Sunday, November 10, 2013

32nd Sunday Ordinary Time - Luke 20:27-38 - "Children of the Resurrection"

“(What) eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and (what) has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,” 1 Corinthians 2:9

We are a people of hope.  We are a people of the resurrection.  We believe in a life eternal in heaven; a life everlasting, a life with God, - the Father who loves us, who cares for us in this life and who desires us to be with him in the new life to come: forever and ever. This is the God of the eternal; the God of the everlasting, the God of the resurrection.

In today’s Gospel we encounter the Sadducees, a people who do not believe in the resurrection.  Their beliefs were informed only by the written Torah where there was no mention of a life beyond this world.  They were a people who lived in the present, with no hope of a future life. 

In many ways the beliefs of the Sadducees were somewhat like the beliefs of the secular - humanist world of today.  In this world it is people who come before God and momentary pleasure and profit is of prime concern with no thought to the future: the eternal, the everlasting.  They are a people without hope.  Their god is a finite god, a god only of this world; with no promise of an everlasting life in the glory of heaven. 

The Sadducees’ strict interpretation of the Torah did not include the oral tradition of the Pharisees, who did believe in a resurrection and who lived in hope and belief in an eternal life, as witnessed in the First Reading.

The seven brothers and their mother had an enduring faith in God that gave them strength and courage to undergo torture and death at the hands of their enemy – an enemy who tried to turn them away from God.  Each was a formidable witness to the power of hope; hope in God, a God who promises a life everlasting and who keeps His promise to those who love Him.

The Sadducees, in an attempt to trap Jesus into affirming their belief that there was no life beyond this world, use the example of the woman married to seven brothers to prove their point.  While their example has a basis in Jewish society for providing the continuity of family, it is rooted in their present world, confined by what is read and seen - nothing more.

Jesus tells them that only in this world do people marry and have family, “. . . but those who are considered worthy. . .” those who believe in the resurrection, - believe in a life beyond the present, - beyond the body, - beyond the confines and understandings of this world. 
“They are like the angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.” 
‘Those who are considered worthy’ are a people of hope – a people who love God above all and hope and believe in His promise of a life eternal.

To have such hope: such strength of belief - is found only in our close and constant relationship with God. 
It is born out of our life in prayer;
a life of love and devotion,
a life of listening to God’s call in our hearts,
To a life of building a loving relationship with God and an abiding belief in His promise that leads us - through resurrection - to eternal life. 

God calls to each of us to live in His love in this world.  Through His ‘grace we are strengthened and have good hope for our eternal comfort.’  He calls us to live joyfully in this hope and believe in His promise of life everlasting through the resurrection.  For our God is love. In His love he has shown us the fruit of His promise, Jesus Christ.

Through Jesus, God calls us to be with Him forever in a new life – like the angels, as children of God, children of the resurrection. 
What that life is:
we cannot see,
we cannot hear
nor can we imagine,
But we live in hope – hope in the resurrection and the peace and joy and glory and love of God in heaven ~ Amen.


Deacon Don Ron

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