Year B: Homily for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Theme: RETURN TO YOUR ORIGINAL NATURE!
By: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
Homily for Sunday October 3 2021
(GENESIS 2:18-24; HEBREW 2:9-11; MARK 10:2-16)
The readings today hit a strong note on one of the most abused institutions in our culture and in our time. The reflection today is not to abuse or debase anyone but to state the blatant truths as entrusted to us and the church by God. That institution is marriage. Today it is so difficult to speak about marriage because our culture is against the Christian idea of marriage. We have to be able to speak clearly and yet not condemn anyone.
Nowadays, people are beginning to believe that to live together in life-long marriage is the exception, while being separated or divorced is the ordinary case. Records show that the number of weddings in Catholic Churches has dramatically dropped in most parts of the world. Unfortunately, even a quick divorce does not guarantee peace of mind. Also, it does not guarantee the success of the next marriage. That is why, someone might get married many times and divorce many times. This is simply to prove that divorce is not always the best solution to the problems of marriage. It is important to realize that the marriage relationship is quite different from a boy and girl friend relationship. Marriage is not just a contract or paper agreement. It transcends contract and becomes a covenant, and made a sacrament, that is why we talk about consummation of marriage as the apogee of marriage.
Why is marriage such a necessary human institution? The answer is simple: it is necessary for the survival of the human race. In the Gospel, quoting the Book of Genesis, Jesus said, “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female” (Mk 10:6). The man and the woman were intended by God to complement or complete each other (Gen 2:18). They become complete only when they are joined together. And the bond that joins them is love. Love is not just a feeling or emotion. It is a lifelong decision to stick it out together through thick and thin. This union of man and woman is best expressed in an intimate act. This act naturally brings forth children that ensure the posterity of mankind. And that takes care of all the confusions we create today as marriage, whether ‘Man-United’ or ‘Woman-United’.
Every child has the right to a stable family and a stable family can only be found in a stable marriage and not in the ideologically man-made twisted union. One hard fact is that in the end, it is God who will judge us. And His judgment will not be based on the laws of the United States of America or any other country, which legalize abortion and divorce, or United nations human rights, or any self-opinionated twisted human law. It will be based on the law of God. We will be judged whether or not we followed His law of Love. It is very clear in the teachings of Jesus that divorce is a violation of the law of God.
A man appeared before Frank Caprio in the Court of Providence for a ticket. He was accompanied by his wife and his lovely wife never allowed him to respond to any question asked by the Judge. When the Judge tried protesting, the man said my wife is right. And the judge quibbled I guess that is the secret of the success of your sixty-three years of marriage. One thing people need to do today is to say yes. Married couples must be able to say yes to each other. Marriage is not a fifty-fifty relationship; it is a one hundred percent relationship – total self-giving to each other.
My brothers and sisters, God wants us to live in peace and happiness. We sincerely sympathize with all those going through difficult times in their marriages, we pray that God will give them the grace and wisdom to move forward and find peace in their homes. Trouble comes in when we turn away from God, when we let our selfishness and pride rule our lives, and when we deviate from the original plan of God. Let us bring back God into the center of our homes and families. As Fr Payton reminds us, “The family that prays together, stays together.” Then peace, happiness and salvation will be ours now and always.
God bless you!
Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
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