From the Deacon’s Desk | November 13, 2022 | Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“By your perseverance, you will secure your lives.”

Luke 21:19

News flash, we are only two weeks away from the first Sunday in Advent. What! How is that possible? I feel the same way, but here we are at the close of our liturgical year, making Sunday, November 20th, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Such timing puts this weekend’s readings about end times and precisely what to look for before that happens in better focus.

Understandably, thinking about the apocalypse is scary, yet, these readings are not meant to strike us with fear but rather inspire us to persevere through the rough spots all of us will experience in this broken world. That’s where God’s graces come in. Only through God’s grace can decern how to invest the appropriate effort levels for earthly responsibilities, like being a good friend, family member, or neighbor. Still, let’s be careful to spend only a little time planning our worldly futures, so we can stay focused on the reality that our earthly lives are temporary. So any plans we make here should consider our final destiny—by God’s grace, heaven.

With an aim to that intent, today’s Gospel advises us not to be deceived, to fear worldly failures or persecutions, or fall distracted by any earthly phenomenon. So, although these readings seem full of gloom and doom, because of our gracious and glorious God and His Son’s sacrifice, we have cause for real joy and genuine celebration. We have the promise of eternal life!

I’m here to remind you that your faith in the promises of Jesus Christ matter. In a world full of doubt and uncertain times, our earthly world needs this weekend’s Gospel more than ever. Our planet needs believers like you and me, disciples of Christ, ready to demonstrate that we are confident to surrender our control to a loving God! As Catholics, we cannot allow the dark forces that pit one section of society against another to have their way.

This Advent, our parish will offer parishioners several resources to help prepare for Christmas. First, our Advent reflection booklet, God’s Promises and You will be available next weekend. We hope that this gift of reflections, written by our parish staff complimented by sacred art, will encourage you to share the Good News with others. Second, we will provide free subscriptions to the Hallow app ( Hallow is the #1 Catholic prayer app that offers over 1,000 audio-guided meditation sessions on contemplative prayer, meditation, Catholic Holy Bible readings, music, and more. Keep an eye out for details on how to sign up for Hallow, plus the launch of our parish Advent landing page and printed Advent packet with special event listings so that you can make the most of this season of preparation.

Some considerations:

  • FULFILLMENT OF ALL DESIRE, by Ralph Martin –This Advent, consider attending a free online course based on the book, The Fulfillment of all Desire. In this short online course, Dr. Ralph Martin, Director of Programs in the New Evangelization, shows how achieving holiness is possible and something every one of us is called to. He will present the stages of spiritual growth as lived out by some of the great spiritual masters of the Church: St. Teresa of Ávila, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and St. Francis De Sales. Reflecting on their examples, the course will cover practical tips and advice for advancing our journey to God. The curriculum is based on Dr. Martin’s book The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints. For more information, visit
  • OLPH MONTHLY CHILDREN’S MASS –Families with young children, be sure to join us for the second Sunday of the month at 9 am Mass (Nov 6th)! At this Mass, the celebrant will offer a special homily geared towards young children, who will be invited to sit before the sanctuary. Our OLPH Children’s Choir will lead the worship music, and to close out the Mass celebration, all are invited to the Parish Center gym for donuts!
  • TASTE, COME AND SEE – Looking for ways to grow close to Jesus and learn more about your faith? The TASTE PROGRAM is a Catholic Women’s program dedicated to bringing women closer to Jesus and the Church He founded. We invite you to our website at for more information and details.
    Next Topic: Issues of Competence (Childhood Development), Date: Nov 29. Cost $60. Why do people do what they do? Deepen your own self-awareness and discover the psychological and spiritual narrative of your life. Learn how your childhood has helped shape who you are today. This new workshop series will lead you through the psychological and spiritual development of a person during each stage of life. Over the course of these workshops, you will see how each stage of development – from Early Childhood through Adolescence — shaped the person you are today. Presented by Dr. Kathleen Musslewhite, Executive Director of the Alpha Omega Clinic. This program is a collaboration of Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center with the Alpha Omega Clinic, both located at 7007 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817. Find more information and links to register on our website:


Deacon Roch