23 November 2019. Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)
I am so blessed to have witnessed the Golden Wedding Anniversaries of both my grandparents before they passed away. They always remind me that no matter how imperfect their marriages were, they chose to remain together as a couple in sickness and in health, amidst all the difficulties of married life, until death. They made a mutual decision to give oneself to one another no matter what the consequences were and more importantly, to remain faithful to one another as they have solemnly vowed. This human experience of marriage points to a divine experience of marriage that God reveals to us every day.
The marriage of the Bridegroom and the Bride has been used so many times by Jesus as a metaphor to God’s relationship with humanity. Their intimate relationship is the relationship God initiates with all of us. He pursues us until we give our yes to Him. His love for us is His self-donation – an outpouring of His love to us that forgets himself for the sake of his bride. As a Bridegroom, His love is pure and eternal and does not expect anything in return. Isn’t this the love story of Jesus with us too? From the Book of Genesis until the Book of Revelation, marriage is a constant theme and for a good reason. God wants us to be “married” with Him; to be in constant communion with Him.
In the Gospel today, Jesus explains to the Sadducees that in Heaven, we do not marry or given for marriage anymore because of the “marriage” that is waiting for all of us in heaven. Earthly marriage is a sacrament of the union God wants with every one of us. Earthly marriage is not only a union of bodies but a communion of persons. So, as a sacrament, marriage reminds us of the communion of the Persons of the Trinity, the communion that God is always inviting us to. In heaven, we are in constant communion in the love the Trinity shares with one another. In heaven, all earthly marriages cease only to be perfected in the “marriage” between us and God.
The Gospel Today
Luke 20: 27 – 40
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 ‘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.”
Some of the scribes said in reply,
“Teacher, you have answered well.”
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.