32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
November 06, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.





Almighty and merciful God,
graciously keep from us all adversity,
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue in freedom of heart
the things that are yours.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
   and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
   to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:
   “What do you expect to achieve by questioning us?
We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

At the point of death he said:
   “You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,
   but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.
It is for his laws that we are dying.”

After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
   and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
   “It was from Heaven that I received these;
   for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
   from him I hope to receive them again.”
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage,
   because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died,
   they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way.
When he was near death, he said,
   “It is my choice to die at the hands of men
   with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;
   but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15

R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
   attend to my outcry;
   hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.

My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
   my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
   incline your ear to me; hear my word.

Keep me as the apple of your eye,
   hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
   on waking I shall be content in your presence.

Second Reading 2 Thes 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
   who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
   and good hope through his grace,
   encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
   so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
   as it did among you,
   and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
   for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
   he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
   you are doing and will continue to do.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
   and to the endurance of Christ.

Acclamation before the Gospel  Rv 1:5a, 6b

Gospel  Lk 20:27, 34-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
   came forward.

Jesus said to them,
   “The children of this age marry and remarry;
   but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
   and to the resurrection of the dead
   neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
   for they are like angels;
   and they are the children of God
   because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
   even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
   when he called out ‘Lord,’
   the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
   and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
   for to him all are alive.”

Reflection Questions

What might you die for?

How is your heart directed to the enduranceof Christ?

How do you experience God as "of the living?"

Catena Nova

Consider, beloved, how the Lord keeps reminding us of the resurrection that is to come, of which he has made the Lord Jesus Christ the first fruits by raising him from the dead. Let us look, beloved, at the resurrection that occurs at its appointed time. Day and night show us a resurrection; the night lies in sleep, day rises again; the day departs, night takes its place. Let us think about the harvest; how does the sowing take place, and in what manner? The sower goes out and casts each seed onto the ground. Dry and bare, they fall into the earth and decay. Then the greatness of the Lord’s providence raises them up again from decay, and out of one many are produced and yield fruit.  (St. Clement of Rome)

The one who was adored by the prophets as the living God is the God of the living. It is his Word who spoke to Moses, the same Word who also put the Sadducees to silence and revealed the gift of resurrection, thus revealing both truths to those who are blind. He revealed both the resurrection and the true God. For if he is not the God of the dead, but of the living, and he was also called the God of the fathers who were sleeping, it is quite clear that they live to God. They have not passed out of existence, since they are children of the resurrection. Our Lord himself is the resurrection, as he himself declares, I am the resurrection and the life…. Christ himself, therefore, together with the Father, is the God of the living. (St. Irenaeus of Lyons)

When God called himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob God implied that those holy patriarchs were still alive, though they were no longer seen on earth…. Christ tells us that the body will live for ever. In the text he seems to imply that it never really dies, that we lose sight indeed of what we are accustomed to see, but that God still sees the elements we are made of all together even if they aren’t seen by our senses. Our Blessed Lord seems to tell us that in some sense or other Abraham’s body might be considered still alive, as a pledge of his resurrection perhaps. Though it was dead in the common sense in which we use this word, Abraham shall rise from the dead because in truth he is still alive. He cannot in the end be held under the power of the grave, any more than a sleeping person can be kept from waking. Abraham is still alive in the dust, though not risen from it yet. He is alive because all God’s saints live to him, though they seem to perish. God graciously called himself the “God of Abraham”. He did not say the God of Abraham’s soul but simply “of Abraham”. He blessed Abraham, and he gave him eternal life—not only to his soul without the body but to Abraham as to an integral human being. We believe God’s word even if we don’t know how to translate it into our ordinary ways of thinking and speaking. Believing is not the same as understanding or knowing how to explain what God has shown us. That is part of the darkness that surrounds our faith and leads us to trust in our God. (St. John Henry Newman)

