Saint Margaret of Scotland; Saint Gertrude, Virgin
Saint Margaret of Scotland
History | Collect& Readings
Saint Margaret – Patroness of Scotland
Margaret Atheling, though by birth a Saxon princess, was born in Hungary around 1045, where her father, Edward Atheling (“the Exile”), had been sent in infancy for protection in the court of King (Saint) Stephen of Hungary, following the death of his father, King Edmund, and the invasion of the Danish Canute. Edward married a niece of St. Stephen, Agatha, and they had three children, Edgar, Margaret and Christina. Canute died in 1035, and his sons reigned for seven more years before Edward the Confessor returned from exile in Normandy to re-establish the Anglo-Saxon throne from the Danes’ rule.
When Margaret was about ten years old, the saintly King Edward, who never married, brought the exiled family back to England, probably in order to secure the succession; however her father died as soon as they arrived, so her brother Edgar became heir-apparent.
Edward had also sheltered another prince in his court, Malcolm III of Scotland. After Macbeth murdered his father, Duncan, Malcolm was sent to Edward for safety, where he remained for fourteen years, and there surely met Margaret, who would later become his Queen.
The young princess had been educated by the Benedictines in Hungary, and could read Latin at an early age. In England Margaret (whose name derives from margon, “pearl”) became known for her devout faith and the beauty of her nature. Her biographer and confessor, Turgot, wrote, “Many have got their name from a quality of their mind. The same was true of this virtuous woman, for the fairness pre-shadowed in her name was eclipsed in the surpassing of her soul”. (This biography by her confessor Turgot, a monk of Durham who later became Bishop of St. Andrews, was written at the request of Margaret’s daughter Matilda, who married Henry I of England, son of William the Conquerer.)
After the saintly King Edward’s death in 1066 he was buried in Westminster Abbey, which he had built. His successor, Harold, was soon defeated at the Battle of Hastings by William of Normandy “the Conquerer”.
Margaret and her family were again in danger, and intended to return to Hungary; however, their boat was carried by North Sea winds to Scotland, where they found refuge in the court of Malcolm. Though Margaret originally wished to become a nun (her sister, Christina did enter a convent), Malcolm persuaded her to marry him (in 1097), and through her influence the kingdom was transformed from a remote and barbaric outpost to a beacon of Christian culture. Her charity to the poor, perticularly to children and the elderly, was unparalleled. (Not only did she feed and clothe the many beggars who presented themselves, but she and Malcolm personally washed the feet of these impoverished visitors.)
Malcolm and Margaret had eight children, who were carefully educated and instructed in the Christian faith, and who never wavered in their own fidelity to the Catholic Church. Her sons and grandsons would rule Scotland for 200 years. One son, David, is also a saint especially revered in Scotland. It was he who built a tiny stone chapel for his mother at Edinburgh Castle, where she heard Mass on the day she died. (Completely restored in the 19th century, the little chapel is a gem of Romanesque architecture, and is used today mostly for weddings.)
She initiated an authentic reform of the Scottish Church, which had been in decline and corrupted by abuses of the celebration of Mass and bad leaders, rebuilt and re-established decayed monasteries at Iona and Dumferline, embellished churches with beautiful artifacts — including embroidered vestments in a style she learned from Hungary (many of which she embrodered herself). She spent many hours in prayer, said the Divine Office daily, using beautifully illuminated books which Malcolm (who couldn’t read himself) gave her. In sum, she fostered a renaissance of Catholic belief, learning and culture in Scotland.
Already gravely ill, Margaret died after learning that her beloved husband, Malcolm, and son Edgar had been killed in battle — on November 16, 1093. She was buried at Dumferline, which instantly became a pilgimage site. Later a shrine was built in the church at Dumferline, and she was officially canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1249. Her feast day was establshed as June 10 on the Roman calender of saints, though it has always been celebrated in Scotland on November 16. Only the base of the shrine remains today, however. The abbey at Dumferline was destroyed by Reformers in the sixteenth century. The monks had had her and Malcolm’s remains removed to Douay, France.
O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful
in her outstanding charity towards the poor,
grant that through her intercession and example
we may reflect among all humanity
the image of your divine goodness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 58:6-11
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Gospel: John 15:9-17
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.
Jesus, High Priest
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests
This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
Wednesday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Saint Josémaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975), priest, founder
A homily from ‘Amigos de Dios’
“Trade with it”
“Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief.” What is this man going to do with himself now since he has abandoned his means of work? Being irresponsible, he has opted for the convenient solution of giving back only what he has received. He will devote himself to killing time: minutes, hours, days, months, years, life itself! The others go to a lot of trouble: they trade; they are nobly concerned with restoring even more to their master than they received – necessary fruit in that the recommendation was very specific: “Engage in trade with these until I come”, take on this work so as to make a profit until your master returns. But as for him, he does nothing; this man wastes his life.
