November 16. Action. Isn’t it true that in spite of all the strife, conflict and disasters that we see on TV every day we mostly carry on living as normal. We may give some money to a disaster fund or a charity out of a sense of obligation, maybe guilt or compassion. It seems that mainly when people have suffered a loss or are suffering from a particular disease they are prepared to take some action, maybe form or join a support group like COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS for those who have lost a child or SUICIDES ANONYMOUS.
“As it was in the days of Noah so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26-37.
Pope Francis: We note the rise of a false or superficial ecology which bolsters complacency and a cheerful recklessness. As it occurs in periods of deep crisis which require bold decisions we are tempted to think that what is happening is not entirely clear. Human beings feed their self-destructive vices, try not to see them, acknowledge them, pretend nothing will happen. LS 59
November 17 Widowhood. Widows are common figures in the Bible, primarily because of their vulnerability, rather than the fact that they are widows, have lost a spouse and maybe mourning that loss and learning to deal with the life experience. Widowers too have to work through a process. For some this results initially in a state of confusion, a sense of helplessness and inadequacy at least for a time. Gradually they may recover a sense of justice, seek compensation if there has been wrongdoing and become quite strong in their demands.
“In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man and there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Vindicate me against my enemy, give me justice.” The judge said to himself, because this widow bothers me I will give her what she wants or she will wear me out be her continual coming. Luke 18:1-8.
Pope Francis: Although the certainty of death saddens us we are consoled by the promise of future immortality. For the life of those who believe in you Lord, is not ended but changed. We will prepare ourselves to meet once more our loved ones who have died. AL 256-8.
November 18th Sunday 33B. 2nd WORLD DAY OF THE POOR. “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” Fr Peter, first chose the message of the gospel where Jesus spoke of the great tribulation and that he will gather the elect from the ends of the earth. He then also included, as a warning, two message from the book of Daniel which referred to the final judgement. Some will wake to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame. But the piece that he emphasized most were the words, “those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever. He said, “I want to connect this passage with the importance of the healing ministry. Yes there are those involved in exorcism, others in deliverance but the healing ministry of ordinary lay men and women to care and support those who are depressed and dealing with loss is invaluable. Why? Because that is where the majority of our suffering lies. In fact all families have to face death at some stage. Many unfortunately suffer breakdown of some kind. Being the listening ear and the helping hand is recognised as being the work of God.
Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:1-3.
Pope Francis: Turning our backs on a grieving family would show a lack of mercy, be the loss of a pastoral opportunity and close the door to other efforts at evangelisation. AL 253.