Sunday, November 4, 2012


Prayer of Saint Charles Borromeo

Almighty God,
you have generously made known to human beings the mysteries of
your life through Jesus Christ your Son in the Holy Spirit.

Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your Church treasures and teaches.

Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord with them.

Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without pride,
without ostentation, and without personal gain.

Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for bringing others to the knowledge of the wonderful things you have done for all your creatures.

Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted to me.



Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Dt 6:2-6

Moses spoke to the people, saying:

"Fear the LORD, your God,
and keep, throughout the days of your lives,
all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you,
and thus have long life.
Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them,
that you may grow and prosper the more,
in keeping with the promise of the LORD, the God of your fathers,
to give you a land flowing with milk and honey.

"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God,
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength.
Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today."

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

The LORD lives! And blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed.

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

Reading 2
Heb 7:23-28

Brothers and sisters:

The levitical priests were many
because they were prevented by death from remaining in office,
but Jesus, because he remains forever,
has a priesthood that does not pass away.
Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him,
since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

It was fitting that we should have such a high priest:
holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners,
higher than the heavens.
He has no need, as did the high priests,
to offer sacrifice day after day,
first for his own sins and then for those of the people;
he did that once for all when he offered himself.
For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests,
but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law,
appoints a son,
who has been made perfect forever.

Mk 12:28b-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?"

Jesus replied,

"The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."

The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
'He is One and there is no other than he.'
And 'to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself'
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,

"You are not far from the kingdom of God."

And no one dared to ask him any more questions.


November 4

St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

The name of St. Charles Borromeo is associated with reform. He lived during the time of the Protestant Reformation, and had a hand in the reform of the whole Church during the final years of the Council of Trent.

Although he belonged to Milanese nobility and was related to the powerful Medici family, he desired to devote himself to the Church. When his uncle, Cardinal de Medici, was elected pope in 1559 as Pius IV, he made Charles cardinal-deacon and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan while he was still a layman and a young student. Because of his intellectual qualities he was entrusted with several important offices connected with the Vatican and later appointed secretary of state with responsibility for the papal states. The untimely death of his elder brother brought Charles to a definite decision to be ordained a priest, despite relatives’ insistence that he marry. Soon after he was ordained a priest at the age of 25, he was consecrated bishop of Milan.

Because of his work at the Council of Trent, he was not allowed to take up residence in Milan until the Council was over. Charles had encouraged the pope to renew the Council in 1562 after it had been suspended for 10 years. Working behind the scenes, St. Charles deserves the credit for keeping the Council in session when at several points it was on the verge of breaking up. He took upon himself the task of the entire correspondence during the final phase.

Eventually Charles was allowed to devote his time to the Archdiocese of Milan, where the religious and moral picture was far from bright. The reform needed in every phase of Catholic life among both clergy and laity was initiated at a provincial council of all the bishops under him. Specific regulations were drawn up for bishops and other clergy: If the people were to be converted to a better life, he had to be the first to give a good example and renew their apostolic spirit.

Charles took the initiative in giving good example. He allotted most of his income to charity, forbade himself all luxury and imposed severe penances upon himself. He sacrificed wealth, high honors, esteem and influence to become poor. During the plague and famine of 1576, he tried to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily. To do this he borrowed large sums of money that required years to repay. Whereas the civil authorities fled at the height of the plague, he stayed in the city, where he ministered to the sick and the dying, helping those in want.

Work and the heavy burdens of his high office began to affect his health. He died at the age of 46.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord:
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord:
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord:
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord:
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord:
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord:
let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.


Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
Be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;
Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
Be thou mine inheritance now and always;
Be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of Heaven, thou Heaven’s bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won!;
Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Psalm 144 (145)
The greatness and goodness of God

I will bless you day after day, O Lord. Alleluia.

I will praise you to the heights, O God, my king –
I will bless your name for ever and for all time.
I will bless you, O God, day after day –
I will praise your name for ever and all time.
The Lord is great, to him all praise is due –
he is great beyond measuring.
Generation will pass to generation the praise of your deeds,
and tell the wonders you have done.
They will tell of your overwhelming power,
and pass on the tale of your greatness.
They will cry out the story of your great kindness,
they will celebrate your judgements.
The Lord takes pity, his heart is merciful,
he is patient and endlessly kind.
The Lord is gentle to all –
he shows his kindness to all his creation.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

I will bless you day after day, O Lord. Alleluia.

Psalm 144 (145)

Your kingdom, Lord, is an everlasting kingdom, alleluia.

Let all your creatures proclaim you, O Lord,
let your chosen ones bless you.
Let them tell of the glory of your reign,
let them speak of your power –
so that the children of men may know what you can do,
see the glory of your kingdom and its greatness.
Your kingdom stands firm for all ages,
your rule lasts for ever and ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Your kingdom, Lord, is an everlasting kingdom, alleluia.

Psalm 144 (145)

The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. 

