Being Faithful and True

10-03-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

More than ever in our society: the institution of marriage continues to be questioned: Two trends exist. The first are those who no longer see the value of marriage as an essential foundation of family life and as the basic unit of society. Marriage is a personal option or preference, which can be permanent, or nor, in any case, it is not as important to them. The second trend belongs to those who espouse gay rights, who insist that samesex union is equivalent to marriage; and is an essential foundation for family life and society. They see this right as necessary, and denial of such a right to marriage is an injustice. Even though these erroneous trends seem contradictory, they both contribute to the confusion about the real meaning and nature of marriage. Today’s readings bring us to the heart of the matter by giving us a peek at the will of God and His beautiful plan for marriage.

The Gospel points to the original plan of God for man and woman, the indissolubility of marriage. Jesus makes a clear argument about marriage and divorce. The Pharisees looking for a way to trap Jesus test Him by asking if divorce is allowed? Because in their mind, since Moses allows divorce, they can catch Jesus contradicting the Law (Dt. 24:14). Jesus points out a higher law than what Moses degreed, the plan of God at the beginning of creation. Because of the stubbornness or hardness of the peoples’ hearts, Moses institutes the decree of divorce. But from the beginning, this decree is contrary to God’s original plan for marriage. God intends marriage to form a family of two equal and complementary forms, the union of man and woman, and the covenant with God.

God creates man and woman as equal, in His image and likeness of the same bones and flesh. They complement each other and form one flesh to continues God’s work of creation by bringing new human life into the world. God’s plan for marriage is for husband and wife to be united so they can go out to the world and multiply. By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents cooperate in a unique way in the Creator’s work. (CCC 373) The mandate is to multiply and be cocreators of God’s plan, not by dominating the world but by being good stewards of creation.

Both the institution of marriage and family are under great attack. Today, Jesus identifies the root cause of these attacks and threats against these institutions: the hardness of hearts. God intends that marriage and family life be a sign of the most fundamental relationship of all, our communion of life with God. Remember, we are all created in the image and likeness of God to be in union with Him. But when the heart is in sin, we knowingly and unknowingly separate ourselves from God. We fall into the first sin of our parents; we want to be masters of ourselves and follow our ways. We want to choose and decide for ourselves what is good and evil and looking for our pleasures. The emeritus Pope Benedict XVI says that our society has fallen into a hedonism and relativism culture.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus stresses the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage. Yes! What God has joined together; no human being must separate. As they say: It’s one of the contracts with no expiry date! Why? We don’t need to go further; the reason is right before us in the Gospel: the protection and security of children. The last part of the Gospel highlights this lesson: Then He embraced [the children] and blessed them, placing His hands upon them. Jesus’ concern and love for the little ones paint a thousand words. Because in truth, it is the children who suffer and are greatly affected when their parents separate. Our selfishness and pride cause so much pain, anxiety, suffering, and damage to children who become victims of their parent’s disagreement. There is a saying: when whales clash, it is the shrimps that get crushed.

Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it. A lesson we can learn from children: They don’t question their need to be connected and dependent upon their parents. God created us to be in loving union with Him and one another. He unites us to Himself in a bond of love: What God has joined together; no human being must separate.