Our Hope in the Resurrection Gives Us Strength

11-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Our first reading of today is taken from the second book of the Maccabees and it is good to note that one of the best known passages of the books of the Maccabees is the account of the martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons. They were willing to sacrifice their own lives rather than transgress the law and commandment of God. Despite the torture, the entire family remained faithful and offered the supreme sacrifice of their love and fidelity.

Their courage came from the confidence they have in God who they know is trustworthy and has promised eternal life to those who abide in Him. Their courage to withstand such torture came from the hope they have in the resurrection. The lesson is that no matter how cruel the world is, no matter how cruel the world treats us, no matter what we suffer for bearing the name of Christ and for our faith, we should always look to the future with hope and glory in the promise that lay ahead which Christ has promised to all who remained steadfast till the end. As St. Paul would say, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor 2 : 9)

Resurrection is also the subject of discussion in the gospel. Luke tells us that the Sadducees came to question Jesus on resurrection. The Sadducees were a small Jewish sect very active during the time of Jesus. They differ from the Pharisees because they are solely focused on physical reality of life right now. They were very few but wealthy people in the society. They were the aristocrats and were powerful because they were the governing class. They held the view that there was no resurrection from the dead and there were no angels or spirits. They equally did not believe in the coming Messiah because that would be a disturbance to their secure life, comfort, and place in society. They came to Jesus with a question of a woman who married seven brothers as husband, and all died without any child and the woman also later died. Thus, they asked, in the resurrection, whose wife is she? They regarded such a question as a kind of thing that made the belief in resurrection of the body ridiculous. Their aim was to entrap Him and ridicule Jesus about His teaching especially on resurrection. However, Jesus in response told them that those who attain to resurrection neither marry nor are given in marriage; they are like angels and are sons and daughters of God. He proved to them that God is God of the living and not of the dead.

“The power of the resurrection is utterly overwhelmingly transformative. To be children of the resurrection is to be ready to commit ourselves into the hand of God, accepting that our relationship with God surpasses any other human relationship no matter how intimate and loving.”

Father Tony Okolo C.S.Sp., V.F.