- Patience and the Priesthood: A Vocation 50 years in the Making (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- St. Peter Basilica Website (by laptop)
- Litany of Humility (under the Praying Hands at end)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Bury the Dead
" So he called his son Tobiah; and when he came, he said to him:
"My son, when I die, give me a decent burial." (Tobit 4:3).
The seventh corporal (bodily) work of mercy is: To bury the dead. We have sometimes lost sight of this because we want to distance ourselves from death. But as it was a priority among Jews because the person was made in the image of God and His desired dwelling place, all the more do Catholics honor the body with Christian burial.
Today we perform the work of mercy of burying the dead by attending wakes and Funeral Masses. When our loved ones die, to fulfill this we make sure that they have a Funeral Mass offered for them and that their bodies are buried in blessed ground (ground that has been blessed by prayer and holy water).
While the Church does allow cremation for those who do not use it to deny the resurrection of the body, the Church requires that the cremated remains of loved ones are buried in ground that is blessed. The cremated mortal remains of our loved ones are not to be kept as if we could ever possess them, or to be distributed or spread over an area even if they request it. The reason is that we belong to God, we did not create ourselves, so while we have the power, we do not have the authority to ever misuse the body, alive or dead.
Try to attend parish funerals, especially if you do not think many people will attend, and see that the dead receive a proper burial. The dead need your prayers and mine and this work of mercy, as you and I will when the Lord calls us from this life!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. Check the green sections in this e-weekly for the exact words of the Church concerning this.
P.S.S. This Sunday is 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time. >> Readings
a) God is the only one who can feed us
b) that our trust must be a demand we make upon God
c) it is the daily nourishment that helps us recognize how good God is
d) none of the above
593. What is the specifically Christian sense of this petition? (CCC 2835-2837, 2861)
a) applies equally to hunger for the Word of God and for the Body of Christ
b) it is a hunger for the Holy Spirit
c) We ask this with complete confidence for this day – God’s “today”
d) all of the above
594. Why do we say “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”? (CCC 2838-2839, 2862)
a) we say it for our neighbor to hear, it does not apply to us.
b) it is an ideal that we only accomplish in heaven
c) we acknowledge that we are sinners and yet proclaim his mercy
d) we are not forgiven our sins until our enemies forgive us
(Answers at the end)
2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy;92 it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.
2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2299-2301
This extensive site covers the art, history and architecture of the Vatican Basilica. It includes numerous pictures, an interactive floor plan map and the entire text of several books and scholarly articles. If you have ever wondered which saint was on top of the Colonnade or are doing historical research, St. Peter's Basilica.org is the place to visit for this and much more.
St. Peter's is not only home to the Pope, but is our spiritual home, where the Church has nurtured and raised Christians through her two thousand year history. However, for many of us St. Peter's is too far away to visit. This website is a wonderful way to experience her beauty and richness from your own home.
CREATE AND HAVE MERCY BAGS AT YOUR PARISH OFFICE FOR THOSE IN NEED
People will often come to a Parish Office or places where churches gather asking for food or things they need. Having Mercy Bags of food and other needed items can be a Work of Mercy and help someone who is in need of essentials.
Having Mercy Bags of food and other needed items such as hygiene items can be a Work of Mercy and help someone who is in need of essentials. It allows parishes to serve and help the Parish Office and staff in concrete ways.
Talk to your Parish Priest and ask if something like this is needed or can be done through the Parish Office. Then a committee or individual creates Mercy Bags. If they are food bags, they can contain imperishables, yet easily accessible food like applesauce single servings, individually wrapped breakfast bars, chicken or fish servings or beef jerky in easily tear-open containers, peanut butter plastic jar, small water bottles, plastic table service wrapped in a napkin, and all kept together in a double plastic sacks. If they are hygiene bags, individually wrapped items or items bought in bulk and individually wrapped in zip lock bags again kept in double plastic sacks. These can be done 10 or 15 bags at a time delivered to the Parish Office in a tote or box and they handed out one by one by staff appropriately at the door. Prayer cards or holy items can also be placed in them. Committee or individual can also pray then for persons receiving them.
Pinto was ordained a deacon in June this year. When he is ordained a priest of the Diocese of Kalamazoo on December 8, 2020, at the age of 71, it will be the conclusion of 53 years of formation, discernment, and prayer.
Pinto entered St. Meinrad Seminary, Indiana, in 1967, shortly after he graduated high school. After graduating with a degree in philosophy in 1971, he moved on to St. John Provincial Seminary, planning on being ordained a few years later.
