Twenty-Second Sunday af. Pentecost (32nd S Ord Time)
OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR
Psalm 33, Verse 8
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world show him reverence.
Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost
The focus of this Sunday is we must render to God what is God's: meaning that we must give ourselves up entirely to Him, so that He will recognize us on the Last Day.
IN* the Introit of the Mass, pray with the priest for the forgiveness of your sins: “If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities, Lord, who shall stand? for with Thee there is merciful forgiveness, O God of Israel. Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice” (Ps. cxxix.).
O God, our refuge and strength, Who art the author of mercy, attend to the pious prayers of Thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain.
EPISTLE. Phil. i. 6-11.
Brethren: We are confident in the Lord Jesus, that He, Who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus. As it is meet for me to think this for you all: for that I have you in my heart; and that in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel, you are all partakers of my joy. For God is my witness, how I Jong after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge, and in all understanding: that you may approve the better things, that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of justice through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. This epistle was written by St. Paul from Rome, where he was in prison, to the converts whom he had made in the city of Philippi, Macedonia. They had not only received the Gospel, but had also, for the sake of it, suffered many trials; besides, they had assisted the apostles with pious gifts. St. Paul, therefore, rejoiced, and thanked the Lord. The day of Christ, spoken of by the Apostle, is the day of judgment, which comes to every man at the very hour of his death.
GOSPEL. Matt, xxii. 15-21
At that time, the Pharisees going consulted among themselves how to ensnare Jesus in His speech. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that Thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest Thou for any man: for Thou dost not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what dost Thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? But Jesus, knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt Me, ye hypocrites? Show Me the coin of the tribute. And they offered Him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to Him: Caesar’s. Then He saith to them: tender therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
Who are hypocrites? Those who, in order to deceive their neighbors, show themselves outwardly pious, while within they are full of evil dispositions and malice; who have honey on the tongue, but gall in the heart; who, like scorpions, sting when one least expects it. Such men are cursed by God (Mai. i. 14). The Lord hateth a mouth with a double tongue (Prov. viii. 13).
Our Lady of Prompt Succor
The national votive shrine of our lady of prompt succor serves God and all God’s people as the center of devotion to the Mother of Jesus under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor—Our Lady of Quick Help. The Shrine is a place of pilgrimage, worship and prayer. It welcomes all who try to live in faith and love, with a special commitment to those whose hope and trust in Mary lead them to seek her motherly care and consolation. Since 1727, long before her statue arrived on November 10th,1810 and was enshrined in the Ursuline Convent Chapel in the French Quarter, devotion to Notre Dame de Prompt Secours had spread among the Ursuline Sisters, their students and the women and men of New Orleans. Prayers for deliverance from wars, fire, pestilence, disease, storms, despair and hopelessness were made to Our Lady of Prompt Succor. In 1815, in gratitude for the miracle of America's victory over the British in the Battle of New Orleans, the Ursulines, along with Bishop Louis Du Bourg, made a promise to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving each year on the feast day of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, January 8. In 2015, that promise was observed for the 200 time! In 1895, the statue, gilded in gold, was crowned by Decree of His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII; and in 1928, the Holy See approved and confirmed the naming of Our Lady of Prompt Succor as the Principal Patroness of the City of New Orleans and of the State of Louisiana. Standing in the central niche over the main altar on State Street, she welcomes all who come to honor her, to thank her for intercession, and to pray for her help and protection, not only from global wars and devastating storms, but, also, in overcoming greater enemies…poverty, illness, ignorance, racism and violence.
A woman of Influence
“The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect, and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.” (Closing speeches Vatican Council II, 12/8/65).
Mother Mary is a perfect role model for all women, of course, but for women who work in particular. According to St. Louis de Montfort, Mary has principle virtues, which when practiced help to lead us to her Son and create a home and world that celebrates the greatness of the Lord.
· Profound Humility: Are you focused on others more than yourself? Do you recognize the work of the team, or are you taking credit for the work? Do you care who gets the credit? Does this impact the way you treat others?
· Ardent Charity: How can you demonstrate great love at work? This is not the same love as a spousal love, of course. How do you approach your employees? Your supervisors? Your clients? Your customers? Is your approach focused on valuing a relationship more than a material good? Are you able to articulate information and ideas in a mutually respectful way?
· Angelic Sweetness: Is your approach nurturing and relational? Do you avoid calumniation of fellow co-workers and supervisors? Even when difficult, do you respond to others at work by extending grace and mercy?
· Heroic Patience: Do you really listen at work? Are you able to rise above a situation in order to assist others as they learn new tasks? Do you hold your temper or judgment about your supervisor when you disagree with them? Are you willing in your attitude to seek understanding of others, even when it is difficult?
· Divine Wisdom: Recalling your baptism, and especially your confirmation, do you recall and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your work decisions? Do you pray for guidance? Do you seek Biblical and Church tradition answers and solutions? Do you show gratitude to God when you recognize divine wisdom at work?
Mary’s virtues bring us to a very feminine leadership style: one steeped in relationship building, not shying away from truth or faith, but approaching others in grace. When practiced at work, these virtues of Our Lady can lead us to Holiness and a fulfilled leadership at the job.
THE word Purgatory is sometimes taken to mean a place, sometimes as an intermediate state between Hell and Heaven. It is, properly speaking, the condition of souls which, at the moment of death, are in the state of grace, but which have not completely expiated their faults, nor attained the degree of purity necessary to enjoy the vision of God. Purgatory is, then, a transitory state which terminates in a life of everlasting happiness. It is not a trial by which merit may be gained or lost, but a state of atonement and expiation. The soul has arrived at the term of its earthly career; that life was a time of trial, a time of merit for the soul, a time of mercy on the part of God. This time once expired, nothing but justice is to be expected from God, whilst the soul can neither gain nor lose merit. She remains in the state in which death found her; and since it found her in the state of sanctifying grace, she is certain of never forfeiting that happy state, and of arriving at the eternal possession of God. Nevertheless, since she is burdened with certain debts of temporal punishment, she must satisfy Divine Justice by enduring this punishment in its entire rigor. Such is the significance of the word Purgatory, and the condition of the souls which are there. On this subject the Church proposes two truths clearly defined as dogmas of faith: first, that there is a Purgatory; second that the souls which are in Purgatory may be assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, especially by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after SUNSET ON SATURDAY till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
* Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained (with Supplemental Reading: What Will Hell Be Like?)