Extracted from the 2nd book of Maccabees: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
There were seven brothers who were arrested with their mother. The king tried to force them to taste pig’s flesh, which the Law forbids, by torturing them with whips and scourges.
One of them, acting as spokesman for the others, said, ‘What are you trying to find out from us? We are prepared to die rather than break the laws of our ancestors.’
With his last breath the second brother exclaimed, ‘Inhuman fiend, you may discharge us from this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up, since it is for his laws that we die, to live again for ever.’
After him, they amused themselves with the third, who on being asked for his tongue promptly thrust it out and boldly held out his hands, with these honourable words, ‘It was heaven that gave me these limbs; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again.’ The king and his attendants were astounded at the young man’s courage and his utter indifference to suffering.
When this one was dead they subjected the fourth to the same savage torture. When he neared his end he cried, ‘Ours is the better choice, to meet death at men’s hands, yet relying on God’s promise that we shall be raised up by him; whereas for you there can be no resurrection, no new life.’
Extracted from Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15
I shall be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory, O Lord.
Lord, hear a cause that is just, pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer: no deceit is on my lips.
I kept my feet firmly in your paths; there was no faltering in my steps.
I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God. Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings
As for me, in my justice I shall see your face and be filled,
when I awake, with the sight of your glory.
Extracted from the 2nd letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.
Finally, brothers, pray for us; pray that the Lord’s message may spread quickly, and be received with honour as it was among you; and pray that we may be preserved from the interference of bigoted and evil people, for faith is not given to everyone.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will give you strength and guard you from the evil one, and we, in the Lord, have every confidence that you are doing and will go on doing all that we tell you.
May the Lord turn your hearts towards the love of God and the fortitude of Christ.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke 20:27-38:
Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’
Jesus replied, ‘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. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’
It was the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time on 10 November 2013.
Here are the Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day (see above):
1st Reading: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14,
Responsorial: Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15 ,
2nd Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 &
Gospel Reading: Luke 20:27-38.
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
PASTORAL VISIT TO THE PARISH
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 8 November 1998
1. “God is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him” (Luke 20:38).
One week after the feast of All Saints and the commemoration of All Souls, this Sunday’s liturgy invites us once again to reflect on the mystery of the resurrection of the dead. This Christian proclamation is not a generic answer to man’s aspiration for life without end; on the contrary, it is the announcement of a sure hope, because it is based, as the Gospel reminds us, on the very fidelity of God. He in fact is the “God of the living” and communicates to all those who trust in him that divine life which he possesses in full. He, who is the “living One”, is the source of life.
Already in the Old Testament hope in the resurrection of the dead was gradually maturing. We heard an eloquent witness to this in the first reading, which gives an account of the martyrdom of the seven brothers at the time of the persecution unleashed by King Antiochus Epiphanes against the Maccabees and all those who opposed the introduction of pagan customs and cults among the Jewish people.
These seven brothers faced suffering and martyrdom, sustained by the exhortation of their heroic mother and by their faith in the divine reward reserved for the just. As one of them near death said: “One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him” (2 Maccabees 7:14).
2. These words that resound in our assembly today call to mind the example of other martyrs of the faith who, not far from this place, offered their life for the cause of Christ. I am thinking of the young brothers, Simplicius and Faustinus, put to death during the persecution of Diocletian, and their sister Viatrix (Beatrice), who also died a martyr. Their bodies are buried, as is well known, in the nearby catacombs of Generosa, so very dear to you.
The courageous witness of these young martyrs, still remembered and celebrated today as the Holy Martyrs of Portuense, should be a pressing invitation to your community to proclaim with firmness and perseverance the death and resurrection of Christ always and everywhere.
May their example give new dynamism to your apostolate, especially during this pastoral year when the City Mission is addressed in particular to the areas of life and work. In fact, these are the social contexts in which Christians can often be shrouded in anonymity and therefore have greater difficulty in offering an incisive evangelical witness.
3. Dear brothers and sisters of the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei in Magliana! I am pleased to celebrate the Day of the Lord with you and to visit your lively Christian community. Since divine Providence called me, 20 years ago, to the Chair of Peter, I dedicate some Sundays of the year to this pastoral service, which represents a primary commitment for every diocesan Bishop.
I thank God for the gift that he has given me, in these 20 years, of being able to meet 275 parish communities with their priests, men and women religious and ecclesial movements and associations. It is my sincere desire to be able to make, God willing, a pastoral visit to every parish, since, as I stressed in my first meeting with the Roman clergy, I am “deeply aware of having become Pope of the universal Church, because of being Bishop of Rome” (9 November 1978, L'Osservatore Romano English edition, 16 November 1978, p. 3).
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17 November 2013