Thursday, October 31, 2013


Prayer for the Dead

Receive in tranquility and peace,
O Lord,
the souls of your servants who have departed this present life to come to you.
Grant them rest and place them in the habitations of light,
the abodes of blessed spirits.
Give them the life that will not age,
good things that will not pass away,
delights that have no end,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


By Saint Ignatius of Antioch


Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

ROM 8:31B-39

Brothers and sisters:

If God is for us, who can be against us?
He did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
As it is written:

For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 109:21-22, 26-27, 30-31

R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.

Do you, O GOD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
in your generous mercy rescue me;
For I am wretched and poor,
and my heart is pierced within me.

R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.

Help me, O LORD, my God;
save me, in your mercy,
And let them know that this is your hand;
that you, O LORD, have done this.

R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.

I will speak my thanks earnestly to the LORD,
and in the midst of the throng I will praise him,
For he stood at the right hand of the poor man,
to save him from those who would condemn his soul.

R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

LK 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied,

“Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”


October 31

Blessed Thomas of Florence (d. 1447)

The son of a butcher in Florence, Thomas led such a wild life for a time that parents warned their sons to stay away from him. A rich man in town befriended him and led him deeper into depravity. Accused of a serious crime that he had not committed, Thomas went to his friend for protection. The man would not even see him and told him to stay away. Crushed, Thomas wandered the streets until he met a priest who listened to his story and took Thomas into his home. Ultimately, he was able to get Thomas declared innocent of the crime.

Thomas broke off his former associations and began to lead a life of prayer and penance. Filled with grace, he asked to be admitted to a Franciscan friary as a lay brother. He went on to become a model friar, fasting, keeping vigils, disciplining himself. He wore the cast-off clothes of his brothers. He was frequently wrapped in ecstasy. Though he was never ordained a priest and remained content to serve as a lay brother, Thomas was appointed novice master. 
Many young men followed in his path of holiness.

Thomas founded numerous convents of friars in southern Italy. And Pope Martin V called upon him to preach against the Fraticelli, a branch of heretical Franciscans. He was also asked to go to the Orient to promote the reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches. There he was imprisoned and expected to receive the crown of martyrdom. But the pope ransomed him for a large sum of money. Thomas returned to Italy and died on a journey to Rome, 
where he had hoped to receive permission to return to the Orient.


O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Come before the Lord,
singing with joy.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

Come before the Lord,
singing with joy.

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come before the Lord,
singing with joy.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

Come before the Lord,
singing with joy.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

Come before the Lord,
singing with joy.

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

Come before the Lord,
singing with joy.

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 before the Lord,
singing with joy.


Where true love is dwelling, God is dwelling there:
Love’s own loving Presence love does ever share.
Love of Christ has made us out of many one;
In our midst is dwelling God’s eternal Son.
Give him joyful welcome, love him and revere:
Cherish one another with a love sincere.

Psalm 43 (44)
In time of defeat

It was you who saved us, Lord:
we will praise your name without ceasing.

Our own ears have heard, O God,
and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
and put us in their place,
struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
the light of your face,
for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
and proclaim your name for all ages.

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.

It was you who saved us, Lord:
we will praise your name without ceasing.

Psalm 43 (44)

Spare us, Lord,
do not let your people be put to shame.

But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
my enemies and my persecutors.

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.

Spare us, Lord,
do not let your people be put to shame.

Psalm 43 (44)

Arise, Lord!
Redeem us because of your love.

All this happened to us,
but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
our hearts did not turn away;
our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
with horrors all about us:
you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
In your mercy, redeem us.

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.

Arise, Lord!
Redeem us because of your love.

Lord, to whom shall we go?
– You have the words of eternal life.