What shame it is to live only to kill time, God’s treasure! Nothing excuses such an attitude. Saint John Chrysostom writes: “Let no one say: ‘I only have one talent; there’s nothing I can do with it.’ With only one talent you can still act in a commendable way.” It’s a sad thing not to turn all our capacities, great or small, to good account, to real gain – capacities that God bestows on man so that he can devote himself to serving souls and society! When a Christian holds back through egoism, when he hides away, takes no interest, in a word when he kills his time, then he runs the strong risk of killing his heaven too. He who loves God does not limit himself merely to putting all he owns, all he is, at Christ’s service: he gives his very self.
‘Real knowledge has been given to men by God as a grace preceding the fullness of grace; it teaches those who partake of it to believe above all in the Giver.’
St. Mark the Ascetic
|The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary . . .
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary . . .
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28)
“Blessed are you among women,
Saint Gertrude, Virgin
1725 – Painted Wood
Monastery Church, Aruca
(1256-1301) Born in Eisleben, Germany, Saint Gertrude was received into the Cistercian convent. She studied literature and philosophy and devoted herself as well to prayer and contemplation. In cooperation with her close friend and fellow mystic Saint Mechtildis, St. Gertrude wrote a compilation of prayers that became very popular. She introduced the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which, centuries later, would spread throughout the Church.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
BENEDICT XVI GENERAL AUDIENCE
Saint Peter’s Square, Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saint Gertrude the Great
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our catechesis today focuses on Saint Gertrude the Great, a remarkable figure associated with the monastery of Helfta, where so many masterpieces of religious literature were born. Saint Gertrude is the only woman of Germanic descent to be called “Great”, an honour due to her exceptional natural and supernatural gifts. As a youth, Gertrude was intelligent, strong and decisive, but also impulsive. With humility she asked others for advice and prayer. Eventually, she experienced a deep conversion: in her studies she passed from worldly pursuits to the sacred sciences, and in her monastic observance she moved from concern with external things to a life of intense prayer. In her writings, she sought to explain the truths of the faith with clarity and simplicity, while not failing to develop spiritual themes associated with Divine Love. In her religious practice, she pursued prayer with devotion and faithful abandonment to God. Dear friends, may we learn from Saint Gertrude the Great how to love Christ and His Church with humility and faith, and to cultivate our personal prayer through an intense participation in the Holy Mass and the sacred liturgy.
O God, who prepared a delightful dwelling for yourself
in the heart of the Virgin Saint Gertrude,
graciously bring light, through her intercession,
to the darkness of our hearts,
that we may joyfully experience you present and at work within us.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God. Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel: John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of Mine that bears no fruit, He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
St. Gertrude Prayer:
I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus,
in union with the masses said throughout the world today,
for all the holy souls in Purgatory,
for sinners everywhere,
for sinners in the universal church,
those in my own home and within my family.
Information: St. Margaret of Scotland
Feast Day: November 16
Born: 1045, Castle Réka, Mecseknádasd, in the region of Southern Transdanubia, Hungary
Died: 16 November 1093, St Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh Castle, Midlothian, Scotland
Canonized: 1251 by Pope Innocent IV
Major Shrine: Dunfermline Abbey
Patron of: death of children, large families, learning, queens, Scotland, widows
Information: St. Gertrude the Great
Feast Day: November 16
Born: 6 January 1256 at Eisleben, Germany
Died: November 17, 1302, Helfta, Germany
Canonized: received equipotent canonization, and a universal feast day declared in 1677 by Pope Clement XII
Patron of: nuns, travellers, West Indies
November 16, 2016
A Piece of Literature
“You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces, turn the world upside down and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of literature.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
In this quote, Gandhi reminds us of the dynamic power of the Sacred Scriptures. If your Bible is not given regular use these days. Take it down. Dust it off. Read it. And share your thoughts with another.
Year of Mercy Calendar for Today: “Virtue demands courage, constant effort, and, above all, help from on high.” – St. John Vianney
Wednesday, November 16
Liturgical Color: Green
Today is the optional memorial
of St. Gertrude the Great, virgin.
Beginning in 1282, St. Gertrude
experienced visions of Jesus
encouraging her to write prayers
and spread devotion to the
Sacred Heart. She is the patron
of nuns and travelers.
Ordinary Time: November 16th
Optional Memorials of St. Margaret of Scotland; St. Gertrude, virgin
November 16, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)
O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful in her outstanding charity towards the poor, grant that through her intercession and example we may reflect among all humanity the image of your divine goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O God, who prepared a delightful dwelling for yourself in the heart of the Virgin Saint Gertrude, graciously bring light, through her intercession, to the darkness of our hearts, that we may joyfully experience you present and at work within us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
- ‘Braveheart’ Cock-A-Leekie Soup
- Crown Cake
- Genoise Book Cake
- Heart Cake (cut-up)
- Nun’s Lemon Layer Cake
- Scottish Oat Scones
- What is a Nameday?