That didn’t happen.
Shortly after Pinto began theology studies, his father died suddenly. As the oldest of 12 siblings, he elected to leave seminary and assist his mother in raising his brothers and sisters. He stuck around until his youngest sibling was through college, and then helped with his nieces and nephews.
All the while, the goal of becoming a priest remained in his heart. He told CNA that while he “dated a few times,” he “never lost the desire for priesthood” and he never seriously considered marriage. In his late 30s, Pinto attempted again to re-enter seminary, but family obligations once again took precedence.
Pinto explained to CNA that while he was “not at all” frustrated in having to delay his seminary studies to take care of his siblings, there “were a lot of stressful and challenging times.”
Finally, in 2017, he enrolled at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Michigan. Pinto told CNA that despite the 44-year gap in formal seminary studies, it was “not a problem” for him to jump back in straight to the three years of theology studies. He credits his brother seminarians for their help in his success, saying that he “would not have made it through the first Theology One year” without them.
“I am so very grateful and always will be to them,” he said. “They are the best.”
Pinto explained to CNA that he was able to maintain his faith during his seminary hiatus by relying on “knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, that he is God, and His love of us is infinite.”
“I sought help from Our Lady, the Undoer of Knots, and the model of faith,” he explained. “At the foot of the Cross, she never lost faith that her Son was God and that He came to give us salvation.”
Mary’s faith in her son helped sustain Pinto’s faith, he said, “knowing that Christ would not abandon me because He did not abandon his mother.”
When Pinto is finally ordained a priest, over half a century after he first began seminary, he says he is most looking forward to living out his priestly mission of blessing others and offering the Eucharist.
“Being able to bless and offer sacrifice in the greatest prayer that has ever been given to humanity—and all that goes with those two missions,” he said.
As for others who may be enduring a vocation that is taking a different path than they anticipated, Pinto advises them to be patient and remain steadfast in faith and hope.
“Patience is really what the Holy Spirit wants of us, to allow ourselves to be conformed as He so wants us,” he said. “If we are patient and continue to grow in our relationship with Christ, the time will come when the call will take on a more formal training.”
“And, if not, it is still in complete abandonment to the Spirit that we will discover the reason for the journey we are on,” he said. He advised those who are struggling with God’s timing to “see your position in life as a self-sacrifice which you are giving back to God as adoration.”
“Then,” he said, “your journey will become one of joy in the giving of self to the Lord.”
Before he became a bishop, Michael Mulvey joined the Be the Match Registry, the world’s largest register for bone marrow transplants (BMT), which is run by the National Marrow Donor Program.
After the organization discovered a match, South Texas Catholic reported, Mulvey, 70, traveled to San Antonio to make a peripheral stem cell donation. He had matched with a mother who had been diagnosed with a type of blood cancer.
Although Mulvey has never met the woman, he said he was humbled by the experience and expressed gratitude to be able to contribute to the well-being of this mother and her family.
“Knowing that because of the life I have been given by God – I was able to give back and make a big difference in this person’s life, in the life of her children and her family is something I have thought of quite often,” he told South Texas Catholic Nov. 5.
Mulvey said he was introduced to Be the Match in 2004, while he was a priest of the Diocese of Austin. There, he had met Leticia Mondragon, a donor development and engagement specialist with GenCure who partners with Be the Match.
“When I was assigned in Austin years ago, one of our very charitable and active parishioners was signing up people for Be the Match,” said Bishop Mulvey, according to South Texas Catholic. “I appreciated her commitment and dedication to this cause, and after hearing more about the registry, I signed up.”
BMT replaces unhealthy bone marrow with healthy marrow from an outside source. The procedure is used to cure cancers in the blood as well as diseases in the bones and immune system. Among other illnesses, BMT has been used for leukemia, aplastic anemia, and sickle cell disease.
According to South Texas Catholic, Mondragon said the process to sign up is more convenient than in the past, noting that people may apply through their smartphone.
Unlike blood donations, a match for BMT does not focus on blood type, but ethnicity. Mondragon expressed hope that the new system will add more “people of all ethnic backgrounds” to the registry.
She stressed the importance of BMT donors, stating that life-threatening disorders are discovered every few minutes, and thanked the bishop for his contribution.
“Every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a life-threatening blood cancer or blood disorder, such as leukemia or lymphoma,” said Mondragon, according to South Texas Catholic.
