- the dead will rise
- God of the living
- The Sadducees in this gospel suggest a preposterous example to ridicule belief in the resurrection. With supreme confidence Jesus counters that God “is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
- We do, indeed, live forever. Like the brothers in the first reading, like Jesus himself, we believe in God’s promise of the resurrection.
- It is the bedrock of our hope and the inspiration for our fidelity to the living God.
- As we approach the end of the church year, the Lectionary always directs our attention to Jesus’ second coming and the promise of the resurrection.
- This focus is reinforced by the cluster of festivals (All Saints, All Souls, Christ the King) we celebrate at this time.
- The death of a loved one is an occasion when our thoughts consciously turn to the hope of life after death.
- The readings this Sunday reassure us that this hope in new life after death is well founded.
- The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection because they believed only what was revealed in the written Torah. They totally rejected the oral Torah, or traditions held by the Pharisees. Since Sadducees claim that there is no reference to resurrection in the written Torah, they didn’t believe in it.
- The word "Torah" can mean:
a) The Pentateuch - The first 5 books of the Bible (aka: The Five Books of Moses. The Sadducees accepted this as authority)
b) The Tanakh - The whole of the Old Testament beyond the first 5 books - including the Prophets and the Writings (Hebrew Scripture - The Tanakh) *1
c) The Talmud *2 (Oral Tradition, also)
Historical Cultural Context by John J. Pilch of Georgetown University (1997)
Working with The Word by Joyce Ann Zimmerman, CPPS; Kathleen Harmon, SNDdeN; and Christopher W. Conlon, SM
*1 The Tanakh (Hebrew: תַּנַ"ךְ, pronounced [taˈnaχ] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh, Tenak) is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions.
The Torah ("Teaching" -also known as the Five Books of Moses)
*2 Talmud (tăl`məd) in Judaism, vast compilation of the Oral Law with rabbinical elucidations, elaborations, and commentaries, in contradistinction to the Scriptures or Written Laws. The Talmud is the accepted authority for Orthodox Jews everywhere.