• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 05 October 2018 17:26

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 2018

Written by Fr Frank Gerry SVD

 

Fr Frank Gerry SVD 150Marriage is a sacrament, a work of God, and a work of a man and a woman. It gives a couple the grace to live out in their lives the forgiving, understanding, committed, redeeming and transforming love God has for all of us. 

That is quite a task, isn't it, for we all know that married life is not for the faint-hearted. It is a call for us to mirror something of the Mystery of God. Wow!

God, as we Christians believe, is a communion of love and life. Married life is that too. 

In the ordinariness of our lives it makes visible something of the Mystery of God, the Source of all Being. It is a school that concentrates on the most important lessons of life: how to forgive, how to embrace the  other as my equal, how to nurture new life, how to create  a loving atmosphere where the young can grow and flourish. 

I call the quality of its love redeeming and transforming. Christian marriage is like the living Eucharist in our midst: Here is my body given over for you; here is my blood poured out for you! This is the mystery that married life incarnates. This is the Mystery (with a capital M) at the heart of married life! It is of God. It is of the Beyond!
Perhaps we do not usually live at this level of consciousness or faith for there are so many ordinary mundane things to take care of;  but that doesn’t deny the fact. The fact is that in Christian marriage and family life there is this explicit, symbolic expression of the Mystery of God in our life.  St. Paul calls it a Great Mystery. The Greek word he used, mysterion, is translated into Latin with the word sacramentum – a symbolic saving life-giving reality. 

I really want to make this point. Mid all the difficulties, the loose ends, the endless tasks, and our all-too-apparent human frailties, this is the true identity at the heart of the Christian vocation of marriage and family life. There are more than two committed human beings in the equation. God is in the equation too. Christ and the Spirit are there in your midst, your hidden guests and tutors.

I am not married myself but I am the fruit of a marriage and a family. There were eight of us. And I can recall at the end of my mother’s life, when she was in her late eighties or early nineties, how she repeated again and again, like a mantra, the phrase and the praise, “God has been good!” Looking back over the fifty-five years of married life, the trials and the difficulties hidden from us children, as well as the joys and the happiness, my mother could say gratefully, “God has been good.”

Of course, we know the commitment can never be a one-way affair. Long term relationships are only built upon a mutual commitment that involves the qualities I have already stated. Stephanie Dowrick has given a telling title to one of her books, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love. She writes of courage, fidelity, restraint, generosity, tolerance, and forgiveness – all acts of love. Can we recognise ourselves and the challenge we face in these virtues?

Life is not a bed of roses, and married life is certainly not a bed of roses, but it can be a deeply rewarding commitment that can reach into the realms of the transcendent where you know you touch something of the Divine – a tenderness given and received, something that bespeaks of a connaturality with God. That is what is at the heart of the Trinity: a tenderness given and received! And there is another divine quality that is unavoidable in love. It is called vulnerability. One cannot love without being vulnerable. Life teaches us that is so. Jesus has taught us that too!

Just recently, we have witnessed tragic scenes in lands to the North of us: people with broken hearts at the loss of dearly loved ones and, often, of all they possessed – as the Ancient Scripture proclaims, A cry is heard in the land. It is Rachel weeping for her children for they are no more! I know God weeps too. We cannot love and not be vulnerable.

So I share these thoughts with you this morning – my immense appreciation for married life and the profundity within the human heart that it can call forth: the joy, the tenderness, the forgiveness, the faithfulness, the courage, and so much more. 

Of course, we know there are failures and betrayals! There is great distress and hurt in both men and women who know the shattering pain of a broken married relationship. We are, after all, all-too-human. 

May these, our sisters and brothers, know in time a comfort that can heal them and help them not to turn their backs or their hearts away from love. Let this is our prayer.

It is indeed what makes the world go around!