Here is my homily for this weekend. God bless each of you!
32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C
November 9/10, 2013
2 Macc 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thes 2:16-3:5; Luke 20: 27-38
“He is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
God is truly God of the living. He is God of life. He sustains life. He nourishes life. God does not create death, nor does he wish it on us. He so much wants us to live that he gave his only Son so that we might have life, resurrected life, and have it fully and have it for all eternity. If only we believe, remain faithful to his teachings, remain attached to the Church, and live by word and example the truth revealed to us by Jesus and handed on to us by the Church.
We are called to be alive and afire with the love of God! Called to live by God’s grace and his will, to live in the Spirit of God, to live so others may live!
You are alive in Christ Jesus! Alive, not dead! If you follow him and adhere to the Church which he established, you will live fully in this life and live forever with him in heaven! The life we now have as God’s adopted sons and daughters is a foretaste of the life that will be ours, if we remain firm in our faith, if we remain faithful to Jesus, if we remain members of his Church which is his Body, if we eat his body and drink his blood here at Mass, if we live a “worthy life” as the Gospel said. Yes, we will rise again to everlasting life in heaven.
My question to you is, “Do you believe this?”
Do you believe that you already participate in the resurrection that Jesus himself experienced?
Do you believe that when you die and your soul separates from your body, your soul lives on forever and when Jesus returns in glory on the last day your body will rise in a glorified perfected form and be once again reunited with your soul?
Do you believe that you will rise again someday? Creation itself speaks indirectly of the resurrection: the darkness of night gives rise to the light of day; the seed that is sown in the earth dies but then rises again to new growth and life.
We are already a resurrected people! We have experienced the resurrection to new life by our baptism. God works a miracle in our lives when we are baptized. He justifies us by his grace. He takes what is spiritually dead and he brings it to life. Certainly one of the great joys of being a deacon is to baptize someone. A great joy! Did you know that your deacons are here in this parish to do just that? We are here to bring the waters of baptism to those who ask for it. All you need to do is directly ask one of us and we will respond.
Yes, we are already a resurrected people AND we will rise again when Christ comes again on the last day! As St. Paul said in our second reading, if we direct our hearts to the love of God and we endure with Christ through the difficulties of this life, we will rise again to eternal life, we will rise as glorified sons and daughters of God. If we don’t love God and the People of God who are his Church, we will be lost forever.
We all are called to be saints. Yes, saints! We Catholics believe in the “Communion of Saints” which means we believe that if we die in the state of grace we will go to heaven after a period of purification, and there be with all those who have gone before us who have died in faith and maintained a relationship with Jesus and the Church. We believe we will see them again. We believe that those saints in heaven now pray for us and await with joy the resurrection of all the dead on the last day.
Because of the resurrection and the communion of saints we know that the relationships we have here on earth endure in a new way even into eternity.
Do you believe this? If you do, it has implications. It implies we must respect our bodies as well as our souls. We must reverence our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit and at death give our bodies back to the earth to await the resurrection. It implies we must also respect the bodies of others, and never seek to harm them in anyway. This is why abortion is wrong, why self-mutilation is wrong, why violence to oneself or others is wrong, why terrorism and war are wrong, why pornography, illicit drug use and alcohol abuse are wrong. We must never do anything that may wound the human body for the body is sacred and to be resurrected someday.
Yes, we have died and have risen with Christ at our baptism and we will rise again on the last day. The resurrection is a great mystery of our faith. It is the source of hope and joy for all Catholics; it is the fulfillment of God’s promises. Jesus promised the resurrection to all who follow him faithfully. Jesus doesn’t lie; he fulfills his promises.
Let us remember at this Mass all that God had done for us in his love and mercy. Let us praise him now, alive in his Spirit, as we await his Son’s second coming and our new life with Him.