To Live is to Hope in God

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

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

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.

Some of the Sadducees came to Jesus with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote 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 married the widow, but also died childless; and then the third married her, and in the same way all 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 sect of Jews who did not believe in the resurrection. The question they posed to Jesus about a widow marrying seven brothers in succession was meant to parody the belief of their counterparts, the Pharisees, on the life hereafter. Instead, their belief was put to ridicule by the simple explanation of Jesus 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. Some of the scribes had to concede, saying: “Teacher, You have answered well.”
People who hold no hope that there is an afterlife consign themselves to despair. Thank God for the gift of Faith, because without it there can never be hope. The children of God, followers of Jesus Christ, have hope in 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 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 our hearts, keeping us warm against the cold realities of sin, suffering and cynicism in this world. Hope is the light that wards off the darkness of depravity and despair.

Hope and its fruits of joy and peace do not come from this world. Like faith, it is a gift freely given 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 has to have patience and perseverance – but it is certainly worth the wait — what joy it is to possess the hope in our Lord Jesus Christ!

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. We thank You also for the gift of Faith, without which we would have fallen into despair. Though You remain a great Mystery to us, Your gift of Faith is more 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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