Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Aug.13. Lectionary 417. Ezekiel 16:1-15.60.63. Isaiah
12:2-3.4.5-6. Matthew 19:3-12:
Marriage as a covenant of love and the importance of our relationships
continue in the Scriptures. The covenant is one of the great unifying
themes of the Old Testament and it has a similar importance in the New
Testament. We have one of the narratives from the an allegory presented by
the prophet Ezekiel.In the Gospel Jesus is describing how he interprets the
union of man and woman in marriage. The covenant theme is what unites both
We see the compassion and love of God for Israel in its stages of normal
growth up to the point of marriage and then infidelity and finally a return
to God through listening to the words of love expressed through the
covenant now once more renewed. Ezekiel’s allegory covers the history of
salvation for Israel with great emphasis on the freedom and love they would
experience again when the Israelites realize what the Exodus gives them.
The allegory ends on a hopeful renewal of the love and covenant.
Jesus speaks about marriage in the narrative where he is arguing with the
interpretation of the lawyers of his day. They too easily permitted
divorce. Jesus, in returning to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis,
interprets the very essence of the union of man and woman. It is meant to
endure and will endure whenever it is a covenant of love between the two.
It demands a hundred percent on both partners and not the modern this is
mine, this is yours mentality of so many partners. Bishop Fulton Sheen
emphasized that it takes three to make a marriage–the couple and God.
Jesus always goes back to the love covenants of the Hebrew Scriptures and
of his own commandment of love in interpreting matters of the law. He
extends the lesson not only to those engaged in the sacrament of matrimony
but also to those who cannot marry or have chosen a life of celibacy in
view of the kingdom of God.
Both readings are dealing with the intimate life of relationships with
one’s partner and with God. No one is left out of the meaning of the
readings for this day. Marriage is all about enduring and patient love;
the other states of life and its choices are bound up with love as the
commandment of the covenants that God and Jesus offer us. Amen.