Jesus thwarts the Sadducee’s evil challenge by revealing a glimpse of life in Heaven. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Diligence so he can know and rely on Sacred Scripture and by seeking the Virtue of Hope so he can always joyfully trust in the Resurrection of the Body. 

Liturgy

33rd Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 20:27-40

Commentary

Having previously defeated theological challenges from the priests, scribes and elders (Mk 12:1-12) and also the attacks of the Herodians and Pharisees (Mk 13-17), Jesus now is confronted by the Sadducees, semi-secular Jews of the ruling elite class who collaborated with the Romans. 

Rejecting the belief in eternal life, the Sadducees smugly attempt to publicly discredit Jesus by asking His response to an absurd scenario which they believed undermined the idea of the resurrection after death. The Sadducees base their scenario on Moses’ directive that men were duty-bound to marry and have children with their sister-in-laws if their brother died with no descendants. The Sadducees present their well-crafted scenario, describing a woman who married a man and was widowed with no children, and then married the man’s remaining six brothers in succession, each time being widowed again with no children. The Sadducees then foolishly pose their supposedly “checkmate” question to Jesus: After the woman, who was widowed seven times, finally dies, which of the brothers would she be married to in the resurrected afterlife? 

Jesus cannot be tricked or stumped. He strongly rebukes the Sadducees twice, telling them, they “are misled”; this is both true and a stinging public humiliation for the Sadducees, who prided themselves on being “the elite.” He intensifies His rebuke and the humiliation of the Sadducees as He reveals that, despite being supposed pious Jews, they don’t know Scripture and don’t know the power of God.  Jesus, unbeknownst to the Sadducees, gives a firsthand glimpse of Heaven, revealing that after the resurrection, male and female remain, but don’t marry, and will be like the angels. In a final rebuke, Jesus uses Scripture (Ex 3:6) to correct the Sadducees’ underlying disbelief in the resurrection of the dead, confirming God is, the “God of the living.” 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by how Jesus aggressively corrects the duplicitous Sadducees: Jesus, with remarkable restraint, reacts with controlled just Anger and Harshly Rebukes and Humiliates the arrogant Sadducees for their absurd “marriage” scenario; Divine Knowledge with the first-hand experience of Heaven as the Son of God, Jesus asserts what actually happens in Heaven (no marriage, angels exist); with perfect Logic (a part of Reason), Jesus uses Scriptural precedent to correct their opposition to resurrection, publicly condemning a key belief of the powerful ruling Sadducees, leaving them afraid to confront Him (Lk 20:40).

Know and rely on Sacred Scripture

Realize: As a Divine Person of the Trinity, Jesus establishes Sacred Scripture to help bring men to Truth; today, in the increasingly confused and sinful world, every Catholic man needs to build a deep knowledge of Sacred Scripture so he can lead his family and many others to Christ. 

Believe: Reflect upon Christ and the Truth of Sacred Scripture (CCC 101-108, 134-141).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Truth, help me grow in the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I diligently fulfill my obligation to read and build a deep knowledge of Scripture so I can lead my family and others to You and Your Holy Catholic Church. 

Joyfully hope in the Resurrection of the Body

Realize: Each time a Catholic man says the Creed in Mass or in praying the Rosary, he is making a solemn vow before God that he fully understands and believes everything in the Creed, including the astounding truth of the resurrection of the body. 

Believe: Reflect upon The Resurrection of the Body (see CCC 988-1019).

Pray: Jesus, Resurrected Christ, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I trust in, and joyfully anticipate my own glorious resurrection and life in Heaven.