Homily for the thirty-second Sunday of the Year - Year C - Lk. 20:27-38


by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 

" There came to Jesus some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, «Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children; and the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.»


" And Jesus said to them, «The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.» "




Homily:


" There came to Jesus some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection. "


Five days before his Resurrection from the dead, Jesus is questioned by members of the sect of the Sadducees, men who may have been religious but who did not believe in the resurrection of the body. Jesus, the Savior of men, had just resurrected Lazarus a few days earlier, saying on that occasion: "I am the resurrection and the life!" (Jn. 11:25) This signifies that the Resurrection was very much on Jesus' mind: he was already living it! These Sadducees had chosen a very bad time to try to deny the resurrection... Or rather, the Evil One, the Devil, had chosen a very good occasion to try to discourage the Savior by whom he - the enemy of human nature, the angel of darkness and of eternal death - was about to be defeated...


" ... and they asked him a question, saying, «Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children; and the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.» And Jesus said to them, «The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.» "


If, during this life on earth, a woman were to marry, in succession, several men who died one after the other, or, reciprocally, if a man were to successively marry several women, it is clear that, if they "are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead", then they would have particular emotional ties to each other, just as in the case of ordinary couples made up of a single man and a single woman. But, in any case, there is something else that Jesus wants to try to render comprehensible to his contradictors, and to us today as well.


Indeed, if the Resurrection of bodies is important and absolutely essential to the eternal happiness of the men and women that God created in his Love, this Resurrection of bodies does not have for its primary goal the glorification of the person thus resurrected, body and soul, but rather the Glory of Christ himself, the Head of the Church, his Mystical Body. The Resurrection of bodies is destined first and foremost to the glorification of what Saint Augustine calls the "Total Christ", that is, the union of Christ and the Church.


Thus, all those who will be resurrected, body and soul, for eternal life will be entirely turned towards Christ: all of their being, body and soul, will be for the Glory of Christ, and thus for the Glory of God! This is why Jesus adds: "They cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection." No creature will ever be able turn away from God any of the elect who will be in Heaven: neither their own selves, nor their own bodies, nor any other being will be able to turn them away from God! Only one thing is important for the men and women resurrected body and soul: the Body of Christ!


" «But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.» "


Jesus quotes God's words to Moses: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (Ex. 3:6) Jesus quotes these words, not only in order to try to convince the Sadducees, but above all to express his desire for his own Resurrection, which will take place in five days... Jesus is three days away from his Passion and death: thinking of his coming Resurrection is, for him, the greatest of consolations! But saying and proclaiming it also strengthens his confidence in the Omnipotence of his Father, who is in Heaven!


We, too, who live today, awaiting our own Resurrection, let us not hesitate to proclaim our faith in eternal Life! Let us live in the desire to see, one day, face to face, the Lord Jesus, he who is the Head of so great a Body, his Church! Let us prepare our own Resurrection, let us proclaim our faith in the risen Jesus, the source of all Life and all Resurrection! Today, let us prepare ourselves to receive the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, let us ask the Most Holy Virgin Mary to prepare our heart to receive Jesus for the Glory of God, in the perfect unity of the Body of the risen Christ!



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