November 20, 2021

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For you this week:

  • Reflection for Saturday: Are spouses reunited in the afterlife?
  • Inside the Ministry: School of Healing
  • Before it’s too late: Get 20% off the book 30 Days to the Father’s Heart

Saturday November 20, 2021

Scriptures1 Maccabees 6:1-13
Psalm 9:2-4, 6, 16, 19
Luke 20:27-40

Saints Calendar:

“The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are worthy to reach the coming age and the resurrection of the dead do not marry.” (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)

Reflection for Saturday:
Are spouses reunited in the afterlife?

Ralph & Terry on the wedding day in 1975On our wedding day, we altered the vows from “till death do us part” to “from this day forward”. We intended to be spouses forever. But Jesus says there are no marriages in heaven. How will this affect my relationship with Ralph after one or both of us have passed from earthly life?

The Catholic Catechism (paragraph 1638) explains: “From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive….” Perpetual means “from this day forward”. Eternally. So then, what did Jesus mean when he said that people in heaven do not marry? I’m sure he wasn’t implying that only if we leave earth married can we have spouses in heaven. He was teaching about something far deeper and more profound.

To understand it, let’s look at what the Catechism means by “a valid marriage”. Paragraph 1639 says: “The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself” (as Jesus says in Mark 10:9, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate”). Note: a valid marriage is one in which both spouses freely and fully give themselves to each other. Many marriages are not valid because one or both gave lip service, not their hearts, to this vow; they did not or (due to mental disability) could not give themselves wholeheartedly to their spouse.

When the bride and groom truly submit to one another by giving their whole selves to the other (as the famous Ephesians 5:21-33 verses about marriage describe: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ….”) they commit themselves to a divine covenant. As the Catechism states, “The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: ‘Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.’…” Sealed by God himself! Paragraph 1640: “Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved.”

So what happens to the relationship in the after-life? It becomes much more profound.

Think about what love is like in heaven. Right now, I love Ralph more than anyone else. In heaven, I will love everyone to the full. While Ralph and I will forever have a special history together, the purified advancement of our marriage bond in heaven will be the authentic, fully self-giving love that we’ll have for everyone. Everyone!

Think about what the body is like in heaven. On earth, couples have a physical attraction toward each other that often leads to unity of the bodies (sexual relations). The desire for sexual activity is basic to every creature in order to continue the species. Unlike the animals, though, we have been given the ability to control our instincts and are called to celibacy if we are not in a valid marriage. Humans are higher than animals in the hierarchy of God’s creations. To choose celibacy, as priests, religious, and non-married couples are called to do, is to embrace this superiority.

This is why Jesus said that some “live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:12). It might be hard to imagine, but love — full and complete and intimate and deeply profound — surpasses the animal nature in us. This is what love is like in heaven. It surpasses the animal nature’s physical desires. We will be “like angels” (Luke 20:36); we will not be like animals.

In short, there is no need for marriage in heaven. But we will love the one who had been our earthly spouse more than we can right now.

And those who have ex-spouses who reach heaven will have a wonderfully full love for the one they had divorced. If you have suffered a divorce, no matter how much anger and pain you feel, if you and your ex both love Jesus and want to spend eternity with him, and the sins against the sacredness of marriage have been absolved by the Sacrament of Confession or the purification of Purgatory, you will love each other more than currently seems possible.

If you have a spouse who has passed from earth to at least purgatory where sin no longer exists, that one is loving you more right now than you ever knew before. He or she is praying for you with perfect love — your personal patron saint.

The kingdom of God on earth is an incomplete version of heaven. From it we can get clues of what life will be like. I can imagine Ralph and me, after we have both passed on into eternity, continuing to pray together for our children and others like we do now but much more effectively. I can imagine us having great fun together in the same-but-better holy ways that we do now. And in the fullness of love that is God’s holy presence permeating everything and everyone, we’ll celebrate the anniversary of our earthly bonding throughout eternity, but not by going away alone together for a romantic getaway. We’ll be partying with all the saints and angels.

This reflection can be downloaded as a printable PDF from

Inside the Ministry: School of Healing

praying at the CrossThis weekend, Ralph and I are celebrating our anniversary a little early by going to a “School of Healing” together. We’re opening ourselves to become more fully God’s instruments in ministry. We want to be more like the evangelizers of the Book of Acts.

This 2-day training is a compact version of the healing ministry component of the 2-year Encounter School of Ministry ( The school draws from the richness of our Catholic heritage while they teach, equip, and activate disciples to demonstrate the love of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Consider how much fear is running rampant in our world today. Then take a close look at what Paul said is the cure for fear: “God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). The Bible is telling us that it’s very important to be filled with the Spirit of God, and that the Holy Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control. Why did Saint Paul put it in that particular order? Nothing in scripture was written by accident.

Think about it: The power of God convinces people that his love is real. So, when we experience God’s power in situations that trouble us, we embrace his love more fully. Fear melts away. We gain control over our sinful tendencies; the more we know his love, the more we want to be holy and obedient to him.

In past newsletters and in podcasts, I’ve written about how necessary the supernatural power of God is for effective evangelization. To evangelize the people of today’s world, we need to be like the first Christians, letting God prove the truths we preach through signs and wonders.

Jesus promised, “These signs will accompany those who believe…. They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (Mark 16:17). Jesus has called us to do what he did, and that includes healing the sick.

Healing was essential to the effective proclamation of the Gospel during the ministry of Jesus and after Pentecost. It’s even more essential today.

Before it’s too late! Get 20% off my new book “30 Days to the Father’s Heart”

30 Days to the Father's HeartWhat are you seeking from God your Father? How close do you feel to the Father’s heart? Do you know that, if what you want is good and God doesn’t have a better plan, you already have what you seek? It often takes time for it to be revealed and understood, but God has already granted it because he loves you far more than you realize.

In 30 Days to the Father’s Heart, I want to help you experience the wonderfulness of the True Father’s heart so that your faith can be set free to reach its full potential. This book is an inspirational guide to healing that will enable you to experience God the Father as he truly is by identifying and overcoming the most common misconceptions that interfere with faith in God.

Those who got a sneak peek as they helped with final proofing are saying, “It’s going to be a best seller!” and, “This is an important book!”

Pledges (pre-orders without payment) have been coming in fast. The first 200 pledged orders will get 20% off the $18.50 retail price. What a life-changing Christmas gift this could be! Include extra copies in your order. Hurry before the 200 limit on the pre-order price is reached!

Go to now.

The publisher (Charis Books) and I and a wonderful team of proofreaders from the Good News Ministries family are working hard to get this book out in time for Christmas gift-giving. The goal is the last week of November (or sooner).

Many thanks go to Mary Tellier at Charis; she’s typesetting it as a top priority. Also many thinks go to my wonderful proofreading team: John DeGennaro, Karen Mayhew, Tiffany Bryant, and my husband Ralph who is making sure everything makes sense.

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God bless you!

Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.

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Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Terry ModicaYour servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries

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Keep your eyes on Jesus!
And when you have to look at others, see them through his eyes.