November 10 : Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Heaven is our Home

November 5th, 2013

 

In today’s Gospel we find Jesus in reply rejecting the caricature that the Sadducees present of heaven, a caricature that suggests that it is a simple continuation of the earthly relationships of the spouses. Eternal beatitude is not just an increase and prolongation of terrestrial joys, the maximization of the pleasures of the flesh and the table. The other life is truly another life, a life of a different quality. It is true that it is the fulfilment of all man's longings on earth, yet it is infinitely more, on a different level. Interpreting Jesus' answer to the Sadducees, in an erroneous way, some have claimed that marriage has no follow-up in heaven. He does not deny that they might rediscover in God the bond that united them on earth. If God united them on earth, how could he divide them in heaven? According to this vision, matrimony does not entirely end with death but is transfigured, renewed and made holy -- it loses those limits that mark life on earth -- in the same way that the bonds between parents and children or between friends will not be forgotten. In the preface of the Mass for the dead, the liturgy says that with death "life is changed, not taken away"; the same must be said of marriage, which is an integral part of life. Let us look forward to a glorious life in heaven.