June 3, 2015

Gospel 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.”
Referring to a long held Sadducee tradition concerning the obligation of a man to marry his deceased brother’s wife, they asked who will be the woman’s husband in Heaven, her original husband or the last of the seven brothers who married her?
For centuries, mankind has made the mistake of trying to define heaven.
Native Americans were great hunters so they envisioned heaven as “The Great Hunting Ground.”
Certain societies that are male dominated conceive of a man being greeted in Heaven by seven virgins.
The simple truth is, no one on this earth knows exactly what Heaven is like.
Jesus points out to the Sadducees that they are trying to determine the things of God by using human precepts and says to them, “You are greatly misled.”
I have no need to speculate on what heaven is like.
For me, it is enough that Jesus assures the Sadducees, and us, that our Father is “the God of the living,” and when we rise from the dead we “are like the angels in heaven.”
Although I do not know the actual state of heaven, in faith I am confident that it is Christ’s desire that we will all be reunited as one in the love that is God.
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40