27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
What God has united, man must not divide
From the very beginning, when He created Adam and Eve, God instituted and intended a union between a man and a woman, they are to become one in marriage. In fact, it is one of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church and a fundamental building block of society.
Marriage is not just between two people, but a calling from God to enter into a mission; whether it is to grow spiritually together or bringing up children in the faith, it is a vocation nonetheless. Unfortunately, the current climate of marriage and divorce is very distressing. We have many friends, Christians and non-Christians alike, that are divorced or are in the process of separating. Divorce has become such an easy option and a normal occurrence, that couples that remain married for a lengthy period are an oddity.
It is apparent that the institution of marriage is under attack, and the difficulties are a result of the fall of man. The ideals of married life are harder to enter into and require continued deepening of love and commitment. With sin, hurtful memories, stresses, distractions, misplaced passions and temptations bombarding us every day and in every way; it is more difficult and more challenging for married couples to live out the glorious vocation of love and unity that is marriage.
Like a garden that needs sunshine, water, and nutrients to thrive — a marriage requires love, compassion, forgiveness, understanding and commitment to thrive. Above all, it needs the Son. A marriage is not only between two people, it needs a third party – Jesus. With God at the apex and as the focus, not only will the marriage flourish, but the marital bond will only get stronger. A marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church he established; as Jesus is often referred to as the bridegroom and the church as His bride. With that in mind, how can we deny the sanctity of marriage?
In my years of marriage, there were two major crises and a myriad of minor conflicts that could have, and would have, ended my marriage. If it wasn’t by the grace of God, my husband and I would be divorced right now, our lives and the lives of our children will be deeply and forever affected. We are still in the healing process and rely on the Lord’s grace, mercy and strength to get us through difficult times. It is precisely during these trying times, that I turned to Jesus and Mother Mary in fervour. Prayers and more prayers to our Lord, petitions and more petitions for Mother Mary’s intercession, gave me a sense of peace and calm in the emotional storm. At first, the peace that came upon me was brief, and then the angst and anger would come back. But as the prayers and petitions continued, and as I deeply relied on our Lord for wisdom, Mother Mary for comfort, relying on the grace of God, for the strength and love that I lack, the peace I sought is now lasting longer and the wounds are starting to heal.
Like our spiritual life and the health of our soul, marriage requires constant tending, love and prayers. Even then, it doesn’t mean that it will be smooth sailing from here on. There will be mountains to climb and valleys to cross. Through it all, if we remain faithful to our covenant with God and with each other, marriages will stand the test of time, temptation and come what may. For man, it may be impossible; but for God, everything is possible.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Anonymous)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray that You grant us the strength, wisdom and love to honour the covenant of marriage, and may we reflect the covenant between Jesus and His Church in every way.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, our Heavenly Father, for giving us the Sacrament of marriage and teaching us to love as Christ loves.