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Living for the True Inheritance
Saturday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Some Sadducees–those who argue that there is no resurrection–approached him and they put this question to him, “Master, Moses prescribed for us, If a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers; the first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died. Now, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?” Jesus replied, “The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are children of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living, for to him everyone is alive.” Some scribes then spoke up. They said, “Well put, Master.” They did not dare to ask him any more questions.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, increase my faith in the eternal inheritance that you won for me.
- Moses Prescribed for Us: The Sadducees took as their authority Moses’ law and prescriptions. Those served their purpose for a time. But Jesus has a broader vision, one that spanned from the creation of the world into eternity. As he said in Matthew 5:17, he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. Jesus came as the mediator of a New Covenant “so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:15). Moses reminded the people of the natural law (that which is inscribed in their hearts) as well as made prescriptions based on their hardened hearts and sinful ways. But Jesus came to offer redemptive grace so we may live here on earth in the New Covenant of grace.
- Already, but Not Yet: How do we enter into our inheritance? The door to the possibility is Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant. By baptism we become children of God and heirs to his Kingdom. We are called to exercise our faith and “receive our daily bread” through the grace that the Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, offers us in our pilgrimage toward our heavenly homeland. In grace we already possess the inheritance won for us by Christ’s redemptive sacrifice on the cross. In hope, we await the final “portion,” so to speak, or consummation of this inheritance in the resurrection of the body.
- They Did Not Dare: Aren’t we encouraged to ask questions so as to learn and discover more about our faith? So, why did they not dare to ask questions? Perhaps because the answers would challenge them to turn from their old law to a new way of faith. This can be scary. Changing our ways of perceiving reality requires a death to our former self. It demands humility to recognize that one’s paradigmatic vision of the world may have been wrongly formed. Sometimes the Holy Spirit desires to shake us up, breaking down our old foundations in order to build up something new and true. The risk of allowing God to do this comes at the cost of dying to one’s self-aggrandizement, but the reward is a new and liberating life in the Spirit.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of the New Covenant I entered into through Baptism. Grant that I may live according to your desires for me, aware that you are the living God, inviting me into relationship every day.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect on how my actions reflect my belief in a living God.
For Further Reflection: What You Do with Your Body Matters, Ascension Press (reflects a sacramental vision of the human person’s body versus a secular worldview), and Nine Days to Christ the King Novena, Day 9.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”