READINGS for 2009-10-04
This text is seminal for our understanding the nature of marriage. The mystery of the Sacrament of Marriage mirrors the mystery of Christ’s union with the Church. This is a relationship that makes the two entities into one. It is a union that we can never seek to fully understand or dissect, but should open our lives wide to experience and live. This is the nature of relationship with God — it makes us one with Him; it gives a new life and a new way of being.
18 The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” 19 So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. 21 So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, 23 the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.
P S A L M
Psalm 128:1-2. 3. 4-5. 6
R: May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
1 Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! 2 For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be, and favored. (R) 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table. (R) 4 Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. (R) 6 May you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel! (R)
Jesus is the true High Priest who offers the definitive sacrifice of Himself to the Father. Because Christ is perfect, His sacrifice is perfect and capable of delivering us from our sins! As we celebrate the Eucharist, it is this ‘once and for all’ sacrifice that is made present on the altar; it is the sacrifice of Jesus to which we join our own suffering in sacrifice and thus become a part of the redemptive work of Christ.
9 Brothers and sisters: He who “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,” that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers,”
G O S P E L
The question about marriage that we have to ask ourselves is, “What does it mean to commit one’s self to another person until death separates us?” Once we realize that there is a decision and not just a feeling at the basis of this relationship, we will begin to understand why the Church does not permit divorce and remarriage. Marriage is a long-term commitment and relationship that will take a lot of effort to carry through to the end. However, by the grace of the Sacrament it is possible to overcome all difficulties and trials.
2 The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him. 3 He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They replied, “Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” 5 But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. 7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” 10 In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” 13 And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” 16 Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
think: As we join our own suffering with Jesus’ sacrifice, we become a part of the redemptive work of Christ.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Sirach 24-26
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
lOve – A sentimentAl feeling?
It is a sad reality that more and more marriages don’t succeed. The call for legalizing divorce has become louder and louder in many parts of the world. But Jesus is very clear in today’s Gospel; He says a clear “no” to divorce which is a strong “yes” to marital fidelity and commitment. Why do so many marriages break up — sometimes after only a few months or a year? I think it has something to do with the distorted image of love propagated by the media. We are told in sentimental words and melodies that love is a beautiful emotion, a nice feeling. The problem here is that emotions and feelings change as often as the weather changes. A lasting relationship might often begin with a romantic feeling for each other but has to go beyond this initial stage. Real, lasting love must move “beyond the selfish character that prevailed earlier,” Pope Benedict writes, “it seeks the good of the beloved: it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing, for sacrifice.”
Jesus focuses on commitment as basis for real love. When the Bible says that God is love and that God loves us, it is clear that God’s love has nothing to do with feelings. The Old Testament is a long story about God’s commitment to His chosen people — in spite of their constant breaking of the covenant relationship God had initiated a long time ago.
The New Testament continues this theme. God becomes human in Jesus Christ because “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son.” And this Son, often ignored and rejected, even killed, remained committed to His mission to save humanity through the greatest sacrifice possible: giving His life for His friends, for us sinners.
That is love. That is commitment at its best. It goes beyond feelings. A real commitment needs to be constantly renewed. Only then can a relationship withstand the trials and the fading of feelings and emotions. Only then will we be true to what the great Roman poet Virgil said: “Love conquers all.” Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Is my notion of love inspired by cheap love songs, stories and movies? Or do I look to God who is love as model?
Lord, You have revealed God as a God of love, committed to us unworthy human beings. You proved Your love when You offered the utmost sacrifice possible, when You died for us, on the Cross. Help me to go beyond the common understanding of love and learn from You in my relationship with others.
St. Francis of Assisi, Confessor, pray for us.
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