Scripture: 1st Reading: James5,9-12; Resp. Psalm: Ps103,1-4,8-12; Gosp. Accl.: Jn17,17; Gospel: Mk10,1-12
We live in the world of fast everything: fast food, fast cars, fast planes, fast computers and so on. We have also translated this to the realm of real life, that is, in the realm of relationships. Everything in relationships must be fast and quickly result oriented, otherwise we believe it does not serve our purpose.
The word of God teaches us that aspect of our lives that cannot be subjected to this haste mentality. They are aspects that we cannot decide to enter into and jump the ship as our fancies carry us. This is because a lot of other consequences hang on our decisions. One of such is the commitment of marriage.
In our Lord's teaching in today's gospel , the commitment of marriage is for life. This is because marriage is a covenant with God; He is the One who instituted it; the One who blesses it; the Author of the love between the two persons who decide to commit themselves to each other.
While the Pharisees were bothered about lawfulness and the niceties of what the rule book said, our Lord was concerned about what His Father's will entailed concerning the marriage institution. This is why He counteracted by teaching that life is more important than precepts, the covenant made before God more binding than any earthly conscription.
Because marriage is a covenant, there must be no deception; there must be no selfish, greedy, earthly considerations for entering into it as these would be against the will and command of God. The reason for anyone to enter the marriage covenant is love: pure, genuine, undiluted love, a love which comes from God Himself. When this is the basis for marriage, it will stand the test of time.
Our Lord foresaw the crisis that this institution would have. God the Father known from the beginning that our race would decide to construct its own paradigms. That is why He stated clearly what His will is as far as marriage is concerned: that there is unity and indissolubility in marriage and that to do anything contrary is adultery.
Our first reading today teaches us some of the things we need to know to make our marriages and our lives successful as believers. It teaches us not to grumble against one another so that we would not be judged. It teaches us to endure suffering and sacrifice as part of our journey through life and to God. It teaches us to be steadfast, pointing at Job as the example in this regard. It teaches us to see the purpose of God in everything that happens to us as believers. Finally, the word teaches us that we should let our yes be yes and our no be no. In this way, we would not fall under any condemnation.
Let us pray: O Lord our God, you created us out of love and sustain us out of love. Keep us faithful to our commitments to you and to one another. Forgive us for the harm we have done to our life long relationships out of carelessness, selfishness, wickedness and deceit. Bring us back to you. Amen.
Please pray for the peaceful repose of my late father, Pa Joseph Igbekele, who died on 18.05.18 and for the souls of all the faithful departed. May God grant them a merciful judgement.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.