Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection May 24, 2024


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R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. . Your word, O Lord, is truth; sanctify us in the truth.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Jesus went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them. And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Today, especially the walls of married and family life are shaking and crumbling. Excessive ego and cheating are two reasons for this. People are carried away by self-pride in the name of self-dignity. Self-interests are promoted in the name of self-making. Deceiving and manipulating are justified as tools for success and happiness.

This is really the corrosion of the dignity and sanctity of married life. This is visibly reflected in the increasing number of divorces. It is sad that sometimes divorces are sought even for silly reasons. Jesus today addresses this issue. He makes it very clear that marriage union is divine and sacred and so indissoluble. Any breach of this bond is never His will.

In this context, humility, and fidelity can be the two greatest pillars on which the edifice of married life can be rebuilt. The efforts of both partners should be to safeguard the bond rather than being hasty to break it at the slightest pretext.

A healthy family life requires more humility to acknowledge and admit one’s own weaknesses and failures instead of defending and justifying them. It calls for reducing our sense of false ego, which is inflated and blown up. It also calls for making more space for the weaknesses of the other and accepting him or her.

Further, it needs more fidelity. As long as there is no trust and trustworthiness in each other, as long as there is no openness and transparency to each other, as long as there is no honesty and truthfulness, but instead, there is hiding, lying, and cheating, then surely that family life will collapse. The counsel of St James in the first reading can be relevant here. He urges us to be steadfast with patience in suffering like Job.

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