Weekly Missionary Reflection
32nd Sunday in ordinary time, 06 November 2022
2Macc. 7:1-2,9-14; Ps. 17:1,5-6,8b,15; 2Thes. 2:16 – 3:5; Luke 20:27-38 (long) or Luke 20:27.34-38 (short)
Seminars on “Life After Death” are always highly attractive. Books about heaven, hell, and purgatory are best sellers. Faith in the resurrection does not vanish questions and curiosity. Humans always seek certainty, also about after death. We can not just believe those stories. Faith does need rational explanation, no matter how limited and hypothetical it is.
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. They just relied on the 5 books of Moses that do not talk about resurrection. Moreover, the Torah forbids polyandry, therefore there could be no such a life where 7 brothers married the same woman. This was their plan to trap Jesus: a case about fictitious Lewirat marriage. The Jewish religious leaders always tried to humiliate Jesus in public. In previous stories, their trap failed twice: about the authority of Jesus and paying taxes. Jesus even used their traps to attack them back. This trap about the resurrection will fail as well. Jesus’ answer is revealing, both for them and for us.
First, do not imagine that life after death will be like our life now. After the resurrection, people neither marry nor are given in marriage. Why? For in the life after death, humans take part in the eternity of the Lord. They will be like angels: bodiless and genderless, so they do not marry nor are given in marriage. Humans have no necessity to perpetuate themselves in descendants and buildings anymore. In this worldly life, some children are named after their fathers. In the world, many buildings (towers or cities) are named after donors or famous people. Marriage and technology are two main ways for humans to perpetuate their name (life). That is how humans fight for their mortality. Since the time of Adam and Eve, humans always want to have eternity “like God” not “there” (Heaven) but in this world!
Second, do not imagine that God takes care of us just during our life in this world! God does not create us as His “toys”, that he places in this world, say, for 50, 70, or 80 years only, then He put us away. God keeps connecting to His creatures, both in this world and “there”. He is God for the living. Therefore, He will be always our God, in this life as well as after death, for we will continue to live there. To Moses, God introduced 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 transformed, not ended.
Third, Jesus’ resurrection is a model. The mystery behind the death will remain to bother us if we dont believe in the Resurrection. This faith is of no unproven, for we have got the model, Jesus Himself. The faith in the risen Lord has convinced us and given us hope and joy, in the midst of our mortal life and the shadow of death. Without such faith, all will be in vain, including those seminars and words about life after death. Remember Paul’s saying: “if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty is your faith” (1Cor. 15:14).
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Societies)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For the purpose of Universal Churches: The suffering children
We pray for the suffering children, especially the homeless, orphans, and victims of war; may they be assured to have education and the opportunity to experience the warmth of a family.
For the purpose of Indonesian Churches: Remembering those who died from Covid-19
We pray for those who died from Covid-19, may God bestow His mercy upon them, and their soul rests in eternal peace.