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1st Reading: Rev 7:2–4, 9–14 I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise, carrying the seal of the living God, and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels empowered to harm the earth and the sea, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” After this I saw a great crowd, from every nation, race, people and tongue, standing before the throne and the Lamb, and they cried out with a loud voice, “Who saves but our God who sits on the throne and the Lamb?” All the angels were around the throne, the elders and the four living creatures; they then bowed before the throne with their faces to the ground to worship God. They said, Amen. Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen! At that moment, one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these people clothed in white, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, it is you who know this.” The elder replied, “They are those who have come out of the great persecution; they have washed and made their clothes white in the blood of the Lamb. 2nd Reading: 1 Jn 3:1–3 See what singular love the Father has for us: we are called children of God, and we really are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when he appears in his glory, we know that we shall be like him, for then we shall see him as he is. All who have such a hope try to be pure as he is pure.

Ps 24:1b–2, 3–4ab, 5–6 Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. Gospel: Mt 5:1–12 Jesus sat down and his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach them: “Fortunate are those who have the spirit of the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted. Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they



A shall see God. Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God. Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God.


All Saints Day Psalter: Proper

priest once asked a group of children if anyone could define a saint. One youngster, thinking of the beautiful stained glass windows in her parish church said, “A saint is a person whom the light shines through.” Not bad for a child. Not bad at all. The saints whose images are depicted in stained glass and on holy cards are famous for allowing God’s light to shine through their words and actions. The apostles, martyrs, doctors, virgins, religious and other holy men and women whose feasts are celebrated through the Church year offer examples to us of how to live so as to bring God’s light into a world that knows all too much darkness. This great Feast of All Saints evokes the memories of the countless women and men of faith who abide with the Lord for all eternity. This feast also challenges us to live our lives both with our sights set on the good things that await us in heaven, and with determination to make a positive difference in the lives of the poor and less fortunate. May the light of the Lord shine through us all.

02 November monday

All Souls Day Psalter: Proper

Ps 23:1–3, 3–4, 5, 6 The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

1st Reading: Wis 3:1–9* The souls of the just are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch them. In the eyes of the unwise they appear to be dead. Their glory is held as a disaster; it seems that they lose everything by departing from us, but they are in peace. Though seemingly they have been punished, immortality was the soul of their hope. After slight affliction will come great blessings, for God has tried them and found them worthy to be with him; after testing them as gold in the furnace, he has accepted them as a holocaust. … Those who trust in him will penetrate the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love, for his grace and mercy are for his chosen ones. 2nd Reading: Rom 6:3–9 Gospel: Mt 25:31–46* Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his angels, he will sit on the throne of his Glory. All the nations will be brought before him, and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will he do with them, placing the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “The King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, blessed of my Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me into your house. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to see me.’ … “Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Go, cursed people, out of my sight into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you did not give me anything to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome me into your house; I was naked and you did not clothe me; I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’” … ‘Truly, I say to you: whatever you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do for me.’ …


he Feast of All Souls commemorates the faithful departed, those who die in God’s faith and friendship. Christians will take this day to offer up prayers, on behalf of their departed relatives and friends. In the Philippines, we celebrate Memorial Day, based loosely on All Souls Day. On the eve of All Souls Day (i.e. the evening of All Saints Day), partiers go door-to-door, requesting gifts and singing a traditional verse representing the liberation of holy souls from purgatory. Our traditions and customs can include: praying novenas for the holy souls, visiting a graveyard for a picnic, decorating relatives’ graves, remembering and praying for departed souls, giving orphans food, clothing and toys and leaving our doors and windows open on All Souls Night. Eternal rest grant unto them, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace!

1st Reading: Rom 12:5–16ab* The same with us; being many, we are one body in Christ, depending on one another. Let each one of us, therefore, serve according to our different gifts. Are you a prophet? Then give the insights of faith. Let the minister fulfill his office; let the teacher teach, the one who encourages, convince. … Let love be sincere. Hate what is evil and hold to whatever is good. Love one another and be considerate. Outdo one another in mutual respect. Be zealous in fulfilling your duties. Be fervent in the Spirit and serve God. … Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not wish evil on anyone. Rejoice with those who are joyful, and weep with those who weep. Live in peace with one another. Do not dream of extraordinary things; be humble and do not hold yourselves as wise.




31st Week in Ordinary Time Martin de Porres Psalter: Week 3

Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3 In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Gospel: Lk 14:15–24 One of those at the table said to Jesus, “Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!” Jesus replied, “A man once gave a feast and invited many guests. When it was time for the feast he sent his servant to tell those he had invited to come, for everything was ready. But all alike began to make excuses. The first said: ‘Please excuse me. I must go and see the piece of land I have just bought.’ Another said: ‘I am sorry, but I am on my way to try out the five yoke of oxen I have just bought.’ Still another said, ‘How can I come when I have just married?’ “The servant returned alone and reported this to his master. Upon hearing the account, the master of the house flew into a rage and ordered his servant: ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ “The servant reported after a while: ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out, but there is still room.’ The master said: ‘Go out to the highways and country lanes and force people to come in, to make sure my house is full. I tell you, none of those invited will have a morsel of my feast.”


he word of God gives us hope. As Christians, we are in the company of people, who have hope. Out there in the world, there is a fleeting hope that evaporates and disappears, like the mist that appears in the morning that disappears as soon as the sun rises. What hope there is in this world is like that passing mist. God’s word gives us hope. The hope of absolute certainty in our salvation and happiness! Paul enumerates the principle of living a godly upright, holy life. It’s living with others in mind. We are not to be full of our own importance. We may have a right to do something, but the Christian life is not about our rights. I might have a right to do this, but I will deny myself my rights for your sake. For the sake of peace, for the sake of harmony, for the sake of the blessing of the community, we should bear with our neighbors and their perceived weaknesses. We are not to please ourselves. We should build up, strengthen, the rights of our brothers and sisters in Christ!

04 November wednesday

31st Week in Ordinary Time Charles Borromeo Psalter: Week 3

Ps 112:1b–2, 4–5, 9 Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.


1st Reading: Rom 13:8–10 Do not be in debt to anyone. Let this be the only debt of one to another: Love. The one who loves his or her neighbor fulfilled the Law. For the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not covet and whatever else are summarized in this one: You will love your neighbor as yourself. Love cannot do the neighbor any harm; so love fulfills the whole Law. Gospel: Lk 14:25–33 One day, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, “If you come to me, without being ready to give up your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not follow me carrying his own cross cannot be my disciple. “Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost to see whether you have enough to complete it? Otherwise, if you have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ “And when a king wages war against another king, does he go to fight without first sitting down to consider whether his ten thousand can stand against the twenty thousand of his opponent? And if not, while the other is still a long way off he sends messengers for peace talks. In the same way, none of you may become my disciple if he doesn’t give up everything he has.”

et this be the only debt of one to another: love!” Some debts, like taxes, or a mortgage, or a borrowed book, can be repaid; but love can never be repaid. We owe just as much of it after we make a payment as before. But there’s more to it: what Paul is saying is that, every debt we pay…every mortgage payment, every act of duty to anyone…should be acts of love. We shouldn’t put love in a category different from other acts of our lives. We must let everything be done in love. We should owe nobody anything, except this way: that we pay it in love. The debt of love that we have to unbelievers and believers is not because they have done anything for us. Our debt of love exists because Christ has done everything for us, when we did not deserve it, any more than the world deserves our love. When Christ loves us freely, when He gave His life for us, when He took away all our sin and guilt and condemnation, and guaranteed for us everlasting joy in Him…and all of this when we didn’t even know Him…we became loving debtors to all humanity.

1st Reading: Rom 14:7–12 In fact, none of us lives for himself, nor dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Either in life or in death, we belong to the Lord; It was for this purpose that Christ both died and come to life again to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. Then you, why do you criticize your brother or sister? And you, why do you despise them? For we will all appear at the tribunal of God. It is written: I swear by myself—word of the Lord—every knee will bend before me, and every tongue shall give glory to God. So each of us will account for himself before God.




