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.”
NOVENA FOR ETERNITY. As the liturgical year draws closer to its end, Mother Church leads us into God’s Word about death, the inevitable end of our earthly existence, and eternity. The readings leading to the Gospel underline the importance of living by the three theological virtues:
FAITH AT ALL COST. The First Reading tells of seven courageous Jewish brothers who, with their mother, endure martyrdom rather than violate their consciences and their Jewish faith as regards the covenant regulations on forbidden foods. They persevere in faith because (a) they believe that everything in life comes from God, and (b) they are confident that death is but a portal to the resurrection where God will reward the just and the faithful.
JOYFUL HOPE. We proclaim in our response to the Psalm: “Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.” Our earthly life leads not to loss and decay, but to the great hope of seeing God’s glory.
GODLY CHARITY. Paul illustrates our life as a race that we must finish in view of God’s reward of a crown. The competition is about love in our hearts and in our works. Love for God necessarily overflows into a godly love for all.
In the Gospel, Jesus offers us a vision of eternity. Jesus knows what he is talking about because he has come from God and eternity (cf Phil 2:5ff)! Jesus underlines several things: a.
The afterlife is a life of “angels.” “Angelic” is icon of beauty and happiness. We shall no longer be bothered by the burdens of the body: hunger, thirst, pain, illness, death.
- No more problematic marriages. Marriage is primarily needed on earth for the perpetuation of the human race that undergoes loss due to sickness and death. No more sickness and death in the next life—hence, no need for marriage.
- We are all “children of God.” No more divisions—we become one family with God as our Father.
- We shall have the great reunion of our generations. In God, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are all alive!!!
For us who follow the victorious Jesus, death is a gateway to the beautiful reality: the beatific vision of God who created us for eternal life.
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.