Whose wife will she be? (Mk 12:23-12:23)

“In the resurrection,

When they rise up,

Whose wife

Will she be?

The seven brothers

Had married her.”

 

ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει, ὅταν ἀναστῶσιν, τίνος αὐτῶν ἔσται γυνή; οἱ γὰρ ἑπτὰ ἔσχον αὐτὴν γυναῖκα.

 

This kicker question of the Sadducees can also be found in Matthew, chapter 22:28, and in Luke, chapter 20:33, almost word for word.  This story with the 7 brothers married to one woman was the set up for this question about the afterlife.  The Sadducees asked whose wife would she be among these 7 brothers in the resurrected life?  They were testing Jesus and questioning the concept of the resurrection after death.  Mark said that in the resurrection (ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει), when they would rise up again (ὅταν ἀναστῶσιν), the Sadducess wanted to know whose wife would she be (τίνος αὐτῶν ἔσται γυνή)?  All 7 of these brothers had married her (οἱ γὰρ ἑπτὰ ἔσχον αὐτὴν γυναῖκα).  They assumed that the afterlife would be a continuation of this present earthly life.  How was Jesus going to answer their tricky question?

Friendship (Sir 22:19-22:22)

“Whoever pricks an eye

Brings tears.

Whoever pricks the heart

Makes clear its feelings.

Whoever throws a stone at birds

Scares them away.

Whoever reviles a friend

Destroys a friendship.

Even if you have drawn your sword

Against a friend,

Do not despair.

There is a way back.

If you have opened your mouth

Against your friend,

Do not worry.

Reconciliation is possible.

But your friend will flee

If you have been reviling,

If you have been arrogant,

If you have disclosed his secrets,

If you have dealt a treacherous blow.”

Friendship is tricky. Certain things follow naturally. If you prick your eye you will get a tear in your eye. If you touch someone’s heart, you make your feelings known. If you throw stones at birds, they will scatter. If you revile a friend with abusive language, you will destroy that friendship. If you have drawn a sword or opened your mouth against a friend, don’t despair. There is still a chance for this friendship to be reconciled. However, your friend will leave you if you use abusive arrogant language, disclose their secrets, or try to kill them. These actions are show stoppers. The friendship will die. Your friend will go away and not come back.

Be careful with strangers (Sir 11:29-11:34)

“Do not invite everyone

Into your home.

Many are the tricks

Of the crafty.

Like a decoy partridge

In a cage,

So is the mind

Of the proud.

Like spies

They observe your weakness.

They lie in wait.

They turn good into evil.

To worthy actions,

They attach blame.

From a spark of fire,

Many coals are kindled.

A sinner lies in wait

To shed blood.

Beware of scoundrels!

They devise evil.

They may ruin

Your reputation forever.

If you receive strangers

Into your home,

They will stir up trouble

For you.

They will make you

A stranger

To your own family.”

Sirach warns that you should be suspicious and careful about whom you let into your home. Some people are tricky and crafty. These proud spies are like a partridge bird in a cage observing everything, especially your weaknesses. Even back then they had spying devices. They will turn good into evil. They will blame you for the good things that you have done. They are like a spark that starts a roaring fire. These sinners want to hurt you. These evil doers are trying to ruin your reputation. If you let strangers into your house, they will stir up trouble. In the end, you will be like a stranger in your own family. Beware of stranger danger!