Endurance And Hope In Jesus Christ
Readings: (1st: Macc 7, 1-14; Ps: 16 1. 5-15; 2nd: 2 Thes 2, 16-5, 3; Gos: Luke 20:27-38)
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at:
On this thirty-second Sunday of ordinary time, the Church reminds us of the importance of hope anchored on Christ and our resurrection in Him. She reminds us that we shall achieve our hope in Christ if we valiantly persevere through the temptations, hardships, and persecutions of this life. Hence, we should always rejoice in the glorious future promised to us by Christ when he fills us with the vision of God’s glory.
HOMILIES C – GOD’S WORD FROM MY HEART TO MY LIPS
What keeps us going as Christians is the hope that one day our lives would be better. It is the hope that “we shall see God face to face” (Rev 22:4) and the hope that the fullness of life does not reside here on earth but in the eternal kingdom of God. Hence, the Church teaches us that: “Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our strength, but the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (CCC1817).
One can summarize today’s first reading in this simple Latin adage that says, “Tolerandum et operandum (we must endure and hope)!” The story of the seven brothers is a typical example of how hope can sustain us. What was at stake was more than just eating pork meat. Instead, it was about God’s command and their identity as the people of God.
They faced persecution courageously because of the hope they had in God’s promise of eternal life, “It was heaven that gave me these limbs, from him I hope to receive them again.” The lesson we must learn from this heroic act is that we must not be afraid of persecution or hardships for the sake of our faith in Christ. Instead, we should let the hope we have in eternal life sustain us always. “Let us hold on unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23).
In the second reading of today, Paul prayed for us. He asked, “God who equips us with comfort and hope to strengthen us in everything good.” Paul wrote to a people who expected the immediate return of Christ due to suffering, persecution, and hardship. So, he wrote to encourage them to endure while hoping for the fulfillment of Christ’s promise. Hence, he prays for the strength that will sustain them in their suffering and hard times, “The Lord is faithful and will give you strength and guard you against the evil one.”
Finally, today’s Gospel is also on hope. That is, the hope in the resurrection of the dead! The Sadducees were only looking for a way to trap Christ. Also, they wanted to justify their belief that life ends here on earth. However, they were wrong. Through his discussion with them, Christ reassures us that life does not end here. Hence Paul reminds us that: “If our hope in Christ is only for this life, then we deserve more pity than anyone else (I Cor 15:19). Our hope must not end here because we are on a journey toward eternal life in Christ.
HOMILIES C – GOD’S WORD FROM MY HEART TO MY LIPS – Ebook
Today, the Church beckons us to hold on to the hope we have in the joyful fulfillment of God’s promises and our resurrection in Christ. Hope strengthens our faith and keeps us praying. Let us then pray with the psalmist to the Lord, “Guard me, Lord, as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings, and I shall awake, with the sight of your glory!
Peace be with you all!