The God of the Living

June 7, 2017
Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
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.”

REFLECTION (Sem. Jul Elden D. Nuique)

When we are amidst crises, it is very easy to say that there is no God above, or that God neither hears nor cares about us, or that God has no power to help us. In the first reading from the book of Tobit, that is the initial state of Tobit, who is blind with cataracts, and Sarah, who is several times widowed. They are so mired in their problems that it seems there is no one to help them. Yet because of their faith, they remember to pray to God, who answers them beyond their expectations.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus gives us an image of heaven, where there are no longer any distinctions between married couples and those who are unmarried. He simply wants to tell us that our expectations of eternal life are misled. We no longer have to be burdened by the limits of earthly life after we experience death. Our God, his Father, is the God of the living. The trials of earthly life are nothing compared to the glory that awaits us once we enjoy the beatific vision, the incomparable intimacy with God.

This expectation of heaven puts earthly difficulties in its proper perspective. Because of the burden of our flesh, we believe there to be insurmountable barriers to happiness. In fact, we lose our peace and joy because we are misled by the world. Our heavenly Father is God of the living. He desires us to be happy on this earth, but this is not our final state. God wants us to look forward to infinity shared with him. He wants us to remember that his love for us has no bounds. Our present gloom is but a pinprick when compared to the boundless delights he has in store for us in his heavenly kingdom.

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