Gospel Reflection for 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – November 6th 2016
Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection-approached him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died. Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’
Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’
Luke 20: 27-38
GOD OF THE LIVING
We have many questions about death. Can our loved ones see us? Where are they now? The gospel today presents Jesus with the questions, ‘Often married, who is the spouse in heaven’? It was a bit of a trap question, but one we really can’t answer. We trust in the words of Jesus.
Jesus puts our musings in context: ‘God is the God of the living, not of the dead’. He is the God who became one of us, who lives in a human skin, sharing our humanity. This brings the life of God into all that is human within us – our hopes, fears, angers, loves, ambition, sexuality, and our desire for an eternal love.
God enters the humanity of our history – God is the ‘God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’. He reminds us to look at how he has worked in love for us till now and will always do so.
This can be encouraging in November when we remember our dead. In all the mixture of memories, we can be grateful. For sacrifices made when we were children, and now when the adult children need a mortgage! For the love that was never forgotten or gone back on, even when we strayed from it. Of God’s live-giving mercy which is always forgiving. In the frantic busyness of life we need our times of loving remembrance so the heart in us is kept alive by God.
The psalm (Ps 16) of today says it well: ‘I shall be filled when I awake with the sight of your glory O Lord’ – a prayer for eternity and for every morning!
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger