Many years ago, someone I know was of the belief that life ends here on earth. He’d tell me, “You don’t need to attend Mass because heaven is here and not after death”. I was very young then and so it was normal to entertain some doubts and confusion. Years after that, however; he complained of severe headaches and was found to have a tumor in the brain that has already swelled in size. The cancer had spread fast and he eventually died several months after. It was sad, but the good thing was that he actually repented and for the first time in his life proclaimed that he will spend the remaining days in contrition and prayer. He asked for supplications and joined the dawn Rosary every time it passes his home.
After his passing, I realized how he was loved by God such that he was allowed to experience pain and suffering that led to repentance and hope that strengthened his faith. With his family around to support till the end, it allowed him to see beyond this ordeal and suffering. It was a gift that saved his soul from eternal damnation.
In the Gospel (Lk. 20: 27-38), some
Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally, the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
Presently there are still people who live as if it ends here and that there’s no eternity. They live a life that is inconsiderate to others. They do not fear God in that they commit crimes that make people suffer. They display arrogance and pride aside from showing off what earthly wealth they have, contrary to the Lord’s teachings of humility and meekness.
Today let us pray for strength to endure earthly sufferings and persevere in the faith. May we find inspiration from one of the brothers mentioned in the First Reading (2 Mc. 7: 1-2, 9-14) who said to his torturers at the point of death: “You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying.”
“Jesus Christ is the firstborn of the dead; to him be glory and power, forever and ever.” (Rv. 1: 5a, 6b)