16 Nov 2023 – Thursday of Week 32

16 Nov 2023 – Thursday of Week 32

Optional Memorials: St Margaret of Scotland, 1045-90, wife of Malcolm 111, King of   Scotland, church reformer.                                                                                     St Gertrude, 1256-1302, Benedictine nun, devoted to the Sacred Heart and frequent   Communion.

1st Reading: Wisdom 7:22-8:1

Wisdom reaches from end to end and governs all things well

Wisdom is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.

Wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things. For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. She is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.

Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.

She is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail. She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well.

Responsorial: Psalm 118:89-91, 130, 135, 175

R./: Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Your word, O Lord, for ever
stands firm in the heavens.
Your truth lasts from age to age,
like the earth you created. (R./)

By your decree it endures to this day;
for all things serve you.
The unfolding of your word gives light
and teaches the simple. (R./)

Let your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.
Give life to my soul that I may praise you.
Let your decrees give me help. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 17:20-25

The reign of God is not “out there” but is already among us

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation.


Finding wisdom

Wisdom is like a golden thread interwoven in life, which is closely linked to the reign of God. This wisdom “penetrates and pervades all things.” We in turn are called to live with integrity, and to form bonds of union with others so that the kingdom of God can flourish among us. Real integrity comes through wisdom, which is God’s supreme gift. Our God as compassionate and good, always creatively at work in our world.

We become impatient with the hardships and injustice in our world and we press for an answer, “When will the reign of God come?” In his reply, Jesus shelves the question of when and focuses on how the kingdom of God will come. It is not to be identified with a point of time, contrary to those who try to predict the end of the world on such and such a day. He refuses to locate the reign of God “here” or “there.” There is no all-holy place where God dwells, rather than in another. Jesus’ answer is baffling but also consoling: The kingdom of God is already in your midst.

Within our own hearts, God’s reign has already begun, through the work of Jesus among us. Already we have a foretaste of eternal life. From him we find strength to be loyal, for God’s wisdom lives in us.

Right here and now

“Oh world invisible, we see thee . . . Inapprehensible we clutch thee,” wrote Francis Thompson. Sometimes we miss something of great significance; it is right before us but somehow we fail to notice. When they asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, he said “the kingdom of God is already among you.” The kingdom of God was present, but in a less dramatic form than they expected.

Christ is present in our lives in more ways than we realize. His presence will often be un-dramatic, without fanfare. Yet his influence is present day to day, and especially through people that build up and heal and bring life. “I am with you always,” is his assurance that we will never be without his healing influence. What we need are eyes to see and ears to hear, with faith. We always need to pray, “Increase our faith.”

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