32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, C Sunday Connection

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Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, November 10, 2019


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14
Jewish martyrs give witness to their faith, even unto death.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15
The just person will live in God's presence.

Second Reading
2 Thessalonians 2:16—3:5
Paul encourages the Thessalonians and asks for their prayers.

Gospel Reading
Luke 20:27-38
Jesus answers a question from some Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead. (short form Luke 20:27, 34-38)

Background on the Gospel Reading

In today's Gospel, we hear about an encounter between Jesus and some Sadducees. The Sadducees were a party of Judaism active in Jesus' time, descended from the priestly family of Zadok. They were literal interpreters of the written Law of Moses, which means that they were in disagreement with the position of the Pharisees, who offered an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses.

The Sadducees are described in this Gospel as opponents to the belief in resurrection. In the dialogue presented here, we see an example of the means of disputation that was common in first century Judaism. The Sadducees use the example of Levirate marriage, found in the Law of Moses, to disprove belief in the resurrection. According to Deuteronomy 25:5-10, if a man died without producing an heir, the man's brother should marry his wife and the offspring of this union would inherit the property and carry on the name of the man who had died. The Sadducees use this as an example to challenge belief in the resurrection.

Jesus argues from the same written Law of Moses to show that there is resurrection. Using the texts from the Book of Exodus (Chapter 3) that describe Moses' encounter with God in the burning bush, Jesus shows that God is the God of the living, not the dead. Here Jesus uses the same method and texts of the Sadducees to counter them. As the Gospel text suggests, he beat them at their own game!

More importantly, in this discourse Jesus shows the limits of our imaginations when it comes to eternal life. The Sadducees argued against resurrection because of the limits of earthly existence. They did not imagine another possibility for existence and relationship with God. Jesus proposes that the possibilities of resurrected life are beyond our imaginations. Jesus' conclusion suggests something else as well: To spend time worrying about resurrected life is to miss the point. The point is eternal relationship with God is possible, for God is the God of the living, “. . . for to him all are alive.”


Gospel Reading
Luke 20:27-38
Jesus answers a question from some Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead. (short form Luke 20:27, 34-38)


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Younger children may begin to have questions and fears about what happens when we die. Our faith reassures us of eternal life with God.  

Materials Needed

  • pictures of a caterpillar, a chrysalis, and a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis; or video showing the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Show children the pictures or video of a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. Invite children to share what they know about a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly.
  2. Say: Just like the butterfly, we go through many changes throughout our lives. As we grow, we go to new schools, and make new friends. We grow up and have families. We might move to a new place. Throughout all these transformations, one thing never changes—God is always with us. Our faith tells us that even when we die, our life is changed, but it does not end. 
  3. Say: In today’s Gospel, some people ask Jesus what happens when people die.  
  4. Read the short form of the Gospel, Luke 20:27, 34–38.
  5. Say: Jesus tells us that that when we die, we have eternal life with God in heaven.  
  6. Conclude by thanking Jesus for showing us the way to eternal life with God.  


Gospel Reading
Luke 20:27-38
Jesus answers a question from some Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead. (short form Luke 20:27, 34-38)


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Our appreciation for the eternal is often limited by our experiences. This is something that children learn as they mature. In today's Gospel, Jesus applies this thought to some people's conceptions about life after death.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite the group to imagine what happens after a person dies. Let them elaborate on what they think or what they have heard others say.

  2. Say to the group: There are many things that we do not know about our life after we die, but the most important things we do know.

  3. Explain to the group: The Sadducees were a group within Judaism in Jesus' time. As the Gospel tells us, they did not believe in resurrection. Other groups within Judaism in Jesus' time did believe in resurrection. Some Sadducees tested Jesus with a question about what happens after a person dies; their question had to do with marriage. Jesus' answer suggests that life after death will be different from our life on earth. Let's listen to today's Gospel and hear something that Jesus said about resurrection.

  4. Read, or invite a volunteer to read, the Gospel for today in its short form, Luke 20:27, 34-38.

  5. Ask: What were some of the things that Jesus suggested about life after death?[Allow all reasonable answers.] Then suggest the following: Jesus' response to the Sadducees shows that we sometimes miss the most important things about what God has planned for us because we get stuck in the details of human existence. Jesus wants us to open our minds and hearts to the possibilities that God has in store for us. Our imaginations are too small when it comes to God!

  6. Say to the group: Our faith tells us that when we die our life is changed, but it is not ended. This is good news because we know that we will continue to share a relationship with God even after our death.

  7. Conclude by praying together today's Psalm or praying for those who have died.


Gospel Reading
Luke 20:27-38
Jesus answers a question from some Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead. (short form Luke 20:27, 34-38)


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Young people have vivid imaginations. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus challenges us to broaden our minds and use our imaginations to consider life beyond this earthly life.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Talk about how businesses and organizations develop long-range plans for where they hope to be in the years to come.

  2. Direct the young people to create long-range plans for themselves. Have them describe in a few words or sentences where they hope to be in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years.

  3. Invite volunteers to share their plans with the group. Talk about how important it is for us to have hope if we want to achieve our goals.

  4. Say: As Christians, our hope is grounded in our belief in the resurrection of the dead. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus encounters some people who do not believe in resurrection.

  5. Invite volunteers to read aloud Luke 20:27-38

  6. Say: Jesus' response to the Sadducees shows that sometimes we miss the most important things about what God has planned for us because we get stuck in the details of human existence. Jesus wants us to open our minds and hearts to the possibilities that God has in store for us. Our faith tells us that when we die our life is changed, not ended. This is good news because we know that we will continue to share a relationship with God even after our death.

  7. Conclude by praying together this Sunday's psalm or by praying for those who have died.


Gospel Reading
Luke 20:27-38
Jesus answers a question from some Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead. (short form Luke 20:27, 34-38)


Family Connection

Children in our culture often know very little about death, dying, and eternal life. Take this opportunity to talk with your children about their thoughts, beliefs, maybe even their fears, about death and dying.

In the Gospel this week, Jesus tells us that after we die, we will not need the same things we did when we were alive, but we will continue to have a relationship with God. You could use the example of a tree to help your children understand what Jesus tells us. When a tree is alive it needs water, soil, and sunlight. When the tree is used to make a table, a toy, or something else it has a new purpose. The tree no longer needs water, soil, or sunlight. Read together the short form of the Gospel, Luke 20:27, 34-38. Tell your children about your hope and faith in the resurrection of the body and eternal life with God. Pray together for those in your family who have died and conclude by praying today's Psalm.