“God is not the God of the death but of the living”

Fr.ThiagoBy Fr. Thiago, sx

During this liturgical year, the evangelist Luke took us by the hand and helped us to follow Jesus in his journey toward Jerusalem. In today´s Gospel, the Lord Jesus had already reached his final destination, and there, in Jerusalem, he met a group of religious people called Sadducees, who didn´t believe in the resurrection of the dead.

Claiming Moses as their authority, the Sadducees told an insidious story to Jesus in order to set up a trap to him. The story of a woman, who had been married to seven men, ends with a question from the Sadducees to Jesus: “At the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?” The Lord Jesus answered them that the resurrection is part of that dimension of fullness that we will live in God: “They can no longer die, for they are like the angels; and they are the children of God…”

In his answer, the Lord Jesus didn´t say that our feelings and affections will end, but he said that even our feelings and affections will find their fulfillment in the boundless horizon of God’s love. The resurrection does not erase what we have experienced as true love, but strengthens it in the light of God´s eternity.

Besides, in his answer, Jesus also brought the Sadducees back to the heart of the Jewish faith: “God is not the God of the death but of the living.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who always accompanies the history of his people, couldn´t abandon them in the hands of death. In his love for us, God sent his Son, who overcame death and gave us the sure hope in the resurrection.

Every Sunday, when we gather together in order to celebrate the Eucharist, we are reminded to this important dimension of our faith. In celebrating Christ´s death and Resurrection we are also celebrating the certainty that in him we have eternal life, since nothing can separate us from his love, nothing, not even death.

We should never forget, as Father Gustavo Gutièrrez affirmed, that “faith and hope in the resurrection must be translated into commitment to defend life… Faith in the resurrection does not take us out of history; on the contrary, it makes us involve ourselves in it with the conviction that its ultimate meaning is in life.” Our faith in Jesus´ resurrection and our commitment with life will make us grow in the awareness that God is our father forever.

From the writings of Saint Guido

“From the sepulcher of Christ that became the source of life, we hear a voice that is as powerful as the roar of thunder and gentle as the chords of an angelical harp which touch the most intimate depths of the heart: ‘I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me shall not die forever because I shall raise him up on the last day.’”

(1919, 8 December, Parma – Cathedral)

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