Endurance. It is something that I have to keep enforcing within my mind as I pray and finish the projects within the last remaining 2 to 3 weeks of school. Also, I realise that it is a time of great uncertainty in the wake of the U.S elections. On the other hand, I saw this article, “Pope opens private summer residence for visitors” and the heading that struck me in the article was that the residence was a sanctuary for refugees during World War II. The photographs also offer a look around the residence which I found to be of interest. There are so many worldly preoccupations but the reward is in the resurrection.
Today’s gospel reading reminds us that there is an afterlife and that our loved ones are enjoying the heavenly banquet which we will also partake. “Some Sadducees, those that 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 and 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 the woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those that 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 children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise. Even Moses made known in the passage of 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”(Luke 20:27-38).
Sometimes, we too are like the Sadducees who are lacking in faith to comprehend the reward of eternal life which is in heaven. They are short sighted and are unable to comprehend life beyond death. They had come to mock Jesus with the question but Jesus patiently explains to them about the truth of the resurrection. To believe in the resurrection requires faith and it is through faith that we live out our lives. We are guided by the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and we even profess it in the Apostles Creed. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”(Romans 5:5).
There will be no more pain and suffering in heaven because it is a joyous celebration which is forever. In heaven, we only have one Father God. There is no need for marriage in heaven because we are not bound for pro-creation but for everlasting life. But to experience all of this, we must acknowledge and recognize that Jesus is living inside each one of us and that he is present. Jesus was always present in the lives of Abraham, Issac and Jacob in guiding them through trials and challenges of their time.
Like Pope Francis, he does not concern himself with material things and is willing to share his life so personally with the people. He even opens his private residence to visitors for them to learn more about the history and tradition of the Catholic faith. We are called to live in the now and gaze to heaven which is our reward and so this must be also our priority.
How many of us have been to a wedding dinner before? The wait for heaven is akin to that when we sit and wait for the dessert before the course ends. It is the anticipation in knowing that there is the best entry for the night which is the dessert. It is a part of the course where everyone enjoys the dessert as it is special and different. There are so many dessert creations; which one do you enjoy the most?
For Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25).
God Bless as we open our eyes and hearts to the eternal reward and rest that we too will be reunited with our departed loved ones and sit with Jesus at the table of the heavenly banquet. Amen.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong