Church of Jesus Christ of the Universe
6 November 2022
32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time – Cycle C
Readings: 2Mac 7, 1-2. 9-14; Sal 16; 2Thess 2, 16-3, 5; Lk 20, 27-38
This Sunday’s readings speak of the resurrection, of life after death, but also look at how God views the family.
Notice that the whole message of Jesus and that of St. Paul emphasize that we have to be aware that the passage through this world will lead us to eternal life and to discovering that we are children of God. The most well-known phrases of the Gospel express it like this: “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” He goes so far as to say: “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Mt 10,37-38, NIV). Among the many statements made by Paul, this one is particularly strong: “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom 8,9).
In the end, a clear division appears. On the one hand, there are those who choose to know the Father and the One whom the Father has sent, making this the purpose of their life; on the other hand, there are those who pass through this world, praying and going to Mass, yet focusing on the things of this world, even holy ones like the family.
Already in the Old Testament, as we read in the second Book of Maccabees, there was the rule of putting God in the first place: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Mt 22,37-38). Yet, they condemned people because of their faithfulness to the command to put God in the first place, to worship the only true God. The passage we have read clearly shows the great faith of a mother who understood that true love for her children was to accept that they were tortured and killed if only they remained faithful to the law of God.
This is not obvious. We could call the Maccabean mother a hero. No, this mother simply remained faithful to what she believed: “If I love my children and want to enjoy them for eternity, they must die like this, there is no other way. If my sons bend to the king’s order, I will lose them forever, because they will not enter the New Creation, only I will.” Therefore, loving your children is not protecting them, perhaps advising them to be astute, as we may read in the passage where someone suggests, “Just pretend to eat”. No, she says, “Don’t do it, accept to die, because I want to be with you forever. If you pretend to do so, I will lose you forever. I will have you here for twenty, thirty, fifty years, but I will lose you for eternity”.
It is a beautiful passage because it shows that both the mother and her sons believed in eternal life. They already believed in the resurrection that is written in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ came to defeat death and make us children of the resurrection, but all this is already mentioned in the Old Testament. Therefore, we understand that those who put Jesus to the test, in today’s reading, refusing to believe in the resurrection, never believed in the Scriptures either. They were already divided within themselves. It was then as it is now between Christians: some do not believe in Mary Most Holy, some do not believe at all, etc. There is already a fundamental division, a fundamental “no”, just as in those days. Then, they also want to test us: those who do not believe in our brothers and sisters in the Universe are already divided within themselves. All the Scriptures talk about it, but they do not want to know about it. They are faithful to their own thoughts, not to God’s thoughts.
It needs to be said again that life is the greatest gift God has given us, but He has also given us the gift of freedom. God lets each one of us go through this process. Let me explain. God gives us the immense gift of life, but then He leaves us free in order to see what we choose: “I give you life, and I give it to you for eternity. You are free to choose where you want to spend eternity: either with Me or with whoever you want.”
He does this with all His gifts and all the lessons He teaches us. This opens us to something new, and it immediately puts us to the test. When He speaks of the faithful brothers and sisters, He tests us. When He speaks about the New Creation, He tests us: “How much do you believe in it; how much do you participate in it; how much do you want it; to what extent do you wish to understand the promises I have made to you?”
God has made many promises to us. I always quote the message “The Future of My People” in which He tells us that everything is at our disposal; we have received all graces. Now it is our turn. How much do we believe in it? How much do we endeavour to reach it? How much do we remain attached to our ideas, our thoughts, our way of life? It has always been like in the time of the Maccabees. History repeats itself.
What God proposes to us, especially now, is to build the New Creation together with Him. The proposal He makes is a great promise that goes beyond our imagination. If you remember, in the book “Rewriting History”, Stefania describes the new planet as a very beautiful place, and yet God says: “Compared to the New Creation it is nothing. Yet, how much do you get involved with the New Creation? How faithful are you to your promises, to your intentions, to what you have chosen, to whom you have even given your life to reach the New Creation?”
The Gospel also speaks of marriage. The first reading is about the family with children. Remember that, according to God, marriage is a calling. What kind of calling? All callings, be it to marriage or to the ministerial priesthood, are callings of God to reach one aim: knowing the Father and the One whom the Father has sent. That is it. Do not have doubts about the calling to marriage. A calling always leads to encounter Christ, to reawaken the image and likeness of God in us, to become children of God. Full stop. God calls us only to that.
