32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Maccabees 7:1-2;9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5; Luke 20:27-38
As we near the end of the church’s Liturgical Year, today’s readings all deal with the end of time. As we prepare to begin Advent, how fitting that we are called to focus on the “afterlife”, known to Christians as resurrection.
In the reading from Maccabees, we note the persecution of faith of the people of that time. They chose to suffer for their faith; they chose death; they chose Faithfulness. God is seen by them as a sentinel watching over them. Let us ask ourselves: Are we being called to suffer now in this life?
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus shows the limitation of our imagination when it comes to eternal life. The Saducees saw death as just a continuation of life here on earth. Jesus proposes a “new” look at the possibilities of a resurrected life – an eternal relationship with our God is possible. Let’s ponder for a moment this reality – we are called by our faith to realize that we are destined to die. We know that this is not our ultimate destiny. Rather we should see death as a doorway to the presence of God. Jesus tells us that heaven exceeds the limits of the human mind. We are being encouraged to live as people of the Resurrection, not people of the tomb. Belief in a resurrected life should give us hope and joy in what is to come - eternal life with God.
Paul, when writing to the Thessalonians, encourages them and us to live and believe in truth and not to fear the events to come. He reminds us that God is faithful, has promised salvation, and will save us.
As we, during this month of November, remember all of our loved ones who have died, it is encouraging to receive such a hope-filled message about “life after death.” All of today’s readings point us in this direction.
And so with St. Paul, we pray:
“May God encourage and strengthen our hearts in good deeds and words. May God direct us to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ. AMEN.”
Sister Barbara Werner, OP