SUNDAY 32nd WEEK YEAR C.
In the first reading of today we have the story of the martyrdom of seven brothers who urged by their mother remained faithful to God with the hope that they will enjoy the glory of the resurrection to come.
In the second reading we have Paul praying that Jesus and Father will help the people to persevere in living the Gospel and tells them not to be over anxious about the situation of afterlife or the end of the world. They must persevere in their faith and show their loyalty to God in Jesus. This is the fulfilment of their life.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is challenged by a group of Sadducees concerning the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees as a group which did not believe in resurrection and they confront Jesus who tells them the meaning of resurrection. A resurrected person would be alive with God praising and thanking him and experiencing a life totally different from the earthly life. Jesus does not address the Sadducees’ question directly. Instead he makes the point that the resurrected life is totally different from any kind of life experienced on earth. Resurrection life refers to a radical new order of life that cannot be compared with anything on earth. Jesus clearly affirms that those raised from the dead are no longer liable to death. In eternal life, those who have persevered to the end, they shall all enjoy the fullness of life as it was meant to be enjoyed from the beginning of creation. They shall be counted among the living, all sharing the same Father, the living God. To attain this Resurrection, we have to be with Jesus and experience his life. The presence of Jesus is the knowledge of the resurrection.
Jesus also affirms the fact that all those who have proved themselves worthy while in this life will rise to an eternal life. In that life we will become like angels. They will not be subject to decay or corruption and cannot suffer any pain or sickness. In the Kingdom people have entered a new family where all irrespective of their origins are our brothers and sisters.
This is indeed a new life which is attained in Jesus. The presence of Jesus is the knowledge of the resurrection. To attain this Resurrection, we have to be with Jesus and experience his life. He tells us that whoever wishes to come after him must deny self, take up his cross and follow him. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for his sake and that of the gospel will save it.
The gospel tells us that our Christian life is based, first, on the firm hope that one day we will rise again and be perfectly united with the One from whom all things come and to whom all things are destined to return.
The readings challenge us to live in the light of the resurrection, full of hope that indeed there is life after this present earthly life. That is why we confess in the Creed that “I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” The resurrection is the center-piece of our faith and Christians have shed their blood because of that faith. Just as the Jewish family in the first reading endured suffering because of their faith in the resurrection, we too must be prepared to defend and to live our faith in the light of resurrection. Let us all therefore truly be faithful to God at all times and in everything we say and do in our lives. Let us all draw ever closer to Him and let us all dedicate ourselves with ever greater zeal and love for God, through every actions and efforts we take in this life we have in this world. Let us all be courageous in loving God, and resist the many temptations of false pleasures and joys of this world so that our lives may truly be Christian-like and inspirational that through us and our good examples of faith may bring ever more souls to redemption and salvation in God.