27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Permanency and Fidelity in Marriage
From the Book of Genesis (which literally means “beginnings”) we come to know that God is the Creator of light, land, sea, vegetation, animals, human beings, and everything else in the universe. Our First Reading particularly tells us that God rescues man from loneliness and emptiness by forming woman from his very rib. Woman, “bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh,” is the partner that essentially compliments and finally completes man.
The biblical scene in the creation of the woman is so dramatic and full of meaning. The Lord cast a deep sleep on the man. He could be vulnerable whatever the woman might to do to him; she could have left and abandoned him. But the newly created woman patiently waited the man for him to say the sweet and loving words: “this one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” The woman is not only a new creation but a special companion designed and willed by God for the man from the beginning of creation.
In the Gospel, the Pharisees ask Jesus whether it is lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. Jesus clarifies that the ongoing practice of divorce was a concession given by Moses because of “their hardness of heart.” This concession is not God’s original plan in marriage. Jesus reminded them that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Jesus reaffirms, in today’s gospel, the ancient ideal of the unbreakable bond.
In marriage, God unites man and woman in an indissoluble bond of loving intimacy and togetherness. It is a permanent union and as such it demands fidelity to each other. The husband and the wife share in communion of life and love. Genuine married love is tough love. It is not the kind of love that says “I love you because,” neither a kind of love that says “I love you if,” but a kind of love that says, “I love you in spite of.”