“We are thankful Bishop Mulvey wanted to share his story because it is so important that we have leaders like him promoting our global life-saving mission,” she further added.
Bishop Mulvey described the experience not only as an opportunity for charity but as a spiritual encounter.
“St. Matthew says what you have received as a gift, give as a gift,” said Bishop Mulvey, South Texas Catholic reported. “We must always remember that everyone’s life is a gift and true gratitude is expressed when you are willing to give back and share what you have.”
The future of the Church and the world is dependent on the good of the family, said Pope Francis in a video message Saturday.
“The love between a man and woman is one of the most generative human experiences, it is the ferment of the culture of encounter and brings to the present world an injection of sociality,” the Pope said.
“The family born of marriage creates fruitful bonds, which reveal themselves to be the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant.”
Quoting his 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia, he emphasized, “Indeed the good of the family is decisive for the future of the world and of the Church.”
The Pope sent a video message to participants in the third international symposium on Amoris laetitia, organized by the Italian bishops’ conference. Taking place in Rome Nov. 11, the theme of the meeting was: “The Gospel of love between conscience and norm.”
Speaking about the role of the properly formed conscience, Francis warned against the temptation to turn to a sort of egoism or “cult of self.”
“The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual in relation to the relationships he lives,” he said.
This is why, he said, there is a need to form consciences – not substitute them – and to accompany spouses and parents in learning to “apply the Gospel to the concreteness of life.”
In the reality of the family and of marital love, there may come situations which require “arduous choices,” he continued, and these should be made “with righteousness.” Therefore, divine grace, “which illuminates and strengthens married love and parental mission,” is absolutely necessary for spouses and the family.
Pope Francis’ video message echoed his recent keynote address to a major conference on the future of the European Union, in which he spoke out against abortion and said the Christian understanding of the family can serve as a model on which the European continent can base its identity as it faces a changing and uncertain future.
In the family, “diversity is valued and at the same time brought into unity,” Francis said Oct. 28, explaining that the family “is the harmonious union of the differences between man and woman, which becomes stronger and more authentic to the extent that it is fruitful, capable of opening itself to life and to others.”
General Audience: The Importance of Forgiveness in the Family
Vatican City, 4 November (VIS) – Giving and mutual forgiveness, without which no love can be lasting, were the theme of the Pope's catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience.
Before examining this issue in depth, the Holy Father recalled that the recently concluded assembly of the Synod of Bishops had reflected at length on the vocation and mission of the family in the life of the Church and in contemporary society. “It was an event of grace. At the end the Synod Fathers submitted to me the text containing their conclusions. I wanted this text to be published, so that everyone could participate in the work we have been devoted to together for two years. This is not the moment to examine the conclusions, on which I myself have to reflect”.
“In the meantime, however, life does not come to a halt, and in particular the live of families does not stop! You, dear families, are always journeying. And you already continually write in the pages of concrete life the beauty of the Gospel of the family. In a world that at times becomes arid of life and love, every day you speak of the great gift that is marriage and the family”.
The Pope went on to introduce the central theme of his catechesis, reciting the words of the Lord's Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. “It is not possible to live without forgiveness, or at least you cannot live well, especially in the family. Every day we wrong each other. We must take account of these errors that we make due to our fragility and our selfishness. However, what is required of us is to heal the wounds we make straight away, to immediately weave again the threads we have broken. If we wait too long, it all becomes more difficult. And there is a simple secret for healing wounds and undoing accusations: never let the day finish without apologising. … If we learn to say we are sorry immediately and to offer mutual forgiveness, the wounds are healed, the marriage is strengthened, and the family becomes an increasingly solid home, that resists the shocks of our evils, great and small”.
“If we learn to live this way within the family, we will also do so outside, wherever we find ourselves. It is easy to be sceptical about this. Many – Christians included – think it is an exaggeration. … But thanks to God this is not the case. Indeed, it is precisely by receiving God's forgiveness that, in turn, we are able to forgive others. … And it is essential that, in an at times pitiless society, there be places such as the family where we can learn to forgive each other”.
“The Synod also revived our hope in this regard: the capacity to forgive others and oneself forms part of the vocation and mission of the family. … The Church, dear families, is always beside you to help you build your home on the rock Jesus spoke of”, exclaimed Francis. “And I assure you that if you are capable of journeying ever more decisively along the path of the Beatitudes, learning and teaching to forgive each other, then in all the great family of the Church the capacity to bear witness to the renewing power of God's forgiveness will grow”.
