Preacher’s Sketchbook: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 11, 2013
Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s Preaching Advisory Board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.
The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain its full perfection only in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all things. At that time the human race as well as the entire world, which is intimately related to man and attains to its end through him, will be perfectly reestablished in Christ.
Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself. Rising from the dead He sent His life-giving Spirit upon His disciples and through Him has established His Body which is the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is continually active in the world that He might lead men to the Church and through it join them to Himself and that He might make them partakers of His glorious life by nourishing them with His own Body and Blood. Therefore the promised restoration which we are awaiting has already begun in Christ, is carried forward in the mission of the Holy Spirit and through Him continues in the Church in which we learn the meaning of our terrestrial life through our faith, while we perform with hope in the future the work committed to us in this world by the Father, and thus work out our salvation.
Already the final age of the world has come upon us and the renovation of the world is irrevocably decreed and is already anticipated in some kind of a real way; for the Church already on this earth is signed with a sanctity which is real although imperfect. However, until there shall be new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church in her sacraments and institutions, which pertain to this present time, has the appearance of this world which is passing and she herself dwells among creatures who groan and travail in pain until now and await the revelation of the sons of God.
Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope
People of our time have become insensitive to the Last Things. On the one hand, secularization and secularism promote this insensitivity and lead to a consumer mentality oriented toward the enjoyment of earthly goods. On the other hand, the “hells on earth” created in this century which is now drawing to a close have also contributed to this insensitivity. After the experience of concentration camps, gulags, bombings, not to mention natural catastrophes, can man possibly expect anything worse from this world, an even greater amount of humiliation and contempt? In a word, hell?
Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope
God, who is the just Judge, the Judge who rewards good and punishes evil, is none other than the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Moses, and also of Christ, who is His Son. This God is, above all, Love. Not just Mercy, but Love. Not only the Father of the prodigal son, but the Father who “gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (cf. Jn 3:16).
Pope Benedict XVI, Light of the World
There is no overlooking the fact that there is a poisoning of thought [in media- and commerce-driven society], which in advance leads us into false perspectives. To free ourselves again from it by means of a real conversion—to use that fundamental word of the Christian faith—is one of the challenges that by now are becoming obvious to everyone. In our modern world, which is so scientifically oriented, such concepts no longer had any meaning. A conversion, as faith understands it, toward the will of God who shows us a way was considered old-fashioned and outmoded… That is why it is so urgent also to bring the question about God back into the center.
Pope Francis, On Heaven and Earth
In the history of the Catholic Church the true reformers are the saints. They are the true reformers, those that change, transform, carry forward and resurrect the spiritual path. In another case, Francis of Assisi contributed an entire concept about poverty to Christianity in the face of the wealth, pride and vanity of the civil and ecclesial powers of the time. He carried out a mysticism of poverty, of dispossession and he has changed history.
Sunday Preacher’s Resource
Additional Preaching Resources
- The Year of Faith: Annus Fidei website (Holy See) and the USCCB Website.
- The Holy See: Ordinary Time
- Fr. Thomas Rosica (Salt and Light Media)
- The Torch
- Fr. Francis Martin Website
- Biblius Clerus, a resource of the Congregation for the Clergy
- The Catena Aurea of St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Image: Dirck Barendsz, The Last Judgment