Sundays Scripture Readings: November 10, 2013


"That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out 'Lord, ' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

To help us prepare for this coming Sunday, here are the readings, studies and reflections for this coming Sunday's Scripture readings. This Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

are the Scripture readings from the U.S. Catholic bishops website.

My own weekly study on the Sunday Readings can be found here at my website.

Here are three short audio reflections on the readings by Sister Ann Shields, Dr. Scott Hahn, and Fr. Robert Barron.

Scripture scholar Fr. Francis Martin's video meditations on the Sunday Scripture readings can be found here.

Here is a Catholic Bible study podcast (each about an hour long) from the Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother. The sister leading the study does a really nice job using primarily, I believe, the notes from the St. Charles Borromeo study linked below.

Further study resources for the Readings: St. Charles Borromeo Bible Study can be found here, Catholic Matters can be found here, the *Catena Aurea *("Golden Chain") of St. Thomas Aquinas can be found here, and the **Haydock Commentary can be found here.

Please consider supporting those who provide these free resources.

Discussion, questions and charitable comments are always welcome. Have a blessed week!


Just a reminder:

Free Bible Studies for Advent 2013 Now Available!


From the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

202. What is the meaning of the term “body” (or “flesh”) and what importance does it have?

CCC 990
CCC 1015

The resurrection of the flesh is the literal formulation in the Apostles Creed for the resurrection of the body. The term “flesh” refers to humanity in its state of weakness and mortality. “The flesh is the hinge of salvation” (Tertullian). We believe in God the Creator of the flesh; we believe in the Word made flesh in order to redeem flesh; and we believe in the resurrection of flesh which is the fulfillment of both the creation and the redemption of the flesh.
203. What is meant by the “resurrection of the body”? **

CCC 990

This means that the definitive state of man will not be one in which his spiritual soul is separated from his body. Even our mortal bodies will one day come to life again.
204. What is the relationship between the Resurrection of Christ and our resurrection?**

CCC 998
CCC 1002-1003

Just as Christ is truly risen from the dead and now lives forever, so he himself will raise everyone on the last day with an incorruptible body: “Those who have done good will rise to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:29).
205. What happens to our body and our soul after death?**

CCC 992-1004
CCC 1016-1018

After death, which is the separation of the body and the soul, the body becomes corrupt while the soul, which is immortal, goes to meet the judgment of God and awaits its reunion with the body when it will rise transformed at the time of the return of the Lord. How the resurrection of the body will come about exceeds the possibilities of our imagination and understanding.

(See the Catechism of the Catholic Church §§ 988—1004)


**Please explain the difference between the Sadducees and the Pharisees in the Gospels.


Both the Sadducees and the Pharisees were religious parties in Jesus' day. Both were critical of and were criticized by Jesus.
The Sadducees thought of themselves as "conservatives," as the Old Believers. This is because they accepted only the written Law of Moses as authoritative and rejected subsequent revelation. As a result, the Sadducees denied many of the doctrines held by the Pharisees and by Jesus, including the resurrection of the dead, the existence of angels and spirits, and the meting out of rewards and punishment after death. These beliefs were thought by the Sadducees to be Zoroastrian corruptions of the authentic faith of Israel.
Although a religious party, the Sadducees were more important as a political force. They represented the priestly aristocracy and the power structure of Israel. For them, the duties of religion centered primarily around the Temple.
The Pharisees, on the other hand, were a lay group more representative of the common man. In addition to the written Law of Moses, the Pharisees accepted as authoritative the rest of what is for us the Old Testament, as well as the "tradition of the elders."
Whereas the Sadducees saw worship at the Temple as the main focus of the Law, the Pharisees believed this to be but one component among many of proper Mosaic observance. It was over the interpretation of the Law and which understanding of it represented the authentic tradition of Israel that Jesus and the Pharisees disagreed.
After the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, Sadducaic Judaism disappeared and Pharisaic Judaism became dominant. It is from the Pharisees, then, that contemporary Judaism is primarily descended.

Answered by Catholic Answers


****Navarre Bible Commentary

First Reading - From: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14

Martyrdom of the Seven Brothers and their Mother
[1] It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being compelled by the king, under torture with whips and cords, to partake of unlawful swine’s flesh. [2] One of them, acting as their spokesman, said, “What do you intend to ask and learn from us? For we are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our fathers.” [9] And when he was at his last breath, he said, “You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.”

