Homily for the Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs

The Sadducees, who put a question before Jesus in our Gospel passage, recognized the authority of only the first five books of the Old Testament. In them, they saw no indication of an afterlife. They questioned Jesus knowing fully that He taught something quite different. The scenario they described to Him conceived the afterlife as merely an extension of our earthly life. However, Jesus said that the afterlife will be something completely new.

The eternal life of which Jesus spoke is not simply a continuation of what we experience here on earth; it will be so completely different that we cannot even comprehend it. St. Paul says of the afterlife “We shall all be changed.” In that framework, he states that love will stand into eternity. Our love for God and for each other will not end in death but will be made perfect in heaven, fulfilling the purpose for which God created us in the first place.+

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