Gospel Luke 20:27-38
Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living
The episode recounted in today’s Gospel contains some interesting insights about the sacrament of marriage, as an efficacious sign of a greater ‘eschatological marriage’ (see Rev 19:7-9). What strikes me though, are Jesus’ words at the conclusion of the excerpt: ‘Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’
So often, we think of the events of the Gospel and the presence of the Incarnate God as the stuff of memory. Piously, we try to live in the memory of Christ who was with us, or at least with his disciples. But this is not really enough for me – I need to know that he is present to me today, right now. Not just as a memory, but as someone really here.
One of my favourite prayers ‘The Angelus’ recounts the event of the Incarnation, with the lines “and the Word was Made flesh, and dwelt amongst us.” – but a writer who I often cite, Luigi Giussani encourages people to pray a slightly altered version of this prayer, using the words ‘and dwells amongst us” The emphasis here, on the continued presence of Jesus with us, which I think makes a significant difference.
As Jesus tells us in today’s reading, God is not a God of the dead, but a God of the living. He lives today and is ‘more intimate to me than I am to myself’ (Confessions II, 6, 11).
The life of Christian discipleship is a life lived out of a continuous encounter, with the God who dwells with us, whom we encounter in prayer, in the Church, in the Sacraments, in those around us, and in the wonderful creation with which he has gifted to us.
Point to Ponder
‘[T]he companionship born of Christ has erupted in history: it is the Church, His body, the mode of His presence today, a day-by-day familiarity, a commitment in the mystery of his presence within the sign that is the Church. This is how a rational evidence, fully reasonable, can be born, which makes us repeat with certainty what He, unique in the history of humanity, said of himself: I am the way, the truth, and the life.’
– Luigi Giussani, ‘Christ: God’s Companionship with Man’, p. 102