In today’s Gospel, the Sadducees ask Jesus a question that reveals their preoccupation with the world. Because the Sadducees do not believe in immortality, the purpose of the question they ask Jesus is to discredit the idea of life after death. Their difficulty with comprehending what life after death would be like stems from their attempt to imagine Heaven using only their earthly experience: “At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.”
Christ’s response reveals that the mistake the Sadducees are making is assuming that the relationships we have here on earth will remain the same in Heaven. Christ tells us that we will be like the angels in Heaven who, in all things, worship the Lord. The purpose of our earthly relationships, especially marriage, is to walk with one another on the way to Heaven. Therefore, being united with God in Heaven will be the “completion” of those earthly relationships.
God’s promise of Heaven, of eternal life with Him, is not something that we can ever understand based on our experience on earth. We know that our relationships – again, especially marriage – are meant to be an imitation and a foreshadowing of our relationship with God when we get to Heaven but, we do not know a perfect relationship (with God or with man) because we are marred by sin. Our faith and our hope are in the resurrection because it is through the resurrection that we know we will be united with God in perfect relationship with him. As Christ tells the Sadducees about God: “He is not a God of the dead but of the living.”
May our hope in the resurrection and eternal life with God guide is in all our thoughts and actions. May we remember every day that our God loves us enough to desire nothing more than for us to share eternal life with Him.
Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.
Feature Image Credit: Matias Medina, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/10531-creacion-obra-capilla-sixtina