In this Wednesday’s Gospel (Mk 12: 18-27) a group of Sadducees (a powerful priestly party that denies the resurrection of the dead) tries to confound Jesus by getting Him to comment on a hypothetical situation that would make resurrection from the dead ridiculous. They cite a situation similar to the one in today’s first reading from the Book of Tobit, where Sara, the daughter of Raguel has had the misfortune of being widowed seven times. They ask Jesus, “ At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her. “ Jesus answers them :
“ Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.”
Jesus neutralizes their petty traps handily. But, in this sacred Scripture passage our Lord also gives us some hints about the mystery of life after death. Our loving God will give us the gift of being “ Like the angels in heaven “. Jesus seems to say that God IS the God of the Patriarchs, and since God is the pure source of life, He can only be the God of the living. Therefore these Patriarchs, many years after their “deaths”, must still be alive with and in Him. He is also our God, and always will be. We also have the hope of always living with Him throughout eternity.
On this Pentecost Sunday, at Mass in my Parish the last song about the Holy Spirit was accompanied by the music of Beethoven’s “Song of Joy” from his 9th Symphony. As soon as I heard the melody I thought of my father, who did so much to introduce me to the music of this, our favorite composer. The Spirit of God filled my eyes with tears as I felt my father so alive and present within my soul. My mother was there with him. Like on so many other sacred moments, I knew that they still lived in God’s arms, and were there waiting for me. On the day of that Mass, through the loving power of God, I was able to feel palpably the presence of the Communion of the Saints with all of us in that joyful church building.
Yes, “ We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. “
Amen! Thank You Jesus, for Your mercy. Through Your Passion and Resurrection, You have given us the hope of living in your Love forever!