Liturgy of the Sunday
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Liturgy of the Sunday

Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Feast of the Poor
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Liturgy of the Sunday
Sunday, November 19

Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Feast of the Poor

First Reading

Proverbs 31,10-13.19-20.30-31

The truly capable woman -- who can find her? She is far beyond the price of pearls. Her husband's heart has confidence in her, from her he will derive no little profit. Advantage and not hurt she brings him all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax, she does her work with eager hands. She sets her hands to the distaff, her fingers grasp the spindle. She holds out her hands to the poor, she opens her arms to the needy. Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty; the woman who fears Yahweh is the one to praise. Give her a share in what her hands have worked for, and let her works tell her praises at the city gates.


Psalm 128


My enemies have not prevailed over me, O Lord.

'They have pressed me hard from my youth',
this is Israel's song.

'They have pressed me hard from my youth
but could never destroy men.

They ploughed my back like ploughmen,
drawing long furrows.

But the Lord who is just has destroyed
the yoke of the wicked.'

Let them be shamed and routed,
those who hate Zion!

Let them be like grass on the roof
that withers before it flowers.

With that no reaper fills his arms,
no binder makes his sheaves

and those passing by will not say :
'On you the Lord's blessing!'
'We bless you in the name of the Lord'.

Second Reading

1 Thessalonians 5,1-6

About times and dates, brothers, there is no need to write to you for you are well aware in any case that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, 'How quiet and peaceful it is' that sudden destruction falls on them, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there is no escape. But you, brothers, do not live in the dark, that the Day should take you unawares like a thief. No, you are all children of light and children of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 25,14-30

'It is like a man about to go abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one, each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out on his journey. The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. Now a long time afterwards, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. "Sir," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made." His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master's happiness." Next the man with the two talents came forward. "Sir," he said, "you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made." His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master's happiness." Last came forward the man who had the single talent. "Sir," said he, "I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you had not sown and gathering where you had not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back." But his master answered him, "You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have got my money back with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth."


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Today we are united with all the churches around the world celebrating the Day of the Poor. Pope Francis, by instituting today's feast, wanted to manifest the place of the poor in the life of the Church: their centrality is the very heart of the Gospel. We can liken love for the poor to the talents spoken of in the Gospel we read. The works of mercy - which the evangelist Matthew recalls in the passage following today's - are like those talents that the Lord entrusted to his churches as he entrusted them to those servants. Throughout history, until his return, the churches are called upon to make those talents bear fruit, each according to her abilities.
Unfortunately, it happens that the value of this love is not understood. Not infrequently, love for the poor becomes a commitment among others, reserved for a few or reduced to paperwork and bureaucracy. The Gospel tells us, instead, that it has enormous value.
The Gospel parable clearly states that such love must be trafficked, must be multiplied. The Gospel puts us in a hurry, a hurry that stems from the immense crowd of poor people waiting to be loved and lifted up. It was Jesus' haste: when he saw the crowds of poor flocking to him, he immediately set out into the streets to communicate the Gospel of the kingdom and to cure every sickness and infirmity. And, we might add following the logic of multiplication, that this haste prompted Jesus to multiply the talents by sending the Twelve, first, and the seventy-two, later. And so, generation after Christian generation, until today, Jesus asks that the talents of love be multiplied for the innumerable peripheries of this world.
It is in this horizon of missionary generosity that one understands the words of Jesus quoted by the Apostle Paul: "One is more blessed in giving than in receiving." Yes, it is not enough to receive. This is how the third servant reasoned. He did not understand that that talent was not for him. It was a gift for all, but he made it a possession for himself. He was content to receive, we might say, that is, he reduced his contentment to keeping for himself that he had received. This is not the logic of the Gospel.
Not so for the first two disciples. And it must not be so for us. The Lord repeats to us: "One is more blessed in giving than in receiving."

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say. So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9: 3-7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!