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Theology for the common man

32d Sunday in Ordinary Time C Year

Sunday, November 10, 2019

In this November atmosphere, when the Church prays for our departed brothers and sisters, the Gospel today encourages us to touch a theme of a resurrection, as a key to understanding an eternal life with God and our future in the afterlife. A reason to speak about this is the question of the Pharisees, who do not believe in resurrection. Asking Jesus, they just want to ridicule the subject and to tempt him. They use the case of a widow who married 7 times different men after their successive deaths. Their question was, whose woman she would be after her life, as she married 7 different men? Of course, the case was possible in the Jewish law of the Old Testament, but it was not possible in real life; and it was sure, this situation was made up by the Pharisees, just to catch Jesus on his doctrinal error and to have reason to accuse him. Jesus' answer had to surprise the Pharisees because He discovers a totally different logic of God’s plan against all human relationships: “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. For they can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.” The Pharisees didn’t expect this kind of answer this is why Jesus, in addition gave them a biblical argument in favor of the resurrection, which they were to know very well: “That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out “Lord” the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” They were surprised and didn’t accept either the other biblical argument in favor of the resurrection. They supposed to know also the argument from the second book of Maccabees about the valiant mother and her children who were dying in martyrdom from the hands of their persecutors called the faith in resurrection and the afterlife with God. As we can see, the error lies at the basis: the Pharisees from the beginning excluded faith in resurrection and the afterlife. In Jesus Christ, in his salutary passion and resurrection we all have even greater basis, to believe in this points of our faith.