November 2023: Thought for the Day
Thought for the Day
Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
5 November 2023 • Prisoners’ Sunday
For the Parents of one who has committed a crime
No one else can see beauty in his darkened life now. His image has closed like a shadow. When people look at him, he has become the mirror of the damage he has done. But he is yours; and you have different eyes that hold his yesterdays in pictures no one else remembers. Despite all the disappointments and shame, may you find in your belonging with him a kind place, where your spirit will find rest. May new words come alive between you to build small bridges of understanding. May that serenity lead you beyond guilt and blame to find that bright field of the heart where he can come to feel your love.
John O’Donohue, Benedictus
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Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
12 November 2023
Jesus tells us that there is a right time and a time when it will be too late. I ask God’s help that I may realise what it is I might do now, how I might recognise the approaching bridegroom and welcome him. The lamp is given us by God and our prayer or time given to God is the oil. All of God’s action in our lives is his gift, but it needs our openness and welcome. Prayer builds up our ‘supply of oil’, which can give light and fragrance to the rest of our lives. There is a time for preparation and a time for action. There is never a time for carelessness. I ask God to prepare me for the needs of this time.
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Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
19 November 2023 • World Day of the Poor
The poor we see with the eyes of flesh; they are there and we can put finger and hand in their wounds and the scars of the crown of thorns are visible on their foreheads; and at this point incredulity no longer has place and we should fall at their feet and say with the Apostle, Tu est Dominus et Deus meus (You are my Lord and my God!). You are our masters, and we will be your servants. You are for us the sacred images of that God whom we do not see, and not knowing how to love Him otherwise shall we not love Him in your person’?
Blessed Frederic Ozanam,
Vincentian Words to Live
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Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
26 November 2023
A Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King
As the great wheel of the liturgy spins,
It lands here, once a year,
To remind us that Christ is King –
In winter’s chill or late autumn drear,
We need reminding that new life will come,
Springing from frozen roots and brittle branches.
As we prepare to approach the manger once more,
We need this renewal in understanding
That the glory of God turns up in the most unexpected places.
O Christ the King, turn our hearts this day
Not only to the world around us
But to the world within us –
Where your Kingdom comes anew
With each act of love we offer,
Each prayer we whisper, each breath we draw. Amen.