“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.” (Luke 20:37-39)
If you want to understand something thoroughly, you must break that thing into its several parts and very often breaking it also means destroying it. Simply put, the best way to understand life is to look at death. When we know what becomes of us at death, we are then able to know what living is all about.
Death teaches us a lot of lessons: that we are not mere animals, we do not just have bodies, we also have souls which cannot die; that this soul in us is a clear evidence of the existence of God; that when our physical body dies, our soul continues to live in union with God after depending on how well we have lived here. The life of perfect union with God is defined as the resurrection of the dead.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus explains the resurrection to the Sadducees who had composed a very ridiculous question to logically prove that there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead. If these Sadducees were modern-day Christians, I guess they would have asked Jesus to show them where it is written in the Scriptures that the dead rise to life.
Their question revealed their limited understanding of the spiritual life as well as the existence and working of the soul. For them, we are nothing than mere physical bodies, and to rise from the dead means to re-live this present life again. Jesus explains that in the resurrection, we are not going to retain our physical bodies. We are going to be like the Angels, we are going to be pure spirits; only our souls will remain. And the soul does not have to marry, eat or drink or be subjected to any physical constraints.
Jesus also quoted from the Scripture to support His point. He referred them to the passage of Moses in the burning bush. The Sadducees were conversant with that passage but it never occurred to them the full implication of Moses referring to God as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Every time you pick up the Bible to read, always pray for the gift of understanding to look beyond the words and grasp the inner meaning. Don’t be contented only with memorizing passages from scripture.
Yes, God is Not Dead. He is not the God of the Dead, but of the Living for all live to Him. This statement of Jesus perfectly explains today’s first reading which concludes for us the story of the evil King Antiochus Epiphanes. The man died in shame with tears and sorrow for all the atrocities he had committed. In his own words: “I remember the evils I did in Jerusalem… I sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judah without good reason. I know that it is because of this that these evils have come upon me, and behold, I am perishing of deep grief in a strange land.”
According to Patience Ebele Jonathan: “There is God oh!” Let anyone who is doing evil not assume he or she will last forever. As to why God even allows evil people to succeed at all, we do not know but what we know is that there comes a day of reckoning, there comes a day when God would arise and all His enemies would scatter, there comes a day that the evildoers must expire and give way to light. God is patient with the sinners, He keeps giving second chances to repent, but if we fail to heed his voice in the voice of conscience, we must pay for our deeds.
Our Psalmist today sings: “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hopes of the poor ever perish.” When it seems as if evil people are succeeding, don’t worry, just keep trusting in God, done give up hope, don’t stop being good. These evil people you see prospering today, you will live to see their end. “Behold, the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind. In the latter days, you will understand it clearly.” (Jeremiah 23:19-20). Do not take the mercy of God for granted. He may appear quiet, but He never sleeps.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, when I feel like giving up because of the many evils around me, strengthen me to move on. May I remain faithful to you till death. Amen.
Bible Study: 1 Maccabees 6:1-13, Psalm 9 and Luke 20:27-40).