Friday, November 9, 2007

God Is Not God of the Dead

Gospel Commentary for the 32rd Sunday in Ordinary Time By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap

ROME, NOV. 9, 2007 ( In reply to the question that the Sadducees had posed to trap him about the woman who had had seven husbands on earth, Jesus above all reaffirms the fact of the resurrection, correcting at the same time the Sadducees' materialistic caricature of it.

Eternal beatitude is not just an increase and prolongation of terrestrial joys, the maximization of the pleasures of the flesh and the table. The other life is truly another life, a life of a different quality. It is true that it is the fulfillment of all man's longings on earth, yet it is infinitely more, on a different level. "Those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels." Continue reading …

If I may be so bold, one might ponder how inexplicable is the fact that from the "stuff of stars," as dear old Carl Sagan put it, comes the human race -- persons like us. Is it really any more unlikely and unimaginable that we "graduate" to a resurrected body that transcends our biological finitude as much as our personal lives transcend the thermonuclear existence our atoms once made play in those stars, nebulae, and other whirling bits of space debris?

I will happily put my money and my life in the keeping of this Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, who, as C. S. Lewis said, had logically to be (a) a liar, (b) a madman, or (c) telling the truth. If the answer is either (a) or (b), I've lost nothing except a few decades of opprobrium in the eyes of snooty atheists. But if (c) is true, then here's hail! to the rest of the Road.

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