November 10, 2013: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.” (Luke 20:27-38)
The Sadducees, who didn’t believe in resurrection, made up a ridiculous situation in order to make fun of the idea—and to get Jesus in trouble.
Jesus, however, sees deep into their hearts and finds goodness and a desire to learn–takes their question as a sincere inquiry about the resurrection. He doesn’t focus on the rule carried to an extreme in their story, but rather on the important and thrilling fact proclaimed by Moses—our God is a God of the living!
The tangles of human relationships will be swept away in God’s tremendous love.
We are children of God, and the resurrection we hope for means we will live fully in that love.
If someone says something mean to us or to someone else, let us try to look deep into that person’s heart and answer not the mean remark but the sincere longing underneath it. And let us hold on tight to our hope of rising to new life in God.