Resurrection is Life


Luke 20: 27-40
1 Mc 6:1-13 / Psa 9

Moses. . . calls the Lord 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; for to Him all are alive.
(Luke 20: 37-38)


We have hope in eternal life
After this temporal time of pain;
As certain as day comes after night,
And the rainbow after the rain.

Now there came to Jesus some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection), and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he is childless, his brother should marry the wife and raise up children to his brother. Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and died childless; and the second and the third married her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. Finally the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for to Him all are alive.” Some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” For they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything. (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 was telling the Sadducees indirectly that they would not be worthy to enter that other age (eternal life) if they did not believe in the resurrection. Their idea of immortality was the perpetuation of a man’s name through his children in this life. That was why a man must marry his brother’s widow according to the Jewish Levirate law (Deut.25:5), to produce children to carry on the dead man’s name. By simply quoting Moses in the “Burning Bush” incident, the Sadducees’ belief was demolished.

We scoff at the error of the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead nor in the angels and living saints in heaven. But how about us? Can we truly say that we are not like them at all? If we really believe in the afterlife, what preparations are we undertaking now (especially this Advent) to ensure that we will be worthy to enter that age? We all know that our life here on earth is but a short sojourn, and yet many of us live as if our lives can go on forever. Thus our obsession with material things and our temporal concerns make us children of this world rather than “sons of the Resurrection” that we ought to be. St. Paul said, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all” (1Cor.15:19). 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 can hope to rise and be lifted up to eternal life when their time in this life 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 apart from the ways of this world. This hope also makes us joyful and grateful, amidst the problems and conflicts that we face daily. Hope is an eternal flame burning in my heart, keeping me warm against the cold realities of sin, suffering and cynicism in life. It is the light that wards off the darkness of depravity and despair.

Father in heaven, thank You for giving us Jesus, Your beloved Son. Because of Him, everything has life. His resurrection from the dead has given us the hope of eternal life. Thank You also for the gift of Faith, without which we would have fallen into despair. Your gift of Faith is more powerful 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.

Leave a Reply