My Dear Sisters and Brothers! When we Catholics reflect on the issues of human relationships which occupy minds of the members of our wider community as well, we do so by bringing Jesus Christ into the scene “We see in Jesus one who was for a short while made lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and splendor because he submitted to death; by God’s grace he had to experience death for all mankind.” Jesus’ Death, Resurrection and the mystery of the Pentecost give us, followers of Christ the Lord, not only and inspiration but also an opportunity to cry to heaven for God’s mercy. Let us recall the opening prayer of this Eucharist: “Almighty ever-living God, pour out your mercy upon us.” In the midst of our Church, and of our society as well, where the marriage and family life faces so many challenges and issues, at the verge of this blessed time of the Synod, we beg God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to pour out his mercy of which a powerful and transforming example we find in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan from the story told by Jesus showed mercy by bringing the injured man out of his misery. Although Jesus didn’t apply the image of the Samaritan to himself we recognize that he is our Good Samaritan who has united himself so closely to the human race that he paid the ultimate price for that. However his Resurrection and the sending of the Holy Spirit now bring a new Resurrection and a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit to all sorts of difficult and challenging situations, including those experienced by the marriages and families. We need to acknowledge the hurt and pain the people who have been through marriage breakups. As we read the Gospel we discover that it is not a 21st Century invention. The Jewish community was dealing with them 2000 years ago already. If we looked at the bigger context of the Roman and Greek culture we realize that it was happening there too. Into those situations Jesus brings good news and by his grace, he also brings mercy. Jesus presents to his immediate listeners, and to all generation of women and men to come, the marriage as of God’s making.
My Dear Friends! A few months ago Pope Francis issued his encyclical letter “Laudato si” which has made its way even into the non-Catholic circles. The point which one shouldn’t miss is that our world is of God’s making. Somehow it is appealing to us to protect the environment. Probably it is because we understand our survival as indispensable to protecting our planet. However God not only created the physical universe, he also created us- people who unite the physical aspect with the spiritual aspect. It wasn’t the end of God’s reaction activity though. God also created the marriage, a union of love and fruitfulness between a man and a woman. The Book of Genesis gives us a beautiful, and profound at the same time, the scene of God taking some dust, something physical, and giving his breath, something spiritual, to create the first human being. There is no human being with only one aspect. A human being combines physicality and spirituality. However, as I have already said, it wasn’t the end of God’s creation activity. The persons who were already created, a man and a woman, were given love for each other so that the marriage could be created.
Rightly we are occupied with preserving of our planet as indispensable to our survival. However the marriage, this loving and fruitful relationship of a man and a woman, is crucial to our survival and well-being too.
We know that the Planet Earth is not just a concept, but it is a concrete reality with its mountains and lakes, flora and fauna etc., and us - people being blessed to inhabit it. Protecting the planet means protecting those particular realities. The marriage is not a concept either, it is a reality lived by concrete women and men. That’s why into those concrete realities we beg God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to pour out his mercy which we want to contribute to by our prayers and support to all wives and husbands who are crucial to our human survival and development.