Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”
Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I love to walk in the local botanic garden. The minute I step inside, tension leaves me. God’s creation acts as a salve and even my deepest distress is soothed. Things are put in their proper perspective when compared to the forces of nature. Right now, the last of the spectacular fall colors are leaving the trees and a calm waiting is beginning. There is promise in the leaves that fall to the soil to fertilize the future.
For me, the garden is a place that brings today’s Gospel home in a real way: “…he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive”. The plants are our teachers. There is life even in what seems to be death. The seasons change but always within that change is the life force of the Spirit.
Time is such a task master for our society that the notion of a God who does not count the minutes, a God who is timeless and limitless, whose ways are not our ways, is hard to accept. Can we truly believe that nothing and no one is lost? Can we know, in our heart of hearts, that those who have gone before us live in the Lord and that we, too, are on a journey to that sacred union? Nature reveals the truth of Christ’s promise – that death can bring new and abundant life. What a difference that makes in dying. What a gift.
—Pam Coster is Executive Director of Charis Ministries. Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s nationwide, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality. www.charisministries.org
Amen to the God beyond us, the God of power and wonder, mystery and surprise, more immense than the universe, more vast than the sky.
Amen to the God who lives among us, who creates community, who reconciles our differences, who calls us to be Church.
Amen to the God who dwells within us, in the secrecy of our self, who call us to be one with him, now and forever.
— Fr. J. Michael Sparough, S.J.