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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

What is Life? The Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

                                                         What is Life?

The Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 6, 2022

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


          Jesus tells us through a case study of widowers that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, because for God all are alive. That is quite comforting, especially as we ponder the death of loved ones that we remember during this month of remembrance. Many people in the world today do not believe in life after death or in heaven, and for many, the debate ensues. Jesus settled the debate within the Jewish faith about whether there is a resurrection, and this helped his community process their experience of his own resurrection. Now, he gave us the easy part, but we still have so many more questions that he did not answer. 


          We have been to funerals when someone who is not a believer struggles to deal with a loved one’s death. For them, life ends and they do everything to keep dying loved ones alive in hospitals because there is nothing after death. For a Christian, death still hurts, but we are comforted by the faith that God’s love never forgets anyone that God creates, and that we continue to live on in God’s memory for eternity. No one knows what heaven is like, and no one really knows what the resurrection is and what happens in the resurrection of the body, and fortunately, Scripture gives us comforting metaphors and images – the Eternal Shepherd, the souls of the Just, the many dwelling places in God’s mansion, among others. 


          Belief in eternal life requires faith, and faith’s orientation is towards the future, a future of a promised fulfilled. Faith is a graced willingness to trust that neither the past nor the present has been exhausted, and that there is still something more. Faith’s home is in heaven towards a future fulfillment that will come about through Jesus Christ. We know that faith, not sinfulness, will have the final word. What is salvation but the gathering of ongoing possibilities and promise that our relationship with God has for all of humanity? Jesus Christ is the center of that future as the one who makes God known and continues to be present through the Spirit. 


          In the end, it does not matter to us how we are alive to God, just that we are. Our faith is essential because it acknowledges that we depend upon God, and it moves us away from being the center of our own life because God becomes central. This faith is an expression of love that reorders our understanding of our transcendent nature. A friend just described this to me last week after having seen herself as a sinner her entire life. As she nears her impending death, she writes that she never felt like she really belonged to God or that she was never allowed to fully enter into faith. As death approaches, she writes, “I have now fully entered into God’s world. These days have helped raise me up to celebrate and join the party. I now cherish this journey here on earth as Beloved. I am a beloved friend of God, and God has shown me the path to new life. That is my prayer for all of you and my beloved ones – that we know how radically loved we are today and that we are going to spend life with God with an uncontainable joy. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 


Monday: (Timothy 1) For a bishop as God's steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine
and to refute opponents.


Tuesday: (Timothy 2) You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.


Wednesday: (Ezekiel 47) Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.


Thursday: (Philemon 7) I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment, who was once useless to you but is now useful to both you and me. I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.


Friday (2 John 4) Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense.


Saturday (3 John 5) Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters, especially for strangers; they have testified to your love before the Church. Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.




Monday: (Luke 17) Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.


Tuesday: (Luke 17) When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’


Wednesday (John 2) Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there.


Thursday (Luke 17) “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”


Friday (Luke 17) So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, someone who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise one in the field must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.


Saturday (Luke 18) Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. 


Saints of the Week


November 9: The dedication of Rome's Lateran Basilica was done by Pope Sylvester I in 324 as the pope's local parish as the bishop of Rome. It was originally called the Most Holy Savior and was built on the property donated by the Laterani family. It is named John Lateran because the baptistry was named after St. John. Throughout the centuries, it was attacked by barbarians, suffered damage from earthquakes and fires, and provided residence for popes. In the 16th century, it went through Baroque renovations. 


November 10: Leo the Great, pope and doctor (d. 461) tried to bring peace to warring Roman factions that were leaving Gaul vulnerable to barbarian invasions. As pope, he tried to keep peace again - in particular during his meeting with Attila the Hun, whom he persuaded not to plunder Rome. However, in Attila's next attack three years later, Rome was leveled. Some of Leo's writings on the incarnation were influential in formulating doctrine at the Council of Chalcedon. 


November 11: Martin of Tours, bishop (316-397), became an Roman soldier in Hungary because he was born into a military family. After he became a Christian, he left the army because he saw his faith in opposition to military service. He settled in Gaul and began its first monastery. He was proclaimed bishop in 371 and worked to spread the faith in at time of great uncertainty and conflict. He divided sections of his diocese into parishes.


November 12: Josaphat, bishop and martyr (1580-1623) was a Ukranian who entered the Basilian order and was ordained in the Byzantine rite. He was named the archbishop of Polotsk, Russia and attempted to unite the Ukrainian church with Rome. His opponents killed him. He is the first Eastern saint to be formally canonized.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • November 6, 1789. Fr. John Carroll of Maryland was appointed to be the first Bishop of Baltimore. 
  • November 7, 1717. The death of Antonio Baldinucci, an itinerant preacher to the inhabitants of the Italian countryside near Rome. 
  • November 8, 1769. In Spain, Charles III ordered all of the Society's goods to be sold and sent a peremptory demand to the newly elected Pope Clement XIV to have the Society suppressed. 
  • November 9, 1646. In England, Fr. Edmund Neville died after nine months imprisonment and ill-treatment. An heir to large estates in Westmoreland, he was educated in the English College and spent forty years working in England. 
  • November 10, 1549. At Rome, the death of Paul III, to whom the Society owes its first constitution as a religious order. 
  • November 11, 1676. In St James's Palace, London, Claude la Colombiere preached on All Saints. 
  • November 12, 1919. Fr. General Ledochowski issued an instruction concerning the use of typewriters. He said that they could be allowed in offices but not in personal rooms, nor should they be carried from one house to another.

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