Homily for Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The issue of divorce
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Friday August 16 2019
(Mt. 19:3-12) Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus tackles the issue of divorce. He pointed out that from the very beginning God made them male and female and when called to a union, that is, as husband and wife, God meant them to be with each other and nothing and no one can separate them. In other words, divorce is not an option.
The Pharisees saw an exception in the case of Moses who allowed divorce. Jesus could only cite the stubbornness of the people which pressured Moses to allow divorce. Moses tried to be pastoral but the first principle of ,marriage still exists and in effect. Moses allowing divorce does not replace what God had meant marriage to be from the beginning.
Can two people really live with each other as husband and wife till death? The present generation would say, base on the numerous separations and unsuccessful marriages that it is not possible. Divorce had been adopted by many countries due to the demand for it. Is it a matter of numbers? How about those who had stayed together and considered “successful in their marriage? As priest for twenty-five years, I had officiated several marriages and I only one or two who came back to be and told me they were wrong in their decision. And it was because they lied to me. had they told me everything, they would have been advised better and I would have told them to think more before they plunge into marriage.
So, what do we say about those who had been married for twenty-five years, thirty, forty, and fifty years? Guest the longest marriage I had presided in celebration of their anniversary? Sixty-Five years! Were they supermen and women? Were they different from other couples? Unfortunately, today, good marriages are considered exceptions rather than the rule. The truth is, there are still many who stay married. Only a few, relatively are divorced or separated. Unfortunately, too, they are just too noisy. And I would dare say that as long as there is one marriage that lasts till death, marriage as taught in the Book of Genesis and by Jesus in the Gospels is sacred and cannot be asunder.
Even if it is a matter of the common good, remaining married rather than opting for divorce is way ahead. Human capacities cannot be underestimated. Couples, if they are serious and committed, maybe able to work out their marriages. Of course, there will be exceptions. There will be marriages which will reach a dead end and couples could not really and essentially be reconciled. But they are very rare and should be the exception rather than the rule. Legalizing and providing divorce as an option come as an easy way out. It becomes even complicated and challenging when we talk about children.
I will express my bias on this. Most, if not all, of the couples whose marriages had lingered and lasted for incredibly many years, claim and profess that their faith in God sustained them and was the very reason why they stayed together. Marriage is not merely a secular union which adorn families with children but also a spiritual one which enriches the Church with children, It is a vocation to serve humanity through the family. It is a salvific action which results from obedience to God’s commandments.