07 Nov 32nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Dear friends in Christ,
Some people seem to assume that what doesn’t make sense to them doesn’t make sense at all. This is the situation in today’s Gospel passage about the Sadducees who didn’t believe in the resurrection. They came to Jesus quoting Moses’ law that a man must raise up descendants for his brother who died leaving a wife but no child, then made up a case about seven brothers who married the same woman but all died childless to prove how Jesus’ teaching on resurrection could be very absurd if it was true.
Declaring that these Sadducees just didn’t know what they were talking about, Jesus pointed out the difference between human knowledge and faith and between this life and the next to move his listeners from their level of human understanding to the level of God’s wisdom. Turning to the crowd, he said, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage… for they are like angels.”
The word “resurrection” is itself a label or a description for the mystery of faith of which we have been given a glimpse in our experience of the presence of the Risen Lord still with us in our midst. Fr. Thomas O’Loughlin offers these reflections on today’s Gospel:
a/– Resurrection is communal, not individual. It’s about our becoming the new People of God, and not about our individual escape from the grave.
b/- Resurrection is transformation, not resuscitation. It’s a transformation in life, now and in the future, but not about some change in the physical or material level of the body.
c/- Resurrection is life in God, not ‘spiritual’ force. It’s about how we become part of the Body of Christ sharing in the life of God, not about the soul’s force that survives death.
d/- Resurrection is God’s gift, not some quality of the immortality of the soul. It’s the new life, God’s gift in Jesus, that allows us to share in his Resurrection, and not about the soul’s continual existence in the afterlife.
Our Christian belief in resurrection makes us a People of Hope. November is the month dedicated to the souls in purgatory. They are those who died believing and hoping in Jesus’ promise of eternal life. The best gifts for them is to keep them in our hearts and offer prayers and good deeds to God on their behalf.