Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: “Walking in Accurate Understanding”
Job 19: 13-27
Psalm 17: 1-3, 7-9; 15
2 Thessalonians 2: 15-3: 5
Luke 20: 27-38
In the gospel, it tells of one woman surviving seven husbands. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, and their question reflected a love for temporal status quo. They want the worldly ways because they benefitted from it. They used the illustration of marriage because at that time, marriage was used to enriched one self. The woman was used and they did not have a say in a marriage for the father would look for a man that could benefit the family economically and socially. The arrangement was all for personal gain and it is a worldly way. Jesus, according to the Scriptures, says that no one will be married in the age to come.
Jesus tells them that this is the spirit of this age, but the sons of the Resurrection have a different culture and characteristic. They are not self-centered; they do not look for things for personal gain, but they give because they will be perfected during that time. They will be like the King who is coming.
When we think of the world to come, we would probably think of what we are used to and what we enjoy. We hold on things and we think that in our narrow perspectives, we think that world to come is defined by the earthly things that we enjoy right now. The truth of the matter is eye has not seen nor ear heard what the Lord has prepared for those who love Him. What we hold onto at this time, in this world, is nothing compared to what God has prepared for us. We will not have to push for “business as usual.”
However, we act like children that don’t see what the adults see. St. Paul says in 1Corinthians 13:9-13, “9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” We know only in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with and then it will be completed.
Children speak, act, think and reason like children. When we are adults, we speak, act, think and reason like an adult. I couldn’t understand then my grandmother why she should have a headache when all her grandchildren are running around and having fun. I thought she hated “fun,” but now, raising 6 children, I understand the reason behind it. Children find it hard to see as adults see because they have a narrow perspective. They don’t see the grand scheme of things. Adults cannot force their perspective to children and when as adults, we do away with childish things.
This present age is to the coming age what childhood is to adulthood. This age we are in, including the worldly temporal things that we are used to, compared to the life of the world to come, is like childhood on one side and adulthood on another side. For some reason, our sights are narrowed by the things we experienced. Now, we see dimly, but then, when the fullness comes, we will see and know fully.
Some things will be done away with like childishness, wood, hay, stubble, but the precious will remain and that is: faith, hope, love will remain; and the greatest is love. Jesus wants us to have faith in Him who is the adult, and who can show us the adult perspective. Have faith in Him! God knows what is good for us. Although we can’t force a mature perspective on a child, yet faith facilitates and expedites the maturing process.
Even if we can’t see it yet, realize we cannot think of age to come in worldly temporal, mundane terms just like the Sadducees thought. If we do, we will hold on to things that will be burned up or things that will not remain. We will waste our time and we will just get disappointed because we make the things around us like our idols, which shouldn’t be.
1John 3:2, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” We will mature like Christ as we will be like Him. Now, as children, we don’t see fully yet and are still immature. Right now we are children, but we are already sons who will mature one day. We are already sons reflecting the Name of our Father, the characteristics of our Father. We are ambassadors of His kingdom, members of His family, representatives of His government, and examples of what kind of Kingdom He has.
St. Paul says that we are the first fruits of this Kingdom, of the new creation. We are sons of the Resurrection, living in the NOW. We are not representatives of an age of greed, characterized by a spirit of self-centeredness of injustice for daughters and greed for fathers. Jesus is the First- born of the new creation, as He is the only one that resurrected; but I would like to call ourselves as the second-born in the new creation, in the age to come. We inspire others; we tell them of the good news of the life of the world to come waiting for them, so that they don’t have to waste their time pursuing things that are to pass away because they will just be frustrated.
When the perfect/completeness comes, we will see Christ face to face. We will know fully; we will love fully because we will be like Christ and God’s love will fill every nook and cranny of the cosmos. It will burn up all things that are inconsistent with His kingdom, and the same fire will perfect and purify all to be consistent with the Kingdom of righteousness and justice and peace. It will burn up all hatred, animosity, violence, prejudice, the “us and them”, oppression, exploitation, sickness, disease, affliction, blindness, bondages, deceptions, and lies.
All things will become new and the new will become and the old will pass away. Then, there will be a new heavens and a new earth, and then we will be like God. All the things that keep us from seeing who God truly is and who we truly are will be done away. It will pass away and will be burned up.
The Easter verse Scripture says in Colossians 3:1 that if we have been raised with Christ, if we belong to the Kingdom that is coming to this world, keep seeking the things above. Keep seeking the things where Christ is. Christ is in the new creation where there is justice and peace, where there is no violence and no evil. Set our minds on these things where Christ is sitted at the right hand of God, not on the things that are here in the NOW.
This Kingdom is coming and we look forward to this Kingdom coming. We belong to this Kingdom; we are representatives of this Kingdom; and we are ambassadors of this Kingdom. As such, we are to act accordingly because we are the sons of the Resurrection, and because this is the way it is in the kingdom of our God.