Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 11, 2007

2 Maccabees 7: 1 - 2, 9 - 14

2 Thessalonians 2: 16 - 3:5

Luke 20: 27 - 38

How deep is your faith in the resurrection?

Jesus entered Jerusalem and the crowds acclaimed him. But, at the same time, opposition was growing and the controversies followed one after the other. Questions were posed to Jesus in an effort to trap him: "should we pay taxes to Caesar?" asked the Pharisees and the Herodians; "and what about resurrection from the dead?" queried the Sadducees. These polemics were the occasion for Jesus to show his independence with regard to the various religious movements of the times.

The Sadducees asked Jesus about the resurrection. Jewish faith, indeed, professed belief in an absolute Master of life and death (cf. I Sam. 2:6). But, according to the different beliefs, this power was exercised in the final resurrection of the dead (the thought of the Pharisees) or in this earthly life only (the belief of the Sadducees). Skeptical about anything that could be said of life after death, the Sadducees maintained, it seems, the ancient biblical idea of Sheol where the dead languished in a kind of survival mode. In Jesus' presence, they mocked the very concept of resurrection invoking the Levitical law in Deuteronomy 25: 5-6, applied to the hypothetical case of a woman who, according to this law, would have had seven husbands. Jesus corrects their materialistic idea by affirming, on one hand, faith in a God of the living, for whom death cannot have the last word; and by declaring, on the other hand, that resurrection implies a transformation risen, we shall be like the angels.

Thus Jesus answer challenges our faith in the resurrection. Do we really believe what we affirm when we profess the faith of the Church in the resurrection of the dead?

How does this faith in the resurrection affect our hope in everyday life? In times of difficulty, does our faith lead us to celebrate life whatever may happen? Does it invite us to believe in beauty and goodness in refusing to consider the world as a place of evil and death? Does it call us to reject discouragement in face of our weakness and mortality, to focus on the goodness and beauty of God even keeping our sense of humor?

Let us pray for one another as St. Paul requests that the Lord lead us to the love of God and to perseverance as we await the coming of Christ.

— Sr. Sophie Ramond, RA