Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
In my ministry with St. Anthony Messenger Press [now Franciscan Media] one of my roles is to answer questions on our radio program, American Catholic Radio. I usually try first to put the answer in the simplest terms, from what I already know. Then I usually do some research to be sure I’m giving the person an accurate response.
But I’m not sure how I’d react if I had to tackle the case Jesus receives in today’s Gospel. It’s a complicated, multi-part question about a woman who was widowed seven times, the Old Testament’s law about a brother-in-law stepping in to marry his deceased brother’s widow, and what will happen to all those spouses in heaven! Fortunately, the answer is an easy one: It’s all about resurrection.
The question was a loaded one. It was asked of Jesus by the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection, so their agenda was to promote their erroneous point of view. Jesus’ clever reply cuts through all their complications, and even quotes Moses to respond.
Fortunately, we don’t have to go through such complications to ground our faith in the resurrection and the promise of eternal life with Christ. We need only to make our act of faith in him who died and rose for us. As Christians the new life Jesus gives is the ultimate answer to all our questions.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In the first reading, why were the seven brothers being tortured and killed?
Did they believe that God would raise them up to new life?
• Why does Paul pray for the Thessalonians in this week's second reading? What does he hope for?
Paul also asks the Thessalonians to pray for him? Why?
• This week's Gospel mentions the Sadducees. There is an old joke that “the Sadducees were sad, you see” because they did not believe in the Resurrection. Does that old joke help you remember something about the Sadducees?
The Sadducees were trying to test Jesus to see if he believed in the Resurrection. How did Jesus answer them?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Do some research and find out who the Sadducees are that are talked about in the Gospel.
• The Sadducees pose a complicated question to Jesus in the Gospel. Play a game of trivia with either your family and friends to see how well you can answer tough questions.