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No Marriage in Heaven
Daily Readings: Luke 20: 27-38
Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.”
Our Gospel today reminds us to think outside of a human notion of relationship. It is an illusion to believe that human friendship, and marriage itself, will quell the restlessness of a desiring and longing heart. The Sadducees thought they trapped Jesus by alluding to a problem that might manifest as a result of advocating for the debated doctrine (of the day) on resurrection of the dead.
Jesus sets them straight: in heaven there is no marriage (at least in the sense they were speaking of it). The very reality of marriage is meant to operate as a sign of what will happen between the human race and God - a new type of marriage that is Divine. Why is this worth reflecting on?
Human relationships can easily degrade into an idol when they become the ultimate “end” or pursuit. But such a desire is really an unenlightened and wrongful channeling of desire towards created things that ought to be channeled toward God.
As a result of this dysfunction attitude toward human relationships, all sorts of jealousy and viciousness arise. Our fundamental appetite for relationship is objectively ordered toward what is Infinite and Uncreated. The effect of having God in mind as the ultimate marriage causes us to be detached from our human relationships, including those in marriage. It places something above them, and evades the idolatry we so obviously see creeping up in the philanthropy of our day.
There is no human relationship that can compete with God - and to do so is to reject the very essence of what makes Heaven, Heaven: Marriage with God.