Bible Diary for November 19th – 25thBible Diary
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Pro 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
The woman of character, where is she to be found? She is more precious than any jewel.
Her husband has complete confidence in her; she will be of great benefit to him.
She brings him only good and not evil, all the days of her life.
She has obtained wool and flax, and works them with skillful hands.
She puts her hand to the distaff and her fingers hold the spindle.
She reaches out her hand to the helpless and gives to the poor.
Charm is deceptive and beauty useless; the woman who is wise is the one to praise.
May she enjoy the fruits of her labor and may all praise her for her works.
2nd Reading: 1 Thes 5:1-6
You do not need anyone to write to you about the delay, and the appointed time for these events. You know, that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people feel secure, and at peace, the disaster will suddenly come upon them, as the birth pangs of a woman in labor, and they will not escape.
But you, beloved, are not in darkness; so that day will not surprise you like a thief. All of you are citizens of the light and the day; we do not belong to night and darkness. Let us not, therefore, sleep as others do, but remain alert and sober.
Gospel: Mt 25:14-30
Imagine someone who, before going abroad, summoned his servants to entrust his property to them. He gave five talents of silver to one servant, two talents to another servant, and one talent to a third, to each, according to his ability; and he went away. He who received five talents went at once to do business with the talents, and gained another five. The one who received two talents did the same, and gained another two. But the one who received one talent dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master‘s money.
After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked for a reckoning. The one who had received five talents came with another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you entrusted me with five talents, but see, I have gained five more.‘ The master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in a few things, I will entrust you in charge of many things. Come and share the joy of your master.‘
Then the one who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you entrusted me with two talents; with them I have gained two more.‘ The master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in little things, I will entrust you in charge of many things. Come and share the joy of your master.‘
Finally, the one who had received one talent came and said, ‘Master, I know that you are a hard man. You reap what you have not sown, and gather what you have not scattered. I was afraid, so I hid your money in the ground. Here, take what is yours!‘ But his master replied, ‘Wicked and worthless servant, you know that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered. You should have deposited my money in the bank, and given it back to me with interest on my return.
Therefore, take the talent from him, and give it to the one who has ten. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who are unproductive, even what they have will be taken from them. As for that useless servant, throw him out into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.‘
The Book of Proverbs highlights the significance of character and wisdom over and above external beauty and charm. The parable of the talents reveals how a right attitude of the heart gets rewarded by the Lord. Those with the soundness of soul do not need to fear the advent of the Day of the Lord and His judgement.
One might wonder about the justice of unequal distribution of the talent among the servants. However, it is not what one receives that counts, but what one does with what he/she has received. The Master‘s delight and offer of reward are the same towards the servants who doubled their talents. God looks not at the quantity of our offerings, but their quality as well as the attitude with which we offer.
Pray for the right attitude of the heart that makes us pleasing to the Lord.
List out three talents God has bestowed on you. Plan out how well you can double them at the service of God and His people.
1st Reading: 1 Mac 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
From their descendants there came a godless offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of king Antiochus, who had been held as hostage in Rome. He became king in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the Greek era (in the year 175 B.C.).
It was then that some rebels emerged from Israel, who succeeded in winning over many people. They said, “Let us renew contact with the people around us for we had endured many misfortunes since we separated from them.”
This proposal was well-received and some eagerly went to the king. The king authorized them to adopt the customs of the pagan nations. With his permission, they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem in the pagan style. And as they wanted to be like the pagans in everything, they made artificial foreskins for themselves and abandoned the Holy Covenant, sinning as they pleased.
Antiochus issued a decree to his whole kingdom. All the people of his empire had to renounce their particular customs and become one people. All the pagan nations obeyed and respected the king’s decree, and, even in Israel, many accepted the imposed cult. They offered sacrifices to idols and no longer respected the Sabbath.
On the fifteenth day of the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five (in the year 167 B.C.), Antiochus erected the “abominable idol of the invaders” on the altar of the temple. Pagan altars were built throughout the whole land of Judea; incense was offered at the doors of their houses and in the squares. There wicked men tore up the books of the law they found and burned them. They killed anyone they caught in possession of the book of the Covenant and who fulfilled the precepts of the law, as the royal decree had ordered.
But in spite of all this, many Israelites still remained firm and determined not to eat unclean food. They preferred to die rather than to make themselves unclean with those foods (prohibited by the law) that violated the Holy Covenant.
Gospel: Lk 18:35-43
When Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road, begging. As he heard the crowd passing by, he inquired what was happening, and they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was going by. Then he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!“ The people in front of him scolded him. “Be quiet!“ they said, but he cried out all the more, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!“
Jesus stopped, and ordered the blind man to be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?“ And the man said, “Lord, that I may see!“ Jesus said, “Receive your sight, your faith has saved you.“ At once the blind man was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving praise to God. And all the people who were there also praised God.
Admirable is the faith of the people in the first reading, “They remained firm and determined not to eat unclean food. They preferred to die rather than make themselves unclean“ (Mac. 1:62-63). The martyrs of the Church died rather than deny their Christian faith and Jesus. The Church today needs people who have the same conviction, joyfully proclaiming the gospel and joyfully dying for it. Did we ever deny our faith, or preferred to sin because it is the much easier way to pursue our personal desire? How strong is our faith?
Admirable too is the blind man in the gospel reading today. He was scolded by the people. Everyone tried to silence him. But, no one was able to stop him. The more he screamed. He got what he wanted from Jesus. Firm Faith, determination and resolve can conquer great and big challenges.
Most Admirable is Jesus‘ action. He stopped, talked to the blind, and acted on his needs. He restored his sight instantly. Jesus gave so much importance to the blind man, considered by the crowd as nobody. Jesus raised him to be somebody. Truly, God hears the cry of the poor.
Presentation of Blessed Mary the Virgin
1st Reading: 2 Mac 6:18-31
Eleazar, one of the prominent teachers of the Law, already old and of noble appearance, was forced to open his mouth to eat the flesh of a pig. But he preferred to die honorably than to live in disgrace, and voluntarily came to the place where they beat him to death. He spat out bravely the piece of meat, as should be done by those who do not want to do things prohibited by the law, even to save their life.
Those in charge of this impious banquet took him aside, since they had known him for a long time, and tried to convince him to pretend to be eating the meat, but in reality, to eat something allowed by the law and prepared by himself. In this way, he could escape death, and be treated with humanity for the sake of their long-time friendship.
But he preferred to make a noble decision worthy of his age, of his noble years, of his shining white hair, and of the irreproachable life he had led from childhood. Above all, showing respect for the holy laws established by God, he answered that he would rather be sent to the place of the dead. And he added, “It would be unworthy to pretend at our age, and to lead many young people to suppose that I, at ninety years, have gone over to the pagan customs. If I led them astray for the sake of this short life I would bring disgrace to my old age. Even if I could now be saved from mortals, I cannot—whether living or dead—escape from the hands of the Almighty. I prefer to bravely sacrifice my life now, as befits my old age. So I shall leave an excellent example to the young, dying voluntarily and valiantly for the sacred and holy laws.”
Having said this, he gave himself over to death.
Those who escorted him considered his words foolishness, so their previous gentleness turned into harshness.
When he was almost at the point of death, he said groaning, “The Holy Lord, who sees all, knows that though I could have saved myself from death, I now endure terrible sufferings in my body. But in my soul, I suffer gladly because of the respect I have for him.” In his death, he left a noble example and a memorial of virtue and strength, not only to the young but to the whole nation.
Gospel: Lk 19:1-10
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man named Zaccheus lived there. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to see what Jesus was like, but he was a short man and could not see him because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. From there he would be able to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today.“ So Zaccheus climbed down and received him joyfully.
All the people who saw it began to grumble, and said, “He has gone as a guest to the house of a sinner.“ But Zaccheus spoke to Jesus, “Half of what I own, Lord, I will give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.“ Looking at him Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today, for he is also a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.“
Being of small stature, Zaccheus had difficulty in seeing Jesus as He passed by because of the crowd. The crowd hindered him from seeing Jesus. But the sycamore tree became instrumental in helping him to see Jesus. He climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus‘ route and Jesus noticed and told him to come down because he would be staying at his house. That was the beginning of his conversion.
