YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 27TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: INDISSOLUBILITY OF MARRIAGE AND THE CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME
BY: Fr. Cosmas Ukadike CM
The Catholic Church teaches that Marriage is the Sacramental union between two matured adults, who must be male and female. Indissolubility here stands for- Permanence; binding: an indissoluble contract because it’s a Covenant.
Marriage Covenant is impossible to dissolve, disintegrate, or decompose.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes this assertion even as he drew our attention to the book of Genesis:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together let no man put asunder. “for your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful), and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery. “His disciples said to him, ‘If that is the case between a man and wife, it is better not to marry.” (Mt 19:5-10, Mk 10:2-12; Genesis 2, 24).
We see from the disciples comment that they understood the full magnitude of Jesus’s statement “marriage is indissoluble”.
This teaching has helped a great deal in uniting families and providing the best environment for the upbringing of children.
The indissolubility of marriage stands as the physical symbol of the spiritual reality of God’s faithfulness to His chosen people. The violation of this covenant is a destruction of the most powerful symbol of the love of God for us, Christ for the Church. “This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church…” (Eph 5:15-33, Rev 21:2). The Bible also says: “For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel.” (Malachi 2:16). “To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband) and that the husband should not divorce his wife… A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” (1 Cor 7:10, 11, 39).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 1649) teaches “Yet there are some situations in which living together becomes practically impossible for a variety of reasons (which may include: constant bartering, insecurity of any of the spouse’s, threats to life, etc). In such cases the Church permits the physical separation of the couple and their living apart. The spouses do not cease to be husband and wife before God and so are not free to contract a new union. In this difficult situation, the best solution would be, if possible, reconciliation.”
A divorce is a civil dissolution of a legal marriage bond. An Annulment is not a divorce, but is a declaration that a necessary element for a valid marriage was lacking at the time of consent (for instance, if it can be proven that there was a deception or an inducement that lead to the marriage), which means a true marriage never occurred.
A proper marriage must be entered into with full consent and without any reservation or whatever, and with the right intention: “the good of your spouse”.
We pray for genuine relationships which will translate into a loving union for our young ones in search of their life partners.
And we pray that those already married, may find peace, comfort and love in their marriages in Jesus name. Have a fruitful week.
Fr Cosmas Ukadike, C.M.