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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, Nov. 10, 2013

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service


November 10, Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C. Readings

1) 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14

Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15

2) 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5

Gospel: Luke 20:27-38 or Luke 20:27, 34-38

I don't think I will ever understand it. I probably am not supposed to, but it bothers me that life can end so suddenly for some and for others it can end like a light that you move away from ever so slowly. You watch it teasingly flicker, then come back, then flicker again, going on and on as hopes repeatedly rise and fall until finally -- agonizingly -- it goes out. Still, for others life ends with hundreds of kisses each night before bed after 60 wonderful years of marriage.

The first example just happened to a friend. The second was my mother. The third was my brother's in-laws.

All were great, God-loving people. Two seemed to be taken too soon and the other's passing was "just right," if that makes any sense. In my faith-filled mind I know our destiny is death and resurrection and eternity with Jesus. In my flesh-feeling heart, it just hurts. Increasingly, as my years grow longer, I know many more stories of life ending -- yet, I have no more answers.

As a human, death is our destiny; as a Christian, it is not our destination. In this week's Gospel, Jesus says that God "is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

What an amazingly beautiful truth. Yet, it is a truth that is not easy to hold on to when we have lost someone we love dearly. Nonetheless, the fact that death is not the end is a core tenet of our faith.

The only way I know to really embrace this truth is simply to let go and believe. My mind will never fully grasp it so I have to just fall into this truth. Years ago, I wrote a song with this sentiment in mind:

Falling into the arms of Jesus/ There I find the trust that I seek./ Falling into the arms of Jesus/ There I go, oh, when I am weak./ Falling into the arms of Jesus/ That is when I know that I am home.

QUESTIONS:

How does hearing Jesus say that everyone is alive in the eyes of God help you understand death? Who is someone you love who has passed on to eternity? What do you most want to remember about him or her?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"[God] is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." -- Luke 20:38

END



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