November 17, 2019
The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
Signs of the end time fill today’s gospel. Christ will come again “to judge the living and the dead,” we confess in the creed. How, then, shall we live, knowing that everything around us will one day pass away? We live with hope knowing that history is heading toward the God Who loves us. Yet we also live in the present moment ready for action, remembering the apostle’s words: “Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.”
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Almighty and ever-living God, before the earth was formed and even after it ceases to be, You are God. Embrace us with Your mercy, that with You as our guide we may be stirred up to holiness of life every day and let us see the signs of Your final will and purpose. We ask these things in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Festivals and Commemorations this week
The faithful are remembered on the day of their death, the day they are born anew in heaven. The "c" indicates an approximate date.
November 17 Elizabeth of Thuringia, princess of Hungary, 1231
This Hungarian princess gave away large sums of money, including her dowry, for relief of the poor and sick. She founded hospitals, cared for orphans, and used the royal food supplies to feed the hungry. Though she had the support of her husband, her generosity and charity did not earn her friends within the royal court. At the death of her husband, she was driven out of the Wartburg castle. She joined a Franciscan order and continued her charitable work, though she suffered abuse at the hands of her confessor and spiritual guide. Her lifetime of charity is particularly remarkable when one remembers that she died at the age of twenty-four. She founded two hospitals and many more are named for her.
November 23 Clement, Bishop of Rome, c. 100
Clement was the third bishop of Rome and served at the end of the first century. He is best remembered for a letter he wrote to the Corinthian congregation still having difficulty with divisions in spite of Paul’s canonical letters. Clement’s writing echoes Paul’s. “Love . . . has no limits to its endurance, bears everything patiently. Love is neither servile nor arrogant. It does not provoke schisms or form cliques, but always acts in harmony with others.” Clement’s letter is also a witness to early understandings of church government and the way each office in the church works for the good of the whole.
Clement’s letter reminds us that divisions within the church are a sad part of our history and that pastoral love for people must be present amid our differing views of authority, scripture, and ministry.
November 23 Miguel Agustín Pro, priest, martyr, 1927
Miguel Pro grew up in the midst of oppression in Mexico, where revolutionaries accused the church of siding with the rich. He was a Jesuit priest who served during a time of intense anticlericalism, and therefore he carried out much of his ministry in private settings. He worked on behalf of the poor and homeless. Miguel and his two brothers were arrested, falsely accused of throwing a bomb at the car of a government official, and assassinated by a firing squad. Just before the guns fired he yelled, “Viva Christo Rey!” which means “Long live Christ the king!”