November 2023

11-01-2023Reflections and Resources

We conclude our celebration of the Church liturgical season of Ordinary Time this month; Advent starts the first weekend of December. These last few weeks of Ordinary Time are always focused on the end times, the second coming of Jesus Christ. The gospel readings for the weekends of November 11/12, November 18/19, and November 25/26 all call us to prepare for the end of time.

On November 11/12, we have the parable of the wise and foolish young women who await the coming of the bridegroom…only the wise ones are prepared, however, and the message for us is to be ready, to be alert, for we don’t know the hour that the Lord is coming! On the next weekend, November 18/19, we hear the parable of the talents; we are admonished to use what skills and gifts we have before our Lord and Master returns.

And finally, on November 24/25 we hear the parable which may be best known as the parable of the sheep and the goats. Through the words and images of this parable, we learn that we must care for all people in our world, especially those most in need of our mercy: the hungry and thirsty, the sick, the stranger, the one imprisoned and the one without clothes. It is on our deeds of compassion (the Church has called these the corporal works of mercy), on our willingness to see that those in need are Jesus himself, that we will be judged.

Here in Franklin, we have had the opportunity to practice this compassion as we provide for the immigrants who were suddenly placed in our community. Our parish of St. Mary’s has responded well to the call to care for the stranger that we hear in the gospel and that we have experienced in our own time. We pray for the wisdom and strength to continue to recognize Jesus in the poor and marginalized and respond in ways that are holy.

You can always prepare for the Sunday readings at If you are interested in reading about the gospel of Matthew which has been proclaimed throughout this Church liturgical year, go to the US Bishops’ website at

We celebrate Thanksgiving on November 23. While this is a civic holiday, established as a national holiday in 1863 (see the online Encyclopedia Britannica article at for a history of Thanksgiving), it is a day that we Catholics can especially appreciate. As Catholics, thanksgiving is our “middle name”. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving. Gratitude is always given pride of place in our prayer. We gather as Catholics to give both praise and thanksgiving to God for all we have received. And, as the Opening Prayer for Mass on Thanksgiving Day reminds us, we are called to “open our hearts to have concern for every man, woman, and child, so that we may share your [God’s] gifts in loving service”.