27th Sunday Of Ordinary Time
At the end of July this year I attended the wedding of friends daughter and I had great day and I enjoyed it so much especially as I knew so many of the people who were there. I know so many older people who are married for over 50 years. When my mother and Father were married for 50 years in 2009 my dad pointed out that he had done 2.5 life sentences (in Northern Ireland a life sentence in prison is around 20 years). He also said he wouldn’t have done anything else with all the ups and downs of those 50 years which included the troubled times of Northern Ireland in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
This week the readings are talking about the vexed question of DIVORCE. I’m sure there isn’t a family circle in our modern world that hasn’t been touched by the tragedy of a marriage that began with high hopes of unending love and then ended in a breakup with all kinds of people especially the children involved being hurt. Even in my own family circle we have had a marriage breakup with one of my brothers and his wife going their separate ways after a good many years together.
Instead of a lifelong union symbolizing God’s love for people, marriage is now seen merely in terms of human companionship; as friendships come and go, so do marriages.Because of the social and personal ramifications of divorce, the subject carries serious moral weight.Divorce may be an option that delivers a spouse from a personally and morally untenable situation, but it should only be seen and used as a last resort.
Despite his or her marital status, one should always seek the counsel of a good spiritual guide or confessor. In this way, the person can face the moral challenges that face him or her. Family is a core value to all societies, no matter their cultural form. Anything that challenges family should be rejected. Divorce may not challenge every family, but it should be a concern to everyone because it affects the stability of the parents and the welfare of the children.
In the gospel for today Jesus is asked an awkward question about the legality of divorce. He lays down very clearly that what God intends for marriage is what is found in Genesis where the “two become one” for all time rather than the dispensation granted through Moses (permitting a writ of divorce) which was an exception, not the rule. Jesus finishes His teaching in the presence of His disciples. Divorce, that is, the arbitrary dissolving of a true union in marriage, is against the order of things. The union continues being broken by divorce; marriage is the commitment to bringing that union closer. This wonderful and interesting discussion is broken up when mothers and fathers bring their children to Jesus. The disciples desire to continue this interesting conversation, but Jesus becomes upset and invites the children to come to him to be touched, blest and welcomed . These teachings on such hot topics as the importance of community are difficult. The children in this gospel represent the simplicity of heart and mind needed on the part of those who would be a part of the “kingdom” or new order which Jesus was initiating.
Marriage and any true loving relationship between a woman and a man is a gift from God which keeps on giving, giving to each other and to those in the family . A loving relationship, and especially the relationship blest in Marriage, is a covenant of continuing God’s creation especially in these days when so many people are trying to redefine the proper meaning of marriage to suit certain lifestyles.
So then on this day we should remember those who have just been married during this year may they have a long and happy life together. we should also remember those who have been married 25 or 50 or even 60 years. Finally I also want to remember all those whose marriages didn’t last and ended up in the divorce courts, may they all find god there amongst all the hurt and heartache that divorce causes to so manypeople.