2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14; Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5; St.
The Sadducees, holding no belief in the resurrection of the dead, wish to lure Christ into teaching in favor of life after death:
"...there were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and died without children; and the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her a wife." (Lk 20:29-33)
Christ not only reaffirms his teaching on the resurrection of the dead, but he deepens our understanding of the marriage vocation as well. "...those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more." (Lk 20:35)
Marriage is an earthly vocation. In heaven where God will be "all in all", man and woman will find complete fulfillment in divine Love. There each will behold God face to face. The life-long covenant for mutual and sincere gift of self in marriage is for husband and wife a prelude to and help toward the eternal happiness of heaven.
In this world man and wife become one flesh in their life-long covenant, and may, if God so bless them, be fruitful in their openness to new life.
"Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values." (Familiaris consortio 13) (CCC 1643)
The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses' community of persons, which embraces their entire life: "so they are no longer two, but one flesh." (Mt 19:6; cf. Gen 2:24.) They "are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving." (Familiaris consortio 19.) This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sarament of Matrimony. It is deepened by lives of the common faith and by the Eucharist received together. (CCC 1644)
Marriage is a total gift, and so it is "until death". Man and wife make for each other of themselves a total and sincere gift of self. Christ demands this total fidelity of spouses when he proscribes divorce.
By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement "until further notice." The "intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons , and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require and unbreakable union between them."(Gaudium et spes, 48, art. 1.) (CCC 1646)
Let's pray for each other until, again next week, we "meet Christ in the liturgy",
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy(See also Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph numbers 1601 to 1666.) Publish with permission.