- Nameday Ideas for the Feast of St. Gertrude the Great
- Nameday Ideas for the Feast of St. Margaret of Scotland
- Consecration to the Sacred Heart
- Married Couple’s Prayer to the Sacred Heart
- Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Home
- Explanation of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart
- Devotion to the Sacred Heart
- Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
- Litany of St. Gertrude the Great
Old Calendar: St. Gertrude; St. Mechtilde (Hist)
St. Margaret (c. 1045-1093) was the great-niece of St. Edward the Confessor. She was a Saxon princess, raised in Hungary in exile. Returning to England, she had to flee once again after the Battle of Hastings, to the court of Malcolm, the King of Scotland, whom she married shortly thereafter. She proved to be a model mother and exemplary queen who brought up her eight children in an atmosphere of great devotion and worked hard to improve the morality of her subjects.
St. Gertrude, a Benedictine nun of the monastery of Helfta, in Saxony, is one of the great mystics of the Middle Ages. She was favored by visions of our Savior and has left a marvelous account of them in a book which she called Revelations. St. Gertrude introduced the devotion to the Sacred Heart which, four centuries later, St. Margaret Mary spread throughout the Church. She died at the beginning of the thirteenth century.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, June 10 is the feast day of St. Margaret of Scotland.
St. Margaret of Scotland
She was born in Hungary (1046), where her father was living in exile, and likewise spent her childhood there as an unusually devout and pious girl. In the course of time she went to England, when her father was called to high office in his fatherland by his uncle, King St. Edward III. Fortune, however, soon reversed itself again (Margaret’s father died suddenly in 1057), and upon leaving England a mighty storm — or better, divine Providence — brought her to the shores of Scotland. Upon instructions from her mother, Margaret married Malcolm III, king of Scotland, in 1069. The country was blessed by her holy life and by her deeds of charity for the next thirty years. Her eight children she zealously trained in the practice of Christian virtues.
In the midst of royal splendor Margaret chastised her flesh by mortification and vigils and passed the greater part of the night in devout prayer. Her most remarkable virtue was love of neighbor, particularly love toward the poor. Her alms supported countless unfortunates; daily she provided food for three hundred and shared in the work of serving them personally, washing their feet and kissing their wounds.
—Excerpted from the Roman Breviary
Queen Margaret of Scotland is the secondary patroness of Scotland. Margaret’s copy of the Gospels is preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.
Patron: Death of children; large families; learning; queens; Scotland; widows.
Symbols: Black cross; sceptre and book; hospital.
Often portrayed as: queen, often carrying a black cross, dispensing gifts to the poor.
Things to Do:
- Read more about this wonderful wife and mother: Life of St. Margaret of Scotland, Catholic Encyclopedia entry, and David McRoberts’ essay.
- Give special attention to the virtue of charity today by performing some service for the poor, i.e., send alms, buy baby things for a local crisis pregnancy center, take a food donation to a food pantry.
- Offer your support (even if it is just a little morale) to a mother with young children who is trying to raise her children to love God.
- If you are a mother with young children, pray to St. Margaret to help you imitate her zeal in training her children.
- If you are a mother and need a little boost, read Cardinal Mindszenty’s book, The Mother.
- Today it might be fun to cook a pot of Scottish soup in honor of St. Margaret who probably cooked many pots of soup herself.
- For nameday celebrations of St. Margaret, a crown cake, denoting her rank would be appropriate; a book cake would recall the love she had for Sacred Scripture. Chocolate “coins” wrapped in gold foil could be distributed to guests in memory of her generosity.
St. Gertrude the Great, a Cistercian nun, is one of the most lovable German saints from medieval times, and through her writings she will remain for all ages a guide to the interior life. She was born in 1256 at Eisleben and at the age of five taken to the convent at Rossdorf, where Gertrude of Hackeborn was abbess. Similarity in name has often occasioned confusion between the two Gertrudes. Our St. Gertrude never functioned as superior.
In spite of much ill-health, Gertrude used her exceptional natural talents well, knew Latin fluently. When she was twenty-five years old (1281), Christ began to appear to her and to disclose to her the secrets of mystical union. Obeying a divine wish, she put into writing the favors of grace bestowed upon her. Her most important work, Legatus Divinae Pietatis, “The Herald of Divine Love,” is distinguished for theological profundity, sublime poetry, and unusual clarity. How it stimulates love of God can be felt only by reading it; Abbot Blosius is said to have read it twelve times each year. St. Gertrude died in 1302, more consumed by the fire of God’s love than by fever.
Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Patron: Nuns; travellers; West Indies.
Symbols: Crown; lily; taper; seven rings; heart with IHS; heart.
Things to Do:
- Teach your children the Hail Mary in Latin.
- Read The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great.
- Pray the Novena of the Sacred Heart; say the Litany of St. Gertrude.
Born in the Castle of Helfa, near Eisleben, Saxony, to one of the noblest families of Thuringia, St Mechtilde, at 7, entered the Benedictine Convent at Rodensdorf – where her elder sister, Gertrude Hackeborn was already a nun. Under the tutelage of Gertrude, Mechtilde made rapid strides in virtue and learning. On account of her humility, piety and zeal she was appointed, when still relatively young, to direct the novitiate and the choir and as such she became the first teacher of St Gertrude the Great when the latter was placed in her convent at the age of 15.
Though constantly subject to physical suffering, Mechtilde was ever intent upon joyfully singing the divine praises, and such is the key-note of the Book of Special Grace, in which St Gertrude and another sister-nun secretly (initially) set down the supernatural favors which God granted to Mechtilde.
In his revelations Our Lord used to address her as his “Nightingale”, and he favored her with such spiritual insight and mystical experiences that learned Dominicans were sent to consult her on spiritual matters. Through these Friar Preachers Mechtilde’s book of revelations was widely distributed after her death. Incidentally, the book is structured on the ecclesiastical year; it is liturgical, Trinitarian and Christo-centric. It was, according to Boccaccio, very popular in Florence in Dante’s time under the title of the Lauds of Donna Matilda and devout Florentines used to recite divine praises from the book during devotions at family shrines.
Together with St Gertrude the Great, St Mechtilde is one of the first to have stressed on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute my Heart and to offer me your own,” our Lord once urged Mechtilde.
St Mechtilde breathed her last at the Helfta monastery on 19 November c.1298.
Excerpted from Feast of All Saints
Things to Do:
Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part
Daily Marriage Tip for November 16, 2016:
Marriage and family life are about the ultimate goal: heaven. Fix your eyes there.
Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Father John Doyle, LC
While they were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’” After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega. You have given me life and offer me eternal life with you. You deserve my honor, gratitude and love, and yet you never impose yourself upon me. Thank you for respecting my freedom so that I can offer myself to you. All that I have is yours; I return it to you.
Petition: Lord Jesus, teach me to be patient and persevering in using my talents to serve you and my neighbor.
- Jesus, the King of Kings: Nowadays there is renewed interest in the imminence of the Lord’s return in glory. Every Sunday when we recite the Creed we attest to our faith that Christ “will come again to judge the living and the dead.” But we also know that we do not know when it will be, as Our Lord clearly states: “But about that day and hour no one knows” (Matthew 24:36). So what should we do in the meantime? The answer is very simple: Live faithful to the values of Christ’s Kingdom and show that he is our King right now. Are there any areas in my life where Christ is not ruler? Am I faithful to my Christian commitments? Do I use my time well?
- Earning One Gold Coin at a Time: In today’s parable each servant receives only one gold coin, but some invest it better than others. There are some gifts that God has given all of us in equal measure and some that we each receive in varying degrees. At baptism we receive the gifts of faith, hope and love in seed form, so to speak, and it is up to us to make sure they are cultivated, irrigated and exposed to enough light so that they will grow and bear fruit. These gifts of faith, hope and love are not given to us just for rainy days or moments of trial, but rather to keep us focused on who we are as children of God and heirs to the kingdom of heaven. Exercising these virtues is like earning gold, one coin at a time. How often have I thanked God for his gifts of faith, hope and love? Do I strive to grow in these virtues by keeping my heart set on the things of heaven and through charity towards my neighbor?
- God’s Generosity: St. John reminds us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God’s essence is self-giving. The man who hid his coin could not discover or fathom this reality, but the man who “spent” his gold coin found this out as he was able to earn many more. Jesus tells us that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain” (John 12:24). Later however a metamorphosis occurs which brings many new grains of wheat into being. Jesus’ death on the cross is the perfect example of the transformation of sacrifice and self-giving into fruitfulness. We can’t have Jesus as our king unless we are willing to follow him on his journey to Jerusalem and impending death. We have much to give up, but we have so much more to gain by using our talents for the Kingdom.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I am sometimes afraid of what it means to die to myself. Help me to use all of my talents for your kingdom. Help me to realize that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain and to take steps courageously to love you.
Resolution: As a way of showing my love for Jesus, today I will practice patience with someone who annoys me.
November 16, 2016
Our gospel today taken from Luke must have been based on a parable of our Lord from which Matthew also derived his parable of the talents. As in the first gospel, the servants were entrusted with certain resources which they were expected to invest and use wisely for a greater yield. What are the main lessons of these two parables for us? We can easily see that in both parables, the master or nobleman represents God who is the source or giver of all we have. Everything we have, our talents or wealth, whether material or spiritual, are given to us. They are given to us for a purpose and we shall account to God in due time for how we develop and use them.
All of us are gifted differently. More is expected from those who are given more. None of us receive nothing. Whatever we happen to have and offer can be used for the greater purpose which God has planned for all of us from all eternity. As shown in the parable, even the one with a lesser yield is commended. However, as the parable also teaches, if we neglect to develop or share what we have, even the little, we will lose what we have.
Many of us have taken the gift of faith and our personal relationship with the Lord for granted. Do we put time and effort for their development and growth? Or are we contented with a minimalist attitude of just going along with the external rituals without cultivating our understanding of our faith relationship with the Lord thereby risk losing the treasure we are gifted with? If we are truly serious in our relationship with the Lord and desire to follow him, we must ask ourselves, what are we uniquely gifted with by the Lord? What can we do with these gifts? Finally, are we also willing to share these gifts with others?
One Bread, One Body
Language: English | Espa�ol
Pro-choice says a woman has a right to kill this if she so chooses, through several subterfuge arguments. Let your own eyes decide if that is moral or immoral.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|11.||As they were hearing these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately be manifested.||Hæc illis audientibus adjiciens, dixit parabolam, eo quod esset prope Jerusalem : et quia existimarent quod confestim regnum Dei manifestaretur.||ακουοντων δε αυτων ταυτα προσθεις ειπεν παραβολην δια το εγγυς αυτον ειναι ιερουσαλημ και δοκειν αυτους οτι παραχρημα μελλει η βασιλεια του θεου αναφαινεσθαι|
|12.||He said therefore: A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.||Dixit ergo : Homo quidam nobilis abiit in regionem longinquam accipere sibi regnum, et reverti.||ειπεν ουν ανθρωπος τις ευγενης επορευθη εις χωραν μακραν λαβειν εαυτω βασιλειαν και υποστρεψαι|
|13.||And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them: Trade till I come.||Vocatis autem decem servis suis, dedit eis decem mnas, et ait ad illos : Negotiamini dum venio.||καλεσας δε δεκα δουλους εαυτου εδωκεν αυτοις δεκα μνας και ειπεν προς αυτους πραγματευσασθε εως ερχομαι|
|14.||But his citizens hated him: and they sent an embassage after him, saying: We will not have this man to reign over us.||Cives autem ejus oderant eum : et miserunt legationem post illum, dicentes : Nolumus hunc regnare super nos.||οι δε πολιται αυτου εμισουν αυτον και απεστειλαν πρεσβειαν οπισω αυτου λεγοντες ου θελομεν τουτον βασιλευσαι εφ ημας|
|15.||And it came to pass, that he returned, having received the kingdom: and he commanded his servants to be called, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.||Et factum est ut rediret accepto regno : et jussit vocari servos, quibus dedit pecuniam, ut sciret quantum quisque negotiatus esset.||και εγενετο εν τω επανελθειν αυτον λαβοντα την βασιλειαν [και] ειπεν φωνηθηναι αυτω τους δουλους τουτους οις εδωκεν το αργυριον ινα γνω τις τι διεπραγματευσατο|
|16.||And the first came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.||Venit autem primus dicens : Domine, mna tua decem mnas acquisivit.||παρεγενετο δε ο πρωτος λεγων κυριε η μνα σου προσειργασατο δεκα μνας|
|17.||And he said to him: Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt have power over ten cities.||Et ait illi : Euge bone serve, quia in modico fuisti fidelis, eris potestatem habens super decem civitates.||και ειπεν αυτω ευ αγαθε δουλε οτι εν ελαχιστω πιστος εγενου ισθι εξουσιαν εχων επανω δεκα πολεων|
|18.||And the second came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.||Et alter venit, dicens : Domine, mna tua fecit quinque mnas.||και ηλθεν ο δευτερος λεγων κυριε η μνα σου εποιησεν πεντε μνας|
|19.||And he said to him: Be thou also over five cities.||Et huic ait : Et tu esto super quinque civitates.||ειπεν δε και τουτω και συ γινου επανω πεντε πολεων|
|20.||And another came, saying: Lord, behold here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin;||Et alter venit, dicens : Domine, ecce mna tua, quam habui repositam in sudario :||και ετερος ηλθεν λεγων κυριε ιδου η μνα σου ην ειχον αποκειμενην εν σουδαριω|
|21.||For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up what thou didst not lay down, and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow.||timui enim te, quia homo austerus es : tollis quod non posuisti, et metis quod non seminasti.||εφοβουμην γαρ σε οτι ανθρωπος αυστηρος ει αιρεις ο ουκ εθηκας και θεριζεις ο ουκ εσπειρας|
|22.||He saith to him: Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up what I laid not down, and reaping that which I did not sow:||Dicit ei : De ore tuo te judico, serve nequam. Sciebas quod ego homo austerus sum, tollens quod non posui, et metens quod non seminavi :||λεγει δε αυτω εκ του στοματος σου κρινω σε πονηρε δουλε ηδεις οτι εγω ανθρωπος αυστηρος ειμι αιρων ο ουκ εθηκα και θεριζων ο ουκ εσπειρα|
|23.||And why then didst thou not give my money into the bank, that at my coming, I might have exacted it with usury?||et quare non dedisti pecuniam meam ad mensam, ut ego veniens cum usuris utique exegissem illam ?||και δια τι ουκ εδωκας το αργυριον μου επι τραπεζαν και εγω ελθων συν τοκω αν επραξα αυτο|
|24.||And he said to them that stood by: Take the pound away from him, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.||Et astantibus dixit : Auferte ab illo mnam, et date illi qui decem mnas habet.||και τοις παρεστωσιν ειπεν αρατε απ αυτου την μναν και δοτε τω τας δεκα μνας εχοντι|
|25.||And they said to him: Lord, he hath ten pounds.||Et dixerunt ei : Domine, habet decem mnas.||και ειπον αυτω κυριε εχει δεκα μνας|
|26.||But I say to you, that to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound: and from him that hath not, even that which he hath, shall be taken from him.||Dico autem vobis, quia omni habenti dabitur, et abundabit : ab eo autem qui non habet, et quod habet auferetur ab eo.||λεγω γαρ υμιν οτι παντι τω εχοντι δοθησεται απο δε του μη εχοντος και ο εχει αρθησεται απ αυτου|
