Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 19: 3-12
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatsoever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
MARITAL GRACE: God shows Joshua how He has built the nation of Israel from Abraham. He makes him understand that it was not by their effort or goodness but because of His grace upon them. This shows that God can make a great nation from one family. Marriage is a special calling from God. A family and a home is basically what gives a human person an orientation in life. Divorce is not an option but totally against God`s will. To heal the pitfalls of humanity in the life of grace, God gives us a second chance in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Marriage and family must therefore be the world where we meet Christ through constant reconciliation and prayer. Let us pray that the Lord transforms our homes into temples of prayer and reconciliation.
PRAYER: Lord give us grace for commitment in marriage.
GOD’S DESIGN: God created man and woman as climax and the crown of his creation (Gen 1:27). He blessed them and intended that they survive together taking care of everything (Gen 1:28). His original design was that they are meant for each other and inseparable. The Lord wanted them to grow together and live together sharing their love and concern for one another. But at a later stage Moses has made a provision in case of infidelity for a separation (Dt 24:1). This has become the point of argument for the Pharisees with Jesus. For Jesus, mutual love, respect, care and concern for one another is very important in marriage. In addition, accepting one another with all their talents, strengths and weaknesses helps the marriage to move on. It is a union of two equal partners. Both the husband and wife deserve equal respect from their partners.