I can hear my voice rise with tension as I respond to my daughter on the other end of the line. The younger ones are in constant need as it is, and I am growing impatient with her adult problems out of utter depletion. Her voice trails off as she arrives at her destination and the call ends . . . to be continued. I am relieved. It’s nearing bedtime for my toddler, and my growing baby belly feels stretched by the day’s activity. All I can think is that I need a few moments to myself.
But when the light fades, I sense my emptiness pressing heavier than in the moments of pouring myself out throughout the day. I long for a taste of heaven here in my earthly home, in my heart. How mysterious to arrive at the end of a full day and feel so empty.
In the quiet of my room, the Sunday Gospel reading speaks of mystery. Jesus explains to the Sadducees, “Those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age . . . neither marry nor are given in marriage.” How can this be? Every story, every movie, every epic tale on earth finds its centering theme around our need to be rescued by a lover, one who sees, understands, and sacrifices all to the point of death.
How is it, then, that heaven itself is without marital love? As I reflect in the evening light, it all becomes clear. There is no marriage in heaven because Christ has always planned to betroth himself to you and to me. Heaven is the very consummation—the great wedding feast. He is our bridegroom and we are his beloved bride. Truly every tale finds its theme here because the Gospel is real.
So, I sit a moment longer in my emptiness, and I do not despair. Instead, I let the warm tears cleanse, and I allow the love of heaven come and fill me with hope, because I was meant to be rescued. This is part of the plan. In this self-emptying, bone-tiring, mystifying vocation I have a real hero, and his name is Jesus, and he wants to love me beyond my wildest dreams of beauty and fulfillment. It is here I must receive and be filled, so that tomorrow I can rise with Christ again to pour out his love like a libation to my sprawling brood.