The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. John Seland, SVD (Japan)
Saturday 33rd Week in Ordinary Time
Photo: Cross in Stained Glass, Centre Theresianum de Kinshasa, Congo
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection but pretended before Jesus that they did. They were trying to trap him and make him seem like a fool for believing that the dead rise again. But, in encountering Jesus, they came off as fools.
Jesus took this opportunity to teach that, indeed, the dead do rise again: “. . . 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. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.” (Luke 20, 35) Moses was one of the Sadducees’ heroes.
Knowing this, Jesus purposely used his example to prove (again) the doctrine of the resurrection: “That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead but of the living, for to him all are alive.” (Luke 20, 37)
Jesus is saying here that we never die. God lives within us. And although our body does die, God, because of His presence within us, will eventually raise us, body and soul.
There is another important point in all of this. Women, in Jesus’ time, were treated lowly. It was highly accepted in society that some men could divorce their wives by simply giving her a divorce notification.
However, Jesus was saying here that women have dignity and equal rights. They cannot merely be passed on from one husband to another, as the Sadducees seemed to imply. If a woman lives a good life, she, too, will merit eternal life.