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November 10, 1995     The Message
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November 10, 1995

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November 10, 1995 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 -" Commentary-- Confrontation in Jerusalem: Sadducees and Resurrection Gospel Commentary for Sunday, November 12, 1995, Thirty.second Sunday, Cycle C, Luke 20:27.38. The long teaching journey of Jesus to Jerusalem in the Gospel of Luke which began in Luke 9:51 has ended in the city. Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the attack of Jesus on business activities in the temple have taken place. Jesus is .portrayed by Luke as teaching daily By FATHER DON DILGER the temple. While the people COLUMNIST hung on his words," the leadership .gages in a series of confrontations - oesus. They want to know by what authorit h: acted m his attack on merchants in the temple y. _.ts poses a question to them. If they can answer ms question he will answer theirs. They can't. He won't A te,-:', devastating parable follows. There is an at- ,,p so arrest him. Plain-clothes detectives are seat out to watch him. Jesus is confronted with a trap. Should the citi- zens of Judea pay the taxes levelled on them by the them. They seem to have centered around the high priestly families in Jerusalem. Sources including three of our gospels tell us that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. A first century Jewish historian, of a priestly family but a Pharisee in practice, tells us the Sadducees claim that "souls die with the bod- ies." Our own Luke, repeating what he found in the Gospel of Mark writes simply of the Sad- ducees: "those who believe there is no resurrection." He repeats this claim in Acts 23:8 This belief of theirs was based on their teach- ing that nothing about the resurrection of the dead could be found in the Torah. Strictly speak- ing "Torah" refers to the first five books of the Bible, though the word is sometimes used by ex- tension in reference to all the Hebrew Scriptures our Old Testament. The Sadducees could not find any reference to the resurrection in those first five books or scrolls. They pose a question about a this belief and many other beliefs and pl;actices of the Pharisees. If he was not a Pharisees himself he was close to it. Jesus goes directly to the Torah to disprove the claim of the Sadducees. He quotes from the Book of Exodus that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the "Big Three" of biblical geneal- ogy. The argument is this: if GOd is the God of these three patriarchs who died so long ago, then they must be alive in some way because God is not the God of the dead but of the living. Although this "proof' may not seem overwhelming to us, this was the method of argumentation. Since Jesus' answer was from the Torah, the Sadducees had to accept it as proof of the resurrection. There was no objection: 'rhey no longer dared to ask him any questions" There is no doubt that the preservation of this confrontation between Jesus and the Sadducees is owed to the debate with the Christian Church over the resurrection of the dead. Paul also had to deal with the question at great length in a letter to the Corinthian Church. It must be understood that out- side the affirmation of the resurrection in the Scrip- tures there is no proof of the resurrection of the dead. :?ag power, the Roman government? If Jesus ors in the affirmative he loses credibility with the crowd If his answer isnegative he could be ar- ::d r H. clev answer evades the trap: Give to _ want is Uaesar's and to God what is God's." *ant question is attributed to a group called "Phar- married man who died and left his wife a widow without children. According to the Torah the clos- est relative had the duty of"going in to" the widow and raising up a child as the heir of the dead hus- band. There were seven brothers. The six sur- To state it very simply as a Christian in the words of our creed: "We believe in the resurrection of the dead." It is a matter of revelation and the faith we put in that revelation relayed to us by our teaching Church. This belief was inherited from Torah Ju- tSees ,, m_ vivors of the first dead husband all tried and , . , ............... : *uese ........... , _ _ ., . ,. .. .. .... aalsm ann was lncegrai o Cue eacnmgs olL;nrlstlan- I: With inte.__y., re reagmus people deeply concerned failea and they area one Cneoner. Whose itv from the beginning In faith we accept and the Predation of th he one woman be in the resurrecuon I : to th^. '_ . e Scriptures to adapt them wife would t ' "  ..... " ...... cr everyda,, life " ........... .....  conauct o our dm ought to aemonsrate our mira. groun b,." -, J . oesus nan menus among thiS since all seven were successively her nusoana. I ,,' , also rivals. The question is outlandish and seems to be I grou;c:l: rid confrontation of Jesus comes from a meant to ridicule the belief of the Pharisees that Readings: II Maccabees 7:1.2, 9.14; II Thes.. S IN p cSafety o. Inc PKGS. neered packages for Size to 1OO' S In Stock. ut To Inch. CO. METAL :" Cannelburg. Montgomery Golden Jubilarians Roy G. and Mildred (Keil) Fitzpatrick of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary Nov. 25 at Clearcrest Pines. The couple was married Nov. 18, 1945 at St. James by Father Anthony A. Keil. They are the parents of two children: Judy Stallman of Fairfield, Ohio, and Jane Fitzpatrick of Frankfort, Ill.. They have four grand- children. Mr. Fitzpatrick retired from Coca Cola Bottling Works, and Mrs. Fitzpatrick retired from Simplex Time Recorder Company. KREMPP LUMBER CO. BUILDING MATERIAL SUPPLIES g GENERAL CONTRACTING HOMECENTER CONSTRUCTION 482-1961 482-6838 JASPER LUMBER CO. 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