SOUL FOOD FOR HUNGRY ADULT COMMUNITIES: NOVEMBER 10TH 2013, 32ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C.
Gospel: LUKE 20:27-38 Click here for Sunday Readings for today:
‘Have you no home to go to?’
‘Have you no home to go to?‘ is a gentle way we have in Ireland of reminding someone that it’s getting a bit late and it may be time to make a move towards home.
The horizon changes this week, as we enter into November, – or ‘Samhain’ as we call it in Irish,- a season of facing into Darkness and moving towards the shortest days of the year: a time associated in ancient times with the reality of death/darkness approaching. Not very popular thought, today, but a reality that we all dwell on at some time, because we know we cannot avoid it. Life is limited. There will be a halt to our gallop, at some moment. There will be a full-stop, some time. But our belief is that that particular full-stop is not the end of the story. A new paragraph, a new Chapter, so to speak, will begin. At Christian funerals, we hear this frequently, during the Preface of the Mass: ‘for your faithful, life is changed, not ended.’
The Question we all ask, at some time, is this: Is death the end of it all? Will our heavenly Father (Jesus’ name for God) just dispose of us like a used tissue, into the waste basket of nothingness? That doesn’t fit. How can one put ‘See what love the Father has lavished on us’ (First Letter of John Chapter 3:1) with just dumping us forever?
Here, we see Jesus, now arrived in Jerusalem after his long journey from Chapter 9 (‘he set his face towards Jerusalem’). He meets different groups there, and some challenge him. One such is that group of religious leaders called the Sadducees, who had no belief in any resurrection from death. They try to catch Jesus out with a ‘What if…’ question that was designed to make Jesus look foolish. Read it for yourself.
Jesus answers them in two ways: first, one of the purposes of marriage is for the continuation of the race, in this world. That won’t apply in the next life.
Secondly, he appeals to Moses (they believed in Moses, ok), where God speaks to Moses and God calls himself ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’,- and these friends of God were all long dead! God is the God of those who died, long long ago, or recently. In other words, the dead are alive to God! There IS a life after death. ‘Now he is God, not of the dead but of the living; for to him all people are in fact alive.’ That’s how Jesus finishes.
Again, returning to those words at a Christian funeral, – ‘For your faithful people, life is changed, not ended. And when the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.’ We fold up our ‘tent’, because we all know that ‘we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come.’ We head for home!
In the meantime, life is for living, to the full,- ‘Live a life of love!’ says Paul. That’s livin’ ! – to the full.
If you can, take time to read the wonderful story of the seven brothers who were arrested with their mother. It’s from the Book of Maccabees, Chapter 7, verses 1,2 and 9-14. A great chapter to read. Each of the seven brothers died, rather than turn from their faith. The fourth one said, at the very end, to his executioners: ‘Ours is the better choice, to meet death at men’s hands, yet relying on God’s promise that we shall be raised up by him; whereas for you there can be no ressurecion, no new life.’ And there are so many modern Christians in our times who are still giving their lives to God, and being executed for their faithfulness to Jesus Christ. They put us to shame.
Fr. Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click here to view ‘Soul Food yum for Young Adult Communities’ for this weekend.