Jesus said to the Sadducees that they didn’t understand the power of God (Gr: Ten dynamin tou theou), now we begin to understand what this power might consist in. Jesus isn’t talking about some special power to do something miraculous, like raising someone from the dead. Rather he’s giving an indication of the sort of power which characterizes God, something of the quality of who God is. This ‘power’, this quality which God always is, is that of being completely and entirely alive, living without any reference to death. There is no death in God. God has nothing to do with death, and for that reason facts which are obvious to us, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob having been long dead at the time of Moses, simply do not exist for God. Let’s put this another way: for us ‘being alive’ means ‘not being dead’; it’s a reality which is circumscribed by its opposite. For God this is simply not the case. For God being alive has nothing to do with death, and cannot even be contrasted with death. (James Alison)

What you do in the Lord is not in vain. You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that's about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that's shortly going to be thrown on the fire. You are not planting rosed in a garden that's about to be dug up for a building site. You are -- strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself -- accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God's new world. Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one's fellow human beings and for that matter one's fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and make the name of Jesus honored in the world -- all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. (N.T. Wright)

For me it is the virgin birth, the Incarnation, the resurrection which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. Death, decay, destruction are the suspension of these laws. I am always astonished at the emphasis the Church puts on the body. It is not the soul she says that will rise but the body, glorified. (Flannery O’Connor)

Jesus first invites His interlocutors – and us too – to think that this earthly dimension in which we live now is not the only dimension, but that there is another dimension, no longer subject to death, in which it will be fully manifested that we are children of God. It gives great consolation and hope to listen to this simple and clear word of Jesus about life beyond death; we need it so much especially in our time, so rich in knowledge about the universe but so poor in wisdom about eternal life. This clear certainty of Jesus about the resurrection is based entirely on the fidelity of God, who is the God of life. In fact, behind the question of the Sadducees lies a deeper one: not only whose wife the widow of the seven husbands will be, but to whom will her life belong. It is a doubt that has been felt by man down through the ages and also us: after this earthly pilgrimage, what will become of our lives? Will it belong to nothing, to death?  Jesus answered that life belongs to God, who loves us and cares so much about us, to the point of linking his name to ours: he is "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living; for to Him all are alive. Here is the wisdom that no science can ever give. Here the mystery of the resurrection is revealed. Because the mystery of life is revealed. Life exists where there is bond, communion, and brotherhood; and it is a stronger life than death when it is built on true relationships and bonds of fidelity. On the contrary, there is no life where one has the pretension of belonging only to oneself and of living as an island: in these attitudes death prevails. It's selfishness. If I live for myself, I am sowing death in my heart. Eternal life is our destiny. The horizon of definitive fulness of our history, and it is this life that we are called to prepare through evangelical choices. (Pope Francis)


Witnesses for the Offense

     Barbara Ann Muttra.  Joel Kolmer.  Shirley Kolmer.  Kathleen McGuire.  Agnes Mueller.  These names may not mean much to you.  They were members of a religious order called the “Adorers of the Blood of Christ”.  Their own blood was shed in October of 1992 in Liberia when soldiers of warlord Charles Taylor killed them during a civil war which killed thousands of others as well.  Thus Charles Taylor, the leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, along with his guerrilla warriors, have joined the ranks of history’s martyr-makers – many of whom pocketed the landscape of the 20th Century, a century by some estimates that saw more people die for their faith than all previous centuries combined.

     Nor has the present century seen much let-up.  Have you heard, for example, of the following people slain in “hatred for the faith” since the start of the new millennium?

     Clement Shahbaz Bhatti, a Pakistani politician assassinated in 2011 for presumably blaspheming Muhammad;

     Fr. Ragheed Ganni, priest of the  Chaldean Catholic Church, who was shot along with four cousins who were deacons in Mosul, Iraq by an assailant who insisted they convert to Islam or die;

     Fr. Rufus Halley, an Irish missionary to the Philippines, killed by Islamist extremists;

     Fr. Jacques Hamel, a French priest, whose throat was slit while saying Mass in an attempted beheading by ISIS sympathizers;

     Bishop Luigi Padovese and Fr. Andrea Santoro, the first murdered by his driver, and the other murdered at prayer in a church, both in Turkey in retaliation for cartoon published in a French magazine depicting the prophet Muhammed;

     Blessed Leonella Sgorbati and Annalena Tonelli, an Italian nun and laywoman, murdered in Somalia in retaliation for remarks made by Benedict XVI thought to have criticized Islam.