Zaccheus represents those people who want to come to Jesus but because of their physical, social or spiritual condition they could not just do so. The crowd represents those people who, instead of helping others, would discourage or hinder them from encountering Jesus. The sycamore tree represents those kind hearted people who go out of their way and extend help so that the Zaccheuses in our midst may have opportunity to encounter and experience the Lord in their lives. They can be our friends, our spiritual directors, our teachers or our parish priests who guide and lead us the way to come to Jesus and be converted.
From among these three groups, where do we belong? Do we consider ourselves like Zaccheus who needed help to see the Lord? Or are we like the crowd who discourages and hinders people from coming to Jesus? Or are we like the sycamore tree willing to offer help so that others can encounter the Lord? Let us be a “sycamore tree“ and not a “crowd“ to others!
1st Reading: 2 Mac 7:1, 20-31
It happened also that seven brothers were arrested with their mother. The king had them scourged and flogged to force them to eat the flesh of a pig which was prohibited by the law.
More than all of them, their mother ought to be admired and remembered. She saw her seven sons die in a single day. But she endured it even with joy for she had put her hope in the Lord. Full of a noble sense of honor, she encouraged each one of them in the language of their ancestors. Her woman’s heart was moved by manly courage, so she told them:
“I wonder how you were born of me; it was not I who gave you breath and life, nor I who ordered the matter of your body. The Creator of the world who formed man in the beginning and ordered the unfolding of all creation shall in his mercy, give you back breath and life, since you now despise them for love of his laws.”
Antiochus thought that she was making fun of him and suspected that she had insulted him. As the youngest was still alive, the king tried to win him over not only with his words, but even promised to make him rich and happy, if he would abandon the traditions of his ancestors. He would make him his Friend and appoint him to a high position in the kingdom. But as the young man did not pay him any attention, the king ordered the mother to be brought in. He urged her to advise her son in order to save his life. After being asked twice by the king, she agreed to persuade her son. She bent over him and fooled the cruel tyrant by saying in her ancestral language:
“My son, have pity on me. For nine months I carried you in my womb and suckled you for three years; I raised you up and educated you until this day. I ask you now, my son, that when you see the heavens, the earth and all that is in it, you know that God made all this from nothing, and the human race as well. Do not fear these executioners, but make yourself worthy of your brothers—accept death that you may again meet your brothers in the time of mercy.”
When she finished speaking, the young man said, “What are you waiting for? I do not obey the king’s order but the precepts of the law given by Moses to our ancestors. And you who have devised such tortures against the Hebrews, shall not escape the hands of God.
Gospel: Lk 19:11-28
Jesus was now near Jerusalem, and the people with him thought that God‘s reign was about to appear. So as they were listening to him, Jesus went on to tell them a parable. He said, “A man of noble birth went to a distant country in order to be crowned king, after which he planned to return home. Before he left, he summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds of silver. He said, ‘Put this money to work until I get back.‘ But his compatriots, who disliked him, sent a delegation after him with this message, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.‘
He returned, however, appointed as king. At once he sent for the servants, to whom he had given the money, to find out what profit each had made. The first came in, and reported, ‘Sir, your pound of silver has earned ten more pounds of silver.‘
The master replied, ‘Well done, my good servant! Since you have proved yourself faithful in a small matter, I can trust you to take charge of ten cities.‘ The second reported, ‘Sir, your pound of silver earned five more pounds of silver.‘ The master replied, ‘And you, take charge of five cities!‘
The third came in, and said, ‘Sir, here is your money, which I hid for safekeeping. I was afraid of you, for you are an exacting person: you take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow.‘
The master replied, ‘You worthless servant, I will judge you by your own words! So you knew I was an exacting person, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow? Why, then, did you not put my money on loan, so that, when I got back, I could have collected it with interest?‘
Then the master said to those standing by, ‘Take from him that pound, and give it to the one with ten pounds.‘ But they objected, ‘Sir, he already has ten pounds!‘
The master replied, ‘I tell you, everyone who has will be given more; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for my enemies who did not want me to be their king, bring them in, and execute them right here in front me!‘“
So Jesus spoke, and then he passed on ahead of them, on his way to Jerusalem.
It must have been painful for a mother to see her child dying. Doubly agonizing it is for a mother to see her child being killed in front of her. Completely heartbreaking, however, is for a mother to see all her sons die in a single day. This exactly was the fate of the mother of the seven brothers whom King Antiochus put to death for refusing to abandon the tradition of their ancestors. What is amazing here is that “full of a noble sense of honor, she encouraged each one of them in the language of their ancestors“ to bravely face death instead of despising their traditions. Even more remarkable, “she endured it even with joy she had put her hope in the Lord.“
What this mother had undergone reminds us of the suffering that the Mother of God has endured while she was at the foot of the cross witnessing the passion of her dying son Jesus. It was painful for her to see her son dying on the cross. But like the mother of the seven brothers, Mary patiently bore the pains for she knew it was necessary for her son to die as ransom for many.
Coincidentally, we also celebrate today the memorial of another courageous woman, St. Cecilia. She offered her life and suffered martyrdom than to deny her Christian faith.
May we follow the courage of these women to endure everything for the sake of our faith.
St. Clement I
Bl. Miguel Agustín Pro
1st Reading: 1 Mac 2:15-29
In the meantime, the king’s representatives, who were forcing the Jews to give up their religion came to Modein to organize a sacred gathering.
While many Israelites went to them, Mattathias and his sons drew apart.
The representatives of the king addressed Mattathias, and said to him: “You are one of the leaders of this city, an important and well-known man, and your many children and relatives follow you. Come now, and be the first to fulfill the king’s order, as the men of Judah have already done, and the survivors in Jerusalem as well. You and your sons will be named friends of the king and the king will send you gold, silver and many other gifts.”
But Mattathias answered in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations included in the kingdom should abandon the religion of their ancestors and submit to the order of king Antiochus, I, my sons and my family will remain faithful to the Covenant of our ancestors. May God preserve us from abandoning the law and its precepts. We will not obey the orders of the king nor turn aside from our religion either to the right or to the left.”
When he finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward, in the sight of everyone, to offer incense on the altar that was built in Modein, according to the king’s decree. When Mattathias saw him, he was fired with zeal. His heart was stirred; and giving vent to his righteous anger, he threw himself on the Jew and cut the man’s throat on the altar. At the same time, he killed the king’s representative who was forcing the people to offer sacrifice; and then tore down the altar. In doing this, he showed his zeal for the law, as Phinehas had done with Zimri, son of Salu.
Mattathias then began to proclaim loudly in the city: “Everyone who is zealous for the law and supports the Covenant, come out and follow me!” Immediately he and his sons fled to the mountains and left behind all they had in the city.
Many Jews who looked for justice and wanted to be faithful to the law went into the desert.
Gospel: Lk 19:41-44
When Jesus had come in sight of the city, he wept over it, and said, “If only today you knew the ways of peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Yet days will come upon you, when your enemies will surround you with barricades, and shut you in, and press on you from every side. And they will dash you to the ground and your children with you, and not leave stone upon stone within you, for you did not recognize the time and the visitation of your God.“
The entire Mystery of Incarnation is considered to be God‘s visitation to his people. God, through his son made man, visited his people more than two thousand years ago. Sad to say, as the gospel would say, they failed to recognize the time of their visitation. They failed to recognize Him. They were very concerned about their political hopes so that their spiritual life was neglected. They interpreted the Bible in the political sense instead of believing in the teachings of Jesus. In short, they did not welcome Jesus and they rejected him because they failed to recognize in him the God visiting his people.
Even after Jesus had returned to the Father, He still continuously “visits“ His people. He “visits“ His people through the ministers of the Church, through the Word of God being proclaimed, and through the sacraments especially the Eucharist that the Church celebrates. Jesus also makes His presence felt every time a community is gathered in His name. He also “visits“ us through the ordinary events of our life.
Like the Jews during Jesus‘ times, many times we also failed to recognize Him. We failed to welcome Him and let Him enter into our life. Thus, we missed a lot of blessings which we could have received from Him.
Let us now be conscious of His “ visits“ to us, recognize Him, welcome Him and let Him stay in our life.
