Wednesday, November 19, 2014



Let us gain courage for our own battle
by honoring the martyrdom of the glorious virgin Agnes.
St. Agnes, vessel of honor,
flower of unfading fragrance,
beloved of the choirs of Angels,
you are an example to the worth of virtue and chastity.
O you who wear a Martyr's palm
and a virgin's wreath,
pray for us that,
though unworthy of a special crown,
we may have our names written in the list of Saints.


Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

RV 4:1-11

I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven,
and I heard the trumpetlike voice
that had spoken to me before, saying,
“Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards.”
At once I was caught up in spirit.
A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one
whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian.
Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald.
Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones
on which twenty-four elders sat,
dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.
From the throne came flashes of lightning,
rumblings, and peals of thunder.
Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne,
which are the seven spirits of God.
In front of the throne was something that resembled
a sea of glass like crystal.

In the center and around the throne,
there were four living creatures
covered with eyes in front and in back.
The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf,
the third had a face like that of a man,
and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight.
The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,
were covered with eyes inside and out.
Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down
before the one who sits on the throne
and worship him, who lives forever and ever.
They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming:

“Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 150:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Praise the LORD in his sanctuary,
praise him in the firmament of his strength.
Praise him for his mighty deeds,
praise him for his sovereign majesty.

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,
praise him with lyre and harp,
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipe.

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Praise him with sounding cymbals,
praise him with clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD! Alleluia.

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

LK 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.

So he said,

“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.’”

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

November 19

St. Agnes of Assisi (1197-1253)

Agnes was the sister of St. Clare and her first follower. When Agnes left home two weeks after Clare’s departure, their family attempted to bring Agnes back by force. They tried to drag her out of the monastery, but all of a sudden her body became so heavy that several knights could not budge it. Her uncle Monaldo tried to strike her but was temporarily paralyzed. 
The knights then left Agnes and Clare in peace.

Agnes matched her sister in devotion to prayer and in willingness to endure the strict penances which characterized their lives at San Damiano. In 1221 a group of Benedictine nuns in Monticelli (near Florence) asked to become Poor Clares. St. Clare sent Agnes to become abbess of that monastery. Agnes soon wrote a rather sad letter about how much she missed Clare and the other nuns at San Damiano. After establishing other Poor Clare monasteries in northern Italy, 
Agnes was recalled to San Damiano in 1253 when Clare was dying.

Agnes followed Clare in death three months later, and was canonized in 1753.

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts forever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made 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.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.


Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory

I love you, Lord, my strength.

I will love you, Lord, my strength:
Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
my protector, my sign of salvation,
the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
my cry to him came to his ears.

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 love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)

The Lord saved me because he loved me.

The earth moved and shook,
at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
consuming fire came from his mouth,
from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
the Most High let his voice be heard,
with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
he was my deliverance, for he held me in favor.

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 saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)

You, O Lord, are my lamp,
my God who lightens my darkness.

The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
with my God I will leap over their wall.

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.

You, O Lord, are my lamp,
my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
– that came from his lips.

First Reading
Zechariah 10:3-11:3

Thus says the Lord:

