“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:5-6)
Marriage should never be treated as an achievement. It is a call to die to oneself and live for others – your spouse and your children. Marriage is not for selfish people because it requires a lot of sacrifices. It is never about what you stand to gain but what you are giving.
As Jesus tells us, from the beginning, the idea of divorce was never in God’s mind. He designed that marriage should be a permanent bond creating a stable foundation on which new life forms and children are nurtured. A happy marriage does more for the human race than all the medicines, surgeries, and therapies in the world can do for us. A happy marriage is built on trust, faithfulness, respect, sacrifice, and love. As St Paul would say [true] love never ends. (1st Corinthians 13:8)
Upon hearing what Jesus said about divorce, Peter said to Jesus: “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.” (Matthew 19:10). Some people are afraid of getting married because they fear they would get stuck with just one person forever. If you consider this hard, know that the other option (celibacy) is not easier.
In fact, not everyone has been given that grace – to be celibate and happy. Jesus said: “Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.” (Matthew 19:11). You can force a horse to the river but you cannot force it to drink water. Being unmarried is not a license to sexual incontinence, it is in itself a vocation that demands a different kind of faithfulness.
Take away faithfulness marriage/religious life becomes a caricature. An unfaithful spouse does great damage to his/her family just as an unfaithful celibate does great damage to their flock. Our world is in dire need of more role models – faithful husbands who stick to their wives, faithful wives who stick to their husbands and faithful priests and religious who stick to the demands of their call.
If we say it is okay to be unfaithful whether in marriage or in the religious life, we are also saying it is okay for the armed robber to wear a mask, attack victims, shoot and go away with their valuables, or that is okay for the kidnapper to carry out his/her activities (and so on) “as long as they don’t get caught.”
You see, if it is all about not getting caught, we have no right to condemn any form of evil whatsoever. If you dream of a better society, start by doing what is within your power – be faithful in your marriage and in your vocation.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my faithfulness. Amen.
Bible Study: Joshua 24:1-13, Psalm 136 and Matthew 19:3-12).