Theme: WE SHALL RISE FROM THE DEAD AND LIVE FOREVER
- 2 Maccabees 7:1-2. 9-14;
- Psalm 16:1. 5-6. 8. 15. R/ v. 15;
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
- Luke 20:27-38 (Shorter Form, Lk 20:27. 34-38)
Today is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. And as we come to the end of our Liturgical Year, the readings today tell us about the end times! The readings today tell us that at the end of time, life will win over death, Resurrection and new life will win over sin and death! Indeed, the new life of the resurrection is even better than the life before sin!
“O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!” (Easter Proclamation; SM)
To begin with, God created us in his own image, to love, to think, to be free, to do good and to live forever! And when we sinned, God sent his Son to save us! Through the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ, God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us love as he loves, think as he thinks, to be free as he is free, to do good as he does good, and to live forever as he lives forever! The other creatures were not created in the image of God. They cannot love, think, be free, do good and live forever! So, don’t take your sonship for granted!
The gospel today tells us that the Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection! They only believe in Moses and the first five books of the Bible!
But more importantly, Jesus tells us in the gospel today that there is the resurrection! In answer to the question of the Sadducees, Jesus tells us that in heaven there is no marriage, because in heaven nobody dies. Therefore in heaven there is no need to marry to replenish the population! Therefore there is the resurrection!
Again, in answer to the question of the Sadducees, Jesus tells us that even Moses believed in the resurrection, since he called God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Since God is a God of the living and not of the dead, then Abraham, Isaac and Jacob must still be alive! Therefore there is the resurrection!
Most importantly, the “Gospel Acclamation” today tell us that Jesus himself rose from the dead! And it is through his Holy Spirit that we also rise from the dead never to die anymore! Thus the “Gospel Acclamation”:
“Jesus Christ is the First-born from the dead; to him be glory and power for ever and ever.” (Rv. 1:5. 6; Sunday Missal (SM))
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading also tells us about the resurrection! The first reading tells us that seven brothers and their mother were forced to eat pig’s flesh by the pagan Syrian king (Antiochus IV, 2nd century BC). They were tortured and put to death, but they refused to eat pig’s flesh, because it was against the Law! But more importantly, the first reading tells us that before they died they proclaimed the resurrection:
“The King of the world will raise us up, since it is for his laws that we die, to live again for ever. …. Ours is the better choice, to meet death at men’s hands, yet relying on God’s promise that we shall be raised up by him.” (2M 7:9. 14; SM)
The first reading tells us that even under persecution the seven brothers kept their faith, did the will of God and proclaimed the resurrection!
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us about the resurrection! Thus the response:
“I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.” (Ps 16:15; SM)
The responsorial psalm also tells us to keep our faith, to pray, and to do the will of God, even under persecution, and we will rise from the dead! Thus the response again:
“I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.”
The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something important to tell us. The second reading tells us that St. Paul prayed for the Thessalonians and that St. Paul asked the Thessalonians to pray for him! St. Paul also expressed his confidence in the Thessalonians!
In short, the second reading tells us to pray for one another and to have confidence in one another!
Today we thank God for the resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ, and we ask God to give us his Holy Spirit, so that even under persecution, we may keep our faith, pray and do his will and one day rise from the dead and live forever with him in heaven! God bless you! Amen!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.