Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time




Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 508

1st Reading – DN 7:15-27

I, Daniel, found my spirit anguished within its covering of flesh,
and I was terrified by the visions of my mind.
I approached one of those present
and asked him what all this meant in truth;
in answer, he made known to me the meaning of the things:
“These four great beasts stand for four kingdoms
which shall arise on the earth.
But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship,
to possess it forever and ever.”

But I wished to make certain about the fourth beast,
so very terrible and different from the others,
devouring and crushing with its iron teeth and bronze claws,
and trampling with its feet what was left;
about the ten horns on its head, and the other one that sprang up,
before which three horns fell;
about the horn with the eyes and the mouth that spoke arrogantly,
which appeared greater than its fellows.
For, as I watched, that horn made war against the holy ones
and was victorious until the Ancient One arrived;
judgment was pronounced in favor of the holy ones of the Most High,
and the time came when the holy ones possessed the kingdom.
He answered me thus:

“The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth
different from all the others;
It shall devour the whole earth,
beat it down, and crush it.
The ten horns shall be ten kings
rising out of that kingdom;
another shall rise up after them,
Different from those before him,
who shall lay low three kings.
He shall speak against the Most High
and oppress the holy ones of the Most High,
thinking to change the feast days and the law.
They shall be handed over to him
for a year, two years, and a half-year.
But when the court is convened,
and his power is taken away
by final and absolute destruction,
Then the kingship and dominion and majesty
of all the kingdoms under the heavens
shall be given to the holy people of the Most High,
Whose Kingdom shall be everlasting:
all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

Responsorial Psalm – DN 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87

R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“You sons of men, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“O Israel, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Alleluia – LK 21:36

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
That you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Stay Awake!

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.” Luke 21:34-35a

This is the last day of our liturgical year! And on this day, the Gospel reminds us of how easy it is to become lazy in our life of faith. It reminds us that our hearts can become drowsy from “carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life.” Let’s look at these temptations.

First, we are warned against carousing and drunkenness. This certainly applies on a literal level, meaning, we should obviously avoid abusing drugs and alcohol. But it also applies to numerous other ways that we are made “drowsy” through a lack of temperance. Abuse of alcohol is only one way of escaping from the burdens of life, but there are many ways we can do this. Any time we give in to an excess of one sort or another, we begin to let our hearts become drowsy on a spiritual level. Whenever we seek momentary escapes from life without turning to God, we allow ourselves to become spiritually drowsy.

Second, this passage identifies “the anxieties of daily life” as a source of becoming drowsy. So often we do face anxiety in life. We can feel overwhelmed and overly burdened by one thing or another. When we feel burdened by life, we tend to look for a way out. And far too often, the “way out” is something that makes us spiritually drowsy.

Jesus speaks this Gospel as a way of challenging us to remain awake and vigilant in our life of faith. This happens when we keep the truth in our minds and hearts and our eyes on the will of God. The moment we turn our eyes to the burdens of life and fail to see God in the midst of all things, we become spiritually drowsy and begin, in a sense, to fall asleep.

As the liturgical year comes to a close, today, reflect upon the fact that God is calling you to become wide awake. He wants your full attention and He wants you completely sober in your life of faith. Put your eyes on Him and let Him keep you continually prepared for His imminent return.

Lord, I do love You and I desire to love You all the more. Help me to remain wide awake in my life of faith. Help me to keep my eyes on You through all things so that I am always prepared for You when You come to me. Jesus, I trust in You.

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