17Nov 17 November, 2019. 33rd Sunday (C)

1st Reading: Malachi 3:19-20

The Day of the Lord will bring condemnation or salvation

See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.

Responsorial: Psalm 97:5-9

Response: The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice

Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
acclaim the King, the Lord. (R./)

Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
the world, and all its peoples.
Let the rivers clap their hands
and the hills ring out their joy
at the presence of the Lord. (R./)

For the Lord comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the world with justice
and the people with fairness. (R./)

2nd Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

We must try to earn our own living so as not to be a burden on others

Sisters and brothers, you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labour we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate.

For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

Gospel: Luke 21:5-19

Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?”

Then he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.”

Then he aid to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.

“But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.”


Judgment is coming

As we get older we grow more aware of how short is life and that before very long we will faced with the key moment of death. Last Sunday, our readings spoke about the after-life and urged us to entrust ourselves into God’s hands, for He is the God of the living. But how literally should we take what Jesus says today, about the end of time? Our Liturgy says that he will come again in glory to judge the living and the deat. But it is still impossible to know the details about the end of time. There are sects and groups who claim to know the exact date of the Lord’s coming, and the failure of previous predictions never seems to discourage them from settling on another date for Armageddon. More alarmingly, we live today under the twin threats of nuclear destruction and of global warming, with glaciers melting, ocean levels rising and some species becoming extinct through climate change.

Some street-corner orators delight in  warning us about catastrophes about to befall the sinful world.  Jesus warns against believing such vivid predictions. Even though he himself used the idea of the judgement day as a motive to turn people’s hearts back to God, he admitted that “no man knows the date, not even the Son, but the Father only.”

There are too many references to the Final Judgement in our Scriptures to dismiss it as merely a figure of speech. Many believers find it helpful to keep the Judgement-Day as part of their spiritual horizon. It is a way of keeping some balance amid our daily activity. Seeing our problems and our successes in the light of eternity (sub specie aeternitatis,) as Baruch Spinoza put it, helps us see everything as relative, and that God is the ultimate judge of all.

An advice much favoured by preachers was “Live as though each day may be your last?” Most people feel disinclined to think about the last things. But it is spiritually purifying on occasion, especially in November, the month for remembering our dead. Most days, like Martha in the Gospel we are fully occupied with what neeeds to be done in the immediate here and now, busy with many things. We can appreciate the practical advice given by St Paul to people who were looking out excitedly for the Lord’s return and neglecting to earn their living. “Go on quietly minding your own affairs,” he says, “and if anyone will not work, neither let him eat!” This is tough love, but it makes perfect sense for the life of the community.


Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious

Elizabeth or Erzsébet (1207-1231) was a princess of Hungary, but moved to Thüringen, Germany, where she married Landgrave Louis IV at the age of 14, and was widowed at 20. After her husband’s death she devoted herself to serving the poor and built a hospital where she tended the sick. After her death at the age of 24 she became a symbol of Christian charity and was soon canonized.

Réidh Lena Theacht An Athuair

Is saothar in aisce dúinn macnamh ar chathain a thiocfaidh Íosa an athuair ina ghlóir, cé gur smaoinigh muintir na luath-hEaglaise go bhfillfeadh Sé orthu le linn a saol. Ní gá duinn bheith buartha faoi tubaiste, titim réaltaí ós na flaithis agus a léithéid. Bhain Íosa agus an luath-Eaglais feidhim as na h-íomhánna shamhalta Iúdacha go mbainfidh an ceart a ionad amach lá an Bhreithiúnais. Má thá grá againn do Dhia, ní baol dúinn, mar is air atá ár seasamh. Ach ó b’áil le Dia sinn a ghlaoch as, caithfear bheith réidh lena theacht an athuair.


Iarratas ar Gaeilgeóirí (ó Nollag, 2019 amach)

Gaeilgeóirí líofa, a bhéad ábalta smaoineamh gearr a chur a fáil dúinn ó am go h’am? Má’a ea, tá fáilte rómhat leagan gaeilge a chur ar alt de mo théacs féin, nó alt úr-nua a chumadh le Domhnnaigh éagsúla.. Seól do dhréacht-téacs chugam in am trátha (cúpla seachtain roimh ré, ar a laghad) agus lig dom é a eagrú in ár ngnáthfhormáid… chun cabhrú le paróistí atá céiliúradh fós as Gaeilge. Má’s féidir leat cabhrú: patrogers43 AT gmail.com. Míle maith agat


4 Responses

  1. Seamus Ahearne

    Crisis. What crisis? (Brian Lenihan Sn).

    The word ‘crisis’ is very familiar. In political terms – Syria, Turkey, the Kurds, Spain, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, the UK Parliament, the Brexit cliff-edge, the Non- Assembly in N Ireland, the Babbling Donald, the Bumbling Boris, In Religious terms – Vincent Twomey’s book title, is apt: ‘The end of Irish Catholicism.’ The major Public Schools (Benedictines) in the UK are shamed. Vincent Nicholls is in a trouble. Our own Phonsie has problems with Yoga. Our churches are empty or are half full with OAPs. Nero is fiddling and ‘Rome’ is burning.

