Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as 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 of them are alive.”
Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
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.
The Sadducees in today’s Gospel shows the danger of trying to restrict God to our narrow way of thinking. We often attempt to put rules on what God can or can’t do, based on our limited understanding of the divine. “God can’t really love me because I keep making the same mistakes over and over.” “God can’t forgive him for that particular sin.” “God must love her because she is rich and powerful.” Fortunately, God isn’t bound by the limitations of our thinking.
In this last week of our liturgical year, the Scriptures will focus on Jesus’ teachings about his second coming. Some of the words sound unduly harsh, or seem in contrast to the image of a loving God. They offer an opportunity, though, to reflect on Jesus and the eternal life to which he invites each of us.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Lord God, you call each of us by name and invite us to eternal life with you in heaven. Expand our hearts to deepen our relationship with you so that we may be united with you both today and in eternal life. We pray this through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns forever and ever.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
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