The last few Sundays of the Liturgical Year focus on the end time and our eternal destiny. On the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear in the Gospel about the Sadducees, who did not believe in resurrection or angels, try to undermine Jesus’ teaching on resurrection. They propose the story of the 7 brothers who all marry the same woman but all die childless. They ask, “Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?” Jesus reiterates His teaching on the resurrection once again, “He is not God of the dead but of the living.”
The first reading from 2 Maccabees is the powerful story of a mother and her 7 sons who refused break God’s law by adhering to man’s law. Their deep conviction and profession of faith lead to horrific torture and death. But they are willing to undergo this persecution because of their belief in life after death.
The question is as disciples of Christ do we have this same conviction? Would we be willing to die for our faith? That question can only truly be answered at the moment of decision. However the way we live our lives now will help us decide.
Many around the world in the Middle East and Africa, in the Latin countries and in the Philippines to name a few, are facing that decision today. It is something for us to think about. Do we have a deep enough conviction in faith? Do we really believe in life after death? If we do that is where we get our hope and our strength.
May the words from the 2nd Letter of St. Paul encourage us: “May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who has loved us and given us encouragement and good hope through His grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.”
Conviction in Christ and the resurrection is our hope!