1 Maccabees 6:1-13
In today’s Gospel, Jesus debates with some Sadducees who deny that there is a resurrection. After refuting their hypothetical situation of a woman marrying seven brothers, Jesus points to the encounter between Moses and God at the burning bush (Exodus 3). He reminds them that God identified Himself as the "God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," and therefore "he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."
To God, "all are alive." That is very important for us to remember! Very often, people can see each other not in terms of life, but of death. We know how individuals or groups of people can be full of hatred toward others. They want to see the other group dead! At other times, it is not so much a matter of open hostility than it is complete indifference. Here, the fate of the person is of no consequence to the other.
How do we respond to these attitudes of death? We need to have that same attitude that Jesus attributes to God: We must be able to see all as alive. We can’t seek to condemn others to death, and we can’t be indifferent to the plight of others. In our first reading from 1 Maccabees, the king Antiochus IV is on his deathbed, and realizes the harm he had done to Israel. We cannot be guilty of the same kind of thing. And so, we are called to share life! We’re called to share the hope we have in Jesus Christ! We need to witness to our trust in God who does not give up on life and does not give up on us!
Are we willing to see life in others and help nurture that life? This is more risky than declaring others not worthy of life, because it demands more of us. God is indeed God of the living! May we share our life in Christ!
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P. is on staff at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat and Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan.