Friday of the 7th Week of the Year

Friday of the 7th Week of the Year

Mk 10:1-12

Marriage and Divorce


During the time of Jesus there were two schools of thought regarding divorce.

There was the school of Shammai. They interpreted the matter with utter strictness. A matter of indecency was adultery and adultery alone. A woman may be as bad as Jezebel but unless she was guilty of adultery there could be no divorce.

There was the school of Hillel. They interpreted that crucial phrase as widely as possible. They said that it could mean if the wife spoiled a dish of food, if she spun in the streets, if she talked to a strange man, if she spoke disrespectfully of her husband’s relations in his hearing, if she was a brawling woman (defined as a woman whose voice could be heard in the next house).

Human nature being as it is, it was the lax view that prevailed. The result was that divorce for the most trivial reasons or for no reason at all, was tragically common. When Jesus spoke as He did He was speaking on a subject that was a burning issue and He was striking a blow for women by seeking to restore marriage to the position it ought to have.

The real meaning of the gospel reading is that Jesus insisted that the loose sexual morality of his day must be mended. Those who sought marriage only for pleasure must be reminded that marriage is also responsibility. Those who regarded marriage simply as a means of gratifying their physical passions must be reminded that it was also a spiritual unity. Jesus was building a rampart around the home. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


When we were high school seminarians our prefect would always remind us the priesthood is not the only way to holiness. We always have the choice between priesthood and married life and that both are vocations from God.

In married life, Jesus makes His point clear. He takes us back to the beginning of creation and God’s plan for the human race. The ideal is found in the unbreakable union of Adam and Eve. God created them for each other and they were to be the pattern and symbol for all who were to come. Likewise, Jesus sets high the ideal for those who sacrifice marriage and freely choose a single state of life for the sake of the Kingdom. What is common to both is that they are calls from God to live a consecrated life. They are to belong not to themselves alone but also to God.

When Jesus said that husband and wife are to be “one flesh” in marriage, he intended it to mean more than a partnership in establishing a family or intimate companionship between two individuals. It involves a third party – God, who joins with a husband and wife when they become “one flesh.” We are called to be one with God in a union so intimate and a bond so strong that nothing can separate it or destroy it, not even death itself.

Jesus’ call to holiness extends to all in every state of life. Let us pray that He constantly sanctify our lives as married couples and as singles and that we may become leaven in a society that disdains life-long marriage, fidelity, chastity and celibacy. (Fr. bar Fabella, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


I came across a story of a young couple who went to Hong Kong for their honeymoon. Weeks before the trip, the couple started to make a list of the things they needed to bring along and the things to be done before leaving to make sure they won’t miss anything. On the day of the trip, they boarded the plane confident that everything was accounted for. When they were already in their seats the woman felt uncomfortable and suddenly said: “We have forgotten something!” The man confidently replied: “No, it is impossible. We have prepared everything weeks before this trip. I even made a list of them.”  But the woman insisted they have forgotten something very important. So the man said: “Okay, what is it?” the woman replied: “We have forgotten to get married!”

The couple was so preoccupied with so many things, they have forgotten the most important thing: God’s blessing on their marriage. In the gospel today, the Pharisees were arguing about the technicalities of divorcing of one’s wife. Christ explained to them the sacredness and the intention of God for marriage; God was the one who joined them and no human being must separate them.

Marriage, a covenant, which a man and a woman freely enter into, entails faithful love and imposes on both the obligation to keep the marriage indissoluble. Those who seek marriage only as a means of gratifying physical passions are reminded that it is a commitment founded on unconditional love and mutual responsibility to keep the sacredness of its spiritual unity forever. (Fr. Crispin Cordero, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


May 20, 2016 Friday

There are songs in my mind and in my heart, heard over the radio, remembered through the years. Love songs. Old tunes. Happy notes. Sad lines. Hopeful wishes. Tearful goodbyes. They make me smile or cry. I feel the warmth of some, note the hypocrisy of others. I sense the joy, know the pain. “I can’t help falling in love with you…” “When I fall in love…” “How can I live without regret, am I that easy to forget…” “Little things mean a lot..” “What a diff erence a day makes..” “Why don’t you believe me?” “We used to laugh, we used to cry… I need you..”If love is not forever, what isforever for? ” And pictures arise. Battered women. Henpecked husbands. Crying babies. Lost, lonely children.

