Posted under Reflections on August 12th, 2010 by

Some Pharisees approached him, 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'?

 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." (Mt 19:3-12)



People think that because they have the reason to do it, they think that they are right in doing it. (Moses has given the law and that is enough reason to do it and hence it should be right). Jesus says that there is a flaw in their thinking because the intention at the beginning was different from the present practice. Jesus is quite clear that the Bible does not encourage divorce.


God wanted real people. He wanted people who were willing, intelligent, obedient, and loyal to God and others. God did not want people who would be carried away by whims and fancies. Marriage is one of the ways through which the image of one true God would be revealed. God created them in his own image and likeness. Oneness of God is revealed in the oneness of man and woman.


The statement by the disciples brings out a cryptic saying from Jesus regarding marriage and remaining without marriage. Yes some are born so, and there are others who are made so for a particular purpose (slaves we castrated to work in the palace). But some choose not to marry so that they could devote themselves exclusively for the work of the kingdom of God. John the Baptist was one and Jesus himself was another. It is the personal decision of the individual because of the demand of his vocation and mission in particular. 


Posted under Reflections on August 11th, 2010 by

Then Peter approaching asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount…

 When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, 'Pay back what you owe.'…

So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart." (Mt 18:21-19:1)



The key thing is not that one should swallow all resentment and ‘forgive and forget’ as though nothing has happened. But one should never give up making forgiveness and reconciliation as one’s goal in life. If confrontation has to happen, it must always be with forgiveness in mind and never revenge.


Why does Jesus say that those who refuse to forgive will themselves be refused forgiveness? Why should God behave this way? Can’t God override our failings? What the Gospels tell us is totally different. With regard to forgiveness the story takes a different turn. Forgiveness is only in as much as one forgives.


This is a very hard lesson to learn. Peter’s question and Jesus’ answer say it all. It you are counting how many times you have forgiven the other then you are not really forgiving but simply postponing revenge. ‘Seventy times seven’ is just telling don’t even think about counting but just do it. Just forgive. 

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