Reflection: 7th October 2018

A Reflection for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

MK 10: 2-16 (  ) 

In this gospel passage Jesus teaches us about marriage. It is for life, and this life-long commitment remains the Christian ideal.

To receive any sacrament one needs faith, faith in Jesus Christ. During marriage preparation couples deepen their personal faith by reading and discussion. Hopefully, they learn something of the theology of marriage.

On the day of the marriage ceremony, it is their faith in Jesus that will open both to the graces of the sacrament. The inner reality in every sacrament is that God comes and blesses us with his grace. These graces will help the couple in the years to come. They should try and make their marriage as good a sign as possible with love, joy and harmony as its hallmarks.

The wedding may last only a day but marriage will be for the rest of the couple’s lives. On the wedding day the couple go back to school, the school of marriage. From then on they begin to learn again and to love each other in a deeper way. Building that marriage will take time.

There is a symbol in every sacrament and in marriage many people think it is the ring. In fact, it is the giving of themselves to each other as they exchange vows. Their love mirrors God’s love for us all.

I read somewhere that present-day culture hesitates before long-term commitments such as life- long marriage. Yet there is freedom in commitment. It is possible to walk along the quays looking at various options for the journey while using one’s freedom of choice. However, to get anywhere, one ship will have to be chosen. That is the freedom of choosing, choosing not to remain in the paralysis of choice. Once made, commitment opens up to another level of living and loving and being loved in return.

However, despite the above, I am well aware that for some marriage has not quite worked out as planned. Some of you are now in a second relationship. I and the Christian community support you and your children. We hope and pray that you will find happiness in your lives.

Tom Hogan C.S.Sp.. – Fr. Tom Hogan missioned in Kenya for over 30 years including as Principal of St Mary’s School, Nairobi.  Having studied health promotion, he then spent a decade in the Tana River region leading a team of health professionals.