A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 12: 18-27
And Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife." Jesus said to them, "Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong." The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: " You know neither the scriptures nor the power of God"
How strong is our faith that we believe we will be raised from the dead?
The Sadducees' role in Jesus' time was to maintain the Temple in Jerusalem. Their priestly duties, mandated by the Torah, made them quite powerful. They performed sacrifices at the temple, especially during the 3 festival pilgrimages in Jerusalem.
Jesus was in almost constant conflict with the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees insisted on the literal translation/interpretation of the scriptural texts. The Pharisees gave oral tradition equal authority to the written word of God.
The Sadducees rejected a belief in the resurrection of the dead. The Pharisees did believe in the resurrection. The Sadducees denied the afterlife and held that the soul perished at death; but the Pharisees believed in an afterlife and in an appropriate reward and punishment for individuals.
The Sadducees rejected the idea of an unseen and spiritual world, but the Pharisees taught the existence of angels and demons in a spiritual realm.
The differences in their beliefs on resurrection was so strong that Paul used it to his advantage while on trial at the Sanhedrin (Acts 23:6)…" My Brothers, I am a Pharisee,...I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead." His mention of the Resurrection caused a conflict between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the Roman commander sent troops into the "great uproar" and Paul had to be rescued from their violence and melee.
Jesus, however, had more run ins with the Pharisees because of their oral tradition and manmade laws.
Back to Mark's scripture reading of today. Why would the Sadducees bring up the Resurrection when they did not believe in it. Jesus affirmed their lack of belief in the resurrection and admonished them that they knew not the scriptures nor the power of God.
The Sadducees came to Jesus to ridicule the Resurrection and to poke holes in that belief. Jesus proves God is a living God. How beautiful is God's unending love, that He desires to share with us His love for all eternity. God has promised Paradise, heavenly bliss--An unending love with an all loving God.
What a powerful gift, the Resurrection, given to us by the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Psalm 73: 23-24 ( David's prayer)
"I am continually with you: you hold my right hand,
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory." Amen
Please visit our PAPA (Priests Always/Prayer Apostolate) website. You will find the prayer for priest and download it.