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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 29.11.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 29.11.2023

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DANIEL 5: 1 – 6, 13 – 14, 16 – 17, 23 – 28

In those days: King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in front  of the thousand.  Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden and silver vessels which had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Immediately the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lamp stand; and the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s colour changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. I have heard of you that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. “I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Then Daniel answered before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; never the less I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. “You have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honoured. “Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was in scribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 3: 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 (R.) 40b

R/. Sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.

Bless the Lord, sun and moon,
Sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. R/.

Bless the Lord, stars of heaven,
Sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. R/.

Bless the Lord, all rain and dew,
Sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. R/.

Bless the Lord, all winds,
Sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. R/.

Bless the Lord, fire and heat,
Sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. R/.

Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat,
Sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Revelation 2: 10c

Alleluia.
Be faithful unto death, says the Lord, and I will give you the crown of life.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish.
LUKE 21: 12 – 19

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Responding with Grace
November 29, 2023

“Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.” (Luke 21:14–15)

This line is embedded in today’s Gospel in which Jesus makes it clear that His followers will be persecuted. Many of them will be seized, sent to prison, hated and even be put to death. For some, this will even happen at the hands of their own family. But Jesus tells them this to prepare them and to let them know that these persecutions will enable them to give testimony to Jesus. The Gospel passage above explains how they are to do this.

First of all, giving “testimony” especially means they are to be a witness to Christ. And one of the best ways such a witness is fulfilled is through the various forms of martyrdom. To be a martyr is to be a witness. And those who suffer persecution for the sake of Christ, and then respond to that persecution in accord with the wisdom and inspiration of Jesus, are true martyrs. It’s helpful to note that if one is persecuted and responds with anger or returns the violence in accord with their own irrational will, then they are no martyr. They simply become what they have received. They become angry and bitter people. Being a martyr requires both unjust treatment and a response to that mistreatment in accord with God’s will. For that reason, though persecution is never initiated by God, it does offer the Christian an opportunity to deeply conform themself to Christ by responding as He dictates.

Jesus says that responding to persecution requires that we not prepare a defense beforehand. In part, this is because there is great temptation one experiences when persecuted by another. It is very understandable that when a person experiences persecution in any way, they will encounter anger and be tempted to fight back in a way that is uncharitable and only furthers the disorder. Responding to persecution in accord with the will of God requires great attentiveness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, great humility, and unwavering charity directed at the one doing the persecution. Therefore, Jesus makes the promise that He will be with you in such situations and will give you “a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.” What a grace! But this grace is only available to those who rely completely upon Christ, and not upon their own disordered passions and emotions.

Reflect, today, upon this promise from Jesus. Some will encounter little persecution in their lives at various times. But others will encounter severe persecution in various ways, even from their family. Reflect upon any ways that you have experienced the unjust treatment of another and then reflect upon your response. Were you able to immediately forgive? Were you able to set aside your anger, wounded pride and desire for revenge? Were you able to keep your eyes on Christ and rejoice that you have been found worthy to share in the ridicule, persecutions and sufferings that Jesus endured? Pray that you will always be open to the grace of this promise of Jesus so that you will always respond to everyone in accord with the wisdom of God.

PRAYER:
My persecuted Lord, though You were perfect in every way, You endured much cruelty in Your earthly life. The injustice You endured is beyond our comprehension. But Your response to such persecution was perfect. You were able to transform all ill-treatment into grace and mercy, offered especially for those who mistreated You. Give me the grace I need to imitate Your perfect response and to always rely upon Your wisdom and guidance alone. Jesus, I trust in You.

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