessed Mother. We go forth and "seek Mary's intercession and join her in offering ourselves to the Lord" (Magnificat, November 21, 2020, p. 309).

Hail, bright star of ocean, 
God's own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of heavenly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave 
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva's name.


Break the captives' fetters,
Light on blindness pour,
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.


Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thy Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.


Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild,
Freed from guilt, preserve us,
Pure and undefiled.


Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus,
Joy forevermore.

Through the highest heaven
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.


MARY, MOTHER OF GOD,
QUEEN OF PROPHETS,
GLORY OF THE APOSTLES, 
PRIDE OF THE MARTYRS,
PRAY FOR US.
 
© Gertrude Feick 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Other saints: Saint Edmund, King and Martyr (d.869); Saint Dasius, Martyr (?303); SS Sapor and Isaac, Bishops and Martyrs (339); Saint Bernward, Bishop (c.960-1022); Bd Mary Fortunata Viti (1827-1922)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 42 Silence after Compline

Mass: Rev 10:8-11; Resp Ps 119; Lk 19:45-48

I gasp with open mouth in my yearning for your commands.

HEART OF JESUS, SACRED TEMPLE OF GOD,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

My house shall be a house of prayer (Lk 19:46), says Jesus in today's Gospel. On this Friday, let us enter into the Heart of Jesus and pray that our hearts may be one with His Heart, Sacred Temple of God, so that we too become a house of prayer. What follows is a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), one I have wanted to include and better do it now before Autumn has come and gone. 🙏

Autumn

The leaves are falling, falling as from way off,
as though far gardens withered in the skies;
they are falling with denying gestures.

And in the nights the heavy earth is falling
from all the stars down into loneliness.

We are all falling. This hand falls.
And look at others; it is in them all.

And yet there is one who holds this falling
endlessly gently in his hands.

If you sometimes find yourselves so troubled and disturbed that you cannot find peace, turn immediately to prayer and persevere in it, in imitation of Jesus Christ our Lord, who prayed three times in the garden, to show us that prayer must always be our recourse and refuge.
(Blessed Clelia Merloni, 1861-1930)

BLESSED FORTUNATA VITI,
PRAY FOR US.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn (1241-1298)

Other saints: Saint Roque Gonzalez and his companions (-1628); Saint Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907); Saint Barlaam, Martyr (?Fourth Century); Saint Nerses, Bishop, and other Martyrs (Fourth Century); Saint Nerses I, Martyr (c. 330-373); Bd James of Mantua, Bishop (1338)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 41 The Times for Meals

Mass: Rev 5:1-10; Resp Ps 149; Lk 19:41-44

For the Lord loves His people.

HEART OF JESUS, OUR PEACE AND OUR RECONCILIATION,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

As Jesus continues His journey to Jerusalem and now sees the city, He weeps over it, saying: If this day you only knew what makes for peace. Those words followed by what Our Lord says next, are relevant here and now, but now it is hidden from your eyes (Lk 19:42). We too, do not know what makes for peace unless we keep in the forefront of our minds, hearts, words and deeds that the peace of Jesus is not as the world gives, as Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. (Jn 14:27). The peace that Christ gives is, as an acquaintance wrote, a peace that relates to finding contentment in one's vocation. It is "peace that allows us to say with confidence and Divine Solace: Father, Thy will be done." Put another way in a commentary: "Peace lies in surrendering to the Lord in trust and living by His love, not in fretting over the wrongs done by others. Undue concern over evils we cannot mend prevents us from taking true delight in Him" (Magnificat, Prayer for the Evening, November 18, 2020, p. 279). Yes, surrendering to Our Lord and seeking to do His will in all that we say and do. And from experience, we find that surrendering ourselves to the heart and will of Jesus does not come without shaking us up a bit. We fret. Oh, let not your hearts be troubled (Jn 14:27), says Our Lord and Master. With the words of the Prophet Isaiah, we go forth: "By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies (Is 30:15). Peace I leave with you.

A little longer-and the wicked shall have gone.
Look at his place, he is not there.
But the humble shall own the land
and enjoy the fullness of peace.
(Ps 37)

SAINT MECHTILDE OF HACKEBORN,
PRAY FOR US.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wednesday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852); The Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Other saints: Saint Romanus of Antioch, Martyr (304); Saint Mawes (?Fifth Century); Saint Odo of Cluny, Abbot (c. 880-892); Bd Caroline Kozka, Martyr (1898-1914)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 40 The Proper Amount of Drink

Mass: Rev 4:1-11; Resp Ps 150; Lk 19:11-28

Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

JESUS, SON OF THE LIVING GOD,
HAVE MERCY ON US. 

Praise for our hearts and lips come from the Book of Revelation: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come ... worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created" (Rev 4:8,11).

If in prayer we understand that each day given by God is a call, our hearts will then widen and we will accept everything. We will learn how to say: 'What you want, Lord. Promise me only that You will be present every step of my way ... Lord, what you want, when You want, and how You want'.
(Pope Francis, General Audience, November 18, 2020)

SAINT ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE,
SAINT PETER AND SAINT PAUL,
PRAY FOR US.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tuesday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)

Other saints: Saint Hilda of Whitby, Abbess (614-680); Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Bishop (1140-1200); Saint Dionysius of Alexandria, Bishop (190-265); Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop (213-270); SS Alphaeus and Zacchaeus, Martyrs (303); Saint Acisclus, Martyr (? Fourth Century); Saint Anianus of Orleans, Bishop (453); Saint Gregory of Tours, Bishop (539-594); Bd Salome, Abbess (1211-1268)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 39 The Proper Amount of Food

Mass: Rev 3:1-6, 14-22; Resp Ps 15; Lk 19:1-10

I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.

JESUS, TREASURE OF THE FAITHFUL,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

I read this about the Book of Revelation in my New American Bible this morning: "The Book of Revelation had its origin in a time of crisis, but it remains valid and meaningful for Christians of all time. In the face of apparently insuperable evil, either from within or without, all Christians are called to trust in Jesus' promise, 'Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt 28:20)", p. 1427. Something John heard the Lord saying to the angel of the Church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14) is certainly valid and meaningful for us: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me" (Rev 3:20). Dear small in stature Zacchaeus sure heard the voice of the Lord and opened his door. At the Lord's call to come down from the tree so Jesus could stay at his house, Zacchaeus came down quickly and received Jesus with joy (Lk 19:5-6). 

No matter what comes our way this day, whether in the face of apparently insuperable evil or not, let us trust in Our Lord to help us. Yes, He is with us always, until the end of the age. We go forth, then, and follow the lead of Zacchaeus. With our ears open to hear the voice of the Lord, and hearts to His love and mercy, let us receive Jesus with joy. 

SAINT ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY,
PRAY FOR US.

© Gertrude Feick 2020