November 19, 2016 (Saturday)

St. Crispin

Saturday of the 33rd Week

Rv 11:4-12 • Ps 144

Lk 20:27-40




27Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, 28saying, “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. 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. 30Then the second 31and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. 32Finally the woman also died. 33Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.” 34Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; 35but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. 37That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; 38and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 39Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” 40And they no longer dared to ask him anything.


Jesus ends his argument with these words to refute the doctrine of the Sadducees on the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection because it is not found in the Torah. They recognize only the Torah as source of teachings. In the story, the Sadducees laboriously invent an impossible story based on the Levirate marriage (Dt 25:5-10) to prove that resurrection is impossible. Imagine the one marrying the widow reaches up to the seventh son.

One of the important teachings of Jesus is the resurrection of the dead. This teaching encourages the disciples to take Jesus’ words to heart. There is a great reward for believing and living the words of Jesus. The disciples may be persecuted by other people because of him. This teaching must remind them that they will be vindicated on the last day. Their sacrifices will not forever end in their graves.

Jesus’ teaching is validated when he rises from the dead after his crucifixion and death. As he engages with the Sadducees and other groups, it is just a matter of time that he will soon die, but after three days the God of the living will raise him up.

Belief in the resurrection gives us courage to live our Christian faith in the midst of opposition and in the face of defeat and death.

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