31st Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 3

Ps 27:1bcde, 4, 13–14 I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.

Gospel: Lk 15:1–10 Tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what he had to say. But the Pharisees and the scribes frowned at this, muttering. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus told them this parable: “Who among you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and seek out the lost one till he finds it? And finding it, will he not joyfully carry it home on his shoulders? Then he will call his friends and neighbors together and say: ‘Celebrate with me for I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, just so, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine upright who do not need to repent. “What woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one, will not light a lamp and sweep the house in a thorough search till she finds the lost coin? And finding it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say: ‘Celebrate with me for I have found the silver coin I lost!’ I tell you, in the same way there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”


oday, Paul is asking us to make ourselves presentable to God. When we do things that are damaging to our minds and bodies, we make ourselves less appealing to God. We have an obligation to take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits to the best of our ability, so that we are fit servants of Christ. Beyond that, we have a responsibility to each other. We are to care for each other like true brothers and sisters. When we treat others as Christ treats us, we put others needs before our own. This is a concept that few Christians embrace and fewer still practice; yet, that it is how we should behave. In effect, when we sacrifice something we need for the sake of someone else, we’re trusting God to provide for us. We are not only to provide for those in need but also to protect those who are weaker than us. We ought to take young ones under our wing and we should offer support to those who are struggling with problems like alcoholism and drug abuse. The point is for us always to be there for each other, with a helping hand and a willing heart.

06 November friday

31st Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 3

Ps 98:1, 2–3ab, 3cd–4 The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

1st Reading: Rom 15:14–21* As for me, brothers and sisters, I am convinced that you have goodwill, knowledge and the capacity to advise each other; nevertheless I have written boldly in some parts of this letter to remind you of what you already know. I do this according to the grace God has given to me when I was sent to the pagan nations. I dedicated myself to the service of the Good News of God as a minister of Christ Jesus, in order to present the non-Jews to God as an agreeable offering consecrated by the Holy Spirit. This service of God is for me a cause of pride in Christ Jesus. … I have been very careful, however, and I am proud of this, not to preach in places where Christ is already known, and not to build upon foundations laid by others. Let it be as Scripture says: Those not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand. Gospel: Lk 16:1–8 Jesus told his disciples, “There was a rich man whose steward was reported to him for fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him: ‘What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service for it is about to be terminated.’ “The steward thought to himself: ‘What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do: I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be some people to welcome me into their house.’ “So he called his master’s debtors one by one. He asked the first who came: ‘How much do you owe my master?’ The reply was: ‘A hundred jars of oil.’ The steward said: ‘Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write there fifty.’ To the second he put the same question: ‘How much do you owe?’ The answer was: ‘A thousand bushels of wheat.’ Then he said: ‘Take your bill and write eighty.’ “The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the people of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the people of light.”


ritics of the early Christians thought they should be reached through their eyes: by signs and wonders. Or through their ears: by impressive arguments and ideas. But God only reaches us through our hearts: hearts of humble submission to God’s will. A life, motivated by a desire to impress people, fails to be faithful to God’s call. Our lives must always bring people face to face with God and the cross of Christ. We live, not to show that God does what people want, but to call people to do what God wants. To believe in Him! Paul always uses key words: wisdom and foolishness, strength and weakness. What the world thinks is wisdom and strength, God despises. The early Church did not have much to boast about in the world. Neither does any one of us have anything to boast about before God. We are sinful, weak and frail. But that’s not a problem for God; and it doesn’t mean we are without hope. God deliberately chooses us, who are weak. To shame the powerful!

1st Reading: Rom 16:3–9, 16, 22–27 Greetings to Prisca and Aquilas, my helpers in Christ Jesus. To save my life, they risked theirs; I am very grateful to them, as are all the churches of the pagan nations. Greetings also to the church that meets in their house. Greetings to my dear Epaenetus, the first in the province of Asia to believe in Christ. Greet Mary, who worked so much for you. Greetings to Andronicus and Junias, my relatives and companions in prison; they are well known apostles and served Christ before I did. Give greetings to Ampliatus, whom I love so much in the Lord. Greetings to Urbanus, our fellow worker, and to my dear Stachys. Greetings to Apelles, who suffered for Christ, and the family of Aristobulus.




31st Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 3

Ps 145:2–3, 4–5, 10–11 I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Gospel: Lk 16:9–15 Jesus said to his disciples, “And so I tell you: use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes. “Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling filthy money, who could entrust you with true wealth? And if you have not been trustworthy with things that are not really yours, who will give you the wealth which is your own? “No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, “You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what rises high among humans is loathed by God.”


ome worldly people are quite shrewd. Some can think of many ways to use and make earthly wealth…honestly or dishonestly. Jesus, however, wants his disciples to use their worldly wealth in ways that are spiritually shrewd. We are not to use our wealth to control others or to try to protect our future, but to bless others. Benefiting others and using our earthly resources to be a blessing and a friend to others are our goals. God blesses us so that, in turn, we can be a blessing. As faithful stewards of God’s blessings, we are storing up treasures in heaven. God wants to shower us with blessings; but He waits to give them to us, wanting us to take care of the little things first, so that we can be trusted to be a good steward over the larger blessings. Until we can manage success in the little tasks that He gives us, we are not qualified to take on the bigger roles that He has waiting for us, later in life. It is our job and mission to fulfill God’s purpose to the fullest, otherwise God can’t receive the honor, praise, and glory due to Him.

1st Reading: 1 K 17:10–16 Elijah went to Zarephath. On reaching the gate of the town, he saw a widow gathering sticks. He called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel that I may drink.” As she was going to bring it, he called after her and said, “Bring me also a piece of bread.” But she answered, “As Yahweh your God lives, I have no bread left but only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am just now gathering some sticks so that I may go in and prepare something for myself and my son to eat and die.” Elijah then said to her, “Do not be afraid. Go and do as you have said, but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me; then make some for yourself and your son. For this is the word of Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not be emptied nor shall the jug of oil fail, until the day when Yahweh sends rain to the earth.” So she went and did as Elijah told her; and she had food for herself, Elijah and her son from that day on. The jar of flour was not emptied nor did the jug of oil fail, in accordance with what Yahweh had said through Elijah. 2nd Reading: Heb 9:24–28 Christ did not enter some sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself. He is now in the presence of God on our behalf. He had not to offer himself many times, as the High Priest does: he who may return every year, because the blood is not his own. Otherwise he would have suffered many times from the Ps 146:7, 8–9, 9–10 creation of the world. But no; he manifested Praise the Lord, my soul! himself only now at the end of the ages, to take away sin by sacrifice, and, as humans die only once and afterwards are judged, in the same way Christ sacrificed himself once to take away the sins of the multitude. There will be no further question of sin when he comes again to save those waiting for him.

Gospel: Mk 12:38–44 As Jesus was teaching, he also said to the people, “Beware of those teachers of the Law who enjoy walking around in long robes and being greeted in the marketplace, and who like to occupy reserved seats in the synagogues and the first places at feasts. They even devour the widow’s and the orphan’s goods while making a show of long prayers. How severe a sentence they will receive!” Jesus sat down opposite the Temple treasury and watched the people dropping money into the treasury box; and many rich people put in large offerings. But a poor widow also came and dropped in two small coins. Then Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all those who gave offerings. For all of them gave from their plenty, but she gave from her poverty and put in everything she had, her very living.”




