OFFICE FOR LITURGY

of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford

Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

As we approach the end of that part of Saint Luke’s Gospel before the Passion narratives, and approach the end of the Church’s year, our thoughts are turned towards the end of time and the Second Coming of the Lord – this will led us into Advent in two weeks time. Saint Luke’s message is very distinctive: the Lord will come, but there is a lot to be lived through first. The coming of the Lord is not going to be a “quick fix” – we will have to live through (and endure) all the mess of human joy and suffering. The Lord is clear too that we have to be aware of the personal cost of belonging to him – think back to last week’s readings, and the stories of religious persecution from every place and every age, even to this day. Even as this sounds gloomy and depressing, it is worth noting where the Gospel passage starts – in the material beauty of the Temple – and where it ends – something far more precious will be saved: our lives.

Notes for Readers

From the Catechism

First Reading: Malachi 3:19-20
 
Short and to the point! Always remember with a short reading (especially the first reading) that if you are not careful it can be over before people realise you are reading! Make sure you allow everyone to settle down after the Opening Prayer: announce the reading and then pause again, in order to ensure everyone’s attention. When you proclaim these words, don’t paint the picture in angry or fearful tones – be simple and direct, but with the seriousness that these words demand. Make sure you bring out the simple contrast between evil-doers and “you who fear my name…”
 
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
 
Something of a contrast to the First Reading and the Gospel – remember that the second readings are not linked to the “theme” of the other readings, but follow a semi-continuous pattern from week to week. This reading concludes our selection from the second letter to the Thessalonians, and in it Saint Paul offer some very practical advice about living as a community – all share equally in both the work and the benefits. How we apply this teaching to our parishes could be an interesting discussion! The difference in tone between this and the first reading is a good illustration of why it is better, if possible, to have different voices proclaim the two readings. If you are doing both, make sure that there is some difference in tone between them. Paul is being down to earth and rather direct – perhaps we glimpse his frustration behind these words. Try and be aware of this, and offer the reading with a suitable directness and simplicity. Put yourself in Saint Paul’s place, and feel what he felt!
Perseverance in faith; faith as the beginning of eternal life
CCC 162-165

The final trial of the Church
CCC 675-677

Human labour as redemptive
CCC 307, 531, 2427-2429

The last day
CCC 673, 1001, 2730

CCC 997: “What is "rising"? In death, the separation of the soul from the body, the human body decays and the soul goes to meet God, while awaiting its reunion with its glorified body. God, in his almighty power, will definitively grant incorruptible life to our bodies by reuniting them with our souls, through the power of Jesus' Resurrection.

998 Who will rise? All the dead will rise, "those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment."

999 How? Christ is raised with his own body: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself"; but he did not return to an earthly life. So, in him, "all of them will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear," but Christ "will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body," into a "spiritual body" “But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel. . . . What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. . . . The dead will be raised imperishable. . . . For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.”

1000 This "how" exceeds our imagination and understanding; it is accessible only to faith. Yet our participation in the Eucharist already gives us a foretaste of Christ's transfiguration of our bodies: "Just as bread that comes from the earth, after God's blessing has been invoked upon it, is no longer ordinary bread, but Eucharist, formed of two things, the one earthly and the other heavenly: so too our bodies, which partake of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, but possess the hope of resurrection."

1001 When? Definitively "at the last day," "at the end of the world." Indeed, the resurrection of the dead is closely associated with Christ's Parousia: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

Gospel Wordsearch

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