Father Nathan Homily | November 10, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
32nd Sunday Ordinary Time
The liturgy of today is dominated by the idea of an afterlife. This belief should light up our lives with meaning and hope.
Often, however, it’s but a pale and shadow thing, shedding no more light than a crescent moon. Besides, we are so concerned with this life than we do not really desire or seek the life that is to come.
Our hope of a better life to come rests, not on anything human, but on the word and the power of Christ.
Scripture lessons summarized:
The first reading (2 Maccabees &:1-2, 9-14) tells the story of the martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons. They drew their strength and their hope from their faith in the resurrection of the just.
In the second reading (Thessalonian 2:16-3:5) St. Paul prays for the Thessalonians that God will comfort and strengthen them so that they may remain steadfast in pursuit of goodness.
Today’s Gospel (Luke20:27-38)
The Sadducees, who did not believe in an afterlife, ask Jesus a question. The aim of the question is to ridicule the idea of bodily resurrection from the dead.
Gospel Explanation: In today’s Gospel, we hear about an encounter between Jesus and some Sadducees. The Sadducees were a party of Judaism active in Jesus’ time, descended from the priestly family of Zadok. They were literal interpreters of the written Law of Moses, which means that they were in disagreement with the position of the Pharisees, who offered an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses.
Jesus argues from the same written Law of Moses to show that there is resurrection. Using the texts from the Book of Exodus (Chapter 3) that describe Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush, Jesus shows that
God is the God of the living, not the dead.
Here Jesus uses the same method and texts of the Sadducees to counter them. As the Gospel text suggests, he beat them at their own game!
Christian belief in immortality, on the other hand, is unique and special. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News of the fullness of life in this age, and of resurrection in the age to come.
For us death is a door, not a wall — not a wall that ends growth and action like the Berlin wall, but a door into a Christmas tree room full of surprises.
Someone has compared death to standing on the seashore.
A ship spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the open sea. She fades on the horizon, and someone says, “She’s gone.” Just at the moment when someone says, “She’s gone,” other voices who are watching her coming on another shore happily shout, “Here she comes.”
Or to use another metaphor, what the caterpillar calls “the end”, the butterfly calls, “the beginning”.
When in a moment we say the last line of the Creed,
“We believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting,”
we are asserting our belief that, in a way that no one fully understands, at our resurrection our body joins with our spirit to continue our existence in eternal life.
So our body as well as our spirit is holy.
More Scripture Readings
Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his
John 11:25-26 Jesus says to Martha,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
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