Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.

 

Sunday 10th November 2019
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
2 Maccabees 7: 1-2, 9-14  2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5  Luke 20: 27-38

God of the Living.

The story of the Jewish mother who watched her seven sons horribly tortured to death, rather than deny their faith, was intended as an encouragement to the Jewish people. Their faith in the resurrection of the body enabled them to undergo ignominy because they knew death was not the end. Nearly two hundred years later the story would be recalled as the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, tried to make a fool of Jesus with a complicated tale of a woman who married seven brothers. And shortly afterwards it would happen again as Mary watched her son led to death on Calvary.

What links all of these episodes is one word: resurrection. Were death the end, few things would be worth giving up life for. If there were nothing the other side of the grave, our faith in God would be in vain. But Jesus gives a completely different spin to the question. He says that the God who made us is God of the living, not God of the dead. This doesn’t mean that God is not interested in the dead. It means that, once we were created, we were created for ever in God’s sight. Physical death and decay cannot destroy the real person God made me to be. I am a spiritual being with an eternal soul, bathed in the everlasting love of God, and human death cannot alter this.

The risen life on offer from God has already started. It means living now the risen life of God. It means having that unshakeable belief that God is ever faithful to his people.It's about accepting all the goodness of this world, but in the knowledge that it is only held together by the will and goodness of God. And sharing the life of the living God means loving others without reservation, even when it hurts. Our Christian family tree traces generations of people who did not need to wait until after death to experience the power of God’s risen life. Their daily lives bore vibrant witness to it. For them, as for us, God is a God of the living – and his gift of resurrection has already begun.

 

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Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2019

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