Does God actually seek a relationship with us?
The Sadducees are known for their belief that there is no resurrection. So, in an effort to trap Jesus, they ask Jesus about this woman who had seven husbands: Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? The purpose of this question is not because the sadducees have a true concern about what resurrected life will be like, but rather, the purpose is to mock Jesus about how ridiculous the belief in the resurrection of the dead is. But Jesus responds patiently. He says, resurrected life is about receiving the gift of being sons/daughters of God. For even Moses called out ‘Lord,’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Jesus uses the tradition of the scriptures to remind the Sadducees a fundamental truth about God. That is, God desires to be in relationship with all of us. If he didn’t, then the covenant relationship God set up with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the other patriarchs was pointless. The covenant would mean nothing as our relationship with God would cease when we die. God does not just desire to be in relationship with us now, but forever in the life to come; in our heavenly homeland.
We just celebrated two beautiful feasts this week that confirm for us the truth of the Resurrection of the dead. First the solemnity of All Saints and second, All souls day. Both of these should give us great hope of the life to come. The saints are those who, Christ spoke about in the Gospel. They are the Children of God who live in happiness with the Heavenly Father. They teach what Jesus said in the Gospel is reality. That Our God is the God of the living.
We also celebrated All souls day. This is a day of great hope. It is a day when we call to mind all of our loved ones; family and friends, who have gone before us. Listen to this beautiful prayer from the rite of Christian funerals. “In the sure and certain hope that, together with all who have died in Christ, He will rise with them on the last day.” We can have certain hope because this is the reason Christ became man. Christ came so that he could bring us all back into relationship with our heavenly father.
And this hope that we have, my brothers and sisters in Christ, is the difference between the mentality of the Sadducees and a Christian mentality. The Sadducees see this earthly life as everything. The only sign of God’s fidelity in their lives was wealth, a long life, and earthly blessings. But for us christians, we know that God promises something more than mere earthly blessings. The sign of God’s fidelity and love in our lives is that God seeks to be in relationship with us. So much so that he promises to rise us from the dead so that we can live with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for all eternity.
So, as we receive this Eucharist today may we be strengthened by the knowledge that God calls each of us his beloved son and daughter. May we respond in gratitude by seeking to live with Him for all eternity in Heaven. May we hold on to to the sure and certain hope that our friends and family who have gone before us await our resurrection from the dead to join the heavenly feast. All of this because, God desires to be in a relationship with each of us.