Resurrection giving encouragement and hope
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. That is why we should not lose hope.
Some Sadducees try to show that, in view of levirate marriage, belief in the resurrection is absurd. In rebuttal, Jesus unmasks their lack of logic and their ignorance.
First, he rejects their logic. What is absurd is to presume that what we do in the present life will be what we will do in the coming life. But no, the risen from the dead do not marry and remarry. They no longer have to multiply, for in the world beyond there is no earth to fill or subdue. Their number does not decrease because of death, for they can no longer die and are like angels.
To be like angels means, in part, to look always upon the face of the heavenly Father. Hence, one can say that the ecstasy of the children of the resurrection comes from their intimate contemplation of God. Ecstasy is not a product, then, of conjugal intimacy. And in the presence of the reality of Christ’s perfect union with his Church, one has no need for the sacrament of matrimony.
Secondly, Jesus questions the Sadducees’ knowledge. They only accept the doctrinal authority of the Pentateuch. Yet they seem to ignore Ex 3, 6.
Jesus does not say, of course, that there is explicit reference to the resurrection in these five books. But he makes clear that the resurrection is understood in the cited passage. Jesus plays with the present tense in “I am [not I was] the God of Abraham ….” This leads Jesus to conclude that God is God of the living, not of the dead.
Affirming the resurrection, Jesus offers us hope.
We humans are poor, corruptible, and inclined to hopelessness. But Jesus’ Good News about the resurrection encourages us. Our unfaithfulness should not even discourage us. That is because the throne of God’s mercy is the greatness of the faults he forgives (SV.EN XI:130). In effect, Jesus challenges us also to affirm the resurrection and to be credible witnesses of his own resurrection. Do we affirm what he affirms? Are we credible witnesses?
Does not our worrying too much about our physical well-being indicate that we are quite satisfied with earthly goods? Do we really think of what is above? Do we not remain in our hopelessness that shows itself in the current politics of division and of blame? Are we as brave as the seven brothers and their mother, showing thus our belief in the resurrection? Do we really believe that the Lord will strengthen us and guard us from the evil one?
Lord Jesus, make us embody the Eucharistic proclamation, “Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free.”
6 November 2016
32nd Sunday O.T. (C)
2 Mac 7, 1-2. 9-14; 2 Thes 2, 16 – 3, 5; Lk 20, 27-38