ThirtyThird Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 17-18, 2018
From Fr. Anthony Ligato
Stand up and see that our salvation is at hand
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It can seem as if the world is breaking apart right in front of our eyes. Wars, terrorism, violence, social issues, the clergy sexual abuse crisis and political discord. We also see in our communities and on our streets, the opioid drug abuse problem and crumbing schools and an overall lack of respect for human life and dignity; no wonder a person can be overwhelmed by the problems of our world. It can be more than a human body can stand. There however is reason to rejoice, yes, I said Rejoice! The reason for the rejoicing is not because our world is breaking apart; it is because hope is breaking in. Hope in the intervention of our God. The Kingdom of God is our hope and promise, “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” (Mark 13:2432) Hope is breaking in because our God is breaking into the world by continually offering his help and protection from the evil one and the chaos that he has brought about. God’s protection is given to us through the aid of St. Michael the Archangel. We are protected from the wars and pestilence we see in the world today by so great an Archangel, “At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people.” (Daniel 12:13) The Lord our God offers us help and protection in his Angels and with so great a choir of angels watching over us, how can we not feel safe? But we must ask for this protection in our prayers by calling upon all the angels, archangels and guardian angels as well as all the saints intercede for us and to protect us by their prayers and presence in our lives. This is not simply an expression of sentimentality. This is the truth of the scriptures for which we are called to pray daily. We can call for this help and protection in such ways as praying the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel or St. Jude the Apostle Novena Prayer,
Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who wonder through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Novena Prayer to St. Jude the Apostle
O Holy St. Jude, Apostle and Martyr, great in virtue and rich miracles, near kinsman of our Lord Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke your special patronage in time of need, to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg to whom God has given such great power to come to my assistance. Help me in my present and urgent petition. In return I promise to make your name known and cause you to be invoked. St. Jude pray for us all and who invoke your aid. Amen
There is hope and joy that comes from such faith, “the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” (Daniel 12:3) Fear and anxiety does not have to govern our lives, we have been free from such worries if we accept God’s help. To accept such help from God, means we are readying ourselves for the coming of the Lord in the fullness of his glory. So, when we are overwhelmed by a world that continually seems as if it is breaking apart, let us listen to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ which offer us comfort and protection. “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. (Mark 13: 2829) So when you feel overwhelmed and alone in the world, remember that God is continually breaking in and especially when the world seems like it is breaking apart. Stand up and see that our salvation is at hand.
Yours in Christ,