32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 4


an we ever forget the image of the poor widow putting into the treasury all that she had? Even in her poverty she did not neglect to make a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God for blessings received. And we can surmise that this widow, like the widow at Zarephath, would know the Lord’s tender mercies, for God will not be outdone in generosity. The generosity of the poor widow is both an inspiration and a challenge to us as we strive to be good stewards of the blessings we have received from the Lord. As the Lord has been good to us, so too must we be good to others, sharing generously and lovingly with our family, our Church, and the poor. Our model for generosity, of course, is the Lord Jesus. He became poor so that we might become infinitely wealthy. Our Lord gave everything He had to give by stretching out His arms upon the cross so that we might know the joys of heaven. May our care generosity be nothing less than wholehearted, following the example of our Lord and the example of the poor widow.

09 November monday

Dedication of St. John Lateran Psalter: Proper

Ps 46:2–3, 5–6, 8–9 The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High.

1st Reading: Ezk 47:1–2, 8–9, 12* The man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple and I saw water coming out from the threshold of the Temple and flowing eastwards. The Temple faced the east and the water flowed from the south side of the Temple, from the south side of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing the east and there I saw the stream coming from the south side. He said to me, “This water goes to the east, down to the Arabah, and when it flows into the sea of foul-smelling water, the water will become wholesome. Wherever the river flows, swarms of creatures will live in it; fish will be plentiful and the sea water will become fresh. Wherever it flows, life will abound. … 2nd Reading: 1 Cor 3:9c–11, 16–17 Gospel: Jn 2:13–22 As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away and stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your House devours me as a fire. The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?” And Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then replied, “The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.


ost Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, where the bishop of Rome presides. The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century, when Constantine donated land, he had received from the Lateran family. That structure suffered fire and the ravages of war; but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated, until they returned from Avignon in the 14th century to find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins. Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, St John Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with fifteen colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, and doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which, tradition holds, St. Peter celebrated Mass. St. John Lateran is, in a sense, the parish church of all Catholics, for it is the pope’s parish, the cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome. This church is the spiritual home of all Catholics!

1st Reading: Wis 2:23—3:9 Indeed God created man to be immortal in the likeness of his own nature, but the envy of the devil brought death to the world, and those who take his side shall experience death. The souls of the just are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch them In the eyes of the unwise they appear to be dead. Their going is held as a disaster; it seems that they lose everything by departing from us, but they are in peace. Though seemingly they have been punished, immortality was the soul of their hope. After slight affliction will come great blessings, for God has tried them and found them worthy to be with him; after testing them as gold in the furnace, he has accepted them as a holocaust. At the time of his coming they will shine like sparks that run in the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king forever. Those who trust in him will penetrate the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love, for his grace and mercy are for his chosen ones.




32nd Week in Ordinary Time Leo the Great Psalter: Week 4

Ps 34:2–3, 16–17, 18–19 I will bless the Lord at all times.

Gospel: Lk 17:7–10 Jesus said to his disciples, “Who among you would say to your servant coming in from the fields after plowing or tending sheep: ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? No, you tell him: ‘Prepare my dinner. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink; you can eat and drink afterwards.’ Do you thank this servant for doing what you commanded? So for you. When you have done all that you have been told to do, you must say: ‘We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.’”


e need, today, to learn another lesson: that Christ calls us to be servants of one another, and that this service will be a most blessed one, a new and fuller liberty from sin and self. At first it may appear hard. But, if once we learn that to be nothing before God is the glory of the creature, the spirit of Jesus, the joy of heaven, we shall welcome with our whole heart the discipline we may have in serving even those who trouble us. This was what Jesus said to the disciples who were thinking of being great in the kingdom, and of sitting on His right hand and His left. Seek not, ask not for exaltation; that is God’s work. Jesus means this, we all know. Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds the creature abased and empty, in flows His glory and power. It is godlike, however, to humble ourselves, to become servants of all! Let us study the words we’ve been given, until our hearts are filled with the one thought: my real need is humility. Here is the path to the higher life: down, lower down!

11 November wednesday

32nd Week in Ordinary Time Martin of Tours Psalter: Week 4

Ps 82:3–4, 6–7 Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.

1st Reading: Wis 6:1–11 Listen, O kings, and understand; rulers of the most distant lands, take warning. Pay attention, you who rule multitudes and boast of the numerous subjects in your pagan nations. For authority was given you by the Lord, your kingship is from the Most High who will examine your works and scrutinize your intentions. If, as officials of his kingdom, you have not judged justly or observed his law or walked the way God pointed out, he will oppose you swiftly and terribly; his sentence strikes the mighty suddenly. For the lowly there may be excuses and pardon, but the great will be severely punished. For the Lord of all makes no distinction, nor does he take account of greatness. Both great and lowly are his work and he watches over all, but the powerful are to be judged more strictly. It is to you then, sovereigns, that I speak, that you may learn Wisdom and not stumble. For those who keep the holy laws in a holy way will be acknowledged holy, and those who accept the teaching will find in it their defense. Welcome my words, desire them and they will instruct you. Gospel: Lk 17:11–19 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus was passing along the border between Samaria and Galilee, and as he entered a village, ten lepers came to meet him. Keeping their distance, they called to him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Then Jesus said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” Now, as they went their way, they found they were cured. One of them, as soon as he saw he was cleansed, turned back praising God in a loud voice, and throwing himself on his face before Jesus, he gave him thanks. This man was a Samaritan. Then Jesus said, “Were not all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God but this alien?” And Jesus said to him, “Stand up and go your way; your faith has saved you.”


hen it seems that all we can see is the effect of discrimination, corrupt politicians, and yes, even the policy of our government, it’s hard to see beyond it all to the reign of God. When we go through difficult times, when we are in pain, when society ignores us, it’s hard to see God’s plan. Like the nine lepers, it is hard to see that, because of Christ, we have been healed. It’s hard to look past this world of pain and see that Christ is bringing in a new world, that in heaven there won’t be all this oppression, suffering and pain. We read that, even though society doesn’t see the lepers, Christ sees them! The leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus was a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, which made him the oppressed of the oppressed. Despite all this, he saw past the way the world looked at him and recognized in Jesus’ look the one, who gave him dignity and promised him that dignity had been restored in him. As with the Samaritan leper, may this look bring us to our knees and give us the strength to praise and give thanks to God!

1st Reading: Wis 7:22b—8:1 Because Wisdom, who designed them all, taught me. In her is a spirit that is intelligent, saintly, unique, manifold, subtle, active, concise, pure and lucid. It cannot corrupt, loves what is good and nothing can restrain it; it is beneficent, loving humankind, steadfast, dependable, calm though almighty. It sees everything and penetrates all spirits, however intelligent, subtle and pure they may be. Wisdom, in fact, surpasses in mobility all that moves, and being so pure pervades and permeates all things. She is a breath of the power of God, a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; nothing impure can enter her. She is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of God’s action and an image of his goodness. She is but one, yet Wisdom can do all things and, herself unchanging, she renews all things. She enters holy souls, making them prophets and friends of God, for God loves only those who live with Wisdom. She is indeed more beautiful than the sun and surpasses all the constellations; she outrivals light, for light gives way to night, but evil cannot prevail against Wisdom. Wisdom displays her strength from one end of the earth to the other, ordering all things rightly.




32nd Week in Ordinary Time Josaphat Psalter: Week 4

Ps 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175 Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Gospel: Lk 17:20–25 The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was to come. He answered, “The kingdom of God is not like something you can observe and say of it: ‘Look, here it is! There it is!’ See, the kingdom of God is among you.” And Jesus said to his disciples, “The time is at hand when you will long to see one of the glorious days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Then people will tell you: ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go, do not follow them. As lightning flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will it be with the Son of Man. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this people.”


bbe Pierre, the famous rag picker of Paris, lived in a large house with a dozen religious brothers. In the middle of January, when ice and snow covered the ground, a poor freezing family rang the doorbell of the large house and begged for some corner to sleep in; otherwise, they would all freeze to death. Abbe Pierre was worried because every room in the house was filled. Only the little chapel was not. So he took the Blessed Sacrament from the altar and carried it up to the attic, where it was too cold to live. Then he bedded down the family in that only prayer room in the house, which was Christ’s own room, so to speak. The next morning, the brothers were shocked to see the Blessed Sacrament gone and a family sleeping on the floor. They were horrified at this disrespect for the Lord’s room and were angry when Abbe Pierre told them that he had place the Blessed Sacrament in the attic, where snow was blowing in through the roof tiles. Then the Abbe explained, “My brothers, Christ feels no cold or heat in the Blessed Sacrament. But Christ in people feels everything they do!”

