The Sanctity Of Marriage And The Family Of God
Readings: 1st: Gen 2, 18-24; Ps 128; 2nd: Heb 2, 9-11; Gos Mk 10, 2-16
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
On this twenty seventh Sunday of ordinary time, we are invited to reflect on the significance and importance of the institutions of marriage and family. Both are essential institutions founded on genuine love for the sustenance of humanity.
Unfortunately, in our time these essential institutions are under serious threat. So, it is important to note that whatever threatens marriage and family life threatens love, unity and the entire human existence. Marriage plays the dual role. First, it serves the of affection between couples and, the sustenance of humanity through procreation.
Today, both our first reading and the gospel strongly call us to uphold the sanctity of marriage and family life. They both remind us that marriage is instituted by God. So, it must be cherished and protected. However, it is important to note that it has its challenges. These can be overcome through the grace of God and good Christian virtues.
Marital problems should be resolved mutually, and with godly intent to make amends. Often times, we think that the best way to resolve the problems associated with marriage is divorce. This might seem a good and fast solution. However, it is not always the case.
Today’s readings remind us that that it is not the will of God for any sacramental marriage to be broken: “This is why a man must leave his father and mother, and join himself to his wife, and they become one body…So what God had united, man must not divide.”
Unfortunately, even a quick divorce does not guarantee peace of mind. Also, it does not guarantee the success of the next marriage. This is why, someone might get married many times and divorce many times. This is simply to prove that divorce is not always the best solution to the problems of marriage.
So, at the base of divorce is the inability to reach a to a compromise and understanding about how best to live the marital life together. This simply translates to lack of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance and mutual respect for each other.
Also, there is selfishness and greed which often comes with the sole intent to exploit the other. When the foundation of marriage is not built on honesty, truthfulness, mutual love and prayer, there is little chance that it will survive the great storm.
There is also, lack of maturity on the part of the intending couples. By maturity, one
means spiritual, physical, social and psychological maturity that is required to enter into this sacred union. It is important to realize that the marriage relationship is quite different from a boy and girl friend relationship.
However, it is important to note that the increasing rate of divorce today is due to the little value attached to marriage. When marriage is treated as a commodity or an article rather than a Sacrament, and sacred institution, it is bound to fall apart. Of course, this consequently, affect both the family and society at large.
Finally, I sincerely sympathize with all those going through difficult times in their marriages, I pray that God will give them the grace, strength and wisdom to move forward and find peace in their homes. For those intending to be united in this holy sacrament, through the grace of God, may they find fulfillment in the love they profess.
Peace be with you!