In the first reading today from 2 Timothy 1, St. Paul says “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord…” It seems there is a movement afoot to get Christians to sit down and shut up. These words of St. Paul are an awesome reminder to us that we must bold in the face of evil, a light in a dark world.
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? 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 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.
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