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Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
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But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).

This suggested one-day-at-a-time attitude is commonplace among those who have experienced the serenity that comes with overcoming addiction, working the Twelve Steps, and repairing relationships. Our commitment to spiritual progress requires that we pick up our cross daily, which we do not have to do alone.

As Saint Paul references, we have known darkness. Some of us may still be living in the darkness while searching desperately for glimmers of light. Those of us that have been given the gift of new life are to not take it for granted. We know darkness and we know light, and we are asked to balance the two in order to be effective at helping others.

Recovery groups and the Catholic Church serve as two pillars that guide us along this journey. We get the opportunity to meet a variety of people with unique backgrounds and experiences as we stay active in both. When merged, the Twelve Steps and the sacraments allow us the grace to stay alert and sober.

Therefore, let us not fall prey to fleeting sources of distress or pleasure. Instead, seek the direction shared by our Lord:

“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).


Reflection Questions

  • Is there a circumstance, person, behavior, or substance that you’re obsessing over?
  • How has God helped you overcome obsessions in the past? Can you remember what it was like when the obsession of your addiction was lifted?
  • How does your experience with darkness shape your spiritual life and relationship with God?


Sunday Mass Readings

First Reading: Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30 OR Matthew 25:14-15, 19-21

Reflection by Scott W.

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