This weekend we celebrate the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. God provides all we need. He will give us the strength and courage we need to persevere on our journey of faith. In our reading from Maccabeus we hear the story of a mother and her seven sons, who willingly suffers and dies for their faith. The word martyr from the Greek means to bear witness. These people, as well as many others, throughout Old Testament History were willing to die for their faith in God. These seven sons, along with their mother, gave witness to their faith by their very lives. They actually strengthened and encouraged each other as they died with even more resolve and conviction. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Tertullian). God certainly gave the early martyrs the courage and faith to give their lives as an example for all of us. May we too be strengthened by God’s grace to be living examples of our faith.
In Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians we continue to hear of the importance of prayer. Paul prays on behalf of this community and asks them to pray for him. Mutual prayer for the benefit of all. We can all count on God’s faithfulness no matter what.
In today’s Gospel Jesus has a spirited conversation with the Sadducees. The Sadducees don’t believe in the Resurrection. They are conservative aristocrats. They control the Temple and the priesthood. The Pharisees believe in the Resurrection of the dead. They believe in strict observance of the Law for purity. The Temple is the center and core of Jewish Life. In our first reading from Maccabeus we heard about those who would rather die than be unfaithful to the Law. They believed in a life to come, the Resurrection. Jesus sided with those who believe that all they are and all that they have comes from God and that they will find fullness in the God of the living.