Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on November 10, 2022 View all Gospel Reflection

One of my seminary professors said that it’s easy to remember who the Sadducees were because since they denied that there is a resurrection, they were “so sad you see.” The Sadducees were the ancient version of modern liberal theologians. They were anti-supernaturalistic.
They only accepted the Torah, the “Pentateuch” also known as the Law of Moses or the “Books of Moses” all of which only comprised the first 5 books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. That’s it. So, in responding to their question, Jesus could not cite in proof of the resurrection several other Old Testament books which come after the first five books, like Isaiah 26:19, or Daniel 12:2.
Using their limited, truncated Scriptures, Jesus said: “Hear this homily: they cannot die anymore. God is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”  Similarly, intercessory prayer to Mary does not usurp Christ’s role as the one mediator because we are not separated from each other by death. St. Paul says “pray for us” in our Second Reading and we can still say, “Pray for us” to Mary or others in heaven because physical death does not separate Christians in the Body of Christ. In short, we believe in the communion of the saints.

Those Catholics who attend Catholic Bible study say to us Catholics: Hear this homily:

“The fact that the Sadducees were missing out on a lot of Scripture was a problem. The fact that they ignore the Scriptures they have is a bigger problem.  When Jesus says to them, “you are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God,” He’s not complaining that they don’t have the Book of Daniel, but that they don’t read the Book of Exodus, which they do have. Likewise, we Catholics, who have been graced with the full Scriptures of 73 books, will face a much worse judgment if we ignore them then will Protestants who remained innocently ignorant that there was more of the [written] Word of God out there since they are missing 7 books.”

[source: Joe Heschmeyer].

Meditation on a select verse of Scripture of your choosing is the quiet and sustained application of the mind to the contemplation of a spiritual truth. Its purpose is to deflect our minds from the problems we are experiencing, to raise our thoughts above the grievances and discontent that color our thinking.  

Lastly, our Gospel today by St. Luke can be seen as a subtle spur to us to live our lives as to be found worthy in Christ for eternal life at the resurrection as Jesus explains to us today that there exists an eternal life that knows no death. For one “cannot die anymore,” which is a unique statement of Luke.

This emphatically tells us that those departed from this life in the Lord live, but that, disembodied spirits do not marry. Nor will there be marriage in heaven after the resurrection, and that, there, all our relationships will be healed and perfected.

Those in heaven live personally – they are still individuals with subjective self-awareness in the life to come.

They are mentioned by their names – they are known and not anonymous.

St. Francis de Dales, “It is a consolation to know that friendships begun on earth will continue in heaven.”

The paths of glory begin from the grave, after death, for those who die in Christ.