32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time C

November 6, 2022

INTRODUCTIONLECTORSHOMILIESVIDEO ARCHIVECOMMENTARYCHURCH FATHERSCATECHISMPAPAL HOMILIESHOMILY STARTERSFAITH SHARINGCHILDREN ACTIVITIESMUSIC

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II Maccabees 7, 1-2,9-14

First Reading

Notes courtesy of Paul J. Schlachter and Greg Warnusz

Less than 200 years before Jesus, a pagan king tried to force Jews to break their ancestral laws, and persecuted them cruelly when they refused. In this description of their resistance, we hear an early reference to the hope that the dead will some day be raised. – Warnusz

Central point: God gives life and also gives hope of being raised up.

Message for the assembly: Are we tied down by comfort?  If an impartial observer looked for the “holy Maccabees” today, where would she find them?  Who is willing to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors?  Some earnest eye contact wouldn’t hurt.

Lector’s Challenge:  To repeat the eagerness, the hope and the indignant tone of these martyrs, whose death was celebrated in the early church.

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested…

INTRODUCTION

  • It is the story of an entire family tortured to death by the Syrian emperor.
  • The reading gives  testimony from three of the brothers.  The testimony is steadfast and defiant in itself.
  • The purpose of the story was meant to encourage the Judeans to maintain their identity as a people and their faith in Israel’s God.
  • The whole context will become clear if you emphasize in the first long sentence that it was a king who was behind all the torturing, and his goal was to make the Jews violate God’s law by forcing them to eat pork. – Warnusz

tortured with whips and scourges by the king…

the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.

AN IRONIC CONTRAST

  1. They are tortured by the king (of Syria) and
  2. they are confident in the vindication of the King of the world (the Lord).

Speak the first like a news anchor, and the second like a believer.

  • Pause after the first sentence, before starting the sentence, “One of the brothers.” Make this brother’s speech sound defiant, and make him sound reverent for “the laws of our ancestors.” That’s what the controversy is all about. – Warnusz

What do you expect to achieve… You ACCURSED fiend.

I hope to receive them again…  It is my choice to die…with the HOPE that God gives

TWO KINDS OF WITNESS which need to be read in two different voices:

  1. On the one hand defiance and denunciation:
  2. But I also hear bold confidence:

He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, and bravely held out his hands

It was from heaven that I received these

  • The third brother is to have his tongue and hands cut off. But the stripped down text doesn’t say so directly. You have to make it clear by you say “He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, [pause] and bravely held out his hands, [pause] as he spoke … – Warnusz
  • ‘It was from heaven that I received these …'” Your congregation should not have to ask “received what? What’s he talking about?” To test your interpretation, try reading this to someone in your household, someone not armed with a missallette, and ask if he or she can tell what gesture the brave young man is making.  – Warnusz

He regarded his SUFFFERINGS as nothing.

How do I say it?  Am I an onlooker, like the king and his attendants who marveled?  Or do I stand with the prisoners?

being RAISED UP by him;

INVOKING THE RESURRECTION

  • The Judean freedom fighters invoke the resurrection.  In today’s Gospel Jesus defends the resurrection before the disbelieving Sadducees.
  • The brothers are the central figures in the reading, and so I will look on reality as they do.  Everything is a gift of God, who will raise us up.

but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.

  • In the fourth brother’s story, emphasize his hope of being raised up. Make it clear that he’s threatening his persecutors when he tells them that for them there will be no resurrection. – Warnusz
II Thessalonians 2, 16–3, 5

Second Reading

Notes courtesy of Paul J. Schlachter and Greg Warnusz

Saint Paul and the first readers of this early letter believed Jesus was soon to return in glory, bringing history to its climax. Paul is anxious about two goals: to keep the Thessalonians on track, and to get the gospel spread as widely as he can in the short time remaining. – Warnusz

Central point: The Lord is faithful.

Message for the assembly: Our Lord Jesus Christ himself… So begins the passage.  Christ is near to us.  He is here; so we believe. 

Lector’s Challenge:  To speak the prayer, the words of presence, as if I am seeing and touching Jesus right now.

Everlasting ENCOURAGEMENT and good HOPE.

  • These two points are what everyone should carry away from the first hearing.  Since both of these come from God, reflect these truths warmly in your reading.
  • In the first long sentence (which you should read slowly because it’s so long), emphasize “encourage your hearts and strengthen them.”  Warnusz

May God encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every GOOD DEED and WORD.

  • The apostle is looking for more than a feeling.  He wants a motivation to speak and act for the benefit of others.  So I will build toward that conclusion.

Pray for us.

  • Notice: not Mary and the saints, and this is not because there were not yet saints in heaven to intercede!  This is our duty as members of the Body, to support each other.  It is also our duty to seek out the support of others in prayer.

That the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified.

  • This is a personal appeal, so say it as such.  
  • In the second long sentence (slowly again) emphasize “the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified.” Warnusz

May the Lord direct your hearts – to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.

  • A final prayer:   I remember John’s words: “He loved them to the end.”

That we may be delivered.

  • The apostle probably means himself and his missionary companions, but you can stretch it to refer to everyone in the assembly. 

We are confident of you that what we instruct you, you are doing.

  • So the church is carrying out the instructions.  Make that clear to the assembly.

From Word to Eucharist

All the readings call us to a higher life free from selfish concerns.  Our bodies are not our own, but a gift from God.  Our life as church is a shared life, and we are responsible for each other.  Our spouses who accompany us to communion are also children of God.  Are we faithful stewards of these precious gifts?

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