A Marriage Proposal from God
In today’s Gospel, some of the Jewish leaders try to trap Jesus in what appears to be a debate about marriage laws. However, the supposed question is really a subtle attack on the teaching about the resurrection. Jesus of course does not fall into the trap. Rather, as he so often does, he turns the tables and uses it as an opportunity for teaching. However, Jesus’ answer to the question might create even more questions for us. He says simply that in heaven there is no marriage.
Given all the beautiful things the Church teaches about marriage, what is Jesus trying to say here? If marriage is so holy, why would there not be marriage in heaven? The key here is to understand that when we acknowledge that marriage is a sacrament, we are saying that it is a sacred sign. It is a sign that points to something else. In the case of marriage, the sign of the love between spouses in this world is meant to point us to the love of God.
The reason that there is no marriage in heaven is because in heaven it will be as though we are all married to God. The intimate union of life and love shared between spouses is only a foreshadowing and small part of the infinite love of God we are all meant to experience in heaven. This truth helps make sense of the celibate vocation as well. The celibate priest or religious forgoes the earthly sign of marriage to point to the heavenly reality.
In this month of November, we begin by recognizing all the saints. They remind us that heaven is our goal. Let us pray that during this month we might stir up a great desire for heaven, to pray for the poor souls in purgatory, that one day we will all be together at the heavenly marriage feast.