Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Ones Who Will Rise

November 19, 2011

Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

"Into what tribulation have I come, and in what floods of sorrow am I now! Yet I was kindly and beloved in my rule." But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem, when I carried away all the vessels of gold and silver that were in it, and for no cause gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed. I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me; and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land." 1 MC 6:10-13

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 marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. Luke 20-34-36


Father, no matter what perils or pleasure we face in this life, we know that the hope of living with you overcomes our mortality.


No matter how much power, money and influence King Antiochus had in this lifetime, he came to the same end as all of us will. He faced death alone. As he reflected back on his lifetime and behavior, he connected the punishment of defeat with the unfair treatment he gave to those whom he had conquered. He could try to fool himself by claiming to be "kindly and beloved" in ruling over conquered people, but the truth was inescapable.

For others not as fortunate with riches and position in this life, their hope is to be released from their poverty and powerlessness through death. They are comforted with their faith and the words of the Psalmist today…"the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor shall the hope of the afflicted forever perish."

That hope echoes resoundingly in the Gospel as well. Although the teachers were trying to trap Jesus once more, his hope-filled response connected the kingdom to come with the ancient teachings of Moses on life after death. Once again, Jesus could not be boxed into some theological corner by mere mortals. Both the message and the setting give us hope for the future even though we know that the end of Jesus' mortal life will come. That paves the way for Jesus and for us to live a life in the Spirit.


As we wrap up the penultimate week in this liturgical season, reflect back on your year. What evils have overtaken you? What pleasures have you experienced this year? Over what have you grieved? Over what have you been encouraged to feel hope and joy? As you rejoice and give thanks for the gifts you have received this year, bring a little of that joy to others as you plan to share your time, talents and treasure with friends old and new this holiday season. And consider how you can come to the aid of those neighbors here in need as well as those in foreign lands who have faced earthquakes, floods, war, and other disasters both natural or man-made.