Gospel Reflection:  32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

NOVEMBER 6, 2016

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead;

to him be glory and power, forever and ever.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 20: 27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, if someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.  Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless.  Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally, the woman also died.

Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?  For all seven had been married to her.”

Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriageThey can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.  That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord,’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

As the leaves on the trees fall and the dead of winter approaches, the Church herself begins liturgically to reflect on death and life eternal.  We have just celebrated the feast days of All Saints and All Souls, and the whole month of November is traditionally the Church’s time to remember and pray for those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.   This year, Saint Luke’s Gospel ushers in this reflection on death and eternal life: the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob … is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.

Throughout the centuries, the Jewish community has had various theological perspectives on what Judaism essentially believes, and how they should practice their faith.  In the time of Jesus, there were two dominate theological groups, namely Pharisees and Sadducees, who were the wealthy aristocrats.  Sadducees did not believe in the existence of angels or the immortality of the soul, let alone, the resurrection of the dead.

For the most part, the theology of Jesus would resonate with the Pharisees’ theological perspective, although Jesus’ Divine Wisdom was far superior to even their thinking.  On the other hand, the Sadducees had a completely different view of death and what, if anything, took place afterwards: Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection!

In addition, not only did the Sadducees deny the resurrection, they arrogantly challenged Jesus with a question that indicated that their minds were closed to further revelation from God: Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?  For all seven had been married to her.

The words of Jesus indeed fell on deaf ears even when Jesus drew their attention to the fact that Moses, whom they highly respected, revealed the resurrection during his encounter with God at the burning bush theophany: That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush. However, what Jesus revealed concerning the Resurrection far exceeds all of their thinking, and indeed all of our imaginations.  Really, no mortal could even begin to understand resurrection without the example of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ himself!  Resurrection is not a mere extension of earthly life, like Lazarus experienced when Jesus resuscitated him after his death.  No, Resurrection in Jesus Christ which was pledged to us as a gift at our Baptism is a completely new existence!

Jesus Christ ushers in the Reign of God of which the Resurrection of the Dead is the fullest manifestation.   God, who is the author, sustainer and the fullness of life, desires to share the fullness of life and love with His children.  God is not the origin of death, sin is.  God desires that all would live with Him eternally.  With God all things are possible.   By surrendering completely into God’s care now and at the hour of our death, God will raise up in the flesh those who have died, and transform our lowly body after the pattern of his glorious body (Eucharistic Prayer III).

 

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our Web Site for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

addiction-support family find-us history grief-or-loss marriage mens storiespng testimonial womens young-adulthood healing our-grounds prayers calendar malvern-live retreats2go plan-your-visit donate