“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)
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them” because “the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” So, if we want to do the best for our children, we need to do only one thing: give them the best parents, who will inspire them to love each other in the most beautiful way.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“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.” (MT 19: 4-6)
It is not only about divorce; it is also for those who think that marriage is only for living on earth and that for heaven we need different things like prayer or to live more spiritual lives because marriage is too earthly. Thinking this way we will separate marriage from God’s plan for us. “What God has joined together, man must not separate”–separate from spirituality, from active relationship with God, or from evangelical counsels, which we can practice inside the marriage.
“Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Peter approached Jesus and 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.’” (MT 18: 21-22)
This is one of the most often asked questions in every relationship. He or she did it again, promising solemnly after the last time—it was the last time. We are weak and we are sinners but God is never tired of forgiving and of starting our relationship again and again. When we forgive each other in our marriages, we reflect God’s love, Who forgives “not seven times but seventy-seven times.”
“Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.’” (LK 1: 41-44)
Our Lord came to us as a human being; He came as an infant, at the beginning hidden in Our Lady’s womb but “visible” for St. John and St. Elizabeth. Our Lord knows how important signs are—He made a lot of them to help us to believe. Also married couples need to express their love in signs, to protect and promote their love.
“Mary is taken up to heaven; a chorus of angels exults.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Son of man, he then said to me, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel, and speak my words to them.” (EZ 3: 3-4)
The only way we can know another person well is to speak with him or her. When we talk, we have access to our inner worlds, to our values and our virtues, to our traditions and our habits, to our past and our present and to our history and our dreams. God loves us and wants a strong relationship with us. So He asks us for this using the metaphor: “feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you,” so you will know me from the inside and you can tell others about me because you will “speak my words to them.” Married couples need to speak daily in order to know each other in depth and to love each other more and more.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.” (MT 17: 27)
Our Lord’s relationship with Peter was very unique; He was chosen to be His vicar on earth and represent Him for us. In today’s Gospel Jesus also expressed their connection: “give that to them for me and for you.” When we are chosen to take a mission from Our Lord, He is always close to us and He takes care of us.
“God has called you through the Gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” (EPH 5: 1-2)
We were created to “be imitators of God, as beloved children”; this is who we are. The only way to follow our identity is to “live in love, as Christ loved us.” Our Lord’s love for us was expressed in a gift of self, as a “sacrificial offering to God”; when we are givers of selves we are His followers. We “live in love. “
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord; whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint.” (HAB 2: 1)
Our Lord is our Savior, He knows us better than we knows ourselves, and He wants all the best for us, so we need to “keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint.” When we listen, He speaks; when we watch, He shows us Himself; when we ask, He answers.
“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (JN 12: 26)
We know, that Our Lord is in His Church, in the Sacraments, in the Bible and in the Blessed Sacrament in a very special way. But He is also in our spouses and in our children; He is in the poor and in the smallest ones. There is no problem at all to answer the question “where is He”; the only problem is: are we there? “Where I am, there also will my servant be.”
“Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.” (JER 31: 33-34)
Forgiveness is the most amazing way God shows us His love. Whenever we ask for forgiveness, He immediately “forgives our evildoing and remembers our sin no more.” We
know how important forgiveness is in our daily lives–forgiveness expressed to our spouses, our children and friends. Without forgiveness no relationships can sustain themselves.
“You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld