20TH NOVEMBER 2021
LIFE AFTER DEATH
Today’s Gospel deals with the outstanding matter of faith that is resurrection from. It is peculiar that, as the Sadducees did, we also keep on asking and doubting about the same question. But
who are the Sadducees?
The Sadducees were one of the two very influential groups back in the Jewish community, which was made up of those who were powerful and rich, and many of them were strongly influenced by Hellenism or Greek ways and customs. The other group was the Pharisees. Both exhibited a tunnel vision in their faith understanding.
The Pharisees’ focus was on the observance of all the Torah prescriptions, the laws. The Sadducees’ focus was on the temple rules, the temple taxes, from which they profited. As for the Sadducees’ beliefs, they excluded angels, spirits and the resurrection, as today’s gospel reading manifests. That is why today they confront Jesus with a hypothetical case to argue that resurrection does not make sense, not convincing.
But for us Christian, resurrection is a fundamental basic of our faith. We confess it in the Creed. The basic reason for us to believe in the Resurrection of the dead is first of all because of our faith in the Creator, the Source of our life, who is God Himself. God gives us his own breath, our life. We share his life. And God is Eternal. He does not have origin or end. His life we share cannot die. The second reason is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the first fruit of the resurrection from the dead, as St Paul affirms.
His resurrection is an anticipation of our own resurrection.
The Lord revealed and reaffirmed that life after death is a reality, for our existence in this world is meant to be a
temporary one. After passing through death, all those who are faithful to God and remained true to Him to the end will be judged worthy to share His glorious inheritance, in the beatific vision of the saints, whether immediately or through the fires of Purgatory. Now the question is, are we ready to welcome Him fully and enter into His Eternal kingdom? How do we prepare for the life after death?
There are some few guidelines here that can help us to prepare well our future life.
First is Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world. Jesus is the Son of God who was sent to save and redeem us from sins that brought death and eternal damnation for us.
Two is about embracing the church community. Through Baptism, we become full member of the Community of God, the church where we become sons and daughters of God and are given the Power of the Holy Spirit to live our Christian life into its fullness.
Three is about living the sacraments of the church. The church gives us means for our salvation through the Sacraments and many other teaching and practices. We should take advantage of them.
Four is to live a life of charity. This is the most important in Christian life. In Christian virtues, faith and hope end with death but Love goes beyond earthly reality. Love reigns in heaven. We will be judged only about one thing that is love; love of God and love of others.
And lastly, to live our daily lives according to the Gospel guidance. Every day we get good lessons and guidance from the church that leads us to holiness and perfection. Therefore, let us live our daily lives as a preparation of the end of time, not just focusing on present.