Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the matter of believing in God and having a true and genuine love for Him. Unless we have that love and devotion in us, it is unlikely that we will be able to live our lives with faith. And for us, we also have to discern well how we should make our relationships with one another, imitating the love which we have for God.
In the first reading today, taken from the book of the prophet Sirach, we heard how different types of friends are present, and we may not realise this reality even from among those whom we call as friends. Some of those who become our friends, they did so because they are seeking for some benefits and gains for themselves, and when things go sour and our fortunes dwindle, they will be quick to draw a line between them and us, and distance themselves from us.
The friendship of this type cannot be called true friendship, as it means that the friendship is only valid and is maintained only conditionally, when things are good and favourable. The moment that things turn upside down and become unfavourable, the friendship also end up becoming lost. Then this kind of relationship cannot be called as true friendship, as true friendship and in fact relationship requires one to be committed and faithful in times both good and bad.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s Gospel passage, we go to an even higher level of relationship, and that is the relationship between a man and a woman joined together in the holy and blessed union of matrimony, or marriage. This is a relationship in which a man is joined to a woman, and are united together in a new life blessed by God, and this union is blessed and sanctified by God such that, as the Lord Himself put it, no man should ever divide.
And yet, the Pharisees and some of the teachers of the Law tried to test the Lord by arguing that since Moses had allowed for the practice of divorce, provided that the person desiring the divorce must prepare a documentation and certification for the divorce, then a husband can divorce his wife and vice versa. But in doing so, they disregarded and misunderstood the sanctity of marriage and what the Lord had intended for His people, and instead, succumbing to the pressures of worldly desires and greed.
Again, the main reason for divorces to happen, both then as it is now, is the lack of true love and genuine commitment between the parties involved in the holy matrimony, where each of the individuals were involved in the marriage for their own ulterior motives and for their individual selfish desired and wishes. As a result, when the marriage is happy and filled with good things for both parties, there may be no issue, but the moment the marriage begins to encounter problems, more problems and troubles are quick to accumulate.
And this is where the devil is very quick to make use of the perfect opportunity to strike at us, to cause divisions and bitterness among us, hatred and lack of love and commitment to one another, causing the breaking of our families and matrimonial relationships, and even our other forms of friendships. The devil has many tools within his disposal, to strike at us relentlessly, by making use of the pride, ego, desire and the wickedness within our hearts and minds against us.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded of the need for us to have love within us and in our relationships, for us to be filled with genuine love instead of lust, dedication instead of selfishness and pride, compassion and true passion instead of greed and worldly desires. Today, we are called to love with tenderness, to do our very best to follow His examples, in how He has loved us all so greatly despite all of our sins and wickedness.
God remains in love with us despite our unfaithfulness, because He is ultimately faithful, dedicated and genuine in His love for each and every one of us. Are we able to show the same kind of love in our own lives? And are we able to show the same love in our relationship with God as well as with our fellow men? May the Lord strengthen us, and may He guide us all to love Him and serve Him with greater commitment, now and always. Amen.