From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
November 6 – Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Do we believe the truth? The truth of Jesus Christ? Will we fight for the truth? We find truth in the teachings and beliefs of our faith. We find truth in the hope of that faith that is realized through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. In our gospel, Jesus paints the picture of true hope for us – hope found in eternal salvation through the resurrection.
The Sadducees have a false truth. They pose a question to Jesus that is insincere because they have no belief in the resurrection. They assume the concept of the resurrection to be a continuation of this life. They ask “Whose wife will she become?” knowing full well that by law she cannot be married to all of them at once. What they fail to understand is that the resurrection is about a totally new kind of life that is given by God and is not subject to the principles of earthly life. They really – probably don’t even expect Jesus to respond. But Jesus does respond. He offers us hope in the resurrection. Our hope is based on a deep faith and trust in a loving God as the Source and Goal of all living. A hope born out of belief in what has been taught – the truth of Jesus Christ! It is a confidence of one day experiencing something which is at present beyond our grasp. The Sadducees did not understand this. Rather, they lived only for the present with no hope for the future. Their hope was short sighted and full of illusion. They saw the teachings of Jesus as threatening to the life and truth that they knew.
St. Paul tells us throughout his letters the importance of preparing for this time. He says in the second reading: “We are confident that what we instruct you, you are doing and will continue to do.” What we are instructed to do is to follow Jesus in faith and total trust, accepting what he gives us and calls us to. We realize the hope of the resurrection through the choices we make in this life. The questions is, how faithful are we to God? Are we more like the brothers in our first reading – willing to suffer and die, realizing the true hope of the resurrection? Or are we more like the Sadducees, wanting to pick and choose our beliefs? Perseverance, trust and steadfastness are the cornerstones of our belief.
Our gospel offers us the opportunity to reflect upon the difficult teachings of Jesus and how well we embrace them and live them out in our lives. If we truly believe that the resurrection – which God gave to us as the ultimate reflection of his love for us – is our hope for eternity, then his other teachings – which we receive through the Liturgy of the Word – provide the doorway through which we realize that hope. And the very being of Jesus – which we receive every time we celebrate the Eucharist – connects us completely to that hope driving us to a response which prepares us for the reality to come. We realize the hope of the resurrection through the choices we make in this life.
As Vincentians, as we confront difficult challenges in our own lives and the lives of others, we continually face the questions – Do you believe, do we trust, do we have hope? How faithful are you to God and His will for us and others? How do you honor our beliefs and live them out in daily life? Do you serve the poor without prejudice or judgement? Do you find yourself able to look past the injustices of this world to the mercy of heaven? Do you find yourself embracing those you serve in love? The answer to these questions may be your best indicator of how fully you believe in the hope of the resurrection.
Lord Jesus, help my unbelief that I may come to believe, that I may come to trust, and that I may come to submit fully to your will for my life. Allow me to share your love with those I meet without judgement or prejudice. Let mercy be my guide and my salvation. Give me the grace and courage to embrace your hope and to be a reflection of that hope to those you bring before me. We pray all of this in your name. Amen