[10] After him, the third was the victim of their sport. When it was demanded, he quickly put out his tongue and courageously stretched forth his hands, [11] and said nobly, “I got these from Heaven, and because of his laws I disdain them, and from him I hope to get them back again.” [12] As a result the king himself and those with him were astonished at the young man’s spirit, for he regarded his sufferings as nothing. [13] When he too had died, they maltreated and tortured the fourth in the same way. [14] And when he was near death, he said, “One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!”


7:1-42. This is one of the most famous and popular passages in the history of the Maccahees–so much so that traditionally (but improperly) these brothers are usually referred to as “the Maccabees”. The sacred writer does not tell us the boys’ names, or where it all happened; and he brings in the presence of the king to heighten the dramatic effect. The bravery of these young men, it would seem, was inspired by the good example given by Eleazar (cf. 6:28). The mother’s intervention divides the scene into two parts–first the martyrdom of the six older brothers (vv. 2-19), and then that of the youngest and the mother herself (vv. 20-41).

In the first part the conviction that the just will rise and evildoers will be punished builds up as the story goes on. Each of the replies given by the six brothers contains some aspect of truth. The first says that just men prefer to die rather than sin (v. 2) because God will reward them (v. 6); the second, that God will raise them to a new life (v. 9); the third, that they will rise with their bodies remade (v. 11); the fourth, that for evildoers there will be no “resurrection to life” (v. 14); the fifth, that there will be punishment for evildoers (v. 17); and the sixth, that when just people suffer it is because they are being punished for their own sins (v. 18).

Concluded on the next post…


In the second part, both the mother and the youngest brother affirm what the others have said: but the boy adds something new when he says that death accepted by the righteous works as atonement for the whole people (vv. 37¬-38).

The resurrection of the dead, which "God revealed to his people progressively" ("Catechism of the Church", 992), is a teaching that is grounded first on Moses' words about God having compassion on his servants (v. 6; cf. Deut 32:36), and the idea that if they die prematurely they will receive consolation in the next life. This is the point being made by the first brother, and it implies that God "faithfully maintains his covenant with Abraham and his posterity" (ibid.). As the mother sees it (vv. 27-28), belief in the resurrection comes from "faith in God as creator of the whole man, body and soul" (ibid., 992). Our Lord Jesus Christ ratifies this teaching and links it to faith in himself (cf. Jn 5:24-25; 11:25); and he also purifies the Pharisees' notion of the resurrection, which was an interpretation based only on material terms (cf. Mk 12:18-27; 1 Cor 15:35-53).

In what the mother says (v. 28) we can also see belief in the creation of the world out of nothing "as a truth full of promise and hope" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 297). On the basis of this passage and some New Testament passages, such as John 1:3 and Hebrews 11:3, the Church has formulated its doctrine of creation: "We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create (cf. Vatican I: DS 3022), nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance (cf. Vatican I: DS 3023-3024). God creates freely 'out of nothing' (DS 800; 3025). If God had drawn the world from pre-existent matter, what would be so extraordinary in that? A human artisan makes from a given material whatever he wants, while God shows his power by starting from nothing to make all he wants" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 296).

The assertion that the death of martyrs has expiatory value (vv. 37-38) prepares us to grasp the redemptive meaning of Christ's death; but we should remember that Christ, by his death, not only deflected the punishment that all men deserve on account of sin, but also, through his grace, makes sinful men righteous in God's sight (cf. Rom 3:21-26).

Many Fathers of the Church, notably St Gregory Nazianzen ("Orationes", 15, 22), St Ambrose ("De Iacob et Vitae Beata", 2, 10, 44-57), St Augustine ("In Epistolam Ioannis", 8, 7), and St Cyprian ("Ad Fortunatus", 11) heaped praise on these seven brothers and their mother. St John Chrysostom invites us to imitate them whenever temptation strikes: "All the moderation that they show in the midst of dangers we, too, should imitate by the patience and temperance with which we deal with irrational concupiscence, anger, greed for possessions, bodily passions, vainglory and such like. For if we manage to control their flame, as (the Maccabees) did the flame of the fire, we will be able to be near them and have a share in their confidence and freedom of spirit" ('Homiliae in Maccabaeos", 1,3).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.


**Navarre Bible Commentary

Second Reading -From: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5

The Need for Steadfastness (Continuation)
[16] Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, [17] comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Paul Asks for Prayers

[1] Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you, [2] and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith. [3] But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil. [4] And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command. [5] May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.


