When I first saw these readings I had no idea how I was going to deal with them. They certainly were not fun easy readings. They didn’t seem to have any connection to each other, and I couldn’t think of much connection I had with them. Sometimes this job is sort of hard. But then the connection hit me. The things of earth are not the things of heaven. The things that mean something to us here are not the important things there.
The first reading talks about riches and power. The king is ready to attack a city for the plunder. There are riches there and he will have power and plenty if he takes the city. But the residents of the city find out about his plan and drive him out. He realizes on his deathbed that there are more important things than riches and power. What seemed the most important thing to him on earth, as he is leaving earth, don’t seem that important anymore. You can’t take it with you. All his earthly wealth and power will not help him beyond this earth. He realizes that he was selfish and evil and that earthly riches don’t last beyond this earth.
The gospel takes this to another level. The king in the first reading was a bad man and repented his evil ways on his death bed. In the gospel, the Sadducees ask Jesus about consecutive marriages. If a husband dies and the widow remarries, to whom is she married in heaven? These people have not done anything wrong that they should repent, but this is an interesting question. But Jesus says that the question is not interesting at all. They are supposing that heaven is like earth, but it is not. The things of heaven are not the things of earth. Earthly riches and power have no place in heaven, and earthly relationships do not either. The things of earth, good or bad, are not the things of heaven. Talking about riches or power or relationships, in relation to heaven, is just meaningless. Whatever you had here doesn’t matter, because there, everything is different.
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