Fr. Ruben’s Homily for Sunday, October 7, 2018

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 140

Reading 1 GN 2:18-24

Responsorial Psalm PS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

Reading 2 HEB 2:9-11

Alleluia 1 JN 4:12

Gospel MK 10:2-16

Have you ever meet someone who tries to justify their actions with the Scriptures? Well, the Pharisees are doing the same when they approached Jesus to ask His opinion about divorce. Divorce is a very hot topic in our time. Jesus admits the reality of divorce, but He goes further to explain the reason for it: “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.”

 

Before God created Eve, it can be assumed that Adam had no real purpose in life. He was able to name all the animals, and he had great knowledge, but deep in his heart, he was a lonely man. When someone feels lonely, life makes no sense. Nothing matters even if we possess the whole world. God knew Adam’s sadness: he was not able to relate to anything nor did anyone look like him. God saw that it was not good for Adam or anyone to live alone. Therefore, God created woman, from the side of Man. In this way, from one became two so that in marriage two becomes one again. What a magnificent plan from God! Adam is unable to contain his joy as he says, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” That is the same reaction when you meet your spouse and you say, “This is it; I want to marry this person.”

But marriage is not easy; two become one, and each has a different history, different experiences in life, whether they be good and bad. Those good or bad experiences can affect their future relationship.

If you are single now and you follow all the different desires of your heart, you engage in all kinds of experiences, you’ll be marked forever. All of those experiences will affect your future relationship. If you open your heart to sin in its different in all areas, married life would be an impossible commitment, as it requires a person to be truthful, faithful and so on. If someone had a bad experience in the past, sometimes shame, resentment, vulnerability and fear have found a house in someone’s heart. All of this is going to affect the relationship in a bad way. To avoid all of these bad experiences a life of chastity is required so that you won’t carry with you any bad experiences into marriage. A life of prayer is needed so that God will sent you the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with, “On their wedding night, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, “Sister, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance” (Tobit 8:4).

To deliver them from what? Bad experiences that will get in the way of marriage? To deliver from the evil one trying to destroy marriage. How the evil one destroys marriage:

  1. Infidelity; extra-marital affairs.
  2. Money;
  3. Lack of communication
  4. Constant arguing
  5. Unrealistic expectations
  6. Lack of intimacy
  7. Lack of equality
  8. Abuse

Jesus points out that God had a different plan for marriage. God wants the union between man and woman, which is the fruit of the expression of mutual love … not separation, which is the bitter fruit of sin, and which is a consequence of the hardness of men’s hearts. That is why the hearts of men and women need to be pure and clean, so that they are not already two, but only one heart. It is a union that touches not only the sexual level, but at all levels, the whole being of the spouses. And that is “until death do you part.” Therefore, in a union of this kind there is no longer room to think about divorce. How can a couple avoid living in a broken relationship? Manuel and Karen Santos speak of four keys to everlasting love:

  1. Called to be faithful and forgiving: husbands and wives have an intense desire to be true to each other in thought, word and deed. Forgiving mistakes.
  2. Called to be free: this means that people should not feel forced to love, to commitment. But rather freedom to love without counting the cost, not expecting anythingin return, making the best choices for the ones we love.
  3. Called to be fruitful: God said in the beginning, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gn. 1:28). The offspring is the crown of marriage because they are the product of love. Children are not a burden, but a blessing. Psalm 128 states, “Your wife would be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shouts around your table” (Ps. 128:3).
  4. Called to Love totally and forever: this means that we need to give every part of ourselves for the rest of our lives. Sharing all you have and are with your spouse and family and with God, from whom we receive all source of grace.

 

So, instead of talking about divorce let us focus on the things we need to say and do to remain in love. Jesus said, “Remain in me as I remain in you” (Jn. 15:4).