2019-11-1032nd Sunday of the YearRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

This passage is not a put-down of marriage. Nor is it a put-down about having children or having sex.

In the early days of the Jewish faith, if a man died, his brother would marry the widow and try to have children with her in order to preserve his brother's memory. The children by this relationship were considered his brother's children and not his own.

There was a great argument going on between the Scribes and Pharisees who believed in life after death and the Sadducees, who did not believe in life after death.

The Scribes and Pharisees were very religious people who developed a prayer life and spirituality that was based on a strict interpretation of all of the laws of the Jewish faith. They obeyed these laws right down to the minutest details. That is why Jesus condemns them, at times, because their observances had no heart or feeling for people.

The Sadducees, on the other hand, were the rich aristocratic families. These Jews only followed the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch or Torah. They were somewhat lax in their religious observances. They worked hand-in-hand with the Romans.

Some Sadducees came forward to pose this problem to Jesus. There were 7 brothers who died but they were married to the same woman. Whose wife would she be in the afterlife? They were trying to confuse Jesus.

Jesus replies that you do not have to have children to live on. Jesus says that there is a heaven where you can live forever.

The Catholic Church sees marriage as a holy, sacred relationship. When two people fall in love and make a commitment for life before God, it is an outward sign of God's presence. And, sex within this marriage is a gift from God, and one of the greatest gifts a married couple can give to each other. The husband and wife are co-creators with God in the formation of children. When a marriage is blessed with children, they are the flesh and bones of their parents. They are created in the image and likeness of God.

You know all well as I do that when two people really love each other, they do not want to be apart. When one of the partners dies, the other often feels like her or she wants to die, so that they can be together again.

In heaven, you will be with your loved ones forever. There will be no human limitations - no aging, no sickness, no disappointment, no sufferings. If you have experienced happiness in your lifetime, you will experience even more in heaven. Any pleasure that you have had here on earth will be exaggerated many, many times with God.

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