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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 11-10-13, Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 11-10-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 11/09/2013 8:18:29 PM PST by Salvation

November 10, 2013

 

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:
"What do you expect to achieve by questioning us?
We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors."

At the point of death he said:
"You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,
but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.
It is for his laws that we are dying."

After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
"It was from Heaven that I received these;
for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
from him I hope to receive them again."
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage,
because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died,
they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way.
When he was near death, he said,
"It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;
but for you, there will be no resurrection to life."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15

R. (15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Keep me as the apple of your eye,
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Reading 2 2 Thes 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
as it did among you,
and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
you are doing and will continue to do.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.

Gospel Lk 20:27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them,
"The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out 'Lord, '
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive."

Or LK 20:27, 34-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward.

Jesus said to them,
"The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out 'Lord, '
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive."



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.


1 posted on 11/09/2013 8:18:30 PM PST by Salvation
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2 posted on 11/09/2013 8:20:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14

Martyrdom of the seven brothers and their mother


[1] It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were
being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of
unlawful swine’s flesh. [2] One of them, acting as their spokesman, said, “What
do you intend to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die rather than trans-
gress the laws of our fathers.”

[9] And when he was at his last breath, he said, “You accursed wretch, you dis-
miss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an
everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.”

[10] After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he
quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, [11] and
nobly said, “I got these from Haven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and
from him I hope to get them back again.” [12] As a result the king himself and
those with him were astonished at the young man’s spirit, for he regarded his
sufferings as nothing.

[13] When he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same
way. [14] And when he was near death, he said, “One cannot but choose to die
at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again
by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

7:1-42. This is one of the most famous and popular passages in the history of the
Maccabees – so much so that traditionally (but improperly) these brothers are
usually referred to as “the Maccabees”. The sacred writer does not tell us the
boys’ names, or where it all happened; and he brings in the presence of the king
to heighten the dramatic effect. The bravery of these young men, it would seem,
was inspired by the good example given by Eleazar (cf. 6:28). The mother’s inter-
vention divides the scene into two parts – first the martyrdom of the six older bro-
thers (vv. 2-19), and then that of the youngest and the mother herself (vv. 20-41).

In the first part the conviction that the just will rise and evildoers will be punished
builds up as the story goes on. Each of the replies given by the six brothers con-
tains some aspect of that truth. The first says that just men prefer to die rather
than sin (v. 2) because God will reward them (v. 6); the second, that God will raise
them to a new life (v. 9); the third, that they will rise with their bodies remade (v.
11); the fourth, that for evildoers there will be no “resurrection to life” (v. 14); the
fifth, that there will be punishment for evildoers (v. 17); and the sixth, that when
just people suffer it is because they are being punished for their own sins (v. 18).

In the second part, both the mother and the youngest brother affirm what the
others have said: but the boy adds something new when he says that death ac-
cepted by the righteous works as atonement for the whole people (vv. 37-38).

The resurrection of the dead, which “God revealed to his people progressively”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 992), is a teaching that is grounded first on
Moses’ words about God having compassion on his servants (v. 6; cf. Deut 32:
36), and the idea that if they die prematurely they will receive consolation in the
next life. This is the point being made by the first brother, and it implies that God
“faithfully maintains his covenant with Abraham and his posterity” (ibid.). As the
mother sees it (vv. 27-28), belief in the resurrection comes from “faith in God as
creator of the whole man, body and soul” (ibid., 992). Our Lord Jesus Christ rati-
fies this teaching and links it to faith in himself (cf. Jn 5:24-25; 11:25); and he al-
so purifies the Pharisees’ notion of the resurrection, which was an interpretation
based only on material terms (cf. Mk 12:18-27; 1 Cor 15:35-53).

In what the mother says (v. 28) we can also see belief in the creation of the world
out of nothing “as a truth full of promise and hope” (Catechism of the Catholic
Church, 297). On the basis of this passage and some New Testament passages,
such as John 1:3 and Hebrews 11:3, the Church has formulated its doctrine of
creation: “We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order
to create (cf. Vatican I: DS 3022), nor is creation any sort of necessary emana-
tion from the divine substance (cf. Vatican I: DS 3023-3024). God creates freely
‘out of nothing’ (DS 800; 3025). If God had drawn the world from pre-existent mat-
ter, what would be so extraordinary in that? A human artisan makes from a given
material whatever he wants, while God shows his power by starting from nothing
to make all he wants” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 296).

The assertion that the death of martyrs has expiatory value (vv. 37-38) prepares
us to grasp the redemptive meaning of Christ’s death; but we should remember
that Christ, by his death, not only deflected the punishment that all men deserve
on account of sin, but also, through his grace, makes sinful men righteous in
God’s sight (cf. Rom 3:21-16).

Many Fathers of the Church, notably St Gregory Nazianzen (Orationes, 15, 22),
St. Ambrose (De Iacob et vitae beata, 2, 10, 44-57), St Augustine (In Epistolam
Ioannis, 8, 7), and St Cyprian (Ad Fortunatus, 11) heaped praise on these seven
brothers and their mother. St John Chrysostom invites us to imitate them when-
ever temptation strikes: “All the moderation that they show in the midst of dan-
gers we, too, should imitate with which we deal with irrational concupiscence,
anger, greed for possessions, bodily passions, vainglory and such like. For if we
manage to control their flame, as (the Maccabees) did the flame of the fire, we
will be able to be near them and have a share in their confidence and freedom of
spirit” (Homiliae in Maccabaeos, 1, 3).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


3 posted on 11/09/2013 8:37:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5

The need for steadfastness


[16] Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us
and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, [17] comfort your
hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Paul asks for prayers


[1] Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and tri-
umph, as it did among you, [2] and that we may be delivered from wicked and
evil men; for not all have faith. [3] But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you
and guard you from evil. [4] And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that
you are doing and will do the things which we command. [5] May the Lord direct
your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

16-17. God chose believers without any merit on their part; that choice marks the
first stage in their path to salvation; the journey to the goal of salvation involves co-
operation between God’s grace and man’s freedom. Man needs the help of that
“good hope” which comes from recognizing that he is a son of God. “In my case,
and I wish the same to happen to you”, St. Escriva writes, “the certainty I derive
from feeling – from knowing – that I am a son of God fills me with real hope which,
being a supernatural virtue, adapts to our nature when it is infused in us, and so
is also a very human virtue […]. This conviction spurs me on to grasp that only
those things that bear the imprint of God can display the indelible sign of eternity
and have lasting value. Therefore, far from separating me from the things of this
earth, hope draws me closer to these realities in a new way, a Christian way,
which seeks to discover in everything the relation between our fallen nature and
God, our Creator and Redeemer” (Friends of God, 28).

By inspiring us with hope, God fills our hearts with consolation and at the same
time encourages us to put our faith into practice in daily life – “in every good work
and word.”

1. The whole Church, not just the Apostles, is given the task of spreading the
message of Jesus. All believers can and should play an active part in this, at
least by way of prayer. The Apostle’s request for prayers also shows that he rea-
lizes that the supernatural work entrusted to him is beyond him and yet he does
not shirk the work of apostolate. St John Chrysostom comments on St Paul’s ap-
proach: “The Apostle […] now encourages them to offer prayers to God for him,
but he does not ask them to pray God to free him from dangers he ought to face
up to (for they are an unavoidable consequence of his ministry); rather, he asks
them to pray ‘that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph’” (Hom. on 2
Thess, ad loc.).

The “speed and triumph” is evocative of the Games, which had such a following in
Greece: the winner of a race was given a victory wreath. The victory, the triumph,
of the word of the Lord is its proclamation reaching everyone and being accepted
by everyone.

2. “Not all have faith”: literally, “faith is not something that belongs to all”, that is,
not everyone has believed the Apostle’s preaching though he has excluded no one
from it. The “wicked and evil men” may be a reference to certain Jews hostile to
Christianity who had persecuted Paul in Macedonia and were now putting obsta-
cles in his way at Corinth.

It must be remembered that faith is a supernatural virtue, a gift from God, and can-
not be obtained by man’s unaided effort: “Even though the assent of faith is by no
means a blind impulse, still, no one can assent to the gospel inspiration of the Ho-
ly Spirit, who gives all men their joy in assenting to and believing the truth” (Vati-
can I, Dei Filius, chap. 3).

God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1
Tim 2:4) and so to all men he gives his grace and offers the gift of faith; however,
they are free to reject or accept the light he offers them.

3. “But the Lord is faithful”: and therefore, unlike those who are unfaithful (v. 2),
we should put our trust in God: “Do not doubt it”, Chrysostom comments, “God
is faithful. He has promised salvation, he will save you. But, as he said, he will
do so on one condition – that we love him, that we listen to his word and his
Law. He will not save us unless we cooperate” (Hom. on 2 Thess, ad loc.).

“He will strengthen you and guard you from evil”: These words may be meant to
echo the prayer contained in the Our Father (cf. Mt 6:13; cf. Mt 5:37).

4-5. The Apostle is confident that the Thessalonians will stay true to Christ, and
he asks God to give them the endurance they need in the midst of their difficul-
ties. “The steadfastness of Christ” may be a reference to the example Christ gave
during his passion by enduring unto death on the cross, out of love for the Father
and for us; believers should love God in that kind of way (cf. Heb 12:1). However,
“the steadfastness of Christ” can also be interpreted as referring to the need for
Christians to be patient as they wait for the second coming of Christ (cf. 1 Thess
1:3).

Love and steadfastness are two Christian virtues which make us resemble God:
“Therefore be imitators of god, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ
loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph
5:1-2). So, love and endurance are interconnected and complement each other:
“Jesus came to the Cross after having prepared himself for thirty-three years, all
his life! If they really want to imitate him, his disciples have to turn their lives into
a co-redemption of Love, by means of active and passive self-denial” (St. J. Es-
criva, Furrow, 255).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 11/09/2013 8:40:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 20:27-38

The Resurrection of the Dead


[27] There came to Him (Jesus) some Sadducees, those who say that
there is no resurrection, [28] 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. [29] Now there were seven brothers; the first took a
wife, and died without children; [30] and the second [31] and the third
took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. [32]
Afterward the woman also died. [33] In the resurrection, therefore,
whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

[34] And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given
in marriage; [35] 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, [36] for they cannot die any more, because they are equal
to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. [37]
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. [38] Now He is not God of the dead, but of
the living; for all live to Him.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

27-38. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body or
the immortality of the soul. They came along to ask Jesus a question
which is apparently unanswerable. According to the Levirate law (cf.
Deuteronomy 25:5ff), if a man died without issue, his brother was duty
bound to marry his widow to provide his brother with descendants. The
consequences of this law would seem to give rise to a ridiculous situation
at the resurrection of the dead.

Our Lord replies by reaffirming that there will be a resurrection; and by
explaining the properties of those who have risen again, the Sadducees’
argument simply evaporates. In this world people marry in order to
continue the species: that is the primary aim of marriage. After the
resurrection there will be no more marriage because people will not
die anymore.

Quoting Sacred Scripture (Exodus 3:2, 6) our Lord shows the grave
mistake the Sadducees make, and He argues: God is not the God of
the dead but of the living, that is to say, there exists a permanent
relationship between God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who have
been dead for years. Therefore, although these just men have died as
far as their bodies are concerned, they are alive, truly alive, in God—their
souls are immortal—and they are awaiting the resurrection of their
bodies.

See also the notes on Matthew 22:23-33 and Mark 12:18-27.

[The note on Matthew 22:23-33 states:

23-33. The Sadducees argue against belief in the resurrection of the
dead on the basis of the Levirate law, a Jewish law which laid down
that when a married man died without issue, one of his brothers,
according to a fixed order, should marry his widow and the first son
of that union be given the dead man’s name. By outlining an extreme
cases the Sadducees make the law and belief in resurrection look
ridiculous. In His reply, Jesus shows up the frivolity of their objections
and asserts the truth of the resurrection of the dead.]

[The note on Mark 12:18-27 states:

18-27. Before answering the difficulty proposed by the Sadducees, Jesus
wants to identify the source of the problem—man’s tendency to confine
the greatness of God inside a human framework through excessive
reliance on reason, not giving due weight to divine Revelation and the
power of God. A person can have difficulty with the truths of faith;
this is not surprising, for these truths are above human reason. But
it is ridiculous to try to find contradictions in the revealed word of
God; this only leads away from any solution of difficulty and may make
it impossible to find one’s way back to God. We need to approach
Sacred Scripture, and, in general, the things of God, with the humility
which faith demands. In the passage about the burning bush, which
Jesus quotes to the Sadducees, God says this to Moses: “Put off your
shoes from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground”
(Exodus 3:5).]

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 11/09/2013 8:43:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jerusalem Bible published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14 ©

There were seven brothers who were arrested with their mother. The king tried to force them to taste pig’s flesh, which the Law forbids, by torturing them with whips and scourges. One of them, acting as spokesman for the others, said, ‘What are you trying to find out from us? We are prepared to die rather than break the laws of our ancestors.’

  With his last breath the second brother exclaimed, ‘Inhuman fiend, you may discharge us from this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up, since it is for his laws that we die, to live again for ever.’

  After him, they amused themselves with the third, who on being asked for his tongue promptly thrust it out and boldly held out his hands, with these honourable words, ‘It was heaven that gave me these limbs; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again.’ The king and his attendants were astounded at the young man’s courage and his utter indifference to suffering.

  When this one was dead they subjected the fourth to the same savage torture. When he neared his end he cried, ‘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 resurrection, no new life.’


Psalm

Psalm 16:1,5-6,8,15 ©

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.

Lord, hear a cause that is just,

  pay heed to my cry.

Turn your ear to my prayer:

  no deceit is on my lips.

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.

  I kept my feet firmly in your paths;

  there was no faltering in my steps.

I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.

  Turn your ear to me; hear my words.

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.

Guard me as the apple of your eye.

  Hide me in the shadow of your wings

As for me, in my justice I shall see your face

  and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.


Second reading

2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 ©

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

  Finally, brothers, pray for us; pray that the Lord’s message may spread quickly, and be received with honour as it was among you; and pray that we may be preserved from the interference of bigoted and evil people, for faith is not given to everyone. But the Lord is faithful, and he will give you strength and guard you from the evil one, and we, in the Lord, have every confidence that you are doing and will go on doing all that we tell you. May the Lord turn your hearts towards the love of God and the fortitude of Christ.


Gospel Acclamation

Lk21:36

Alleluia, alleluia!

Stay awake, praying at all times

for the strength to stand with confidence

before the Son of Man.

Alleluia!

Or

Rv1:5,6

Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus Christ is the First-born from the dead:

to him be glory and power for ever and ever.

Alleluia!

EITHER:

Gospel

Luke 20:27-38 ©

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’

  Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’

OR:

Alternative Gospel

Luke 20:27,34-38 ©

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached him and they put this question to him.

  Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’


6 posted on 11/09/2013 8:47:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

7 posted on 11/09/2013 8:52:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 11/09/2013 8:59:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 11/09/2013 8:59:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

10 posted on 11/09/2013 9:00:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


11 posted on 11/09/2013 9:01:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

12 posted on 11/09/2013 9:01:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


13 posted on 11/09/2013 9:02:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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(For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." II Maccabees 12

 

November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. As a reminder of our duty to pray for the suffering faithful in Purgatory, the Church has dedicated the month of November to the Holy Souls. The Holy Souls are those who have died in the state of grace but who are not yet free from all punishment due to their unforgiven venial sins and all other sins already forgiven for which satisfaction is still to be made. They are certain of entering Heaven, but first they must suffer in Purgatory. The Holy Souls cannot help themselves because for them the night has come, when no man can work (John 9:4). It is our great privilege of brotherhood that we can shorten their time of separation from God by our prayers, good works, and, especially, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

To Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory:

1. Have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered up for them.

2. Pray the Rosary and or the Chaplet of Divine Marcy for them, or both.

3. Pray the Stations of the Cross.

4. Offer up little sacrifices and fasting.

5. Spread devotion to them, so that others may pray for them.

6. Attend Eucharistic Adoration and pray for them.

7. Gain all the indulgences you can, and apply them to the Holy Souls

8. Visit to a Cemetery

 

Litany for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

The just shall be in everlasting remembrance; 
He shall not fear the evil hearing.
 
V. Absolve, O Lord, the souls of the faithful departed 
from every bond of sin, 
R. And by the help of Thy grace
may they be enabled to escape the avenging judgment, 
and to enjoy the happiness of eternal life. 
Because in Thy mercy are deposited the souls that departed 
in an inferior degree of grace,
Lord, have mercy.
Because their present suffering is greatest 
in the knowledge of the pain that their separation from Thee is causing Thee,
Lord, have mercy. 
Because of their present inability to add to Thy accidental glory, 
Lord, have mercy.
Not for our consolation, O Lord; 
not for their release from purgative pain, O God; 
but for Thy joy 
and the greater accidental honour of Thy throne, O Christ the King,
Lord, have mercy.
For the souls of our departed friends, relations and benefactors, 
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those of our family who have fallen asleep in Thy bosom, O Jesus, 
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those who have gone to prepare our place,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
(For those who were our brothers [or sisters] in Religion,)
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For priests who were our spiritual directors,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For men or women who were our teachers in school,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those who were our employers (or employees),
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those who were our associates in daily toil,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For any soul whom we ever offended,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For our enemies now departed,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those souls who have none to pray for them,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those forgotten by their friends and kin,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those now suffering the most,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those who have acquired the most merit,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For the souls next to be released from Purgatory,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
 
For those who, while on earth, 
were most devoted to God the Holy Ghost, 
to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, 
to the holy Mother of God,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For all deceased popes and prelates,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For all deceased priests, seminarians and religious, 
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For all our brethren in the Faith everywhere, 
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For all our separated brethren who deeply loved Thee, 
and would have come into Thy household had they known the truth,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those souls who need, or in life asked, our prayers,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
For those, closer to Thee than we are, whose prayers we need,
grant light and peace, O Lord.  
That those may be happy with Thee forever, 
who on earth were true exemplars of the Catholic Faith, 
grant them eternal rest, O Lord.
That those may be admitted to Thine unveiled Presence, 
who as far as we know never committed mortal sin,     
grant them eternal rest, O Lord.  
That those may be housed in glory, 
who lived always in recollection and prayer,
grant them eternal rest, O Lord.  
That those may be given the celestial joy of beholding Thee, 
who lived lives of mortification and self-denial and penance,
grant them eternal rest, O Lord.  
That those may be flooded with Thy love, 
who denied themselves even Thy favours of indulgence 
and who made the heroic act 
for the souls who had gone before them,
grant them eternal rest, O Lord.  
That those may be drawn up to the Beatific Vision, 
who never put obstacles in the way of sanctifying grace 
and who ever drew closer in mystical union with Thee,
grant them eternal rest, O Lord.  
V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, 
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them. 
 
Let Us Pray 
Be mindful, O Lord, 
of Thy servants and handmaids, 
N. and N., 
who are gone before us 
with the sign of faith 
and repose in the sleep of grace.  
To these, O Lord, 
and to all who rest in Christ, 
grant, we beseech Thee, 
a place of refreshment, 
light and peace, 
through the same Christ Our Lord.
 
Amen


All Saints or All Souls? Differences should be black and white
All Souls' Day [Catholic Caucus]
Why I Am Catholic: For Purgatory, Thank Heavens (Ecumenical)
Q and A: Why Pray for the Dead? [Ecumenical]
“….and Death is Gain” – A Meditation on the Christian View of Death [Catholic Caucus]
99 & 1/2 Won’t Do – A Meditation on Purgatory
The Month of November: Thoughts on the "Last Things"
To Trace All Souls Day (Protestants vs Catholics)

November 2 -- All Souls Day
On November: All Souls and the "Permanent Things"
"From the Pastor" ALL SAINTS & ALL SOULS
Praying for the Dead [All Souls Day] (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
To Trace All Souls Day [Ecumenical]
All Souls Day [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Roots of All Souls Day
The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
During Month of Souls, Recall Mystic, St. Gertrude the Great
All Saints and All Souls

 Repeat these prayers every seven days during the month of November for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

 

SUNDAY

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Blood, which Your divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Your glory, where it may praise and bless You for ever.    Amen.

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

CONCLUDING PRAYERS

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.    Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us.   As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.



 

MONDAY

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Blood, which Your divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Your glory, that it may soon begin to praise You and bless You for ever.    Amen.

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

CONCLUDING PRAYERS

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.    Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us.   As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.

 

TUESDAY

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Blood of Your divine Son Jesus that was shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, particularly that soul which is in the greatest need of our prayers, in order that it may not long be delayed in praising You in Your glory and blessing You for ever.    Amen.

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

CONCLUDING PRAYERS

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.    Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us.   As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.


 

WEDNESDAY

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Blood of Your divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem while He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in purgatory and especially that one which is richest in merits in Your sight, so that, having soon attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise You triumphantly and bless You for ever.    Amen

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

CONCLUDING PRAYERS

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.    Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us.   As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.

 

THURSDAY

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Body and Blood of Your divine Son Jesus, which He Himself on the night before His Passion gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles and bequeathed to His Holy Church to be the perpetual Sacrifice and life-giving nourishment of His faithful people, deliver the souls in purgatory, but most of all, that soul which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite love, in order that it may praise You therefore, together with Your divine Son and the Holy Spirit in Your glory for ever.    Amen.

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

CONCLUDING PRAYERS

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.    Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us.   As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.

 

FRIDAY

 

O Lord God omnipotent,
I beseech You by the Precious Blood which Jesus Your divine Son did shed this day upon the tree of the Cross, especially from His sacred Hands and Feet, deliver the souls in purgatory, and particularly that soul for whom I am most bound to pray, in order that I may not be the cause which hinders You from admitting it quickly to the possession of Your glory where it may praise You and bless You for evermore.    Amen

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

CONCLUDING PRAYERS

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.    Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us.   As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.

 

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

 

 

SATURDAY

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred Side of Your divine Son Jesus in the presence and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in purgatory and among them all especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Your glory, there to praise You in her, and her in You through all the ages.    Amen.

 

Say here:  one Our Father and one Hail Mary

CONCLUDING PRAYERS

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.    Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us.   As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.

 


14 posted on 11/09/2013 9:02:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Intentions of the Holy Father for November

November 2013

Suffering Priests. That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity.

Latin American Churches. That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches.

15 posted on 11/09/2013 9:05:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Commentary of the day
Theodore of Mopsuestia (?-428), Bishop and theologian
Commentary on Saint John's
Gospel, Book 2

"He is not God of the dead, but of the living"

At the basis of our present condition is Adam, but of our future life, Christ our Lord. For just as Adam was the first of mortal men and, consequently, all are mortal because of him, so Christ is the first to rise from the dead and has given the seed of resurrection to those who would come after him. We come into this visible life through birth in the body, which is why we are all perishable beings. But in the life to come we will be transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is why we shall rise up again imperishable.

This won't happen until that little
seed of life has passed away. However, in this present time Christ our Lord has desired to bear us there in a symbolic way by giving baptism to us, that new birth into him. This spiritual birth is already the prefiguration of resurrection and the regeneration that is to be fully realized in us when we pass into the life there. This is why baptism is also termed regeneration...

When the
apostle Paul speaks of the future life he wishes to reassure his hearers with these words: “Not only creation but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for the redemption of our bodies” (Rm 8,23). For if we have received the firstfruits of grace even now, we are waiting to receive it in its fulness when we are given the happiness of resurrection.


16 posted on 11/09/2013 9:07:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Zenit.org

The God of the Living Flower Not of the Dead Thoughts

Lectio Divina: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Paris, November 08, 2013 (Zenit.org) Monsignor Francesco Follo |

1)     Life is not taken away from us but it is transformed

 

     In today’s gospel, some Sadducees[1] go to Jesus (Lk 20:27-38) to put him against the Bible, but perhaps also because their hearts were attracted to Jesus. All approach Him even if with different intents. In today’s liturgy the affiliates to this religious movement in order to defend their interpretation of the Bible, ask an important question regarding the resurrection from the dead. The case in question concerns a woman who had married seven brothers. One after the other the husbands had died and she had no children[2]. This widow, who had been taken and left alone seven times, was not only barren but was condemned to an uncertain and sterile life. The conclusion of the Sadducees is ironic and terrible “You say that there is resurrection.  What will happen to this woman? She had seven husbands. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?”

     With patience typical of the ones who love, Jesus answers widening the perspective and taking them little by little to the logic of Life. The criterions of earthly life cannot by applied to the life in the otherworld because the difference is substantial. “Is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit” (see Rm 14:17). It changes completely the dimension where “on every instant gravitates the Eternal” (Ada Negri).  “Man’s greatness, his glory and his majesty are in knowing what it is truly great, in attaching to it and in asking glory from the Lord of glory” (see Saint Basil the Great - Homily 20- chapter 3).

     In his answer Jesus quotes the Bible, but surprisingly he quotes Exodus 3:6 which is a text on God not on the resurrection “That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out 'Lord, ' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive” Where is the proof that the dead will rise? If God describes himself “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” and he is a God of the living not of the dead, then that means that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive somewhere even if, when God speaks of them to Moses, they have been dead for a long time.

     In answering to the Sadducees Jesus takes the opportunity also to correct the belief of those Pharisees that understood the resurrection in material terms exposing themselves to the irony of the liberals. It is the same irony we find in today’s Gospel “A woman had seven husbands, at resurrection whose wife will she be?” Jesus says that the life of the dead is not like the one on earth; it is a different life because is divine and eternal. We could compare it to the one of the angels (see Lk 20:36).

     The angels[3] are not the gentle and evanescent creatures we imagine. In the Bible they have the power of God, a dynamism that goes above, rises and enters and flies in light, in love and in beauty. Their duty is to guard, to illuminate, to govern and to make love beautiful. The angels that perpetually contemplate God, are the ones to whom the celestial pity has given custody of us. They illuminate us, protect us constantly in our life and guide us along the Master’s ways toward the everlasting home. We area called to angelical life now here and for eternity.

     The ephemeral[4] becomes eternal. With his Cross, Christ didn’t get rid of the ephemeral in order to “escape“ towards eternity, but has put the seed of eternity in the world to let the Kingdom of God grow and to introduce angelic life into the world.

2)     The angelic life of the consecrated life

     Before saying how consecrated life is angelic life and transforms the ephemeral into eternity, I’d like to point out that the ones who claim that matrimony has no consequences in heaven make a wrong interpretation of Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees. By stating that “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage;but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage” (Lk 20:34-35), Jesus rejects the spoofy idea that the Sadducees present of the otherworld as if it were a simple continuation of the earthly relationship between spouses, and doesn’t rule out that they could find in God the union that united them on earth.[5]

     Beside the family there is another “place” that is school of love, that is consecrated life that “teaches” by transforming the existence of the consecrated people into a pure hymn to the Lord like the life of the saints and of the angels. To make this happen it is necessary to tune the harp and to gain purity of heart. The consecrated persons do so with the vow and the practice of chastity. Nature demands that man writes something eternal on something that is ephemeral. Through the Eucharistic the ephemeral bread and wine become eternal.

     The same happens in the virginal consecration when the virgins consecrate their ideal, ”truly lofty in itself, demands no special external change. Each consecrated person normally remains in her own life context. It is a way that seems to lack the specific characteristics of religious life, and above all that of obedience. For you, however, love becomes the sequel: your charisma entails a total gift to Christ, an assimilation of the Bridegroom who implicitly asks for the observance of the evangelical counsels in order to keep your fidelity to him unstained (cf. RCV, n. 26). …. I urge you to go beyond external appearances, experiencing the mystery of God's tenderness which each one of you bears in herself and recognizing one another as sisters, even in your diversity” (ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESSBENEDICT XVI TO THE PARTECIPANT IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS-PILGRIMAGE OF THE ORDO VIRGINUM, Thursday, 15 May 2008) Doing so they testify that the tender grace of God is worthy more than life (see Ps 62/53, 4)

--

Roman Rite

XXXII Sunday in Ordinary time – Year C- November 10, 2013


17 posted on 11/09/2013 9:15:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 20:27-38

Divine oracles

 

Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky

Throughout history divine oracles have been popular. Oracles have no earthly entanglements and demand an immediate and complete surrender of freedom. Far from liberating us, we are made intellectual and moral slaves to the wishes of the oracle who often is too eager to claim mastery over us. From the ancient Greek Oracle of Delphi to seers and palm readers in our day, in our sloth, we can be all too eager for the quick and easy answers to difficulties in our earthly journey. But it is impossible for anyone to be an oracle of divine wisdom from a truly Christian point of view.

