November 6, 2022, Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14 2 Thessalonians 2:16--3:5 Luke 20:27-38
(Please note: I am posting this reflection a couple of weeks early, because I will be away from this desk for a little while. Thank you for visiting this site!)
Every Sunday in the Creed we say that we believe in the resurrection of the body. This belief we share with the Maccabees in today's first reading and Jesus in the gospel. In the first reading the young brother holds out his hands to be cut off by his torturer confident that God will give them back to him again at the resurrection of the body.
In the gospel Jesus is responding to a convoluted question posed by the Sadducees. Unlike the Pharisees of Jesus's day with whom he agreed, the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body. Hence their question about seven brothers who died childless. They wanted to trick Jesus into naming which brother gets the wife! No comments are given about how the widow of the seven brothers might describe “heaven,” but I have my guess!
No, you've got it all wrong, Jesus seems to say. There is eternal life after the resurrection, but it is nothing like you describe. God is a God of the living not of the dead
Scripture tells us that God is love. And love never dies. All of those we have loved in this world, and we ourselves, will live with God forever. That is consoling. But it is still a long way off. Is there some comfort, some consolation that can carry us day to day?
I have long been a fan of St. Catherine of Siena who is accredited with saying,”All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said I am the way. “
Living the gospel
So while we wait for the end times, let me suggest we commit ourselves to creating some heaven on earth. A week or so ago as I was packing my groceries and leaving Aldi’s, three things happened. A stranger smiled at me and thanked me as she noticed the button I was wearing which showed the Ukrainian flag and the words Pray for Peace in Ukraine. A gentleman approached an elderly man sitting with his walker at the bench by the door. He had noticed that the cane hanging from the walker needed a new cane tip. He pulled one from his pocket and replaced it saying, ”I have plenty of these at home.” They exchanged smiles and the helper walked out the door. Just outside, as a newcomer searched her purse for a quarter someone returned their cart and simply gave it to her. A small gesture, but the cause for another smile and kindness.
‘All the way to heaven is heaven…” Because where love is there is God.
Let God in you move you to create a little heaven today.
by: Pat Schnee