SAINT Charles Borromeo
Charles Borromeo was a leading figure of the Catholic Reformation. He worked on the catechism, the Missal and the Breviary, and reformed his own diocese as well as he could from a distance through trusted deputies. Charles died on 3 November 1584 at the age of 46.
The Lord chose him for himself as high priest, and, opening his treasure house, made him rich in all good things.
Preserve in the midst of your people, we ask, O Lord, the spirit with which you filled the Bishop Saint Charles Borromeo, that your Church may be constantly renewed and, by conforming herself to the likeness of Christ, may show his face to the world. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Romans 11:1-2,11-12,25-29
Let me put a question: is it possible that God has rejected his people? Of course not. I, an Israelite, descended from Abraham through the tribe of Benjamin, could never agree that God had rejected his people, the people he chose specially long ago. Do you remember what scripture says of Elijah – how he complained to God about Israel’s behaviour? Let me put another question then: have the Jews fallen for ever, or have they just stumbled? Obviously they have not fallen for ever: their fall, though, has saved the pagans in a way the Jews may now well emulate. Think of the extent to which the world, the pagan world, has benefited from their fall and defection – then think how much more it will benefit from the conversion of them all. There is a hidden reason for all this, brothers, of which I do not want you to be ignorant, in case you think you know more than you do. One section of Israel has become blind, but this will last only until the whole pagan world has entered, and then after this the rest of Israel will be saved as well. As scripture says: The liberator will come from Zion, he will banish godlessness from Jacob. And this is the covenant I will make with them when I take their sins away. The Jews are enemies of God only with regard to the Good News, and enemies only for your sake; but as the chosen people, they are still loved by God, loved for the sake of their ancestors. God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice.
Psalm 93 (94): 12-15, 17-18
R/ The Lord will not abandon his people.
Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord, whom you train by means of your law; to him you give peace in evil days.
The Lord will not abandon his people nor forsake those who are his own; for judgement shall again be just and all true hearts shall uphold it.
If the Lord were not to help me, I would soon go down into the silence. When I think: ‘I have lost my foothold’; your mercy, Lord, holds me up.
Gospel Acclamation: Col3: 16a,
Alleluia, alleluia! Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you; through him give thanks to God the Father. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 14:1,7-11
Now on a Sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this, “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you would have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Look, O Lord, upon the offering placed on your altar in commemoration of Saint Charles, and grant by the power of this sacrifice that, as you made him an attentive pastor, outstanding in the merit of his virtues, so you may make us abound in good fruit by our works. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Jn 10:
The Good Shepherd has laid down his life for his sheep.
Prayer after Communion
May the sacred mysteries of which we have partaken, O Lord, we pray, give us that determination which made Saint Charles faithful in ministry and fervent in charity. Through Christ our Lord.
The conclusion of this Gospel is wonderful and enriching. Jesus, in fact, uses a parable to give us a simple message: “The path of humility leads to salvation”. Very often, we think that humility is a weakness, a defect or even a shortcoming… Even today, many of us want to occupy the first and best places in public places and environments; it is an honour and a luxury for us to be counted among the V.I.P.’s at a birthday, a celebration, an event, a bereavement, etc.; we try not to mingle with the inferiors, the poor, the little ones and the weak. In the light of Jesus’ teaching, we need to get out of our social complexes to experience Kenosis. Yes, GOD is capable of overthrowing the powerful from their thrones in order to lift up the lowly (1Sam 2:6-7). Let us therefore enrol in this admirable school which seems to belittle us in the eyes of men but which ennobles us in the eyes of GOD.