God delights in our humanity

6 November 2022 32nd Sunday Year C

What difference would it make to the way we live if we embodied in our lives the reality of the resurrection. The Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, tried to trap Jesus into a flawed answer in today’s Gospel reading. Their focus was limited to the framework of traditional laws which prescribed the rules of marriage at that time.

Jesus used the occasion to broaden their paradigm, without being dismissive of Jewish laws. In fact, he locates his answer in the rich prophetic tradition. He references Moses, who calls the Lord, “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob”. But Jesus goes further: he points out that the “children of the resurrection” now live in entirely different circumstances, for they are children of God and “they can no longer die for they are the same as the angels”.

In this new paradigm, it may not mean that people will never experience death in ordinary human terms. But it does mean that their whole existence is now transformed in the mystery of the incarnation and the promise of the resurrection. Instead of letting our lives be defined and scarred by our frailties, we let the Lord enter our lives and transform us utterly.

This is by no means a one-off or linear process. He enters our life each time we say yes to him, each time we submit ourselves to the continuous moulding and shaping by his hands. God utterly delights in the deepest flourishing of our humanity. St Irenaeus in the second century described this vision in the words: “Gloria Dei est vivens homo, vita autem hominis visio Dei” – the glory of God is a living human being, and the life of the human comes from the vision of God. In other words, our life and out flourishing consists in beholding God. 

Teilhard de Chardin used the term “Omega Point” to describe the ultimate culminating point in history. Our lives begin in God, grow towards him throughout our lives, and find their ultimate fulfilment in him. Within this divine frame of reference, we are not human beings striving for a spiritual existence but rather, spiritual beings having a human experience.

As children of the resurrection, our inheritance is a vibrant living faith. It calls us to live lives which are embedded in the sacred history of God’s presence throughout human history. It calls us to realise that we come to our fullest flourishing in a life lived for God and in service of others

Sophie Clements

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