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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 23.11.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 23.11.2023

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1ST MACCABEES 2: 15 – 29

In those days; The king’s officers who were enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to make them offer sacrifice. Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathias and his sons were assembled. Then the king’s officers spoke to Mattathias as follows: “You are a leader, honoured and great in this city, and supported by sons and brothers. Now be the first to come and do what the king commands, as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah and those that are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the friends of the king, and you and your sons will be honoured with silver and gold and many gifts.” But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers. Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”  When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Modein, according to the king’s command. When Mattathias saw it, he burnt with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. Thus he burnt with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu. Then Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: “Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city. Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 50: 1 – 2, 5 – 6, 14 – 15 (R.) 23bc

R/. To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God.

The God of gods, the Lord,
Has spoken and summoned the earth,
From the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Sion, the perfection of beauty,
God is shining forth. R/.

Gather my holy ones to me,
Who made covenant with me by sacrifice.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
For he, God, is the judge. R/.

Give your praise as a sacrifice to God,
And fulfil your vows to the Most High.
Then call on me in the day of distress.
I will deliver you and you shall honour me. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Psalm 95: 7d, 8a

Alleluia.
Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
Would that you knew the things that make for peace!
LUKE 19: 41 – 44

At that time: when Jesus drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes, for the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Holy Sorrow
November 23, 2023

“For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:43–44)

Jesus spoke these words as He looked at Jerusalem from a distance, preparing to enter that holy city for the last time in preparation for His passion and death. As He spoke these words, the Gospel says that Jesus wept over the city. Of course, it wasn’t primarily tears over the future physical destruction of the Temple and invasion by Roman forces. It was first and foremost tears over the lack of faith of so many which was the true destruction He mourned.

As mentioned above, the city of Jerusalem was indeed sieged by the military commander Titus in the year 70 A.D. Titus was acting under the authority of his father, the emperor, and destroyed not only the Temple but also much of the city itself, as well as the Jewish inhabitants.

As Jesus approached the city of Jerusalem, so as to enter the Temple one last time to offer His life as the definitive Sacrificial Lamb for the salvation of the world, Jesus knew that many within this holy city would not accept His saving sacrifice. He knew that many within that city would become the instruments of His pending death and would have no remorse for killing the Savior of the World. And though this one point can easily be missed, it should be emphasized that Jesus’ reaction was not fear, it was not anger, it was not disgust. Rather, His reaction was holy sorrow. He wept over the city and its inhabitants despite what many of them would soon do to Him.

When you suffer injustice, how do you react? Do you lash out? Condemn? Get defensive? Or do you imitate our Lord and allow your soul to be filled with holy sorrow? Holy sorrow is an act of love and is the appropriate Christian response to persecution and injustice. Too often, however, our response is not holy sorrow but anger. The problem with this is that reacting in unholy anger does not accomplish anything good. It does not help us to imitate Jesus, and it doesn’t help those with whom we are angry. Though the passion of anger can be used for good at times, it becomes a sin when it is selfish and a reaction to some injustice done to us. Instead of this unholy anger, seek to foster holy sorrow in imitation of Jesus. This virtue will not only help your soul grow in love of those who have hurt you, it will also help them to see more clearly what they have done so that they can repent.

Reflect, today, upon your own approach to the evil you face in your life. Consider carefully your interior and exterior reaction. Do you mourn with love over sins you witness and experience? Do you mourn, with a holy sorrow, over your own sins and the sins of others? Work to foster this form of love within you and you will find that it can become a motivation for you to help transform the sins you commit and the sins of others you endure.

PRAYER:
My sorrowful Lord, You endured the sins of many. You were treated with cruelty and injustice. To all of these sins, including those that you foresaw, You reacted with the love of holy sorrow. And that sorrow led you to true compassion and concern for all. Please give me the grace to imitate this same love of Yours so that I, too, may share in the holiness of Your sorrowful heart. Jesus, I trust in You.

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