Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

Ordinary Time, Sundays 32- 33, Year C
1998, 2001, 2004

Select liturgy here






2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14; Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5; St.
Luke 20:27-38 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

The Sadducees, holding no belief in the resurrection of the dead, wish to
trap Christ.  

		"...there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and
died without children; and the second and the third took her, and likewise
all  seven left no children and died.  Afterward the woman also died.  In
the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be?  For the seven
had her a wife." (Lk 20:29-33)

Christ not only reaffirms his teaching on the resurrection of the dead, but
he deepens our understanding of the marriage vocation as well.  "...those
who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection of
the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any
more." (Lk 20:35)

Marriage is an earthly vocation.  In heaven where God will be "all in all",
man and woman will find complete fulfillment in divine Love.  There each
will behold God face to face.  The life-long covenant for mutual and sincere
gift of self in marriage is for husband and wife a prelude to and help
toward the eternal happiness of heaven.   

In this world man and wife become one flesh in their life-long covenant, and
may, if God so bless them, be fruitful in their openness to new life.

		"Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the
elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of
feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will.  It aims at a
deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to
forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in
definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility.  In a word it is a
question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but
with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but
raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically
Christian values." (Familiaris consortio 13) (CCC 1643)

		The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the
unity and indissolubility of the spouses' community of persons, which
embraces their entire life: "so they are no longer two, but one flesh." (Mt
19:6; cf. Gen 2:24.)  They "are called to grow continually in their
communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total
mutual self-giving." (Familiaris consortio 19.)  This human communion is
confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given
through the sarament of Matrimony.  It is deepened by lives of the common
faith and by the Eucharist received together. (CCC 1644)

Marriage is a total gift, and so it is "until death".  Man and wife make for
each other of themselves a total and sincere gift of self.  Christ demands
this total fidelity of spouses when he proscribes divorce.

		By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable
fidelity of the spouses.  This is the consequence of the gift of themselves
which they make to each other.  Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an
arrangement "until further notice."  The "intimate union of marriage, as a
mutual giving of two persons , and the good of the children, demand total
fidelity from the spouses and require and unbreakable union between them."
(Gaudium et spes, 48, art. 1.) (CCC 1646)
Let's pray for each other until, again next week, we "meet Christ in the
Father Cusick
(See also Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph numbers 1601 to 1666.) Publish with permission.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Fr. Cusick



Malachi 3:19-20a; Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; St. Luke 21:5-19 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 
The Lord tells his disciples that natural disasters and tragedies will come,
and human conflict will be a fixture in the world.

		"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and
pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven." (Lk

More significant for the believer, though, will be the persecution leveled
against those who are faithful to Christ:

		But before all this they will lay their hands on you and
persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will
be brought before kings and governors for my names' sake...You will be
delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsman and friends, and some
of you they will out to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake.
(Lk 21:12.16-17)

Most to be feared are not anti-Christs from without, but the false worship
for which each must take personal responsibility.  Only through endurance
will men and women of faith survive the Church's ultimate trial: man's
temptation to worship himself as the "Antichrist" and to persecute all who
reject this false idol.

		Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a
final trial that will 			shake the faith of many believers.
(Cf. Lk 18:8; Mt 24:12.)  The persecution that
accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in
the form 			of a religious deception offering men an
apparent solution to their problems at the 			price of
apostasy from the truth.  The supreme religious deception is that of the
Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of
God and of 		his Messiah come in the flesh. (Cf. 2 Thess 2:4-12;
1 Thess 5:2-3; 2 Jn 7; 1 Jn 2:18,22) 			(CCC 675)

The Lord tells us what we are to do if we are called to suffer for the sake
of the Name, for which martyrdom the Apostles glorified God (Acts).  Rather
than simple suffering, persecution finds its fullest Christian meaning in
the "testimony" of those who bear witness to the Lord Jesus Christ, further
cementing their bond to Him as his martyrs, those who bear witness to Him.
Fear in the face of the persecutor must be rejected.

		"This will be a time for you to bear testimony.  Settle it
therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I
will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be
able to withstand or contradict." (Lk 21:13-15)

In another place in the Gospel the Lord promises us that we need not worry
what we are to say when called before the authorities to give testimony, for
then, the Holy Spirit, who is with us always and will never abandon us, will
give us "the words to speak".  Endurance is the key for those who would be
victorious over their enemies.  "But not a hair of your head will perish.
By your endurance you will save your lives."  (Lk 20:29-33)

Endurance is an active, rather than a passive, virtue for the Christian.
Endurance is built up against temptation to sin and apathy through a life of
regular prayer. Prayer is both private, such as the Rosary and meditation
upon Scripture, and public, to include the Sunday liturgy and recitation of
the Liturgy of the Hours.  The graces given once in Baptism, strengthened by
the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, arm the Christian for the
daily battle of faith.  

When our endurance weakens and we fall in battle by sinning, we must be
healed and strengthened by sorrow and absolution. The forgiveness of mortal
sins is gained through regular Confession.  Through the frequent reception
of the Lord's Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist our Savior forgives our
venial sins.  

Penances generously accepted free us from the attachment to sin which remain
even after we express our sorrow to the Lord in Confession.  All these and
so many other helps are ours so that the life of faith will be strong enough
to withstand the many attacks against it both from without and within.

To "save our lives" is to live now and forever in union with our sole
Savior, Jesus Christ, who eternally reigns with the Father in glory.  To
endure is to reign.

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may
obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.  The saying is
sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure,
we shall also reign with him..." (2 Timothy 2:10-12)

Let's pray for each other until, again next week, we "meet Christ in the
liturgy", Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.)