16-17. God chose believers without any merit on their part; that choice marks the first stage in their path to salvation; the journey to the goal of salvation involves cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. Man needs the help of the "good hope" which comes from recognizing that he is a son of God. "In my case, and I wish the same to happen to you", Monsignor Escriva writes, "the certainty I derive from feeling--from knowing--that I am a son of God fills me with real hope which, being a supernatural virtue, adapts to our nature when it is infused in us, and so is also a very human virtue ...]. This conviction spurs me on to grasp that only those things that bear the imprint of God can display the indelible sign of eternity and have lasting value. Therefore, far from separating me from the things of this earth, hope draws me closer to these realities in a new way, a Christian way, which seeks to discover in everything the relation between our fallen nature and God, our Creator and Redeemer" ("Friends of God", 208).

By inspiring us with hope, God fills our hearts with consolation and at the same time encourages us to put our faith into practice in daily life--"in every good work and word."

  1. The whole Church, not just the Apostles, is given the task of spreading the message of Jesus. All believers can and should play an active part in this, at least by way of prayer. The Apostle's request for prayers also shows that he realizes that the supernatural work entrusted to him is beyond him and yet he does not shirk the work of apostolate. St John Chrysostom comments on St Paul's approach: "The Apostle ...] now encourages them to offer prayers to God for him, but he does not ask them to pray God to free him from dangers he ought to face up to (for they are an unavoidable consequence of his ministry); rather, he asks them to pray 'that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph'" ("Hom. on 2 Thess, ad loc.").

Concluded on the next post...


The "speed and triumph" is evocative of the Games, which had such a following in Greece: the winner of a race was given a victory wreath. The victory, the triumph, of the word of the Lord is its proclamation reaching everyone and being accepted by everyone.

  1. "Not all have faith": literally, "faith is not something that belongs to all", that is, not everyone has believed the Apostle's preaching though he has excluded no one from it. The "wicked and evil men" may be a reference to certain Jews hostile to Christianity who had persecuted Paul in Macedonia and were now putting obstacles in his way at Corinth.

It must be remembered that faith is a supernatural virtue, a gift from God, and cannot be obtained by man's unaided effort: "Even though the assent of faith is by no means a blind impulse, still, no one can assent to the gospel preaching as he must in order to be saved without the enlightenment and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who gives all men their joy in assenting to and believing the truth" (Vatican I, "Dei Filius", chap. 3).

God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:4) and so to all men he gives his grace and offers the gift of faith; however, they are free to reject or accept the light he offers them.

  1. "But the Lord is faithful": and therefore, unlike those who are unfaithful (v. 2), we should put our trust in God: "Do not doubt it", Chrysostom comments, "God is faithful. He has promised salvation, he will save you. But, as he said, he will do so on one condition--what we love him, that we listen to his word and his Law. He will not save us unless we cooperate" ("Hom. on 2 Thess, ad loc.").

"He will strengthen you and guard you from evil": These words may be meant to echo the prayer contained in the Our Father (cf. Mt 6:13; cf. Mt 5:37).

4-5. The Apostle is confident that the Thessalonians will stay true to Christ, and he asks God to give them the endurance they need in the midst of their difficulties. "The steadfastness of Christ" may be a reference to the example Christ gave during his passion by enduring unto death on the cross, out of love for the Father and for us; believers should love God in that kind of way (cf. Heb 12:1). However, "the steadfastness of Christ" can also be interpreted as referring to the need for Christians to be patient as they wait for the second coming of Christ (cf. 1 Thess 1:3).

Love and steadfastness are two Christian virtues which make us resemble God: "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Eph 5:1-2). So, love and endurance are interconnected and complement each other "Jesus came to the Cross after having prepared himself for thirty-three years, all his life! If they really want to imitate him, his disciples have to turn their lives into a co-redemption of Love, by means of active and passive self-denial" ([St] J. Escriva, "Furrow", 255).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.


**Navarre Bible Commentary

Gospel Reading - From: Luke 20:27-40

The Resurrection of the Dead
[27] There came to Him (Jesus) some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection, [28] and they asked Him a question saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise up children for his brother. [29] Now there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children; [30] and the second [31] and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. [32] Afterward the woman also died. [33] In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife."

[34] And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; [35] but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, [36] for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. [37] But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. [38] Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him." [39] And some of scribes answered,"Teacher, You have spoken well." [40] For they no longer dared to ask Him any question.


27-40. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body or the immortality of the soul. They came along to ask Jesus a question which is apparently unanswerable. According to the Levirate law (cf. Deuteronomy 25:5ff), if a man died without issue, his brother was duty bound to marry his widow to provide his brother with descendants. The consequences of this law would seem to give rise to a ridiculous situation at the resurrection of the dead.

Our Lord replies by reaffirming that there will be a resurrection; and by explaining the properties of those who have risen again, the Sadducees' argument simply evaporates. In this world people marry in order to continue the species: that is the primary aim of marriage. After the resurrection there will be no more marriage because people will not die anymore.

Quoting Sacred Scripture (Exodus 3:2, 6) our Lord shows the grave mistake the Sadducees make, and He argues: God is not the God of the dead but of the living, that is to say, there exists a permanent relationship between God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who have been dead for years. Therefore, although these just men have died as far as their bodies are concerned, they are alive, truly alive, in God—their souls are immortal--and they are awaiting the resurrection of their bodies.

See also the notes on Matthew 22:23-33 and Mark 12:18-27.
[The note on Matthew 22:23-33 states:**

23-33. The Sadducees argue against belief in the resurrection of the dead on the basis of the Levirate law, a Jewish law which laid down that when a married man died without issue, one of his brothers, according to a fixed order, should marry his widow and the first son of that union be given the dead man's name. By outlining an extreme cases the Sadducees make the law and belief in resurrection look ridiculous. In His reply, Jesus shows up the frivolity of their objections and asserts the truth of the resurrection of the dead.]

[The note on Mark 12:18-27 states:

18-27. Before answering the difficulty proposed by the Sadducees, Jesus wants to identify the source of the problem--man's tendency to confine the greatness of God inside a human framework through excessive reliance on reason, not giving due weight to divine Revelation and the power of God. A person can have difficulty with the truths of faith; this is not surprising, for these truths are above human reason. But it is ridiculous to try to find contradictions in the revealed word of God; this only leads away from any solution of difficulty and may make it impossible to find one's way back to God. We need to approach Sacred Scripture, and, in general, the things of God, with the humility which faith demands. In the passage about the burning bush, which Jesus quotes to the Sadducees, God says this to Moses: "Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5).]

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.****


More helpful resources for this Sunday’s Readings:

Ignatius Insight

Msgr. Charles Pope

The Sacred Page

The Word Among Us (meditation)
The Word Among Us (questions for discussion)

Free Republic Catholic Caucus

Have a blessed Sunday!


Before the Angelus today, the pope spoke about the Gospel of the day (Lk, 20:27-38), which “shows Jesus dealing with the Sadducees, who had denied the resurrection,” ridiculing it with examples taken from earthly life.

“Eternal life,” Francis said, “is another life in another dimension where, among other things, there will be no marriage, which is related to our existence in this world. The resurrected, Jesus told us, will be like angels, living in a different state, one that we now cannot even imagine and experience.”

“Jesus found the proof of the resurrection,” he went on to say, “in the episode of Moses and the burning bush (cfr Ex, 3:1-6), in which God revealed himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God’s name is connected to the names of the men and women to whom he is bound, and this bond is stronger than death. This is why Jesus said, 'and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive”(Lk, 20:38). The decisive bond, the fundamental alliance is to Jesus. He is the Covenant - He is the Life and the Resurrection, because through his crucified love he conquered death. Through Jesus, God gives us eternal life, gives it to everyone, and thanks to him everyone has hope for a life that is even truer than this one. The life God prepares for us is not just an embellishment of the current one: it goes beyond our imagination because God continually amazes us with his love and his mercy."

“This life does not serve as a reference to eternity;” he concluded, “it is eternity that enlightens and gives hope to the earthly life of each one of us. If we only look through human eyes, we are led to say that a man’s path goes from life to death. Jesus overturns this view and states that our pilgrimage goes from death to life: full life! Thus, death is behind us, behind and not in front of us. The God of the living is in front of us, the God that bears my name, and yours, yours, yours . . . the final defeat of sin and death, the beginning of a new time of joy and endless light. But on this earth, in prayer, in the sacraments, in brotherhood, we already find Jesus and his love, and so we can foretaste something of the risen life. The experience we have of his love and his faithfulness lights up like a fire in our hearts and increases our faith in the resurrection. Indeed, if God is faithful and loves, he cannot be so for a limited time. Faithfulness is eternal. God’s love is not limited in time - it is forever. He is forever faithful, and He awaits us and accompanies each one of us with this eternal fidelity.”


A homily on yesterday’s Readings from Fr. John Lankiet of the Diocese of Phoenix. If the homily from yesterday’s Mass at your parish left you cold and unchallenged, this will fill in the gap. Fr. John is a fine speaker and homilist and tells it like it is.

A Faith To Die For



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