|27.||But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither, and kill them before me.||Verumtamen inimicos meos illos, qui noluerunt me regnare super se, adducite huc : et interficite ante me.||πλην τους εχθρους μου εκεινους τους μη θελησαντας με βασιλευσαι επ αυτους αγαγετε ωδε και κατασφαξατε εμπροσθεν μου|
|28.||And having said these things, he went before, going up to Jerusalem.||Et his dictis, præcedebat ascendens Jerosolymam.||και ειπων ταυτα επορευετο εμπροσθεν αναβαινων εις ιεροσολυμα|
(*) The laconic quality of Latin is notable in verse 15.
- And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said to them, Occupy till I come.
14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called to him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16. Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds.
17. And he said to him, Well, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, have you authority over ten cities.
18. And the second came, saying, Lord, your pound has gained five pounds.
19. And he said likewise to him, Be you also over five cities.
20. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is your pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21. For I feared you, because you are an austere man: you take up that you laid not down, and reap that you did not sow.
22. And he said to him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. you knew that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23. Wherefore then gave not you my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24. And he said to them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that has ten pounds.
25. (And they said to him, Lord, he has ten pounds.)
26. For I say to you, That to every one which has shall be given; and from him that has not, even that he has shall be taken away from him.
27. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
EUSEBIUS; There were some who thought that our Savior’s kingdom would commence at His first coming, and they were expecting it shortly to appear when He was preparing to go up to Jerusalem; so astonished were they by the divine miracles which He did. He therefore informs them, that He should not receive the kingdom from His Father until He had left mankind to go to His Father.
THEOPHYL. The Lord points out the vanity of their imaginations, for the senses cannot embrace the kingdom of God; He also plainly shows to them, that as God He knew their thoughts, putting to them the following parable, A certain nobleman, &c.
CYRIL; This parable is intended to set before us the mysteries of Christ from the first to the last. For God was made man, who was the Word from the beginning; and though He became a servant, yet was He noble because of His unspeakable birth from the Father.
BASIL; Noble, not only in respect of His Godhead, but of His manhood, being sprung from the seed of David according to the flesh. He went into a far country, separated not so much by distance of place as by actual condition. For God Himself is nigh to every one of us, when our good works bind us to Him. And He is afar off, as often as by cleaving to destruction, we remove ourselves away from Him. To this earthly country then He came at a distance from God, that He might receive the kingdom of the Gentiles, according to the Psalm, Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance.
AUG. Or the far country is the Gentile Church, extending to the uttermost parts of the earth. For He went that the fullness of the Gentiles might come in; He will return that all Israel may be saved.
EUSEB. Or by His setting out into a far country, He denotes His own ascension from earth to heaven. But when He adds, To receive for himself a kingdom, and to return; He points out His second appearance, when He shall come as a King and in great glory. He first of all calls Himself a man, because of His nativity in the flesh, then noble; not yet a King, because as yet at His first appearance He exercised no kingly power. It is also well said to obtain for Himself a kingdom, according to Daniel, Behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and a kingdom was given to him.
CYRIL; For ascending up to heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Majesty on high. But being ascended, He has dispensed to those that believe on Him different divine graces, as to the servants were committed their Lord’s goods, that gaining something they might bring him token of their service. As it follows, And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds.
CHRYS. Holy Scripture is accustomed to use the number ten as a sign of perfection, for if any one wishes to count beyond it, he has again to begin from unity, having in ten as it were arrived at a goal. And so in the giving of the talents, the one who reaches the goal of divine obedience is said to have received ten pounds.
AUG. Or by the ten pounds he signifies the law, because of the ten commandments, and by the ten servants, those to whom while under the law grace was preached. For so we must interpret the ten pounds given them for trading, seeing that they understood the law, when its veil was removed, to belong to the Gospel.
BEDE; A pound which in the Greeks is equal in weight to a hundred drachmas, and every word of Scripture, as suggesting to us the perfection of the heavenly life, shines as it were with the greatness of the hundredth number.
EUSEB. By those then who receive the pounds, He means His disciples, giving a pound to each, since He entrusts to all an equal stewardship; He bade them put it out to use, as it follows, Occupy till I come. Now there was no other employment but to preach the doctrine of His kingdom to those who would hear it. But there is one and the same doctrine for all, one faith, one baptism. And therefore is one pound given to each.
CYRIL; But greatly indeed do these differ from those who denied the kingdom of God, of whom it is added, But his citizens hated him. And this it is for which Christ upbraided the Jews, when He said, But now have they both seen and hated me and my Father. But they rejected His kingdom, saying to Pilate, We have no king but Caesar.
EUSEB. By citizens He signifies the Jews, who were sprung from the same lineage according to the flesh, and with whom He joined in the customs of the law.
AUG. And they sent a message after Him, because after His resurrection also, they persecuted His Apostles, and refused the S preaching of the Gospel.
EUSEB After our Savior had instructed them in the things belonging to His first coming, He proceeds to set forth His second coming with majesty and great glory, saying, And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom.
CHRYS. Holy Scripture notes two kingdoms: of God, one indeed by creation, since by right of creation He is King over all men; the other by justification, since He reigns’ over the just, of their own will made subject to Him. And this is the kingdom which He is here said to have received.
AUG. He also returns after having received His kingdom, because in all glory will He come who appeared lowly to them to whom He said, My kingdom is not of this world.
CYRIL; But when Christ returns, baying taken to Himself His kingdom, the ministers of the word will receive their deserved praises and delight in heavenly rewards, because they multiplied their talent by acquiring more talents, as it is added, Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds.
BEDE; The first servant is the order of teachers sent to the circumcision, who received one pound to put out to use, inasmuch as it was ordered to preach one faith. But this one pound gained ten pounds, because by its teaching it united to itself the people who were subject to the law. It follows, And he said to him, Well done, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, &c. The servant is faithful in a very little w ho does not adulterate the word of God. For all the gifts we receive now are but small in comparison of what we shall have.
GREEK EX. Because he receives the reward of his own good works, he is said to be set over ten cities. And some conceiving unworthily of these promises imagine that they themselves are preferred to magistracies and chief places in the earthly Jerusalem, which is built with precious stones, because they have had their conversation honest in Christ; so little do they purge their soul of all hankering after power and authority among men.
AMBROSE; But the ten cities are the souls over whom he is rightly placed who has deposited in the minds of men his Lord’s money and the holy words, which are tried as silver is tried in the fire. For as Jerusalem is said to be built as a city, so are peace-making souls. And as angels have rule, so have they who have acquired the life of angels.
It follows, And the second came, saying, Lord, your pound has gained five pounds.
BEDE; That servant is the assembly of those who were sent to preach the Gospel to the uncircumcision, whose pound, that is the faith of the Gospel, gained five pounds, because it converted to the grace of Evangelical faith, the nations before enslaved to the five senses of the body. And he said likewise to him, Be you also over five cities; that is, be exalted to shine through the faith and conversation of those souls which you have enlightened.
AMBROSE; Or perhaps differently; he who gained five pounds has all the moral virtues, for there are five senses of the body. He who gained ten has so much more, that is to say, the mysteries of the law as well as the moral virtues. The ten pounds may also here be taken to mean the ten words, that is, the teaching of the law; the five pounds, the ordering of discipline. But the scribe must be perfect in all things. And rightly, since He is speaking of the Jews, are there two only who bring their pounds multiplied, not indeed by a gainful interest of money, but a profitable stewardship of the Gospel. For there is one kind of usury in money lent on interest, another in heavenly teaching.
CHRYS. For in earthly wealth it does not belong to one man to be made rich without another being made poor, but in spiritual riches, without his making another rich also. For in earthly matters participation lessens, in spiritual it increases wealth.
AUG. Or else; That one of those who well employed their money gained ten pounds, another five, signifies that they acquired them for the flock of God, by whom the law was now understood through grace, either because of the ten commandments of the law, or because he, through whom the law was given, wrote five books; and to this belong the ten and five cities over which He appoints them to preside. For the manifold meanings or interpretations which spring up concerning some individual precept or book, when reduced and brought together in one, make as it were a city of living eternal reasons. Hence a city is not a multitude of living creatures, but of reasonable beings bound together by the fellowship of one law. The servants then who bring an account of that which they had received, and are praised for having gained more, represent those giving in their account who have well employed what they had received, to increase their Lord’s riches by those who believe on Him, while they who are unwilling to do this are signified by that servant who kept his pound laid up in a napkin; of whom it follows, And the third came, saying, Lord, behold, here is your pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin, &c.
