Congratulations to new Leadership in the Delegature of Cameroon
On 22 October 2019, a new delegature team in Cameroon took over their responsibility. The following are the members of the Delegature Council:
Sr. Weronika Sakowska Delegature Superior
Sr. Anna Kot Vice-Delegature Superior
Sr. Fabiana Leitgeber Councilor
Sr. Urszula Żarów Councilor
Sr. Edyta Budynek Councilor
“If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed…” Luke 17:6
I can’t…I just can’t. Ever hear or say that one? I can’t forgive her for what she did. I can’t do what God wants me to do today, I have this work to do. I can’t love our enemies…not after what they did to us. I can’t turn the other cheek. I just can’t…I don’t have the strength…I need more faith.
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus doesn’t accept that one. He has just explained to the disciples that they are to forgive those who act against them—over and over and over again. And, the disciples—like me—feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task, plead with Jesus to increase their faith.
2 Maccabee 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5; Luke 20:27-38
Paradise Ascent Of The Blessed by Hieronymus Bosch, 1500-04
In the Gospel, Jesus has entered Jerusalem and is teaching the people in the temple about the Good News. This scene becomes the stage for the leaders of the various religious parties within the Jewish tradition to try to make their position clear to the other groups and also discredit Jesus’ teachings. The Sadducees are such a faction. They hold strictly to the literal reading of the Torah themselves. This puts them in opposition to the Pharisees who gain their power from their own collective interpretation of the same teachings of Moses. Both groups question the authority of Jesus to teach such new things. They ask Jesus various trick questions such as to whom should the tax be paid, to the Roman government or, because of religious teachings, pay only the Temple Taxes. They would like to trap Jesus so as to hand him over for political judgment.
Today the liturgy celebrates the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, called “mother and head of all the churches of the city and the world.” In fact, this basilica was the first to be built after Emperor Constantine’s edict, in 313, granted Christians freedom to practice their religion.
The emperor himself gave Pope Miltiades the ancient palace of the Laterani family, and the basilica, the baptistery, and the patriarchate, that is, the Bishop of Rome’s residence — where the Popes lived until the Avignon period — were all built there. The basilica’s dedication was celebrated by Pope Sylvester around 324 and was named Most Holy Savior; only after the 6th century were the names of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist added, and now is typically denominated by these latter.
Today’s Gospel by Luke must be understood in the light of the custom that agents acted on behalf of their masters. Thus, an agent’s dishonesty would stem from him squandering his master’s estate. In this parable, the “master commended the dishonest steward for acting prudently” that is, the parable is teaching us to use material goods carefully. These readings made me think of the need to not only to be good stewards of material goods, but also of God’s gifts and talents. It reminded me of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter (Laudato si’) On Care For Our Common Home. He asks all of us to put “People and Planet First”, not one at the expense of the other.
FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN
Our world has suffered so many natural disasters this autumn: earthquakes, forest fires, hurricanes. The pictures of lands and buildings devastated and people losing loved ones are horrifying. The ones that hurt me the most are the pictures of missing children publicized by parents and family. They hope their loved ones will be found and families will be united. Many say, “the material things we can replace. It's life that is most important”…and relationships.
In the Gospel we’ve just listened to, Jesus gives us very practical advice about what it takes to be his disciples. He says that to be his followers, we have to do two things: (1) take up our cross and (2) follow him. We have to do both. Taking up our cross isn’t enough. All the sacrifices we make aren’t enough. They have to make us follow the Lord. In the same way, we can’t honestly say that we’re following the Lord if we can’t say no to the things that will keep us from him. Part of following him necessarily means taking up our cross and carrying it in his footsteps, even if it means that our own feet will get bloody and nailed to wood just like our Lord’s were.
Romans 12:5-16; Psalm 131:1, 2, 3; Luke 14:15-24
By Nelly Bube
Today's first reading, from Romans, falls under the category of "The Duties of Christians" and is a marvelous reading. This reading reminds me of our connection to one another, of our interdependent need, of our contribution to the wholeness or the oneness as members of humanity and as members of the Christian community. The reading in Romans encourages me to become aware of my gifts and then to be generous in sharing my gifts. The reading also is encouraging in supporting my desire to identify the gifts of others and then to encourage others to use and share their gifts with humanity.
As Jesus dines at the home of a Pharisee, he advises us not to invite our friends or wealthy neighbors over for dinner because good manners means they will be required to invite us back in return. Instead Jesus encourages us to welcome into our hearts those who might be unthinkable as guests - "the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind" - the ultimate outcasts of society. They have no means to thank us.
Who in our own lives are the outcast or the overlooked? Whom do I ignore or dismiss in my own life?
Wisdom 11:22-12:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2; Luke 19:1-10
The stage is set for Zacchaeus the wealthy tax collector. Tax collectors were among the most despised people in the society. The tax system itself ensured that. Their wages were the shekels they could extort from their own people over and above what they collected for the occupying Roman powers. Zacchaeus was “a chief tax collector,” one of the best at his job. Everything that Luke has written about wealth prepares us for a fierce confrontation between Jesus and Zacchaeus. What we hear instead is an invitation to dinner.