Mass & Directions

Sunday November 10th: Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Francis Parish | November 15, 2019, 10:22 pm | Reflections

   In today’s readings we see a stark contrast between the first reading from 2 Maccabees and the Gospel of Luke in the example of two sets of seven brothers.  In Luke’s Gospel chapter 20:27-38, the Sadducees give Jesus a hypothetical in an attempt to trap Him into answering an impossible question,  “whose wife will that woman be?”.  The Sadducees did not believe in life after death so they must’ve really thought they had outsmarted Jesus.  In Jesus’ response to the question, He is telling the Sadducees that for those who attain eternal life, marriage and death are of no concern.  Jesus says, “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 . They can no longer die, for they are like angels”.  We can only imagine the frustration of the Sadducees after hearing this response from Jesus.  This attitude of the Sadducees is very different from the seven brothers in the first reading who suffered cruel torture and a slow death at the hands of a king who attempted to force them to violate God’s law.  Each of the brothers died willingly with similar sentiments to the fourth who said, “It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by Him”.  They fully understood that which Jesus tried to teach the Sadducees.
   What do we take from this today?  We should certainly not take away any thoughts that what happens in our earthly lives doesn’t matter.  What Jesus is teaching is that once one does attain eternal life, those earthly concerns no longer exist.  The irony is that what we do here on earth matters a great deal as far as our effort to realize this teaching for ourselves; for our own attaining salvation.  The question becomes, are we as prepared as the seven brothers in the first reading were?  When we face death, will we be able to exclaim our readiness just as they did?  If our answer is not a resounding yes, we must evaluate our priorities and focus our efforts at doing all that we can to be so prepared.  Step one, stop going it alone…
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