Marriage is one way among many others to reach this aim. It is a specific, concrete mission to get to know Christ and to enjoy Him eternally. Husband and wife, united in the desire to be with Christ, understand that they are a gift to one another to reach, love and follow Christ. In addition, especially in marriage, they are a gift for the children since the only task parents have is to lead them towards knowing Christ. They give them life by collaborating with God. Parents must offer their life to God, and they must teach their children to know Christ. Marriage is this calling.
When St. Paul speaks about marriage, he says that husband and wife must become one. He also explains how: they must become a gift of love to one another, as Christ loved the Church. St. Paul sets the example of love that must be followed, which is different from what happens in marriages nowadays, as far as I can say. The example of St. Paul is this: “As Christ loves the Church”. In this lies a great mission: to love one another as Christ loves, that is, with the Love of Christ, not with what we call love. I will not explain Christ’s love, as you know it. We easily forget that only in this way a couple can become one. Many marriages fall apart. This is because there is no other way than to love with Christ’s love and become one through this path of love. Marriage is a wonderful calling, but it always involves a path towards God.
Jesus adds something to this path today, and St. Paul says, “As Christ loves the Church“; thus, in the New Creation, there will no longer be neither wife nor husband but children of God; children of the resurrection, who will no longer die because they will be like angels. Thus, you understand that the path of marriage, like that of the ministerial priesthood, takes place on Earth. What will we be in the New Creation? That is a mystery. We only know that we will be like Him and that we will see Him as He is. What will we be, what will we do? We know that there will be no more pain or weeping and that everything will be in the light of God. Therefore, we should not imagine that people will get married, have children, have a home, perhaps grandchildren etc. These things will not exist. However, we will not get there if we do not walk our path here on Earth first. If you have decided to get married, the path will be this: love one another as Christ loves the Church.
Everything has yet to be discovered. However, as we have said many times, it is useless to make interpretations before the mystery. Let us go forward with faith; let us believe in God’s promises and in the New Creation. We will be joyful to go and see how it will be, but in faith! Perhaps some of you may get to touch, imagine or feel it inside; however, it will only be a tiny piece of it, compared to what it will be. Even the new planet Stefania visited is nothing compared to what will be.
Finally, we all have a calling and an identity that is linked to a mission. As I said before, everyone is meant to become a child of God. That is the only purpose of our passage on Earth. The gift of life is beautiful because it will allow us to live eternally with Him. This also applies to those who are conceived but have little time to live before dying or being aborted: they will live forever; they receive the gift of life. It is a path we walk for Christ; it is a path we must always have before our eyes, seeking the things above, seeking God, seeking Him always.
The path is always the same: in every calling, whether it is a calling to marriage in which the dimension of death and resurrection unfolds between husband and wife, or to any other calling, the path is always to die to the old person in us in order to discover the Son of God who is already in our spirit. This is the calling. All we do on Earth is nothing but temporary solutions that the spirit of the world suggest to us and that weigh heavily on us.
The example of the mother of the Maccabees describes the passage that the Blessed Mother Mary went through with Jesus. Mary did not ask Him to come down from the Cross; She did not ask Him to put an end to His suffering, but She remained close to Him and suffered with Him, and thus She became the Co-Redemptrix. Do not forget that She was His Mother. She had carried Him nine months in Her womb; She knew Him. Do not belittle her pain by saying that She could endure it because “She was the Blessed Mother”. Nevertheless, the mother with seven sons has shown us that it can be done.
God bless us in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Message of St. Raphael the Archangel of 22 June 2008
(Taken from the book of Stefania Caterina, “Riscrivere la storia – Vol. I – Nel pensiero di Dio” © Luci dell’Esodo, 2010)
“The profound meaning of the Scriptures reveals itself to man according to the openness of his spirit to the Holy Spirit and the mission that has been given to Him. All of you have a mission, no one excluded, because it is part of your identity. You gradually become aware of your identity as you progress on your spiritual path and in the measure you offer yourselves to God. Unfortunately, many people refuse God, and thus never get to know what the divine plan for them is; by doing so, they follow a human and personal project of life, unaware of their true identity; and thus they never reach fullness, despite the fact that they sometimes achieve human success in their activities. The Earth is full of people like this. Those who offer their life to God know their mission because it is revealed to them and because Christ’s mind leads them to discover more and more their identity made of being and acting.
