Deacon George’s Homily for 32nd Sunday
The Sadducees came from the well-to-do class of higher officials, wealthy merchants, landowners and priests. They were very influential in the political and religious life of Judaism. They tolerated the Greek culture prevalent in that part of the Mediterranean world. They were the statesmen and diplomats of that time. At the time of Jesus, the Sadducees accepted the Roman rule and custom, in exchange for retaining their power and influence. They enjoyed security under Roman patronage, and not surprisingly, supported political co-existence. They opposed any Jewish nationalism, and any activity that would cause them to lose their political base. They were religiously conservative. They only accepted the written Law of Moses, namely the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch. They did not believe in a liberating Messiah, nor did they believe in the resurrection of the dead, or in angels or in spirits. Instead, they believed that everyone, good or bad, died and went to Sheol, and that was the end. This belief enabled them to enjoy this world, without any worry about the afterlife…..