Through Death, Life is Only “Changed” not Ended!

Missionary Weekly Reflection
Thirty Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, 10 November 2019
2Mac. 7:1-2,9-14; Ps. 17:1,5-6,8b,15; 2Tes. 2:16 – 3:5; Luk. 20:27-38 (Luk. 20:27.34-38)

Seminars on “Life After Death” are always interesting. The books on heaven, hell and purgatory are among the best-sellers. Apparently the faith in the resurrection does not remove the question and curiosity. Humans always seek for certainty,  also on the after death matters. We do not want to believe just as it is. Faith requires rational accountability, no matter how limited and full of guessing it is.

The Sadducees did not believe in resurrection. They only hold on to the five Books of Moses, which does not talk about resurrection. Furthermore, the Torah prohibited polyandry. Therefore, a life where 7 brothers become the husbands of a same wife, is impossible to exist. That was the scenario of their trap: the case of a made up levirate marriage. Jewish religious leaders did always try to embarrass Jesus in the public. Previously, their trap failed twice: about the power of Jesus and on paying taxes. Their trap was even used as a counter-attack by Jesus. The trap about resurrection failed eventually. Jesus’ answer was absolutely right on target, for them and us.

First, do not imagine that life after-death is the same as the life in this world. After the resurrection, humans do not marry. Why? Because there, humans take part in God’s eternity. They live like angels: bodiless and genderless, therefore no taking wives and husbands. Human being will have no need to perpetuate himself in descendant and building. In this world, children are sometimes named after their father, many buildings (towers or cities) are named after the donors or famous people. Marriage and technology are the two main ways for humans to perpetuate their names. That’s the human’s tips against mortality. Since Adam and Eve, we have always been trying to be “like the God”, but here in the world,  not “there”!

Second, do not imagine that God takes care of us only in this earthly life! God does not create us as His “toy”, which is placed in this world for 50, 70 or 80 years, then put us into warehouse. God keeps in touch with His creatures, in this world and in the other world. He is the God of the living . Therefore, He remains our God, also after the death, for we stay alive there. To Moses, God still introduces Himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, not the God of late Abraham, late Isaac and late Jacob! Physical death does not break the love-relationship between us and the Creator! Through death, life is only changed, not ended.

Third, Jesus’ resurrection becomes a model. The mystery of death will still bother and haunt us, if we do not believe in resurrection. This belief is not without basis, for we already have the model: Jesus Himself. The faith in the risen Lord  will give us confidence and joy, in the midst of our mortal life and the shadow of death. Not only that: without that faith, all will be just be in vain, including our various seminars and talk. Remember Paul’s word: “if Jesus Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14).

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:

Dialogue and Reconciliation in Middle East: May the spirit for a dialogue, cooperation and reconciliation grow in Middle East where different religious communities can share life in their togetherness. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention:

Prayer for the elderly: May the elderly be able to interpret their lives and become role model for they are willing to pray and keep learning to pray for the needs of church and society. We pray…

Special Intention:

May the people in our Diocese more live Christ as their King and follow His wise act in proclaiming Good News and realizing the Kingdom of God. We pray

Amen

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