In this regard the encounter in Sunday’s Gospel is instructive. The Pharisees and Sadducees look to Jesus to resolve a religious dispute dividing the two groups. The Pharisees believe in the resurrection of the dead; the Sadducees do not. In the question posed to Christ, the Pharisees busied themselves with complications of multiple marriages preceding the resurrection of the dead. It is up to us to guess their motives, but it seems safe to conclude both sides were putting Jesus to the test, at best seeking an ally in Him. The answer Christ gives, however, not only proves to be unsatisfactory to both sides but reveals how God teaches us day to day.

Christ weighs in on the side of the resurrection of the dead but not to the full satisfaction of the Pharisees. He insists, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.”

In His response, Christ reveals that His authority does not deny the history of salvation; He embraces it. He has not come “to abolish the law or the prophets.” He has “come not to abolish but to fulfill” (cf. Mt 5:17-37). Unlike the credentialed religious authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees, Christ roots His teaching in tradition, invoking Moses: “Even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out, ‘Lord,’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

The high point of the synthesis of the old and the new in the person of Christ can be found after the Resurrection on the road to Emmaus. Here the risen Lord, unrecognized by His forlorn disciples, says to them, “‘Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures” (cf. Lk 24:13-35). The teaching of Christ fulfills the tradition of Scriptures. He is not a revolutionary stand-alone “oracle of divine wisdom.” He is the word made flesh who reconciles all humanity to Himself.

The way of Christ, therefore, cannot be reduced to the relatively few words contained in the Gospels, as vitally important as these words are. Christ and His teaching can only be understood with the full weight of the Old Testament before Him and the authentic interpretation of the “deposit of faith” by the magisterium of the church over the centuries. Hence, expecting a priest, bishop or even a pope to “change the teachings of the church to catch up with modern ways of thinking” is, in effect, treating the church as a magical “oracle of divine wisdom.” She is not. The church — and all popes, bishops and priests — are mere guardians of God’s self-revelation within the context of all of man’s history where we all “work out (our) salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12-18).

Living a good and upright life is the fruit of a continuing encounter with the living God in Scriptures, church teaching, prayer and the sacraments. It is not a matter of surrendering one’s freedom to a mysterious oracle. It is not slavery. It is the hard work, with God’s grace, of freely living a life of Christian principle and virtue in Christ.

Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Church in Annandale.


18 posted on 11/09/2013 9:26:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

Luke 20:27-38

27 And there came to him some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection, and they asked him,
28 Saying: Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he leaves no children, that his brother should take her to wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
30 And the next took her to wife, and he also died childless.
31 And the third took her. And in like manner all the seven, and they left no children, and died.
32 Last of all the woman died also.
33 In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of them shall she be? For all the seven had her to wife.
34 And Jesus said to them: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world, and of the resurrection from the dead, shall neither be married, nor take wives.
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37 Now that the dead rise again, Moses also showed, at the bush, when he called the Lord, The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
38 For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I am the Resurrection and the life. If you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood I will raise you up on the last day. If you believe in my words you will receive the wisdom to understand what I have said and you will open your heart to learn from my spirit of truth.

I came to the world precisely to give eternal life, something that was lost because of sin. Now, this new life starts with the resurrection; but the Sadducees were a group denying the resurrection of the dead. They presented me a human argument to try to discredit the spiritual designs of God for the next life. My answer to them was to take them out of their material way of thinking so that they could see with the eyes of the spirit more sublime things, in fact, nothing to do with the needs of the flesh.

I have said that in the last times true worshippers will worship God in spirit and in truth, and indeed when you leave this material human existence, you will come to share fully in my divine nature, your souls will live in my spirit.

When your life on this earth is finished, you will be on your own. All the attachments of the world will be left behind; your family, your possessions and your entire journey will have been instrumental for your entry into eternal life. Once you close your eyes for good, it will become a matter between you and me.

The reason why you cannot enjoy abundantly the fullness of your spirit now is because you are still in the flesh.

The mind is superior to the body, in the same way that the spirit is superior to the soul. The mind lives in the body just as the spirit lives in the soul. But being in the weakness of the flesh, the world is presenting continuous stimuli to the soul to distract it from the contact with the spirit.

The spiritual person understands the need to prepare for eternal life; he will put into practice my instructions on self-denial, he will abide by my commandments of love, he will not depend entirely on the desires of the flesh but on his desires for me.

Remember that you are a child of God, the Father of all Spirits. A true child of God is more in the spirit than in the flesh. While you are on your flesh you are on a journey, meditate on your spirit, pray in your spirit, and familiarize yourself more with your real identity as a child of God. My spirit will be united to your spirit to keep you constantly searching for me. I am looking forward to the moment of your resurrection, when you will know yourself as you truly are and you will know me as I am.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary

19 posted on 11/09/2013 9:33:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

I’m Gonna Ride the Chariot in the Morning Lord! – A Sermon for the 32nd Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

In the readings today, the Church presents for us a strong reminder and teaching on the resurrection. Jesus himself leads the charge against those who would deny the resurrection from the dead and the seven Brothers of the first reading along with their mother bring up the rear. Let’s take a look at what we are taught in three stages.

I. Ridicule of the Resurrection - The Gospel opens with the observation that Some Sadducees, who deny there is a resurrection, came forward and put [a] question to Jesus. These Sadducees propose to Jesus a ridiculous example about a woman who was married seven times to successively dying brothers and had no children by any of them. They suggest that the resurrection will cause there to be a real confusion in determining whose husband she really is! Now we’re all supposed to laugh, according to these Sadducees, and conclude that the idea of resurrection is ludicrous.

Jesus will dismiss their absurdity handily as we shall see in a moment. But let’s take a moment and consider why the Sadducees disbelieved the resurrection.

Fundamentally, they rejected the resurrection due to the fact that they accepted only the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Now this is somewhat debated among scholars but for our purposes we can surely say that if something was not explicitly in the Law of Moses, they were unlikely to accept it. All the other Old Testament books such as the prophets, the historical books, the psalms, and the wisdom tradition were set aside by them as authoritative sources.

They further claimed that, in these first five books, the resurrection of the dead was not taught. Most other Jews of Jesus’ time did accept the complete Old Testament, and teachings such as the resurrection of the dead which are set forth there, but the Sadducees simply did not. They were a small party within Judaism (Josephus said they were able to persuade none but the rich). Nevertheless they were influential due especially to their wealth and to the fact that they predominated among the Temple leadership. You can read more of them here: Sadducees

Hence the Sadducees arrive to poke fun at Jesus and all others who held that the dead would rise.

They are no match for Jesus who easily dispatches their arguments. And Jesus uses the Book of Exodus, a book they accept, to do it. In effect Jesus argument proceeds as such:

  1. You accept Moses, do you not?
  2. (To which they would surely reply yes)
  3. But Moses teaches that the dead will rise.
  4. (Jesus must have gotten puzzled looks but he presses on).
  5. You accept that God is a God of the living and not the dead?
  6. (To which they would surely reply yes).
  7. Then why does God in Exodus identify himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all of whom have been dead some 400 years? How can he call himself their God if they are dead?
  8. Obviously they are alive, for he could not call himself their God, for he is not a God of the dead but of the living.
  9. So they are alive to God. They are not dead.

Hence Jesus dispatches their view. For us, the point is to see how forcefully and clearly Jesus upholds the fact that the dead are alive in the Lord. He powerfully asserts an essential doctrine of the Church and we should rejoice at how firmly Jesus rebukes their disbelief in the resurrection of the dead.

Rejoice! For your loved ones are alive before God . To this world they may seem dead, but Jesus tells us firmly and clearly today, they live. Likewise we too, who will face physical death will also live on. Let the world ridicule this, but hear what Jesus says and how he easily dispatches them. Though ridiculed, the resurrection is real.

II. Resplendence of the Resurrection Jesus also sets aside the silly scenario that the Sadducees advance by teaching in effect that earthly realities cannot simply be projected in to heaven. Marriage scenarios, perceived in earthly ways, cannot be used to understand heavenly realities. The Saints in heaven live beyond earthly categories.

Heaven is more than the absence of bad things and more than the accumulation of good things. Heaven is far beyond anything this world can offer. Scripture says, No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor 2:9). And Again, The sufferings of this world cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed in us (Rom 8:18).

Do you see the majesty of this teaching? We have a glory waiting for us beyond imagining. Consider your greatest pleasure, your happiest experience, your most fulfilled moment. Now multiply them by ten trillion. You are not even close understanding the glory that waits.

And this glory will personally transform us. The Lord once told Catherine of Siena that if she ever saw the glory of a Saint in heaven she would fall down and worship because she would think she was looking at God. This is our dignity, to be transformed into the very likeness of God and reflect his glory. Earlier this week I recorded an elaboration of Catherine’s vision of the soul of a saint in heaven:

It was so beautiful that she could not look on it; the brightness of that soul dazzled her. Blessed Raymond, her confessor, asked her to describe to him, as far as she was able, the beauty of the soul she had seen. St. Catherine thought of the sweet light of that morning, and of the beautiful colors of the rainbow, but that soul was far more beautiful. She remembered the dazzling beams of the noonday sun, but the light which beamed from that soul was far brighter. She thought of the pure whiteness of the lily and of the fresh snow, but that is only an earthly whiteness. The soul she had seen was bright with the whiteness of Heaven, such as there is not to be found on earth. ” My father,” she answered. “I cannot find anything in this world that can give you the smallest idea of what I have seen. Oh, if you could but see the beauty of a soul in the state of grace, you would sacrifice your life a thousand times for its salvation. I asked the angel who was with me what had made that soul so beautiful, and he answered me, “It is the image and likeness of God in that soul, and the Divine Grace which made it so beautiful.” [1].

Yes, heaven is glorious and we shall be changed. Scripture says we shall be like the Lord for we shall see him as he is(1 John 3:2).It also says, He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified Body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself. (Phil 3:19) I have written more on our resurrected bodies here: What will our resurrected bodies be like?

Further, too many people have egocentric notions of heaven where “I” will have a mansion, I will see My relatives, I will play all the golf I want. But the heart of heaven is to be with God for whom our heart longs. In God we will experience fulfillment and peace beyond any earthly thing. There is more to heaven than golf, reunions and mansions, certainly more than clouds and harps. The “more” can never be told for it is beyond words. St Paul speaks of a man (himself) who was caught up into heaven and affirms it cannot be described, it is ineffable, it is unspeakable:

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven…. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. (2 cor 12:2-3).

Do you long for heaven? Do you meditate on it? Is there a part of you that can’t wait to get there? There’s an Old Spiritual that says, “I’m gonna ride the Chariot in the mornin’ Lord. I’m getting ready for the judgment say, Mah Lord, Mah Lord! And this leads us to the final point.

III. Response to the Resurrection What difference does the resurrection make other than to give us joy if we meditate upon it? To see that answer, look to the first reading today, where the seven brothers are willing to accept torture and death. If there is a great reward waiting for those who remain faithful and we see that reward as the greatest thing we have , then we will endure anything to get there. Notice how the vision of heaven spurs them on to reject demands of their persecutors that they deny their faith:

We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors…. You are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying….. the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing (2 Maccabees, 7:2,9, 12)

Only their vision of the rewards waiting for them could motivate them to endure the awful sufferings described in the 7th Chapter of 2nd Maccabees

And what of us? Do we meditate on heaven and value it’s reward enough to be willing to endure suffering to get there? We need a strong vision of heaven to be able to endure and stand fast. Too many today have lost a deep appreciation for heaven. Too many pray to God merely for worldly comforts and rewards. But these will pass. We ought to ask God for a deep desire and drive for heaven and the things waiting for us there.

What athlete will discipline his body, as severely as they do, without the deep motivation of reward and the satisfaction of meeting goals? What college student attends thousands of hours of school, reads lengthy books and writes lengthy papers if it is not for the pot of gold and career at the end of the trail? Then, who of us will endure the trials of faith if we are not deeply imbued with the vision of glory and deeply desirous of its fulfillment no matter the cost? Without this our moral and spiritual life become tepid and our willingness to endure trials falls away. An old hymn says:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Meditate on heaven often. Although we can never fully grasp its glory here, we ought not let that stop us from imagining what we can. Read Revelation Chapters 4,5, 8, 21 & 22. But above all, ask God for an ever deepening desire for Him and the good things waiting for you in heaven. Look to heaven, long for heaven, desire God and deeply root your life in him. Heaven will not disappoint!

This African American Spiritual says, I’m gonna ride the chariot in the morning Lord! I’m gettin ready for the judgment day, My Lord, My Lord! Are you ready my brother? (Oh yes!) Are you ready for the journey? (Oh Yes!), do you want to see Jesus (Yes, Yes!) I’m waiting for the Chariot ’cause I ready to go. I never can forget that day, (Ride in the chariot to see my Lord), My feet were snatched from the miry clay! (Ride in the chariot to see my Lord!)


20 posted on 11/09/2013 9:40:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14 II: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5


Gospel
Luke 20:27-38

27 There came to him some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection,
28 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.
29 Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children;
30 and the second
31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died.
32 Afterward the woman also died.
33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife."
34 And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage;
35 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,
36 for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
37 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.
38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him."


Interesting Details
One Main Point

"God is not the God of the dead but of the living." Life in God is different from life defined by men.


Reflections
  1. How do I define being alive, and being dead? Do I use my rules to define a good and successful life (physical attraction, material possessions, popularity, fitting in with the crowd, winning arguments...) or do I use God's rules?
  2. I pray, with his apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 3:5), that the Lord rule my heart in the love of God and the constancy of Christ.

