Saturday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Saturday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

November 23, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Memorial Feast:  Saint Clement I, Pope (35AD-99AD) Patron Saint of Mariners

First Book of Maccabees 6:1-13

Psalm: 9

Luke 20:27-40

If we are honest with ourselves many of us tend to miss the power of today’s familiar Gospel.  Some religious leaders come up to try to discredit Jesus – a familiar theme to be sure.  This time it’s not the “usual suspects,” the Pharisees. These are the Sadducees “who deny there is a resurrection.”  Their ploy is to show that the very notion of a resurrection would lead to some very odd results.  The wife whom seven brothers married, trying to produce offspring for their deceased brother, would find herself in the afterlife with a bunch of husbands.

The challenger for us is that too often we live our lives not thinking of “the afterlife” very much.  The temptation is to live for today.  We fight the battles, we encounter the struggles, we carry on as best we can and all of this can keep us pretty occupied.

As an ordained deacon I have been to many funerals.  In our American culture, there is often a wake service the night before a funeral during which family members give testimonials about the person who has died.  Many beautiful words are spoken, poems may be read, and songs can be sung.  But only on rare occasions is there mention of the person being “in a better place.” 

The language of Jesus is quite different.  Our Lord tells us the afterlife would be like a wedding banquet – a great CELEBRATION.  He said He went ahead of us to prepare a place for us.  Paul encourages us to live in this world with our hearts set on the world to come.

I’m not suggesting we don’t live in this life or enjoy it.  I’m just reminded b y this Gospel not to forget that we await new life, everlasting life.  The victory over sin and death has been won.  This world and its anxieties, struggles, and deaths isn’t all there is.  There is a merciful God who is also just.  That is such good news for those who will never have justice in this world.

For us who might be dealing with the limits of this life, old age, sickness, poverty or even religious persecution, we do have good news  to look forward to.  We can imagine it however we wish.  It is going to be so much better than we can imagine.  That is quite a grace to lift our spirits today and every day of our lives.

Question of the Day:  Are you preparing yourself for eternal life with the Father?

Prayer: Lord God, let me be a “living stone” in the building of Your Kingdom.

Prosit   


ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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