for Sunday, November 7, 2010
We are coming to the end of Ordinary Time, the end of the Church Year.
Soon we shall be starting with Advent once more. The readings today are
really about the resurrection, about a belief in life after our death in
this life. The First Reading from the Second Book of Maccabees is so clear
in this passage: we are able to face any type of death because we have no
fear of death in this life. Death in this life is only the gate to life
eternal with God.
Our whole Christian tradition insists that there is a personal life after
death for each one of us who believes. We do not have a tradition in which
we die and simply disappear into the unity of God. No, we Christians
believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. This has
been a consistent written tradition going back to the great saints around
and slightly before the year 400 AD.
As in today's Gospel from Saint Luke, we can find all kinds of
disagreements with this faith and people who try to show that we must be
crazy or unreasonable to believe. Jesus, however, in the Gospel, is very
clear that God is a God of the living and not of the dead. All who believe
are alive in Him.
How often people can say that it would be impossible for God to know the
many billions of people who have lived and are living! This only shows our
tendency to reduce God down to a sort of enhanced human. God is God. God
knows all things at all times and lives beyond all time. God is the God of
all that is and is the ground of all being and cause of all being. If we
could encompass God with our human minds, God would not be God. We can
have some understanding of God, but that understanding is always a dim
reflection of the reality of God.
The Second Reading, from the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, asks that
the Lord may direct our hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of
Christ. Only as we plunge into the love of God can we come to understand a
bit the endurance of Christ and His love for us. This is the reality of
God. As we come to the end of the Church year, we are invited more and
more to believe in all that God has taught us in Jesus Christ and to live
as He lived in this world.
In coming to know the love of God, we can believe entirely in the
resurrection of the dead and the love that God has for each one of us,
individually and personally.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: