The Hand of God,
Peinture de Kim Yongsung,
Huile sur toile,
Painted circa 2008
© Kim Yongsung, all rights reserved

The Hand of God,
Peinture de Kim Yongsung,
Huile sur toile,
Painted circa 2008
© Kim Yongsung, all rights reserved

Gospel of 10 novembre 2019

God, not of the dead, but of the living

Luke 20: 27-38

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached Jesus and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that 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, to which of them will she be wife 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 sons 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 all men are in fact alive.’

Réflexion sur la peinture

I have always struggled to fully understand today’s Gospel reading. Yes, it is about the gates of death and Jesus telling us that life is changed, and not just ended. Yes, it is about the gift of our own personal resurrection, and the realisation of it is exactly what gives meaning to this life. But yet it is a difficult reading I find. That is exactly where a lot of the beauty of the Gospel lies. Just like God reveals Himself slowly, over time, so are the Gospels only being slowly revealed to ourselves. Each time we delve back into the same stories or passages we have read over and over again, we go deeper and deeper and more and more is revealed to us. So maybe in a year, or 5 years, or even 10 years will the true meaning of this passage be revealed to me. But that’s ok, some things take time, and I am thankful for it. Beauty isn’t always instant. Beauty that reveals itself slowly is a beautiful process in itself.

So yes, today’s reflection I will keep this short. And I leave you with a painting by Korean artist, Kim Youngsung, called ‘the Hand of God’, of a view that St. Peter would have seen when he sank away as he attempted to walk on the water calling out 'Lord, save me!’. We can see the hand of Jesus revealing Himself… and reaching into the water to help Peter… Peter wanted to know Christ and slowly was the true nature of Christ revealed to him; same with us, we want to know Christ fully, but it will only be revealed to us slowly, with time, in prayer... with Jesus' hand always reaching out for us and guiding us...

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