Collect for the Week: of Pentecost 24
whose sovereign purpose none can make void:
give us faith to be steadfast amid the tumults of this world,
knowing that your kingdom shall come
and your will be done,
to your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen APBA p.603
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 20: 27-40
Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.’
Jesus said to them, ‘Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die any more, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.’ Then some of the scribes answered, ‘Teacher, you have spoken well.’ For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
GOSPEL Reflection : Contributed by Suzanne Claire
The Sadducees were a powerful group in the Sanhedrin at the time of Jesus and they did not believe in the resurrection. So, they pose this awful scenario which is assuming Heaven will have Earthly customs. They viewed women as property, which is seen in their description. They give no concern to the women’s pain of constant loss and being an outcast. But in Heaven there will be no death or marriage.
Jesus sees through their fake question. Those who are part of the resurrection will neither marry nor be given in marriage, they cannot die but will be like angels. Moses implied the resurrection as he spoke of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as being alive. So, the widow would be treated as an equal if she is in the resurrection.
The Pharisees, on the other hand, believed in the resurrection so they were pleased with Jesus’ answer.
FINAL PRAYER A Song of Christ’s Goodness Canticle – Anselm of Canterbury 11th Century
Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you,
You are gentle with us as a mother with her children.
Often you weep over our sins and our pride,
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.
You comfort us in sorry and bind up our wounds,
in sickness you nurse us and with pure milk you feed us.
Jesus, by your dying, we are born to new life,
by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness,
through your gentleness, we find comfort in fear.
Your warmth gives life to the dead,
Your touch makes sinners righteous.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy, heal us,
in your love and tenderness, remake us.
In your compassion, bring grace and forgiveness,
for the beauty of heaven, may your love prepare us.