Sts. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
1st Reading: 1 Mac 4:3-37, 52-59
But Judas learned of this. So he went out with his men to attack the king’s army in Emmaus, while the enemy troops were still dispersed outside the camp. Gorgias arrived at the camp of the Jews by night but found no one there. He then began to search for them in the mountains, for he thought: “They are running away from us.”
But at daybreak, Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men who had not the armor or swords they would have liked. They saw the camp of the pagans with its strong fortifications and the cavalry surrounding it—all trained men in war. Judas said to his men: “Do not fear the number of the enemy or be afraid of their attack. Remember how our ancestors were saved at the Red Sea when Pharaoh’s army pursued them. Cry out to God, for, if he so wishes, he will remember his Covenant and destroy that army before us this very day. And all the nations will know that Someone saves and liberates Israel.”
The pagans looked up and saw the Jews coming down against them, so they came out of their camp to face them in battle. Judas had the trumpets sounded and his men attacked. The pagans were defeated and fled to the plain, but all the rear guard fell by the sword. They pursued them to Gazara, to the plains of Idumea, of Azot and Jamnia and killed about three thousand of the enemy.
When Judas and his army stopped chasing them, he said to the men with him: “Do not think of the booty now, for another battle awaits us. Gorgias with his army is in the hills close by. Remain ready to fight them, and, afterward you can gather the plunder with nothing to worry about.” He had barely finished speaking when an army detachment appeared on the hillside. These men saw that their own troops had fled and their camp had been destroyed, for the smoke that rose up from the camp was enough to tell them this. So they were terrified. And when they saw the army of Judas drawn up on the plain ready for battle, they fled to the land of the Philistines.
So Judas and his men returned to plunder the camp. They carried off valuable booty. And on their return, they sang and praised heaven: For he is good, and his mercy is eternal.
That day was a great victory for Israel. The pagans who had escaped went to Lysias and told him what had happened. When he heard this, he was dismayed and depressed because things in Israel had not gone as expected, and he had not carried out the king’s command.
The following year, he organized an army of sixty thousand men and five thousand cavalry to confront the Jews. They advanced into Idumea and encamped at Bethzur. Judas came out with ten thousand men to meet them in battle. When he saw their military strength, he prayed, “Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who broke the warrior’s strength by the hand of your servant David, and handed over the camp of the Philistines to the power of Jonathan, son of Saul, and to his armor-bearer.
In the same way, give this army into the hands of your people Israel, and let the confidence they place in their power and in their horses be destroyed. Fill them with fear. Shatter their confidence in their own strength. May they be defeated and recover no more. Deliver them to the sword of your faithful people so that all who know you may praise your name.”
Both sides attacked, and five thou sand men from the army of Lysias fell dead. Lysias saw that his army was disheartened, while Judas and his men grew bolder and were ready to live or to die nobly. So he retreated to Antioch, where he recruited mercenaries to strengthen his army, for he planned to return to Judea.
Then Judas and his brothers said: “Our enemies are defeated, so let us go up and purify the Holy Place and consecrate it again.” And all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion.
On the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight (in the year 164 B.C.) they arose at dawn and offered the sacrifice prescribed by the law on the new altar of holocausts which they had built. It was precisely at that same time and date that the pagans had profaned it before; but now they consecrated it with songs, accompanied by zithers, harps and cymbals. All the people fell prostrate and blessed Heaven that had given them happiness and success. They celebrated the consecration of the altar for eight days, joyfully offering holocausts and celebrating sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise. The front of the temple was adorned with crowns of gold and shields; and the gates and the rooms had been restored and fitted with doors.
There was no end to the celebration among the people; and so the profanation of the temple by the pagans was forgotten. Finally, Judas, his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel agreed to celebrate the anniversary of the consecration of the altar annually for eight days, from the twenty-fifth of the month of Chislev, in high festivity.
Gospel: Lk 19:45-48
Then Jesus entered the temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And he said to them, “God says in the Scriptures, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of robbers!“
Jesus was teaching every day in the temple. The chief priests and teachers of the law wanted to kill him, and the elders of the Jews as well, but they were unable to do anything, for all the people were listening to him and hanging on his words.
