The institutional elements, the structures and the pastoral entities must also be directed toward this goal, this essential goal of bearing witness to the faith in love. Love is the very expression of faith and also, faith is the explanation and the foundation of love. Today’s celebration invites us to meditate on the communion of all Churches, that is, of this Christian community. By analogy she spurs us to commit ourselves in order that humanity may overcome the confines of enmity and indifference, to build bridges of understanding and dialogue, to make of the entire world one family of people reconciled among themselves, in fraternal solidarity. The Church herself is a sign and preview of this new humanity, as she lives and, through her witness, spreads the Gospel, the message of hope and reconciliation for all mankind.
Let us invoke the intercession of the Most Holy Mary, that she may help us to become like her, the “House of God”, the living temple of his love.
After the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, 25 years ago, on 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. It had, for so long, cut the city in half and was a symbol of the ideological division of Europe and of the world as a whole. The fall occurred abruptly, but was made possible by the long and strenuous commitment of so many people who fought, prayed and suffered for it, some sacrificed their lives. St Pope John Paul II was a leader among them. Let us pray that, with the help of the Lord and the cooperation of all men and women of good will, there will spread ever further a culture of encounter, capable of bringing down all the walls which still divide the world, and that no longer will innocent people be persecuted and even killed on account of their belief and their religion. Where there is a wall, there is a closed heart. We need bridges, not walls!
In Italy today Thanksgiving Day is being celebrated, with the theme “Nourish the planet. Energy for life”, referring to next year’s “Milan Expo 2015”. I join the Bishops in the hope for a renewed commitment that no one lacks daily food, which God gives for all. I am close to the world of agriculture, and I urge that the land be cultivated in a sustainable and supportive way.
In this context, the Diocesan Day of Care for Creation is being celebrated in Rome. It is an event to promote lifestyles based on respect for the environment, reaffirming the covenant between man, the guardian of Creation, and his Creator.
I greet all the pilgrims from different countries, families, parish groups, associations, on this beautiful day that the Lord has given us.
On this beautiful day, I wish everyone a happy Sunday. Please, remember to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch. Arrivederci!
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Gospel Reading:
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.
‘The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.”
‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”
‘Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”
‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.”
But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’
14 December 2014
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, First Reading:
Extracted from the Book Of Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
A perfect wife – who can find her? She is far beyond the price of pearls.
Her husband’s heart has confidence in her, from her he will derive no little profit.
Advantage and not hurt she brings him all the days of her life.
She is always busy with wool and with flax, she does her work with eager hands.
She sets her hands to the distaff, her fingers grasp the spindle.
She holds out her hand to the poor, she opens her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty; the woman who is wise is the one to praise.
Give her a share in what her hands have worked for,
and let her works tell her praises at the city gates.
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Responsorial: Psalm 128: 1-5
Response: O blessed are those who fear the Lord.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat. You will be happy and prosper.
Your wife like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive, around your table.
Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life!
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Second Reading: Extracted from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about ‘times and seasons’, since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it.
But it is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober.
Even if you have to die, says the Lord,
keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
Whoever remains in me bears fruit in plenty.