“Otherwise, we will give beautiful sermons and perhaps even cast out the odd demon, but in the end the Lord will not recognise us as His disciples, as we have not been able to forgive or to allow ourselves to be forgiven. Christian families can truly do much for today's society, and also for the Church. … Let us pray that families may be increasingly able to live and build concrete roads to reconciliation, where no-one feels abandoned to the burden of his own trespasses”.
Finally the Pope, accompanied by the with the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, repeated the phrase from the Lord's Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”.
Knights of Columbus Donate 500th Ultrasound MachinePope Considers Lesson of Zacchaeus in Angelus Address By Kathleen Naab Baltimore, Md., Nov 8, 2014 / 09:27 am (EWTN News) - More pregnant women can see their unborn babies thanks to a five-year-old Knights of Columbus program that has provided 500 ultrasound machines to pro-life pregnancy centers.
“Not only has this program saved the lives of countless unborn children, but it has saved many mothers – and fathers – from a lifetime of regret,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said Nov. 4.
Anderson and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the fraternal order’s supreme chaplain, presented the program’s 500th ultrasound machine to the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns for use at its facility in Dundalk, Md.
The presentation took place at the Baltimore Hilton during an annual meeting of the order’s leaders from around the world.
Anderson credited the program’s success to “the generosity of brother knights from coast to coast.”
The Catholic fraternal order began the ultrasound program in 2009, encouraging state and local councils to fund half the cost of ultrasound machines for qualified pregnancy resource centers. The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council’s Culture of Life Fund then provided matching funds to buy the machines, which can cost over $20,000 each.
The organization has now purchased machines in all 50 U.S. states, Jamaica and Canada. The machines’ collective value is almost $26 million. The program has also begun to fund mobile ultrasound machines that can be used in multiple communities.
Knights of Columbus groups in Texas have funded the most ultrasound machine purchases of any state, totaling 40, followed by Missouri, Florida, California and Michigan.
The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal order, was founded in New Haven, Conn., in 1882 by Venerable Michael J. McGivney, a parish priest. It has 1.8 million members worldwide who perform volunteer service and works of charity and fraternity.
Can. 1176 §1. Deceased members of the Christian faithful must be given ecclesiastical funerals according to the norm of law.
§2. Ecclesiastical funerals, by which the Church seeks spiritual support for the deceased, honors their bodies, and at the same time brings the solace of hope to the living, must be celebrated according to the norm of the liturgical laws.
§3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.
-Little Johnny was sent back to bed for the tenth time that evening and his mommy is not amused. She says, “Johnny, if I hear one more time ‘Mommy, I want this, mommy, I want that’, you will be in big trouble! I don’t want to hear the word mommy again tonight. Now off to bed you go!” There’s a short pause, after which Johnny says hesitantly, “Mrs. Lambden, I want a glass of water, please.”
-Teacher: “If you had two dollars and you asked your daddy for another dollar, how many dollars would you have in the end?” Without hesitation, Johnny answers, “Two dollars.” Teacher isn’t happy, “Come on, Johnny, you don’t know how to count.” Johnny shrugs, “Maybe, but I do know my dad!”
-I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
-My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
- Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
- I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, “I’m going to mop the floor with your face.” I said, “You’ll be sorry.” He said, “Oh, yeah? Why?” I said, “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.”
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said; "I'm sorry, your duck (Cuddles) has passed away." The distressed woman wailed; "Are you sure?" "Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead." replied the vet. "How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."
The vet rolled his eyes, turned around, and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table, and sniffed the duck from top to bottom.
He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot.
The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, and strolled out of the room. The vet looked at the woman and said; "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.
The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried; "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!?" The vet shrugged; "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but... with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."
A little boy was overheard praying: 'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am.'
A father as at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand. 'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked. 'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, 'Did God throw him back down?'
One particular four-year-old prayed, 'And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.'
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…
"God revealed the resurrection of the dead to his people progressively. Hope in the bodily resurrection of the dead established itself as a consequence intrinsic to faith in God as creator of the whole man, soul and body. The creator of heaven and earth is also the one who faithfully maintains his covenant with Abraham and his posterity. It was in this double perspective that faith in the resurrection came to be expressed. In their trials, the Maccabean martyrs confessed:
The King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws. One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #992
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time – November 8, 2020
The First Reading - Wisdom 6:12-16
Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire; Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate. For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence, and whoever for her sake keeps vigil shall quickly be free from care; because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them in the ways, and meets them with all solicitude.
