Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted

“Is divorce ever permissible?” the Pharisees ask.   Jesus reminds them that God intends for marriage to be not only permanent but transformative as well.   Its goal, he answers, is that a man and a woman leave their individuality aside and come together to create a whole new unity, a family.

Hearing this exchange, his disciples offer an honest and understandable response, if it is so hard, maybe it would be better not to marry at all.   Jesus gazes at them with a sad smile.   “Do you think it’s easier to makes a permanent commitment to being single?” he asks.   Not on your life!   Neither is it easy to live single while remaining open to marriage.

God and commitment

The truth is, living any state of life as God intends takes commitment.   Circumstances change, and we scramble to adjust.   In one way or another, we all fall short of God’s ideal.   We all fail God, our spouse, or our religious community from time to time.   This does not mean we chose the wrong vocation.   It simply means that we have momentarily forgotten how much we need to depend on God’s abundant grace.   Fidelity in marriage or singleness is only possible because God is faithful, and faithful is to guide us, faithful is to sustain us, faithful is to forgive us.

His mercy endures forever

God expresses it in many different ways at many different moments, but he is always faithful.   His enduring mercy is the very thing we need in order to be faithful.

Spend some time today considering your vocation.   Thank God for the call he has given you.   Thank him too for being faithful to you as you strive to live out that call.   Then ask him to show you one particular way to express your faithfulness today.   Maybe it is a little note of encouragement and love for your spouse.   Maybe it is a gesture of support to a priest or a sister religious who is going through a rough patch.   Maybe God will show you something you are free to do because you have not arrived at a place of permanent commitment.  Whatever it is, rejoice and do it!

-word among us

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