Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

(Wisdom 2:23-3:9; Luke 17:7-10)

The Book of Wisdom was probably composed during the century before Christ in Alexandria, Egypt.  In some ways the Jews in that context were dealing with the same challenges Christians face today.  Individualism was on the rise along with skepticism concerning traditional beliefs.  In face of religious persecution religious people were turning to paganism and secular philosophy for consolation.  The author of Wisdom searched the ancient texts to address these challenges.  He maintained that by living according to the Law Jews could be assured of eternal life.

This sounds like Christianity's message, but there is a critical difference.  Jesus promises much more than the existence of the post-mortem soul flying like a spark in a fire.  His resurrection from the dead offers followers the prospect of their bodies being likewise glorified.  Like him they are to enjoy the wonders of creation without the maladies that present corporality bears.

Wisdom's message is especially timely in November when we remember our beloved dead.  It shores up our hope for reunion as it anticipates eternal life.  We should not presume, however, such a blessing as a given for all who have lived.  It is the outcome of those who have made the conscious decision to serve the Lord.  As today’s gospel indicates, we must humble ourselves and help others.