Jesus encounters various opponents representing the philosophical school of first century Judaism. The question the Sadducees pose is meant to trip Jesus up, possibly to embarrass him publically. The Sadducees did not maintain belief in the resurrection of the body or in angels, both beliefs Jesus asserts in this excerpt.
He responds to the Sadducees’ question by denying the premise of the question. For questions with an agenda behind them, all a respondent can do at times is challenge an underlying assumption. By how Jesus answers, he poses a further question to his opponents: why do we assume that those who have died are without life? As Luke says, “for to him all are alive.” If God is truly a God of life, then all of God’s children will rise again through God’s power.
During this month of November, the Church celebrates the new life in God for our loved ones, family, friends, and mentors who have died along with others of the faithful departed. While we lift up the dead in prayer, we are meant to mimic them in how they now share in union with God. The faithful departed remind us to be children of life, the new life that flows from the Resurrection of Jesus. We are meant to live with the faith, hope, and love that reflects the enlivening gaze of God for all of creation. Let us pray for and with the faithful departed, that like them, we may be full of God’s life in order to serve our world.
During a quiet or still moment in your day, imagine God beholding you and your deceased loved ones with his enlivening gaze. What does it feel like to see God beholding you in this way? For your deceased loved ones? How do you embody the life of God in your daily life?