33rd Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday 25th November 2023

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St Catharine of Alexandria, virgin & martyr, pray for us

33rd Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday 25th November 2023

1 Mac. 6:1-13; Ps. 9:2-3,4 and 6,16 and 19;
Lk. 20:27-40 (Ps. Wk. I)

The account in the Book of Maccabees gives the impression that Antiochus died only after he had heard that the Temple in Jerusalem had been rededicated. Also, Antiochus realises that his defeat at Elymais and his impending death are consequences of how he has treated the Jews. This way of thinking is reinforced by the news of Lysias’ defeat and the retaking of Jerusalem and Beth-zue.

To the Jews reading the account, it is clear that Antiochus is being punished by God. That he will die in a foreign land is further evidence of the severity of his punishment.

The Gospel passage describes Jesus being confronted by the Sadducees. They were recognised as the Jewish teaching class. Their position is that “there is no resurrection”. Jesus distinguishes two distinct ages. In the first, which includes human history, the question of marriage is pertinent. In the second, which follows the consummation of history, marriage becomes irrelevant. Why? Because men and women are reborn in the resurrection.

Jesus also questions the Sadducees on their view that there is no resurrection. How can the scriptures speak of Christ as David’s son when David himself speaks of Him as his Lord? It shows that God is in control regardless of whatever happens in human history. Influential people and those who assume themselves to be holy or brilliant can never fully grasp the mind of God. As such, they will always fall short of understanding His ways.

Lord, You are in control always.

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