Today, though, we stop to think specifically about “endings” from the readings: our end, the “end” of Jesus, the end of our liturgical year. Personally, though, I do think, that it is important at the same time for us to keep beginnings in mind as we contemplate the endings—in order to live in hope for whatever the future may bring when something ends. While being reminded today of endings, we are all in the midst of, and busy preparing for the beginning of the new seasons.
Our St. Aidan Music Ministry is preparing diligently for Advent and Christmas while singing about all the ends we are encountering right now in Scripture. This mixture of endings and beginnings reflects our very spiritual beliefs in that we live preparing for our endings here on earth by living truly Christ-like lives, always knowing our life choices should reflect the beginnings of our new life in heaven. The “end times” we experience on earth are not really the ending for those who believe. We believe in resurrection living and in the surety and hope of eternal life—because we will remain faithful in our relationship with the living God.
The Gospel story we hear today isn’t really about marriage in heaven, but it is about the resurrection and the new life heaven will bring. The debate about heaven and marriage that took place between Jesus and some Sadducees is a silly one—it was simply a trick to trap Jesus. Jesus knew that—for to be in heaven is to leave behind our misinformed, malformed egos and become fully the creatures that God destined us to be. Only in heaven do we find our true identity, and our destiny—but it doesn’t mean we can’t have Kingdom living right here and now.
The righteous will live forever with the risen Christ (and All the other Saints!); and all of us will eventually stand before Christ as his Bride (the Church). In heaven all (souls) are espoused to Christ, who never stops caring and loving His Bride─us─as His own Body. This is an everlasting covenant—it began, but will not end. We, the faithful need not really worry about end times as we only need to be ready and to be busy about God’s business for the Kingdom. We need to keep the promise of new life in our sight, while preparing for the ending of this one.