What is the profound meaning of the Scriptures? It is the one that leads you to discover the project of God for the entire humanity; the project of glory that is accomplished in the recapitulation of all things in Christ. This project is faithfully written out in the Bible and flows through the pages of both the Old and the New Testament.
Life and mission of each one of you have their place in this project like the tiles of a single mosaic. You will not be able to fully embed God’s Word into your life if you do not understand first God’s project for the whole universe. To reach that point, you need to read the Bible with different eyes. You need the eyes that God will give you to read the history of the people of God over the centuries; in that history you will be able to notice traces of the divine project that should have accomplished with the coming of Jesus Christ to the Earth in favour of the whole universe. Jesus Christ came, but He was rejected by most of your humanity and still is today. Thus, God’s project has remained veiled to the eyes of many, and most of your humanity knows neither its origin nor its destiny. It enters the existential void because it does not find its place; it does not know where to place itself; the common thread that connects everything and gives meaning to all things is missing.
God has given you the Holy Scriptures and the key to access them: He wants you to understand your origin and your destiny. However, you cannot understand anything without Jesus Christ. Without Him, you only catch the literal meaning, as happens to many people. You know from the Gospel that Jesus opened the mind of the disciples of Emmaus, enabling them to understand the Scriptures and the Father’s plan, accomplished through the death and resurrection of His Son. You, too, need to have your mind opened by the Lord. This occurs when you offer yourselves to Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and unite with Him. In fact, the union with Christ opens the doors to the action of the Holy Spirit, who leads you to the truth and opens your spirit to God’s knowledge and His Word.
Before reading the Bible, pray to the Holy Spirit that He may introduce you to the depth of what you intend to read. You will notice that every word, even if you read it many times, will reveal unexpected aspects for your life and your mission. You will help yourselves and others, for the Bible is a prophetic book that contains traces of all that was, is and will be.
If there is no union with Christ, which arises from the participation in His death and resurrection, Jesus cannot act fully in you with His wisdom and His mind. You will lack the wisdom of God. God has His knowledge that the human being can receive by knowing God; the knowledge and the wisdom of God go together. When adherence to the life of Christ is lacking, even God’s wisdom is lacking, and Jesus must limit His action in the person because He respects each one’s freedom.
In the absence of the knowledge and wisdom of God, man approaches the Scriptures through his human reason and thus derives meanings other than those written therein. You know what kind of interpretations have emerged over the centuries from the minds of people far from the Spirit of God. What tragic consequences this has caused, how many obstacles to the progress of humanity! Scriptures have been used as an “unsuitable weapon” to cause evil, to strike, which is something that should not happen. Many were shocked by this and turned their back to faith. Such behaviour was certainly not inspired by the Word of God but by wrong interpretations of the Word of God through the work of obtuse men. This is still happening in your time whenever people insist on their interpretations of the Scriptures. They lack God’s knowledge and wisdom and are detached from the Holy Spirit because they do not offer themselves fully to Christ. Therefore, they cannot grasp the profound meaning of the Scriptures; they never discover the salvific project of God. They think they know God’s plan, but they deceive themselves; they make perfect quotations of the Word but do not live it; they make themselves guides and teachers of others but remain in ignorance.
Whoever does not wish to be united with Christ cannot benefit from the Scriptures, no matter how much he claims to know them. Remember Jesus’ severe words to the Jews: ‘You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.’
I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
 See Jn 17, 3
 See 2Mac 7, 1-2.9-14 NRSVCE
 See 2Mac 6, 18-31
 2Mac 7,27-29 paraphrased
 See Lk 20, 27-38
 See Message of Jesus of 8 September 2011, published in the book “Towards the New Creation-, Vol. II, 2011”, Edizioni Luci dell‘Esodo, and in the section Messages by Year
 See Stefania Caterina, “Riscrivere la storia-Vol. 1-Nel pensiero di Dio“, Chap. 7. She describes how she visited the new planet with St. Francis, p. 116, Edizioni Luci dell‘Esodo, 2010
 See Eph 5, 31
 See Eph 5,25.31-33
 See Eph 5,25
 See 1Jn 3,2
 See Rev 21,4
 See Footnote 7
 “Rewriting History – Vol. I – In the Mind of God”, not yet available in English
 See 1Cor 2,7-8
 See Lk 24,13-34
 See John 5,38-39