32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Homily

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 15
2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
Luke 20:27-38
November 6, 2016

When I arrived here just four months ago, we were all hot.  That was summer.  Now, summer is over and we are almost halfway through Fall.  This means the temperatures are getting colder and with that the gardens have died off and the leaves have been changing color and falling to the ground.

As we see this “dying” our church year will come to a close soon and a new church year will begin with Advent.  As we approach the end of this year, our readings begin to look at the end times.  This week the question of the Resurrection is presented.

The Sadducees ask Jesus a question about the Resurrection.  They don’t believe in the Resurrection.  They just want to trap Jesus but Jesus is not afraid of them.  He tells them the Resurrection will be different than anything we have experienced.

In the Resurrection everyone who believes in God will be raised up body and soul to Heaven to be with God.  This changes the way we look at death.  The mother and seven brothers in the first reading are tortured for their faith but they are strengthened by faith in the Resurrection.  They know that even though they suffer in this world, there are better things to come in Heaven so they patiently endure the sufferings and speak of their belief in Heaven.

As we think about the Resurrection, Paul’s words to the Thessalonians invite us to find “everlasting encouragement and good hope” that we our hearts be encouraged and strengthened by our belief.  Our belief in the Resurrection helps us to endure our earthly sufferings.

As Paul speaks of the strength we have from our faith he also says “pray for us.”  The “us” is ministers like Paul who work to spread the Gospel.

This is fitting as this week we celebrate National Vocations Awareness week.  A vocation is a calling from God.  We are all called to use the gifts that we have been given for the building up of God’s kingdom.

So we can think about both the Resurrection and vocations.  As we do this, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Fr. Felix.  Friday was the first anniversary of his death so we pray that he now shares in the Resurrection.  We can give thanks for the years that he served God, beginning in Ghana and eventually coming here where he led you for over six years.

Who has helped you to know God?  Perhaps it is priests like Fr. Felix.  Maybe it is your parents or grandparents or godparents.  Maybe it is your religion teachers, maybe a nun.

When I think about my own vocation, I think of three things I most enjoy doing as a priest.  First, if you haven’t figured out yet from my homilies I like hearing confessions because I love to help people know God forgives them.  Second, I enjoy saying Mass.  The third is teaching.  I like to help people learn about Jesus.  That’s what I try to do in my homilies, with my website, and the presentations that I do (like the one coming up this Wednesday).

I like the teaching part for two reasons.  First, as I already said, I like to help people learn about Jesus.  Secondly, as I prepare for the presentations, I learn more myself.

Our lives are a gift from God.  We accept this gift and begin to follow Jesus in baptism.  In baptism, we are anointed as priest, prophet, and king to serve.  Who has helped you learn about God?  How so?  How can you help others know about Jesus?

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