As a kid our family always took a one week vacation to the beach – Ocean City, MD. We were fortunate in our neighborhood because many families didn’t have that luxury, even though our vacation was in no way over the top. However, one year my dad offered us the possibility of going to the newly opened Disney World in FL, but with a catch: if we chose to go Disney, there would be no trip to Ocean City for two years (to cover the additional cost). My sisters and I decided in about 3 seconds…no to Disney! We had no concept of what Disney World was like and couldn’t imagine one summer (let alone two) without our beloved summer vacation spot. I chuckle today and the thought of what we missed simply because we didn’t know any better.
This Sunday’s Gospel has Jesus addressing the weighty issue of what heaven will be like, if even there is a heaven. He is caught in an explanation over the question of marriage: If a person marries someone who dies, and then remarries, with whom will the person be married in heaven? Are these seriously the questions that Jesus has to address??? I believe however, that they point to a deeper reality. We find it hard to imagine what heaven will be like and often apply earthly parameters to heavenly realities. I wonder how much this dynamic hinders our decision making today. If I can’t imagine what heaven will really be like, will I make the hard choices to get there? Heaven can’t possibly be worth sacrificing for, worth sacrificing 2 summers at the beach!
This Sunday’s Gospel is Good News and Bad News and they are both the same thing: Heaven is not earth. That is bad news if you are looking for something that you can completely comprehend. It is Good News if you are willing to risk sacrificing for something that may be a bit indescribable. How much are you willing to trust Jesus? What is heaven gonna look like??? I don’t know, but if Jesus will be there, may I be more and more willing each day to sacrifice to be there with him. Sounds like it might beat Disney World!
Have a great week and know that you are always welcome in my office, or to stop me on campus.
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