A blessed hope for believers
By Sr Bertill Dean O Carm
The response of the Psalm “I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord” for me encapsulates the theme of this Sunday’s reading.
The belief in the Resurrection has inspired saints and martyrs down through the ages to live and die courageously doing God’s will.
The first reading from the Book of Macabees displays the courage of seven brothers whose belief in God’s promise of resurrection to a new and better life enabled them to die rather than go against the Law of God.
In our materialistic world, there are many people who are caught up with what can be seen and touched here and now. We have become a visual people. The television and the internet take us to places and people we will never meet in our lifetime. This ability makes it difficult for us to believe in the resurrected world where our faith teaches us that God awaits us at the end of our earthly life.
It is important for us to develop our own faith life by knowing and understanding the teachings of the Church. Jesus’ own death and Resurrection are fundamental to our Christian beliefs as St Paul reminds us that if Christ did not rise from the dead then vain is our faith.
It is this hope and understanding of the Resurrection that allows us to pinpoint in our lifetime fleeting joyful moments that can be a foretaste of the Resurrection experience.
We may be in a dark place in our life when we have lost our job or in financial difficulty, or even some major illness, then with faith and prayers we can overcome these situations and the light shines once more in our lives.
Yes, belief in the Resurrection gives us hope not only for when we die, but while we are still alive.
The Sadducees in today’s gospel represent people of our world who cannot believe in life after death, but Jesus’ response confirms the reality of the Resurrection and even tells us who and what we will be in the resurrected life. He says to us “The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God”. What a blessed hope for us believers.
This gospel story is timely since we are in the month of November when we remember the holy souls, the souls of our ancestors who passed on faith in the Resurrection to us. We remember them with gratitude and pray for them that they too are awake and enjoying the sight of the glory of God.
Father, we ask You to keep our hope in You alive. You remind us that You came to bring life. Teach us not to live in vain but in the hope of a Blessed Resurrection and we shall be filled when we awaken, with the sight of Your glory, O Lord.
The gospel reflections for November are by the religious sisters of the Corpus Christi Carmelite community which is celebrating 100 years of service to Trinidad and Tobago this month