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Sermon on the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

It’s relatively easy for a modern reader to find this dramatic encounter of Jesus and the Sadducees, described in the Gospel as “those who deny there is a resurrection,” as terribly confounding given an entirely absurd scenario (Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?). It shouldn’t take us any length of time to discern that this remarkable story is meant to trap him, shame him before everyone present and prove him wrong and lacking knowledge. It was a query about resurrection, with the sole intent of embarrassing him in the crowd and certainly, not to seek greater knowledge nor dialogue.  

What piqued my interest was how Jesus handled the situation and took over it. Rather than taking it personally and letting himself be affected by the whole controversy as the case may be, he acted quite differently. He seized, the- would- have- been- entrapment as a  teachable moment to expose the all-important belief in life after death and heaven, as well.

In a post-modern thinking which extremely gives the impression of being skeptical, cynical, doubtful, hard and indifferent with the church’s authority, an inter-active, engaging and theologically sound strategy must be used in dealing with the current issues of our time aware of the ever- increasing number of Anti-Catholics around the web and elsewhere. Society has come into an age in which everything is almost under scrutiny, every teaching/proposition/statement, notwithstanding the Word of God, is  questioned and challenged. I don’t think the phrase, “This is the teaching of the church period -damned if you do, damned if you don’t”, will make a lot of sense in a world that demands reasoned explanation. Similarly, a teaching that has, overtime, proven ineffective in practice and antithetical to the culture be totally dismissed. It’s alright. God understands. No big deal. See you next week. Both approach can be tragic. The Church’s teaching isn’t designed in exactly the same as the rules in football. It’s the ideal way of life and should remain for ages whether it’s practically applicable or not.

Moving right along.

Resurrection, by the way, was a later development in Judaism. It was for this reason that the Sadducees, a conservative sect heavily preoccupied with Mosaic law, this time in particular, levirate marriage, found it hard to believe in such a radically new thing, that is, rising from the dead. The resurrection is none of our business, actually. It is a totally different kind of existence, a much higher level than here and now. It can’t be understood simply as a continuation of the present time which reminds me of the song that says it all, In Heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here. It’s just fair to stop from breaking it down into details because the more I attempt to depict what resurrection from the dead will be like, the more I will make people confused about a reality that lies outside the realm of human language, approximation is the best thing we can possibly do.

For now, let’s just do our best, keep our faith intact knowing that God is in full control both of the present and the future “for to him all are alive.” Amen.

This entry was posted in: Parish


Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, Gracias a Dios! twelve years in ministry, pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.


  1. Anonymous says

    The Sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection, that's why they were “sad you see”! Sorry old joke! Vickie

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