Our readings this weekend deal with the age-old question of what happens when we die. Is there life after death or is it simply all over? It was only a couple hundred years before Christ that belief in an afterlife began to grow among the Jews. At the time of Jesus, the Sadducees did not believe in life after death; the Pharisees did. The question to Jesus was a trap: whatever He answered, one side would be alienated and angry.
Jesus’ answer is very clear: God is a God of the living, not the dead. The words used by Moses when he talked about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph clearly indicated the present, that they were still living. The point is God has a relationship with us, a relationship that started when He created us, and NOTHING will break it. No matter how far we stray, He is waiting for us to turn to Him again, like the Prodigal Father. And that relationship does not stop with death. As we hear in the preface for the funeral Mass: for the faithful, life is changed, not ended.
What will it be like? No one knows. But Jesus is telling us that it is something new and different, not just an extension of this life. The relationship with God that started when He created us will have reached its fullness.
As we approach the end of another Church year, let us thank God who is always “in relationship” with us, no matter what we do, and pray for each other that we may be ever more attentive to strengthening that relationship, so vital to our happiness and
well-being. God bless.
Church sign of the week: You can’t enter heaven until Jesus enters you.