‘My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I mean to punish the he-goats.
Yes, the Lord of Hosts will take care of his flock, the House of Judah,
he will make it his proud steed in battle.
From him will issue Cornerstone and Tent-peg,
from him the Bow of battle,
from him all the Leaders.
Together they will be like heroes
trampling the dirt of the streets in battle;
they will fight, since the Lord is with them,
and the riders of horses will be thrown into confusion.
‘And I will make the House of Judah mighty,
and the House of Joseph victorious.
I am going to restore them, because I have taken pity on them,
and they shall be as though I had never cast them off
for I am the Lord their God and I mean to answer their prayer.
‘Ephraim will be like a hero.
Their hearts will be cheered as though by wine.
Their sons will look on this in gladness,
their hearts will exult in the Lord.
‘I am going to whistle to them and gather them in,
for I have redeemed them;
they will be as numerous as they used to be.
I have scattered them among the peoples
but from far away they will remember me:
they will teach their sons, and these will return.
I mean to bring them back from the land of Egypt,
and gather them from Assyria;
I shall lead them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon,
and even that will not be large enough for them.
They will pass through the sea of Egypt
and he will strike the waves on the sea;
all the depths of the Nile will be dried up.
The arrogance of Assyria will be cast down
and the sceptre of Egypt be taken away.
‘Their strength will be in the Lord;
in his name they will glory.’
It is the Lord who speaks.
Open your gateways, Lebanon,
and let the fire burn down your cedars.
Wail, cypress,
for felled is the cedar,
the mighty ones have been brought low!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
for the impenetrable forest has been felled!
The wailing of the shepherds is heard;
their glorious pastures have been ruined.
The roaring of the young lions is heard;
the thickets of the Jordan have been laid waste.


I am going to restore them,
because I have taken pity on them,
for I am the Lord their God,
and their hearts will exult in the Lord.

On that day the Lord of hosts shall be a lovely garland,
a beautiful diadem for the faithful remnant of his people,
and their hearts will exult in the Lord.

Second Reading
From a sermon
by Saint Augustine

The heart of the just man will rejoice in the Lord

The just man will rejoice in the Lord and put his hope in him; the hearts of all good men will be filled with joy. We must surely have sung these words with our hearts as well as with our voices. Indeed, the tongue of the Christian expresses his deepest feelings when it addresses such words to God. The just man will rejoice, not in the world, but in the Lord. Light has dawned for the just, Scripture says in another place, and joy for the upright of heart. Were you wondering what reason he has for joy? Here you are told: The just man will rejoice in the Lord. Another text runs: Delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

What are we instructed to do then, and what are we enabled to do? To rejoice in the Lord. But who can rejoice in something he does not see? Am I suggesting that we see the Lord then? No, but we have been promised that we shall see him. Now, as long as we are in the body, we walk by faith, for we are absent from the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight. When will it be by sight? Beloved, says John, we are now the sons of God; what we shall be has not yet been revealed, but we know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. When this prophecy is fulfilled, then it will be by sight.

That will be the great joy, the supreme joy, joy in all its fullness. Then we shall no longer drink the milk of hope, but we shall feed on the reality itself. Nevertheless, even now, before that vision comes to us, or before we come to that vision, 
let us rejoice in the Lord; for it is no small reason for rejoicing to have a hope that will some day be fulfilled.
Therefore, since the hope we now have inspires love, the just man rejoices, Scripture says, in the Lord; 
but because he does not yet see, it immediately goes on to say, and hopes in him.
Yet already we have the first fruits of the Spirit, and have we not also other reasons for rejoicing? 
For we are drawing near to the one we love, and not only are we drawing near – 
we even have some slight feeling and taste of the banquet we shall one day eagerly eat and drink.

But how can we rejoice in the Lord if he is far from us? Pray God he may not be far. If he is, that is your doing. Love, 
and he will draw near; love, and he will dwell within you. The Lord is at hand; have no anxiety. 
Are you puzzled to know how it is that he will be with you if you love? God is love.

“What do you mean by love?” you will ask me. It is that which enables us to be loving. What do we love? A good that words cannot describe, a good that is for ever giving, a good that is the Creator of all good. Delight in him from whom you have received everything that delights you. But in that I do not include sin, for sin is the one thing that you do not receive from him. 
With that one exception, everything you have comes from him.


Believe in the unseen God,
if you would see him who is now hidden from you.
Walk the dark ways of faith and you will attain the vision of God.

If faith has not supported you on life’s journey,
you will not attain the blissful vision of God in your heavenly country.
Walk the dark ways of faith and you will attain the vision of God.

Let us pray.

Lord our God,
give us grace to serve you always with joy,
because our full and lasting happiness
is to make of our lives
a constant service to the Author of all that is good.
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.