21 posted on 11/09/2013 9:50:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday, November 10, 2013
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
2 Thessalonians 2:16 -- 3:5
Luke 20:27-38

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am afflicted. My lots are in thy hands. Deliver me out of the hands of my enemies; and from them that persecute me. Let me not be confounded, O Lord, for I have called upon thee.

-- Psalm xxx. 10, 16, 18


22 posted on 11/09/2013 9:54:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

23 posted on 11/09/2013 9:55:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


24 posted on 11/09/2013 9:57:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Leo the Great, Pope & Doctor of the Church

Saint Leo the Great,
Pope & Doctor of the Church
Memorial
November 10th


Alessandro Algardi
The Meeting of Leo I and Attila
1646-53
Marble, height: 750 cm
Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican

 

(+461) During his pontificate, the Council of Chalcedon (451) defined that Christ is one divine person with two natures, divine and human, thus confirming Leo's Epistola Dogmatica (Tomus) which was written to the Patriarch Flavin of Constantinople. He defended the unity of the Church and famously delayed the onslaught of Attila.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Collect:
O God, who never allow the gates of hell
to prevail against your Church,
firmly founded on the apostolic rock,
grant her, we pray,
that through the intercession of Pope Saint Leo,
she may stand firm in your truth
and know the protection of lasting peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Ecclesiasticus 39:8-14 [39:6-10 in RSV]
If the great Lord is willing, he will be filled with the spirit of understanding; he will pour forth words of wisdom and give thanks to the Lord in prayer. He will direct his counsel and knowledge aright, and meditate on his secrets. He will reveal instruction in his teaching, and will glory in the law of the Lord's covenant. Many will praise his understanding, and it will never be blotted out; his memory will not disappear, and his name will live through all generations. Nations will declare his wisdom, and the congregation will proclaim his praise.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


Christ lives in his Church
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope (Sermo 12 de Passione, 3, 6-7: PL 54, 355-357) 

"My dear brethren, there is no doubt that the Son of God took our human nature into so close a union with himself that one and the same Christ is present, not only in the firstborn of all creation, but in all his saints as well. The head cannot be separated from the members, nor the members from the head. 

Not in this life, it is true, but only in eternity will God be all in all, yet even  now he dwells, whole and undivided, in his temple the Church. Such was his promise to us when he said: See, I am  with you always, even to the end of the world. And so all that the Son of God did and taught for the world's reconciliation is not for us simply a matter of past history. Here and now we experience his power at work among us. 

Born of a virgin mother by the action of the Holy Spirit, Christ keeps his Church spotless and makes her fruitful by the inspiration of the same Spirit. In baptismal regeneration she brings forth children for God beyond all numbering. These are the sons of whom it is written: They are born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. In Christ Abraham's posterity is blessed, because in him the whole world receives the adoption of sons, and in him the patriarch becomes the father of all nations through the birth, not from human stock but by faith, of the descendants that were promised to him. From, every nation on earth, without exception, Christ forms a single flock of those he has sanctified, daily fulfilling the promise he once made: I have other sheep, not of this fold, whom it is also ordained that I shall lead; and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 

Although it was primarily to Peter that he said: Feed my sheep, yet the one Lord guides all pastors in the discharge of their office and leads to rich and fertile pastures all those who come to the rock. There is no counting the sheep who are nourished with his abundant love, and who are prepared to lay down their lives for the sake of the good shepherd who died for them. 

But it is not only the martyrs who share in his passion by their glorious courage; the same is true, by faith, of all who are born again in baptism. That is why we are to celebrate the Lord's paschal sacrifice with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The leaven of our former malice is thrown out, and a new creature is filled and inebriated with the Lord himself. For the effect of our sharing in the body and blood of Christ is to change us into what we receive. As we have died with him, and had been buried and raised to life with him, so we bear him within us, both in body and in spirit in everything we do." 

Source: Vatican Website


Related link on the Vatican Website:

AETERNA DEI SAPIENTIA, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII  ON COMMEMORATING THE FIFTEENTH CENTENNIAL  OF THE DEATH OF POPE ST. LEO I: THE SEE OF PETER AS THE CENTER OF CHRISTIAN UNITY, NOVEMBER 11, 1961

Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, March 5, 2008, Saint Leo the Great

Related link on the New Advent Website:

St. Leo the Great writings:

- Sermons
- Letters


25 posted on 11/10/2013 7:44:49 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Saint's Days are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

Tome of St. Leo the Great on the Two Natures of Christ
Praise for and prose from St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor (Long) [Catholic Caucus]
The Reason Why Leo Was Great
Christ Lives in His Church by St. Leo the Great [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Days between the Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord by St. Leo the Great [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Leo the Great
Pope St. Leo the Great - Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church
Pope St. Leo the Great and the Petrine Primacy
St. Leo the Great Pope of Rome February 18th
St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
Saint Leo the Great - Defender of Rome and Codifier of Orthodoxy
THE CHRISTMAS HOMILY OF SAINT LEO THE GREAT ON THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY - I
St. Leo the Great on Authority
St. Leo the Great on the Papacy"

26 posted on 11/10/2013 8:01:26 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Leo the Great

Feast Day: November 10

Born: 400 at Tuscany, Italy

Died: 11 April 461 at Rome, Italy

27 posted on 11/10/2013 8:04:56 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Leo the Great


Feast Day: November 10
Born: (around) 400 :: Died: 461

St. Leo was born at Tuscany in Italy. He came from a noble Roman family and was a very good student especially in scripture and theology (religious studies). When he grew up, he became a priest and was a powerful writer and preacher.

When Pope Sixtus died in 440, St. Leo became pope. Those were difficult times for the Church. Barbarian armies of Attila the Hun were attacking Christians in many places.

Within the Church, some people were spreading heresies (false teachings about the faith), too. But St. Leo was one of the greatest popes there ever was. He was absolutely unafraid of anything or anyone. He had great trust in the help of the first pope, St. Peter the apostle and prayed to St. Peter often.

To stop the spread of false teachings, St. Leo explained the true faith with his famous writings. He called a Council to condemn the wrong teachings. Those who would not give up their mistaken beliefs were put out of the Church. And Pope Leo received back into the Church those who were sorry. He asked people to pray for them.

When Attila the Hun came to attack Rome, all the people were filled with fear. They knew that the Huns had already burned many cities. To save Rome, St. Leo rode out to meet the fierce leader, Attila.

The only weapon he had was his great trust in God. When they met, something wonderful happened. Attila, the cruel pagan leader, showed the pope great honor. He made a treaty of peace with him.

Attila said afterward that he had seen two mighty figures standing by the pope while he spoke. It is believed that they were the great apostles, Peter and Paul. They had been sent by God to protect Pope Leo and the Christians.

Because of his humility and charity, Pope Leo was loved by all. He was pope for twenty-one years. He died on November 10, 461.


28 posted on 11/10/2013 8:07:44 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, November 10

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of Pope St. Leo the
Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church. He
reigned as pope from 440 to 461 A.D. Many
of his writings still exist, including 96
sermons and 143 letters, providing insight
into early church history.

29 posted on 11/10/2013 9:31:56 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:November 10, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity, so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Green Beans

o    Roast with Vegetables

ACTIVITIES

o    Elementary Parent Pedagogy: Training by Doing, Children and the Whole Church

o    Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November

PRAYERS

o    Prayer for the Dead

o    Prayer for the Dead - 2

LIBRARY

o    God Alone Is My Every Good, My Life | Pope John Paul II

o    Offer your suffering to God | Pope John Paul II

·         Ordinary Time: November 10th

·         Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called 'Lord' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the second book of Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14 and recounts the story of the seven brothers and their mother who were arrested and put to death because they would not abandon their religion.

The second reading is from the second letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, 2:16; 3:5, in which he prays to God for them and prays that they may persevere loyally in the faith that they profess. In return, he asks them to pray that he will be able to continue to spread the Christian faith to many others.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 20:27-38. We can thank the Sadducees today. They came to our Lord with what they thought was a case that would make the doctrine of the resurrection look very ridiculous. It would have appeared so, if it were understood in the crude sense which they gave it, namely, that we would come forth again from the grave in the very same bodies which we now have, with all their needs and instincts. Our Lord corrected that erroneous idea. We shall all rise to a new and eternal life, in a form and an existence very different from that of our present life. Thus, the question of ownership of wives or property will not, and cannot, arise in our new life. He gave us a brief but basic description of what our risen bodies will be. I am sure that most of us would love to know a lot more about what our future state will be like. But if we knew all, then where would our faith and trust in God come in? Some saints are said to have had brief visions of the joys of heaven. They wanted to die immediately in order to get there. God wants each one of us to earn heaven, by living our life on earth, and trusting in His word that heaven will be our eternal home if we do our part here below.

In his brief answer to the Sadducees, Christ gives us the essential facts concerning our future status. First, he affirms that all those who have proved themselves worthy while in this life will rise to an eternal life. In that life we will become like angels. We will not be angels, pure spirits without bodies, but we will be like them in that our bodies will become "spiritual." They will lose all the restrictions and limitations imposed on them now, as mere material composites. They will no longer be subject to decline and decay as they now are. Therefore, they can never suffer from pain or sickness or weakness of any sort.

Second, He clearly affirmed that those risen from the dead are no longer liable to death. Leaving aside the other greater joys of heaven, such as the beatific vision, and the close association with Christ our Savior in His risen humanity, the meeting with our blessed Mother and with all the Saints, including our relatives and friends, what a source of happiness and joy will it be for us, to know that we can never die again! The happiness and joy which we shall have will never end. We all have had moments of happiness in this life. Great as these moments were, the thought that they had to end too soon cast a shadow on our joy. There will be no shadow to darken or lessen our future joy and happiness.

Many Christians, even good, pious Christians, fear death and try to keep the very thought of it far from their minds. This is very understandable for one who believes (if there is such a one) that death is the end. To a certain degree it is understandable in the case of the believer or the Christian, whose conscience is not at peace with God. That latter, however, has the means of removing his fears by removing his sins, and by putting himself right with God. The normal, pious Christian should see death as what it is, an end of his time of probation and the door to his eternal reward. It is not normal for a student to dread his graduation day. Death for the God-fearing, honest Christian is graduation day. Therefore, no Christian should be afraid of it.

Of course, part of the fears which death instils come from the fear of the judgment which accompanies it. If we think every now and then, that our death is around the comer, we will turn to the God of mercy, to our loving Father, and ask for His forgiveness. He never refuses pardon to those who with a sincere heart, ask for it.

Let each one of us look into our own conscience this morning. Let us ask ourselves, how we would fare if death should claim us tonight. If there are sins on my conscience, which I would not want there when facing my just Judge, I still have time to approach the merciful Father. The Christian who does this daily, or even weekly, will not worry when death calls. He can rest assured that it is the beginning of the true and everlasting life, planned for him by God before time began.

— Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.


30 posted on 11/10/2013 9:43:20 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Leo The Great, St.
Personal Pope, 440-461
Confirmed the doctrine of the Incarnation (Council of Chalcedon, 451)
Held the doctrinal primacy of Rome
Persuaded Atilla the Hun not to invade Rome
Named in 1754 by Benedict XIV Place and dates 461 Writings
143 surviving letters 96 sermons


31 posted on 11/10/2013 11:28:25 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 20
27 And there came to him some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection, and they asked him, Accesserunt autem quidam sadducæorum, qui negant esse resurrectionem, et interrogaverunt eum, προσελθοντες δε τινες των σαδδουκαιων οι αντιλεγοντες αναστασιν μη ειναι επηρωτησαν αυτον
28 Saying: Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he leave no children, that his brother should take her to wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. dicentes : Magister, Moyses scripsit nobis : Si frater alicujus mortuus fuerit habens uxorem, et hic sine liberis fuerit, ut accipiat eam frater ejus uxorem, et suscitet semen fratri suo. λεγοντες διδασκαλε μωσης εγραψεν ημιν εαν τινος αδελφος αποθανη εχων γυναικα και ουτος ατεκνος αποθανη ινα λαβη ο αδελφος αυτου την γυναικα και εξαναστηση σπερμα τω αδελφω αυτου
29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. Septem ergo fratres erant : et primus accepit uxorem, et mortuus est sine filiis. επτα ουν αδελφοι ησαν και ο πρωτος λαβων γυναικα απεθανεν ατεκνος
30 And the next took her to wife, and he also died childless. Et sequens accepit illam, et ipse mortuus est sine filio. και ελαβεν ο δευτερος την γυναικα και ουτος απεθανεν ατεκνος
31 And the third took her. And in like manner all the seven, and they left no children, and died. Et tertius accepit illam. Similiter et omnes septem, et non reliquerunt semen, et mortui sunt. και ο τριτος ελαβεν αυτην ωσαυτως ωσαυτως δε και οι επτα ου κατελιπον τεκνα και απεθανον
32 Last of all the woman died also. Novissime omnium mortua est et mulier. υστερον [δε] παντων απεθανεν και η γυνη
33 In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of them shall she be? For all the seven had her to wife. In resurrectione ergo, cujus eorum erit uxor ? siquidem septem habuerunt eam uxorem. εν τη ουν αναστασει τινος αυτων γινεται γυνη οι γαρ επτα εσχον αυτην γυναικα
34 And Jesus said to them: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: Et ait illis Jesus : Filii hujus sæculi nubunt, et traduntur ad nuptias : και αποκριθεις ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους οι υιοι του αιωνος τουτου γαμουσιν και εκγαμισκονται
35 But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world, and of the resurrection from the dead, shall neither be married, nor take wives. illi vero qui digni habebuntur sæculo illo, et resurrectione ex mortuis, neque nubent, neque ducent uxores : οι δε καταξιωθεντες του αιωνος εκεινου τυχειν και της αναστασεως της εκ νεκρων ουτε γαμουσιν ουτε εκγαμιζονται
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. neque enim ultra mori potuerunt : æquales enim angelis sunt, et filii sunt Dei, cum sint filii resurrectionis. ουτε γαρ αποθανειν ετι δυνανται ισαγγελοι γαρ εισιν και υιοι εισιν του θεου της αναστασεως υιοι οντες
37 Now that the dead rise again, Moses also shewed, at the bush, when he called the Lord, The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; Quia vero resurgant mortui, et Moyses ostendit secus rubum, sicut dicit Dominum, Deum Abraham, et Deum Isaac, et Deum Jacob. οτι δε εγειρονται οι νεκροι και μωσης εμηνυσεν επι της βατου ως λεγει κυριον τον θεον αβρααμ και τον θεον ισαακ και τον θεον ιακωβ
38 For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him. Deus autem non est mortuorum, sed vivorum : omnes enim vivunt ei. θεος δε ουκ εστιν νεκρων αλλα ζωντων παντες γαρ αυτω ζωσιν

32 posted on 11/10/2013 12:35:25 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
27. Then came to him certain of the Sadducees which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,
28. Saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed to his brother.
29. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
30. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.
31. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.
32. Last of all the woman died also.
33. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
34. And Jesus answering said to them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36. Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.
39. Then certain of the Scribes answering said, Master, you have well said.
40. And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.

