Scripture: Scripture: Lectionary 502. Nov. 23. I Maccabees 6:1-13. Psalm 9:2-3,188.8.131.52. Luke 20:27-40.
Abstracting from the crazy example the Sadducees plop on Jesus about the woman with seven successive husbands, we can look at the words of Jesus and pay attention to them in our lives this day. They are words of hope and consolation for he tells us that “God is not a God of the dead but of the living. All are alive in Him.” That means that we are given a positive outlook about things that deal with the last times: heaven, hell, purgatory, and more immediately death. This is what is called eschatology—the study of the what happens in the end-time. Almost all of the writings in the New Testament touch upon it. It comes from the Greek word logos and eschatos ( word or study of the last things).
Today’s episode helps us as we experience the last days of another liturgical year with Advent coming fast upon us with the coming Sunday called the Solemnity of Christ the King. We take great consolation about the personal interest that God has in us and we realize that we are always in God’s loving care. Even at death we believe that life is changed, transformed, and not taken away. God will complete our being made in God’s image and likeness by bringing us to the fullness of life after dying. These are sobering thoughts that come to me as I look at the readings just before Advent.
Like Moses who encouraged his people to choose the covenant of life and not death, we are people who promote life even though a culture of death blankets many parts of the globe and dampens the light of life in many persons. Jesus harkens back to Moses in using the miracle of the burning bush where he realizes that he is on sacred ground and that God is very much alive together with his chosen ones: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are the holy ancestors, prophets, and sages that are alive with God in eternity. Jesus is the one who tells us this at the end of our pericope today.
Seeing the absurdity of their example, Jesus moves on to a loftier topic with them without their even realizing it. He is in no way thwarted by the tricksters among the Sadducees who think they can outwit him. Their concept of heaven is too small and too worldly. In fact, they do not believe in the after life at all. The scribes or followers of the Torah law and its revelation are amazed and say, “Well said, Teacher. And no one asked any more questions of him.
Lord, you are Truth and Wisdom. Help us to put aside our foolish thoughts and words today. Let us be as simple as doves and not persons of silly and foolish speech with its companion examples and tricks. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.