In today’s Gospel the Sadducees believe they’ve encountered a logical proof, based on Mosaic law, that shows there can be no resurrection: family responsibilities toward widows and marriage would continue to be unclear if there were eternal life. Our Lord teaches them that the life to come is to be lived in a different way. All the trials and tribulations of this life–family spats, health issues, work headaches, social angst–will pass away. The marriages will be concluded, but the love that sustained them and grew in them will last forever, which is the true purpose of marriage. All wounds and infirmities will be healed, and we’ll have grown stronger in the crucible of suffering. Our work will be done and we’ll be able to admire the fruits of our labor. Everyone will have what they need and be acknowledged for what they have done and who they are: justice will reign for all. In short, when you reach Heaven, it’s “game over, you win.” Nothing else will matter and everything you underwent to get there will be put into perspective as worth it.
Our Lord teaches us today that we have to live in this world, but we always have to keep the life to come in mind in order to understand why we live in this world and how we should live in it. In the game of life winning is what matters, but that victory doesn’t happen here, even though this is the playing field where we win or lose. Even Tobit and Sarah in today’s First Reading wanted to give up when life seemed impossible, but they knew that wasn’t God’s will and prayed for the only relief they thought possible: death. Their prayers had barely reached Heaven and God was already planning their relief to help them see life as a blessing again, but on the Lord’s time table. We’d always like relief sooner rather than later, but in faith we know it will come, if we keep striving to not let life overwhelm us and persevering in faith as we play the game of life.
Let’s ask Our Lord today to help us put whatever difficulties going on in our life today into perspective. Let’s ask him to show us how we can live today in the light of how we’ll live in eternity.
Readings: Tobit 3:1–11a, 16–17a; Psalm 25:2–5b, 7b–9; Mark 12:18–27.