Belief in the Resurrection
Opening Question: How many of you have seen a team that was losing a game come back to win? Did you play in the game? What happened?
First Reading: 2 Maccabees 7:1, 14
Once, a high school football team lost its first six games. Some of the games were close; others were blow-outs. The team was young, but easily discouraged. The coach did not lose hope, however. "Go out and do your best," the coach told his team.
Several weeks ago at Homecoming, the team came from behind to win their first game. Down by seven points at the half, they went on to score the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. The team began to believe they could win, in spite of their record.
Two weeks ago, the team was down by 14 points against their cross-town rivals in the second quarter, but the team did not give up. They fought back and narrowed the score. With a minute left in the fourth quarter, their rivals had the ball on their own 25 yard line. The game looked lost, but team did not give up, they just looked for an opportunity. When their rivals threw the ball, the opportunity came up; team intercepted. With 19 seconds left, the team set up and licked a field goal to win the game.
Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. But we should never give up hope. In the first reading, a mother and seven sons died for what they believed, but they did not give up hope. They placed their hope in God. Like the high school team, they did not give up hope even in the face of defeat. Never give up hope!
Bridge Question: Have you ever met someone so nice, everyone liked the person? What did the person do to be so well liked?
Gospel: Luke 20:27-38
The Sadducees were the priests and their helpers in the Temple at Jerusalem. They based their beliefs only on the first five books of the Bible. Since the resurrection was not mentioned in these books, they claimed no one could rise from the dead.
Some of the Sadducees approached Jesus so they could test him. "Teacher, Moses gave us a rule," they began, "'If a married man dies before his wife has any children, his brother should marry the woman and have children with her in his memory.' Now, here's the problem. Once there were seven brothers. The first brother married a woman but died before she had any children. The second brother married and died before she had any children. The same thing happened to the third brother. Eventually, all the brothers married the same woman but died before they could have children with her. Finally, she died. So, whose wife will she be when she is raised from the dead? Remember, she married all seven brothers."
"People in this life get married," Jesus answered. "But, the people who are worthy to be raised from the dead and live at the end of time don't get married. After all, they cannot die again, because, in the next life, they are children of God and equal to his angels."
"The dead will be really raised!" Jesus continued. "Even Moses saw this fact in the Bible story about the burning bush. There, he called the Lord, 'God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.' The Lord is the God of the living, not the dead. To God, all who believe like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are alive."
Everyone thought Gen's mom was the nicest person in the world. She would always take the time to talk, to help neighbors with problems and projects, to entertain all the children on the block.
"Want anything to eat?" Gen's mom would ask her friends, as she held out a plate of cookies.
"Thanks!" Gen's friends said as they wolfed down the treats.
"Your mom's the best," one neighbor remarked.
"Yeah," another agreed, "we like to come to your house, Gen."
"Have you ever noticed there is someone always visiting?" a third added.
One day, Gen's mom got sick. She had to be rushed to the hospital and have an operation. That was a dark week in the neighborhood because everyone felt the loss of Gen's mom. "She gave so much love," someone said. "It was like she lived for other people," another person said.
The people on Gen's block decided to help her family. It as their way to say "thank you" and return the love they had received. When Gen's mom returned home from the hospital, she was overwhelmed with the flowers and cards and goodies and meals. The house was totally cleaned inside; outside the lawn was trimmed and the fence was painted. This was all done by neighbors who cared.
When people do nice things for us, they share a little of their life with us. When people love us they share life with us. We have a God like Gen's mom; he loves us so much, he lives for us. And he wants us to live for him so much that we will never die. He gave his word to us on that.
Closing Question: God loves us so much, he gives us his life. How can we share that life with others?