“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” (JN 1: 45)
The moment when we “have found Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth,” changed our lives forever. It could have been many years ago or it happened relatively recently, but it happened and we are different. Our Lord came and stayed with us. Through Him we look for God’s will, for a better relationship with our relatives and friends. Jesus helps us to love in a way we have never experienced.
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’” (MT 22: 34-36)
We can ask questions, not to understand something new and difficult, but to test somebody. We ask questions like “would you like some coffee or tea?” because we want coffee or tea or something else. You expect that your spouse will learn something from you and will do it for you next time. And we also can test by asking to prove that he/she forgot, that it was not important to her/him, that she/he only thought about herself/himself. When we ask, because we love, we reach different results.
“Teach me your paths, my God, guide me in your truth.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.” (MT 22; 2-3)
God, Who is love, and is love, can be rejected. In love there is no space for pressure, for force and for violence. Love is based on freedom, respect and gentleness. We are invited to be with Him, to celebrate “a wedding feast for his son,” and we can “refuse to come.” Our Lady helps us to answer to God’s invitations and helps us to recognize God’s will for us.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Are you envious because I am generous?” (MT 20: 15)
Generosity is important. Generosity is a sign of freedom from placing only placing hope in material goods; it goes together with compassion, respect and gentleness.
“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” (MT 19: 23-24)
A parable of impossibility. The problem is not only in possession, but in its mentality; “the Kingdom of heaven” is for human beings, not for human possessives. In heaven, we will be, not we will have. We cannot buy heaven.
“Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” (MT 19: 22)
The classic question: “to be or not to be” here has another version: “to be or to have”-“He went away sad, for he had many possessions.” The same could happen to people, who “have many possessions”: a spouse and children, friends and relatives, but never in a relationship, they just have them. Between having and being there is a huge abyss.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” (HEB 12: 1-2)
Our Lord, “the leader and perfecter of faith,” didn’t look at the cross as an end of His life, He looked at the cross as a place to reunite us with His Father. He looked beyond the cross to the crown of glory prepared for Him by the Father. Whatever we do, we need to start with a vision of the end, with a bigger perspective; looking for today from the future.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.”
“Children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ After he placed his hands on them, he went away.” (MT 19: 13-15)
We can always bring our children to Jesus and ask Him to put “His hands on them and pray.” He knows that “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Our Lord blessed marriage, made it a sacrament and supports parents in their mission. A child’s role in the family is so important, because Our Lord “revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom,” and also parents can learn from them.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?’” (MT 19: 3)
The very old question, now popular: “is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” The problem is that the original question was first “to test” Our Lord and the second one-the perspective of this question. A man is not satisfied with his wife, so he has the right “to divorce his wife for any cause whatever.” We know Our Lord’s answer. He always protects God’s vision for marriage and our dignity. When we strengthen our love, when we protect our rituals, we are inspiring others to protect what God has made one flesh.
“Receive the word of god, not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for “he subjected everything under his feet.” (1 COR 15: 27)
Death, as “the last enemy” is also part of married couples lives; death who finishes marriage, who separates loved ones, who change their status to widows. We need to remember that this “last enemy” will be destroyed. In marriage, couples learn their whole lives how to fight against “death” in their relationship. Death from making their spouse their idealistic dream to fulfill. Death from looking on our differences as a problem, not an opportunity. Death from being a demander, always frustrated and always with expectations, instead of being a free, creative and joyful gift of self. Death from living only in “chronos” (and very rare in “Kairos”). And death from using communications to achieve what I want, not on how to understand my spouse better. When we are used to fighting “the last enemy” in our daily lives, Our Lord’s victory over death will be part of our lives easier.
“Mary is taken up to heaven; a chorus of angels exults.” (Gospel Acclamation)