Extracted from the book of Wisdom 11:22-12:2:
In your sight, Lord, the whole world is like a grain of dust that tips the scales,
like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground.
Yet you are merciful to all, because you can do all things
and overlook men’s sins so that they can repent.
Yes, you love all that exists, you hold nothing of what you have made in abhorrence,
for had you hated anything, you would not have formed it.
And how, had you not willed it, could a thing persist,
how be conserved if not called forth by you?
You spare all things because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life,
you whose imperishable spirit is in all.
Little by little, therefore, you correct those who offend,
you admonish and remind them of how they have sinned,
so that they may abstain from evil and trust in you, Lord.
Extracted from Psalm 144:1-2,8-11,13-14:
I will bless your name for ever, O God my King.
I will give you glory, O God my king, I will bless your name for ever.
I will bless you day after day and praise your name for ever.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign and declare your might, O God.
The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall and raises all who are bowed down.
Extracted from the 2nd letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2:
We pray continually that our God will make you worthy of his call, and by his power fulfil all your desires for goodness and complete all that you have been doing through faith; because in this way the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in you and you in him, by the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
To turn now, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke 19:1-10:
Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance: he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man.
He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way.
When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’
And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully.
They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said.
But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.’
And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.’
It was the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time on 3 November 2013.
Here are the Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day (see above):
1st Reading: Wisdom 11:22-12:2,
Responsorial: Psalm 144:1-2, 8-11, 13-14,
2nd Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2 &
Gospel Reading: Luke 19:1-10.
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
BEATIFICATION OF EIGHT SERVANTS OF GOD
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Sunday 4 November 2001
With lives that were lived totally for the glory of God and the good of their neighbours, they continue in the Church and for the world to be an outstanding sign of the love of God, who is the beginning and end of human beings.
Strengthened by the spiritual experience of the Order of St Basil the Great, Pavel Peter Gojdic, first as Bishop in the Eparchy of Presov and then as Apostolic Administrator of Mukacev, constantly sought to realize the pastoral programme he set for himself: "With the help of God I want to be the father of orphans, the help of the poor, and the consoler of the afflicted". Known to the people as "the man with a heart of gold", he became known to the representatives of the government of the time as a real "thorn in the side". After the Communist regime made the Greek Catholic Church illegal, he was arrested and imprisoned. Thus for him began a long calvary of suffering, mistreatment and humiliation which brought about his death on account of his fidelity to Christ and his love for the Church and the Pope.
Methodius Dominic Trcka also passed his life in the service of the Gospel and of the salvation of his brothers and sisters, even to the supreme sacrifice of his life. As superior of the Redemptorist community in Stropkov, in Eastern Slovakia, he carried out a fervent missionary activity in the three Eparchies of Presov, Uzhorod and Krizevci. With the arrival of the Communist regime, he was deported to a concentration camp with his Redemptorist colleagues. With the support of prayer he faced with courage and determination the suffering and humiliation he had to bear on account of the Gospel. His calvary ended in the prison of Leopoldov where he died worn out by suffering and sickness, forgiving his persecutors.
In Father Paolo Manna we perceive a special reflection of the glory of God. He spent his entire life promoting the missions. In every page of his writings there stands out the person of Jesus, centre of his life and reason for the missions. In one of his letters to the missionaries, he stated: "In fact the missionary is nothing if he does not put on the person of Jesus Christ.... Only the missionary who copies Jesus Christ faithfully in himself can reproduce his image in the souls of others" (Letter 6). Indeed, there are no missions without holiness, as the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio pointed out: "The missionary spirituality of the Church consists in the movement towards holiness. One must stir up a new zeal for holiness among missionaries and in the whole Christian community" (n. 90).
The reflection of the Apostle Paul on the faith which needs to be translated into resolutions and works of good, helps us to understand better the spiritual portrait of the Blessed Luigi Tezza, glorious example of a life totally dedicated to the exercise of charity and mercy towards those who suffer in body and spirit. For them he founded the Institute of the Daughters of St Camillus, whom he taught to practice an absolute confidence in the Lord. "The will of God! Behold my only guide", he exclaimed, "the only goal of my desires, for which I wish to sacrifice everything". In his confident abandonment to the will of God, he took as his model the Blessed Virgin Mary, tenderly loved and contemplated particularly in the moment of the "fiat" and in her silent presence at the foot of the Cross.
Blessed Gaetana Sterni, who learned that the will of God is always love, dedicated herself with untiring charity to the excluded and the suffering. She always treated her brothers and sisters with the kindness and love of the one who serves Christ in the poor. She urged her spiritual daughters, the Sisters of the Divine Will, "to be disposed and content to put up with privations, fatigue, and any sacrifice to help your neighbour in need in all that the Lord might want of them". The witness of evangelical charity that Blessed Sterni left us reminds each believer of the need to seek the will of God in confident abandonment to Him and in generous service to one's brothers and sisters.
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10 November 2013