Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Religion Good for Business or for Life

A businesswoman wanted to join the Catholic Inquiry program of the parish.  When asked what attracted her to the Church, “being a Catholic is good for my business” was the reply.   Sometimes religion is used for the material prosperity, as if all that matters is the life here and now.  Sadducees were the priestly class of the Jewish religion at the time of Jesus. Unlike what you might think of priests, these people were not concerned about any life after death, because they did not believe in one.  They were more interested in the mundane things like levirate marriage system, whereby the man is obliged to marry the widow of his deceased brother.  That made it sure that the wealth remained in the family.  Money remains the main motive in our time too.  Hence, the nepotism and fraudulent use of money to retain power.  Even religious institutions are not immune to this temptation. You see people focussed on how to make our present life great, as if there is nothing after death.  At the end of life, are we dead and gone?  This question is addressed by Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem.

Our demise from the face of the earth is not the end of our life.  To God we continue to live after our earthly life.  It is not just the spirit that enters afterlife, but the full person.  The body is part of the identity of each human being.  Therefore, the life after death also is with a body.  Then the question is just as the Sadducee’s asked, ‘What kind of status a woman could maintain in her afterlife, if she was married and widowed several times during her earthly life?”   But Jesus points out that earthily body and relations are limited to this world only.  Life after death is with a transformed body.  When we think about it, even on earth our body is not the same always.  A child growing into an adult will have his body transformed drastically.  Though his adult body is nothing like his childhood one, he does not lose his identity.  In a way he can still say that he lives with the same body, though appearance and character of it has changed.   Even though the life after death is beyond our comprehension, we do not discredit our faith in the resurrected life.  Jesus resurrected from the dead is the foundation for our faith.

Because of our faith in the afterlife with God, we are not afraid of losing the earthly life or the worldly possessions.  That is the freedom and peace enjoyed by the disciples of Jesus Christ.  November, the month of remembering the deceased members of our family, is a time to ask ourselves, whether we are mourning the loss of the departed souls, as if they are dead and gone, or interceding for the dear departed ones for their greater glory with God.