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What is our goal? A reflection on the convoluted question of marriage in heaven

Julian Paparella

November 7, 2019
Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
What is our goal? (Click here to listen!)
Sunday, November 10, 2019 - Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus is confronted by a group of Sadducees who ask him a pretty convoluted question. They ask Jesus, “If a husband dies and his wife marries another man, whose wife will she be in heaven?” Now the Sadducees were a group of Jews who didn’t believe in the resurrection, meaning that they didn’t think we went to heaven, so they’re trying to put Jesus to the test.
Jesus replies by describing what life is like in heaven, in God’s Kingdom. He says that heaven is where everything will be complete, exactly as God wants it: there will be no more being born or dying, and so there won’t be any weddings or funerals either. We will all be perfectly united to one another and perfectly united to God. This doesn’t mean that all our human relationships here on earth will simply be erased: a husband and wife who reach heaven certainly won’t see each other as strangers! Rather, everything will be transformed and totally fulfilled. Heaven is that place where everything is as God wants it to be. That’s why we are so often dissatisfied by the state of our world here on earth: by war, violence, greed, and natural disasters – because everything here is not yet as God wants it. But in heaven all will be well: no more anger, no more sadness, no more division or conflict. We will all be at peace with one another in the peace of God. And this will last forever.
Jesus is the one who reminds us that heaven is our goal. He is also the one who enables and empowers us to get there. So this week, let’s ask ourselves, what is the goal of my life and how do I try and live in a way that moves towards that goal? If, unlike the Sadducees, the goal of our life is heaven, we can already start living little glimpses of it here on Earth, one day at a time beginning today.

Julian Paparella has contributed to Salt + Light Media since 2012. He served as an intern for many summers and currently studies theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris.