Saturday, November 25, 2006

33rd Friday in Ordinary Time (II)
Death-Defeating Love

Readings: Revelations 11:4-12; Psalm 144:1, 2, 9-10; Luke 20:27-40

After our commemorations of martyrs over the past several days, our readings today invite us to reflect upon our belief in the resurrection. This is what gives meaning to the martyrs’ sacrifice: the belief not only that there is an afterlife, but that there is an intimate connection between it and life in the here-and-now.

This is a connection that the Sadducees in the gospel refuse to acknowledge. They argue that it would be absurd to believe in the resurrection given what Moses commands. If the dead are indeed raised, whose wife would the woman be who was married and widowed several times? If there is a certain logic to the Sadducees’ argument, it is the logic of the Law.

Although in his response to them Jesus also refers to Moses, he relies on a different kind of logic. This is a logic that we ourselves are familiar with and rely upon. It is the kind of logic by which the bereaved somehow come to know that their dearly departed relatives and friends are still alive. It is the kind of logic that children use when they are asked why Jesus was raised from the dead. They reply that he loved us so much that he couldn’t remain dead. And it is by this same logic of love that the two witnesses of God in the first reading today carried out their ministry even unto death, a love that saw God breathing life into their corpses. Such is the power of this love that it defeats death even as it shapes the way in which people live their lives.

Isn’t this why the psalmist both acclaims God as my love, my fortress… my stronghold, my saviour and also says that God trains my arms for battle… prepares my hands for war? This same God who loves us also prepares and strengthens us to face the different battles of life with such grace that even if we have to die, we will yet live. Such was the experience of Jesus. And such is also the experience of his disciples.

What impact does our belief in the resurrection have on our lives today?

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