12.08.2022 — Fulfilling God’s Intent

Posted under Reflections on August 11th, 2022 by

19th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 12th August 2022 — Gospel:       Mt 19,3-12

Fulfilling God’s intent

This section brings out Jesus’ teachings as a response to the three questions that were put forth. First, there is the lead question by the Pharisees about divorce (19,3). Jesus answers that God the Creator did not include the dissolution of marriage as a viable option (19,4-6). Second, there is the follow-up question about Moses’ permitting people to divorce (19,7). To this Jesus answers that divorce was permitted because of sin, and that divorce is a sin (19,8-9). Third, there is the disciple’s cynical question that it would be better not to marry (19,10). Jesus answers that a special measure of grace is required for people to abstain from marriage (19,11-12).

Jesus’ teaching seems to be counter-cultural even in his own time. He affirms resolutely that marriage, as originally intended by God, was meant to be a permanent, life-long commitment. According to him, the unity of man and woman is a re-enactment of the design of God for creation. Divorce goes contrary to the design of the creator, and it is to be considered either rebellion against or failure to fulfill the will of God. Jesus emphasizes God’s intent “from the beginning,” that is, before sin entered the world.  His words imply that from the beginning God had it one way and never changed it, but then Moses gave another. And now I am going to restore the divine way. The believer should not fall into the trap of a culture that allows divorce for any reason. He should keep in mind the divine will of the creator and try to live life as God intended it.

11.08.2022 — Develop a Habit of Forgiveness

Posted under Reflections on August 10th, 2022 by

19th Week in Ord. Time, Thursday – 11th August 2022 — Gospel:    Mt 18,21-19,1

Develop a Habit of Forgiveness 

Jesus teaches that our relationships cannot be mended or strengthened unless humility and honesty result in forgiveness.  Peter recognized the risks involved and asked Jesus how he should handle them in the future.  But Peter made some serious mistakes. In the first place, he lacked humility.  He was sure his brother would sin against him, but not he against his brother. He thought himself to be perfect. His second mistake was in asking for limits and measures. Where there is love, there can be no limits or dimensions (Eph 3,17-19). Peter thought he was showing great faith and love when he offered to forgive at least seven times. Although, the rabbis had taught that three times was sufficient. However, Jesus reply to Peter, “until seventy times seven” must have startled him. For Jesus was making a point, “Love keeps no record of wrong” ( 1 Cor 13,5). By the time we have forgiven a brother 490 times, we are in the habit of forgiving.  If we condemn a brother, we bring out the worst in him. But if we create an atmosphere of love and forgiveness, we can help God bring out the best in him.

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