Nov 10 2019 Reflection
Sunday 10 November 2019
First Reading: 2 MC 7:1-2, 9-14
Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
PS 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
Second Reading: 2 THES 2:16-3:5
Gospel Reading: LK 20:27-38
Today’s Note: Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out ‘Lord, ‘
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
He is not God of the dead, but of the living. (Luke 20:38)
It’s clear that the Sadducees were trying to trip up Jesus when they presented the hypothetical situation of a woman who was married to seven brothers over her lifetime. The Sadducees were an influential group who thought that their strict adherence to the first five books of the Bible (the Law of Moses) left no room for belief in the resurrection of the dead. They thought that presenting such a scenario to Jesus would stump him—and give them reason to accuse him of blasphemy.
But Jesus turned their question around and used it to affirm the promise of the resurrection. Those “deemed worthy . . . to the resurrection of the dead” won’t be married in heaven, he told them. They will be like the angels—immortal (Luke 20:35, 36). Quoting from the Law of Moses, he said that God would not call himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob unless these patriarchs were also living (Exodus 3:6). He is God of the living, “for to him all are alive” (Luke 20:38).
This is indeed good news! Even though we will all one day experience physical death, we will still be alive to God. How could we not be? At our baptism, the immortal and eternal God came to live in us. When we are striving to live our faith, not even death can separate us from God. Someday, when Jesus comes again, he will raise our bodies to new life as well.
The more we hold fast to these truths, the less we will fear death. Rather than looking at it as an ending, we will view it more as a passageway into a new and better life.
This doesn’t mean that we won’t feel some apprehension or anxiety about dying. After all, we really don’t know what heaven will be like. But we can choose to trust in God’s promises. We can believe that if we follow the Lord today, our tomorrow will be brighter than we can possibly imagine.
“Jesus, thank you for destroying death so that I may live forever!”