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Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
ThursdayNovember 3, 2016
What convicts people to suffer for Christ? The familiar story of the mother and seven brothers tortured and killed for refusing to go against the laws of their ancestors (2 Mc 7:1-14) calls our attention to an unwavering faith that characterizes the lives of saints, martyrs, and many others. We know well the sufferings of Paul who writes words of encouragement to trust that "we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people" and that "the Lord direct [our] hearts ... to the endurance of Christ" (2 Thes 3:2,5). So many saints have suffered, and yet we hear of their joy in suffering! Often it is not until our opportunity for free worship and access to the Eucharist is compromised that we begin to consider whether our faith and trust in the Lord is firm enough that it might instill in us that courage to fight for what we know to be right and just.
Resurrection is real! God has promised that the just shall be with him for eternity! The fourth brother declares, "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him" (2 Mc 7:14). The psalmist talks of hope, "I in justice shall behold your face; on waking I shall be content in your presence" (Ps 17:15). Paul talks of "everlasting encouragement" (2 Thes 2:16). In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that the Father "is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive" (Lk 20:38). Jesus was crucified, died and was buried; He broke the chains of death; He ascended into heaven; so that we could be redeemed, so that through him, we could have everlasting life! This is the conviction, the promise, that we live for. And when faced with the demand to deny Christ, we suffer and even die for this promise so that others may be strengthened in their faith. May we live well, suffer well, and die well, and receive our eternal reward in heaven!
"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." (Luke 20:36)
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The ResurrectionView additional reflections...
November 9: Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (Video Reflections)November 9: Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (Audio Homilies)
ReflectionPurity of Heart and Contemplation #6
First Reading2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
PsalmPsalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
Second Reading2 Thessalonians 2:16 - 3:5
ReflectionContemplation and Purity of Heart #7
First ReadingMalachi 3:19-20A
Second Reading2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
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