My Dear Parishioners,
Our belief in the Resurrection is central to us as Catholics. In our Creed, we profess to believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. If we did not believe in the promise of life with God in the heavenly Kingdom, then everything we do here today would be folly. Each reading today has its own interesting perspective on resurrection.
In the reading from the Second Book of Maccabees, we hear about the torture and death of several brothers and their mother. It shows their courage, accepting death rather than violating the Laws of God. They believed that by remaining faithful, they would be rewarded by God and would be raised up in the resurrection of the just. The second reading encourages the Thessalonians to be true to the faith they have received, which is based on the promise of resurrection and eternal life in heaven. There is an earnest prayer that the people will be faithful during times of trial. To be faithful, one needs to be a person of prayer, and ask the Lord for the grace to be strong when the going gets tough. It would be much easier to simply give in to temptation, rather than doing what we know to be right.
The issue of personal resurrection is specifically addressed again in today’s Gospel.  Jesus responds to a question posed by some Sadducees regarding the afterlife and how relationships will exist in heaven. They are not looking for Jesus to explain the legal aspects of the Mosaic Law, they want to try and trap him so they can expose his teaching on resurrection as being without merit. Jesus turns the tables on them by telling them that in heaven human relationships, as we understand them now, will not exist. We will be more like angels, and our souls will live on forever. This is central to the good news that Jesus came to give us.
It is also at the heart of our Creed, our Profession of Faith. In this prayer, we profess our beliefs-what makes us Catholic. In this profession of our faith we proclaim, among other things, that we believe not only that Christ rose from the dead, but that there will be a resurrection for all who are believers. So, as we continue in this Eucharistic celebration, may our faith in resurrection be strengthened so that we recognize that our struggle to live as disciples of Christ will not be in vain. May we also pray for all who have gone before us in faith, that God’s perpetual light may shine upon them and that they will live forever in his heavenly Kingdom.
God Bless, Msgr. Maresca