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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (2Tim 1:1-3.6-12): Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.

He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed preacher and Apostle and teacher. On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
Responsorial Psalm: 122
R/. To you, o Lord, I lift up my eyes.
To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters.

As the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes on the Lord, our God, till he have pity on us.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 11:25.26): Alleluia. I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die. Alleluia.
Gospel text (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."

“He is not God of the dead but of the living”

Fr. Federico Elías ALCAMÁN Riffo (Puchuncaví - Valparaíso, Chile)

Today, the Holy Church puts at our disposal —through Christ's words— the reality of resurrection and the properties of resurrected bodies. The Gospel mentions Jesus' meeting with the Sadducees who, with a hypothetical and out-of-the-way example, present Jesus with a question about the resurrection of the dead, which they do not believe in, anyway.

They ask him, should a woman be widowed seven times, “at the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her." (Mk 12:23). They were just trying to deride Jesus' doctrine. But, the Lord, just breaks this difficulty up by answering, “when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven” (Mk 12:25).

And, taking advantage of the opportunity, Our Lord reaffirms the existence of resurrection by mentioning what God told Moses in the chapter of the burning bush: “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” And He adds, “He is not God of the dead but of the living” (Mk 12:26-27). Jesus also tells them how wrong they are, because they understand neither the Scriptures nor the power of God; what is more, this truth was already revealed in the Old Testament, for others, like Isaiah, the Macchabees' mother or even Job, already said it.

St. Augustine described the eternal life and the loving communion, like this: “There, you will have everything and you will not have limits or suffer any hardships, and your brother will also have everything; because you two will just become one and this one, will also own He Who will have you both.”

Far from doubting of the Holy Scriptures and of God's merciful love and power, we shall adhere with all our mind and heart to this hopeful truth, while rejoicing for not being thwarted in our thirst of life, full and eternal, which the same God assures us, in its glory and happiness. Before this divine invitation we have nothing to do but to foment our anxious wish to see God, and to be always next to Him, in his Kingdom.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “For if on earth He healed the sicknesses of the flesh, and made the body whole, much more will He do this in the resurrection, so that the flesh shall rise perfect and entire” (Saint Justin)

  • “He is the complete man as he is placed in this world, as he has lived and suffered, who will one day be taken into God's eternity and will have a part in God himself, for eternity. This is what should fill us with deep joy.” (Benedict XVI)

  • “The Pharisees and many of the Lord's contemporaries hoped for the resurrection. Jesus teaches it firmly. To the Sadducees who deny it he answers, ‘Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?’ (Mk 12:24). Faith in the resurrection rests on faith in God who ‘is not God of the dead, but of the living’ (Mk 12:27).” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 993)