32nd Sunday C
Let us take note of some details:
- The Sadducees were quite different from the Pharisees. Small in number, but very wealthy, they were the governing class. To protect their wealth, they collaborated with the Romans.
- The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead; they did not believe in the existence of the spirits.
- The law of Moses on marriage was that if a man died childless, his brother must marry the widow. This was so that there would be children to carry on the family’s name, and the family’s property be protected.
They posed the question of who would be the husband in heaven of a woman who married seven different men as a way to show how absurd the doctrine of resurrection was.
In speaking of the resurrection and of the life after death, the Sadducees had used as a basis their own earthly experience. This was a mistake—in the next world everything is different and no comparison is possible. In the Gospel, Jesus specifies two features denoting life after death:
1. First, they are freed from the laws of biology- from the process growth, fragility and decay. Jesus made it clear that in the next life we will enjoy a new kind of existence, will no longer be subject to disease and decay, no longer be engaged in activities and procreation. The children of the resurrection will be like angels and will not marry. Marriage is an earthly reality that is needed for the continuity of the human race. Thus He says: “They can no longer die.”
2. Second, in order to prove to the Sadducees that there is a resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeals to Moses. Jesus tells them: “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob is not God of the dead but of the living; all are alive for him. God’s love is for eternity. If God loves someone, it is forever. And he cannot allow that someone to die without afterwards rising from the dead. It is impossible for a loving God to put me and my joy out let us return to zero.
3. To deny the resurrection is to deny the message of Jesus. At the last supper, Jesus speaks of his passion and his return to his father to prepare a place for us: I AM GOING TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU… I WILL COME BACK AGAIN AND TAKE YOU TO MYSELF, SO THAT WHERE I AM YOU ALSO MAY BE (Jn 14: 3-4). Can you be with Jesus when He comes back?
In this mass let us affirm our hope of rising again so that freed from the corruption of sin and death we shall live with him forever.
(N.B.—some notes were drawn up from bible commentators)
Some people today would ask how God can put together a body that has disintegrated in the grave or worse still, a body that has been eaten by sharks or blown to pieces in bomb attacks or those cremated. Don’t worry—the restoration of our disintegrated bodies will be taken cared of by an all-powerful God.