32 Sunday in ordinary time - C
2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14; Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5; St.Luke 20:27-38
Introduction: What do I really believe? Do I accept the totality of the catholic faith or rather I try to adjust and correct my faith so that it becomes more "human" and better fitting my needs and the requirements of the contemporary, 21st century life?
Every year on November 11, the Remembrance Day, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve the country during times of war, conflict and peace. We honor those who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then. More than 1,500,000 Canadians have served the country in this way, and more than 100,000 have died. They gave their lives and their futures so that we may live in peace. Let us pray also for them.
Penitential Rite: Jesus offers us hope in the face of despair, confidence in the face of doubt. Let us bring to Him our failures and our doubt, assured of His understanding and forgiveness.
Lord Jesus, You hear us when we call upon You, Lord, have mercy
Christ Jesus, You are the Lord of the living and the dead, Christ, have mercy
Lord Jesus, You raise us to new and everlasting life, Lord, have mercy
May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
In today's readings we have two different attitudes towards the religious beliefs and values. The Sadducees were a group of very influential people, who belonged to the upper class of the society, and they wielded great power in Jewish society. However their theology was skeptical, minimalist and even rationalistic. They didn't accept the concept of life after death; they didn't believe the existence of angels and eternal life. They decided by themselves what is sound and what is not in the teaching of the Holy Scripture.
Their skepticism and even disbelief is supported by their (false) reasoning, by their (apparently) correct and accurate logic. We will be even tempted to sympathize with them and understand them as an example of a spirit of criticism and non fundamentalist approach of faith. They are the example of believers who are not fanatic and blind extremists.
On the other side in the first reading from the 2 Maccabees we have a strong religious family, an impressive example of putting God first. We hear about a woman arrested with her seven sons. The king wanted them to deny their Jewish religion by eating pork. Speaking to her sons in Hebrew, the mother encouraged them to endure torture rather than betray their faith. It must have torn her heart to see the tortures they inflicted on her children, but that woman put God first. She knew that this life is brief and - no matter what we do - none of us can avoid suffering, so she put her trust in God.
In the last issue of the "Western Catholic Reporter" cardinal Marc Ouellet the Archbishop of Quebec and primate of the Catholic Church in Canada says:
"The real problem in Quebec is not the presence of religious symbols or the appearance of new religious symbols in public spaces. The real problem in Quebec is the spiritual void (and religious emptiness) created by the religious and cultural rupture."
This has led the people to a substantial loss of memory, leading to a crisis in the family and in education. Citizens have been left "disoriented, unmotivated, subject to instability and leaning on transient, superficial values."
I see Saduccees from today's Gospel as an example of those who are living in the spiritual void and religious emptiness. They created for themselves a kind of secular religion, type of faith without supernatural, without sacrum. For this reason they are disoriented, instable and leaning on superficial values.
We do have too this choice or over-speculated and adjusted religion of our pleasing and choices, or acceptance that God is the God of impossible and unimaginable, the God of the living and the Lord of the resurrection against logic and reason.
General Intercessions: The God of the impossible, the Lord of the living will hear our prayers and grant our needs. And so we pray with hope and faith.
O God, You are the Lord of the living and the dead; guide us to live responsibly each day and to accept the wholeness of your teaching even if it seems to us impossible and unimaginable, because You are the God without boundaries and limitations, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen