Readings 20141122

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

Is your life earthbound or heavenbound? The Sadducees had one big problem – they could not conceive of heaven beyond what they could see with their naked eyes! Aren’t we often like them? We don’t recognize spiritual realities because we try to make heaven into an earthly image. The Sadducees came to Jesus with a test question to make the resurrection look ridiculous. The Sadducees, unlike the Pharisees, did not believe in immortality, nor in angels or evil spirits. Their religion was literally grounded in an earthly image of heaven.

The Scriptures give witness to the truth that we will rise again to immortal life Jesus retorts by dealing with the fact of the resurrection. The scriptures give proof of it. In Exodus 3:6, when God manifests his presence to Moses in the burning bush, the Lord tells him that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He shows that the patriarchs who died hundreds of years previously were still alive in God. Jesus defeats their arguments by showing that God is a living God of a living people. God was the friend of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when they lived. That friendship could not cease with death. As Psalm 73:23-24 states: “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.” 

The ultimate proof of the resurrection is the Lord Jesus and his victory over death when he rose from the tomb. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he exclaimed:  “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. 

Do you believe this?” (John 11:25). Jesus asks us the same question. Do you believe in the resurrection and in the promise of eternal life with God?

Jesus came to restore Paradise and everlasting life for us The Holy Spirit reveals to us the eternal truths of God’s unending love and the life he desires to share with us for all eternity. Paul the Apostle, quoting from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4; 65:17) states:

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). The promise of paradise – heavenly bliss and unending life with an all-loving God – is beyond human reckoning. We have only begun to taste the first-fruits! Do you live now in the joy and hope of the life of the age to come? “May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart’s vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages.” (Prayer of Origen, 185-254 AD)

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com  

LIFE AFTER DEATH  

“The children of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those judged worthy of a place in the age to come and of resurrection from the dead do not.” —Luke 20:34-35   During the persecution of the Christians by the Emperor Domitian, the Book of Revelation was written to encourage them to remain faithful to Jesus. Many had lost their lives and were among the first martyrs of Christianity. St. John depicts the two witnesses as Moses (Ex 7:17-20; Rv 11:6) and Elijah (1 Kgs 18:36-40; Jas 5:17; Rv 11:6), the same individuals who appeared at the Transfiguration with Jesus (Mk 9:4). He makes the point of showing that they have resurrected from the dead and gone to heaven. The reference to three-and-one-half days (Rv 11:11) refers to the time of tribulation similar to the three-and-one-quarter years during which the Maccabees had revolted against Antiochus Epiphanes IV in 165 B.C. The witnesses triumphed over their enemies and went to heaven (Rv 11:12).

The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the body whereas the Sadducees did not (Lk 20:27). Today we hear of many bizarre theories such as reincarnation which deny the resurrection of the body and in a certain sense the immortality of the soul. The Scriptures are very clear about life after death. The continuance of life is that which gives meaning to human mortality. The Eucharist is already a foretaste of the continuance of life. The Eucharist is a pledge of our future glory. Believe in the resurrection. Live in that hope so as to be strong as you follow Jesus.  

Prayer: “Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war” (Ps 144:1). Promise: “God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for Him.” —Lk 20:38 Praise: St. Cecilia, her husband, and his brother all were crowned as martyrs and praise Jesus forever in eternal joy.     

Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014.†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 24, 2014.  The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements

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