13 November friday

32nd Week in Ordinary Time Frances Xavier Cabrini Psalter: Week 4

Ps 19:2–3, 4–5ab The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

1st Reading: Wis 13:1–9* The natural helplessness of humans is seen in their ignorance of God. The experience of good things did not lead them to the knowledge of Him who is. They were interested in his works, but they did not recognize the author of them. Fire, wind, air, the sphere of the stars, rushing water and the lights in the sky were held as the rulers of the world. If, charmed by such beauty, they took them for gods, let them know how far superior is their sovereign. And if they were impressed by their power and activity, let them understand from this how much mightier is he who formed them. For the grandeur and beauty of creatures lead us to ponder on their Author, greater and more magnificent. … Gospel: Lk 17:26–37 Jesus said to his disciples, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be on the day the Son of Man comes. Then people ate and drank; they took husbands and wives. But on the day Noah entered the ark, the flood came and destroyed them all. Just as it was in the days of Lot: people ate and drank, they bought and sold, planted and built. But on the day Lot left Sodom, God made fire and sulfur rain down from heaven which destroyed them all. So will it be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. “On that day, if you are on the rooftop, don’t go down into the house to get your belongings, and if you happen to be in the fields, do not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever tries to save his life will lose himself, but whoever gives his life will be born again. “I tell you, though two men are sharing the same bed, it may be that one will be taken and the other left. Though two women are grinding corn together, one may be taken and the other left.” Then they asked Jesus, “Where will this take place, Lord?” And he answered, “Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.”


e should not fret if we are having a difficult time understanding why God the Father would send His Son to die on a cross. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we know that the cross is probably one of the most agonizing ways to suffer and die. But knowing that God makes the rules, why did He choose this method to reconcile people to Himself? Giving a child is the greatest sacrifice and the greatest demonstration that God could give to show His love for us. God gave us the ultimate gift and the ultimate demonstration of His love in sending Christ to suffer and die for our reconciliation with God. God wanted to give people a dramatic demonstration of His love for them. He also wanted to give His children an example of the kind of love that He wants us to have for Him and for one another. The kind of love that is willing to give the most precious gift that we have. Walking with in obedience to Jesus commands will take us on the path of the cross, dying to our self so that His life will be manifest in us all.

1st Reading: Wis 18:14–16; 19:6–9 While all was in quiet silence and the night was in the middle of its course, your almighty Word leapt down from the Royal Throne—a stern warrior to a doomed world. Carrying your fearful command like a sharpened sword and stretching from heaven to earth, he filled the universe with death. All creation in its different forms was fashioned anew at your command, in order to protect your people. The cloud covered the camp with its shadow, dry land emerged where water had been. A safe passage was opened through the Red Sea, the tempestuous flood became a green plain where the whole nation of those protected by your hand passed across, witnessing your astounding deeds. They were like horses led to pasture, or like frolicking lambs, praising you, their Lord, who had delivered them.




32nd Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 4

Ps 105:2–3, 36–37, 42–43 Remember the marvels the Lord has done!

Gospel: Lk 18:1–8 Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should pray continually and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor people. In the same town was a widow who kept coming to him, saying: ‘Defend my rights against my opponent.’ For a time he refused, but finally he thought: ‘Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out.” And Jesus explained, “Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for his chosen ones who cry to him day and night even if he delays in answering them? I tell you, he will speedily do them justice. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


esus asked the question, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” This question is often thought to apply to a secularization of the world’s population in the last days. In other words, will there be fewer religious people and more pagans as the return of the Son of Man nears? Jesus was very specifically teaching about persistence in prayer, telling a parable to illustrate a God, concerned for his people. Jesus was addressing people who believed in God and prayed – some true believers and some just religious folk who thought they were OK. But they were people like us. This passage is so pertinent because so many in our world do not believe in prayer, or that God answers prayer, in His supernatural involvement with His people. So many grow weary when praying and don’t push through until they receive an answer. This passage is within the larger context of a discussion about faith and people of God. Christ is not asking if there will be any God-fearing people left when the Son of Man returns; He is asking if faith will be found amongst those, who claim to be God’s children! Will He find us?

1st Reading: Dan 12:1–3 At that time, Michael will rise, the Great Commander who defends your people. It shall be a time of anguish as never before since the nations first existed until this very day. Then all those whose names are written in the Book will be saved. Many of those who sleep in the Region of the Dust will awake, some to everlasting life but others to eternal horror and shame. Those who acquired knowledge will shine like the brilliance of the firmament; those who taught people to be just will shine like the stars for all eternity. 2nd Reading: Heb 10:11–14, 18 So, whereas every priest stands daily by the altar offering repeatedly the same sacrifices that can never take away sins, Christ has offered for all times a single sacrifice for sins and has taken his seat at the right hand of God, waiting until God puts his enemies as a footstool under his feet. By a single sacrifice he has brought those who are sanctified to what is perfect forever. So, if sins are forgiven, there is no longer need of any sacrifice for sin. Gospel: Mk 13:24–32 Jesus said to his disciples, “Later on, in those days after that disastrous time, the sun will grow dark, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall out of the sky and the whole universe will be shaken. Then people will see the Son of Ps 16:5, 8, 9–10, 11 Man coming in the clouds with great power and You are my inheritance, O Lord! glory. And he will send the angels to gather his chosen people from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky. “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its branches become tender and it begins to sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the time is near, even at the door. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all this has happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But, regarding that Day and that Hour, no one knows when it will come, not even the angels, not even the Son, but only the Father.”




33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 4


emember death daily.” We would do well to follow this monastic instruction and never allow a day to pass without remembering that it could well be our last. We know neither the day nor the hour of our death. The Lord gives us today, but He does not promise us tomorrow. Therefore we must never put off for another day the task of doing good. Jesus teaches His disciples that all good things here on earth must come to an end. Even the world itself is not meant to last forever, but only as long as it serves the Lord’s purpose. For this reason we must not become inordinately attached to the things of this earth. Material possessions attract us when we do not have them, but when we do have them they fail to satisfy us. What a shame that those with great monetary wealth often suffer the most dire spiritual poverty. We know neither the day nor the hour of our death. Why then, should we spend so much time on things that do not really matter? “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” the Lord tells us. The only lasting treasures are those things that money cannot buy.

16 November monday

33rd Week in Ordinary Time Margaret of Scotland / Gertrude Psalter: Week 1

Ps 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158 Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.

1st Reading: 1 Mac 1:10–15, 41–43, 54–57, 62–63* … Antiochus issued a decree to his whole kingdom. All the peoples of his empire had to renounce their particular customs and become one people. All the pagan nations obeyed and respected the king’s decree, and even in Israel many accepted the imposed cult. They offered sacrifices to idols and no longer respected the Sabbath. On the fifteenth day of the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five, Antiochus erected the “abominable idol of the invaders” on the altar of the temple. Pagan altars were built throughout the whole land of Judea; incense was offered at the doors of their houses and in the squares. There wicked men tore up the books of the Law they found and burned them. They killed anyone they caught in possession of the book of the Covenant and who fulfilled the precepts of the Law, as the royal decree had ordered. But in spite of all this, many Israelites still remained firm and determined not to eat unclean food. They preferred to die rather than to make themselves unclean with those foods (prohibited by the Law) that violated the Holy Covenant. Gospel: Lk 18:35–43 When Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road, begging. As he heard the crowd passing by, he inquired what it was, and they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was going by. Then he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The people in front scolded him, “Be quiet!” but he cried out all the more, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the blind man to be brought to him, and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the man said, “Lord, that I may see!” Jesus said, “Receive your sight, your faith has saved you.” At once the blind man was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving praise to God. And all the people who were there also praised God.


hose, who have faith and trust in Christ, find that their sufferings have a purpose and that they also have an end. This is not the time to join the ranks of the discouraged, the cowardly and the fainthearted. Now is the time to let the light of our faith shine forth, not for pride’s sake, but as a beacon for many of us, who are lost. In this, Christ is our strength and His word is our sword. All suffering has a purpose; not a physical purpose as much as a spiritual purpose, for just as gold is tested in the fire and purified, so also we must pass through our own flames of penance and sacrifice here on earth in order to be cleansed of our sins. In today’s gospel, Christ says to us: “Your faith has saved you.” While those, who do not accept Christ and all His teachings, might ridicule and scorn us Christians, those of us, who realize the treasures that Christ brings to our lives, are filled with hope and are willing to undergo whatever suffering God wills for us. God emphasizes that we must all work together to bring goodness into our world.

1st Reading: 2 Mac 6:18–31* Eleazar, one of the prominent teachers of the Law, already old and of noble appearance, was forced to open his mouth to eat the flesh of a pig. But he preferred to die honorably than to live in disgrace, and voluntarily came to the place where they beat him to death. He spit out bravely the piece of meat, as should be done by those who do not want to do things prohibited by the Law, even to save their life. … And he added, “It would be unworthy to pretend at our age, and to lead many young people to suppose that I, at ninety years, have gone over to the pagan customs. If I led them astray for the sake of this short life I would bring disgrace to my old age. Even if I could now be saved from mortals, I cannot—whether living or dead—escape from the hands of the Almighty. I prefer to bravely sacrifice my life now, as befits my old age. So I shall leave an excellent example to the young, dying voluntarily and valiantly for the sacred and holy laws.” Having said this, he gave himself over to death. …




33rd Week in Ordinary Time Elizabeth of Hungary Psalter: Week 1

Ps 3:2–3, 4–5, 6–7 The Lord upholds me.

Gospel: Lk 19:1–10 When Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the city, a man named Zaccheus was there. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to see what Jesus was like, but he was a short man and could not see because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. From there he would be able to see Jesus who had to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, come down quickly for I must stay at your house today.” So Zaccheus hurried down and received him joyfully. All the people who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to the house of a sinner as a guest.” But Zaccheus spoke to Jesus, “The half of my goods, Lord, I give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.” Looking at him Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today, for he is also a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”


esus compromised his beliefs for no one. He couldn’t lie, he couldn’t even keep his mouth shut when people around him were judged and condemned. He aligned himself with the downtrodden and stood against tyranny. Would Jesus have made a good soldier? It would be difficult to get anyone in your cross hairs, when you’re turning the other cheek. A pre-emptive strike was the antithesis of Jesus’ foreign policy. There is no proof that Jesus came to start a new religion called “Christianity.” He showed no desire to organize or control others. He displayed no capacity for sending other mother’s sons to die for a power lust. He blessed the meek and the peacemakers. He supported only that which had vitality, not expediency. They could take his life and liberty; but they could not own his soul. He was not afraid of powerful men; this made them afraid of him. He frightened the self-righteous, because he knew the truth about the deceitfulness of power and he refused to kowtow to it. How odd that, today, he is heralded as the icon of the religious right: his manner of living was diametrically opposed to everything the religious right espouses.

18 November wednesday

33rd Week in Ordinary Time Dedication of the Basilicas of Peter and Paul / Rose Philippine Duchesne Psalter: Week 1

Ps 17:1bcd, 5–6, 8b and 15 Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

1st Reading: 2 Mac 7:1, 20–31* It happened also that seven brothers were arrested with their mother. The king had them scourged and flogged to force them to eat the flesh of a pig which was prohibited by the Law. More than all of them, their mother ought to be admired and remembered. She saw her seven sons die in a single day. But she endured it even with joy for she had put her hope in the Lord. Full of a noble sense of honor, she encouraged each one of them in the language of their ancestors. Her woman’s heart was moved by manly courage, so she told them: I wonder how you were born of me; it was not I who gave you breath and life, nor I who ordered the matter of your body. The Creator of the world who formed man in the beginning and ordered the unfolding of all creation shall in his mercy, give you back breath and life, since you now despise them for love of his laws.” … Gospel: Lk 19:11–28* Jesus went on to tell the people a parable. He said, “A man of noble birth went to a distant place to have himself appointed king of his own people, after which he would return. Before he left, he summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds. He said: ‘Put this money to work until I get back.’ … “He returned, however, appointed as king. At once he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money. The first came in and reported: ‘Sir, your pound has earned ten more.’ “The master replied: ‘Well done, my good servant. Since you have proved yourself capable in a small matter, I can trust you to take charge of ten cities.’ The second reported: ‘Sir, your pound earned five more pounds.’ The master replied: ‘Right, take charge of five cities.’ “The third came in and said: ‘Sir, here is your money which I hid for safekeeping. I was afraid of you for you are an exacting person; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ “The master replied: ‘You worthless servant, I will judge you by your own words. … “Then the master said to those standing by: ‘Take from him that pound, and give it to the one with ten pounds.’ They objected: ‘But, sir, he already has ten!’” I tell you: everyone who has will be given more; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.


t’s a mistake to think that all professing Christians will be saved en masse. We each have to work out our own salvation and we are answerable to Christ, the nobleman, for the way, in which we have managed our lives. Entrance into His kingdom depends on personal effort and identification with the teaching and commandments, placed upon us by Christ. The wicked servant’s end emphasizes the importance of having a balanced knowledge and appreciation of the ways of Christ. Right conduct will be our positive response to the privileges bestowed on those of us, serving in the nobleman’s house, trading with his goods. Christ inspires loyalty and diligence from us because of our indebtedness to Him for giving us the same hope of elevation into His kingdom.

1st Reading: 1 Mac 2:15–29* … The representatives of the king addressed Mattathias, and said to him: “You are one of the leaders of this city, an important and well-known man, and your many children and relatives follow you. Come now and be the first to fulfill the king’s order, as the men of Judah have already done, and the survivors in Jerusalem as well. You and your sons will be named Friends of the King and the king will send you gold, silver and many other gifts.” But Mattathias answered in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations included in the kingdom should abandon the religion of their ancestors and submit to the order of King Antiochus, I, my sons and my family will remain faithful to the Covenant of our ancestors. May God preserve us from abandoning the Law and its precepts. We will not obey the orders of the king nor turn aside from our religion either to the right or to the left.” … Mattathias then began to proclaim loudly in the city: “Everyone who is zealous for the Law and supports the Covenant, come out and follow me!” Immediately he and his sons fled to the mountains and left behind all they had in the city.




33rd Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 1

Ps 50:1b–2, 5–6, 14–15 To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Gospel: Lk 19:41–44 When Jesus had come in sight of Jerusalem, he wept over it and said, “If only today you knew the ways of peace! But now your eyes are held from seeing. Yet days will come upon you when your enemies will surround you with barricades and shut you in and press on you from every side. And they will dash you to the ground and your children with you, and leave not a stone within you, for you did not recognize the time and the visitation of your God.”


artin Luther King once said: “Let us believe that we have cosmic companionship…that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again. No lie can live forever!” All throughout history, the way of peace and love has always won. Sure, there have been, and still are, tyrants and for a time they can seem invincible; but in the end, they always fall. Let’s remember that whenever we’re in doubt as to whether the way of peace and love is God’s way. That’s just the way the world is meant to be. Bad things that happen to us in our lives are trivial, when we consider that God is standing with us on the beach, breathing into the hurricane and yearning to breathe in and through us. In the face of the hurricane of injustice, we must never forget that the message that there is a reality, greater than ourselves, that is making a difference is deeper than the message of us making a difference…and that this reality invites us to say “yes” to participate in the process. So, if peace is the answer, it can’t be a stupid question!

20 November friday

33rd Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 1

1 Chr 29:10bcd, 11abc, 11d–12a, 12bcd We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.

1st Reading: 1 Mac 4:36–37, 52–59 Then Judas and his brothers said: “Our enemies are defeated, so let us go up and purify the Holy Place and consecrate it again.” And all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion. On the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight (164 B.C.) they arose at dawn and offered the sacrifice prescribed by the Law on the new altar of holocausts which they had built. It was precisely at that same time and date that the pagans had profaned it before; but now they consecrated it with songs accompanied by zithers, harps and cymbals. All the people fell prostrate and blessed Heaven that had given them happiness and success. They celebrated the consecration of the altar for eight days, joyfully offering holocausts and celebrating sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise. The front of the temple was adorned with crowns of gold and shields; the gates and the rooms had been restored and fitted with doors. There was no end to the celebration among the people, and so the profanation of the temple by the pagans was forgotten. Finally, Judas, his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel agreed to celebrate the anniversary of the consecration of the altar annually for eight days, from the twenty-fifth of the month of Chislev, in high festivity. Gospel: Lk 19:45–48 Jesus entered the Temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And he said to them, “God says in the Scriptures: My house shall be a house of prayer: but you have turned it into a den of robbers.” Jesus was teaching every day in the Temple. The chief priests and teachers of the Law wanted to kill him and the elders of the Jews as well, but they were unable to do anything, for all the people were listening to him and hanging on his words.


he merchants in the Temple are like all those who, while still practicing the coarsest sins, would like to be respectable and do good works, but only so that God might give them something else in exchange. They want God to repay them with something pleasant; they would be traffickers with God. But it is a mistake to try to carry out business like this. Whatever they are, they are from God; whatever they possess, they receive from God, not themselves. To want to bargain with Christ is to know nothing of the truth. God doesn’t look for his own advantage; in all things He is detached and free; He does everything through love. And the person, who is united to God, does likewise. Through the grace of God, we are also detached and free in all our actions; we live for the honor of God alone and not for our own advantage…or rather, we fulfill our lives in God. So, if we want to be completely detached from a mercenary attitude in spiritual things, we must do everything for God’s praise, without asking anything in return. Then, God is present in our spiritual works…for all the world to see!

1st Reading: 1 Mac 6:1–13* … While King Antiochus was still in Persia, it was reported to him that the armies sent to Judea had been defeated. They told him that although Lysias had gone with a strong army, he had to flee before the Jews who had been strengthened with the weapons and the abundant booty taken from the neighboring armies. … When he received this news, he was terrified and deeply upset. … So he remained overcome by this terrible anguish for many days. He felt that he was dying, so he called his friends and said to them, “Sleep has fled from my eyes and I am greatly crushed by my anxieties. … Now I remember the evils I did in Jerusalem, the vessels of gold and silver that I stole, the inhabitants of Judea I ordered to be killed for no reason at all. I now know that because of this, these misfortunes have come upon me, and I am dying of grief in a strange land.”




33rd Week in Ordinary Time Presentation of Mary Psalter: Week 1

Ps 9:2–3, 4 and 6, 16 and 19 I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.

Gospel: Lk 20:27–40* Some Sadducees arrived. These people claim that there is no resurrection and they asked Jesus this question, “Master, in the Scripture Moses told us: ‘If anyone dies leaving a wife but no children, his brother must take the wife, and the child to be born will be regarded as the child of the deceased man.’ Now, there were seven brothers; the first married a wife, but he died without children; and the second and the third took the wife; in fact all seven died leaving no children. Last of all the woman died. On the day of the resurrection, to which of them will the woman be wife? For the seven had her as wife.” And Jesus replied, “Taking husband or wife is proper to people of this world, but for those who are considered worthy of the world to come and of resurrection from the dead, there is no more marriage. Besides, they cannot die for they are like the angels. They too are sons and daughters of God because they are born of the resurrection. “Yes, the dead will be raised, and even Moses implied it in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For he is God of the living and not of the dead, and for him all are alive.” …


he only thing, in life or in death, that will not fail us is God. The secret to death is that we are to live life as God would have us live it and then trust that this same God, who loves us in life, will also love us in death. Through the work of Christ, we shall be brought through death to a new life with God. But that’s no secret; that’s the gospel. And we’ve already been told about it. But then, there are people who are so pained over losing a loved one that they seek any way possible to get in touch with them. It sounds like a good thing, at least on the surface of it. But this is still a way of avoiding truth. The answers to why something happened are found among the living, not the dead. We have to deal with the death of those we love by living a life which honors them—a life that shows where their love matters. If we are desperate to try to contact the dead, then we aren’t trusting God, but trusting someone who has done nothing in our lives to earn any trust.

1st Reading: Dn 7:13–14 I continued watching the nocturnal vision: One like a son of man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into his presence. Dominion, honor and kingship were given him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; his kingdom will never be destroyed. 2nd Reading: Rev 1:5–8 Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has washed away our sins with his own blood, making us a kingdom and priests for God his Father, to him be the glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. See he comes with the clouds and everyone will see him, even those who pierced him; on his account all the nations of the earth will beat his breast. Yes. It will be so. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, he who is, who was and who is to come: the Master of the universe. Gospel: Jn 18:33b–37 Pilate then entered the court again, called Jesus and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?” Ps 93:1a, 1–2, 5 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingship does not come from this world. If I were king like those of this world, my guards would have fought to save me from being handed over to the Jews. But my kingship is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” And Jesus answered, “Just as you say, I am a king. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears my voice.”




Solemnity of Christ the King Psalter: Proper


he crown our Lord would wear to express His kingship over all creation would not be made of silver or gold, but would be fashioned from thorn branches. No more proof would be needed to verify His words, “My kingship does not come from this world.” Jesus has no need to demonstrate his power before Pontius Pilate. He had already done so by performing countless miracles that would show His command of the elements and his compassion for the sick and suffering. By allowing Himself to suffer buffets and spitting and to carry His cross to Calvary Jesus makes manifest the greatest love the world has ever known. Even the Roman centurion would express the truth for which the Lord came into the world, “Surely, this is the Son of God.” If Jesus shows His kingship, His greatness through suffering, so do we make claim to His kingdom by embracing the way of life He proposes: to take up our cross every day and to follow in His footsteps.

23 November monday

34th Week in Ordinary Time Clement I / Columban Psalter: Week 2

Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56 Glory and praise for ever!

1st Reading: Dn 1:1–6, 8–20* … As Daniel was resolved not to make himself unclean with the king’s food or wine, he begged the chief eunuch to spare him this defilement. By the grace of God, the chief eunuch had been sympathetic to Daniel, but he was afraid of the king, and so he said, “If the king, who has allotted your food and drink, sees that you look more emaciated than the other young men of your age, he might think ill of me. It will put my life in danger to give in to your wish.” Daniel then turned to the steward whom the chief eunuch had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us only vegetables to eat and water to drink, and see how we look in comparison with the young men who eat food from the king’s table. Then treat us in accordance with what you see.” The steward agreed and tested them for ten days, at the end of which they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate the king’s food. So the steward continued to give them vegetables instead of the choice food and wine. To these four youths God gave wisdom and proficiency in literature, and to Daniel the gift of interpreting visions and dreams. At the end of the period set by the king for the youths’ training, the chief eunuch presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them and found none to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. … Gospel: Lk 21:1–4 Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasure box; he also saw a poor widow dropping in two small coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For all gave an offering from their plenty, but she, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on.”


ven though Daniel was submissive to every other requirement laid on the young captives, he drew the line at eating and drinking from the king’s food or wine. Daniel’s objection to the diet was based on an explicit prohibition in the word of God. His chief fear of the king’s food and drink was that they would defile him. He knew that intoxicating wine is defiling both in its moral and physical effects. Daniel also knew very well that the conclusion of his course of action might be death. We see how courageous he was. He was no addled-headed adolescent. He was a young prince with the heart of a lion. We see why God was so pleased with him. If we go through life, with our eyes open to moral questions, we will be careful about what practices we adopt. Scripture is silent concerning many modern vices, because they did not exist in Biblical times. But they are certainly inconsistent with moral principles, based on scripture. His decision is even more remarkable when we consider that he made it all alone. He had no prodding from parents or pastors. How many young people today would have stood with Daniel?

