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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

The Resurrection

Submitted by on Saturday, 20 November 2010No Comment
  • Reading I:  Revelation 11:4-12
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 144:1,9-10
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 20:27-40

The Debate on the Resurrection

The Sadducees did not believe in the Resurrection of the Dead and they use an argument intended to make belief in the Resurrection absurd ("reductio ad absurdum"). The example used is the application of the levirate law to a woman who has had several husbands, all brothers, without having a child by any of them. Step one of Jesus’ response renders the false application of the levirate law after this life since in the after life there is no longer any marriage. Marriage is for those in this life where having children makes sense. Step two of Jesus’ response is the application of the name "God of the living" to the question of the resurrection. If God is "God of the living", then when He told Moses in 3:6 that "I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob" then "Abraham", "Isaac" and "Jacob" thought to be dead are living (See also Psalm 16:10). From this, the conclusion "For all are alive to God" follows. In verses 34-36 Jesus assumes a popular idea of the resurrection, according to which only the just will rise up on the last day. The just who will live again are referred to as "children of God" in contrast to "the children of this age". They will no longer die and they are not given to marriage. More here…

On the Two Witnesses

If one historicizes the Book of Revelation and seeks particular persons to fit the description of those given in the selection, the most that one can come up with is another wildcard with a few descriptions. The best way to approach this selection is to follow the hints given by John himself:

First they are described as two olive trees and two lampstands. Consistent with the imagery in Revelation, we find here two images for each of the witnesses. The olive tree was a particularly useful tree for the people of the Mediterranean: they made us of its leaves, oil and fruits. It is very much like the coconut tree for us here in South-east Asia. They are also lamp posts. A fruitful tree, a good tree and a source of light. Both are significant members of the community of faith. Leaders in fruitfulness and giving light.

Second, they are described in the same way as Elijah the Tishbite. These are men of God who fight for the people of the Covenant as Elijah did and who did their work empowered by the Holy Spirit.

More on the First Reading

Revelation 11:4-12
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, that stand before the Lord of the earth.
5And if any man will hurt them, fire shall come out of their mouths, and shall devour their enemies. And if any man will hurt them, in this manner must he be slain.
6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and they have power over waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues as often as they will.
7And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast, that ascendeth out of the abyss, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8And their bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which is called spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord also was crucified.
9And they of the tribes, and peoples, and tongues, and nations, shall see their bodies for three days and a half: and they shall not suffer their bodies to be laid in sepulchres.
10And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry: and shall send gifts one to another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth.
11And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them. And they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them.
12And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them: Come up hither. And they went up to heaven in a cloud: and their enemies saw them.
Psalm 144:1,9-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
9To thee, O God, I will sing a new canticle: on the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings I will sing praises to thee.
10Who givest salvation to kings: who hast redeemed thy servant David from the malicious sword:
Luke 20:27-40
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27And there came to him some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection, and they asked him,
28Saying: Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he leave no children, that his brother should take her to wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
29There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
30And the next took her to wife, and he also died childless.
31And the third took her. And in like manner all the seven, and they left no children, and died.
32Last of all the woman died also.
33In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of them shall she be? For all the seven had her to wife.
34And Jesus said to them: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world, and of the resurrection from the dead, shall neither be married, nor take wives.
36Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37Now that the dead rise again, Moses also shewed, at the bush, when he called the Lord, The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
38For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.
39And some of the scribes answering, said to him: Master, thou hast said well.
40And after that they durst not ask him any more questions.
Psalm 16:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
10Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; nor wilt then give thy holy one to see corruption.

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