Resurrection from the dead is the theme of our readings today, from the woman with seven sons in today’s first reading to the woman who had married over time to seven husbands, in our gospel. While the Pharisees believed in life after death and resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees did not and tried to make it seem ludicrous as they posed their question to Jesus. The number seven is a biblical symbol of perfection. The idea of life after death seemed perfectly absurd to the Sadducees (why they were sad-you-see!!)
Although we believe in life after death, we often hear eulogies at funerals in which people talk about the person being united with a previously deceased spouse or doing all the things he or she enjoyed doing in this world…”he’s up there fishing with Uncle George” or “dancing with Mom,” or some such thing. Jesus might want to correct us as well as the Sadducees. Heaven, as he indicated, is going to be very different from what we experience here on earth. It is a spiritual state beyond the ways of this physical world we know. We believe in life after death, but what do you imagine it will be like?