Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 11, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
Luke 20:27-38 or 20:27, 34-38
A reflection on today's Scripture:
We always chuckle when someone says to us, "If I had only known that I would live so long, I would have taken better care of myself!"
This Sunday's readings give a whole new meaning to that witty saying. They all speak of the hope of the resurrection of the body to everlasting life. The living conditions of our life after death depend very much on how we took care of that body in this life. Did we use it as an obedient servant, helping the spirit to love God and neighbor, or did we let it run riot like a spoiled child, satisfying its own selfish desires?
In the first reading from the Book of Maccabees, the Israelites finally rebel against the viciously cruel Antiochus Epiphanes IV. A brave mother, having encouraged her sons to keep faithful to the death, now watches one after the other being tortured and killed in front of her eyes. As they die, each of them declares publicly their belief in a resurrection of the body to everlasting life. At the time, some Jews were shocked at the teaching, for not all believed in the resurrection of the body.
In the Gospel, Jesus enters into a public debate with the Sadducees, a party of the Jewish leadership which did not believe in bodily resurrection. While relying heavily on Sacred Scripture for His arguments, He also let His hearers in on some new teaching about what our lives would be like in heaven. For instance, our happiness there will far exceed the sexual joys of marriage in this life, so the ridiculous problem of a man who had seven wives in this life won't apply in the next. Jesus explains that, in heaven, we will all be "like angels."
The Master is really telling them to let God the Father take care of heavenly problems. On earth, our task is to recognize the surprising endurance of our bodies. God has created them as partners of our souls, either helping them on the journey to view the loving face of God, or leading them into darkness and the eternal pain of Paradise Lost. Today's readings certainly give new meaning to taking better care of ourselves!
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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