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100415 Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. James

Today Pope opened the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod in Rome. 270 Synod Fathers from all over the world have gathered to study and discuss on ‘the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world.’ Through the Scripture readings today we are invited to reflect on marriage and family. 

In today’s gospel, the Pharisees point out that that the Mosaic Law allows an Israelite man to divorce his wife. Jesus points out that it is their “hardness of hearts,” which forced Moses to write the commandment about divorce.

“Hardness of hearts” is the root cause of many divorces. Focusing Self-interest and self-fulfillment rather than the spouse’s welfare is an example of hardness of heart. We hear a lot about marital infidelities and parents abandoning children, neglecting their family, and quarreling with their spouses. All these social problems are products of the hardness of our hearts. Jesus attacks the cause of divorce: hardness of heart.

The opposite of a hard heart is a soft one — a heart that lives the virtues articulated St Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. Soft heart is patient, kind, not being jealous, proud, rude or self-seeking, but forgiving and trusting.

To keep a soft heart and make marriage last forever the members of family should communicate with each other. Communication means ‘union with’ or to be united with one another. Husband and wife have to talk about things they are interested in and about what are bothering them. It is also important to talk about hopes and dreams. Through communication they understand each other, each one’s thoughts, moods and emotions. The goal is not to make one’s partner conform to your thoughts, emotions and moods but to help each other handle those individual feelings in healthy and positive ways.

Communication with God also is important to keep a soft heart. Keep a daily life of prayer and reliance upon the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and a right heart.

With God’s help we find it easier to love, to accept, forgiving and to trust. If you live by your emotions rather than doing what is right, your inner life can become full of poison.

Remember the saying, “A happy and lasting marriage is the union of two forgivers.”


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