The readings for today are about women – married women. In the first reading, the woman is given a name – Sarah. In the Gospel, the woman is unnamed. Both women married seven times. Can you beat that? Seven times! The woman in the first reading married seven times, but something mysterious would happen on their wedding night. Just as her husband was about to go into the conjugal bed, he would die. This happened seven times, to seven husbands. That is why the woman almost called it a devil who was playing tricks on her. Seven marriages, seven husbands, seven deaths during honeymoon night.

The Gospel is about another woman who was also married seven times. But her husbands did not die on their wedding night. The husbands all tried to have children with her, but they all failed.

Women with seven husbands. Please do not be confused and interpret this to be a Biblical version of Elizabeth Taylor’s life.

The readings for today have a beautiful message. It says that after the death of the seven husbands, and of the women who had seven husbands, “In heaven, after death, there is no talk of husband or wife, of parents or children, of brothers or sisters, or about relatives because in heaven all belong to God.” All of us will be possessed by God, and no husband, wife, parent, child, or any other relative, can possess us anymore.” It will be complete joy. You do not need any person to possess you, because you will be totally and completely possessed by God. That is complete joy. That is total bliss. That is never-ending peace.

I am sure that at a certain point, the two women (with seven husbands) thought they were being possessed by their own problems. Their problems overwhelmed them. At one point, Sarah wanted to kill herself.

I am sure that we also go through similar difficulties. I don’t think there is anyone here who has been married seven times; but there are certainly more than one of us here who have had to endure problems, more than seven times. And sometimes in life we can think that our problems are taking over us. Never give into that temptation. You belong to God. God possesses you. In death, and in life, we belong to God and that is enough.

Let us offer to the Lord the things that seem to hold us down, that wear us out, that seem to run our lives now. Let us offer to Him the pains, anger, resentment and worries that seem to keep us in a tight grip. Let us remind ourselves that nothing can ever possess us. We belong to God.

Тb 3:1-11;16-17; Mk 12:19-27
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