22nd Week in Ordinary Time: Monday 2nd September 2019

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Resurrection and life after death ... awaits all believers in Christ Jesus

22nd Week in Ordinary Time: Monday 2nd September 2019

1 Thess. 4:13-18; Ps. 96(95):1,3,4-5,11-13;
Lk. 4:16-30 (Ps Wk II)

The Old Testament does not seem to have had any clear doctrine concerning the resurrection of the dead: several Psalms wonder how anyone in the Underworld could praise God, the idea apparently being that a voice was needed with which to praise God in song or in vocal prayer but a dead body had no voice and therefore no possibility of praising God.

Without the ability to praise God, existence was essentially meaningless. That idea in itself is challenging for us: Praising God is a necessary part of human life. However the Old Testament did, nevertheless, carry a certain hope for a life after death.

It is not surprising then that in the early years of the New Testament era, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead raised some questions about life after death, questions which St Paul seeks to address in his First Letter to the Thessalonians, probably the first of all the letters he wrote. Questions about matters of faith do not imply a doubt: they are necessary in order that we may be as clear as we can be about the meaning of existence.

Belief in Jesus’ Resurrection sets us apart from “those who have no hope”.

Lord, grant that the firm hope of resurrection and life after death may give a firm foundation to our praise, reverence and service of you.