For there are some who flatter themselves with this delusion, saying, It is enough for each individual to answer concerning himself, what need then of others to preach and minister, in order that every one should be compelled also to give an account of himself, seeing that in the Lord’s sight even they are without excuse to whom tile law was not given, and who were not asleep at the time of the preaching of the Gospel, for they might have known the Creator through the creature; and then it follows, For I feared you, because you are an austere man, &c. For this is, as it were, to reap when he did not sow, that is, to hold those guilty of ungodliness to whom this word of the law or the Gospel was not preached, and avoiding as it were this peril of Judgment, with slothful toil they rest from the ministration of the word. And this it is to tie up in a napkin what they had received.
THEOPHYL. For with a napkin the face of the dead is covered; well then is this idler said to have wrapped up his pound in a napkin, because leaving it dead and unprofitable he neither touched nor increased it.
BEDE; Or to tie up money in a napkin is to hide the gifts we have received under the indolence of a sluggish body. But that which he thought to have used as an excuse is turned to his own blame, as it follows, He says to him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. He is called a wicked servant, as being slothful in business, and proud in questioning his Lord’s judgment. You knew that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: wherefore then gave you not my money into the bank? As though he said, If you knew me to be a hard man, and a seeker of what is not mine own, why did not the thought of this strike you with terror, that you might be sure that I would require mine own with strictness?
But money or silver is the preaching of the Gospel and the word of God, for the words of the Lord are pure words as silver tried in the fire. And this word of the Lord ought to be given to the bank, that is, put into hearts meet and ready to receive it.
AUG. Or the bank into which the money was to be given, we take to be the very profession of religion which is publicly put forth as a means necessary to salvation.
CHRYS. In the payment of earthly riches the debtors are obliged only to strictness. Whatever they receive, so much must they return, nothing more is required of them. But with regard to the words of God, we are not only bound diligently to keep, but we are commanded to increase; and hence it follows, that at my coming I might have required the same with usury.
BEDE; For they who by faith receive the riches of the word from a teacher, must by their works pay it back; with usury, or be earnestly desirous to know something more than what they have as yet learnt from the mouth of their preachers.
CYRIL; It is the work of teachers to engraft in their hearers’ minds wholesome and profitable words, but of divine power to win the hearers to obedience, and render their understanding fruitful. Now this servant, so far from being commended or thought worthy of honor, was condemned as slothful, as it follows, And he said to them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give to him that has ten pounds.
AUG. Signifying thereby that both he will lose the gift of God, who having, has not, that is, uses it not, and that he will have it increased, who having, has, that is, rightly uses it.
BEDE; The mystical meaning I suppose is this, that at the coming in of the Gentiles all Israel shall be saved, and that then the abundant grace of the Spirit will be poured out upon the teachers.
CHRYS. He says then to them that stood by, Take from him the pound, because it is not the part of a wise man to punish, but he needs some one else as the minister of the judge in executing punishment. For even God does not Himself inflict punishment, but through the ministry of His angels.
AMBROSE; Nothing is said of the other servants, who like wasteful debtors lost all that they had received. By those two servants who gained by trading, are signified that small number, who in two companies were sent as dressers of the vineyard; by the remainder all the Jews. It follows, And they said to him, Lord, he has ten pounds.
And lest this should seem unjust, it is added, For to every one that has, it shall be given.
THEOPHYL. For seeing that he gained ten, by multiplying his pound tenfold, it is plain that by having more to multiply, he would be an occasion of greater gain to his Lord. But of the slothful and idle, who stirs not himself to increase what he has received, shall be taken away even that which he possesses, that there may be no gap in the Lord’s account when it is given to others and multiplied. But this is not to be applied only to the words of God and teaching, but also to the moral virtues; for in respect of these also, God sends us His gracious gifts, endowing one man with fasting, another with prayer, another with mildness or humility; but all these so long as we watch strictly over ourselves we shall multiply, but if we grow cold we shall extinguish. He adds of His adversaries, But those mine enemies who would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me.
AUG. Whereby He describes the ungodliness of the Jews who refused to be converted to Him.
THEOPHYL. Whom he will deliver to death, casting them into the outer fire. But even in this world they were most miserably slain by the Roman army.
CHRYS. These things are of force against the Marcionists. For Christ also says, Bring hither my enemies, and slay them before me. Whereas they say Christ indeed is good, but the God of the Old Testament evil. Now it is plain that both the Father and the Son do the same things. For the Father sends His army to the vineyard, and the Son causes His enemies to be slain before Him.
CHRYS. This parable as it is related in Luke is different from that given in Matthew concerning the talents. For in the former indeed out of one and the same principal there were different sums produced, seeing that from the profits of one pound received, one servant brought five, another ten pounds. But with Matthew it is very different. For he who received two pounds, thereto added two more. He who received five, gained as much again. So the rewards given are unlike also.
28. And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
TIT. BOST. Because the Lord had said, The kingdom of heaven is at hand, they that say. Him going up to Jerusalem thought that He was going then to commence the kingdom of God. When then the parable was finished in which He reproved the error above mentioned, and showed plainly that He had not yet vanquished that death which was plotting against him, he proceeded forth to His passion, going up to Jerusalem.
The parable of the talents