In particular, the bolded section…can you explain this to me? Thanks.
Lk 20:27-38 or Lk 20:27, 34-38Gospel
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
**“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.**They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out 'Lord, ’
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
It means that, in heaven, there is no such thing as marriage, which is a sacrament for our earthly lives. It does not mean that we won’t see our earthly spouses in heaven, just that we will have no further need of marriage, as we will be “as the angels” and will be focused on being with God.
The marital relationships end in death; (“till DEATH do us part”) and are not reinstated in Heaven, even when both persons have gone there. Marriage is for natural life, to form new natural lives via sexuality. But this process does not continue in Heaven.
Although there is no reason to believe that onetime spouses would not know each other in Heaven, the marriage relationship is not needed, for the “citizens of Heaven above” are related spousally to GOD Himself through resurrectional life.
Thank you for posting this topic! I too was stumped as to it’s meaning; but now thanks to the erudite folks here at CAF I am in the picture. So, thanks to them too.
In the homily this morning Father Jerry said it was another trap laid by the Saducees just as the Pharisees tried to lay traps to get Jesus to say something that didn’t agree with Mosaic law so they could execute him for heresy. See taxes- whose image and likeness is on the coin- he replied to the Saducees render unto Caesar what is Ceasar’s and to God what is God’s- this insulted the Saducees because they knew they did not render themselves- God created man in his image and likeness in Genesis- to God.
My take on this has been that our human relationships are more horizontally (marriage partner, family, friends, other people) oriented than they are vertically (God-ward) oriented. This can be illustrated by going to any church, Catholic or any Protestant denomination, and listening to the conversations of the people who are coming to attend–they’re talking about what their kids are doing, what the Redskins are expected to do this afternoon, what’s happening at work–anything but what God is doing.
In contrast, I bellieve that the angels’ relationships are vertically oriented: What is the Boss doing, and what is my part? I doubt that you will find them talking about other angels and their inter-angelic relationships.
By saying that we humans will become like the angels, I believe Jesus was saying that our relationships, post-resurrection, will be vertically oriented, towards the Father and towards Him, not towards each other. It would not surprise me to learn that we might not even know our earthly spouses and family members in Heaven. This is a severe position for someone like me to take, coming (as I do) out of the Southern Gospel culture, which has thousands of songs about meeting friends and loved ones over there, shaking glad hands with the elders, sitting down and talking with Peter and Paul, etc. But if it turns out that I am right, I also believe that we will not care that we aren’t having fellowship with our fellow saints like we did on earth. Our focus will be toward the throne, just like it should be towards the altar during Mass.
A priest once told me that bodilessness prevents angels from having a “community” as human beings do; they can know each other only through the mind of God. Whereas, our senses and semi-independent minds enable us to know each other directly.
Since in Heaven our embodiedness will be restored Resurrectionally, so will our ability to know and fellowship with each other. Fellowship is an intrinsic part of humanhood, and unlike procreation, there is no reason to believe it will not continue in Heaven, although in union with our LORD.
By saying that we humans will become like the angels, I believe Jesus was saying that our relationships, post-resurrection, will be vertically oriented, towards the Father and towards Him, not towards each other. It would not surprise me to learn that we might not even know our earthly spouses and family members in Heaven./
I don’t see that at all. There is no reason to believe the human community will not be restored, in fact, made better than ever, in the same way that our human bodies will give rise to the pneumatikon soma.
The symbol for Heaven is the New Jerusalem, a city; and therefore a place of human fellowship (in perfect union with GOD). Angels do not have cities unless you count L.A. :) We do not become angels, we remain human beings, with human propensities.
This is a severe position for someone like me to take, coming (as I do) out of the Southern Gospel culture, which has thousands of songs about meeting friends and loved ones over there, shaking glad hands with the elders, sitting down and talking with Peter and Paul, etc. But if it turns out that I am right, I also believe that we will not care that we aren’t having fellowship with our fellow saints like we did on earth. Our focus will be toward the throne, just like it should be towards the altar during Mass.
I am very sure that If/when I find myself in Heaven I will first of all have to overcome my utter surprise that I’m actually there. Once I’ve done that, I’m sure what ever arrangement God has for resurrected human society will be just fine with me.
It’s also a rubric to prove the Saducees underlying point - that there is no resurrection. The story neatly poses a contradiction. If there is a resurrection, then this woman would have 7 husbands, which is forbidden by the Covenant. This alone wouldn’t condemn Jesus (indeed, the Pharisees wouldn’t have minded making fools of the Saducees - the two groups did not like each other) but he still aptly responded.