Broken homes. Vows proudly declared but not honored. Wedding promises of YES, lifetime series of NOs. I love you’s frequently said but as often forgotten and not lived. All these mixed with family scenes of lollipops and roses, ice cream and cookies, rainbows and days in the beach, Christmas, New Year, birthday parties and celebrations. The whole gamut of human life and love. Can’t we staytogether – for the sake of the children? Why can’t we part as our love has died?

What to do, Lord? Please help all who today are reading, listening to, reflecting on your words.

Give each the strength to carry on, to say “I am sorry, please forgive me. Take me back”. Help each to forgive, never to break a wedding promise, to live up to the promised love, to understand that the forever one declared at one’s wedding is really lived from moment to moment, from day to day — not always easily, but consistently, faithfully. Be the comfort one needs in terrible moments of loneliness caused by the betrayal of love, by unfaithfulness, by deceit.

Above our pain, through our broken hearts, lives and dreams, please help us learn to hope again, laugh and live again. Teach us not to fear to love even a second time around. Perhaps for just a day.  But hopefully, for yet another. And maybe, more? Amen. (Fr.  Roderick C. Salazar | CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary 2016)


Reflection: What if there’s no divorce? Would there be many unhappy couples? If there’s no divorce there would be unhappy couples but it counts to nothing compared to many happy couples who chose to remain in their marriage no matter their difficulties are.

Married couples who separate are only concerned for their own welfare and for their own happiness. They don’t care what will happen to their child/children who are the main casualty the moment parents separate.

Beneath the opposition of Jesus to divorce is His command for couples to persevere in their marriage. His command to always remember their vows of marriage. To accept with humility the flaws of their spouse and to accept the fact that marriage is not always a bed of roses.

Because there is no perfect marriage, there would be thorny episodes in marriage. So the couples must stay no matter what their difficulties are. The couples must learn to adjust and sometimes bend in humility for their marriage to succeed.

Incompatibility is not the reason why couples separate, it’s rather the lack of humility and the lack of active prayer life inside the marriage. Just imagine if both husband and wife learns to imbibe humility. Just imagine if there is an active presence of prayer life inside the marriage. … (Marino J. Dasmarinas)


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Reflection for May 20, Friday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 10:1-12

Reflection: Are you faithful to your marriage vows?

When a man and a woman are wed in the Catholic church the Priest pose this question to them: “Do you take__as your lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold, to this day onward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?”

The man and woman will answer: I do.

The Marriage bond is forever, but the reality of it all is some married couples separate. I know of two couples who were married in the church, couple # 1: husband simply left his wife and two very young children. Couple # 2: The wife left the husband even though they already have a baby.

Oftentimes couples separate for selfish reasons. They only care of what they want and feel; they don’t give an iota of concern to the feeling of their spouse and children. Instead of separating why not explore every possible means to reconcile? Instead of separating, why not give love a second chance and why not ask Jesus to heal the marriage?

Jesus said to his disciples: a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (Mark 10:7). So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Then he said again: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery (Mark 10:11-12).”

The Sacrament of Marriage is one of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church, the first miracle made by Jesus was when he made water into wine in the wedding at Cana. The Priest that presides in the wedding ceremony does it in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus himself said it: “What God has joined together, no human being must separate (Mark 10:9).”

Are you still faithful to your marriage vows? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Thursday, May 19, 2016

FRIDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 10:1-12. NGANONG DILI MAN ANGAY TUGOTAN ANG DIBORSYO? Ang Simbahan nagsunod sa gisugo ni Hesus nga nag-ingon: “Dili angay bulagon sa tawo ang gihiusa sa Dios.” Gidili sa Ginoo ang diborsyo tungod kay nasayod siya nga ang maong buhat dili maghatag og kaayohan sa tawo. Ug napamatud-an kini sa daghang kasinati-an. Sa mga nasud nga adunay diborsyo, ang mga magtiayon magpuyo nga walay kasiguroan sa gugma sa ilang kapikas. Kanunay silang mabalaka tungod kay nasayod sila nga bisan unsang orasa pwede silang biyaan sa tawo nga ilang gihigugma. Dili lang ang magtiayon maoy mobati niini kondili ang mga anak usab. Ang mga bata magpuyo nga walay kasiguroan sa lig-on ug makanunayong suporta sa ilang mga ginikanan. Ang maong kahimtang dili makaayo sa kinatibuk-ang pagtubo sa mga kabataan. Posted by Abet Uy


OF OATHS AND PROMISES – In his book Swear to God, former Lutheran and now prolific Catholic author and biblical exegete, Scott Hahn, distinguished between a promise, a vow and an oath.

A promise is a guarantee, an assurance. In a promise, I make an assurance based on the strength of my personal word. It is my own word, my own reputation, and my own integrity that are at stake.

A vow is higher than a promise. A vow is inherently religious in nature. It is usually directed to God or to a deity. But when I make a vow, it is still my word, my honor and my reputation that are at stake. When I break it, therefore, it is my word, my honor and my reputation that are compromised.

An oath is a special kind of vow. When I make an oath, I invoke God as a partner. When I make an oath, God’s word, reputation and integrity are put at stake as well. That is why oaths are usually done with a Bible in hand and end with the words, “So help me, God.”

The First Reading today cautions us about the sacred character of oaths. We cannot take our oaths lightly.

In the rule of law, lying under oath is tantamount to perjury. When someone makes a false statement after having sworn in the court of law, one can be charged of a serious offense, at times equivalent to a criminal offense. It is the same in the spiritual order. Taking an oath lightly is tantamount to spiritual perjury.

The second commandment bids us to “not take the name of the Lord God in vain for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain” (see Exodus 20:7). Spiritual perjury is akin to breaking the precepts of the second commandment. But don’t think that the seriousness of broken oaths is due to the sensitive nature of the Divine ego. Not at all. Ultimately, God wants us to take our oaths seriously because when we do, it will be for our own benefit. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is the quality of your everyday promises? Do you take oaths in a cavalier manner?

You are always true to Your promises, O Lord. Increase my steadfastness to mine. Amen.


May 20, 2016

 Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

James 5: 9-12; Mk 10: 1-12

Enduring Relationships

God of Relationships: The Bible is a one single long story of enduring relationship: of commitment, loyalty, fidelity and grace. Right from the beginning God has declared that relationships are forever. God has united us in creation and He will keep us united till the end of times. We are to live united even in the age to come.

The scripture passages for our reflection this week has a continuous theme: enduring relationship.  The most sacred of all relationships and the most intimate, too, is found in the family, especially between a husband and wife. St Paul finds the marital covenant as high and profound as the covenant of christ with His Church. There is no greater delight God can have than seeing a family united in love and fidelity.

Against the culture of permissiveness: Fidelity in relationships and marital covenant has never been easy for us. From the time of creation, through the Biblical times, and to the present age, people struggle with the “permanence of relationship” in marriage. This is why people around us today are clamouring for divorce, same-sex marriages and conventional marriages to be legalized in the Church. The world is fragmented and everything, including love, seems to be so fluid. But for us, Christians, there is one principle that cannot be compromised: stick to the relationships, be committed, be loyal and faithful. For this is the first and last commandment God has given us: Be faithful in love. What God has united, let no man put asunder!

Like the Angels in Heaven: Marriage is beautiful. It is a sacrament and an icon, so to speak, of the inner life of the Trinity. But it can bring only a relative happiness, at best. Its more transcendent goal is to lead spouses to heaven. In this world, expecting too much of a spouse (or anyone, for that matter) courts disappointment. Humans have weaknesses. Yet, they have their greatness, too. Could not that spouse, that family member, that colleague, be saints despite their flaws? Do we see those around us as potential saints? Do we encourage them in their path? Fr. James Thayil CMI


May 20, 2016

REFLECTION: In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce. It is a crystal clear teaching: marriage is a divine institution and no human power can dissolve it. For many Christians who are “stuck,” as they say, in a bad marriage, this teaching is hard indeed. And here we must admire the courage of the Catholic Church which, despite immense pressures in the course of the centuries, has never questioned or mitigated this teaching, whereas many Protestant denominations have, who maintain that Jesus’ teaching, is only formulating an ideal (unreachable for most sinners), not a law.

This law is indeed harsh for some unhappily married people. But it has the immense advantage of wonderfully strengthening the Christian institution of marriage by setting it up as a lifelong commitment. Because of this, genuine Christians, once married, will never be tempted to renege on their commitment. On the contrary, knowing that they are in it for the long haul (until one of the couple dies), they will invest all their energies in making their marriage work. With that kind of determination, a marriage always works, even though it might often have to go through rough times.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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