REFLECTION FOR TODAY
June 2, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers…” Mk. 12:18-20
The Sadducees were mainly primarily of a wealthy, supplicated class of Jews who made the temple and its administration their primary concern. Though they were few they exerted a powerful influence on the people. In our gospel reference, these Sadducees presented Jesus with a long and unlikely hypothetical scenario of a woman married to seven brothers to reduce to absurdity any belief in the resurrection and to humiliate Jesus.
Just like the Pharisees, the Sadducees hypothetic scenario because an occasion for Jesus to reveal the hope of the gospel. The difference between the Sadducees and the Pharisees seems to be that the Sadducees had more sincerity in their pursuit of the truth whereas the Pharisees were more obsessed with their own authority and power.
So, Jesus meeting the Sadducees at their own terms explained how the resurrection is foreshadowed even in the Pentateuch. God reveal Himself to Moses as the God of his ancestors and yet also as a God who is still alive and active. Jesus explained that even the Pentateuch speaks of the hope of resurrection and this hope rests upon the character of God who graciously overcome death and gives life to His people, no matter how desperate their condition may be.
The issue with the Sadducees seems to be scrupulosity and rigidity in their approach to the faith. They clearly relied upon human reason, and they applied their human reason to the Pentateuch. And though human reason and logical deduction are helpful and necessary in life, they attempted to solve every matter of faith by their own effort by narrowly and rigidly interpreting the Pentateuch.
In our own lives, we can also become greatly misled when we use the gift of our human reason in a rigid and narrow way. We must never overly simplify the faith, and we must never think that we will easily be able to arrive at all the answers by our own effort. Our constant goal must be to allow our minds to become fully immersed in the deepest wisdom of God and all that He has revealed.
The teachings of the Church will guide us, keeping us on the straight path, but it will be the voice of God, speaking to our minds in a real and personal way, that will help us to understand the depth and breadth of God’s Will, His Truth, and Wisdom.
Reflect, today, upon any tendency you have to be like these Sadducees. Are you rigid? Or narrow minded? Do you allow yourself to be misled into thinking you have all the answers? If so, seek humility. Humble yourself before the awesome mysteries of Heaven. Use your mind to probe the truths that God has revealed and be ready to be drawn deeper and deeper into the life of God Himself.
My Lord of infinite wisdom, You are Truth Itself and You continually reveal Yourself to us. Give me the humility I need to always be open to all divine Truth in my life so that I will come to know You and Your holy will as You desire. Jesus, I trust in You.