1st Reading: Dn 2:31–45* In your vision you saw a statue—very large, very bright, terrible to look at. Its head was of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. As you watched, a rock cut from a mountain but not by human hands, struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, smashing them. All at once the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold crumbled into pieces as fine as chaff on the threshing floor in summer. The wind swept them off and not a trace was left. But the rock that struck the statue became a great mountain that filled the whole earth. That was the dream. … The great God has shown the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation reliable.”




34th Week in Ordinary Time Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions Psalter: Week 2

Dn 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61 Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Gospel: Lk 21:5–11 While some people were talking about the Temple, remarking that it was adorned with fine stonework and rich gifts, Jesus said to them, “The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down.” And they asked him, “Master, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” Jesus then said, “Take care not to be deceived, for many will come claiming my title and saying: ‘I am he, the Messiah; the time is at hand.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and troubled times, don’t be frightened; for all this must happen first, even though the end is not so soon.” And Jesus said, “Nations will fight each other and kingdom will oppose kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and plagues; in many places strange and terrifying signs from heaven will be seen.”


his king’s dream in the Book of Daniel represented the kingdoms of the earth, that would successively rule the nations and influence the affairs of the Jewish people. The head of gold signified the Chaldean empire, then in existence. The breast and arms of silver signified the empire of the Medes and Persians. The belly and thighs of brass signified the Grecian empire, founded by Alexander. The legs and feet of iron signified the Roman empire. The Roman empire branched into ten kingdoms, just like the ten toes of the feet. Some were weak as clay; others strong as iron. The stone cut without hands represented the kingdom of God, which should be set up in the world, upon the ruins of Satan’s kingdom. This was the stone the builders refused, because it was not cut out by their hands; but, it became the cornerstone…Christ! Christ shall reign, not only to the end of time, but when time and days are no more. As far as world events have gone, the fulfillment of this prophetic vision has been most exact and undeniable; future ages will witness this stone, destroying Satan’s image and filling the whole earth with love and hope!

25 November wednesday

34th Week in Ordinary Time Catherine of Alexandria Psalter: Week 2

Dn 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 Give glory and eternal praise to him.

1st Reading: Dn 5:1–6, 13–14, 16–17, 23–28* … Daniel was brought in and questioned by the king, “Are you Daniel, one of the exiles my father brought from Judah? I have heard that you have the spirit of the gods, that you have insight and extraordinary wisdom. I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple, wear a gold chain around your neck, and be appointed third in rank in my kingdom.” Daniel replied, … You have defied the Lord of heaven. You had the vessels from his temple brought to you, and together with your nobles, your wives and concubines, you drank wine from them. You praised the idols made of silver and gold, of bronze, iron and stones, which neither see, nor hear, nor understand; but you never glorified God who has power over your life and all your fortunes. So he sent the hand that wrote the inscription which read MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. And these words mean: MENE, God has numbered the days of your reign and put an end to it; TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PARSIN, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.” Gospel: Lk 21:12–19 Jesus said to his disciples, “People will lay their hands on you and persecute you; you will be delivered to the Jewish courts and put in prison, and for my sake you will be brought before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. “So keep this in mind: do not worry in advance about what to answer, for I will give you words and 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 some of you will be put to death. But even though you are hated by all for my name’s sake, not a hair of your head will perish. Through perseverance you will possess your own selves.


oday, we learn the origin of the saying: the writing on the wall! The writing on the wall is an expression that suggests a portent of doom or misfortune. To attribute to someone the ability to ‘read the writing on the wall’ has come to signify the ability to foresee…not necessarily supernaturally…an inevitable decline and end. On the night the mighty Babylon fell to the Persians, writing appeared on the palace wall, written with the finger of God. The wicked king and his astrologers were baffled. They could not read nor interpret what the writing meant! Then the terrified king called for Daniel the prophet. By the light of a candlestick, Daniel both decoded and interpreted the writing. It foretold the immediate end of Babylon and her king. On that same night the king of Babylon was slain by the Persian conquers; a new era was born. The writing on the wall is comparable to the greatest writing of all: the Bible. Like the writing on the wall, some things in the Bible are hard to understand, apart from God’s help. Only by the light of the candlestick, that is by the Spirit of God, can we understand its mysteries.

1st Reading: Dn 6:12–28* … The king, therefore, could not help giving the order that Daniel be brought and thrown into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve faithfully, save you.” … Very early next morning, the king rose and hurried to the lions’ den. As he came near he called in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, did your God whom you serve faithfully save you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Live forever, O king! My God sent his angel who closed the lions’ mouths so that they did not hurt me. God did that because I am innocent in his sight. Neither have I wronged you, O king.” The king felt very glad and ordered Daniel released from the lions’ den. … King Darius wrote to the nations, … “Peace to you all! I decree that throughout my kingdom people should reverence and fear the God of Daniel. …




34th Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 2

Dn 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74 Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Gospel: Lk 21:20–28 Jesus said to his disciples, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must know that the time has come when it will be reduced to a wasteland. Then, if you are in Judea, flee to the mountains; if you are in the city, leave it; and let those who are in the fields not return to the city. “For these will be the days of its punishment and all that was announced in the Scripture will be fulfilled. How hard will it be for pregnant women and for mothers with babies at the breast! For a great calamity will come upon the land, and divine justice upon this people. They will be put to death by the sword or taken as slaves to other nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled upon by the pagans until the time of the pagans is fulfilled. “Then there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of perplexed nations when they hear the roaring of the sea and its waves. People will faint with fear at the mere thought of what is to come upon the world, for the forces of the universe will be shaken. And at this time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. “Now, when you see the first events, stand erect and lift up your heads, for your deliverance is drawing near.”


he great miracle in the story of Daniel in the lion’s den is that he continued to pray. If we, the people of God, stop praying then no lions will threaten us. The mark of true faith is that we keep praying. It shows that we believe in God more than the world. When it is pitch black all you need is one single light and then darkness no longer prevails. The destiny of the Jews, exiled in Babylon, was decided by Daniel’s prayer. The great battle took place there, with Daniel praying to God. Daniel prayed three times a day. If each one of us prayed as often as he prayed then, we would have prayed more than a thousand times. That will not be easy. Prayer is inconvenient, because there is always something else to do and many things to hinder us. In prayer, there are routine clichés that have to be killed, pious mumbles and rhythms to break down. Yet, prayer is the essential breathing of the soul; without it our soul dies. In prayer we articulate our faith and live it out. Let us pray!

27 November friday

34th Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 2

Dn 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81 Give glory and eternal praise to him.

