Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

First Reading
Wisdom 11:22—12:2
God is merciful because all things were created by God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 145:1-2,8-9,10-11,13,14
Sing praise to God, who is faithful.

Second Reading
2 Thessalonians 1:11—2:2
Paul tells the Thessalonians to remain faithful to Christ until Christ comes again.

Gospel Reading
Luke 19:1-10
Jesus stays at the house of Zacchaeus, the tax collector.

Background on the Gospel Reading

In Jesus’ day, tax collectors were not popular people. They were collaborators with the Romans and were despised by many Jewish people. The tax system allowed them to charge more than what was required so that they could make a profit for themselves. Thus, they were considered sinners by their countrymen. Observers in the crowd that day grumble because Jesus dines with a sinner. Throughout Scripture, Jesus’ choice of dinner companions set him apart from other observant Jews of his time. In first century Jewish culture, to dine together was to show a bond of fellowship and peace among those at the table. Observant Jews did not generally dine with foreigners and sinners. Yet, Jesus chooses to honor the tax collector, Zacchaeus, by staying at his house.

Even before Jesus comes to his home, Zacchaeus shows himself to be someone in search of salvation. Zacchaeus, described as short in stature, climbs a tree in order to see Jesus. We know from Luke’s description that Zacchaeus was no ordinary tax collector; he was, in fact, the chief tax collector and a person of some wealth. In his search for salvation, he humbled himself by making a spectacle of himself by climbing a tree.

Jesus recognizes the faith of this tax collector exhibited in his search for salvation and calls him down from the tree. In the hospitality he extends to Jesus and in his conversion of heart, Zacchaeus is raised up by Jesus as a model of salvation.- loyolapress.com

Pope Francis’ December 2019 Intention

The Future of the Very Young
That every country take the measures necessary to prioritize the future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.

Prayer

Father of Goodness,
the birth of your Son Jesus opens a new time to the world,
a time of hope and peace.
We pray for children and adolescents,
especially those who live discouraged by their difficulties and sufferings,
who do not find opportunities to develop, feel enthusiasm for the future,
nor the support they need to have a decent life.
Help us to give them a bright future,
embracing with love the children and adolescents of today,
so they can transform the world that you have created
in a space of life and fraternity among all.
Our Father…

Liturgical Feasts/ Anniversaries/ Observances

(Legend: Ab=Abbot  Ap=Apostle  Pp=Pope  Bp=Bishop  Ch=Children  De=Deacon  Dr=Doctor  Kg=King Ma=Married  Mt=Martyr  Pr=Priest  Qu=Queen Re=Religious Vg=Virgin Fd=Founder, Hm=Hermit)

Dec 01: 1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Dec 03: FRANCIS XAVIER**(pR)

Dec 04: John Damascene (Pr, Dr)

Dec 06: Nicholas (Bp)

Dec 07: Ambrose* (Bp, Dr)

Dec 08: 2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Dec 09: IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY***

Dec 11: Damasus I, Pp

Dec 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dec 13: LUCY* (Vg, Mt)

Dec 14: JOHN OF THE CROSS* (Pr, Dr)

Dec 15: 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Dec 21: Peter Canisius (Pr, Dr)

Dec 22: 4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Dec 23: John of Kanty

DEC 25: CHRISTMAS DAY

Dec 26: STEPHEN, FIRST MARTYR**

Dec 27: JOHN THE EVANGELIST**(Ap)

Dec 28: THE HOLY INNOCENTS** (Mts)

Dec 29: HOLY FAMILY

Dec 31: Silvester I (Pp)

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

First Reading
Sirach 35:12-14,16-18
God hears the prayer of the poor.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 34:2-3,17-18,19, 23
The Lord hears and answers the cry of the poor.

Second Reading
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18
Paul perseveres in faith, confident that God will rescue him.

Gospel Reading
Luke 18:9-14
Jesus tells the parable of the proud Pharisee who prayed from his self-importance and the tax collector who prayed humbly.

Background on the Gospel Reading

The second parable that Jesus tells in Luke 18 addresses attitude in prayer. In contrasting the prayer of the Pharisee with the prayer of the tax collector, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray in humility before God. Jesus again surprises his listeners by showing the tax collector as the example of faith, rather than the Pharisee. Remember that Pharisees were members of a sect of Judaism active in Jesus’ time. They taught an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses as the basis for Jewish piety. If anyone would be a model for prayer, a Pharisee was a likely candidate. In contrast, Jesus offers the tax collector as a model for prayer. Tax collectors were collaborators with the Roman authorities in a system that allowed the tax collectors to line their own pockets by charging in excess of the defined taxes. Yet, in this parable, Jesus offers the humility of the tax collector as a model for the prayer of a disciple. The parable reminds us that when we pray, we must remember our need for God in our lives. If we are too full of ourselves, there is too little room for God’s grace to work in us.- loyolapress.com

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

First Reading
2 Kings 5:14-17
Naaman is cleansed of his leprosy and chooses to serve the God of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 98:1,2-3,3-4
Rejoice! The salvation of God is made known to all.

Second Reading
2 Timothy 2:8-13
Those who remain faithful to Christ will share Christ’s glory.

Gospel Reading
Luke 17:11-19
Jesus heals 10 lepers, and one, the Samaritan, returns to give thanks.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today we hear about how Jesus, continuing on his journey to Jerusalem, heals 10 lepers. This story is a lesson about faith and reminds us that faith is sometimes found in unlikely places. Ten people afflicted with leprosy cry out to Jesus. Struck with pity, Jesus heals all 10. However, only one is described as glorifying God and returning to thank Jesus. The one who returns is a Samaritan, a foreigner. In the Jewish circles in which Jesus lived, Samaritans were looked down upon because of the differences between the two communities in their observance of Judaism. It is significant, therefore, that Jesus commends the Samaritan for his faith, which has been his salvation. Throughout Luke’s Gospel, faith is found in surprising places.

Another lesson for us in this Gospel has to do with salvation. All 10 of the lepers were given the gift of healing, but in his gratitude to God for this gift, the Samaritan found salvation. Our salvation is found in recognizing the gifts we have been given and knowing to whom we must offer our thanks.-loyolapress.com

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

First Reading
Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
The patience of the just man shall be rewarded when he sees the vision fulfilled.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 95:1-2,6-7,8-9
Sing joyfully to God, our salvation.

Second Reading
2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14
Paul urges Timothy to remain strong in the Spirit of faith Timothy received.

Gospel Reading
Luke 17:5-10
Jesus teaches the apostles the importance of faith and service to God.

Background on the Gospel Reading

In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus teach about faith and service to God. The context is a continuing dialogue between Jesus and his followers about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus has just finished an instruction on sin and forgiveness. There are two related teachings that Jesus offers to his disciples when they cry out for an increase in faith. The first is the familiar reminder that faith, even just a little, will enable the followers of Jesus to do wondrous things. But this uplifting and inspiring teaching is quickly followed by the second teaching, a caution about knowing one’s place in God’s plans. The disciples of Jesus are to understand themselves as servants to God and his plans. Even when God works wonders through us, with our mustard seed-sized faith, we must not seek praise. Our participation in God’s plans is God’s grace to us—nothing more, nothing less. When we are graced enough to cooperate with God, the work we do is nothing more than our obligation to God as faithful stewards. And yet, our faith enables us to believe that what we have offered in service to God, as his servants, can be made to produce a hundredfold. – loyolapress.com

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