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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 11-20-12
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 11-20-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 11/19/2012 9:20:55 PM PST by Salvation

November 20, 2012

Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

 

Reading 1 Rv 3:1-6, 14-22

I, John, heard the Lord saying to me:
"To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this:

"'The one who has the seven spirits of God
and the seven stars says this: "I know your works,
that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent.
If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief,
and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.
However, you have a few people in Sardis
who have not soiled their garments;
they will walk with me dressed in white,
because they are worthy.

"'The victor will thus be dressed in white,
and I will never erase his name from the book of life
but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father
and of his angels.

"'Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

"To the angel of the Church in Laodicea, write this:

"'The Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the source of God's creation, says this:
"I know your works;
I know that you are neither cold nor hot.
I wish you were either cold or hot.
So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, 'I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,'
and yet do not realize that you are wretched,
pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich,
and white garments to put on
so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed,
and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise.
Be earnest, therefore, and repent.

"'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
then I will enter his house and dine with him,
and he with me.
I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne,
as I myself first won the victory
and sit with my Father on his throne.

"'Whoever has ears ought to hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

Responsorial Psalm Ps 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5

R. (Rev. 3: 21) I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.

Gospel Lk 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
"Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house."
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
"He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
"Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over."
And Jesus said to him,
"Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost."


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
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1 posted on 11/19/2012 9:21:04 PM PST by Salvation
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Alleluia Ping!
 
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2 posted on 11/19/2012 9:24:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22

Letter to the Church of Sardis


[1] “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has
the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “’I know your works; you have the
name of being alive, and you are dead. [2] Awake, and strengthen what remains
and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight
of my God. [3] Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and re-
pent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what
hour I will come upon you. [4] Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people
who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for
they are worthy. [5] He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and
I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my
Father and before his angels. [6] He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches.’

Letter to the Church of Laodicea


[14] “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen,
the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

[15] “’I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold
or hot! [16] So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew
you out of my mouth. [17] For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need
nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
[18] Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may
be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your na-
kedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.
[19] Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. [20]
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens
the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. [21] He who
conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered
and sat down with my Father on his throne. [22] He who has an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1. Sardis, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south-east of Thyatira, was an impor-
tant hub in the highway system; it was also famous for its acropolis, which was
located in an unassailable position. Herodotus describes its inhabitants as im-
moral, licentious people (cf. “History”, 1, 55). The Christians of the city were
probably somewhat infected by the general atmosphere.

Christ is now depicted as possessing the fullness of the Spirit, with the power to
effect radical change by sanctifying the churches from within (cf. note on 1:4).
He is also portrayed as the sovereign Lord of the universal Church (cf. note on
2:1), ever ready to imbue it with new life.

The church of Sardis is accused of seeming to be alive but in fact being dead:
in other words, although its external practice of religion makes it look Christian,
most of its members (not all: cf. v. 4) are estranged from Christ, devoid of interior
life, in a sinful condition. Anyone who lives like that is dead. Our Lord himself de-
scribed the situation of the prodigal son as being a kind of death: “my son was
dead, and is alive again”, the father exclaims in the parable (Lk 15: 24); and St
Paul invites Christians to offer themselves to God “as men who have been
brought from death to life” (Rom 6:13). Now, in this passage of Revelation, we
are told that the cause of this spiritual, but real, death is the fact that the works
of this church are imperfect in the sight of God (v. 2); they were works which led
to spiritual death, that is, what we would term mortal sins. “With the whole tradi-
tion of the Church”, John Paul II says, “we call ‘mortal sin’ the act by which man
freely and consciously rejects God, his law, the covenant of love that God offers,
preferring to turn in on himself or to some created and finite reality, something
contrary to the divine will (”conversio ad creaturam”) [...]. Man perceives that this
disobedience to God destroys the bond that unites him with his life-principle: it
is a mortal sin, that is, an act which gravely offends God and ends in turning
against man himself with a dark and powerful force of destruction” (”Reconci-
liatio Et Paenitentia”, 17).

2-3. Vigilance is always necessary, particularly in certain situations like that of
Sardis where there was a number of people who had not fallen victim to sin. In
this kind of peril, Christians need to be alerted and confirmed in the faith. They
need to remember what they learned at the beginning, when they were instructed
in the faith, and try to bring their lives into line with that teaching. And so they are
not simply exhorted to conversion but told how to go about it — by comparing their
lives with the Word of God and making the necessary changes: “no one is safe if
he ceases to strive against himself. Nobody can save himself by his own efforts.
Everyone in the Church needs specific means to strengthen himself — humility,
which disposes us to accept help and advice; mortifications, which temper the
heart and allow Christ to reign in it; the study of abiding, sound doctrine, which
leads us to conserve and spread our faith” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing
By”, 81).

“I will come like a thief”: an image also found elsewhere in the New Testament
(cf. Mt 24:42-51, Mk 13:36; Lk 12:39ff; 1 Thess 5:2; 2 Pet 3: 10). This does not
mean that our Lord is lying in wait, ready to pounce on man when he is una-
wares, like a hunter waiting for his prey. It is simply a warning to us to live in the
grace of God and be ready to render our account to him. If we do that we will not
run the risk of being found empty-handed at the moment of death. “That day will
come for us. It will be our last day, but we are not afraid of it. Trusting firmly in
God’s grace, we are ready from this very moment to be generous and coura-
geous, and take loving care of little things: we are ready to go and meet our
Lord, with our lamps burning brightly. For the feast of feasts awaits us in hea-
ven” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 40).

4-5. Despite the corrupt environment in which they were living, there were some
Christians who had not been contaminated by the immoral cults and lifestyles of
the pagans: their loyalty is symbolized by white garments. In the course of nar-
rating his visions St John mentions white garments a number of times (cf. 7:9,
13; 15:6; 19:14); this color symbolizes purity and also the joy of victory.

The symbol of the “book of life”, which occurs often in the Apocalypse (cf. 13:8;
17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; etc.), is taken from the Old Testament, where those who
belong to the people of Israel are described as enrolled in the “book of the living”,
which is also referred to as the book of the Lord (cf. Ps 69:28; Ex 32:32ff). Those
whose names are in the book will share in the promises of salvation (cf. Is 4:3),
whereas those who are unfaithful to the Law will be excluded from the people of
God and their names blotted out of the “book of the living”. Other New Testa-
ment texts use the same image (cf., e.g., Lk 10:20; Phil 4:3).

The names of the victors will stay in the “book of life” which lists those who have
proved loyal to Christ, as well as those who belonged to the people of Israel.

Finally, on Judgment Day, those Christians who have kept the faith, will be spo-
ken for by Christ (cf. Mt 10:32; Lk 12:8).

14. Laodicea was a city on the border of Phrygia, about 75 kilometers (45 miles)
south-west of Phil