In order to really “get” Jesus and his message, one has to move beyond thinking one must “do” good or follow the law, into living IN and WITH Jesus NOW. When we think that we must first get our lives in order, say our prayers and go to Confession BEFORE we can encounter Christ, we reduce the Good News to a moral code. When we live in Christ right now, in the present, we become animated and inspired to reach out and change how we are living. Sorrow for sins and Confession are necessary, but they flow from a LIVING relationship with Christ.
In the rather funny gospel this Sunday, religious leaders are trying to trick Jesus into seeing that belief in the Resurrection of the dead is ridiculous, if you think of the consequences of such belief. Those challenging Jesus were thinking legalistically, within the parameters of the law. In doing so, they were cutting themselves off from the liberating spirit of Christ’s message.
How many spouses one has and the children that might come from various marriages and how inheritances are worked out, has only ramifications in THIS life. In the life of Resurrection, eternal life emerging from death, we will live LIKE Angels, but not BECOME Angels, a huge difference.
Like the Angels, we will live in a new dimension, a new reality, not bound by the conventions and restricted ways of this life. Our souls and transformed bodies will be an integrated whole.
When you are in a living relationship with Christ, right now, those kinds of questions reveal a mind constricted and a heart very small. Jesus is inviting us to live in his Risen life now, expanding how we experience God. Authentic Christianity, Catholicism, is a life giving and creative way of living that moves us into recreating the world around us, seeing every human being as an insider on the journey. A neighbor….
Religion, beautiful religion, is meant to bring together what seems to be opposite into a unity of love. God is the BRIDGE in the human family and in creation, Who heals our divisions, beginning with our divisions within our hearts. All the problems of the world begin within our divided selves. Religion is beautiful and good when it is allowed to be an instrument of this healing transformation that frees us to become bridges, uniting people and faiths, not dividing into who is on and who is out.
Measuring love’s limits, restricting how we love and forgive, even counting spouses and trying to figure out who inherits what, simply cheapens religion.