BEDE; There were two heresies among the Jews, one of the Pharisees, who boasted in the righteousness of their traditions, and hence they were called by the people, "separated;" the other of the Sadducees, whose name signified "righteous," claiming to themselves that which they were not. When the former went away, the latter came to tempt Him.

ORIGEN; The heresy of the Sadducees not only denies the resurrection of the dead, but also believes the soul to die with the body. Watching then to entrap our Savior in His words, they proposed a question just at the time when they observed Him teaching His disciples concerning the resurrection;

as it follows, And they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, If a brother, etc.

AMBROSE; According to the letter of the law, a woman is compelled to marry, however unwilling, in order that a brother may raise up seed to his brother who is dead. The letter therefore kills, but the Spirit is the master of charity.

THEOPHYL. Now the Sadducees resting upon a weak foundation, did not believe in the doctrine of the resurrection. For imagining the future life in the resurrection to be carnal, they were justly misled, and hence reviling the doctrine of the resurrection as a thing impossible they invent the story, There were seven brothers, etc.

BEDE; They devise this story in order to convict those of folly, who assert the resurrection of the dead. Hence they object a base fable, that they may deny the truth of the resurrection.

AMBROSE; Mystically, this woman is the synagogue, which had seven husbands, as it is said to the Samaritan, You had five husbands, because the Samaritan follows only the five books of Moses, the synagogue for the most part seven. And from none of them has she received the seed of a hereditary offspring, and so can have no part with her husbands in the resurrection, because she perverts the spiritual meaning of the precept into a carnal. For not any carnal brother is pointed at, who should raise seed to his deceased brother, but that brother who from the dead people of the Jews should claim to himself for wife the wisdom of the divine worship, and from it should raise up seed in the Apostles, who being left as it were unformed in the womb of the synagogue, have according to the election of grace been thought worthy to be preserved by the admixture of a new seed.

BEDE; Or these seven brothers answer to the reprobate, who throughout the whole life of the world which revolves in seven days, are fruitless in good works, and these being carried away by death one after another, at length the course of the evil world, as the barren woman, itself also passes away.

THEOPHYL. But our Lord shows that in the resurrection there will be no fleshly conversation, thereby overthrowing their doctrine together with its slender foundation; as it follows, And Jesus said to them, The children of this world marry, etc.

AUG. For marriages are for the sake of children, children for succession, succession because of death. Where then there is no death, there are no marriages; and hence it follows, But they which shall be accounted worthy, etc.

BEDE; Which must not be taken as if only they who are worthy were either to rise again or be without marriage, but all sinners also shall rise again, and abide without marriage in that new world. But our Lord wished to mention only the elect, that He might incite the minds of His hearers to search into the glory of the resurrection.

AUG. As our discourse is made up and completed by departing and succeeding syllables, so also men themselves whose faculty discourse is by departure and succession make up and complete the order of this world, which is built up with the mere temporal beauty of things. But in the future life, seeing that the Word which we shall enjoy is formed by no departure and succession of syllables, but all things which it has it has everlastingly and at once, so those who partake of it, to whom it alone will be life shall neither depart by death, nor succeed by birth, even as it now is with the angels; as it follows, For they are equal to the angels.; For as the multitude of the angels is indeed very great, yet they are not propagated by generation, but have their being from creation, so also to those who rise again, there is no more necessity for marriage; as it follows, And are the children of God.

THEOPHYL. As if He said, Because it is God who works in the resurrection, rightly are they called the sons of God, who are regenerated by the resurrection. For there is nothing carnal seen in the regeneration of them that rise again, there is neither coming together, nor the womb, nor birth.

BEDE; Or they are equal to the angels, and the children of God, because made new by the glory of the resurrection, with no fear of death, with no spot of corruption, with no quality of an earthly condition, they rejoice in the perpetual beholding of God's presence.

ORIGEN; But because the Lord says in Matthew, which is here omitted, You do err, not knowing the Scriptures, ask the question, where is it so written, They shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage? for as I conceive there is no such thing to be found either in the Old or New Testament, but the whole of their error had crept in from the reading of the Scriptures without understanding; for it is said in Esaias, My elect shall not have children for a curse. Whence they suppose that the like will happen in the resurrection. But Paul interpreting all these blessings as spiritual, knowing them not to be carnal, says to the Ephesians, You have blessed us in all spiritual blessings.

THEOPHYL Or to the reason above given the Lord added the testimony of Scripture, Now that the dead are raised, Moses also showed at the bush, as the Lord said, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. As if he said, If the patriarchs have once returned to nothing so as not to live with God in the hope of a resurrection, He would not have said, I am, but, I was, for we are accustomed to speak of things dead and gone thus, I was the Lord or Master of such a thing; but now that He said, I am, He shows that He is the God and Lord of the living. This is what follows, But he its not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. For though they have departed from life, yet live they with Him in the hope of a resurrection.

BEDE; Or He says this, that after having proved that the souls abide after death, (which the Sadducees denied,) He might next introduce the resurrection also of the bodies, which together with the souls have done good or evil. But that is a true life which the just live to God, even though they are dead in the body. Now to prove the truth of the resurrection, He might have brought much more obvious examples from the Prophets, but the Sadducees received only the five books of Moses, rejecting the oracles of the Prophets.

CHRYS. As the saints claim as their own the common Lord of the world, not as derogating from His dominion, but testifying their affection after the manner of lovers, who do not brook to love with many, but desire to express a certain peculiar and especial attachment; so likewise does God call Himself especially the God of these, not thereby narrowing but enlarging His dominion; for it is not so much the multitude of His subjects that manifests His power, as the virtue of His servants. Therefore He does not so delight in the name of the God of heaven and earth, as in that of in God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now among men servants are thus denominated by, their masters; for we say, 'The steward of such a man', but on the contrary God is called the God of Abraham.

Catena Aurea Luke 20
33 posted on 11/10/2013 12:36:17 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Portrait of an Old Woman

Hans Memling

1468-70
Oil on wood, 25.6 x 17.7 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

34 posted on 11/10/2013 12:36:43 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 20:27-38

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

He is not God of the dead, but of the living. (Luke 20:38)

The Gospels are filled with accounts of how Jesus’ enemies tried to trap him instead of believing in him. This is especially true in chapter twenty of Luke’s Gospel. First, some Pharisees questioned Jesus’ authority to cleanse the Temple and to teach in it (Luke 20:1-8). Later, they sent surrogates to ask Jesus about taxation (20:20-26).

Then comes today’s Gospel reading, which tells how some Sadducees tried to ensnare Jesus in a trap of their own devising. They tell a story about a woman who has been married and widowed seven times. But they’re not really interested in Jesus’ views on marriage. They just want to get him to admit that there is no resurrection after death. But Jesus elevates the conversation by making a distinction between “this age” and “the coming age” (Luke 20:34, 35).

“This age” is God’s wonderful and good creation—a good world darkened by the shadows of sin and temptation. Scripture calls it a “present evil age” (Galatians 1:4) under the influence of Satan, the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). By contrast, “the coming age” is heaven.

Now, the gospel teaches us that Jesus has set us free from the shadows of “this age,” but our freedom is closely linked to the choices we make. The devil is always on the prowl, trying to trap us. But God wants to protect us from these traps and teach us how to resist them so that Satan will flee (James 4:7). Jesus taught that there is indeed a resurrection after death. He taught that those who “are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age” will rise at the end.

Let’s not be duped like Jesus’ enemies, who were always trying to tell him what was right and wrong. Instead, let’s be open to his word and his work in our lives. That’s the best way to live in this present age—with our eyes on the age to come.

“Jesus, you have set us free. As I live in ‘this age,’ please help me keep my sights on ‘that age,’ which is to come.”

2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15; 2 Thessalonians 2:16–3:5

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14; Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15; 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-3:5; Luke 20:27-38)

1. The Book of Maccabees tells the moving story of seven brothers and their mother who suffered torture and death rather than disobey one of God’s laws. Their courage came from their belief that “the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.” In what way does your belief in the resurrection of believers to eternal life give you courage to stand up for your faith?

2. The responsorial psalm presents us with an unshakeable faith that God will hear us when we cry out to him in a time of need. We also have the image of God hiding us in the shadow of his “wings”. During the day how often do you turn to God your Father or Jesus when facing difficulties? What steps can you take during the day to remind yourself to turn to him, even if it is for a few seconds?

3. In the second reading, St. Paul promises the Thessalonians that God will “encourage,” “strengthen,” “guard,” and “direct” them, no matter what the circumstances. How do you stay strong in your faith and these promises of God when facing tough situations? Can you give an example from your own life when God did indeed encourage, strengthen, guard, and direct you in the midst of a difficult trial?

4. In the Gospel reading, the Sadducees, who do not believe in an afterlife, pose a story to Jesus to trap him. Jesus, of course, confounds them with the clarity of his answer regarding heaven and the resurrection of the dead. What do you think heaven will be like? Do you believe that through prayer and Scripture reading, you can gain some insights from God on the nature of heaven?

5. The Gospel and the meditation describe the differences between “this age” and “the coming age.” How would you describe these differences? What steps can you take to remind yourself daily that God’s plan, and the real purpose for your life, is to spend eternity with him in “the coming age”?

6. In the meditation, we hear these words: “Now, the gospel teaches us that Jesus has set us free from the shadows of ‘this age,’ but our freedom is closely linked to the choices we make. The devil is always on the prowl, trying to trap us. But God wants to protect us from these traps and teach us how to resist them so that Satan will flee (James 4:7).” What are the ways you allow God to “protect” you and “teach” you? What additional steps can you take to “be open to his word and his work” in your life?

7. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to keep “our eyes on the age to come” and not just on “this age.” Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


35 posted on 11/10/2013 2:36:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

JESUS ASSURES US OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY

(Biblical reflection on the 32nd Ordinary Sunday [Year C] – November 10, 2013) 

Gospel Reading: Luke 20:27-38 

First Reading: 2Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14; Psalms: Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15; Second Reading: 2Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 

JesandSadducees_1179-48

Scripture Text:

There came to Him 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.”  (Luke 20:27-38 RSV) 

The ancient Greeks, such as Plato, had a clearer idea of personal immortality than the Israelites did. The Book of Wisdom, written about 50 B.C., contains the Old Testament’s most vivid concepts of the future life; not surprisingly, this originated from a strong Greek influence.

The hazy Hebrew notion of the afterlife centered around the word “Sheol”, meaning the “the grave”. This was a vague and shadowy type of survival, a very unappealing one. It Was much better to live on earth than in Sheol, which explains why the Hebrews interpreted a short life as a punishment and a long life as a reward from God.

Under Greek and Persian influence, Pharisees professed belief in the future life and in the resurrection of the body. The Sadducees, a more conservative group, believed in neither. Jesus basically agreed with the Pharisees on this question. The Sadducees took exception to this and thus set the scene for the confrontation in today’s Gospel. They tried to negate the possibility of resurrection and deflate the teaching of Jesus by posing the example of a woman who had been married to seven brothers. “At the resurrection of the dead,” they gleefully inquired, “which one will be her husband ……?” Jesus simply restated His teaching on the resurrection, and then explained that life in eternity would be different and that such problems would not arise. Our Lord’s answer was good, but His best answer would come later with His own personal resurrection from the grave.

In all ages and places, Christians have professed and proclaimed their belief in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body. This central truth of our religion is dramatized liturgically at the annual Easter celebration and at every Mass which is offered. It is the message which gives meaning to our funeral liturgies, and is symbolized by the presence of the burning Easter candle. From early times, we as a Church have professed in the creed our belief  “in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”

As Jesus triumphed over the objections of the Sadducees, we too must triumph over doubt and opposition. We are citizens of both earth and heaven. Death is our sister, our second birthday – our birthday into eternity. Since we are not angels but humans, we are incomplete without our bodies. Jesus therefore assures us that there will be a resurrection of the body. Then we will finally have it all together – forever.

At Mass today, let us lift up our hearts to heaven. Let us gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and let His glory and His majesty pierce us to the core. After all, He is the ONE who created us to worship Him in the first place! 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are in awe of Your love for us. Continue to reveal to us who You are so that we can become more and more like You. Amen.

36 posted on 11/10/2013 2:53:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for November 10, 2013:

Do you sometimes “beat around the bush” with your spouse rather than ask a direct question? Practice using tact and gentleness to ask a difficult question.

37 posted on 11/10/2013 2:57:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

November 10, 2013

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14

Psalm: 17:1,5-6,8,15

Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:16—3:5

Gospel Reading: Luke 20:27-38

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 330, 991-93, 1023-29

 

For a person to go straight along the road, he must have some knowledge of the end--just as an archer will not shoot an arrow straight unless he first sees the target ...  This is particularly necessary if the road is hard and rough, the going heavy, and the end delightful.  --St. Thomas Aquinas

38 posted on 11/10/2013 3:01:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Thoughts Before the Cross

Pastor’s Column

32nd Sunday Ordinary Time

November 10, 2013

Each detail of our new church has meaning for our own personal journey of life.

         

 

 

The corpus for our crucifix arrived from Italy last Friday. Of course, we immediately opened it to check its condition before accepting delivery. To see this life-size image of Our Lord, wrapped in plastic like a burial shroud and encased in a coffin-like wooden box, is to realize the depths of God’s love for you and me. He was willing even to enter death so that we might have life. This image of Christ, which will hang in the center of our church, will always be a most potent symbol of His love, because we often need reminders that we are, indeed, loved by God.  

