Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 20: 27-38
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. We however know and believe that we are all heading toward the resurrection of the body. It really won’t matter who was married to whom. We belong to God. Human needs and longings will no longer apply.
The brothers in the reading from the Book of Maccabees know this. That is why they are willing to die. They endure what they must. In this month of November, the church focuses us on this ultimate question because we live in a material world whose technology dazzles and distracts us from eternity. We think we are invincible. Just as the Sadducees denied resurrection of the body, many in the postmodern world do as well. Just as there will be no marrying in heaven, there will be no technology. No Siri. No Alexa. No smartphone. No smartspeaker. There will be no need. Christ will be all we need. We will see God in the face. We cannot begin to imagine what this will be like. Jesus tells the Sadducees that, in the end, we will be like the Angels. Note, we will not be angels. We are in the body and we will be in the body at the resurrection on the last day. But like angels, we will be bathed in light, in a glorified body – like Jesus’ – and we will have no needs. A little boy asked Pope Francis if his dog will be in heaven. Pope Francis answered in the way Pope Emeritus Benedict answered: Everything we love will be in heaven. There are no needs in heaven. God fills all the needs. We will not be alone. We will be part of that great Communion of Saints. With the Church we focus on it in these last days of the year.
That’s why in November we pray for All Souls to assist them in their purification. The Church give us the opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence that we can apply to a deceased loved one. The indulgence remits the temporal punishment due to sin. In this way one can reduce the amount of time that the loved one might need to spend in purgatory. The requirements are to go to confession, to attend mass, to receive holy Communion, to profess the Creed, to pray for the Pope and to visit a cemetery. This all must be done within a short period of time, like a week.
November grows darker, yet we anticipate the Light of Christ growing through Advent to Christmas. We keep vigil this November with our prayers until the great day comes when we join their great company of all the saints in heaven with Christ the King.