Archive for November 16, 2019


“Today” is the Day: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:

Malachi 3:19–20
Psalm 98:5–9
2 Thessalonians 3:7–12
Luke 21:5–19

It is the age between our Lord’s first coming and His last. We live in the new world begun by His life, death, Resurrection, and Ascension, by the sending of His Spirit upon the Church. But we await the day when He will come again in glory.
“Lo, the day is coming,” Malachi warns in today’s First Reading. The prophets taught Israel to look for the Day of the Lord, when He would gather the nations for judgment (see Zephaniah 3:8; Isaiah 3:9; 2 Peter 3:7).
Jesus anticipates this day in today’s Gospel. He cautions us not to be deceived by those claiming “the time has come.” Such deception is the background also for today’s Epistle (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3).

The signs Jesus gives His Apostles seem to already have come to pass in the New Testament. In Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation, we read of famines and earthquakes, the Temple’s desolation. We read of persecutions—believers imprisoned and put to death, testifying to their faith with wisdom in the Spirit.

These “signs,” then, show us the pattern for the Church’s life—both in the New Testament and today.
We too live in a world of nations and kingdoms at war. And we should take the Apostles as our “models,” as today’s Epistle counsels. Like them we must persevere in the face of unbelieving relatives and friends, and forces and authorities hostile to God.

As we do in today’s Psalm, we should sing His praises, joyfully proclaim His coming as Lord and King. The Day of the Lord is always a day that has already come and a day still yet to come. It is the “today” of our Liturgy.

The Apostles prayed marana tha—“O Lord come!” (see 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20). In the Eucharist He answers, coming again as the Lord of hosts and the Sun of Justice with its healing rays. It is a mighty sign—and a pledge of that Day to come.


The great difficulty in praying with the word of God in our hearts is only ‘great’ by the number of obstacles we place before ourselves. Too tired, no or not enough time in a day, too great a sinner, don’t know how, boring, useless, more pressing things to attend to, unimportant. Which one of these is from the Lord our God?

Jesus tells us to have faith, pray continually and never lose heart. He is saying to us to come to Him sinners that we are and He will transform us from within. Speak to Him, heart to heart and He will listen, then listen with your heart. The Word of God will surely come in the silence and make all things new. For, as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilising it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes from my mouth says our Lord: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do. Isaiah 55:10–11 The Lord our God indeed will answer all the prayers of His faithful, it may take more time in some instances and the answer to some of our prayers may even be No! Still we will rejoice and sing His praises for He only wants what is best for us. His justice and Will be done always. This is the faith we must have in Him who is always faithful.

Prayer unites us with Him who loves us ever so dearly. Amen

First reading

Wisdom 18:14-16,19:6-9 ·
The Red Sea became an unimpeded way

When peaceful silence lay over all,
and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word;
into the heart of a doomed land the stern warrior leapt.
Carrying your unambiguous command like a sharp sword, he stood, and filled the universe with death; he touched the sky, yet trod the earth.

For, to keep your children from all harm,
the whole creation, obedient to your commands, was once more, and newly, fashioned in its nature.
Overshadowing the camp thereu was the cloud, where water had been, dry land was seen to rise, the Red Sea became an unimpeded way, the tempestuous flood a green plain; sheltered by your hand, the whole nation passed across, gazing at these amazing miracles.
They were like horses at pasture, they skipped like lambs, singing your praises, Lord, their deliverer.

Gospel

Luke 18:1-8
The parable of the unjust judge

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’