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Photo by Annie Theby on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Theby on Unsplash

11/14/2020 (1 week ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

33rd Sunday of the Year

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO ONLINE SUNDAY MASS ON THE 33d Sunday of the Year from the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Texas. The response to offering these beautiful liturgies online has been overwhelming. The readings from the Scriptures, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them.

This Sunday, in our first reading, we will hear a beautiful excerpt about the good wife from the Book of Proverbs.  The entire chapter is a mother giving good advice to her son on choosing a good wife. This proverb praising a good wife is often used in Wedding Liturgies.  

Similarly, the Responsorial Psalm at Holy Mass also praises the good wife by telling the man who walks in the way of the Lord that his wife will be like a fruitful vine and his children like olive shoots. Marriage in the Lord is a holy state, a vocation. In and through Jesus Christ, it has been raised to the level of a Sacrament a source and sign of grace and a reflection of Christs love for the Church.

For those who are married, how are we living this vocation?

In our second reading, the Apostle Paul warns the Thessalonians that they should live as though the Lord is coming every day. Because He is - and He does. Though it may not be His Second and final coming. The Lord is always coming to those who are looking for Him. He comes in and through His Word. He comes in the Holy Eucharist and in all the Sacraments. He comes through others whom He brings into our life. When we live this way, always looking for the Lord, we will be ready and prepared for His Second coming. 

How are we doing?

The Gospel for the 33d Sunday of Ordinary time is taken from the 25th chapter of the Gospel of St Matthew. It is his version of the Parable of the Talents. A great man, who was to become a king, gave each of his stewards a measure of money. When he returned, he asked for an accounting. 

Our place in this story is that of the stewards. God is our King, and He has given us talents and wealth to see how we shall use them. How do we use what the Lord has entrusted to us? Do we say to ourselves, "This is mine, and I shall spend it on myself alone?" Or do we ask, "How shall I invest this to serve the Lord?" How can I offer it back to the Lord in the service of others?

If we squander our talents on useless things, on vanity and the things of this world, we will be deprived when are called to account, like the foolish servant. We will lose everything we have. But if we invest and return our talents, with profit to the Lord, we shall be given even more. 

There is nothing wrong with possessing the goods of the earth, as long as we understand we are stewards, and these goods are entrusted to us for a time. We have a duty to use them wisely, to multiply them, for the greater glory of the Lord, and to allow Him to work through us by giving all that we have to Him. 

In the twelfth chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, we read these words from Jesus "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. (Luke 12: 39-48)

On This Sunday, this Day of the Lord, we should ask ourselves two important questions. First - what has been entrusted to me? Then, a follow up question - what am I doing with it? 

Now canonized Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman penned a beautiful prayer often titled "I have a Mission". It is a reminder that no matter where we are in life, even during what may seem to be our deepest struggle; we are still called, chosen, and equipped for His mission. We are the ones who have been given much. It has been entrusted to us. Now, much more is required.

Let me offer it for your reflection and use in the days ahead: 

"Oh My God, you have created me do some definite service. You have committed some work to me that you have not committed to another. I have my mission; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. I will trust you, whatever, wherever I am. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve you. If I am in perplexity, my perplexity may serve you.

"If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve you. You do nothing in vain. You know what you are about. Though friends be taken away, though I feel desolate, though my spirits sink, though my future is hidden from me, yet I will trust you, for you know what you are about. I ask not so much to see as to be used: through Christ our Lord. Amen." 

Have a wonderful Lords Day. Realize how many gifts the Lord has given and give them away. You cannot out give the Lord. When you give, as Jesus promised, it will be given to you. 

May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church, and the Nations of the world on this Lord's Day.   

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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