To the Jew, wisdom is the knowledge of how to conduct oneself in speech and conduct in such a way as to dispose others favorably, to foster one’s own success and advancement, and to live free of the anxiety which arises from hostility, opposition, and failure. Young men were trained in the manners of a good scribe when they learned their letters. Israelite wisdom differed from the wisdom of other cultures in that it was modified by its relation of faith in the Lord. Only God is truly wise – his wisdom is exhibited in creation.
Adults - How would you define wisdom? How does our faith call us to see wisdom?
Teens - What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?
Kids - How can you grow in wisdom?
Responsorial- Psalm 63:2,3-4, 5-6,7-8
R.My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
I will remember you upon my couch,
and through the night-watches I will meditate on you:
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
How do you seek the Lord? Seek him more this week.
The Second Reading- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words.
Reflection - We hope in the resurrection of our bodies at the end of time, when our Lord comes again in glory. Saint Paul describes this second coming as an event of great solemnity in our reading today, an event accompanied by an angel’s call and the sound of a trumpet. The language Saint Paul uses to describe this event (called apocalyptic language) highlights the mystery and power of God. After the parousia (Greek for “appearance” or “showing”) will come the resurrection of the dead. Each body will be brought back to life by its own soul, and those who are still alive on that day will, together with their brethren who are dead and have risen, go to meet the Lord. However, the bodies of both will be glorified and therefore those who died before the parousia will have no advantage or disadvantage compared to those who are still living at this point.
-Do you ever think of heaven?
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."
Last week we heard Jesus take the scribes and Pharisees to task for not “fathering” the people; for not setting the proper example and treating them fairly. We now move to the parable of the wise and 5 foolish virgins; a parable peculiar to Matthew. There is little detailed information about wedding practices at the time of Christ, but there was a solemn procession from the home of the bride to the home of the bridegroom: the taking of the bride from her father’s house to his own by the bridegroom was the symbolic act of marriage. Since the bridesmaids went to welcome the groom, this indicates that they went to accompany him and his party to the house of the bride and from there, presumably to the house of the groom. It is from the wedding feast that the foolish virgins are excluded – and since it is the bridegroom who denies them, the feast must be at his house. We must keep our own lamps lit so we are ready for the Bridegroom when He arrives.
Adults - How can you keep the light of the Lord burning in your life?
Teens - How do you daily prepare your soul for the coming of Christ?
Kids - What do you do when it is hard to do the right thing?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - Providing themselves with oil was the obligation imposed on the bridesmaids in the parable. It was surely a trivial condition when compared with the reward offered them: a very special place at the marriage feast. The obligations imposed on us Christians are surely trivial too when compared with the reward offered us in return: an eternity of happiness in heaven. It seems incredible that there are many among us this very day who, like the foolish bridesmaids, doze and sleep contentedly holding empty lamps in their hands, while at any moment they may be awakened by: Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go forth to meet him. It will be too late then to do anything; even their best friends cannot help them. Each one must stand before the judge just as he is: there can be no borrowing of the oil of merit from others and there will be no time to buy any.
Now is the time for all of us to say "Lord, Lord, open to us." open to us the doors of your mercy and kindness. Open to us the eyes of our understanding that we may see our defects and remedy them while there is yet time.
It is up to us now to decide, aided by God's grace, where we shall be found on the last day—with the wise bridesmaids or with the foolish. -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
592. What is the sense of the petition “Give us this day our daily bread”? c) it is the daily nourishment that helps us recognize how good God is
Asking God with the filial trust of children for the daily nourishment which is necessary for us all we recognize how good God is, beyond all goodness. We ask also for the grace to know how to act so that justice and solidarity may allow the abundance of some to remedy the needs of others.
593. What is the specifically Christian sense of this petition? d) all of the above
Since “man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), this petition equally applies to hunger for the Word of God and for the Body of Christ received in the Eucharist as well as hunger for the Holy Spirit. We ask this with complete confidence for this day – God’s “today” – and this is given to us above all in the Eucharist which anticipates the banquet of the Kingdom to come.
594. Why do we say “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”? c) we acknowledge that we are sinners and yet proclaim his mercy By asking God the Father to pardon us, we acknowledge before him that we are sinners. At the same time we proclaim his mercy because in his Son and through the sacraments “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). Still our petition will be answered only if we for our part have forgiven first.