WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?
Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
One of the questions on the television game show “Family Feud” was: “What happens when we die?” One of the answers a contestant gave was, “Nothing.” “Nothing happens when we die. That’s the end of it.” The Sadducees at the time of Jesus thought that way. “When it’s over, it’s over,” they assumed, whether a fat lady did any singing or not.
We believe differently, of course. We believe that life goes on. (Wasn’t that the name of another television show — “Life Goes On?”) We believe that life continues after death, either for the better or for the worse. We believe that heaven awaits those who love God and neighbor, that hell is there for those who don’t. Jesus thought the same way.
“Moses,” he told the Sadducees, “in the passage about the bush showed that the dead rise again when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for him.”
Many things of faith amount to common sense. Like there must be a God or where did everything come from? Like there must be a hereafter or why would we have a conscience built into us that demands we live according to a moral code of right and wrong or else? In other words, if there is no reward after death then why follow the voice in us that says live right? If there is no punishment then why not live wrong when we feel like it?
Maybe that is why there is so much crime in the world today. Many people are like the Sadducees. They don’t believe in life after death. But we do. So there isn’t much excuse for us doing wrong, is there? Then why do we?