Mass Readings

November 17, 2019

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 159

Reading 1 Mal 3:19-20a

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.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (cf. 9)  The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
he will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Reading 2 2 Thes 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly
and to eat their own food.

Alleluia Lk 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

“Before all this happens, however,
they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Homily: November 17
33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C
Malachi 3:19-20; Psalm 98:5-6,7-8,9; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19
BY YOUR PERSEVERANCE YOU WILL SECURE YOUR LIVES

▪Dear friend, as we draw closer to the end of the liturgical year, the Church wants us to think about the end. In the readings of this Sunday liturgy there are many imageries that remind us about the end.
~ In the gospel, people were praising the beauty of the temple, the Lord spoke about the destruction and end of the temple. (C.f. Luke 21:6)
~ This aroused the attention of those who were there that they began asking the normal question we all would ask: “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” (Luke 21:7).
~ His first response is, ‘Take care not to be deceived.” When people use His name to do wonders or preach lies, be careful. It is because many are deceived that they look for men and women who will tell them “when” something will happen.
▪We are more curious about “when” than “where”. The reason why we are more interested in when is because of the uncertainty of our time here. If we know “when” we will be called back home, we will actually choose “where” we would like to die.
▪Fortunately, we never know when it will be, this is why we cannot choose how or where to die. What is this calling us to do? To be persistent always, for this is the only way to handle the question of “when”. “We must have our eyes set on Heaven, our ultimate and permanent homeland.” F. Fernandez, In the, Vol. 5, p. 484.
▪In the first reading, the Israelites where facing difficulties in their history that some were even spreading their frustrations that it was useless believing in God, since despite all they had done to live good lives, they were still experiencing so much trials. They were envying the evil people who were prospering.
~ It was at this point that the Prophet was sent to tell them that “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.”
~ This goes down again to the question asked to Jesus: When? When will this be fulfilled. We may see ourselves in their situation that we may ask, when will this happen? How are we going to prepare ourselves to wait for this day?
▪St. Paul in the second reading tells us how to answer the question of this “when”: “Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.” (2 Thes. 3:12) The above was in response to the challenges being faced by Christians in Thessalonica then. Some people began spreading rumours that Christ was coming and deceived many to stop working.
~ St. Paul encouraged that those who refused to work, should also not try to eat from the labours of others.
▪Dear friend, there are many people who are going about talking about the end of the world in this literal sense as in the readings of today. Do not follow them, the Lord warns. Go about living your life in an honourable and dignified way, giving glory to God with your thoughts, words and actions. Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, n. 43, “exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit.” Let us not worry about when the world will come to an end, this is taking too much. We did not create the world, but we can help make the world a beautiful place, if we live in love (being kind to the poor and the rejected) by being faithful to the teachings of the Lord (C.f. Matthew 25:34-36), and by our perseverance we will secure our lives. Our Blessed Mother Mary persevered through trials, with her, may we live trusting in God. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Have a beautiful Sunday
May God bless you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam

Blessed Sacrament Parish, Stowe and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Morrisville, Vermont, USA