1st Reading: Dn 7:2–14* … I looked and saw the following: Some thrones were set in place and One of Great Age took his seat. His robe was white as snow, his hair white as washed wool. His throne was flames of fire with wheels of blazing fire. A river of fire sprang forth and flowed before him. Thousands upon thousands served him and a countless multitude stood before him. Those in the tribunal took their seats and opened the book. But as I remembered the haughty words of the horn with human eyes and mouth which I had seen before, this animal was killed before my eyes, and its body destroyed and cast into the fire. Dominion was taken from the other animals, though they were allowed to stay alive for a time, until the fixed time. I continued watching the nocturnal vision: One like a son of man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into his presence. Dominion, honor and kingship were given him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; his kingdom will never be destroyed. Gospel: Lk 21:29–33 Jesus told his disciples this comparison, “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. As soon as their buds sprout, you know that summer is already near. In the same way, as soon as you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all this has happened: heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”


he vision contained in today’s reading from the Book of Daniel is reminiscent of other apocalyptic passages, found in the Bible. The agitated sea, represented the earth and its dwellers, troubled by ambitious warmongers. New Testament predictions of the judgment to come allude to this vision, especially the Book of Revelation. The four beasts signified the four empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and pre-Christian Rome, and the hateful features of their leaders. But, the dominion given to each has a limit; they shall be made to praise God and be restrained by Him. These verses are for the comfort and support of the people of God, in reference to the persecutions that could come upon them. The great event, foretold in this passage, is Christ’s glorious coming, to destroy every anti-Christian power and to usher in His kingdom upon earth. Before the solemn time arrives, in manifesting the glory of God to all the world and His creatures, we may expect that the fate of each of us will be determined at the hour of our death; and before the end comes, God will openly give to His incarnate Son the inheritance of the nations as His willing subjects.

1st Reading: Dn 7:15–27* I, Daniel, was deeply troubled, since these visions terrified me. I approached one of those who were standing there, and asked him to tell me what all this meant. He answered me and gave me the interpretation of these things: These four beasts are four kings who will rise from the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom to possess it eternally, forever and ever.’ Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, different from the others, extraordinarily terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, that ate, tore into pieces and crushed underfoot whatever remained. I also wanted to know about the ten horns it had on its head, and about the other horn which had sprung up, and the three first horns that fell, and about this horn with eyes and a mouth that spoke with arrogance, and that looked greater than the other horns. … Then I was told: The fourth animal shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all the kingdoms. It will devour the earth, crush it and destroy it. The ten horns are ten kings who shall rise from this kingdom. Another one will rise up after them and destroy three kings. This king shall insult the Most High and persecute the holy ones of the Most High. … But judgment will come and dominion will be taken from him; he shall be destroyed and utterly wiped out. The kingship, dominion and leadership of all the kingdoms of the world shall be given to the people of the holy ones of God Most High: his kingdom will be without end. …




34th Week in Ordinary Time Psalter: Week 2

Dn 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87 Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Gospel: Lk 21:34–36 Jesus said to his disciples: “Be on your guard; let not your hearts be weighed down with a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you suddenly as a trap. For it will come upon all the inhabitants of the whole earth. But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is bound to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”


he prophets of the Old Testament dwelt upon the thought that God is the supreme king and that, by Him alone, all other kings rule. This same thought of God’s ultimate rule over His people is brought into clearer relief, until it culminates in the prophecy of Daniel, to which the thoughts of Christ’s hearers turn, when they hear Him speak of His kingdom. In that vision, the ruling power over all the forces of evil is given to the Son of Man. In the New Testament, the advent of this kingdom has the one theme: do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. At every stage in Christ’s teaching, the advent of this kingdom, its various aspects, its precise meaning and the way in which it is to be attained, form the staple of His discourses; so much so that His discourse is called “the gospel of the kingdom”. In the mouth of Christ the kingdom is not so much a goal or a place to be attained; it is rather a state of mind; it stands for an influence which must permeate our minds, if we would be one with Christ and aspire to His ideals.

1st Reading: Jer 33:14–16 The Lord says, “The days are coming when I shall fulfill the promise that I made in favor of Israel and Judah. “In those days and at that time I will cause to sprout the shoot of righteousness from David’s line; he will practice justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will experience salvation and Jerusalem will live in safety. He will be called Yahweh-Our-Righteousness.” 2nd Reading: 1 Thes 3:12—4:2 May the Lord increase more and more your love for each other and for all people, as he increases our love for you. May he strengthen you internally to be holy and blameless before God, our Father, on the day that Jesus, our Lord, will come with all his saints. For the rest, brothers, we ask you in the name of Jesus, the Lord, and we urge you to live in a way that pleases God, just as you have learned from us. This you do, but try to do still more. You know the instructions we gave you on behalf of the Lord Jesus.

Ps 25:4–5, 8–9, 10, 14 To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Gospel: Lk 21:25–28, 34–36 Jesus said, “Then there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of perplexed nations when they hear the roaring of the sea and its waves. People will faint with fear at the mere thought of what is to come upon the world, for the forces of the universe will be shaken. And at this time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. “Now, when you see the first events, stand erect and lift up your heads, for your deliverance is drawing near.” “Be on your guard; let not your hearts be weighed down with a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you suddenly as a trap. For it will come upon all the inhabitants of the whole earth. But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is bound to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”




1st Sunday of Advent Psalter: Week 1


he prophets of the Old Testament dwelt upon the thought that God is the supreme king and that, by Him alone, all other kings rule. This same thought of God’s ultimate rule over His people is brought into clearer relief, until it culminates in the prophecy of Daniel, to which the thoughts of Christ’s hearers turn, when they hear Him speak of His kingdom. In that vision, the ruling power over all the forces of evil is given to the Son of Man. In the New Testament, the advent of this kingdom has the one theme: do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. At every stage in Christ’s teaching, the advent of this kingdom, its various aspects, its precise meaning and the way in which it is to be attained, form the staple of His discourses; so much so that His discourse is called “the gospel of the kingdom”. In the mouth of Christ the kingdom is not so much a goal or a place to be attained; it is rather a state of mind; it stands for an influence which must permeate our minds, if we would be one with Christ and aspire to His ideals.

30 November monday

Andrew, apostle Psalter: Proper

Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11 The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.

1st Reading: Rom 10:9–18 You are saved if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart you believe that God raised him from the dead. By believing from the heart, you obtain true righteousness; by confessing the faith with your lips you are saved. For Scripture says: No one who believes in him will be ashamed. Here there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; all have the same Lord, who is very generous with whoever calls on him. Truly, all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call upon the name of the Lord without having believed in him? And how can they believe in him without having first heard about him? And how will they hear about him if no one preaches about him? And how will they preach about him if no one sends them? As Scripture says: How beautiful are the feet of the messenger of good news. Although not everyone obeyed the good news, as Isaiah said: Lord, who has believed in our preaching? So, faith comes from preaching, and preaching is rooted in the word of Christ. I ask: Have the Jews not heard? But of course they have. Because the voice of those preaching resounded all over the earth and their voice was heard to the ends of the world. Gospel: Mt 4:18–22 As Jesus walked by the lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He went on from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. Jesus called them. At once they left the boat and their father and followed him.


ews do not have priority in righteousness or merit. Nor do gentiles. We are all on the same footing. That is one of the main points of Paul’s letter to the Romans. The Jews do not have priority in how they are saved. They are saved in exactly the way gentiles are. Both are saved by faith in Christ, not in any ethnic or religious distinctions. The Jews don’t have priority in participation in God’s covenant blessings. Gentiles are now full partners in the blessings of salvation. Gentiles are full fellow heirs of all the promises of God. To the gentiles, Paul says: salvation is of the Jews. You are not saved by your Greek culture, or by any other culture. You are saved by a salvation that comes through the despised Semitic people, called the Jews. We gentiles are saved by becoming spiritual Jews. This should humble us and strip us of any arrogance in any presumed ethnic superiority. It should also vanquish anti-Semitism. The whole point is that God is the one, who has mercy. Ethnicity is not decisive here. We are all sinners. So the gospel is the power of God to everyone who believes in Him!

1st Reading: Rev 7:2–4, 9–14 I saw another angel  

T he Feast of All Souls commemorates the faithful departed, those who die in God’s faith and T he word of God gives us hope. As Christians,...

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