YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 27TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mk. 10:2-16) Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus is again being trapped by the Pharisees by testing His view on the issue of divorce. Jesus answered them by referring back to what Moses did which, according to Him was due to the hardness of heart of the people. But even then, Jesus pointed out that from the beginning, marriage was destined by God to make a man and a woman one flesh and no one can put asunder. In a tete-a-tete with His disciples, He stressed its adulterous consequence when one divorces a partner and marries another.
Divorce was a prevailing issue during the time of Jesus. Herod and Herodias divorced their partners and married each other. The Pharisees were divided as to the interpretation of the law on divorce. While they were concerned of knowing Jesus’ view on it, they were more after finding some faults against Jesus. Jesus’ growing popularity had rendered the Pharisees weak and lacking in credibility. On the other hand, as customary of Jesus, He would seize every situation to teach and assert the truth.
Divorce was not allowed from the beginning. It is the same even now. Will “hardness of heart” be a reason to grant it like what Moses did? There are some groups who advocate compassion to those who are experiencing great difficulties in their married life. No doubt, there are marriages that can qualify as irreconcilable. For that, legal separation is recommended. But problems in marriages are still manageable if addressed at the right time and with the right process. Of course, the willingness of the couple is the most vital. Also, we can step back further by seeing to it that the candidates for marriage are well prepared. Do we rather treat couples with kid’s gloves or do we encourage them to maturely deal with their marital issues?
The Catholic Church has a lot of groups which are concerned with making marriages successful. There is the Couples for Christ, Family Life Movement, Christian Family Movement, and All For Jesus among others. The last one gives a guarantee that all marriage issues maybe resolved. They suggest a “marriage Encounter” program, a three day live in seminar designed to assist the couples deal with their issues. The rate of success is incredible. As I have said, much of it comes from the willingness of the couple to address their problems.
In the end, marriage is an institution founded by God. It’s purpose is not only to generate children for families and the Kingdom, but also to witness to the love of God and His people. Divorce, legal annulments, infidelities, same sex marriages and other modern day attempts to redefine marriage and family are more destructive than compassionate. Freedom has violated itself. Marriages become easily destroyed. Couples do not exert much efforts to maintain their union and family. Children are most affected. Not to mention the possibility of sexual diseases due to physical relationships with different partners. Countries with divorce laws are not better off. In fact, new problems emerged. In all of these, God’s will still ranks way up. Science and human logic cannot be at par with God’s will. He is the Author of Life. His ways are the best for us.