Give and Something Greater in Return Will be Given You

Nov 7, 2019

Gospel Reflection  32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Give and Something Greater in Return Will be Given You

A few years ago, I was at the airport ready to catch a flight. I was checking in my bag and an agent passed by pointing out that my bag weighed 53 pounds and was overweight. I nervously opened my bag on the spot and hurriedly took out a couple pairs of jeans and a sweater and stuffed them into my backpack. The problem for me that day was that I hadn’t really had time to pack. I hadn’t had time to consider what I didn’t need to take with me.

Our life is like this. We must consider what we cannot take with us. Jesus makes this point to the Sadducees who try to trip him up because they didn’t believe in the resurrection. They make up a story about a woman who has seven husbands, six of whom die. They ask, “Whose wife will she be in heaven?” But Jesus not only affirms that there will be a resurrection, but that it will be so radically transforming, that there will not even be marriage. We cannot even take marriage with us!

This may be disappointing because we will want to see our spouse in heaven – and maybe we will. But in our risen state, everything that we have experienced on earth will be radically transformed. Our Lord is saying that everything, including marriage, will be brought to a much higher degree of perfection. In the resurrection, a type of intimacy will be maintained that is so much greater even than the intimacy of marriage!

Our gospel story also helps us focus on our belief in the resurrection of the body. We believe that though our earthly bodies will decay, we will receive new, glorified bodies in the resurrection. We cannot even hold on to our very own bodies. Yet, in letting them go, they will be transformed.

We see this greater and new beginning take place in so many things now on Earth. A seed dies only to rise as a beautiful flower or life-giving vine or tree that produces fruit or vegetables. This happens only when water and nutrients are given.

As we give away our possessions – our time, talent, and treasure, which we cannot take with us – we see that this new beginning and transformation begins now. What we give away, what we let go of, and what we offer to God is made into something new and transformed, something beautiful for God!

Father Tony