In today’s first reading from Tobit 3, we’re introduced to one of the archangels, Raphael. God hears the prayers of Tobit and Sarah, and sends Raphael to carry out His will.
In the Gospel reading from Mark 12, some Saducees come to Jesus with yet another trick question. They pose to him a scenario where a man marries a woman and dies. Likewise, the man’s brothers all marry the woman and die, leaving no descendants. They ask whose wife she will be at the resurrection. (They asked Him this because they did not believe in the resurrection of the body.) Jesus answers the question and ends with, “(God) is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are greatly misled.”
Have you ever lost a loved one? I think we all have. (On a side note, today would have been my dad’s birthday. He died 4 1/2 years ago. Please remember him and our family in your prayers.) In an earthly sense, that loved one is dead. But in a spiritual sense, nothing could be further from the truth. They are more alive than we could ever hope to be. Many of our Protestant brothers and sisters will ask why Catholics pray to “dead people.” If you’re ever confronted with that question, simply remind them of what Jesus said in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus was referring to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all of whom were “dead.” But we know better, because God is not God of the dead, but of the living. The saints in heaven are praying for us!
Father, you are God of the living. Make us more alive in Christ than we ever dreamed. Amen.