2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12
The proclamation of today’s Gospel is frequently followed by unfortunate conversations about the hapless widow and whose wife she really is! Such conversations absolutely miss the point of the reading and lead to no useful conclusion. The Sadducees deny resurrection. They pose a question designed to make Jesus look stupid. Jesus turns the tale on them: Is not this why you are wrong – because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?[i] Part of the Sadducees’ problem, and ours, is that our dreams, and our fears, are too small. Our focus is too materialistic. The Sadducees want to know, “Who gets to claim the woman as his wife?” We want to know, “What will heaven be like? What can I do? What stuff will I have?” Or, we are afraid, “What if…?” And we aren’t even sure what we are afraid of! I remember a nurse urging me to visit a very difficult patient: “Mary” was angry at the world and uncomfortable to be with. She resisted anything I tried to say to her and blamed everyone around her for her distress. Her fear, and lots of old hurts, had prevented her from perceiving God’s loving presence. She expected the worst. Finally, grumpily, she agreed to receive the Sacrament of the Sick and Holy Communion. The next time I came the nurse said, “You healed ‘Mary’”! Truly, “Mary” was like a different person. She was calm, friendly, and open to conversation, prayer and a blessing. “Mary” was still seriously ill. A couple of months later “Mary” died a very happy, peaceful death. The sacraments, good nursing, and some pastoral counseling brought “new life” on her road to death. She was truly healed, but not cured. She died expecting a joyous welcome and a new radiant life beyond our comprehension. The dead do not raise themselves; they are raised by God who is God not of the dead but of the living! This is the God to whom Jesus says: Father into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). This is the God of whom Fr. Robin Ryan, C.P., writes: “The God of Jesus Christ is the Resurrector”[ii]!
 Translation from, The Gospel of Mark, John R. Donahue, S.J., Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., Sacra Pagina, Daniel J. Harrington, Ed., The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 2002
 God and the Mystery of Human Suffering, Robin Ryan, C.P., Paulist Press, NY, 2011, p. 81
- Fr. John M. Lee, C.P., Retreat Director, “The Passionist Spiritual Center in New York City”, Bishop Molloy Retreat House, Jamaica, NY www.bishopmolloy.org