Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Like the Angels in Heaven

Mk 12: 19-27

In the Gospel today, the Sadducees try to pose a dilemma for Jesus' teaching about the resurrection. Their argument tries to show that if there's a resurrection, then Moses law has some serious problems because a woman might have several husbands! However, Jesus, being God and knowing all things, refutes their claims by revealing something about Heaven which the Sadducees did not expect: "When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but they are like the angels in heaven."

In Heaven, our lives be given exclusively to God. We do everything for the sake of loving God. He asks for this total gift of ourselves because He wills to give Himself entirely in return. Marriage is a sign of our future destiny with God. A man loving his wife and a wife loving her husband imitate the love between Christ and the Church enjoyed in Heaven. In the same way that we have a deep profound knowledge of our spouses and find joy in experiencing them as they truly are, we will have a knowledge of and joy in the Lord which will surpass all human understanding. Marriage is a sign of this relationship because our spouse stands in the place of God for us. A spouse is ae temporary helpmate to prepare us for our betrothal to God.

Some men and woman are called to give their entire selves to God not only in eternal life, but even in this life. The celibate person is neither married nor given in marriage because they have given themselves entirely to God. The celibate life is not a life rejecting marriage, but it is what marriage points to. Marriage points to our eternal destiny of being espoused to God, and celibacy makes that reality present now. Those who are called to the celibate life don't forsake marriage because it is somehow evil or defective. Rather, they forsake marriage because they recognize that their body is for the Lord, so they renounce earthly love to receive a greater share in Divine Love.

The celibate charism is a strong reminder to us of how we should live our lives entirely devoted to the Lord. While not every person should live celibately, every deed and every thought needs to be sifted through and directed to the Lord. To capture every thought for God is a difficult task, but a necessary one to prepare us for Heaven. Often your spouse is a means by which you can direct your love to God; remember, your spouse is a sign of God's future espousal to you. By giving ourselves in service of our spouse we are giving ourselves in service to God. When we are going to get groceries for our wives, we shouldn't direct it just to our spouse, but elevate it, give it the supernatural end of doing it for the love of God. Like in the Psalm today, "As the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, so are our eyes on the Lord our God." By practicing this, and developing it into a habit, we will find they we will increasingly be always ready to do the work of the Lord and ready to receive the fullness of God's goodness for eternal life.

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