Belief in Afterlife

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The WORD in other words (2018) by Fr Midas Tambot SVD – Hongkong

Wednesday 9th Week in Ordinary Time

A person went downtown to meet up with a priest about an organization’s anniversary mass. The two had never met before. At the meeting place, approaching a man who seemed to be waiting for someone, she asked: “Are you depressed?” Feeling awkward being asked that question, the man replied: “No, I’m not depressed.” As they continued to wait, they intermittently threw each other awkward glances and engaged in short conversations. In one of these exchanges, it dawned on them both, that indeed the man was “depressed” a.k.a. “the priest.”

How often has miscommunication occurred due to language barriers? Same could be said of the exaggerated, if not humorous riddle posed by the Sadducees to Jesus on whether there is an afterlife. Jesus responds:“When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven.” The joke is on the Sadducees because the issues of marriage and having children make sense in this life but not in the next. It cannot be used to disprove, evaluate or grasp the realities of heaven. Otherwise it will be a case of “apples and oranges,” “depressed and the-priest.”

What is the basis of our belief in the afterlife, then? The answer is, the word of God. Jesus Himself touched on this when he said: “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?” God created everything just by uttering the word. He also turned bread and wine into his flesh and blood by the power of his word. Our faith in the afterlife is also hinged around God’s word. And as Jesus reminded the Sadducees, He does the same with us: “know the scriptures… so as not to be misled.”

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