The Lord is faithful in all his words,
the Lord is holy in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who are falling,
the Lord lifts up all who are oppressed.
All look to you for help,
and you give them their food in due season.
In your goodness you open your hand,
and give every creature its fill.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
the Lord is kind in all that he does.
The Lord is near to those who call on him,
to all those who call on him in truth.
For those that honour him,
he does what they ask,
he hears all their prayers,
and he keeps them safe.
The Lord keeps safe all who love him,
but he dooms all the wicked to destruction.
My mouth shall tell the praises of the Lord.
Let all flesh bless his holy name,
for ever and ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. 

My son, listen to my words.
– Turn your ear to what I am saying.

1 Maccabees 1:1-24

Alexander of Macedon, son of Philip, had come from the land of Kittim and defeated Darius, king of the Persians and Medes, whom he succeeded as ruler, at first of Hellas. He undertook many campaigns, gained possession of many fortresses, and put the local kings to death. So he advanced to the ends of the earth, plundering nation after nation; the earth grew silent before him, and his ambitious heart swelled with pride. He assembled very powerful forces and subdued provinces, nations and princes, and they became his tributaries. But the time came when Alexander took to his bed, in the knowledge that he was dying. He summoned his comrades, noblemen who had been brought up with him from his youth, and divided his kingdom among them while he was still alive. Alexander had reigned twelve years when he died. Each of his comrades established himself in his own region. All assumed crowns after his death, they and their heirs after them for many years, bringing increasing evils on the world.

From these there grew a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus; once a hostage in Rome, he became king in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks. It was then that there emerged from Israel a set of renegades who led many people astray. ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us reach an understanding with the pagans surrounding us, for since we separated ourselves from them many misfortunes have overtaken us.’ This proposal proved acceptable, and a number of the people eagerly approached the king, who authorised them to practise the pagan observances. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, such as the pagans have, disguised their circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant, submitting to the heathen rule as willing slaves of impiety.

Once Antiochus had seen his authority established, he determined to make himself king of Egypt, and the ruler of both kingdoms. He invaded Egypt in massive strength, with chariots and elephants and a great fleet. He engaged Ptolemy, king of Egypt, in battle, and Ptolemy turned back and fled before his advance, leaving many casualties. The fortified cities of the land of Egypt were captured, and Antiochus plundered the country. After his conquest of Egypt, in the year one hundred and forty-three, Antiochus turned about and advanced on Israel and Jerusalem in massive strength. Insolently breaking into the sanctuary, he removed the golden altar and the lamp-stand for the light with all its fittings, together with the table for the loaves of offering, the libation vessels, the cups, the golden censers, the veil, the crowns, and the golden decoration on the front of the Temple, which he stripped of everything. He made off with the silver and gold and precious vessels, he discovered the secret treasures and seized them, and removing all of these, he went back to his own country, leaving the place a shambles and uttering words of extreme arrogance.


If our God is angry for a little while,
to rebuke and discipline us, he, the Lord,
will again be reconciled with his servants.

Discipline is never pleasant: at the time it seems painful,
but in the end it yields the peaceful harvest of an honest life;
he, the Lord,
will again be reconciled with his servants.

From the Second Vatican Council's pastoral constitution "Gaudium et spes" on the Church in the modern world

The promotion of peace

Peace is not the mere absence of war or the simple maintenance of a balance of power between forces, nor can it be imposed at the dictate of absolute power. It is called, rightly and properly, a work of justice. It is the product of order, the order implanted in human society by its divine founder, to be realised in practice as men hunger and thirst for ever more perfect justice.

The common good of the human race is subject to the eternal law as its primary principle, but its requirements in practice keep changing with the passage of time. The result is that peace is never established finally and for ever; the building up of peace has to go on all the time. Again, the human will is weak and wounded by sin; the search for peace therefore demands from each individual constant control of the passions, and from legitimate authority untiring vigilance.

Even this is not enough. Peace here on earth cannot be maintained unless the good of the human person is safeguarded, and men are willing to trust each other and share their riches of spirit and talent. If peace is to be established it is absolutely necessary to have a firm determination to respect other persons and peoples and their dignity, and to be zealous in the practice of brotherhood. Peace is therefore the fruit also of love; love goes beyond what justice can achieve. Peace on earth, born of love for one’s neighbour, is the sign and the effect of the peace of Christ that flows from God the Father. In his own person the incarnate Son, the Prince of Peace, reconciled all men to God through his death on the cross. In his human nature he destroyed hatred and restored unity to all mankind in one people and one body. Raised on high by the resurrection, he sent the Spirit of love into the hearts of men.

All Christians are thus urgently summoned to live the truth in love, and to join all true peacemakers in prayer and work for peace. Moved by the same spirit, we cannot but praise those who renounce violence in defence of rights, and have recourse to means of defence otherwise available to the less powerful as well, provided that this can be done without injury to the rights and obligations of others or of the community.


Yours, Lord, is the power, yours the sovereignty; you are exalted over all;
give us peace in our time.

Lord God, Creator of all things, awe-inspiring and strong, just and merciful,
give us peace in our time.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.

Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

God of power and mercy,
by whose grace your people give you praise and worthy service,
save us from faltering
on our way to the joys you have promised.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.