Today many families are celebrating Harvest Thanksgiving. Yet many families will struggle today because of broken relationships within the family.
Today’s Gospel is about divorce. What a subject to reflect on for Thanksgiving!
Because this is a painful issue, and because so many people are affected by it, is not a reason for us, the Church, to avoid it.
The same goes for:
- Adultery and not understanding and respecting the boundaries around covenant marriage.
- Fornication, especially with adolescents and young people.
- Homosexuality and the need for intimacy with someone of the same gender.
- Abortion and the sanctity of all human life.
These are examples of difficult and painful issues. They are real and present in people’s lives, and need to be dealt with compassionately.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus was teaching against divorce for “Any Matter” (which was an ongoing debate with his contempories). In fact, the Scriptures do allow for divorce for infidelity, emotional or physical neglect or abuse.
Regardless of what the Scriptures say or don’t say about divorce, or any other moral issue, the fact remains that mistakes happen, and that people end up broken and wounded.
Historically, the Church has beaten people up with the morality straight jacket; that is, in our obvious weaknesses we are to see ourselves as miserable sinners who are separated from God. This has been done with the absolute neglect of encouraging an authentic and deepening inner life.
It's not our morality that is most important, but our awareness of being united to God's Divine Life, regardless of the mistakes that we make. The more aware we are of our Divine Union, the more moral we will become, and not the other way around!
We are, all of us, broken and wounded, and the Lord desires to love us into healing, wholeness, restoration, joy, love and fullness of life!
And as the Church, we don’t judge anyone. As we recognize the garbage in our own lives, and our need for lifelong healing and conversion, the Holy Spirit convicts us, and changes us.
Therefore as the Church, We stand with one another, in the presence of our Lord, to help each other up when we fall, when we are broken, when we are hurting, when we are confused.
That is what I give thanks for today.