    The Church is Finglas is being knocked down:

    Here in Finglas, the Church of the Annunciation is waiting to fall. It is a metaphor for the rest of our Church. Waiting to fall. And falling slowly. The Gospel ‘Temple’ is also collapsing. But the Temple of the Jews is very different to our understanding of Church. The Temple can never crash down. The home of God is everywhere. God is always with us. We are only in need of better architects to prepare for a different era. A good building will survive even the present earthquakes.


    There is always healing in the rays shining out – the sun of righteousness. (Malachi). Healing in the appetite of folk to delve into Scripture to find a God who speaks and whispers in their own experiences of ordinary living. Healing in a Liturgy that is custom- built. Healing in the stamina of faith among us – where meeting the sick and dying, stir us to humility and grace, on our visits. Healing in the banter and fun in everyday life. Healing in the warm hospitality of every home. Healing in the commitment of so many doing all the little jobs daily and quietly. Healing in the wonderful care and work in the schools where providing a safe and happy place is much more important than the curriculum.

    Healing (cont).

    Healing in the laughter of every day. Healing in the privilege of sharing in the spontaneity of every family as we prepare together for funerals. Healing in the team -collective of parish life. Healing in nature’s chatter as it speaks to us of more. Healing in the intimacy of those bringing new life into the world. Healing in the music of life, where God dances with no restraint in his/her (+) jazz improvisations that is his/her wont. Yes. It is a wonderful world. It is good to be alive. Now and here. The world of God is not collapsing. The world of Religion is not falling down. The world of faith hasn’t disappearing. A new order is appearing. We have to cope with changing times and ways. We are building a new Church. That is our task. It is different. It will be different. Even the Synod gave us a glimpse of something new. We need architects, developers and builders with imaginations and vision.

    Be Curious:

    I spoke during the week with a very senior journalist. He was in despair. He felt that journalists were no longer curious. They sat in their offices and worked at the desk but didn’t get out and didn’t do the reflecting. That was rather interesting. The Book of Wisdom this week might be inclined to say the same…… I am writing something for our Christmas circular. It will begin in this way: Don’t you dare celebrate Christmas! Christmas isn’t for children. Christmas isn’t for presents. Christmas isn’t for shopping. Christmas isn’t for food and drink. If Christmas hasn’t Christ at the centre of it for you; don’t you dare celebrate Christmas. The rest may whet some curiosity in the Community.

    Replace the falling Spire in Finglas – with inspiration:

    So for all of us this weekend’s message might be – where is Christ among us; how do we celebrate him; how do we share what we find? We cannot bask in the sunshine of nostalgia or sink into quicksand of fatalism. There is work to do. We can do it. It is our job.

    Seamus Ahearne osa.

  2. Ned Quinn

    Seamus, in his wonderful contributions, often mentions the importance of spending time with families who have been bereaved. It is a time for sharing with them and listening to their cares and memories. It is a sacred time. It is also, sadly, a very short time. Having ministered in England for many years, I found that the time between the death and the funeral was frequently too long. Often up to two weeks. But I would like to see more time here in Ireland. There is so much to do in the short interval. Preparing the liturgy is often rushed and the mourners have so much to do on a practical level. Perhaps we could have a discussion about this.

  3. Eddie Finnegan

    Seamus: “The major Public[=Private]Schools (Benedictines) in the UK are shamed. Vincent Nichols is in trouble.”

    Sometimes death for a bishop or cardinal is a smart career move. Young Basil Hume went to Ampleforth aged 13 in 1936 and, apart from five years at St Benet’s Oxford and Fribourg, didn’t leave it till he was made Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal in 1976. As Abbot (1963-76) Basil chose not to involve the police in 1975 when parents of Ampleforth prep school children complained of serious long-running sexual abuse by a monk, son of a Tory peer. This was just one episode of a three-decades long scandal perpetrated by as many as eight Ampleforth pedophile monks, both during Basil’s time as Abbot and the two decades that followed. Ampleforth, Downside and St Benedict’s Ealing were just the three most egregious abuse offenders – but Douai, Belmont, Buckfast and Worth Abbey schools were not far behind in the abuse league in the 1970-1999 era. Vincent Nichols’ failure to reveal a note of what Ab Maurice Couve de Murville knew about Tolkien’s son, Fr John Tolkien, may not be as serious as the choices made by his predecessors in Birmingham and Westminster.

  4. Paddy Ferry

    Eddie and Seamus, in the leading article in todays Tablet , “Test of conscience of the Cardinal”, referring to Vincent Nichols, one paragraph jumped off the page at me:

    “The evidence heard at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual abuse (IICSA) brought to light that in many instances, the implicit priority of safeguarding coordinators was to look after the interests of the Church and of individual priests accused of abuse, with the interests of victims and survivors coming second. That is not Nolan. That is not paramountcy. Nor is it the Gospel. But it is a clear structural bias. ”

    I wondered if this is what motivated those at home in Ireland who tried to discredit the process and the findings of the Murphy Commission –which Jo has just referred to this morning– as their priority seemed to include looking after the interests of negligent bishops too.

    Furthermore, I was saddened to read “It is plain that as an outside monitor of safeguarding practices in the Catholic Church, the Vatican has fallen short. Refusing to cooperate with IICSA, as it did, was a scandalous violation of the paramountcy principle – the absolute moral obligation to put the welfare of children before everything else. ”

    When will this ever end!!

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