 

 

 

The cross itself is cut from the same Douglas Fir as the rest of the church. It is in fact a beautiful piece of art! But the real cross was not so beautiful to behold. In the same way, from a distance the cross may appear romantic, but when we are face to face with our own it is not always so easy! We know every cross we bear is shared with Jesus, who promised to be with us until we are home with him forever.

 

      

Finally, here in this picture we can see the place where our new “floating” cross will hang in the sanctuary. Behind it, this window will provide light. Christ is the light of the world, and even the darkness of suffering, the wood of our own cross, becomes “light” when it is shared with Christ.


39 posted on 11/10/2013 3:17:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Reflections from Scott Hahn

To Rise Again: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 11.08.13 |



2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15
2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
Luke 20:27-38

With their riddle about seven brothers and a childless widow, the Sadducees in today’s Gospel mock the faith for which seven brothers and their mother die in the First Reading.

The Maccabean martyrs chose death - tortured limb by limb, burned alive - rather than betray God’s Law. Their story is given to us in these last weeks of the Church year to strengthen us for endurance - that our feet not falter but remain steadfast on His paths.

The Maccabeans died hoping that the “King of the World” would raise them to live again forever (see 2 Maccabees 14:46).

The Sadducees don’t believe in the Resurrection because they can’t find it literally taught in the Scriptures. To ridicule this belief they fix on a law that requires a woman to marry her husband’s brother if he should die without leaving an heir (see Genesis 38:8; Deuteronomy 25:5).

But God’s Law wasn’t given to ensure the raising up of descendants to earthly fathers. The Law was given, as Jesus explains, to make us worthy to be “children of God” - sons and daughters born of His Resurrection.

“God our Father,” today’s Epistle tells us, has given us “everlasting encouragement” in the Resurrection of Christ. Through His grace, we can now direct our hearts to the love of God.

As the Maccabeans suffered for the Old Law, we will have to suffer for our faith in the New Covenant. Yet He will guard us in the shadow of His wing, keep us as the apple of His eye, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

The Maccabeans’ persecutors marveled at their courage. We too can glorify the Lord in our sufferings and in the daily sacrifices we make.

And we have even greater cause than they for hope. One who has risen from the dead has given us His word - that He is the God of the living, that when we awake from the sleep of death we will behold His face, be content in His presence (see Psalm 76:6; Daniel 12:2).


40 posted on 11/10/2013 3:25:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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32nd Sunday -- To Think Outside the Box

 

(In light of recent developments by the Vatican concerning events at Medjugorje, the link below concerns an excellent article that uncovers some important facts on the history of what has become nearly a household word for Marian devotion. Although written about a year ago, the facts have not changed.  Although the jury is still officially out one must be very cautious for the skeptics, of which I have always been for good reasons, are certainly justified in their position. Is this truly of God? Read with an open mind and heart):

 

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-devil-and-medjugorje

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

"He is not God of the dead, but of the living . . . all are alive."

 

The Word for Sunday: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/111013.cfm



2 Mac 7: 1-2, 9-14
2 Thes 2: 16 – 3:5
Lk 20: 27-38

To “think outside the box” is a popular expression which challenges our same-old-same-old way of doing things.  Essentially, one who “thinks outside the box” is open to new ideas, new opinions, and a new direction.  To remain in the box would be to maintain the status quo, sometimes at all costs, be closed minded and fearful of new ideas or ways of doing things.  “Plan B” would never be an option.  

 

One of the well-known auto insurance companies which advertise frequently on television, recently showed a commercial in which this same point was made.  In a large room, about ten people were literally crammed side by side into a box which came up to their waist level.  The narrator challenges them to think differently about how they insure their car.  One member of this boxed in group decides to “go for it” and gingerly steps over the barrier to consider a new choice but then suddenly pulls back into the box after his foot hits the floor.  The lesson is that if you remain with your old insurance carrier you won’t have the advantages of this new one.  Point made.

 

Today’s Gospel from Luke 20 presents an argument both from the Sadducees and a counter response from Jesus.  This passage is not a miracle story or preaching from the mountaintop.  Rather, we see Jesus engaged in a legal discussion with religious experts of Jewish Law, or at least their interpretation of that law.  

 

The matter at hand, despite a somewhat absurd example about marriage and remarriage and the afterlife – “Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?” – is not about marriage but rather an attempt by the Sadducees, who did not believe in resurrection, to reduce Jesus’ teaching to something meaningless.

 

Our Lord, never to be boxed in, counters with a new perspective; a challenge to think outside the box about the afterlife. What is of this world, marriage for example, is not of the next because the next life is a whole different sort of reality: “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage . . .” In other words, Jesus implies his teaching calls disciples to think differently about the meaning and direction of this life; to step outside and imagine a new reality. Belief in resurrection implies a new way we look at life - that there is hope for the future.  But also, as one writer put it: "Through the cross and resurrection of Jesus also led to new formulations about God. In the sacred texts, resurrection is represented as the apex of the biblical saga of salvation, beginning with human need and culminating in God's deliverance from every evil, even death." (Pheme Perkins: Resurrection) 

 

While one concept of God may be more earthly than heavenly, as the Sadducees rejected the possibility of life resurrected, Jesus opens the truth of life after life and a God who stands among the living.

 

For the Sadducees, it really isn’t the threat of new thinking so much as it is a threat to their own authority over the people.  Along with the Pharisees, who believed in a time of resurrection, they were the grand overseers of proper Jewish obedience and righteous living.  It is the law, given by God, which governs their lives.  Yet, because that law never changes so too their concept of God.

 

Jesus quotes from the Book of Exodus 3: 6 a vision of God who is Lord of history and ever calling us to hope and assuring us that his promise of the future is not merely a theological opinion but a true reality: “That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord,’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead but of the living . . . all are alive.”

 

Belief in bodily resurrection was a relatively new concept in the Jewish faith by the time Jesus appeared on the scene. Still, the broad inclusiveness of Jesus’ teaching challenged the status quo and even more the authority of those who did all they could to stay in the box and to keep the people with them.  

 

In this month of prayer for all the faithful departed, do we truly believe they are not dead but alive? We pray for living souls, for those who lived and walked and served among us in human bodies but now live, through the mercy of God, in a new form of existence.  While our lives, even after the sad loss of a loved one, move on let us not forget that our prayers do indeed make a difference on their behalf.

 

Our first reading from Maccabees reinforces this ancient Jewish belief in resurrection and the active afterlife in the example of seven brothers and their mother who were willing martyrs for the faith: “The King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying . . .”

 

So, maybe a good reflection is for all of us to ask the basic question about what we believe, particularly about the “resurrection of the dead.” Are we standing in the box, fearful to embrace a deeper understanding of those beliefs and how it applies to our life here? What is my belief about those who have died? Are they just gone? If I believe they are alive, what does that say about the way I live my life knowing that no one will escape death? As we receive Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist, do we truly believe this is a living presence?

Some food for thought . . . 


Almighty and merciful God,
graciously keep from us all adversity,
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue in freedom of heart.

(Roman Missal - Collect for Sunday)


41 posted on 11/10/2013 5:42:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

Faith, Hope, and Heaven


"Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven" by Fra Angelico (1428)

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, November 10, 2013 | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14
• Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
• 2 Thes 2:16-3:5
• Lk 20:27-38

“Let us put it very simply: man needs God, otherwise he remains without hope.” That statement by Benedict XVI, made in his 2007 encyclical, Spe Salvi (“Saved In Hope”), serves well as a prologue to today’s readings. Each has something to say about the virtue of hope, which is, the Holy Father notes, closely intertwined with the virtue of faith, “so much so that in several passages the words ‘faith’ and ‘hope’ seem interchangeable.”

Both 1 and 2 Maccabees describe the Jewish struggle against the political domination and religious suppression inflicted, first, by the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt and, later, by the Seleucid dynasty of Syria. The story from 2 Maccabees of the seven brothers took place sometime in the early to mid-second century B.C. The story demonstrates, rather dramatically, that some just Israelites would rather die than renounce or “transgress the laws of our ancestors.” This resolve was based in their belief that “the King of the world”—that is, God—“will raise us up to live again forever.” One of the brothers spoke directly and passionately about his hope of “being raised up by him”, while flatly declaring that his oppressors would not experience resurrection from death to life.

The passage’s description of martyrdom and the Jewish belief in a future resurrection of God’s faithful ones, provides some helpful context for Jesus’ teachings about the afterlife. The Sadducees were an influential group that arose within Palestinian Judaism around the time recorded in 2 Maccabees. During Jesus’ earthly life, the high priest and the temple authorities were Sadducees (Acts 4:1; 5:17). They were distinguished by a staunch, even radical, adherence to the laws of Moses alone; they believed the Torah did not allow for or teach the resurrection from the dead, a belief held by the Pharisees.

The Sadducees presented a dilemma to Jesus based on the levirate law (Deut. 25:5), which stated that if a married man died childless, his brother was obligated to marry his widow. Jesus pointed out there is no marriage in the afterlife because there is no death or procreation in that state. He then went to the heart of the matter, which had to do with God’s nature. Having called out to Moses from the burning bush, God declared: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” pointed out that those men “all are alive” to God, for he is the source and realization of an eternal hope.

The Bible is the story of God calling man out of sin and to his eternal home. Throughout the Old Testament there is a growing awareness of a hope for the Kingdom of God and an eternal, perfect covenant to be established by the Messiah. While always rooted in dependence upon God and His promises, that hope often focused on material prosperity and freedom from oppression. This hope was strongly connected to wisdom, which is a trusting knowledge of God’s goodness and faithfulness. “Know that wisdom is such to your soul,” wrote the author of Proverbs, “if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off” (Prov. 24:14). There was a gradual realization of an afterlife beyond the earthly realm. “Hope in the bodily resurrection of the dead established itself as a consequence intrinsic to faith in God as creator of the whole man, soul and body” (CCC, 992).

Hope is central to the Christian life. It is also distinctive, a mark of the uniqueness of the Christian view of life, death, and history. The Church has always taught that if death was not and cannot be conquered, there is no hope. And if there is no hope beyond this temporal realm, there is no meaningful life in this world. Any vision of life that ignores the reality of mortality cannot be a source of authentic hope, for such hope is a grace and a source of everlasting encouragement.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the November 7, 2010, issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


42 posted on 11/10/2013 5:47:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Do What He Tells You

SUNDAY READINGS - 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

FIRST READING: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2; 9-14. It happened that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of unlawful swine's flesh. One of them, acting as their spokesman, said, "What do you intend to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our fathers." And when the second was at his last breath, he said, "You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws."

After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, and said nobly, "I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again." As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man's spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

When he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. And when he was near death, he said, "One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!"

EXPLANATION: The two books of Maccabees describe the war of liberation which the Jews, led by Mattathias and his sons, waged and eventually won against the pagan, tyrant king of Syria. The desire and ambition of Antiochus IV (175-163 B.C.) was to abolish the Jewish religion and the Temple of Jerusalem and hellenize all Jews. He was foiled in this sacrilegious attempt by the courage of the Maccabees, and by the spirit of love for faith and father-land with which they inspired their fellow-Jews. While the first book gives a more basic history of this period of resistance, the second book is more inclined to sermonize and introduce edifying details which may not always have happened.

The story we read today is substantially historical. There were hundreds of such examples of the persecution and death of Jews in the attempt to make them abandon their religion. The cruelties inflicted were common practice at the time not only in Palestine but in Egypt, Greece and elsewhere.
Seven brothers . . . their mother: The persecutors thought that by forcing Jews to eat pork, a food forbidden by the law of Moses, they would make them abandon their faith. The loyal Jews preferred to die rather than violate God's law. By having the mother of the seven boys present, they thought that her love for them and her anguish at seeing them tortured would move her to beg them to give in and save their lives. Instead, she encouraged them to persevere and bear their tortures. She herself was martyred last of all.
What . . . us?: The first brother bravely tells the king how foolish he is if he thinks that he can force them to betray the faith of their ancestors.
King . . . raise us up . . . laws: The second brother tells the king what value he sets on this short life, for he is convinced that the King of the world---God---will give him an everlasting life after his earthly life is over.
courageously . . . his hands: He gladly holds out his tongue and his hands to be chopped off, for he knows that it was God who gave them to him and he is certain that God will give them back to him again in the next life.
for you . . . no resurrection to life: The fourth proclaims, not only his solid belief in a future life of happiness for those who are loyal to God and his laws in this life, but he boldly tells his persecutors that their resurrection from the dead will not be to life. It will not be a life of happiness for them but one to which eternal death would be preferable.

APPLICATION: The example of these seven sons who, in the presence of one another and in the presence of their loving mother, were one by one slowly martyred for their faith, is an example that deserves to be forever preserved (and it is) in the annals of human history. Whether they expressed in words all that the inspired author attributes to them is not of great importance. They certainly expressed it in their pious and patient acceptance of their tortures at the hands of irreligious and inhuman tyrants. They were sustained and strengthened in their suffering by the pious exhortations of their truly loyal and faith-inspired mother. More especially were they sustained by the firm conviction that the God of the universe, the God of justice and love, for whose laws they were losing their earthly lives, had a glorious and eternal life in store for them.

Millions of Christians have died as noble martyrs for their faith, down through the ages. There are millions who are suffering slow martyrdom for that same faith today. They, however, had and have the example of Christ, the Son of God made man, who suffered the slow and cruel martyrdom of crucifixion for their takes. So in a sense the mother and seven brothers of today's reading deserve greater admiration. However, it was the same God who gave the necessary grace to all martyrs. It is in the presence of that same God that all Jewish and Christian martyrs, and others who have died for conscience sake, are enjoying together their eternal reward today.

All of these are held up to us for our admiration, and we must indeed admire them. The atheist who has esteem for intellectual integrity and uprightness must admire one who is willing to sacrifice his life in defence of his convictions. However, for us Christians, admiration is not enough. Attempted imitation, at least is necessary. We may shrink now from the thought of ever having to face even half of what our martyrs suffered. They, too, most probably shivered at the very thought of what awaited them. But when the moment of trial came the grace of God gave them all the strength they needed. God's grace would also come to our aid, if ever we were called on to suffer and die for our faith. Our only sure guarantee, however, is the present strength and meaningfulness of our faith in our daily lives.

