Living in the Hope of Life Eternal

Luke 20:27-40
Rev 11:4-12 / Psa 144

God is the God of the living and not of the dead, and for Him all are alive.
(Luke 20:38)

As certain as day follows night,
And the rainbow after the rain,
We have hope in eternal life
Past this temporal span of pain.

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “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 raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way all the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive.” Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” And no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Luke 20:27-40)

Reflection

The Sadducees were a certain sect of Jews who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. The question they posed to Jesus about a widow dying childless after marrying seven brothers in succession was meant to parody the belief of their counterparts, the Pharisees, on the life hereafter. Instead, their own belief was exposed to ridicule by the simple explanation of the Lord, the Author of Life. He explained that Moses called the Father the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and since He is the God of the living, then those three patriarchs must still be alive in God’s kingdom. Chastised, the Sadducees had to concede, with the scribes saying, “Teacher, You have answered well.”

Only people in the state of despair hold no hope that there is eternal life. Thank God for the gift of Faith, because without it there certainly can never be hope. Only the children of God, the followers of Jesus Christ, have the hope to be raised to eternal life when their time on earth has come to an end. This hope in a final glory with the Father in heaven is the only reason why we strive to be good and remain unaffected by the ways of this world. This should also make us feel joyful and grateful, notwithstanding the problems and conflicts that we face daily. Hope is an eternal flame burning in my heart, keeping me warm amidst the cold realities of sin, suffering and cynicism in this world. Hope is the light that wards off the darkness of depravity, spiritual destitution and despair.

Why should we be so concerned about the cares and shallow pleasures of this world that only lead to frustration and emptiness — when there is so much hope in the beauty of God’s creation — in the laughing eyes of a child, in the certain rainbow that comes after the rain? Hope and its fruits of joy and peace do not come out of this world of their own accord. Like faith, it is a gift freely rewarded by God to those who are deserving. It cannot be given to one whose heart is bothered by sin, because one is a kin of love, and the other of hate. A sinner must first be freed from his bondage through the sacrament of Penance – asking the Lord for the forgiveness of his sins, and in turn forgiving his”enemies” before he can expect to receive the gift of hope. It also might take a little time to acquire. One may have to go through patience and perseverance – but it’s certainly worth the wait — what joy it is to possess this hope in our Lord Jesus Christ!

Father in heaven, thank You for giving us Jesus, Your beloved Son, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because of Him, everything has life. His resurrection from the dead has given us the hope of eternal life. We thank You also for the gift of Faith, because although You remain a divine mystery to us, Your gift of Faith is more important than knowledge, and though we do not see clearly now, we believe that one day Your great mystery will be revealed to us. This is our fervent hope. AMEN.

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