HOMILY FOR 32ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C.
THEME: GLORY OF THE RESURRECTION
BY: Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE.
What is the purpose of Human existence? What is the goal of human life? Why were we created by the Creator? These are some of the questions that burden the human mind from time immemorial. The Christian Response is quite clear in this regard. God is the beginning and in Him also is the proper end of human existence and life. Christ makes the path to this end open to all and the Holy Spirit guides believers through this path. When this end is activated, it shall be a different scenario all together from what it is now because our existence would be in a transformed mode. May this end be accomplished in us; Amen.
The question of the Sadducees in the Gospel Reading of today (Luke 20:27-38) may seem very out of place and unnecessary; but Jesus used that opportunity to clarify a very important aspect of Christian Profession of Faith; and also about Christian life and aspiration. There is a very huge difference between life here below and life thereafter. Life here below is marked by its temporal nature lived within space and time; it is limited from many angles. Life thereafter is lived on a very superior level and on a different pedestal; it is lived in the Fullness of life and transcends setbacks and limitations. This is not to deny the fact of the similarity between the two realms; especially the fact that it is the One Life that manifests itself in two forms; namely, the eternal form of it that we anticipate to participate at the Resurrection and the transitory form of it that we live while in this world. Also, life thereafter is the hope and aspiration of the life lived here below and life thereafter is the reward for a well-spent life here below. Identifying the link between these two forms of life was the greatest difficulty of the Sadducees and the reasons for their question to Jesus in the Gospel of today. The reality of the Resurrection of the body is the link between these two forms of life. The Creed demonstrates this to us when we profess that “we believe in the Resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” It is in this sense that Jesus’ response makes sense; “He is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to Him all men and women are in fact alive.”
It is fitting that as the present Liturgical Year gradually draws to a close, that the Church, through many ways, draws our attention to what really matters. The questions that are central to us as Christians in this period include; how can we achieve this goal? What path are we to take in order to key ourselves into God’s plans for us? The First Reading (2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14) and the Second Reading (2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5) help us in this regard with some tips. These involve receiving the message of the Gospel with honour and with open mindedness. It involves guarding oneself from the evil one with the assistance of God’s grace. Saint Paul makes an insightful indication in this regard that calls everyone to allow “the Lord to turn our hearts towards the love of God and the fortitude of Christ.” Just like the seven brothers and their mother, it is the love of God and the courage which the Spirit of God infuses in our souls that lead one to disdain the things of this world and to live in hope of the superior things to come in the world beyond. The certainty of faith in this regard was repeatedly professed by this brave brothers and their mother; “the King of the world will raise us up, since it is for his laws that we die, to live again forever.” The Law of God is life-giving; it nourishes and makes us whole. Preparing for the Resurrection and for Life in God is not a disordered endeavour. Rather, it is a coordinated and ordered endeavour that is under the guide and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Law of God establishes one firmly in that process of preparation.
Heavenly Father, You gratuitously gave us the privilege of living in this world as to live with You in eternity. May we never lose sight of the superior form of Life. May all we do in this life that fades away be our fitting preparation to have a share in the glory of the Resurrection unto Eternal Life with God; Amen. Happy Sunday.