There were many Jews in the days of the Maccabees who gave up their faith when the persecution began. There were many Christians, too, who went over to the enemy in order to save their earthly lives and property. There are many leaders of the anti-God and anti-Christian campaign today, who were once Christians of a kind. No martyr ever died willingly for a cause in which he did not believe. No Christian ever died for the faith unless he believed firmly in it and lived his daily life in accordance with its precepts.

This is a test which we can all apply to ourselves. We need not ask ourselves whether we would willingly accept torture and death for the sake of our faith. We must, however, ask ourselves if we are willingly and truly living that faith in our daily lives. That in itself is not an easy, painless effort for any one of us. For some it is one prolonged martyrdom. But think of the firm convictions that strengthened that Jewish mother and her seven sons. These convictions should be more firmly established still in the minds of all true Christians. If we are loyal to God, he will reward us. If we are faithful to his laws, he will be true to his promises. If, when called on to do so, we give our earthly lives for his sake, he has an eternal life of unending joy and happiness ready for us when we close our eyes in death.


SECOND READING: 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-3:5. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he Will strengthen you and guard you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

EXPLANATION: In these six verses of his second letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul prays for them to God the Son and to the Father. He prays that they may persevere loyally in the faith that they profess. In return, he asks them to pray that he will be able to continue to spread the Christian faith to many others. There are difficulties and opponents, but Paul is confident that Christ will continue to guard and strengthen them in their loyal service to the faith and the precepts which he, Paul, has given to them.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself: Paul puts God the Son before the Father here because, in the previous verses, he has told them that the Gospel has given them a share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul prays now that Christ and God the Father, who was so generous with them, when he sent his Son for their eternal consolation and hope, would continue to console and strengthen them in their Christian faith, and that they would practise "every good work and word."
word of the Lord . . . on: Paul's life-ambition since his conversion was to spread the good news of salvation to all men, so that all would welcome it, as the Thessalonians had.
wicked and evil men: Paul has met with obstacles to his preaching of the Gospel in Corinth, from where he is writing this letter. These obstacles are the Jews and some of his Greek converts. Among the Jews there were some who were malicious in their opposition. They were evil men (they had accused him before the Roman pro-Consul, Gallion). Others were less guilty. But they were confused in their interpretation of what and whom the Messiah should be, and therefore what the Christian message was.
not . . . faith: Some of his Corinthian converts did not live up to the faith which he taught them. "Not everyone listens to the Gospel," he said to the Romans (Rom. 10: 16).
The Lord . . . faithful: He, Christ, is faithful. He keeps his promises. He will protect you against all opposition.
You . . . evil: In Jewish theology, the Evil One or Satan, the Impeder, was the leader of the wicked angels.
Lord . . . your hearts: Paul prays that Christ will govern their thoughts so that they will continue to love God, and be faithful and loyal to Christ and his teaching.

APPLICATION: St. Paul was a man of God and one full of human understanding. He knew and appreciated the difficulties that converts from paganism to Christianity had to endure. He was ever ready to help them. He tells them that he is begging Christ, and God the Father, to console and strengthen them so that they may continue to live their faith.

He then asks for their prayers. These prayers are not for any personal needs of his own, and he had temporal and spiritual needs, but that the Gospel, the word of the Lord, might make progress, might reach out to more and more people. He is making this very same request of us today, through this reading from his Epistle.

We are living in one of the most troubled periods of man's history on earth. A great part of our world has made immense progress in science, technology, medicine and other branches of learning, has raised the standard of living, increased the comforts of life and lengthened life expectancy. Yet, man's social conscience has not kept pace with his material improvement. In fact, individual men and whole nations, have become more selfish and less inclined to take a human interest in their less fortunate neighbors.

There are millions living in destitution, not only in the underdeveloped parts of our globe but amidst the wealth and luxury of the richer nations too. Communism has been proposed and is being put into action in parts of the world as a cure for the unequal distribution of this world's goods. However, the poor and the powerless under communism find that they have exchanged one set of selfish masters for a more selfish and more merciless set of tyrants. The theory of the common ownership of all things is based on the false premise that all men are equally honest, and that each will play his full part in producing the goods necessary for all. A more basic error still in the communist theory, is that man's life ends like the cow or the ass, in the grave. There is no God and therefore no future life according to the communist preachers. If that theory were true, by what right could the rulers expect honesty, truth, self-sacrifice, brotherly love, from their subjects? If there is no higher law-giver and no higher ruler than the whip of the slave-driver, why should any sane man exert himself or put himself out to provide for the common good, as long as he can escape the eye of the whip-holder? What have men in common, if they are no different and have no higher end or purpose in life, than that of a herd of cattle in a field? What basis is this for brotherly love or interest in one's neighbor?

Bad philosophy and worse theology can never cure this world's ills. We need the truths of Christianity put into daily practise by rich and by poor, by nations as well as by individuals. All men on earth are adopted sons of God. All men on earth are brothers of one another, because they are brothers of Christ who became one of us, in order to bring all of us into the family of God. We must let these basic truths govern our lives and our actions. We must do all in our power to give the knowledge of these truths of the Christian faith to all the nations of the earth. St. Paul asks us today, to pray that this will come to pass. We must listen to his request. We should never allow a day to pass without fervently begging God to spread his kingdom throughout the whole world.

We must also give the lesson of good example to all those with whom we come in contact. We must take an active part and give whatever aid we can to those truly Christian societies which are working so hard to improve the lot of the underprivileged at home and abroad. We must exert our Christian influence on public opinion and on national politics. It should not be the success of one particular party that should interest us but the Christian principles of our public representatives. If the Christian nations were truly Christian, brotherly love would spread out from them to the whole world. The causes of unrest and strife within nations would be removed. Fear of aggression among nations would gradually disappear. Vast sums wasted on weapons of war could be spent in the improvement of the underprivileged nations.

The greatest need of our world today is a return to the open acknowledgement of the Fatherhood of God and the true brotherhood of all men. When these basic truths penetrate the social consciences of men and of nations, we can expect an end to hatred and division, to wars and to the wanton destruction of the gifts which God gave us. He gave us these to make our lives less difficult and more productive of good works.

GOSPEL: Luke 20: 27-38. 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."

EXPLANATION: The Sadducees were a particular party in Judaism, since the time of the Maccabees. They held some political and theological views that were not generally accepted by the ordinary people, nor, especially, by the Pharisees who were the more numerous and more influential party. One of the doctrines held by the Pharisees, and by the majority of Jews, was the resurrection after death. This the Sadducees denied. Knowing that Jesus taught the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, they came to him with what they thought was a "case," which would prove how ridiculous this idea of resurrection was.

They posed the case of a woman who had successively and lawfully married seven brothers according to the levirate law (see Dt. 25: 5-10). If this woman and the seven brothers rose from the dead, whose wife would she be? She was the lawful wife of all seven. Jesus answered their question.
The . . . of this age marry: Marriage was instituted as the means of propagating the human race on this earth. It was a divine institution.
those . . . worthy . . . resurrection: It will be different in the life hereafter. Those who will be raised to the new and eternal life will not marry, because the purpose and need for marriage will no longer exist. The number of God's citizens in heaven will be complete.
equal to angels: The resurrected bodies will be different from our earthly bodies. Sexual and other instincts, necessary in this life, will be absent from the risen bodies. St. Paul calls the risen bodies "spiritual" bodies. "So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible. What is sown is ignoble, what rises is glorious. Weakness is sown, strength rises up. A natural body is put down, a spiritual body comes up" (1 Cor. 15:42-44). And so in this sense the risen bodies will be like the angels.
die any more: The dead will rise to live eternally. Everything corruptible in our make-up will disappear. We shall be different, yet recognizable to one another.
Sons of the resurrection: As a result of Christ's Incarnation, death and resurrection we shall rise from the dead as adopted sons of God.
God of Abraham . . . Jacob: The Sadducees knew their Scripture. Our Lord now quotes Moses, their great leader and law-giver, as calling God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He argues from this. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not dead and gone, because God is a God of the living, not of the dead. He can have no interest or care for that which does not exist.
all live to him: The Patriarchs, and all men of the past ages, who were true to him by following his revelation or the light of their consciences (in the case of the pagan nations) are awaiting their resurrection. Therefore, they are not eternally dead, but alive in some way which is known only to God. Resurrection was not possible until Christ completed his salvific mission and was raised from the dead, "the first fruits" of all others.

APPLICATION: We can thank the Sadducees today. They came to our Lord with what they thought was a case that would make the doctrine of the resurrection look very ridiculous. It would have appeared so, if it were understood in the crude sense which they gave it, namely, that we would come forth again from the grave in the very same bodies which we now have, with all their needs and instincts.

Our Lord corrected that erroneous idea. We shall all rise to a new and eternal life, in a form and an existence very different from that of our present life. Thus, the question of ownership of wives or property will not, and cannot, arise in our new life. He gave us a brief but basic description of what our risen bodies will be. I am sure that most of us would love to know a lot more about what our future state will be like. But if we knew all, then where would our faith and trust in God come in? Some saints are said to have had brief visions of the joys of heaven. They wanted to die immediately in order to get there. God wants each one of us to earn heaven, by living our life on earth, and trusting in his word that heaven will be our eternal home if we do our part here below.

In his brief answer to the Sadducees, Christ gives us the essential facts concerning our future status. First, he affirms that all those who have proved themselves worthy while in this life will rise to an eternal life. In that life we will become like angels. We will not be angels, pure spirits without bodies, but we will be like them in that our bodies will become "spiritual." They will lose all the restrictions and limitations imposed on them now, as mere material composites. They will no longer be subject to decline and decay as they now are. Therefore, they can never suffer from pain or sickness or weakness of any sort.

Second, he clearly affirmed that those risen from the dead are no longer liable to death. Leaving aside the other greater joys of heaven, such as the beatific vision, and the close association with Christ our Savior in his risen humanity, the meeting with our blessed Mother and with all the Saints, including our relatives and friends, what a source of happiness and joy will it be for us, to know that we can never die again! The happiness and joy which we shall have will never end. We all have had moments of happiness in this life. Great as these moments were, the thought that they had to end too soon cast a shadow on our joy. There will be no shadow to darken or lessen our future joy and happiness.

Many Christians, even good, pious Christians, fear death and try to keep the very thought of it far from their minds. This is very understandable for one who believes (if there is such a one) that death is the end. To a certain degree it is understandable in the case of the believer or the Christian, whose conscience is not at peace with God. That latter, however, has the means of removing his fears by removing his sins, and by putting himself right with God. The normal, pious Christian should see death as what it is, an end of his time of probation and the door to his eternal reward. It is not normal for a student to dread his graduation day. Death for the God-fearing, honest Christian is graduation day. Therefore, no Christian should be afraid of it.

Of course, part of the fears which death instils come from the fear of the judgment which accompanies it. If we think every now and then, that our death is around the comer, we will turn to the God of mercy, to our loving Father, and ask for his forgiveness. He never refuses pardon to those who with a sincere heart, ask for it.

Let each one of us look into his own conscience this morning. Let him ask himself, how he would fare if death should claim him tonight. If there are sins on my conscience, which I would not want there when facing my just Judge, I still have time to approach the merciful Father. The Christian who does this daily, or even weekly, will not worry when death calls. He can rest assured that it is the beginning of the true and everlasting life, planned for him by God before time began.


43 posted on 11/10/2013 6:01:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice

Sunday, 10 November 2013 10:21

Justice

What is this justice that is as necessary to our souls as food and drink are to our bodies? Why does Our Lord call blessed those who hunger and thirst after justice? Unfortunately, there are many who confuse justice with vengeance. There are many who see justice as a settling of accounts, or as the fruit of a revolution in society, or as a loss of power on one side and a increase of power on the other. There are those who see justice in terms of a pie divided and distributed to each one and to all in rigorously equal pieces. None of these notions correspond to the justice after which Jesus would have us hunger and thirst.

Readjustment to the Holiness of God

The justice of this beatitude is, rather, the fruit of a radical readjustment to the holiness of God; this readjustment is, essentially, the grace of reconciliation with God as He is and as He has revealed Himself. It is the grace of conversion to the glory of God that shines upon the Face of His Christ. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:6). What is sin if not thoughts, words, and deeds that causes a soul to become maladjusted to the holiness of God?  Sin is a state of maladjustment to the Divine Plan; it alienates man from the cause and source of his happiness, and castes him into a downward spiral of restlessness, fear, and vice.

Before Thee in the Sanctuary

Justice is the right relationship of all persons and things to the holiness of God. One who hungers and thirsts after holiness, hungers and thirsts after a real participation by grace in the holiness of God. This is the burning desire of the psalmist that we repeat so often in the Divine Office: “O God, my God, to thee do I watch at break of day. For thee my soul hath thirsted; for thee my flesh, O how many ways! In a desert land, and where there is no way, and no water: so in the sanctuary have I come before thee, to see thy power and thy glory” (Psalm 62:2–3).

Beholding the Glory of the Lord

There is in every human being a profound yearning for the readjustment of all that one is to the adorable will of the Thrice–Holy God. One who allows himself to be readjusted, by the secret inward action of the Holy Ghost, to the will of God, discovers the glory of the holiness of God and, through Christ, is transfigured into the glory of the holiness he contemplates. “But we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, are transformed into the same image” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Body and Blood of Christ

Adoration of Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is, at the deepest level, an expression of hunger and thirst for justice, of an abiding hunger and thirst for the Bread of life and for the Chalice of Salvation. One who perseveres in gazing upon the Sacred Host in adoration is, in effect, saying to Our Lord: “Adjust me, adjust a multitude of souls, to the glory of Thy holiness; do what Thou must to reconcile souls to that love stronger than death with which Thou has first loved us, and with which Thou hast loved us even to the end.” Jesus,”having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).

The World Adjusted to the Church

The prayer of adoration promotes justice because it is, in a hidden but real way, the adjustment of souls and of the world to the holiness of God revealed in Christ. Those who think that justice can be brought about by the adjustment of the Church to the world are tragically mistaken; it is not the Church that must adjust herself to the world, but the world to the Church, and this adjustment is not a human achievement, it is the work of grace in the souls of the little, the hidden, the poor, and those whom the world counts as nothing. “The foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong. And the base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his sight. But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:27–30).

