Gospel Reflection for November 10, 2019, 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time
Sunday Readings: 2 Maccabees 7.1-2, 9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2.16-2.5; Luke 20.27-38
“God is not God of the dead but of the living. All are alive to God”. – Luke 20.38
When Jesus enters Jerusalem, he cleanses the temple as his first act. Immediately the chief priests, scribes, and elders get in his face. “Who do you think you are? By what authority are you doing these things?” Jesus proves an able debater in handling the traps the officials set for him, for example, “Should Jews pay the Roman’s tax?” Or, in Sunday’s gospel what about Deuteronomy 25.5-10, the law which obligates a man whose brother dies childless to marry his widow and produce a son for him? What if seven brothers in turn marry the widow but die childless, whose wife will the widow be at the resurrection?
Jesus argues that there is no marriage or death in the resurrection and supports his argument with God’s words to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3.15). God identifies God’s self to Moses as the God of his ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, all long dead in history but to God alive. Jesus makes his point from Exodus, one of the five books of Torah his questioners regard as sacred. They give him credit for speaking well.
Debates are a Jewish way of learning. Jesus proves good at it. He models a civic skill much in need in our society this coming election season as our debates and dialogues with one another measure the truth of political assertions and positions.
How do the scriptures and Catholic social teaching guide you in discerning the common good for our nation?
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