Sunday Reflection: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
1st Reading Genesis 2:18-24
2nd Reading Hebrews 2:9-11
Gospel Mark 10:2-16
Our readings this Sunday invite us to take a deeper look on the Sacrament of Marriage. Today, many have lost the sense of what this Sacrament is all about. We can see at times that this has become a fashion show, a show of wealth, a fad in other words. But what is this sacrament?
As we are also facing the resurgence of the talk of legalizing divorce in the Philippines, we have to look back first on the meaning of marriage as it is. In our Gospel, Jesus was approached and asked by the Pharisees, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” He told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts, he (Moses) wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh… Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” These words may be very offensive to those whose agenda in life is different from those of God. Those who promote an alternative lifestyle from what was ordained by God from the beginning.
The truth is, when true love is not present in any relationship, it is always bound for self-distraction. True love knows who the right person is, it endures hardships, and it is constant. Jesus makes it clear that marriage, as ordained by God, is always with the right persons, it is for male and female. In this, God makes these persons helpers in sustaining life in this world. One of the fruits of marriage is having children.
When a person becomes selfish and true love is absent, it seeks its own enjoyment and will do away with what is hard and painful. But true love endures hardships and pains. Sacrifice is needed in love. Love is never selfish because it seeks always the good of the beloved. If a man and woman truly love each other, they will accept each other’s deficiencies and would do everything to complement each other.
True love is constant. It is faithful. It does not give up on each other because of difficulties, rather they look for ways to be able to stay with each other. The argument that others give, “what if love is not anymore there? Or they already hate and hit each other? Kawawa naman ang sinasaktan…” The questions we have to ask are, was there really love in the beginning? Or are they just there for convenience or enjoyment?
Would one give up on a person he or she loves? Would one hit a person he or she love? Would a person in love seek for another? These are questions we have to ask also. When our love for self surpasses our love for God and others, we are not truly in love. If our loving is focused on the self, we are not truly in love. Love always goes beyond the self; it always seeks that which is beyond the self. The Book of Genesis tells us that the man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, because love is always diffusive. It is not self-seeking. The end of marriage is the sanctification of the spouses through their sacrificial love for each other and to their children (if God wills, they will have).
The Sacrament of Marriage is built up through grace. God’s presence in the life of each couple makes the crosses of life bearable and lighter. Many marriages break because they seem to be self-sufficient, and they move away from the source of love. There are many broken marriages because grace is not present, God is not the center of the union. When prayer life in a family is not present, it is self-destructive.