The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
Reading I: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
Response : Psalm 17
Reading II: 2 Thessalonians 2:6-3:5
Gospel: Luke 20:27-28
In today’s Gospel, we find the Sadducees attempting to discredit Jesus’ teaching about the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees did not believe in bodily resurrection. Humans survived as ghosts in a place called Sheol, a shadowy underworld. On the other hand, the Pharisees believed that the afterlife was an extension of this life into eternity. The Sadducees considered this foolish.
The Hebrew Scriptures had preserved the brave words of one of the seven brothers who refused to disobey the law by eating pork. His response to the threat of death was the following: “It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him.”
Some Sadducees decided to try to trap Jesus by posing a situation in which a woman had been married seven times. According to the law, if a man died childless, his brother was to marry the wife and raise children on behalf of his deceased sibling. The story proposed that there would be seven brothers who could claim the wife. Jesus was asked which one she would belong to at the resurrection.
Jesus response was that the risen life will be a new experience in which we will share in the life and love of God. Limited earthly experiences will be replaced by more profound ones which will provide for unity with God and one another on a new level. Jesus said that we cannot even imagine what God has prepared for those who love him.
We have all heard of near-death experiences of people who are reluctant to return to earth because of the peace and joy they had, as a taste of heaven. This can be a source of comfort to us as our loved ones are called home to God.
As Catholics, we believe in the Communion of Saints, a unity with those who have gone before us and those of us still here on earth. Again, we do not know exactly what form our reunion in heaven will take. Our God is a God of love and surprises. We can look forward to the best surprise of all!!!