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Monday, January 16, 2006

The Marriage of Christ

As the Da Vinci Code movie approaches, Catholics will be asked what seems a difficult question to answer: why couldn't Jesus have been married?

I've heard many answers to this question, but none are close enough to a sound-bite to work very well. Perhaps this might serve:

Jesus told the Sadducees, "At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven" (Matthew 22:30). Where God is, there is heaven. Jesus, both God and man, would not marry any individual human person in the human sense precisely because such an act would mean the person He married had, indeed, be given in marriage in heaven.

Thus, affirming that Jesus could marry in the human sense indicates He lied when He spoke to the Sadducees. Worse, such an affirmation denies His divinity.

Note how many Protestant preachers have no particular problem with Jesus marrying...


Patrick said...

"Where God is, there is heaven." Interesting point which leads to the question - so, that means there must be births in heaven as well? I would use the stronger argument that seems to be more "...if you can avoid it, it is better" arguments against marriage than you can find directly for marriage in the New Testament.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Birth is a condition extrinsic to the person - it is simply a geographical movement.

Marriage, on the other hand, inextricably binds the person in a covenant oath. It is a condition which affects the intrinsic being of the person.

Tom said...

I would say that marriage is a covenant that unites two people (the husband and wife) during their earthly life in a sacramental communion of personhood (joined both physically and spiritualy) with each other and spiritually with God Himself (by means of the graces offered and accepted in a covenantial marriage). This covenant is a conditional sign (in the sense that the it is an imperfect/temporal/earthly relationship) that prefigures both the divine communion/"communio" of God Himself (as the trinity) and the promise of our union with Him in heaven.

Unlike the other elements of His earthly life as a fully human man, it would not be fitting for Christ (who is already/eternally part of this trinitarian reality of perfect divine communion) to be married as it would be a regression from the antitype (the reality) that He is to the type (forshadowing sign) that points to Him.

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

His disciples left behind their families to follow Him, so wouldn't it be a wee bit hypocritical to be toting around Mary Magdalen as a spouse? I think the apostles would have been a bit skeptical if this were the case.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

st. jimbob, you make an excellent point. Which is undoubtedly why you are sanctus and I'm just me... :)