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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): The Sadducees came to Jesus. Since they claim that there is no resurrection, they questioned him in this way, «Master, in the Scriptures Moses gave us this law: ‘If anyone dies and leaves a wife but no children, his brother must take the wife and give her a child who will be considered the child of his deceased brother’. Now, there were seven brothers. The first married a wife, but he died without leaving any children. The second took the wife and he, too, died leaving no children. The same thing happened to the third. Finally the seven died leaving no children. Last of all the woman died. Now, in the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife? For the seven had her as wife».

Jesus replied, «You could be wrong in this regard because you understand neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. When they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry but are like the angels in heaven. Now, about the resurrection of the dead, have you never reflected on the chapter of the burning bush in the book of Moses? God said to him: ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’. Now, He is the God, not of the dead but of the living. You are totally wrong».

«He is the God, not 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, «to which of them will she be wife? For the seven had her as wife» (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, men and women do not marry but 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 the God, not 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.