Homily – November 10, 2019

Every Sunday in every Christian church people recite the Apostles Creed, our common statement of faith. The final words of our creed are ‘I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.’ We’ll all die but we believe in life, everlasting life. Nov. begins with the feasts of All Saints and All Souls.

Today’s readings are all about life beyond death. The brave young Maccabean said to his executioners,’ you accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.’

Jesus dismisses the trick question of the Sadducees about woman who married seven times and their wonder as to whose wife she would be at the resurrection, an event they did not believe in, by declaring, ‘God is the God not the dead but of the living, for to him all are alive.’

Every time communion we receive Communion we have Christ’s pledge, ‘those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me and I live in them and I will raise them up on the last day’

Endless life with God will not be ours if we neglect, worse still ignore the great commandment, ‘love one another as I’ve loved you, forgive one another as I’ve forgiven you be, be there for others as I’ve been there for you.

If we buy into death dealing mindsets and actions such as indifference to the needs and pains of other people, indifference to the men and woman and children who will be sleeping in shelters or on the streets of our prosperous city this winter, indifference to the racism and sexism and bigotry that is in the very air we breathe, indifference to the exploited workers who produce the food we eat and the clothes we wear we’ll be in trouble. As the saying goes what goes around comes around.

Individually we may not be able to change any of these tragic situations but being mindful of them challenges us to be grateful for the blessing with which we are blessed in our own lives.

In Jesus God gives us eternal life: he gives it to everyone, and everyone can, thanks to him, hope to live a life even more real than this one. The life that God has in store for us is not simply a better version of this one: it goes beyond our imagination, because God continually surprises us with His love and mercy. The eye has not seen, nor as the ear heard nor has it entered into our minds the things God has prepared for those who love him. We will all endure death but we believe in life, endless life with God and those we loved.