God of the Living and the Dead

Each year when the Fall season is announced by the dropping of leaves, a Men’s Prayer Group that I have participated with over the last 17 years visits the topic of death, purgatory, and resurrection. This is an annual conversation which might mean I need a better explanation or it may be a yearly refresher course in what we are called to accept and believe as disciples of Jesus.

In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus’ answer makes two points about the resurrection. First, resurrection is not a prolongation of our present earthly life but an entirely new mode of existence, in which marriage and giving in marriage are unknown. Since in the new life there is no more death, there is no need for provision to perpetuate the human race. As an interesting scripture study point, this explanation is particular to Luke.

The second point in Jesus’ answer is that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), far from rendering the resurrection an absurdity, has an understanding of God that is fully consistent with such a hope.

This conclusion is reached by an argument which would be convincing to Jesus’ contemporaries but which seems artificial to us. The Bible goes on talking about God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob even after their death - therefore they must still be alive. To many people this argument seems foolish, but then we have just commemorated All Souls Day when we honor all our deceased loved ones. A very powerful point about the Resurrection is remembering, talking, and praying for our loved ones.


This coming Tuesday all eligible voters have the duty to participate in our National Elections. Some guidelines about voting from the bishops of the United States are offered in our bulletin this weekend. 


I want to thank all those who helped make our annual Monster Mash celebration a wonderful time for parish family and friends to come together and enjoy the costumes, candy, food and music. A special THANK YOU to Kevin McDonough and “company” for coordinating the setup, cleanup and everything else that was involved with the event!

With you a disciple, for you a priest,
Fr. Kenneth Anderson

 

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