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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Saturday 33rd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Macc 6:1-13): As King Antiochus was traversing the inland provinces, he heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais, famous for its wealth in silver and gold, and that its temple was very rich, containing gold helmets, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander, son of Philip, king of Macedon, the first king of the Greeks. He went therefore and tried to capture and pillage the city. But he could not do so, because his plan became known to the people of the city who rose up in battle against him. So he retreated and in great dismay withdrew from there to return to Babylon.

While he was in Persia, a messenger brought him news that the armies sent into the land of Judah had been put to flight; that Lysias had gone at first with a strong army and been driven back by the children of Israel; that they had grown strong by reason of the arms, men, and abundant possessions taken from the armies they had destroyed; that they had pulled down the Abomination which he had built upon the altar in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded with high walls both the sanctuary, as it had been before, and his city of Beth-zur. When the king heard this news, he was struck with fear and very much shaken. Sick with grief because his designs had failed, he took to his bed.

There he remained many days, overwhelmed with sorrow, for he knew he was going to die. So he called in all his Friends and said to them: «Sleep has departed from my eyes, for my heart is sinking with anxiety. I said to myself: ‘Into what tribulation have I come, and in what floods of sorrow am I now! Yet I was kindly and beloved in my rule’. But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem, when I carried away all the vessels of gold and silver that were in it, and for no cause gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed. I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me; and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land».
Responsorial Psalm: 9
R/. I will rejoice in your salvation, o Lord.
I will give thanks to you, o Lord, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, Most High.

Because my enemies are turned back, overthrown and destroyed before you. You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; their name you blotted out forever and ever.

The nations are sunk in the pit they have made; in the snare they set, their foot is caught. For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor shall the hope of the afflicted forever perish.
Verscicle before the Gospel (2Tim 1:10): Alleluia. Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 20,27-40): Some Sadducees arrived. These people claim that there is no resurrection and they asked Jesus this question, «Master, in the Scripture Moses told us: ‘If anyone dies leaving a wife but no children, his brother must take the wife, and the child to be born will be regarded as the child of the deceased man’. Now, there were seven brothers; the first married a wife, but he died without children; and the second and the third took the wife; in fact all seven died leaving no children. Last of all the woman died. On the day of the resurrection, to which of them will the woman be wife? For the seven had her as wife».

And Jesus replied, «Taking husband or wife is proper to people of this world, but for those who are considered worthy of the world to come and of resurrection from the dead, there is no more marriage. Besides, they cannot die for they are like the angels. They too are sons and daughters of God because they are born of the resurrection. Yes, the dead will be raised, and even Moses implied it in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For He is God of the living and not of the dead, and for him all are alive».

Some teachers of the Law then agreed with Jesus, «Master, you have spoken well». They didn't dare to ask him anything else.

«For He is God of the living and not of the dead, and for him all are alive»

Fr. Ramon CORTS i Blay
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, God's word deals with the outstanding matter of the resurrection from the dead. It is peculiar that, as the Sadducees did, we keep on asking useless and pointless questions. We try to explain the substance of afterlife with world criteria, when in the world to come everything is different: «But for those who are considered worthy of the world to come and of resurrection from the dead, there is no more marriage» (Lk 20:35). Setting off from wrong criteria leads you to wrong conclusions.

Should we love each other more and better, we would not be surprised to see that, in Heaven, there is not the exclusive kind of love we have down here, otherwise normal for us because of our limited intelligence, but which makes it very difficult for us to get away from our closer circles. In Heaven we shall all love each other with a pure heart, without any feelings of envy or distrust, and, not only husband and wife, our sons or those or our own blood, but everybody, without exception nor language country, race or culture discriminations, for «true love attains a great strength» (St. Paulinus of Nola).

These words of the Scripture coming out of Jesus' lips are very convenient for us. They indeed are, for, it could happen to us that, in the maelstrom of our daily chores that do not allow us any time to think, and influenced by an environmental culture that denies eternal life, we should be doubtful with regards to the resurrection of the dead. Yes, it is very convenient that the same Lord tells us there will be a future beyond the destruction of our body and of this passing world: «Yes, the dead will be raised, and even Moses implied it in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For He is God of the living and not of the dead, and for him all are alive» (Lk 20:37-38).