Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(Revelation 1:1-4.2:1-5; Luke 18:35-43)
The book of readings for mass is called the “lectionary.” On most weekdays in Ordinary (non-festive nor penitential time) the lectionary presents a reading from the Old Testament or from a book of the New Testament other than a gospel and a passage from the gospel. Since there is much in both the Old Testament and the non-gospel New Testament, the lectionary has one set of readings for even number years and one set for odd number years.
Today’s reading comes from the Book of Revelation. Because Revelation is the last book of the New Testament, it is featured now as the liturgical year comes to an end. Revelation tells the story of the Church under duress and of Jesus, the Lamb of God, rescuing it. Today’s reading is preliminary to this cosmic struggle that is about to take place. After praising the church in Ephesus for persevering in faith, it warns the same church that it must rekindle its love by works of charity.
We too, like the members of the church in Ephesus, may keep the faith but lose our care for others. Faith justifies us, as St. Paul says. Once justified, however, we are to do just works. These are the works of love that we gladly did when we were young. Young families in one parish make sandwiches for the needy. Hopefully, its charity will increase, not diminish, over time to assist the needy in different ways.