Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke
During that time,
– those who maintain that there is no resurrection –
and asked him:
“Master, Moses commanded us:
If a man has a brother
who dies leaving a wife but no children,
he must marry the widow
to raise up offspring for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers:
the first married and died childless;
likewise the second, then the third married the widow,
and so all seven:
they died leaving no children.
Eventually the woman also died.
Well, at the resurrection,
that woman, whose wife shall she be among them,
since the seven had her for a wife? »
Jesus answered them:
“The children of this world take wife and husband.
But those who were deemed worthy
to share in the world to come
and the resurrection from the dead
take neither wife nor husband,
because they can no longer die:
they are like angels,
they are children of God
and children of the resurrection.
Let the dead rise,
Moses himself makes it clear
in the story of the burning bush,
when he calls the Lord
the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob.
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
All, indeed, live for him. »
Then certain scribes took the floor to say:
“Master, you have spoken well. »
And they didn’t dare ask him about anything anymore.
Meditation Father Emmanuel Pic
In this episode, the adversaries of Jesus do not hesitate to invent a story, bordering on the absurd, to put him face to face with what they believe to be his own contradictions. Imagine a woman who successively marries seven men from the same family; in the resurrection, whose wife will she be?
This question is not that dumb. It is ours, each time we are faced with the test of death, whether that of a loved one or our own death. Where is he ? is she happy? Can we get in touch with him, with her, when we no longer see them? It reminds me of that other remark, made by a child on the death of his very old grandmother. This lady was long widowed of a husband who died young during the Second World War. Since then, time had done its work, and the young and pretty young woman of the past had given way to an old woman, all wrinkled and in poor health, who gazed tenderly at the photo of her husband strapped in a handsome soldier’s uniform. He’s going to be disappointed, grandfather, the child had said, when he sees his wife arrive in heaven, so changed. When we think of the hereafter, when we try to imagine what the Kingdom of God will be like, we do so in the image of this world.
Jesus is in a different logic. He prefers to recall the essential. To answer the question of the Sadducees, he situates the problem in its proper place, that of God: God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. The life he gives is his own life, a life that can only last forever, a full, fulfilled, happy life. This life does not end with death. As for what will happen next, we can at least say that it will be very different from what we experience here below, and that life as a couple will not be the same in the Kingdom of God.
When we think of the hereafter, when we pray for our deceased, let us take care to observe the prudence of Jesus: let us beware of representing things to ourselves according to the laws of our imagination, and content ourselves with affirming this hope: God does not take away the life he has given.
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“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Lk 20, 27-40) | RCF
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