33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
World Day of the Poor - 17th November
Pope Francis speaks to us on this the
third World Day of the Poor.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I encourage you to seek, in every poor person whom you encounter, his or her true needs, not to stop at their most obvious material needs, but to discover their inner goodness, paying heed to their background and their way of expressing themselves, and in this way to initiate a true fraternal dialogue. Let us set aside the divisions born of ideological and political positions, and instead fix our gaze on what is essential, on what does not call for a flood of words, but a gaze of love and an outstretched hand.
Before all else, the poor need God and his love, made visible by “the saints next door”, people who by the simplicity of their lives express clearly the power of Christian love. The poor need our hands, to be lifted up; our hearts, to feel anew the warmth of affection; our presence, to overcome loneliness. In a word, they need love.
At times, very little is needed to restore hope. It is enough to stop for a moment, smile and listen The poor are persons to be encountered; they are lonely, young and old, to be invited to our homes to share a meal; men women and children who look for a friendly word. The poor save us because they enable us to encounter the face of Jesus Christ.
If the disciples of the Lord Jesus wish to be genuine evangelizers, they must sow tangible seeds of hope. I ask all Christian communities, and all those who feel impelled to offer hope and consolation to the poor, to help ensure that this World Day of the Poor will encourage more and more people to cooperate effectively so that no one will feel deprived of closeness and solidarity. May you always treasure the words of the prophet who proclaims a different future: “For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings”
(Mal 3:20 [4:2]).
From the Vatican, 13 June 2019 http://w2.vatican.va/
(Extracts from his letter).
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Remembrance Day 11 November
Many Australians stop what they are doing at exactly 11am on November 11 each year to dedicate a minute of silence for those who died in war, especially soldiers from as far back as World War I.
Services are held at war memorials in suburbs and towns across the country, at which the “Last Post” is played as a haunting reminder of the sacrifices made.
Red poppies are worn on Remembrance Day to remember those who died during a war. Poppies were among the first plants that came from the battlefields of northern France and Belgium during World War I. Some people believed the popular myth that poppies were rich in their redness because they blossomed from grounds that were saturated with soldiers’ blood.
Let us pray:
Loving God, who gives life for all, we entrust to your keeping those who have died in the service of this country.
We pray for all who suffer from the effects of war. Grant them your peace and healing strength. And for those who in sadness recall lives lost, grant them comfort in the hope of resurrection.
May we be inspired by the determination of those who have served in the fight for freedom, justice and peace
Loving God, have mercy on our broken and divided world. Give your Spirit of peace to all people and remove from them the spirit that makes for war, that all may live as members of your family.
Lord, we offer ourselves to you and ask that you will enable us to care for each other as you
cared for the world.
(Worship Resources for Anzac and Remembrance Services: UCA Commission for Liturgy, 1995
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feast day 9 November
Christians first met in homes to hear Jesus’ teachings and to celebrate the Eucharist. When the Christians were no longer persecuted for their faith, they built beautiful churches. Sometime before the fourth century, a palace owned by a noble Roman family named Laterani had been built.
It became the property of the Emperor Constantine. Constantine had recognized Christianity as the religion of the empire, and he donated to the Church the palace and other buildings on the site. This became Rome’s oldest church. It was given the title Basilica of the Saviour, but later was dedicated to John the Baptist and called St John Lateran.
St John Lateran was the home of the popes—the centre of the Catholic world for many years. Twenty-eight popes are buried there. Although our pope now lives at the Vatican and presides at St Peter’s basilica, St John Lateran is considered his cathedral as the bishop of Rome.
The dedication of this basilica is a happy occasion for the Church because it reminds us of our beginnings, our unity. It stands as a monument to God and all that God does through the Church.
Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
Image credit: The Basilica of St John Lateran by Alessandro Galilei, 1735. Public Domain via Wikimedia.
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday 27 October 2019
Let us take time to pray for the dead
All Saints' Day
All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en). It is a feast day celebrated on 1 November by Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
Remembering saints and martyrs and dedicating a specific day to them each year has been a Christian tradition since the 4th century AD, but it wasn't until 609AD that Pope Boniface IV decided to remember all martyrs. Originally 13 May was designated as the Feast of All Holy Martyrs. Later, in 837AD, Pope Gregory IV extended the festival to remember all the saints, changed its name to Feast of All Saints and changed the date to 1 November.
[When] we celebrate the solemnity of All Saints [we are invited] to turn our gaze to the immense multitude of those who have already reached the blessed land, and points us on the path that will lead us to that destination (Saint John Paul 11, All Saints’ Day 2003).
All Souls' Day
All Souls' Day is marked on 2 November (or 3 November if the 2nd is a Sunday), directly following All Saints' Day, and is an opportunity for Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate the faithful departed. They remember and pray for the souls of people who are in Purgatory - the place (or state) in which those who have died atone for their less grave sins before being granted the vision of God in Heaven (called Beatific vision).
Whilst praying for the dead is an ancient Christian tradition, it was Odilo, Abbot of Cluny (France) who, in 998AD, designated a specific day for remembering and praying for those in the process of purification. This started as a local feast in his monasteries and gradually spread throughout the Catholic Church towards the end of the 10th century AD.
For the souls in purgatory, waiting for eternal happiness and for meeting the Beloved is a source of suffering, because of the punishment due to sin which separates them from God. But there is also the certitude that once the time of purification is over, the souls go to meet the One it desires (Letter of Saint John Paul 11 for Millennium of All Souls’ Day).
(BBC, 2014):Religions - Christianity: All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day - BBC