Homily from Sunday October 03rd – 27th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

“In 1981 — Prince Charles got married
-Liverpool was crowned soccer champions of Europe
-Australia lost the Ashes Tournament
-The Pope was shot”

“In 2005 — Prince Charles got married
-Liverpool was crowned soccer champions of Europe
-Australia lost the Ashes Tournament
-The Pope died”

“The next time Charles gets married, someone warn the Pope.”

And more to the point, in the context of our divorces and certainly our children’s and grandchildren’s divorces, we uncomfortably must come to terms with Jesus’ pronouncement of no divorce.

In the Ancient time of Jesus’ society, women rarely, if ever, owned property and had no independent means of living, marriage was therefore a saviour. It was a guarantee of support for the most vulnerable of society – women and children. For their sake, marriage had to be stable. Laws against divorce – basically stated that women and children should not be so easily thrown aside.

So in criticizing those who advocated easy divorce, and there were many who did – Jesus was putting himself on the side of the weak and vulnerable. He is not once –and-for all condemning divorced persons but is coming down squarely on the side of the defenseless.

Now fast forward to the present where Jesus’ social context no longer prevails. Today we have lots of divorce and it’s a touchy subject. We live in a world where people make and break promises, where people who, for a variety of reasons, have felt it necessary to break their marriage vows and divorce.

Yet, even they know that Jesus is fundamentally right in proclaiming marriages’ sanctity and that a faithful and enduring marriage is ideal, and that a lifelong committed marriage is also good for the world. No dispute about that. But still, the ideal falters.

There is a highly pornographic and secular society which mocks fidelity and even encourages infidelity.

Finally, in a culture of individualism, there is seldom a third party at any wedding. That is to say, the focus is entirely on the individual selves.

Each is expected to provide the other with every physical, sexual, emotional, material fulfillment – an impossible task of course. There is seldom a sense that in marriage they are committing themselves to something greater than themselves – their connection and responsibility for others, not for themselves alone.

Still, to give the official church it’s due: It does hold fast to the ideal of a lifelong faithful marriage as both good for children and society. It would be a tragic mistake to weaken that ideal simply because many don’t follow it.

We cannot soften Jesus’ words. But on the other hand, in one way or another, we all fail to live up to the ideal of the Christian life as found in the Beatitudes. The fact is we all fail one way or another, yet we all believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness and continue to live as members in good standing in the Christian community. Why should the question of divorce and remarriage be treated differently?

The Christian community still holds firmly to the ideal of marriage but must also care tenderly for the wounds and hurting of the persons who are caught up in less than the ideal – just as Jesus would.

One thought on “Insights from Fr. Dan – October 3, 2021

  1. As usual, another homily that is educational, instructive and provides a framework for families and parents of adult children who have dealt with these very difficult and emotional situations. Two of our three adult children are divorced and in both instances there was just cause but also a great deal of shock, distress and disillusionment on the part of our daughters.

    Thank you Father for continuing to minister over your flock! A. Davies

    On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 5:14 PM Holy Rosary Ottawa wrote:

    > enoble posted: ” Homily from Sunday October 03rd – 27th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY > TIME “In 1981 — Prince Charles got married-Liverpool was crowned soccer > champions of Europe-Australia lost the Ashes Tournament-The Pope was shot” > “In 2005 — Prince Charles got married-Liv” >

    Liked by 1 person

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