Sunday, November 10
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 20: 27-38
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.”
In our Gospel today, Jesus reminds us that the goal of our life is eternal happiness in the Kingdom of Heaven. Back at the time of Jesus, not everyone believed in the resurrection. This was especially true of the Sadducees as they resisted the idea of the resurrection and they were trying to make Jesus look foolish when they asked him “who would be the man’s wife in heaven.” The Sadducees, in an attempt to trap Jesus into affirming their belief that there was no life beyond this world, used the example of the woman married to seven brothers to prove their point.
The Sadducees posed a situation to Jesus where a woman’s husband died. Under the Law of Moses, a man whose brother died without children was required to marry his brother’s widow. The Sadducees predicted hypothetically, that if enough husbands died, the woman could meet seven husbands at her own resurrection. So, they asked Jesus, “whose wife will that woman be?” Jesus’ reply to them affirmed that there ‘will indeed be’ a resurrection, where the new life will be much different from what we think it will be.
And so, how many of us live our lives in the here and now without any regard for the future…working toward everlasting life? If God is our God, and we are his people, death is not the end of the story. It is the beginning. When we die, the Lord will not abandon us. We have Jesus’ promise of the reality of the resurrection through his own death and resurrection. For “he is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
-Deacon Paul Zemanek