Question: Who could be the called as the most ‘blessed’ people in the world?
The Reason: In Christ we have the possibility to receive great blessings, to have heavenly experiences on earth by living a faith-filled life and to enjoy the most intimate moments with God in the Most Holy Eucharist.
The Biblical Support: John 10:10, “I have come to give life, and life in abundance”
John 6:51, “I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever”
Question: Who could be the called as the most ‘pitied’ people in the world?
The Reason: A Christian who fails to believe & be convinced of a life in Christ after this earthly life & lives only for this world.
The Biblical Support: 1 Cor 15:19, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all”
Am I a Christian who can be called Blessed, because of my faith in Christ which is directed towards Eternal Life ?
>> Or am I a Christian who is to be Pitied, because of my belief in Christ which is only to satisfy my desires of this world?
The Gospel of the Day invites us to dwell on these aspects with the incident of the Question on the Resurrection.
This question on the Resurrection was put forward by the Sadducees.
The Sadducees were the priestly aristocracy among the Jews.
>> They tried to live in close contact with the Roman rulers so that they might as far as possible promote the secular interests of their people.
Consequently they took little interest in religious matters and in many respects clashed with the Pharisees, especially as regards the Pharisees’ attachment to the ‘traditions of the elders’.
Anything which was not taught by ‘the law of Moses’ (the first five books of the Old Testament) was rejected by the Sadducees as forbidden innovations.
Unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducees did not believe in many aspects:
>> They didn’t believe…
… in angels.
… in heaven or hell.
… in life after death.
… in the immortality of the soul.
… in the resurrection of the dead.
Thus, the doubt on the Resurrection exposes the hypocrisy of the Sadducees.
>> They were asking Jesus about something they didn’t believe.
They sought to establish that belief in a resurrection from the dead was unscriptural and impractical by putting forward a highly hypothetical question.
But Jesus, the cleverest and smartest Master outwits their malicious plans.
Jesus establishes that eternal life would not be a mere extension of this presently life.
>> Rather, there would be a great transformation of all that is earthly.
The style and the method of this transformation is known only to God…
>> The manner and the mode of this transformation is known only to God…
But the Lord with logic & reason and a strong scriptural-support champions this Doctrine of the Resurrection from the Dead.
The passage ends with the statement, “And they no longer dared to ask him anything” (Lk 19:40)
The Sadducees who came to trap the Lord with their malicious doubts were put to silence.
>> Maybe a few of those Sadducees…
… would have second thoughts on it.
… got a bit confused between Jesus’ words and their own convictions
… felt angered at the convinced reply of Jesus & their unwillingness to let go of their position.
Maybe most of those Sadducees felt threatened by the confident reply of Jesus and their aversion to give up their opinions.
>> It’s a tragedy when one fails to convert oneself, even after knowing the truth.
>> It’s a pity when one fails to change oneself, even after becoming aware of the reality.
>> It’s a calamity when one fails to alter oneself, even after being conscious of the facts.
Are we a practical Sadducees in our lives?
>> Do I believe in the power of the Resurrection of the Dead? Do I believe that there is a life beyond our earthly existence?
It is not that enough to have a mere verbal belief.
>> This belief ought to be translated in our personal living.
We need to prepare ourselves for a glorious eternity by living a holy life.
>> We need to avoid any blocks and sins which can hamper my progress to eternal life.
The world is becoming more and more materialistic today.
The feeling that “after all we have only one life” and “let us enjoy to the maximum” is widespread.
Certainly, God has blessed us with this life…and we need to enjoy.
>> But enjoy it in the proper manner with a sense of responsibility and decorum.
Let us give up anything that reduces the value of enjoyment to mere sensual and bodily-pleasurable activities.
>> Instead, let us enjoy real freedom and happiness, by living a life of Grace and Love!
We are Christians…
>> Will my life be the most blessed?
… or Will my life be the most pitied?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Form often this good thought, that we are walking in this world between Paradise and Hell…
… and that our last step will place us in an eternal dwelling.
We do not know which step will be our last.
>> And so, in order to make our last step well…
… we must try to make all the others well!”