15Nov 15 November, 2019. Friday of Week 32

1st Reading: Wisdom 13:1-9

The beauty of created things can lead us to their Maker

All people who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists, nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to his works; but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.

If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them. And if people were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is the one who formed them. For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.

Yet these people are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find him. While they live among his works, they keep searching, and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful. Yet again, not even they are to be excused; for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?

Responsorial: Psalm 18:2-5

R./: The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message. (R./)

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 17:26-37

The Son of Man comes suddenly. Be prepared

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them. It will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He aid to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”


Distracted from God

Because the beauty and variety of the natural world so fascinate us, they can claim our total attention and stifle our willingness to give thanks to the Creator of all this splendid world. As mundane examples, once the meal is finished we often forget to thank the cook; and he toys and gifts lavished on children are quickly taken for granted. Today’s words from the Book of Wisdom quietly insist that from the greatness and the beauty of created things, we should acknowledge God as their author. Personal worship requires us to keep a detached space in our hearts, for wonder and praise.

Distractions can be a challenge for the agnostic and atheist as well as for the believer.  For women and men of faith even certain habitual, formulaic prayer and worship can hold us back from God. The  very rubrics of worship can claim more of our attention than the One to whom we pray. Parents can be so concerned about what the neighbours  think, that fear of shame can override their innate sense of how to care for their children.

All four Gospels record the challenging statement that “Whoever tries to spare their life, will lose it; whoever forfeits it, will keep it.” While living fully in the present, we must take time to wonder what our Creator wants of us. While loving and respecting others we need to root our lives in the love of Jesus, to deepen our capacity for authentic love. If we forget God, our loving can grow shallow and self-serving; and such love does not last. It seems as if only if we share life with others, will God entrust us with eternal life.

Our Lord warns against being so busy with daily life that we neglect what ultimately matters. We are largely taken up with eating and drinking, writing and reading, buying and selling, planting and building, and keeping in touch, socially. These are the stuff of life and cannot be neglected. They are so important that we may give them our total attention, and neglect our spiritual life.

Above and beyond all our daily concerns there is a  judgment to come, on the Day of the Son of Man. But while he will be fully known at the end of time he is also with us in the here and now. Jesus is God-with-us, in and through the ordinary activities of life. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Always we seek to be aware of the Lord who is at the heart of life. So even as we go about our business, deep in our hearts we keep hm always in mind.


Albert the Great, bishop and doctor of the Church

Albertus Magnus (c. 1200-1280), was a German Dominican, who lectured in Cologne, Regensburg, Freiburg and Strasbourg; among his students was Thomas Aquinas, whos orthodoxy Albert defended against his critics. In 1260 Pope Alexander IV made him Bishop of Regensburg, but after 3 years Albert returned to his ministry of teaching. Contemporaries such as Roger Bacon applied the term “Magnus” to him during his own lifetime, honouring to his reputation as a scholar and philosopher.

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