Saturday of the 33rd Week of the Year

Luke 20:27-40

The Question about the Resurrection

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

An elderly volunteer catechist narrated to me that since he started serving in the Church he encountered a lot of hardships and difficulties. For instance, his only son died at the age of eight. Instead of questioning God, he held on to his faith that God is alive and He never permits this painful occurrence without reason. After a few years, God gave him another boy. Moreover, God showered manifold blessings to his family.

We are all children of the Resurrection and we must hold on to this reality. Many times Christians are inclined to delve only on their misfortunes. They are disheartened when they are faced with difficulties and adversaries. Our God is a God of the living and he never fails to nurture us in our daily needs. God keeps on showering us with His countless graces but we fail at time to savor his generosity. We need to have a thankful heart to manifest that God is truly alive in the daily events of our existence. (Fr. Marlone Ramirez, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. In an encounter with Jesus, today’s gospel passage, they obviously made fun of this belief by posing an argument: “At the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”

Why was it that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection? According to them, such belief was not explicitly said in the Law of Moses. It was only a deduction, by some interpreters of the Law. However, there was something more profound behind this disbelief. In Jesus’ time, the Sadducees were an exclusive group made up of the cream of Jewish society: the wealthy, the aristocrats, the priestly class. It is an understatement therefore to say that they were living like “Contented cows.” They were a self-contained lot, not wanting of anything. With a life like theirs, who needs the resurrection? For them, if ever there is an afterlife, it is simply a glorified continuation of earthly life.

Jesus answered the question by meeting the Sadducees on their own ground: the Law of Moses. He said that Moses also wrote that “God is the God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob. God is the God of the living and not of the dead.” How can Moses proclaim God in this way when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were long dead? This means that the three great figures of the Old Testament were still “alive.”

Nobody has come back yet from the dead to tell us the real score. Is there really an afterlife? What kind of existence shall we have? This reflection of a spiritual writer could help: we don’t know what the future holds for us, but we know Who holds the future. Isn’t He enough to make us believe? (Fr. Gerry del Pinado, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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In today’s gospel, we are again faced with a reality which is at the same, a mystery of the Catholic faith and many other religions for that matter – the Resurrection.

I cannot attempt to explain the whole reality of such a beautiful mystery, I can’t. I have searched and no one can for that’s what it is, a mystery. But a few people have led me to a greater appreciation of it. For one, the good Bishop Tagle, in one of his conferences with us seminarians, shared how people who were wounded and who were victimized in one way or another have risen from their unfortunate conditions to be leading advocators and church partners in causes against injustices and yes, even becoming ambassadors of forgiveness. In them, the bishop relates, we find strength, renewed hope, a glimpse of revival, of resurrection.

I get hope too from the frail residents of Bahay San Jose (a home for the handicapped in Alfonso, Cavite), from the victims of rape and incest who have learned and are struggling to move on, from those who are afflicted with incurable diseases in hospitals – these people can and do smile! From them we can find glimpses or clues to the reality of resurrection. Undoubtedly, they have become great preachers of one of Jesus’ greatest promises that which give us hope, the mystery of the resurrection. (Frt. Anthony Ynzon, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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November 19, 2016 Saturday

The Sadducees were very knowledgeable of Scriptures. Jesus spoke and proved to the Sadducees that there was resurrection of the dead in the very Scriptures they had come to embrace. The book of Exodus in 3:6 relates God declaring, “I am God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”. Jesus in several occasions taught and expressed about His intimate union with His Father and vice versa; Him being the Way, the Truth and the Life; He has come to bring life and life to the fullest; He is the God of the living and not of the dead, and these teachings of Jesus’ happened most often in the presence of the Sadducees and the elders. Still they refused to believe. How do we find ourselves acting quite similarly at times? When we insist on our own narrow thoughts and ways, even when the obvious is right under our noses.

The foolishness of the Sadducees in today’s Gospel depicts their insistence on believing that heaven is simply an extension of earthly life and all its pleasures, comfort and beauty. They failed to see that heaven promises something far more beautiful, mystifying and grand.

We learn from St.Therese of the Child Jesus as she humbly declares, both on earth and heaven, “solo Dios basta” (God alone suffices)! Is He enough for you? (Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD | CT Manila Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/1021-november-19-2016-saturday

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November 24, 2012

St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest, and Companions, martyrs
(M) RED

Rv 11:4-12
Ps 144
Lk 20:27-40

Lk 20:27-40
The Question about the Resurrection 

27Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to [Jesus], 28saying, “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.’ 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. 30Then the second 31and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. 32Finally the woman also died. 33Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.” 34Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; 35but 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. 36They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. 37That 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; 38and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 39Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” 40And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

REFLECTION:

At the resurrection. The question of the Sadducees reflects their mistaken notion of marriage and the resurrection. Marriage was instituted for the continuation of the human race. But in eternal life people no longer die. They live “like angels,” so marital union is no longer necessary. In heaven, relationship by affinity or by consanguinity is no longer important. What is essential is that we are with God.

Life after the resurrection is not a continuation of our earthly life. Resurrected life is not part two or extension of our earthly life. There is a change of state. We go to a blessed state, “like angels.” Jesus assures us that we have something to look forward to from this life on earth. There is heaven. Our God wants us to be with him. He is patiently waiting for us.

What is your idea of the resurrection? Is your life now moving towards the resurrection? What is your deepest longing in life? 

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/2041-november-24-2012

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Saturday of the 33rd Week of the Year

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