“For they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:36)
In our first reading, we come across the story of two prophets who were very great in their prophesying but after they had finished their testimony, they were killed by the beast that ascends from the bottomless pit. Their death brought rejoicing upon the inhabitants of the earth (who were referred to as Sodom and Egypt) because their preaching brought a lot of torment to them.
After three and a half-days, “a breath of life from God entered them and they stood up on their feet and great fear fell upon those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘come up here!’ And in the sight of their foes, they went up to heaven in a cloud.” (Revelations 4:12).
In our Gospel passage, some Sadducees tried to disprove the possibility of the dead rising by bringing to Jesus a well thought out probable scenario. Their story only showed their lack of understanding of what becomes of humans when they rise from the dead. Jesus explains to them that the resurrected life is not the same as earthly life. In the life to come, there is no return to the normal everyday activities as we have it now. There is no such thing as marriage or child-bearing. As I have often noted, the only thing we shall be doing in heaven is singing the praises of God and worshipping Him.
Jesus ended by saying that God is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him. Indeed, when this earthly life ends, another life begins; a different kind of life; a life free from all the stress, worries and troubles we face every day. Going back to our first reading, the death of the prophets brought great rejoicing to the inhabitants of the earth. Why would anyone rejoice at the death of a prophet? It is because people do not like being told the truth.
Indeed, in our world today, there are many like Herodias who would do everything possible to have the heads of the John-the-baptists of our day. They rejoice when they hear of the death of a good person not knowing they have only helped that person gain an express entry into eternal life. They forget that there is more to life than what this world contains.
Are you being persecuted for your good works? Does it seem as if your enemies are succeeding? Just relax. God knows how to fight for His own and if it is His will, be assured of a better life awaiting you in heaven. Dream of heaven, imagine how life would be over there. Take your gaze off this world with all its crazy ups and downs; look forward to heaven.
Today we remember the day the Blessed Virgin Mary was presented (dedicated) to God in the temple as a little child. This feast is significant because it marked the beginning of her parents’ commitment to raising their girl-child to be such a God-fearing and holy woman. Joachim and Anne are considered Saints today because of their great act of parenthood. They gave Mary the very best so much so that God chose her to be His Mother. As parents, let us remain committed to raising our children to know, love and fear God.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus give me the courage to remain steadfast no matter the pain I may be going through now. Amen.
Bible Study: Revelation 11:4-12 Psalm 144:1-2.9-10 and Luke 20:27-40).