03 June 2020

He destroyed death

Charles Lwanga & Companions
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St Dominic Priory, NOLA

Jesus quotes his Father speaking to Moses, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,” explaining to the Sadducees, who deny the resurrection, “He is not God of the dead but of the living.” Jesus is pointing out to the Sadducees that our call to holiness (how we live apart in this world) is “not according to our works but according to [God's] own design.” So, he asks them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” The answer, of course, is Yes, they are misled. But how? Paul helps us here by reminding Timothy that God, “did not give us a spirit of cowardice...” Most English translations render δειλία as “fear” or “timidity.” Opposed to fear, timidity, cowardice is the spirit of power, love, and self-control. These gifts are best used in the service of bearing witness, of giving testimony to the truth that God has “saved us and called us to a holy life.” The living God, the God of the living, calls us to holy life of boldness, love, prudence, and power. Knowing that the resurrection awaits us only reinforces our supernatural desire to bear witness to the mercy of God in this world. The Sadducees (both ancient and modern) see this world as the end, the only world we need worry about. They are misled. We know that Christ “destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” As preachers and teachers of the Gospel, we are vowed to proclaim over and over and over again, “He is not God of the dead but of the living!”

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