27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)



October 07, 2018

“God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”.

One of the moments I really enjoy and appreciate in my ministry is when I have the opportunity to be invited and celebrate with a couple their silver or golden wedding anniversary. I felt so grateful that I could celebrate the 60th wedding jubilee of my parents, less than six months before both passed away. Those moments are paramount in Christian love, because it is not just a matter of talking about marriage love, but setting an example of marriage love.

The readings for this Sunday help us to reflect on the holiness of the sacrament of matrimony. More than just giving you some theological input about this sacrament, I would like to invite you who are married to live the sacredness of your committed life in love and faithfulness.

In the book of Genesis we read two accounts of creation. The first account is found in the first chapter. Our reading today is the second narrative in chapter two. In a poetic and almost childlike way, God breathes into man’s nostrils the breath of life and man becomes a living being. Then using a rib instead of the clay of the earth, God creates woman, someone with whom he can relate, and the man exclaims with amazement, “This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.”

There are many metaphors in the Bible to compare the love of God with us humankind, like shepherd and sheep, but I think the closest and most tender one is marriage. We hear in our first reading form the Book of Genesis, “The Lord God said: ´It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So marriage is God´s idea and God´s creation. He wanted marriage love to reflect his own love for people; an eternal and faithful love. God´s love for us never fails. One thing that makes us human most similar to God is matrimony. This is why marriage is not too easy. Procreating children is being like God who had created us. And to be parents is not easy either.

We know that when God created the first human couple, he intended for them to be happy, and that their love lasted a lifetime, but in his wisdom he knew it would not always work out that way in all cases, even though it was not in God´s plan. God knew that whenever a married couple had a problem, they would have to try to work things out. And according to Moses´ flexibility, the last solution that they would think of was to get a divorce. In our contemporary society many times separation is the first solution when they have a problem.

Today we hear a difficult Gospel. Jesus affirms that marriage is a life-long permanent allegiance. He states: "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her." These words disappoint Jesus' hearers as they disappoint people today. We should not be surprised. During these past weeks we have been hearing in the Gospel how Jesus disciples had misunderstood him. When he announces his own suffering, death, and his resurrection, then he tells them that they must take up his own cross and follow him. When Peter tries to discourage Jesus then Jesus tells him, "Get away from me, Satan." When the apostles start arguing about who is the greatest among them, Jesus then places a child in front of them and tells them they must be converted as humble as little children.

Today´s teaching on the indissoluble character of marriage is a joy for those who live their marriage life with generosity, but is painful for those who could no longer live their commitment. However the Church welcomes both. The Church suffers with those who have found impossible to keep up their matrimony and encourages those who are married to live an enduring and faithful commitment.

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