XXXII SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
2 maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 thessalonians 2:16—3:5; luke 20:27-38
in the film «aladdin», aladdin sings the song «a whole new world». the last verse of the song—«a whole new world… a wondrous place for you and me»—sum up the thrust of the readings of today.
in the gospel, the sadducees—who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead—attempt to reduce this belief to absurdity using a far-fetched example of seven brothers, who are married successively to the same woman and die before having children.
jesus draws a sharp distinction between this world and «the coming age». the latter is not just an extension of this world; it is a whole new world, a world in which a human being is a child of GOD and not a piece of property.
in «the coming age», we enter into new relationships with GOD and with people; we will have a new way of being… «like angels»: we will live forever in the fullness of our person (the whole «me»: the physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual aspects, and my whole personal history).
the basis for our hope in this new world is GOD!
the first reading is a narrative of seven brothers and their mother who are killed for their faith in the GOD of life. they believe that he will raise them to a higher life because they have lived faithfully on earth.
the way to prepare ourselves for the new world is by living in this world without making ideas, things, persons and relationships into gods. we need to nurture our rootedness in GOD and live faithfully by his values and ideals.
an anecdote to end. a little girl and her father were walking on a clear, starry night. she turned to him and asked: «if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what will the right side be like?»
we’ll leave it up to GOD! we’ll do our part of living right on the wrong side of heaven!