“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.” ― Timothy J. Keller – Excerpt from the book “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism”
Gospel Text: (MK 12:18-27)
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,
came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying,
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies, leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers.
The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants,
and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants.
Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?
For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them, "Are you not misled
because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him,
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled."
In today’s Gospel passage, Our Lord tries to make clear to the Sadducees the meaning of the Resurrection. We too, however, even if we understand and believe in both the Resurrection of Our Lord and the promise of resurrection that God offers to all who die, perhaps may need to realize what type of claim the Resurrection places upon our Christian faith.
To believe in the Resurrection is to believe in the future fulfillment of God’s grace, is to understand that the suffering of the present is as nothing compared to the future glory to be revealed in Christ Jesus, is to guard in God’s name what has been entrusted to me until that final Day, which for each of us is the day of our death.
We never find Our Lord going into great detail about the nature of the afterlife. There are two practical reasons for this. First, the glory which will be the reward of God’s elect is too far beyond our comprehension. Second, our only hope for sharing in that glory is to persevere in running the race which God has set before us, to stir into flame the gift of God each of us first received at our baptism, a flame in which we are purified like gold in the furnace.