The greatest lover of the modern era has passed beyond our sight, or so his obituary intimates. In a local newspaper this morning ran the details of a man’s life and somewhat early demise (early 60s). The paper describes the gentleman “marrying his sweetheart from high school a few years after graduation.” It goes on to state that they were later divorced and he then “married the true love of his life.” So far, so good. Then a few years later he divorces the true love of his life, then finds and weds his “soulmate.” That’s three if you’re counting. A year prior to his demise he abandons his soulmate and joins in holy matrimony “the only woman he truly loved.” At this point, Cupid is looking at his quiver wondering where all the arrows went.
Perhaps the dearly departed subscribed to the “love them and leave them” theory of human relationships or maybe he just had a fetish for filling out legal documents and paying attorneys? Either way, you get the feeling that this guy had a lot of buyer’s remorse in his life. The only truly “until death do us part” moment was with the fourth wife, and that only happened because, well, he died. This is not a judgment on the man’s morality, virtues or vices; these are just the facts of his life. For all we know his first three wives could have been Eva Braun, Margaret Ellingsworth Stalin and Janet Reno (the middle one is a fictional character; I just liked the sound of the name). We do know that the decedent in the obituary rarely saw a woman he didn’t like, and was always ready to walk them down the aisle of marital bliss.
Seeing is a key to the readings this Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter. Peter in his first letter talks about a joyous faith, “Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy…” (1 Peter 1:3-9). Thomas in the Gospel finds no joy in not seeing; he has missed the appearance of the Lord and lacks the faith to believe the other disciples who “…have seen the Lord.” When Thomas finally encounters Jesus he receives a gentle reprimand and reminder, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John 20: 19-31) We do not see but believe, this is our faith in the Risen Lord passed down to us from the first witnesses of the resurrection. It is in this faith that we find our Easter joy in knowing that one day we will behold him face to face.
When I do, hopefully, enter into heaven, I have a few questions for the guy that married the four women; the first one being, why?