Gospel Reflections

32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 20:27-38

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Joanna Saiko Nakamura

Published: November 06, 2016

Read Luke 20:27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If... Read More…


Today’s Gospel tells us that some Sadducees who claimed there is no resurrection asked Jesus about resurrection using the rule which is called Levirate marriage. If a person did not believe in eternal life and new life in the resurrection, and thought that life would totally end in death, it would be very important to have many children and create a large family. However, Jesus told them that new life in the next world brought about by death is completely different from life in this world. That is to say, people who are living the life of the resurrection at their death will not die, so they do not need to marry and be given in marriage. In addition, they become one family as children of God. In this way Jesus taught the Sadducees that it is not necessary to believe that the next world is based on marriage in this world.

Do you know the Christian History in Japan? It was nearly 470 years ago when Francis Xavier introduced Christianity to Japan. The missionaries struggled to bring the Good News; many churches were built and Christianity increased within a few years. However, 50 years later the first persecution began in Japan. Following this, Christians suffered for 250 years because of serious persecution. During this time people of various generations were martyred because they would not give up their faith in God. There was one episode during this era of persecution. There was an official who could not bear to kill a little child and tried to persuade the child to reject his faith. However, the child said to him, “Eternal life in Heaven is more important than happiness in this world,” and he refused the official’s proposal.

Even though there were no priests or churches, the Christians kept their faith strong and took care of those who were suffering and abandoned because of their diseases. That is why they are honored because of their goodness and service. The kindness which they showed to their neighbors during their times of need show that God, our loving Father, encouraged and enabled them to do good things and speak the wise words which Paul shares in today’s second reading, showing that our God is indeed alive.

We believe in Jesus’ resurrection, so death is not the end of life but the beginning of eternal life. So let us continue doing what is good and living our lives for God!

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