Posted by: St. Florence Catholic Church | November 5, 2022

Fr. Oscar Hernandez’ Homily for Nov. 5 & 6, 2022: Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s gospel a question is posed by the Sadducees to Jesus.  The Sadducees were Jewish religious leaders who did not believe in the Resurrection. Jesus’ response is that marriage does not occur in heaven. The reason people get married in this world is because people die. There is a need for marriage in order to have a stable relationship between a husband and wife so that children can be brought into this world to become followers of Christ. Thus, the proper posterity of humanity in this world is assured. But in heaven, people no longer die. There is no longer a need to get married and to have children. Jesus said: “They are like angels; and they are the sons of God because they are the ones that will arise.” Those who are in heaven are children of the resurrection.

 In the Profession of Faith, we express our belief: “I believe in the resurrection of the body and in life everlasting – eternal life.” This is based on the resurrection of Jesus! When Jesus returns, He will resurrect our mortal bodies, just like his own glorified body after his resurrection. As God, He accounts for all who have died regardless of how they have died – for nothing is impossible for God. Even from the ashes, our earthly bodies can be resurrected by God. And furthermore, in the resurrection of the body, there is no comparison between the earthly body and the glorified body that we will have in heaven. 

In Rome there are many catacombs, these are underground cemeteries that are signs to us of the early Christian’s belief in the resurrection. They are testaments to the tradition and the belief of the Church, from the beginning, in the resurrection and the sacredness of Christian burials.  These early Christians were persecuted by the Roman authorities, they had to dig underground cemeteries, up 8 to 10 floors deep, and bury their dead at night so that the soldiers wouldn’t notice.

These catacombs are also strong evidence of our belief in the resurrection. November is the month dedicated to prayer for the faithful departed. We are reminded during this time that our life in this world has an end. Death comes to us all.  But to us, as Christ’s followers, we hold in our hearts Jesus’ words to his disciples: “you are the men who have stood by me faithfully during my trials, and now I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father conferred one on me”.  For he will say to us: “You did not forsake me in My agony, you accompanied Me when I went to Calvary to die for you.  Behold me now, I am near you to help you, to take you with me.” Death cannot trouble the soul that has sought only God.  Has it not confided itself to the One who says: “He that believes in Me, although he be dead, shall live”.

Those who do not know Christ seek to conquer death by trying to control it – as if that were possible. This is the reason why the world ardently tries to avoid death. But death is inevitable. Since people cannot conquer and control death, they choose to ignore it. For many people, death is the ultimate calamity.

Remembering our dearly departed also reminds us that despite death, life goes on. Death is not the end of life. Rather, death is a passageway or doorway to eternal life. There is resurrection and there is eternal life. The Solemnity of All Saints is our hope and inspiration that there is indeed a resurrection and eternal life.

The Gospel clearly teaches about the truth of the resurrection. God is love. He loves us so much that He wants us to live with Him forever. The resurrection is proof of God’s love for us, His power to resurrect our mortal bodies after death and give us eternal life.

Finally, death is the effect of sin. Saint Paul said: “The wages of sin is death”, so we must take advantage of God’s mercy and forgiveness, especially through the sacrament of Reconciliation, and wash ourselves from the dirt and stain of sin, which brings death. Then we can overcome death and have eternal life. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is very vital in our quest to be resurrected and to obtain eternal life. If you have that need for the eternal, it is because it exists, because if there is that place of peace, the question is how are we living facing that place?

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