Sunday, November 10, 2013

Today's Mass Reading - Sunday, November 10, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law. One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: “What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.” At the point of death he said: “You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying.” 10 After him the third suffered their cruel sport. He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, and bravely held out his hands, 11 as he spoke these noble words: “It was from Heaven that I received these; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again.” 12 Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing. 13 After he had died, they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. 14When he was near death, he said, “It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him; but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”
P S A L M - Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
R: Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O Lord, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. (R) My steps have been steadfast in your paths, my feet have not faltered. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word. (R) 8Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings. 15 But I in justice shall behold your face; on waking I shall be content in your presence. (R)
2ND READING - 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
16 Brothers and sisters: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. 3:Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, 2and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you are doing and will continue to do. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.
Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead; to him be glory and power, forever and ever.
Luke 20:27-38
27 Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, 28 saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ 29 Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. 30 Then the second 31and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. 32 Finally the woman also died. 33 Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.” 34 Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; 35 but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. 37 That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; 38 and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”



These days of November seem shorter, with evenings starting earlier. They are like reminders for us of the end of our earthly lives — which is death — as the inevitable reality awaiting all of us without exception. Besides, this entire month is dedicated to the memory of (and prayer for) our departed loved ones.

       We have in various cultures many different expressions to confront or to mitigate the realities of death and the afterlife. Our faith likewise does for us the same service, but on a much higher level or from a deeper perspective.

       Our Gospel reading gives us a hint as to the form our earthly bodies will take after undergoing the normal processes of death, decay and decomposition: “They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.”

       Indeed, we all eagerly look forward to such a glorious status. In the meantime, of course, we just have to pass through the required transition of death. It’s just like a door one has to pass through to get inside a magnificent banquet hall.

       It is very interesting to note how an entire industry has evolved nowadays regarding funeral observations and arrangements — all to help us cope with the reality of death. Not to mention memorial plans, insurance policies, and the like — all to help us prepare somehow for death.

       But the best preparation for death is the very lives we lead. Yes, our life itself. If we but take care of our life, God will take care of our death. And we need not fear anymore. After all, “he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: Is the way you live preparing you well for death?
Lord Jesus, I pray that when my time comes, You will give me special strength to make the great passage to new life.

St. Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

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