Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
June 6, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Tobit 3:1-11a, 16-17a
Psalm 25:2-3, 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
He is not the God of the Dead, but the God of the Living . . . ."
It's hard to know what the Sadducees actually thought about the afterlife, and it's probably not terribly important, but illustrative. In other common faiths of the time, for example the Roman religion and the ancient faith of the Egyptians, the dead descended to a realm of the dead that was presided over by a King or God of the Dead--Pluto or Osiris. Here, in the shadow world, the spirits of those who died spend a shadow life in a shadow world, never truly happy or truly anything at all.
Jesus emphatically tells everyone who is listening and everyone who will read His words afterwards that it is not so for those who believe in God. There will be no shadow life or half-life, or life wandering in a shadow realm remembering what it was to be alive. We will be raised from the dead. Everyone who believes in Jesus will not die but will have eternal life in a resurrected body.
Jesus demonstrated this Himself with His own resurrection. He gave us the pattern of our own life. We will undergo the translation that is called death to emerge through faith in God to the vibrant living eternity--not a wandering, shadowy half-life, but a real life in a real body amongst all those around us who believe and are resurrected with us.
This is the promise of our faith. Indeed, it is more, it is the truth of our faith. And if we believe anything else, we are the people Jesus speaks of when He says: "You are greatly misled."
Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Norbert, bishop
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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