The Gospel reading speaks about marriage and divorce⎯but is less an instruction in this than it is about hardness of hearts in any relationship. Think about the image of what marriage is: vows to love, cherish and honor one another. What we need to remember is that this is what we are called (by our baptism) to do for all people in all of our relationships close and far! Today we are asked to examine the attitudes and the behaviors that shape our relationships, whether in marriage or family or a parish community or in our country. We are called to love one another even, mostly, when it is difficult.
The vows in a marriage ceremony contain the words; “No longer two, but one flesh. Let no one divide what God has joined…” This would be great advice for all relationships! We are joined in community, in the body of Christ by our baptism and our belief. So how to do this? We decide that today we will choose to live in love. St. James has been reminding us these last few weeks that our human existence is full of jealousy, cynicism, hate, and judgement. So we decide today that we will not allow those toxic attitudes to dominate our lives. Instead we can choose to consciously imitate Jesus' example of loving people—even, and especially, the ones we don't like—by turning the other cheek and returning good for evil. We have promised to love, cherish and honor each other. We can only keep doing our best and we will make mistakes, but all we can do is forgive and just keep trying to do better.
Today we live in such a fractured and divided society. We are driven by partisan feelings and choices, and yet we know that God has made us all in His own image. It takes a holy resolve to honor our promises as baptized Christians to escape being tossed about by those feelings of fear, greed and selfishness. Today we will choose to live by our faith in all we say and all we do. We don't know what lies ahead or what surprises (joyful or sorrowful) may come to any of us today. But we know that God has promised to be with us to strengthen, guide, help us and deliver us. We can live in confidence knowing that there is nothing we will face today that we, with God, cannot handle. We are God-confident in all the differences between us, the temptations and the crosses of our lives we must bear today and every day of our journey in life, our journey in faith. We may be confident of where our journey will end by following the letter of the love law as explained by Jesus in all things.
Living in love and faith today, we will live in hope. We can rejoice at the thought of tomorrow because of the promises God has attached to our futures. We will not be afraid of failures for God has promised to work all things for good in the lives of those who love him. So regardless of how we may feel about certain situations today, we have the power and knowledge to choose to live at a higher level: to live in a Holy Resolve of faith, hope and love—choosing always to live by our Baptismal vows. We don't have to be ruled by our partisan and divisive feelings but will see all people as the Body of Christ, all children of God, for we know that God has made us all for better things! Make your Holy Resolve today to live as One Body in Christ. If all did so, the world would be very different…
Just a Note: We are still looking for new singing members for our Music Ministry: both young and youthful. We also need another guitarist (electric and/or acoustic) and a bass player. Know anyone who might fit this bill? Give me their name or introduce them to me, I’ll do the rest! Thanks!
Another Note: Here are a couple of songs about the Body of Christ—thought provoking…