XXVII Sunday in Ordinary Time – Homily
Saint Louis King of France – Memphis
Rev. Fr. Carlos Donato, MDiv.
“What God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mk10).
“Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of “the wedding-feast of the Lamb.” Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its “mystery,” its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal “in the Lord” in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church”. (CEC 602).
On the second account of creation, that we just listened in the first reading, God is thinking about the man, the most perfect of the visible creatures created by him. “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him” (Gn2). God then starts to present to man all the animals that were created, but there was not one of them that was suitable partner for the man. Even though God gave to man the authority to name the creatures, they were not equal to him but they all are under him and his control.
God in his infinity wisdom and love decided to create a partner to man from man himself. Through the deep sleep on the man and “while he was asleep he took out one of his ribs … God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man.” (Gn2). Why God did not take a peace of the man’s head or the man’s feet? Why he choose the man’s rib? God did not make the woman from man’s head because she is not superior to him. Nor either from man’s feet because she is not inferior to him. God made her from the man’s rib because she is equal to man as human being. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”(Gn 2).
After the creation of woman, the creation of heaven and earth is completed and Adam could say: “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gn2). They are made one to another. Man and woman God created and man will leave his house to unite himself with a woman and form one new family. In doing so man and woman in holy matrimony are one flesh.
The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws…. God himself is the author of marriage.” The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. “The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.” (CEC 603).
On the Gospel today Jesus is attacked by the Pharisees and their idea about marriage and divorce. “In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one’s wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts. The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder (CEC 614). Jesus shows them that since the beginning of creation divorce was never in God’s plan. “What God has joined together np human being must separate” (Mk 10).
The Catholic Church, taking element from Sacred Scripture defines marriage as: contract or union between a man and woman. That takes place at the moment of their exchange of consent and it is dissoluble until the death of one of them.
“The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life: “so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” They “are called to grow continually in their communion through day-to-day fidelity to their marriage promise of total mutual self-giving.” This human communion is confirmed, purified, and completed by communion in Jesus Christ, given through the sacrament of Matrimony” (CEC 614).
Like in Jesus time, today marriage and its sacrality and indissolubility are also under attack. Many people think that marriage is an adventure of a month or year. But marriage is a commitment for the whole life of each one of the spouses. By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement “until further notice.” the “intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them. (CEC 1646).
There is not marriage if the spouses do not give a clear, and conscious exchange of consent. There is not true marriage if the spouses are not open to life and decided to do not have children by means of artificial contraceptives. There is no marriage where the spouses leave space to doubt about one another or some error of person can occur or either some future conditions are made.
Furthermore, today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” The Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence. (CEC 1650).
Today, let us exanimate our conscience and find out if we really follow Jesus in his teachings about marriage or are we opening doors to another teachings that are against divine law and divine teachings. To you who are married the question is how are you loving, respecting your spouse? To you single that are thinking about marriage what is your understand about this sacrament? Are you prepare to receive it? And finally to us all who are here the question is how do we defend the dignity of families in our midst?