Friends, today’s Gospel reports a conversation Jesus had with some of the Sadducees, who held that there is no life after death. We could practically hear their speech on the lips of secularists today. But Jesus is having none of it. The dead shall indeed rise, he says. Otherwise, how could Moses have spoken of God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all of whom were long dead by Moses’ time? But their risen existence, though in continuity, even bodily continuity, with what has gone before, will be transformed, transfigured, raised up.
Those who hold to the resurrection of the body are those who are most effective at working for justice and peace in this world. If you are a complete materialist and secularist, you hold that everything and everybody, in the end, just fades away. But if you believe in the resurrection of the body, then everything in this world is destined for redemption. Everything matters.