Not everyone will experience the Resurrection. In our Creed we say,
I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
If we read and listen carefully to the Scriptures, some will experience the Resurrection, and many will not.
The Sadducees denied the Resurrection, and tested Jesus with their most famous argument to show how ridiculous the Resurrection was, with the argument of seven brothers who each marry the same women. According to the argument, each husband dies childless and then the woman dies. Then the Sadducees ask Jesus,
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus not only affirms that there is a resurrection, but he tells us something about the Resurrection.
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but 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;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise….”
When Lazarus died and was four days in the tomb, Jesus assured his sister, Martha,
“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, ….”
There will be a Resurrection for believers who do God’s will, as Jesus says, for
“… those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead ….”
We all know that most people do not and will not ever read the Bible. The only Bible they may ever read may be the way they observe us living our lives. Many do come to believe because of the faith of others.
If you believe in Jesus and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, and if you really believe in your own Resurrection, you will live differently than if you didn’t believe it. You will live fully aware that you can lose your Resurrection. Your belief in your own Resurrection with Jesus will change the way you live. Others will observe how you live your life. Many will read the Gospel in you, because you will become like the seven sons who died rather than renounce their God. They lived with Hope in God. In that first reading, before he died for refusing to renounce God, one of the sons said,
“ … the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.”
Before the fourth son died, he also told his killers his own belief,
“It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him ….”
It is this faith that unites us in Hope, in this parish, in our Church.