August 16, 2013

The Gospel Today

Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Mt. 19: 3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Reflection (Sem. Tommy Lira):

Hard-Heartedness

 

What strikes me in the Gospel is the reply of Jesus to some Pharisees regarding the issue on divorce. He said, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but at the beginning it was not so.”

Some people celebrate other people’s downfall. Worse, some would talk about it negatively, trying to make everything look bad. In doing so, they destroy other people’s reputation. They simply attack others like a snakebite whose poison runs in the bloodstream until the person can no longer bear it and eventually die. Jealousy and being too critical towards others make us unappreciative of other people’s good deeds. Instead of being happy, jealousy makes as mourn over other people’s achievement and moves us to do acts of betrayal against them. We need to assess what is going on in our hearts so that we can see other people not according to our biases but in the perspective of Christ.

As Christians we should celebrate other people’s victories, we should celebrate what is good in them. The right attitude is to be happy for other people’s success especially to the people of God. When we do that, we remind ourselves that we are God’s people and we are the followers of Jesus Christ who always learn to have the kind of sensitivity, having a pure heart, teaching us how to love, how to easily forgive, having a positive vision, and sharing our resources while enjoying God’s blessings.

When we begin to show love to others, then we are showing God to the rest of the world. Every act of kindness slowly dissipates the inner sting of hard-heartedness.

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