First Reading
Wisdom 7:15-30

May God grant me to speak as he would wish
and express thoughts worthy of his gifts,
since he himself is the guide of Wisdom,
since he directs the sages.
We are indeed in his hand, we ourselves and our words,
with all our understanding, too, and technical knowledge.
It was he who gave me true knowledge of all that is,
who taught me the structure of the world and the properties of the elements,
the beginning, end and middle of the times,
the alternation of the solstices and the succession of the seasons,
the revolution of the year and the positions of the stars,
the natures of animals and the instincts of wild beasts,
the powers of spirits and the mental processes of men,
the varieties of plants and the medical properties of roots.
All that is hidden, all that is plain, I have come to know,
instructed by Wisdom who designed them all.
For within her is a spirit intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
active, incisive, unsullied,
lucid, invulnerable, benevolent, sharp,
irresistible, beneficent, loving to man,
steadfast, dependable, unperturbed,
almighty, all-surveying,
penetrating all intelligent, pure
and most subtle spirits;
for Wisdom is quicker to move than any motion;
she is so pure, she pervades and permeates all things.
She is a breath of the power of God,
pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
hence nothing impure can find a way into her.
She is a reflection of the eternal light,
untarnished mirror of God’s active power,
image of his goodness.
Although alone, she can do all;
herself unchanging, she makes all things new.
In each generation she passes into holy souls,
she makes them friends of God and prophets;
for God loves only the man who lives with Wisdom.
She is indeed more splendid than the sun,
she outshines all the constellations;
compared with light, she takes first place,
for light must yield to night,
but over Wisdom evil can never triumph.


Christ Jesus is the visible likeness of the invisible God.
He is the firstborn Son,
superior to all created things,
for by him God created everything.

He is the brightness that radiates from eternal light,
the faithful echo of God’s goodness,
for by him God created everything.

Second Reading

A discourse "Against the Arians"
by St Athanasius

Wisdom's likeness and image is created in God's works

An impress of Wisdom has been created in us and in all his works. 
Therefore, the true Wisdom which shaped the world claims for himself all that bears his image, and rightly says: 
The Lord created me in his works. 
These words are really spoken by the wisdom that is in us, 
but the Lord himself here adopts them as his own.

Wisdom himself is not created, because he is the Creator, but by reason of the created image of himself found in his works, he speaks thus as though he were speaking of himself. Our Lord said: He who receives you receives me, and he could say this because the impress of himself is in us. In the same way, although Wisdom is not to be numbered among created things, yet because his form and likeness are in his works, he speaks as if he were a creature, and he says: 
The Lord created me in his works, when his purpose first unfolded.

The likeness of Wisdom has been stamped upon creatures in order that the world may recognize in it the Word who was its maker and through the Word come to know the Father. This is Paul’s teaching: What can be known about God is clear to them, for God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature has been there for the mind to perceive in things that have been made. Accordingly the Word is not a creature, for the passage that begins: 
The Lord created me is to be understood as referring to that wisdom which is truly in us and is said to be so.

But if this fails to persuade our opponents, let them tell us whether there is any wisdom in created things. If there is none, why does the apostle Paul allege as the cause of men’s sins: By God’s wisdom, the world failed to come to a knowledge of God through wisdom? And if there is no created wisdom, how is it that the expression a multitude of wise men is found in Scripture? And again, Scripture testifies that the wise man is wary and turns away from evil, 
and by wisdom is a house built.

Further, Ecclesiastes says: A wise man’s wisdom will light up his face. He also rebukes presumptuous persons with the warning: Do not say, “How is it that former days were better than these?” For it is not in wisdom that you ask this.

So there is a wisdom in created things, as the son of Sirach too bears witness: The Lord has poured it out upon all his works, to be with men as his gift, and with wisdom he has abundantly equipped those who love him. This quality of being “poured out” belongs not to the essence of that self-existent Wisdom who is the Only-Begotten, but to that wisdom which reflects the only-begotten one in the world. Why then is it beyond belief if the creative and archetypal Wisdom, whose likeness is the wisdom and understanding poured out in the world, should say, as though speaking directly of himself: The Lord created me in his works? For the wisdom in the world is not creative, but is itself created in God’s works, and in the light of this wisdom the heavens declare the glory of God, 
and the firmament proclaims the work of his hands.


Within wisdom is a spirit both intelligent and holy,
one in its source yet manifold in its operations,
subtle yet lucid, loving what is good, irresistible.
Nothing is beyond its power,
nothing hidden from its sight;
it pervades the minds of all living beings.

The Spirit reaches the depths of everything,
even the depths of God.
Nothing is beyond its power,
nothing hidden from its sight;
it pervades the minds of all living beings.

Let us pray.

Lord God, deepen our faith,
strengthen our hope,
enkindle our love;
and so that we may obtain what you promise,
make us love what you command.
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 praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.