Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
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
Before we wave our fingers at the Sadducees for trying to trap Jesus into revealing the resurrection as pure folly, let’s pause a moment and ask: Do I really believe in the resurrection? And if so, what does the resurrection mean in my daily life?
Jesus, of course, turns the trap into a teachable moment. God is the God of the living, including the Sadducees’ forebears Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But the resurrected life is very different from earthly life. Those who rise from the dead are like the angels in heaven, alive in God’s presence.
If the resurrected life means being alive in God’s presence, then count me in.
In the here and now, being fully alive means being present to each moment and savoring the sacred within. It means giving, and giving more. It means being a contemplative in action, as Saint Ignatius would say. It means sacrifice and solidarity with and for others. It means being comfortable with who we are and where we are. It means laughing and loving.
In their track “Roll Away Your Stone,” the band Mumford & Sons offers some profound spiritual wisdom: “Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find.”
What if today we rolled away the stone that blocks us from being fully alive? What if we joined others on this resurrection journey?
—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Midwest Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.
It is not you that shapes God; it is God that shapes you.
If you are the work of God await the hand of the artist
who does all things in due season.
Offer Him your heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form
in which the artist has fashioned you.
Let your clay be moist, lest you grow hard and lose the imprint of his fingers.
– St. Irenaeus (130-202 AD)