he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Thirty-third Week of Ordinary Time: Nov. 15-21, 2020
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The Thirty-third Week of Ordinary Time
The Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time brings us the familiar and powerful parable from Matthew's Gospel about the servants who are each given sums of money to invest. We are all called upon to use the gifts we have received as gifts, and to return them, fully developed and utilized.
Tuesday is the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious. Saturday is the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
During these last two weeks of Ordinary Time, the first reading is from the Book of Revelation, with its mystic imagery. Written for readers who were familiar with apocalyptic writings, the writings sends a hidden message of salvation to the earliest communities of Christians, and to us.
Luke's Gospel offers the story of the blind man who hails him, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” An unpopular tax collector, Zacchaeus, climbs a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus and is given personal recognition as Jesus says, "Zacchaeus, today I must stay at your house.” Luke's version of the parable of the talents offers praise for the servant who has invested the ten coins and earned another ten. "Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities." He weeps over Jerusalem: “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes." Jesus drives out the sellers from the temple while the chief priests plot against him. Religious leaders try to trap him with a trick question about a woman who marries seven brothers but Jesus refutes them.
Next Sunday is the Thirty-Fourth or Last Sunday in Ordinary Time and The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. Jesus tells the marvelous parable about how we will all be judged - as a shepherd separates sheep from goats, based upon our care for the poor: "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me."
Daily Prayer This Week
Making changes in our lives and the fear of making those changes are both themes in this week's gospels. Zacchaeus boldly reforms his life after he allows Jesus into it. The servant who is given a gold coin hides it in a handkerchief because he is afraid of his master. He has a chance to be given responsibilities but his fear keeps him from doing anything.
We are often afraid when we consider making a change in our lives. We can see habits that are not healthy, a benign neglect of those we love and patterns that are deeply set in our lives. We may know deep down that we want to change them but we don't have the confidence to believe we can do it. This week we are invited by Jesus to know that while we can't make those changes alone, we can, if we allow Jesus to be with us in them.
Where do we start? With a small prayer. In those tiny pockets of time during our week, when we travel, ride to work, do dishes, or even in the shower, we can make these reflective moments to ask for help. Just as Jesus asked the blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" he is asking us the same question.
What do we want Jesus to do for us? Where do we want to make changes in the patterns of our lives? What changes are we afraid to make?
Dear Jesus, I ask for your help. Heal my fears. You have asked how you can help me and I am afraid to answer. I know what changes need to be made in my life but it seems overwhelming. Help me to open my heart to what you are asking - and to what I know I need. Be with me when I don't always know how to live in these new patterns and give me the humility to keep asking you for help, over and over. Let me feel your presence in my life and that will give me the strength and courage I need to live my life more faithfully.
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