Friday 19 November 2021 – A PLACE OF WORSHIP

Thirty Third Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel: Lk 20: 27-40
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 ‘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.” Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

EVERLASTING LIFE IS BEYOND SPACE AND TIME: “They cannot die, for they are like Angels” (Lk 20:36). After the resurrection, marriage is gone. We Christians ought to understand that marriage was created for this earthily life. Why is this? God’s reason for marriage is a safe environment for children to grow under the care of a father and a mother. In the resurrection, child-rearing is not necessary and therefore marriage is not necessary. Another reason is that the close relationship which marriage provides is unnecessary in the next life after the resurrection, because there we shall enjoy the blessings of being in the presence of God forever. Our bodies will be new and glorified, “…for we shall be equal to Angels as sons and daughters of God and of the resurrection.” (v 36).

PRAYER: Lord, I ask you to enlighten my doubts and help me to live what I believe as a Christian.

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LIFE IS AN ETERNAL CELEBRATION: They are children of God, the children of the Resurrection. (Lk 20: 38) Christian life is not to be confined to this world. It arches over into the other world. Those who conveniently busy themselves in making this life successful and this world colorful miss the point. It is like someone said, “I was too busy climbing the ladder of success that only at the top I realized that it was placed on the wrong building.” But unfortunately, a great number fall into this group of scaling heights, winning the race, and amassing great wealth to ensure their life a success. But to be ‘the people of resurrection’ is a great challenge, especially today, when the culture of death, the culture of gloom and desperation is running amok. Persons who anchor their life on the resurrection always will see a silver lining among the dark clouds. Let’s be people of Resurrection. Let joy be our hallmark, a byword for the Christian culture.

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GOD OF THE LIVING: Often the Pharisees have a bad press. Most readers of the New Testament would see them as enemies of Jesus. It is important to note that Jesus had several friends among the Pharisees, some of their names are mentioned in the Gospels: Nicodemus (Jn 3:1), Simon (Lk 7:36,40). Jesus was buried in a tomb that belonged to a Pharisee (Joseph of Arimathea). Paul himself was a Pharisee. The real enemies of Jesus were the Sadducees. The main difference between Pharisees and Sadducees was that while the Pharisees accepted the resurrection of the dead (life after death), the Sadducees did not. The teaching of Jesus regarding the resurrection was close to that of the Pharisees. The gospel text of today then describes the conflict between Jesus and the Sadducees. The position of Jesus is very clear; he preaches life after death because our God is a God of the living. The evidence is that God introduces himself as the God of the patriarchs who are the living dead.