The Hope of the Resurrection

Mark 12: 18-27
Tob 3: 1-11a,16-17 / Psa 25

Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
(Mark 12: 24)

We cling to this hope, God’s Word we trust,
We’ll still live on after we have died;
Death has no claim if Christ lives in us,
We shall rise with Jesus glorified.

Some Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, posed this question to Jesus: “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” (Mark 12: 18-27)


In their ignorance of Scriptures, the Sadducees were put to shame for asking such a ridiculous hypothetical question. Jesus simply cited a passage in the book of Exodus, 3:6 as proof that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were alive in heaven, even though they had long been dead during the time of Moses. (“God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham. . .’”) Their impudence and lack of discernment also revealed, as Jesus rightly noted, an absence of faith in the Power of God (the Holy Spirit).

Since nobody dies in heaven, marriage for the propagation of the species will no longer be necessary. Nor would intimate relationships be, because even the greatest love of married people on earth will pale in comparison to the divine love that we will all experience when we are resurrected into heaven.

The Lord’s message for us in today’s Gospel reading is about hope in the resurrection. But as Jesus pointed out, this hope can only be sustained by two things: knowledge of Scriptures, and faith in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. There are still many mysteries in life that confound us, the reason why we need to meditate constantly on the sacred texts of the Bible. The Bible is replete with the wisdom of the ages, written by holy men who were inspired by God. It is truly His covenant with mankind, His Word, His promise of salvation. That was why Jesus always referred to Scriptures as the most reliable source of the truth. And why those who try to interpret the truth through their own understanding “are badly mistaken” (Mk.12:27).

Understanding the Scriptures also needs the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If we put our faith in His power, He will give us the gift of discernment, and through this grace we will come to see the completion of God’s plan in the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

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