Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In Matthew 12, we meet a woman married and childless seven times. The question is what happens after the resurrection. Anyone who has lost a spouse, a child, or a parent in what we believe is an untimely time can spend much time thinking about reunions and what will it be like. We all can get our imaginations active and assume the experience we want. It would be nice if eternity was just a resuming from where earthly life ended. While we dream, imagine, and hope, real living life can pass us by.
Richard Leonard, SJ wrote a book titled Where the Hell is God?. It was written after his very young and service-oriented sister became a “quad” after a car accident. The title is based on that very question that he was asked by their mom. Leonard offers no profound answer, other than an assurance that God is right there suffering with them.
In today’s Gospel passage we are reminded that our God is a God of the living. We can spend too much time thinking about the “reunion” and miss the God loving us everyday in our joys and in our sorrows.
—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).
Lord, give me the grace to labor with you without seeking myself – to live the Kingdom in its full reality.
—John Futrell, SJ
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