For the Jews, their temple is an important and sacred place. It is where God meets his people and lives among them. Unfortunately, their temple suffered desecration from the hands of the gentiles as narrated to us in the First Reading, and even from the Jews themselves as we have seen in the Gospel Reading. It needed Judas to purify and re-dedicate the temple desecrated by the Gentiles. It needed Jesus, prefigured by Judas in the First Reading, to cleanse the temple that the Jews turned to a “den of thieves“.
There is a similarity between the temple and our soul, which by baptism becomes temple of the Holy Spirit. The condition of the desecrated temple is the same as the condition of a soul desecrated by sin. The purification and re-dedication of the temple resembles the sacrament of Reconciliation. As purification cleanses the temple, so reconciliation cleanses the soul from the stain of sins.
As we make our physical church clean and a conducive place to communion with God, let us also make our souls clean and a conducive place where God can meet us and make his dwelling in us.
St. Catherine of Alexandria
1st Reading: 1 Mac 6:1-13
When king Antiochus was making his way through the upper regions of Persia, he received news about Elymais, a city renowned for its wealth in silver and gold. They kept in the wealthy temple of their city golden armor, breastplates and weapons, left there by the Macedonian king, Alexander, the son of Philip, the first sovereign of the Greeks. So Antiochus went there. But the inhabitants came out armed against him when they learned of his intention, so his attempt to take the city failed. He had to turn back; and he returned much embittered to Babylon.
While he was still in Persia, it was reported to him that the armies sent to Judea had been defeated. They told him that although Lysias had gone with a strong army, he had to flee before the Jews, who had been strengthened with the weapons and the abundant booty taken from the neighboring armies. He heard, too, that the Jews had destroyed the abominable idol he had erected on the altar in Jerusalem; and had rebuilt the temple walls to the same height as before; and had also fortified the city of Beth-zur.
When he received this news, he was terrified and deeply upset. He fell sick and became greatly depressed because things had not turned out the way he had planned. So he remained overcome by this terrible anguish for many days. He felt that he was dying, so he called his friends and said to them, “Sleep has fled from my eyes and I am greatly crushed by my anxieties. And I keep on asking why such grief has come upon me—I who was generous and well loved when in power—and now I am so discouraged.
Now I remember the evils I did in Jerusalem, the vessels of gold and silver that I stole, the inhabitants of Judea I ordered to be killed for no reason at all. I now know, that because of this, these misfortunes have come upon me; and I am dying of grief in a strange land.”
Gospel: Lk 20:27-40
Then some Sadducees arrived. These people claim that there is no resurrection, and they asked Jesus this question, “Master, in the law Moses told us, ‘If anyone dies leaving a wife but no children, his brother must take the wife, and any child born to them will be regarded as the child of the deceased.‘ Now, there were seven brothers: the first married, but died without children. The second married the woman, but also died childless. And then the third married her, and in this same way all seven died, leaving no children. Last of all the woman died. On the day of the resurrection, to which of them will the woman be a wife? For all seven had her as a wife.“
And Jesus replied, “Taking a husband or a wife is proper to people of this world, but for those who are considered worthy of the world to come, and of resurrection from the dead, there is no more marriage. Besides, they cannot die, for they are like the angels. They are sons and daughters of God, because they are born of the resurrection.
Yes, the dead will be raised, as Moses revealed at the burning bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For God is God of the living, and not of the dead, for to him everyone is alive.“
Some teachers of the law then agreed with Jesus, “Master, you have spoken well.“ They didn‘t dare ask him anything else.
“Many are the plans in man‘s but it‘s the decision of the Lord that prevails“, the Book of Proverbs says. King Antiochus, in the first reading had so many evil plans. But things had not turned out the way he had planned so he remained overcome by terrible anguish.
Many times, we are also in the same position where our plans and the Lord‘s purposes are not in sync and so we become frustrated. In most cases, our plans are shaped by our beliefs and orientation. Plans born out of wrong beliefs are meant to fail, as shown to us in the gospel reading. The Sadducees had the plan to insist upon Jesus and to shame him that there is no resurrection. But Jesus refuted them.
So how do we keep our plans in conformity with the Lord‘s purposes? Two things: Godly desire and Godly goal. We must desire only good things and we must pursue only good things. Let God‘s purposes prevail in us by seeking Him and His will in prayer regularly.