Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Sacred Scriptures which have a profound impact on our lives, especially those with regards to the very fabric of our Christian families, that is the matter of marriage or holy matrimony. We have to realise that in this day and time, in our world today, the institution of marriage often comes under attack from many directions, from all those who were trying to destroy and desecrate its sanctity.
In the first reading today, from the Book of the prophet Sirach, we heard a very good advice regarding friendships and relationships between us and one another. In that passage, we heard about the importance of building up good and healthy relationship, to make real and faithful friends, and not just acquaintances, or worse still, friends for benefits. What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ?
It means that we must not be hasty to make relationships based on worldly qualifications alone. We must not be quick to establish relationships based on worldly pleasures and matters such as money and temptations of the flesh, lust and human desires. This is exactly the same in the matter of relationships and even marriage. People judged and made decisions based on appearances and on superficial matters, rather than truly understanding what a true relationship is about.
That is why, in many relationships, the foundations were weak and they were easily shaken. In many occasions, these relationships endured only through the good times, and when bad things and troubles come, the relationships foundered and broke apart. That is why in recent times, we had so much troubles with divorces and broken families, unfaithful husbands and wives, who committed adulterous relationships.
There were many people who build their lives and relationships on unsteady foundations of money, possessions, worldly things, lust, pleasure, earthly beauty and many others. As such once the worldly things that do not last forever disappear or are used up, it leads to a collapse in the marriage life and in the family structure. This is what had plagued many of our families in recent times, and which also troubled the Church as a whole.
For truly, families are the basic units of the Church and our faith, for it is through the instructions of our parents that we have first received our faith, listened to the teachings of the Church, which they themselves had received from their own parents. If this familial structure breaks down, then the faith of whole generations will also stumble and become shaky, and the whole Church will be affected.
It is a reality that in many of our families today, there is no place for God. God does not take a centre place in our families. That is why we have divorces and adulterous relationships. We put our trust in things of this world, and they are not good enough, and we in our greed seek for more worldly pleasures and this led us all into sin. That was what Jesus condemned in the Gospel today.
Jesus was very clear in His message in the Gospel today, that all those who have consciously without a valid reason, such as those written in the laws of the Church, broke the sanctity of the Sacrament of the Holy Matrimony, have committed great sin before God. And all the more, if the person remarries another person, or have any form of relationships with another person, then the sin committed is even greater.
Jesus was very clear in His words, that the union which God had made and blessed, cannot be undone by mankind, and no person has the authority and freedom to undo what God had decreed, the union between man and woman in the Holy Matrimony. But this is where instead of we just blaming the families and the people involved, we need to look deeper at the root cause of it all, as I have just mentioned earlier.
Is God in our daily lives? Do we allow Him to take charge of our lives? In our families, do we put God in a place of honour, and look up to Him at all times? Or have we rather allowed ourselves to be carried away by money, by lust, by our greed, and by all sorts of other things that have prevented us from truly having a functional, loving and holy family?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all today pray for all couples of the faithful people of God, that they will keep solemnly and faithfully the vows they have made before God on the day of their Holy Matrimony. Let us all pray that they will be able to keep their promises before God, and build up together holy, functional and loving families, through which faith can be transmitted and passed on, ensuring that our Church remains strong, vibrant and living.
May the Lord empower us and our families, so that He may always be at the centre of our lives, and we may be able to resist the temptations of worldliness, and all the other things that have caused us to sin and broke apart our families. May the Lord give us His strength so that we may persevere in faith, and remain true to Him, all of us and our families together as one. Amen.