FR WILLIAM'S HOMILY
Year B 2021
From a Catholic perspective, Marriage is the union between a man and woman established by God as part of the eternal plan for the created world. The poetic depiction of our first reading from Genesis outlines this primordial divine plan that man and woman would complement each other in a loving relationship together.
We, as Catholics, believe that Marriage is a Sacrament. The bride and the groom are the ministers of the sacrament, not the priest, but the Church’s official witness. All these positions of faith, and many others, hold a beautiful richness that the Church still enjoys today.
Obviously, times have changed, and we find ourselves, in reality, far from the model presented to us in the Genesis account and the ideal model provided to us by the Church.
From as early as Moses, people recognised that the union between two persons would not always go according to plan or follow an ideal. We heard from our Gospel today that when the Pharisees noted, “Moses allowed us…to draw up a writ of dismissal and so divorce (Mark 10:4).”
Although the Mosaic law did not permit divorce, it did recognise the care and safeguarding necessary for those left most vulnerable by the martial split, namely, the women, hence the need for documentation.
Human life and relations have always come with difficulties and grey areas. Even people in Moses’ day recognised this reality. Divorce and separation in Marriage is not a new thing.
What are we to take with us from these scriptures despite the reality and the colourful expressions of love that we witness in our current society? How do we live up to this ideal?
I think the first thing to note is that Marriage is still worth it. The creation account given to us in Genesis provides us with a profound mythological truth about the union of humans. Although we may find companionship with animals, these do not compare to the relations between human beings, especially a husband and wife.
Sacramentally, a baptised man and woman come into a union through a free giving of themselves in sickness and health, through good times and bad, till death do they part.
Rather than dwelling on the complexities of Marriage, celebrating a commitment such as this makes for good families, by extension, good communities.
Finally, I think there are also opportunities for local parish communities to set up places for Marriage support. Any local parish community, especially ours, is filled with many skilled and caring persons. Tapping into this new gold mine of Gympie will most definitely assist us as we discover the hidden treasures of this fertile field.
Nonetheless, we hold in prayer all our married couples and also those of our separated couples. We pray that we all may be custodians of the bond of Marriage, especially those of the next generation.