Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thirty- Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Confidence in God

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 ´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."

Introductory Prayer:Lord help me to put aside the concerns and distractions I have now. Help me to focus on you for the next few moments. I believe in you. I believe that you are with me and that you hear me. Open my mind to your words. Open my heart to your concerns. What would you have me do for you today? 

Petition: Lord give me confidence in you and your providence.  

1. Openness to God. The Sadducees were a Jewish group drawn from the priestly and aristocratic classes. In contrast with the Pharisees, they denied the resurrection of the dead and the existence of angels, and they accepted as authoritative only the written law. Here they sought to ridicule belief in the resurrection of the dead, basing their argument on the law of levirate marriage. They pose a question to Jesus not to discover God’s will for their life, but to win an argument. This is a reminder for us. Prayer begins with a general disposition of openness to God. I come to him. I seek his word for my life. I seek him. So my first step is to ask him for the grace to be truly open to hear him speak to my heart. 

2. Our Life is Hidden in Christ. Jesus’ response to the Sadducees invites us to turn our minds to contemplate the mystery of our life in eternity. So often we are caught up in the pressing needs of everyday life, our work and our families. We are stuck in the here and now, without a thought for the hereafter. But it is precisely the hereafter that is the goal of our life. This is where we are headed. It is the goal that gives direction and meaning to activity. If my goal is to drive from New York to Chicago, I know I need a car, some money for gas, and a map. If I forget my goal, the car, the gas money, and the map lose their meaning for me. I drive around without heading anywhere, and my driving loses its meaning. My life is hidden in Christ, and so I need to seek him here and now with all of my strength.  

3. We Are Children of God. Jesus reveals the mystery of our future. “They can no longer die, for they are like angels.” Like the angels, we will possess an indestructible life. Christ gives us a share in his own life. In him, we are children of God. This truth should fill us with great confidence. God is our father. He cares for us. He knows the good things that we need. We can speak to him as a child asks her father for the things she needs. What father would give his son a snake when he asks for a fish? What father would hand his daughter a scorpion when she asks for an egg? 

Dialogue with Christ: Lord, you know me and you know everything about me. I place before you the needs of my heart, the concerns of my family and friends. Help me to be open to your will in my life. Let me not turn away from you or reject you. Let me not become blinded by the arrogance of my own opinions and ideas. Help me to keep you always before me as the goal of my life, the pearl of great price which I joyfully sell all I own to possess. 

Resolution: I will not become worried or anguished today. I will turn my heart to Jesus. 

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