The Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, tried to humiliate Jesus by asking him a tricky question. They tried to trap him, or lead him to say something that contradicts the law. So they asked about a woman who could not conceive and seven brothers who died trying to uphold the law and took care of her, providing for her and trying to carry on the family name. The woman eventually died too. Imagine the anguish and pain she must have felt for not being able to conceive, and then having each one pass away.
In the First Reading, seven sons are tortured and killed for their faith. A mother watches in horror, finally succumbing to the same fate.
In both these stories, there is immense pain and tragedy. While these happened thousands of years ago, these are also stories of today. At some point in our lives, we have to endure pain and tragedy. All of us, at some point have to ask ourselves, “Do I believe in Heaven? Do I believe that I will have eternal life with God?”
Without knowing it, some people exhibit a mentality that seem not to believe in Eternal Life, that seem to think that everything leads to a dead end. That we are just a mere earthly existence. It was the very people who were fixated with life here and now that sent Jesus to his death, the High Priests and the rest of us in this earthly culture who act like there’s no tomorrow; like they do not believe in eternity, like they do not appreciate the reality of the Living God.
Instead of hiding in our bedrooms and wallow in our sufferings, we must pick up ourselves and go out into the world. Watch a UAAP basketball game. Enjoy watching the children play in the park. Check the people swimming in the beach. Volunteer in the Church’s fund-raising group. Teach a Catechism class.
Yes, we should be filled with hope! We should be around when family, friends and others need us. Allow God to use us and look for God in others. The battle is waging, and this is not an ordinary one. The evil one is actively pursuing souls unsure of life’s final destiny.
In the Second Reading when he recognizes the evil one in perverse and wicked people, as well as people who don’t have faith, St. Paul said,
‘…Brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you (both) are doing and will continue to do.’ (2 Thes. 3: 1-4)
Let us pray for expectant faith, and that we persevere in doing God’s work here on earth.
‘Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.’ (Ps. 17: 15b)