In View of the Kingdom

Astonishingly, those who hunger and thirst after justice by persevering in adoration of the Hidden God, discover that their hunger and thirst is nothing in comparison to the hunger and thirst of God for souls abandoned to His divine operations. He desires nothing more than to adjust us, gently and mightily, to Himself, and this, in view of eternal life with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven.


44 posted on 11/10/2013 6:12:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

The God of the Living Makes Us Truly Alive
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father Alex Yeung, LC

 

Luke 20: 27-38

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man´s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her." Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive." Then some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well."

Introductory Prayer: I love you my Lord, because you are love itself. I am sorry for whatever is in me that does not come from your love and does not reflect your love. If I am to become what you want me to be, it will happen only if I allow you to act in me.

Petition: Lord Jesus Christ, help me to be a true child of the resurrection.

1. Our Shallows, His Depth: The encounter in this Gospel passage is somewhat embarrassing to read. It reminds us of so many similar occurrences in which we see shallowness trying to sound deep, but achieving little more than bothersome clatter. We’ve all heard rock stars who take themselves for prophets, or media people who handle issues of the Church, natural law, and other sublime truths without really knowing what they’re talking about. They just can’t see things outside of their pre-conceived notions. Their words grate on our ears and make us cringe. Something similar happens here. The Sadducees confront our Lord on their own terms and with their own agenda, armed with what they believe to be clever wit. Precisely such shallowness is the occasion to reveal God’s depths.

2. Christ More Than Satisfies: Our embarrassment for the Sadducees turns to admiration for Christ. Christ knew full well what was in the hearts of those men, and he patiently explained to them where their thinking failed. The man’s specious reasoning was given an answer that went far beyond the realm of theory. As the Sadducees’ superficiality is revealed, we get a glimpse of God’s mercy. These men were humbled, not humiliated. They were not rejected for being wrong; but were invited to go deeper in the truth. When we allow the Word of God to penetrate our hearts, it opens entirely new vistas and takes us out of the comfortable, predictable world of our own pre-conceived notions. However, for this to happen we need to be open to it. Once the Word of God finds a crevice, it will work its way in and bring new light into our previously darkened hearts.

3. We Are Children of the Resurrection: St. Paul says that whereas Christ is risen, he “has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). This is what the Sadducees had to learn and what we must still learn: to know our true place as “children of the resurrection” who are also members of Christ and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are raised again and again, yet frequently we are unaware of it. God’s word might enter our ears, but it may take a lifetime for its truth finally to sink into our hearts and penetrate every aspect of our lives. We are like people waking from sleep, unable to collect their thoughts quickly. Little by little the truth breaks in upon us and reality comes into focus. Christ’s truth surprises, reveals and invites.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, suddenly I see that I am more like the Sadducees than I had previously thought. Help me to have an open heart, alert to your will and a readiness to adapt to it. Forgive me my rationalism and small-mindedness. I trust in you.

Resolution: I will strive to see others as children of the resurrection.


45 posted on 11/10/2013 6:22:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture Speaks: Life After Death

by Gayle Somers on November 8, 2013 ·

 

Today, Jesus meets some Sadducees who try to trip Him up with a Bible question.  Does it work?


Gospel (Read Lk 20:27-38)

St. Luke describes for us an encounter Jesus had with a group of Sadducees, and we need to understand who they were in order to best appreciate it.  The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (pg 89) says:

“The Sadducees emerged as a political and religious interest group around the second century B.C.  Their name is derived from the high priest Zadok, who served under King Solomon (1 Kings 2:35) and whose descendants were granted exclusive rights to minister in Jerusalem (Ezek 40:46).  In Jesus’ day, it was likely that many Sadducees were wealthy and held important positions in the Holy City.  As a group, they were opposed to the Pharisees, because they sought to maintain the status quo with Rome.  They believed that living peaceably with the governing Romans was the best way for Judaism to successfully weather the storm of foreign rule.  Even more distinctive of the Sadducees were their doctrinal beliefs, or, more accurately, their unbeliefs.  They opposed every doctrine not explicitly taught in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible.  Therefore, they expressly denied:  (1) an afterlife with rewards and punishments for the righteous and wicked (2) the immortality of the soul (3) the resurrection of the body and (4) the existence of angels or spirits (see Acts 23:6-8).”

When we know this background, we can see that the question the Sadducees put to Jesus was an attempt to trap Him in a contradiction of Moses, the author of the Pentateuch.  If there were such a thing as resurrection, they proposed, there would be terrible confusion over whose wife the childless woman, instructed by Mosaic law to marry the brothers of her dead husbands, would be.  What mistake were the Sadducees making?  Because they were certain that Moses did not explicitly teach about the afterlife, they were confident it did not exist.  They hoped to expose the awkwardness and sheer irrationality of the doctrine of resurrection if Jesus tried to answer their question.

The tables were turned on them, however, in Jesus’ masterful answer.  First, He acknowledges an afterlife in which righteousness is rewarded (“those deemed worthy to attain the coming age”).  Then, He suggests that Moses’ law was intended only for this earthly life; its silence about the afterlife did not negate its existence.  Jesus came to us from Heaven expressly to reveal and confirm what was only hinted at in the Old Testament.  The new information He gives about marriage is that it is for this life only, not the afterlife.  Jesus makes clear that the soul is immortal, because in the resurrection, men “can no longer die.”  He also confirms the existence of angels, saying that those who rise will be like immortal angels.  Finally, Jesus insists that evidence for the afterlife is given indirectly even by Moses himself.  When he wrote about his experience at the burning bush, he reports that God described Himself as “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.”  God’s identification with men who had been dead hundreds of years means that “He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive.”

In one breathtaking sweep, Jesus overturns all the Sadducees’ doctrinal objections.  With wonderful clarity, He gives us a window into the life of the world to come—a world in which death has been conquered and life never ends.  A trap turns into a remarkably beautiful teaching from Jesus.  Isn’t that just like Him?

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, thank You for making the impossible—life beyond death—possible.

First Reading (Read 2 Mac 7:1-2, 9-14)

Here we have another reading about seven brothers, although these men were not all marrying the same woman.  They were facing martyrdom for refusing to violate the Jewish prohibition against eating pork being pressed on them by the pagan king who ruled over Judah at that time.  The brothers were “ready to die rather than transgress the laws” of their ancestors.  Where did they get such courage?

We can see that these men had a rock-like confidence in the afterlife, where “the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.”  They understood that they had received their bodies (and all their body parts) “from Heaven,” and they were willing to let them go in the “hope to receive them again.”  Their anticipation of the resurrection gave them courage that “even the king and his attendants” marveled over; it enabled them to regard their “sufferings as nothing.”

When the fourth brother was near death, he confessed his belief that his steadfastness in faith would be rewarded by God, but he warned his persecutors that “for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”  We can see here many of the beliefs about the afterlife that were taken up in Jesus’ response to the Sadducees in our Gospel.  A doctrine of personal, bodily resurrection after a life of faithfulness was slow to develop for the Jews, but by the time of the Maccabees, several hundred years before Jesus appeared, it was well established.  Jesus thought the Sadducees should have taken their cue from Moses at the burning bush, which happened about 1500 years before Jesus.  To know this life is not an end in itself but a preparation for the life to come means that we will, paradoxically, live this life much better, no matter what we face, even martyrdom.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, help me make decisions in this life with the confidence these brothers had that life here isn’t an end in itself.

Psalm (Read Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15)

Keeping in mind the theme of our readings thus far—life in God’s presence after death as reward for righteousness—we will find this psalm quite fitting.  The psalmist asks God to hear him, a man who prays “from lips without deceit.”  He keeps his steps “steadfast” in God’s paths and calls out for God to hear him.  He makes a remarkable request of God, one that could only come from a relationship of tender love and confidence:  “Keep me as the apple of Your eye, hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”  Have we ever prayed this way?  The psalmist believes that “on waking I shall be content in Your presence.”  We, too, believe that when we awake from the sleep of death in the resurrection, we shall behold God’s face.  We are waiting for that day; in anticipation, meanwhile, we can sing:  “Lord, when Your glory appears, my joy will be full.”

Possible response:  The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings.  Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read 2 Thess 2:16-3:5)

If we are thinking now about the resurrection as a reward for those who are “deemed worthy” of it, as Jesus says in the Gospel, we might start to get nervous.  We know ourselves; we know that we have faltered and failed, been fickle and indifferent, have not always zealously pursued righteousness.  What about us?

This portion of St. Paul’s letter to his Christian friends helps us see that through our faith in Jesus—our willingness to believe He died and rose for our sins, which is what St. Paul preached and the Thessalonians believed—we can become truly righteous, through God’s grace.  None of us gain heaven by being good enough.  That is why Jesus is called our Savior.  Through our faith in Him, says St. Paul, “the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through His grace,” is the One Who encourages our hearts and strengthens them “in every good deed and word.”  We are not left to ourselves to live a life worthy of heaven.  As St. Paul says elsewhere, God is at work in us, “both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (see Phil 2:13).  We can see this gracious reality woven through St. Paul’s words to the Thessalonians.  He asks them to pray for him, especially for protection from wicked people; he knows God will do this because “the Lord is faithful.”  He strengthens and guards His people “from the evil one.”  All the emphasis in these verses is on God’s great work in His children to enable them to live worthy of His calling:  “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.”

We can hope for our own resurrection when we put all our hope in Jesus and doing what the Lord instructs us to do.  He will bring us safely home.

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, I thank You that my confidence in life after death comes from Your great love for me and the promise of Your help to attain it.


46 posted on 11/10/2013 6:29:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Will there be Marriage in the Afterlife?

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. on November 8, 2013 ·

 

Given their history, it seems rather strange.  After all, for hundreds of years the Jews lived alongside a race that was totally preoccupied with life after death. The Egyptians built pyramids that were wonders of the ancient world.  But their sole purpose was to launch their leaders into the next world.

Yet the Hebrews really had no concept of life after death. True, they believed in Sheol (aka Hades) but the shadowy, underworld existence of departed souls could not properly be called “life.” For the Jews, unlike the Greeks and Egyptians, the soul really could not have true existence apart from the body.  A human being, in their understanding, did not just have a body. It was not just a vehicle that the soul drove around town.  No, the body is an essential part of the person. The body is the person.

So finally, when about 150 years before Christ a group of pious Jews called Pharisees came to believe in life after death, they instinctively knew that the body had to be involved. Salvation was not about being liberated from the body to enjoy bliss as angelic souls, but rather had to mean the resurrection of the body.

The religious establishment of Judaism never bought into this. To this day, most Jews don’t have a definite belief in life after death.  In Jesus’ time, the conservatives, which included the priests, were called the Sadducees. In Luke 20: 27-38 a group of them present to Jesus a scenario designed to discredit this silly belief in the resurrection. In this world, death of a spouse frees a woman to marry another.  What if she is made a widow six times and marries a seventh. In the resurrection, all will be alive at the same time–who’s wife will she be?

As they snicker, the Lord Jesus exposes the problem.  They assume the resurrection will be a mere resuscitation, a return to bodily life as we currently experience it.  But Jesus points out our risen bodies will be different that they are now.  Our bodies now are mortal, vulnerable, actually rather fragile.  A lifetime of great nutrition and disciplined exercise can be instantaneously ruined by a sudden rendezvous with an 18-wheeler.

In the resurrection, we’ll become like the angels in this way–our bodies will no longer be mortal or vulnerable.  I don’t know about you, but for me, that will make quite a difference in my lifestyle and daily routine.  Marriage is a love relationship for sure.  But it is also an institution that is bound up with realities of mortal life.  Reproduction is necessary because we someday will die and so need to raise up replacements to carry on.  In heaven, we won’t need to worry about the survival of the species or the family name.  Paying the bills and balancing the budget is a big part of the institution of marriage and family as we know them.  But the bills we work so hard to pay each month just won’t be an issue in the hereafter.   Medical insurance is no use when you are immortal.

But there are some things about marriage that will last forever.  Marriage points beyond itself to eternal realities.  God is an intimate and loving communion of persons.  We are made in the image of this triune God which means that we are made for self-giving love.  Marriage is a realization of this vocation as well as a symbol of an even greater love relationship–the marriage between God and His people, Christ and His Church.

So there are things about this life, and about marriage, that will last forever. But there are also things that will pass away.  The resurrection will be not just more of the same, but a transformation of life, a launching into a new realm of life, a life of eternal love of God and one another that will be more exciting than we can possibly imagine.


47 posted on 11/10/2013 6:36:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 29, Issue 6

<< Sunday, November 10, 2013 >> 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time
 
2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
2 Thessalonians 2:16—3:5

View Readings
Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
Luke 20:27-38

Similar Reflections
 

"A HAPPY DEATH"

 
"It also happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king." —2 Maccabees 7:1
 

Seven brothers were arrested, tortured, scourged, and killed because they would not compromise their faith (2 Mc 7:1ff). These heroic deaths have inspired and transformed the lives of many for centuries.

We are all going to die, unless Jesus comes back first. The question is not: "Will I die?" but "How will I die?" Will my death be a mere statistic? Or will I glorify God by my manner of death? (Jn 21:19)

Most people think a happy death means dying at an old age and with no pain. God's word says a happy death has nothing to do with age or pain but it has everything to do with love, even to death on the cross (Phil 2:8). "The way we came to understand love was that He laid down His life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers" and sisters (1 Jn 3:16).

"Happy now are the dead who die in the Lord!" (Rv 14:13)

 
Prayer: "May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, may God our Father Who loved us and in His mercy gave us eternal consolation and hope, console your hearts and strengthen them for every good work and word" (2 Thes 2:16-17).
Promise: "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the God-given hope of being restored to life by Him." —2 Mc 7:14
Praise: Praise You, risen King Jesus, enthroned in majesty and glory! I lift up my hands, heart, and voice to praise You today.

48 posted on 11/10/2013 6:42:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

49 posted on 11/10/2013 6:43:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2013-11-10-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


50 posted on 11/17/2013 4:11:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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