Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 12,18-27

Then some Sadducees -- who deny that there is a resurrection -- came to him and they put this question to him, 'Master, Moses prescribed for us that if a man's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a wife and then died leaving no children. The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same, and none of the seven left any children. Last of all the woman herself died. Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?' Jesus said to them, 'Surely the reason why you are wrong is that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

It is Jesus' last debate in the temple. It is against the Sadducees on the topic of the resurrection. It is well known that this group of Israelites did not believe in resurrection after death. Using the classical rabbinical style, they descend into a theoretical exercise about levirate marriage - as ordained by Mosaic doctrines - that clearly leads to the absurd. From it they conclude that the resurrection of the dead is impossible. It is worth noting that faith in the resurrection emerged rather late in Judaism, and some, like the Sadducees, did not agree with this conviction. It will be with Christianity, especially with the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, that the mystery of the resurrection of the dead will be firmly established. In any event, Jesus does not respond on the level of theoretical rationality to which they wanted to lead him, but speaks of the Scriptures and the power of God. And he clearly affirms the resurrection of the dead. Jesus first recalls the words that God himself spoke to Moses from the burning bush, when he said he was the Lord of the living and the dead. God did not say he was just the Lord of the living; God also said he was Lord of the dead. With this statement, he explains his lordship over his children in life and in death: "He is God not of the dead, but of the living." And, on the basis of these words, Jesus widens his gaze and offers a glimpse of life after death: believers, freed from the bonds of the flesh, will live "like angels," that is, they will be animated by the Spirit. But a full and free life can already begin on this earth if we welcome God's Word into our hearts. And Jesus will say it many times, starting with the well-known sermon of Capernaum: "This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever" (Jn 6:58).