Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Daily - 6/2/09

Mark 12:18-26

18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and put this question to him,

19 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.'

20 Now there were seven brothers. The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.

21 So the second married her and died, leaving no descendants, and the third likewise.

22 And the seven left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died.

23 At the resurrection (when they arise) whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her."

24 Jesus said to them, "Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?

25 When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven.

26 As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, 'I am the God of Abraham, (the) God of Isaac, and (the) God of Jacob'?

27 He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled."

Sometimes God has a sense of humor. One of my CRHP brothers, sent this out yesterday. Go figure, it's about today's passage. I'll turn it over to him.

Before answering the difficulty proposed by the Sadducees, Jesus wants to identify the source of the problem – man’s tendency to confine the greatness of God inside a human framework through excessive reliance on reason, not giving due weight to divine Revelation and the power of God. A person can have difficulty with the truths of faith; this is not surprising, for these truths are above human reason. But it is ridiculous to try to find contradictions in the revealed word of God; this only leads away from any solution of difficulty and may make it impossible to find one’s way back to God. We need to approach Sacred Scripture, and, in general, the things of God, with the humility which faith demands. In the passage about the burning bush, which Jesus quotes to the Sadducees, God says this to Moses: “Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Ex 3:6) (Navarre bible).

Marriage as defined by the CCC (paragraph 1601) is “a covenant or partnership of life between a man and woman, which is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children. When validly contracted between two baptized people, marriage is a sacrament.” The CCC defines a Sacrament as, “An efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us through the work of the Holy Spirit.”

I’m going to close out with a citation from Christopher West’s book, The Good News about Sex and Marriage. I don’t believe I could paraphrase this without losing some important value. I hope this document has been helpful to you because I know it has been helpful for me to compile this information. Please feel free to e-mail me any questions you might have regarding this material.

“Christ’s statement is not a devaluation of marriage, rather, it points to the ultimate purpose and meaning of this wonderful sacrament. Marriage in this life is meant to point us to heaven, where, for all eternity we will celebrate the “marriage of the Lamb” (Rev 19:7), the marriage of Christ and the Church. This is the deepest desire of the human heart – to live in the eternal bliss of marital intimacy with God himself. As wonderful as marriage can be in this life, it’s only a sign, a foretaste, a sacrament of this joy to come. Earthly marriage is simply preparation for heavenly marriage. This is what we call the “communion of saints.” In heaven, all that separates and divides us on earth will be done away with. We’ll all live in a heavenly communion of persons as the one Bride of Christ. And as the one Bride of Christ, we’ll live in the ecstatic bliss of consummated union with our Bridegroom, Christ the Lord. We will know God and see him as he is, face to face (1 Cor 13:12).” – Christopher West (The Good News About Sex and Marriage).