Today’s Gospel Text: And Sad’ducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; 21 and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” 24 Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” Mark 12:18-27
Reflection: I find the first part of the question rather interesting: “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother.” (vs. 19)
Why does an Israelite need to raise up children for his dead brother and that too through his wife?
Could one of the goals of marriage be to raise up children by mortal men so as to carry forward the name and race?
This indeed seems to be the behavior pattern of a typical tribal society, which valued children as ones who will carry forward the name of the family.
But what comes across still more powerfully is the unitive nature of marriage; widowed wife is still one with the her husband,
It also brings to the forefront the role of a woman, in keeping with her physiology, to bring forth life into the world.
Could this be flowing from the inner compulsions in the many to carry forward the name of the family; a desire for eternity, either by way of achieving it in person or by name, fame or memory.
This very reason, we humans have great desires to create records and history and have ones name etched out in the memory of peoples and nations. The society welcomes such achievements and sees its own good in that.
But Christ Jesus gives us a different example in this: he gave his very self as a living and perfect sacrifice, humble and lowly, enduring the greatest hardship and pain.
In memory thereof he gave us the bread and wine, the body and blood, soul and divinity as a memorial offering, so that we may eternally benefit from it.
This memorial offering of Christ Jesus transforms us into his image and likeness and is a sure guarantee of eternal life.
It makes us children of the eternal Father, thus Jesus raises us up as children of the Father; who in return glorify his name here on earth, as lights of the world.
Prayer: O God you are our eternal Father through Jesus Christ and we are your children in faith.
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