From Our Pastor: 32nd Sunday In Ordinary Time
Before I get into the readings this weekend, I want to write on something I should have written about last weekend but forgot. I have had a lot of questions about psychics, séances, Ouija boards, palm readers, tarot cards, mediums, etc. The short answer to all of these is NO! The long answer is these things are generally the source of possession. Do not open yourselves to demons and witchcraft. These are very dangerous for your body and soul and eternal salvation. If you have used any of these at any time you need to run to confession to break any connections you may have to something dark and you may not be aware. If you have a Ouija board or tarot cards, please break them, and tear them up (so that no one else can use them) and throw them away. Get them out of your homes and lives and keep them far away from your children. They are not fun or games, they are serious and dangerous. Any questions please just ask. That being said let’s get to the readings.
This weekend’s readings are a kick in the pants to be serious about following the commands and decrees of the Lord. So often we as Catholics don’t take seriously the ten commandments, most especially the commandment about keeping holy the Sabbath day. We say things like oh well that’s not a big deal, or I’ll take it seriously later, or God is so merciful I don’t need to do anything, and I will go straight to heaven. These readings this weekend challenge this lazy and weak mentality. The seven brothers were being tempted and tortured to violate God’s law and just eat a little bit of pork. How many of us don’t take fasting laws before mass or during Fridays or during Lent seriously? These seven brothers were tortured and killed rather than break the command of the Lord. The rest of this story then goes that the mother of these seven brothers is brought in to talk her sons into eating the pork. This righteous mother of these seven brothers, her sons, says to them in their native language: “I do not know how you came to be in my womb; it was not I who gave you breath and life, nor was it I who arranged the elements you are made of. Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe who shaped the beginning of mankind and brought about the origin of everything, he, in his mercy, will give you back both breath and life, because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.”
She encouraged her children to remain steadfast to God’s command, even at the risk of their lives. How many of us make not only our salvation, but the salvation of our children, that important! If we don’t, we need to. She reminds the last son, “Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with your brothers.” Live your life according to the commands of the Lord and teach your children to do the same, so that you will be together into eternity.
Some questioned Jesus about the idea of resurrection. They doubted the possibility of eternal life. They asked who someone would be married to in heaven. Jesus answers that heaven is for here and now, but not for eternity. The children of the world to come, those in heaven, are not married. The unity of marriage points to the unity of heaven, but as in all things that prefigure something, the thing prefigured is far greater. The unity of marriage is wonderful and quite profound and even brings about life, but the unity we experience in heaven is far more. Our unity with God is the greater gift, not just in heaven, but here and now. “God is the God of the living.” It is in him we “are all alive!” By alive we mean life eternal. May we take this gift of resurrection seriously and not for granted. May we see the importance of unity with Him now so that we may be in unity with Him eternally.
-Rev. Steven Arisman