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Reflections

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27th SUNDAY B

 

PLAN FOR MARRIAGE

 

My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, In today’s liturgy, we are called to reflect on God’s plan for marriage. Though bastardised by human weakness, that does not change God’s purpose which Christ seeks to restore. God himself instituted marriage and gave it a specific meaning and understanding. Even if our experiences of marriage and family life have made it difficult for us to understand God’s original plan, he is calling us to trust in his providence and design for the sacrament.

At the marriage ceremony, the exchange of consent is of great importance; ‘I, take you to be my husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. The origin of marriage is traced back to the creation act itself in the book of Genesis.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that, ”The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (CCC 1601)

 

 

 

First Reading  Genesis 2: 18-24

Today’s passage is meant to answer the question on solitude and how marriage came to be. God had created all other things and had created only a man to put order into what he had created. The man gave names to all other animals created, but none was found to be a suitable help for him. God then created a woman from the dust of the earth from which he had created man himself, removed one of the ribs of the man and enclosed it in flesh. The man saw in her ‘the bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.’ This brings a kind of conclusion, as to the reason why they were created male and female– companionship. It follows therefore that, ‘man and woman have been put together in the world so that they can live together and fill each other’s companionship. They were created to complement each other. If a couple fails to achieve this goal, they will always be unhappy though they may share the same roof, goods and children, because the primary purpose of marriage which is companionship and the good of the couple has been overlooked.

 

Second Reading  (Hebrews 2: 9-11)

This passage tells us of the love of God for us.  Jesus for a short while took the nature of man. He subjected himself to all human conditions. He went as far as experiencing death for our sake.  He is God, but also man. He has the same feelings, bore the same sufferings. He did not just feign humanity. He did it all for love of humanity.

 

Gospel (Mark 10: 2-6)

"Some Pharisees came up and in order to test Jesus asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?'“ Matthew’s version of this passage has the question, “Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?” This must be related to the dispute concerning the interpretation  of Deuteronomy 24:1 (“He has found some impropriety of which to accuse her; so he has made out a writ of divorce for her.”)

"He answered them, 'What did Moses command you?' They said, 'Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away.' But Jesus said to them, 'For your hardness of heart he 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." So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.' "

The Unity that is expressed in the sacrament of marriage is like the union between Christ and the Church. Christ is the head of his body, the church. The two remain inseparable. So also it is between the man and his wife. Once joined together in Holy Matrimony, nothing should separate them. But is that the case in real life?  When people opt for marriage, they do so with a lot of enthusiasm. They believe strongly that it is right for them and often nothing standing in the way of such relationships is welcomed. They find an enemy in anyone standing in the way of the relationship. If the right things are not done however, they begin to realise their mistake only when it is too late. That is also the time people begin to question the stance of the Church on divorce.  

By asking the Pharisee what the teaching of Moses is on the subject matter, He appealed to an authority they do not question. But more importantly, Jesus appealed even to a higher authority in God by taking them back to the reason why God created the couple male and female.

 

The relationship of a man and a woman in marriage cannot completely escape the aspect of suffering and pain. Many of the troubled marriages however had their problems covered up before the marriage only for them to resurface in marriage. Marriage is a sacrament meant for adults who have made up their minds after careful and prayerful reflection on their relationship. This presupposes that they have done the proper preparations for the marriage and they have been truthful to each other at the time of courtship. It should be that they have asked the right questions and the best answers have been received. In many cases where people have rushed into marriage or have placed the cart before the horse thereby unable to seek out the truth about their would-be spouse, the end result is a barrage of surprises in marriage which often threatens the relationship to its roots.

 

Married people have their lives linked, “they are no longer two but one.” This is not only in the spiritual sense. Broken homes often create broken children, broken families and a broken society, because the children born of a broken family need a special grace to be focused on the right things in life. Married people must always put the good of their children into consideration before they take the step on divorce. There may be no perfect marriage, but a situation where both parties are striving daily for perfection helps the situation.

 

Marriage calls for a lot of commitment from both parties. The modern society creates enough of troubles daily to keep each one busy. In the midst of all you have to do, you must also create quality time to be with your spouse and your family. Once that is missing, there is already a problem. Simple acts like nice complements on the dressing of your spouse, a little hug on the way in and out, calls and texts while at work, care of your in-laws, keeping the house tidy and helping with some house chores, go a long way in helping spouses bond better. Never be too angry as to forget to forgive and let go of the disagreements you may have. 

 

It takes more than the two to marry and remain married, create room for prayer and for God in your marriage.

 

Let us remember today in our prayers all married couples especially those who are having problems with their relationship, that they may seek true and sincere solutions rather than divorce.

 

May the Lord grant us peace in our homes and families. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen! 

 

 



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