Faith Daily | November 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST
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.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 20: 27-40
27 Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him 28and 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. 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30then the second 31and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32Finally the woman also died. 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.’
34 Jesus said to them, ‘Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 35but 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. 36Indeed they cannot die any more, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37And 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. 38Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.’ 39Then some of the scribes answered, ‘Teacher, you have spoken well.’ 40For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Allan Bell
This reading like several others in Luke always seems to me to be very Jewish in the use of religious debate or at least challenging by question and answer as a method of testing and learning from the Tora and each other.
The question of Jesus about resurrection and the Deuteronomic code concerning marriage of a dead brother’s wife is very contrived with the woman marring seven brothers in accordance with the law before dying childless. Are the Sadducees trying to make fun of the resurrection of just trying to trick Jesus? Probably both given that the Sadducees do not believe in resurrection.
Jesus sensibly does not answer the question directly instead his reply changes the focus away from the earthly. He points out that in the resurrection the only living relationship is with God the father. Those resurrected are described as immortal children of God.
He then reminds us of Exodus where Moses describes God as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who are all alive to God.
Resurrection and the new life it gives are glimpsed in the answer from Jesus. These concepts are probably beyond the imagination of those present. They acknowledge the Teacher and fall silent.
This passage is important because it prompts us to ponder the unknowable mystery of resurrection that is at the heart of our belief in God.
FINAL PRAYER:“Resurrection” by R.S. Thomas
Easter. The grave clothes of winter are still here, but the sepulchre is empty. A messenger from the tomb tells us how a stone has been rolled from the mind, and a tree lightens the darkness with its blossom. There are travellers upon the road who have heard music blown from a bare bough, and a child tells us how the accident of last year, a machine stranded beside the way for lack of petrol, is crowned with flowers.