1. Introductory prayer
God, you are the God of the living, and not the dead. God, you are also my God. I know that I live only in You. I am alive and I will live forever. Let my eternity joyfully serves you and your creation.
2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to Luke 20 27 38
27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,
28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
30 And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.
31 And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.
32 Last of all the woman died also.
33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
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34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.
3. Thoughts on the Gospel
In the Gospel we find Jesus, responding to Sadducees, regarding a question about the afterlife, as they did not believe in afterlife.
Their question is raised in a cunning way so that Jesus’ teachings on the afterlife can be revealed as unfounded. In front of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who believed the afterlife. Jesus is, so to speak between two fires. However, nothing happens.
Jesus’ answer is a lesson in understanding the Bible. He makes no mention, for example, on the authority of any of the previous teachers of the Sadducees or the Pharisees: if God is called the God of Abraham or the God of Isaac, God of Jacob, or is, he called the God who reigns the dead. Wrong. The Lord is the God of the living.
Where are therefore those living, who are no longer among us? Jesus teaches the Sadducees that they are in the service of God and are like angels, as sons of God. And if they are like angels, does this mean that they marry with one another?
Jesus denies it. Angels have their specific tasks, to serve God. In short: it’s a stay, which is different from life, which we usually know.
The Evangelist Luke in his Gospel through this passage gives us Jesus’ teachings on the afterlife. Obviously Luke’ community was looking for an answer to this question in the middle of diverse teachings, in that time.
The answer that they receive is certainly interesting, not only for them but also for those looking for Jesus’ teaching.
4. Meditation – thinking
About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:
- How do I understand the question of life and death?
- Lives of many people are preserved in the lives of the people who follow them. Which of your ancestors are alive in your memory?
- What function do they perform as construction snippets of yourself? I take my time and I try to identify with each of them.
- If people, ancestors and friends, even enemies, are alive in my memory, how much more are they still alive in God?
- What happens to them in and with God?
- What memory will leave my life to my loved ones and my descendants?
- How do I see my service in eternity as the child of God?
5. Personal Prayer
In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)
6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God
Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.
Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…
When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action)
8. Prayer at the end
Oh, God, thank you that you are the God of the living, and not the dead. Thank you, that you are also, my God, and I live only in You. I am alive and I will live in you and with you forever. Let my eternity joyfully serves you and your creation.
9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection
This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:
- How was I feeling when I started praying?
- What happened during the prayer?
- What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
- How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
- What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
- How did I finish my prayer?
- What did I receive for my everyday life?
- In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
- Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.
Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si