Homily for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Theme: God’s original intention for Marriage
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday October 3 2021
Marriage is part of the essential and foundational blessings God bestowed on the human race. It is simply a precious gift from above! This oldest of institutions constitute part of God’s will such that a man and a woman come together in the name of God and under His grace to begin a lifetime partnership of love through which grace, comfort and communion are offered and received, and the human family is sustained. May God bless all married couples and may He grant them the grace of mutual understanding, forgiveness and love; Amen.
The Readings of today’s Liturgy are part of the Sacred Scripture that is speedily and grossly becoming uninteresting to the modern mind. This is not because the truth in these readings has lost their validity, but because the modern mind wishes to create a new world order for itself, where God is totally removed or relegated to the margins and where men and women are free to institute and implement their imaginations and ungodly aspirations. Irrespective of these tendencies, God is always clear about what He wants from us and how he wants us to live. It is also good to know that whatever we aspire can never be superior to God’s plan and wish for us, irrespective of how rapidly it becomes an acceptable way of life. We can never create a better world than this which God has created. We can only make our life in this world better by harnessing the blessings which God bestowed in the Created Order according to His plan, generosity and will. This is very true about the reality of Marriage as a noble, God-willed and divinely blessed Institution, which must always be accepted and lived according to the mind of God. The First Reading (Genesis 2:18-24) takes us to the very beginning of Creation and to what God’s original intention for Marriage is; “this is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.” This biblical account makes some important points clear to us about what marriage is all about; it is God-willed, it is between a man and woman, and also it is a partnership for life during which two become one. Men and women have always had ways of thwarting the realization of God’s plan and purposes in their lives. This was the case, not just in our time, but also in the time of Jesus. This is the background to Jesus’ re-affirmation of God’s intention for the Institution of Marriage in the Gospel Reading of today (Mark 10:2-16); “this is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body… So then, what God has united man must not divide.”
The mind of God about Marriage is very clear in the Sacred Scripture and in the living and sacred Tradition of the Church. This notwithstanding, it must be acknowledged that Married Life is becoming a great challenge in our times. Part of the greatest source of these challenges is a growing attitude that wishes us to act in certain ways; such that in our weaknesses we cannot accommodate the weaknesses of others; in our errors, we cannot forgive others of their errors and mistakes; in our desire to have it all, we forget that others have right to take something from the common Source; and regrettably in our attempt to create a New World Order, we forget that God created us all and He wants us to live in accordance with His laws and ordinances. In the Gospel of today, our Lord Jesus Christ summarised this type of attitude with the phrase “it was because you were so unteachable that Moses wrote this commandment for you.” The crisis of Marriage is borne out of the crisis of faith and the exaltation of the ‘I’ over the ‘we’. It is impossible to have everything we wish for and fantasize over. In fact, an uncontrolled desire to have everything we wish for breeds thieves and usurpers; such that one not only steals from fellow human beings, but also one even attempts to rob God of His excellence and omnipotence by making false identities of Him or by assuming God’s pride of place in human affairs. We can only realize the beauty of marriage by going back to its origin in God’s plan for the human race and by opening our minds and hearts to the direction of God’s power and grace. These power and grace are superabundantly present in the merits of Christ’s Life and Mission who through His Paschal Mysteries united us all into one Family of Faith, Hope and Love; such that from diverse human and biological families, we become also brothers and sisters in Christ as we read in the Second Reading (Hebrew 2:9-11), “for the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why He openly calls them brothers and sisters.” Our biological families must offer us a foretaste of what awaits us in our common Spiritual Family as sons and daughters of God and not the contrary. This is what Marriage is all about!
May God bless all married couples with His bountiful and graceful presence, especially couples that are facing crises and difficulties. May He bless our families and give each and every one of us the grace to work together for the restoration of the Marriage Institution, in accordance with His plan for the human race; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE