It was the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time on 16 November 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on that day are shown in the previous page:
First Reading: Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31,
Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-5,
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 &
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:14-30.
We have extracted the Homilies of Saint 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:
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 14 November 1999
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Today in Italy we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day, which invites us to thank God for all the fruits of the earth.
At the end of one farming season and the beginning of another, we implore divine blessings on the countryside and the rural world, that the Lord will support all who work in the fields.
While I express deep gratitude to those who are fervently dedicated to farming, which is indispensable for the survival of all humanity, I invite the authorities and public opinion to consider the needs and expectations of rural populations with committed solidarity. May this day, which has been observed in Italy for almost 50 years, foster renewed attention to them. May this event be an occasion for greater appreciation of creation, which God entrusted to human beings to be cultivated and preserved as a precious gift.
2. I am grateful to the Lord not only for the fruits of this earth but also for my pilgrimage to India and Georgia, which I will have the opportunity to speak of next Wednesday at the General Audience. This great spiritual experience marks a further stage on the path of the new evangelization towards the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.
I also thank God for the ecumenical celebration which took place yesterday in the Vatican Basilica in memory of St Bridget.
During this sacred rite, Christ's prayer in the Upper Room constantly echoed in my heart: "Ut unum sint". May we continue to take the path Christ has shown us, in the hope of achieving the full unity of all believers as soon as possible. May Mary, Mother of the Church, support us in this effort.
3. I cannot fail to mention some disasters and catastrophes that have occurred in recent days: in Foggia an apartment building collapsed, crushing many families in the rubble; in Kosovo aWorld Food Programme plane crashed with admirable volunteers aboard; in Turkey there has been another violent earthquake following the one in August; two weeks ago an EgyptAir plane plunged into the Atlantic Ocean.
I ask you to pray for the many victims and I express my closeness and solidarity to all who are suffering because of these enormous tragedies.
At the same time, I encourage the rescue, aid and solidarity efforts which have been undertaken so quickly and generously, and which deserve deep appreciation.
After leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims and visitors and mentioned the Day for the Victims of Road Accidents:
I greet the parish groups from Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Brooklyn. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Marian prayer I cordially invoke the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Peace. God bless you all!
Today many countries are observing the Day for the Victims of Road Accidents. On this occasion I promise to pray especially for all who have lost their lives on the road. I also take the opportunity to stress the importance of thorough and effective driving instruction, as well as to remind everyone of the duty to drive always with caution and a sense of responsibility.
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 17 November 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Today in Italy, the Day of Migrants is observed, an annual event that invites the ecclesial and civil community to reflect on this important and complex phenomenon.
The Italian Bishops have chosen as the theme for this day, a sentence of the Apostle Paul: "Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you" (Romans 15:7). In welcoming every man in Christ, God made himself an "emigrant" in the paths of time to take to all the Gospel of love and peace. In contemplating this mystery, how can one not be open to welcome and recognize that every human being is a son of the one heavenly Father and, therefore, is our brother?
2. We live in a time of profound changes that affect persons, ethnic groups and peoples. Even today we can note serious inequalities, especially between the north and the south of this world.
This makes the earth, becoming increasingly a "global village", be for some unfortunately a place of poverty and privations, while others are busy accumulating great wealth. In this situation, the "other" risks being frequently considered a competitor, especially if he is "different" due to language, nationality and culture.
Because of this, it is important that the spirit of welcome be present everywhere, to be translated into the social behaviour of care, especially for the needy. Everyone is called to contribute to making a better world, starting in one's own circle of life and work. I very much hope that families, associations, ecclesial and civil communities will become ever more schools of hospitality, of civil fellowship and of fruitful dialogue. As for immigrants, they must know how to respect the laws of the state that has welcomed them and thus contribute to a better integration in the new social situation.
3. Mary, the Virgin of welcome, is the figure and model of the Church, who must be a welcoming home for all persons and peoples. To assume our humanity, God willed to knock at the heart of Our Lady, receiving a "yes" full of faith and love. May she help us to be open to the needs of our brothers and sisters, especially of those who are in great difficulty.
I wish to express my profound participation in the sorrow of the family members of those who, last Friday, had just finished praying and were the victims of a cowardly attack at Hebron in the Holy Land, a few steps from the tomb of the Patriarch Abraham whom we recognize as our common father in the faith.
While I pray for the eternal repose of all those who died, I ask the Lord to pour forth into all, the necessary courage to return to the path of justice and peace.
Every year, on this Sunday, we are invited to commemorate the victims of traffic accidents. As I pray the Lord especially to welcome into his love all who have died tragically in traffic accidents, I entrust to the tenderness of Our Lady the many injured, often permanently disabled, along with their families, and I appeal to everyone to show them solidarity. Lastly, I urge drivers from this moment to show respect for others by agreeing to drive carefully and responsibly.
St Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Servants of God Charles de Foucauld, a priest; Maria Pia Mastena, Foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Face; and Maria Crocifissa Curcio, Foundress of the Congregation of Carmelite Missionary Sisters of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus, were beatified this morning in St Peter's Basilica.
They are being added to the multitude of Blesseds who were held up for the veneration of the Ecclesial Communities in which they lived during the Pontificate of John Paul II, in the awareness of what the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council strongly emphasized, that all baptized persons are called to the perfection of Christian life: priests, Religious and lay people, each in accordance with his or her own charism and specific vocation.
In fact, the Council paid great attention to the role of the lay faithful. It dedicated to them an entire chapter - the fourth - of Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, defining their vocation and mission, which is rooted in Baptism and Confirmation and whose purpose is to "seek the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will" (n. 31).
On 18 November 1965 the Fathers approved a specific Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, Apostolicam Actuositatem. It stressed first of all that "the fruitfulness of the apostolate of lay people depends on their living union with Christ" (n. 4), that is, on a vigorous spirituality nourished by active participation in the Liturgy and expressed in the style of the Gospel Beatitudes.
For lay people, moreover, professional competence, a sense of family, a civic sense and the social virtues are of great importance. Although it is true that they are called individually to bear their personal witness, particularly precious wherever the freedom of the Church encounters obstacles, the Council nonetheless insisted on the importance of the organized apostolate, essential if an effect is to be made on the general mindset, social conditions and institutions (cf. ibid., n. 18).
In this regard, the Fathers encouraged the numerous associations of lay people and insisted on their formation in the apostolate. Beloved Pope John Paul II chose to dedicate the Synod Assembly in 1987 to the topic of the vocation and mission of lay people, which was followed by the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici.
To conclude, I would like to recall that last Sunday, in the Cathedral of Vicenza, the mother of a family was beatified; she was known as "Mamma Rosa" and was a model of Christian life in the lay state.
Let us entrust the entire People of God to all those who are now in the heavenly homeland, to all our Saints, and in the first place to Mary Most Holy and her Husband, Joseph, so that the awareness of being called to work with commitment and productivity in the Lord's vineyard may increase in every baptized person.
After the Angelus:
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors. Today, the Church celebrated the Beatification of three outstanding witnesses to Christ and his Gospel. May the prayers of Bl. Charles de Foucauld, Bl. Maria Pia Mastena and Bl. Maria Crocifissa Curcio accompany all of you on the path of holiness and joyful fidelity to the Lord's will. God bless you all!
I wish you all a good Sunday.
St Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Word of God this Sunday the second to the last Sunday of the liturgical year invites us to be vigilant and hardworking, in the expectation of the Lord's return at the end of time. The Gospel passage recounts the famous Parable of the Talents, related by St Matthew (25: 14-30). The "talent" was an ancient Roman coin, of great value, and precisely because of this parable's popularity it became synonymous with personal gifts, which everyone is called to develop. In fact, the text speaks of "a man going on a journey [who] called his servants and entrusted to them his property" (Matthew 25: 14). The man in the parable represents Christ himself, the servants are the disciples and the talents are the gifts that Jesus entrusts to them. These gifts, in addition to their natural qualities, thus represent the riches that the Lord Jesus has bequeathed to us as a legacy, so that we may make them productive: his Word, deposited in the Holy Gospel; Baptism, which renews us in the Holy Spirit; prayer the "Our Father" that we raise to God as his children, united in the Son; his forgiveness, which he commanded be offered to all; the Sacrament of his Body sacrificed and his Blood poured out; in a word: the Kingdom of God, which is God himself, present and alive in our midst.
This is the treasure that Jesus entrusted to his friends at the end of his brief life on earth. Today's parable stresses the inner disposition necessary to accept and develop this gift. Fear is the wrong attitude: the servant who is afraid of his master and fears his return hides the coin in the earth and it does not produce any fruit. This happens, for example, to those who after receiving Baptism, Communion and Confirmation subsequently bury these gifts beneath a blanket of prejudice, beneath a false image of God that paralyzes faith and good works, thus betraying the Lord's expectations. However, the parable places a greater emphasis on the good fruits brought by the disciples who, happy with the gift they received, did not keep it hidden with fear and jealousy but made it profitable by sharing it and partaking in it. Yes, what Christ has given us is multiplied in its giving! It is a treasure made to be spent, invested and shared with all, as we are taught by the Apostle Paul, that great administrator of Jesus' talents. The Gospel teaching that the liturgy offers us today has also had a strong effect at the historical and social level, encouraging an active and entrepreneurial spirit in the Christian people.
Continue next page ...
14 December 2014