A HOMILY FOR THE THIRTY SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE”C” – 11/10/19 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
There’s probably not a one of us here today, who hasn’t thought about what Heaven is going to be like. I’m mean, Heaven is the promise for those who follow Christ. Heaven is that Kingdom where we will get to be with Him forever. The Sacred Scriptures make Heaven sound pretty good. The Bible tells us that Heaven is an all-perfect place: no sickness, no sadness, no death, no sin, no pain, no selfishness, no mosquitoes, no allergies of any kind! Our theologians tell us that the earth’s brightest blue, or attention-getting red, or most luminescent yellow, will all pale in comparison to the blues, and reds, and yellows of Heaven. Heaven is promised to be the most extraordinary experience that you or I have ever had! Can you imagine that? You know, we think that we know some pretty amazing experiences: a Fall walk in the woods in Maine, the sunrise in the clouds in the Smokey Mountains, the majesty of Grand Canyon, splashing in the ocean on the beaches of Hawaii, or an evening spent around a campfire under the stars of a vast Texan sky. If the same God Who created all those things, tell us, that He has something even more amazing waiting for us when we leave this world, I don’t know about you, but I want to see that! Not only do I want to see that, but I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t mind spending eternity there, with God and His Saints and angels. Count me in! Make my reservation today!
And even with all we know about Heaven, I think we all have our questions. We all like to know about someplace BEFORE we go there. For example, the Scriptures frequently use the image of a banquet feast to describe Heaven. If it’s a banquet feast, doesn’t that imply that we are going to eat? See how an Italian thinks! How are we going to eat if we were like angels and don’t have a stomach, or a body? Plus, who sets the temperature in Heaven? This is a very important question. I know that many of you don’t want me setting the temperature in the Kingdom of God. And truly, there are some of you that I don’t want setting the temperature in Heaven. Maybe we just leave that up to God. And finally, when we get to Heaven, and we get that glorified body thing, that Jesus talked about, does that mean that we get to have abs, like Jesus? I mean, look at Jesus on the Cross. Do you have any idea how many sit-ups we’d all have to do, to have abs like that! Or are Jesus abs just part of the glorified body thing? Inquiring minds want to know!
Today, the Sadducees get to voice some of their questions, about Heaven. Now, remember, the Sadducees don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. So they are very much playing with Jesus when they bring this story to Him about this woman who has married seven brothers. Jesus doesn’t fall for their game. He doesn’t deal directly with their exaggerated and silly scenario about the seven brothers and one wife. But what Jesus does do is He compares the ways of this world to the ways of the Kingdom of God.
And Jesus tells us quite clearly the God that we worship is the God of the living, not the dead. Those who belong to God and who serve Him in this life are rightly described as children of God, heirs of the Kingdom, who will rise to new life in the resurrection. All the rest, those whom Jesus describes as the “children of this age”, have no hope within them. For they have nothing to trust in.
As followers of Christ, as believers, we have a lot to trust in, and we have a lot to look forward to! Heaven is for real! God does have an amazing reward in store for all of us who persevere until the end. Today, as we think about our ultimate destiny, and where we are going when we leave this world, let us keep in mind St. Paul’s words to us in our second reading today, “We pray that the Lord will direct and encourage our hearts to His love and endurance. May He keep us faithful and strengthen us to on our guard against the Evil One, and all that would separate us form the very love and life of God.
+ May God bless us today and keep us ready and waiting, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!