Well, we have made it. We have arrived at Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets.
Today’s snippet from Chapter 21 of Luke is one of several incidents arising from disputes with the Sadducees. A wealthy rival group associated with the temple who held to the written scriptures and rejected the concept of Oral Tradition as handed down by the Pharisees. Their position rejecting belief in the resurrection and angels occasioned many disputes. Remember the near riot at Paul’s trial in the Acts of the Apostles.
So, once again we have a group hostile to Jesus and on this occasion raising a very fundamental truth dear to Jesus. He had proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life” and they were aware of this claim.
Underlying this exchange is the tension felt often in the Gospel, raised by another of Jesus’ remarks, “My kingdom is not of this world”. Ultimately this teaching is an anathema to those who wanted a mighty warrior to build a fortress and wipe enemies off the face of the earth. Sadly, the Sadducees were strong supporters of that position, and their collection of riches was the trademark of their position.
For us, God infinitely rich in life, alive in himself and source of life to all, and one who does not wish the death of his creation, raises the dead to life as easily as God gives life.
We know that many do not believe in life after death. Many do, some are unsure about resurrection and we meet those who are very firm in their unwavering belief and hope that, “I shall live forever with my loving God”. Resurrected-life is radically different to our present life. Paul reminded us that eye has not seen etc, the wonderment God has in store for us.
Faced with this call and with an eye on next week’s reading, we must look back on our Lucan journey and in a sense see what camp we are in; the Sadducee’s or that of Jesus…
The finding will be a worthwhile offering on the coming feast of Christ the King!