24 November. Saturday of Week Thirty Three
Rev 11:4ff. The two prophets are slain but a are taken up to heaven in glory.
Lk 20:27ff. Jesus defends belief in the resurrection of the dead.
Neither marrying nor giving in marriage
“At the resurrection, whose wife will she be?” The woman who had been married to seven husbands is only a story – told by Jesus’ enemies – yet it was told and repeated, to the chagrin of women. Jesus does not lower himself to the level of the questioners but answers the question in a different way, to bear upon life after death and the mysterious form which our bodies will take at that time, mysterious, yet full of life, and by that life we testify to the God of the living. The ultimate answer, for which we should risk everything, our history and our human fate on earth, rests in the divine mystery of God’s heart. mystery. Yet we already live within that mystery, feel its attraction, and live off its strength, for already we are part of this earth and part of the life in heaven.
First Reading: Revelation 11:4-12
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes; anyone who wants to harm them must be killed in this manner. They have authority to shut the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have authority over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.
When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that is prophetically called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days members of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb; and the inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to the inhabitants of the earth. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and those who saw them were terrified. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watched them.
Gospel: Luke 20:27-40
Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and 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. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but 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. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And 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. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.” Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him another question.