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11/06/16 Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. James

The Sadducees’ chief concern was about money, power, and control, not about religion as such. Life after death didn’t matter to them because they really didn’t believe in the immortality of the soul and everlasting life.


They come to Jesus with the story of an unfortunate woman who had married and then lost seven husbands. They did not start with the real issue, namely belief in life after death. Instead they started with the question of who the woman would belong to in the next life.


Jesus draws their attention to Exodus 3:6 and 16, that the Lord God introduced himself to Moses, as “the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob”. If these ancestors were dead and gone, why would He introduce Himself in relation to them. Therefore, “he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.”


Sadducees asked a question about who has ownership and control of the woman in the next life. There are lots of Sadducees around today. They are the pushers of pleasure Principle. Their motives are profit and control. 

There are a lot of silly questions that divert our attention and take us away from the most important question of all. And that question is: Why do you exist? What is the meaning of your life?


Jesus told that our past, the memories of deeds done and undone, of loves and of loves lost, do cross the grave. Because, for God, all are alive on both sides of the grave. The dead are dead only for us! During that period of painful separation God gives us hope. Hope to sustain us in our most lonely moments. The reason why we were born, the reason why we are living here on earth and the reason why we will die is to see God face to face.


This faith and hope of seeing God face to face are our consolation and source of comfort as we continue ‘walking in the shadow of death’. The story of the seven brothers and their mother is a good point to reflect on. Because of their faith and hope in the resurrection, they were able to stand up courageously against the sufferings inflicted on them.


Faith in the resurrection ensures us to have a share in the life of Christ. Sharing in the life of Christ means listening to him speaking to us through our real human experiences as he did to his disciples on the road to Emmaus. It also means recognizing him in the Eucharist as he is present in us, in the Word we heard.


Faith in the resurrection assures us of immortality. However we have the responsibility to live it out/ as a people of the living God here and now, in our own lives and in our own particular vocations.


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