     Thankfully, the church is careful to make sure their stories are not forgotten or go unnoticed, as happens so often, whether such people end up in the official Martyrology or not.  

     Today’s liturgy commemorates eight Jewish antecedents of the Christian martyrs.  Long before Charles Taylor, there was a certain Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Greece.  He was the king who arrested and tortured with whips and scourges the mother and her seven sons whose death is recounted in the first reading -- martyrs who suffered unspeak­able torment for their refusal to transgress the laws of [their] ancestors (I).  

     And down through the cent­uries countless others have met their persecutors face to face with their adamant, “No.”  Whether to eating pork, to burning incense to the emperor, or to standing idly by as the innocent fall prey to perverse and wicked people (II).  No matter the reason for which a martyr bears witness through shedding blood, one thing is constant: their suffering makes his or her likeness to Christ perfect.  Should their testimony be for truth’s sake, or for justice’s sake, or for charity’s sake, the martyrs suffer in union with him. Their hearts are directed to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ (cf. II).

     But that’s not all.  The martyrs’ solidarity with Christ extends further: it reaches out to the members of Christ’s broken body, his outpoured blood, in us his members.  In their desire to see the word of the Lord. . .speed forward and be glorified (II), martyrs embrace all whose lives are threatened by evil.  As the superior of the five Adorers comment­ed: “We are consoled by the knowledge that these women wanted to be in Liberia, and to share the sufferings of the people.”

     Of course, a Christian’s readiness to suffer is rooted in the everlasting encouragement and good hope we have in the Lord [who] is faithful (II) and who will restore those who have given their blood in witness.  Such faith makes the story of the seven brothers and their mother bearable. In the midst of torture, they confessed their confidence in God who is just: You are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. . . .It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the God-given hope of being restored to life by him (I).

     For in the coming age, God’s holy ones can no longer die. . .for they are like angels. . .they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. . . .[for] he is not God of the dead, but of the living. . .to him all are alive (G).

     In the meantime, we also give witness to faith, hope and love, day in and day out, in ways little and great, perhaps unto blood.  And we encourage [our] hearts and strengthen them for every good deed and word (II).  Looking to those who stand already before the throne of God and of the Lamb: all of them adorers of the blood of Christ. The blood we drink from the cup Jesus offers.  Until we drink it anew with all God’s faithful, in the kingdom where he reigns with the Son and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.  Amen.


Intercessions (The Sunday Website; Joe Milner)

For the Church: that we may offer faithful witness to God's abiding care for us and always live as the Children of God.

For the grace of sacrificial love: that we may be open to all the ways God calls us to lay down our lives in witness to the truth and in loving service of others.

For all who have experienced torture and abuse: that God will heal their memories and free them from all fear and hatred.

For all who are recovering from violence, natural disasters, or crime: that God will ease their pain, give them strength, and guide them to the support and assistance that they need.

For all who are working in the election process: that God will help them fulfill their duties faithfully, be of assistance to voters, and keep them safe from harm.

For all who will be voting: that the spirit will guide them in making truthful choices about candidates and issues so that justice and the common good may be advanced.

For peace: that God will bring an end to violence between nations, on city streets, in schools, and within families and bring all who are suffering to safe.

For all who have died during this past year: that God will free them from all their attachments and lead them to the peace of the eternal banquet.

God of all the living,
in the resurrection of Christ Jesus
you have given us the life
which even death cannot destroy.
Remember your unshakeable promise
and strengthen us to live in this world
as your new creation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Hymn

Sustained by resurrection’s hope,

The martyred Maccabees, with one accord

Withstood the tortures of the pagan king

And kept the Covenant with Israel’s Lord.

The promise of the resurrection life

Was used by some to test our Master’s wit.

Christ took this chance to testify: Death’s pow’r

Is by the living God forever split!

This living faithful Lord will give us strength

And guard us from the snares of faithless sin.

With resurrection into Christ as hope,

God turns our hearts and makes us brave to win.

Communion Antiphon

Closing Hymn 

The tree of life my soul hath seen
Laden with fruit and always green
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

His beauty doth all things excel
By faith I know but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
I missed of all but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

I'm weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest a while
Under the shadow I will be
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

This fruit does make my soul to thrive
It keeps my dying faith alive
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.