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 Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at 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 marriage and family institutions. Both are essential institutions founded on a 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 a dual role. First, it serves the affection between couples and the sustenance of humanity through procreation.
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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, and these are overcomeable through God’s grace and good Christian virtues.
Marital problems should be resolved mutually, and with godly intent to make amends. Often, we think that the best way to resolve the issues associated with marriage is divorce. This might seem a right and fast solution. However, it is not always the case.
Today’s readings remind us 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.
One of the major causes of divorce is the inability to compromise and understand how best to live the marital life together. This simply translates to a lack of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, and mutual respect.
Also, selfishness and greed often come 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 a lack of maturity on the part of the intending couples. By maturity, one means spiritual, physical, social, and psychological maturity required to enter this sacred union. It is important to realize that a marriage relationship is quite different from a boy – girlfriend relationship.
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So, it is important to note that today’s increasing divorce rate is due to the little value attached to marriage. When we treat marriage as a commodity or an article, instead of as a Sacrament and sacred institution, it is bound to fall apart. Of course, this consequently affects 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. Also, I pray that those intending to be united in this Holy Sacrament, through the grace of God, may they find fulfillment in love.
Peace be with you!