“Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors.” (James 5:9)
In today’s first reading, St. James says we should stop grumbling, complaining, or judging other people so that we ourselves would not also face judgment. The only way we can avoid judging people is to learn to judge ourselves. This is the practice of “examination of conscience.”
Coming down to the Gospel passage, the disciples are shocked to hear Jesus’ stand on divorce. From the very beginning, God intended that marriage is for better, for worse, and for an entire lifetime. When they got into the house, the disciples had to ask Jesus again whether or not he really meant what he said. And behold, he repeated: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery and if she marries another, she commits adultery.”
Marriage is not about finding the right person, rather it is about being the right person for another. If we apply what St. James says, we can see that marriages tend to suffer friction sometimes because couples tend to shift blames to the other person. We hardly see anything wrong with ourselves. As Jesus puts it, we notice the specks in other people’s eyes but we do not see the logs in our own eyes.
There is no perfect human being on earth. Left to our animal nature, no two humans can live together in perfect peace and harmony (not even identical twins). Yet, God designed us to live as a family and he made marriage the normal way of life for human beings.
The fact that some couples are celebrating silver, bronze and golden jubilees is not a matter of luck. It is choosing to love each other despite their obvious imperfections. Your marriage will succeed, when you learn to admit your faults and say: “I am sorry.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to see my faults and learn to live in peace with others rather than judge and condemn them. Amen.
Bible Study: James 5:9-12, Ps. 103:1-4,8-9,11-12, Mark 10:1-12).