On this 32nd Sunday of the year C in ordinary time, the 1st reading brings to mind the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live”. We see this assertion practiced by the seven brothers and their mother in today’s 1st reading from the book Maccabees. They give up their lives because of their faith and belief in God. They rather preferred to obey the laws of God than to obey the king. Their attitude and faith in God should challenge you and I in a very special way; as followers and disciples of Christ. It is their faith in God that strengthened them to embrace martyrdom in today’s 1st reading. This is because they were certain that giving up their lives in death does not end their story; they believed in Jesus who is the resurrection and the life. They gave their lives for what they believed in.
You and I as Disciples of Christ, are we also willing to face martyrdom in our daily lives because of our faith and trust in God? In our own time we may not have to shed blood, but martyrdom may come in different ways. These opportunities arise for us to truly proclaim our faith and trust in God like the seven brothers and their mother in today’s 1st reading. In the 2nd reading, from St. Paul’s letter to the Theselonians, he requests that the people remember him in their prayers. This is as a result of the challenges facing him as a result of his call to discipleship. He talks about the wickedand evil people and the challenges his call brings to him. This shows us that as people of God and children of God, there will be moments of challenges and difficulties. But because we serve a faithful God, a God that stands by those who trust in him, he will continue to assist us in the difficult moments of our life. Like Paul requests for prayers from the Theselonians, we are encouraged to also do same from time to time. This is because we believe in the power of prayer and intercession from other people. We are strengthened as children of God because we are standing on a solid foundation; which is Christ Himself. He never disappoints or fails those who trust in him.
In the gospel reading, we see the Sadducees, a Jewish sect that does not believe in both the Angels and in the resurrection; trying to trap Jesus with their tricky question about the resurrection. As usual, Jesus uses the opportunity to teach them about the fact that the human life does not end with death here on earth. It simply means that the human life continues, even after death on earth. Remember that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. We serve a God of both the living and the dead. Whether we are alive or dead, we belong to him. That is why for those of us who believe in the resurrection, death does not bring to an end everything about us; our state has simply changed not ended.
That is why for those of us who believe in the resurrection, we cannot live like the Sadducees who believe that everything begins and ends here on earth. We are encouraged to live our lives here on earth as people who believe in the resurrection and know that there is a reward for living a good Christian life here on earth.
My prayer on this 32nd Sunday of the year is that God will grant us the grace to live our lives trusting in God at all times. Peace be with you! Amen!