Reflections toward Ordinary Time 32 C. The Problem of Marriage is the gospel this Sunday. The Sadducees, of course, attempting to trick Jesus, are preposterous in constructing their hyperbolic narrative. Their example goes back to levirate marriage; it is unclear whether or not this sort of marriage was ever actually practiced in ancient Israel. The Sadducees deny the that there is a resurrection; the incident initially is not about marriage at all but about the resurrection. this is the theme of Jesus’ teachings in the Temple before the Passion Narrative events begin.

Jesus’ response does not focus on marriage as much as on the nature of the resurrection. The Church teaches that there are not marriages in heaven. After all, people say in their vows “until death do us part.” Death ends a marriage. Following his own life choice of not marrying, Jesus privileges the state of virginity as worthy of the resurrection. It is difficult to read the teaching “they are the ones who will rise”, almost as if those married will not. This teaching, the core of it is vs. 35, is difficult.

Marriage is oriented toward the procreation of children by means of the physical body. In “the coming age” there is no begetting of children as there is no physical body. Gender and sex will not exist. Virginity is a preferred state of life in light of the immediacy of the end times. This is extremely foreign to our culture.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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