…my joy will be full. 06Nov2016

O mDivine Mercy image (3) (2)y Jesus, my Master and Director, strengthen and enlighten me in these difficult moments of life. I expect no help from people; all my hope is in You. Jesus, with You I can do all things… only give me Your merciful Heart and that is enough for me.

Prayer of St. Faustina as recorded in her Diary, par. 650

 

The Sadducees were a sorry lot. They put their trust in the material wealth of this world and did not believe in a resurrection. (That is why they were sad, you see.) Their question about the woman with seven husbands is more argumentative than anything else because they are really trying to trap Jesus and mock any belief in the afterlife.

The first reading and its faith-filled recognition of the resurrection and afterlife contrasts the non-belief of the Sadducees and reflects the long-held Jewish belief in life after death. Another contrast is the brothers’ expected joy of the afterlife that will follow their suffering and death compared to the crankiness of the Sadducees non-belief.

Paul’s words to the Thessalonians are full of faith, trust and encouragement amidst the world’s constant barrage of messages that, like the Sadducees’ non-belief, want to rob us of any Hope for the future. In the midst of his heartfelt exhortations he shows us another interesting contrast: …not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. The seven sons knew of God’s faithfulness but the Sadducees did not. For all of them and for us as well, that is truly a matter of FAITH.

The number, seven, had special significance in the long-standing traditions of the Hebrew culture. Seven is the sum of four and three. The number three represented God, even before they knew of His Trinitarian nature. Four is a number that represents the four directions of the world as well as the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. The number seven represents completeness—the union of this world with the Divine. This complete union or fullness, combined with the themes of the readings, is echoed in the Hope and Promise of the responsorial psalm: Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Deacon Richard

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