READING OF THE DAY
A reading from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel
EZ 16:1-15, 60, 63
The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations.
Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem:
By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan;
your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut;
you were neither washed with water nor anointed,
nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes.
No one looked on you with pity or compassion
to do any of these things for you.
Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome,
the day you were born.
Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood.
I said to you: Live in your blood and grow like a plant in the field.
You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty;
your breasts were formed, your hair had grown,
but you were still stark naked.
Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love.
So I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness;
I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you;
you became mine, says the Lord GOD.
Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood,
and anointed you with oil.
I clothed you with an embroidered gown,
put sandals of fine leather on your feet;
I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear.
I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms,
a necklace about your neck, a ring in your nose,
pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head.
Thus you were adorned with gold and silver;
your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth.
Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food.
You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen.
You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was,
because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you,
says the Lord GOD.
But you were captivated by your own beauty,
you used your renown to make yourself a harlot,
and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by,
whose own you became.
Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl,
and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you,
that you may remember and be covered with confusion,
and that you may be utterly silenced for shame
when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
Friday of 19th Week in Ordinary Time
Dear People of God,
Today’s Gospel, God wants to say to the whole of humanity: God has established a perpetual covenant that is the marriage covenant between a man and a woman.
This covenant was established by God from the very beginning of the creation of heaven and earth. He created man and woman, so that they might become one bone and one flesh. This covenant was arranged by God Himself, and He said: “What God has joined together, no man can separate.” Therefore, the marriage contract between a man and a woman is the perfect bond, the union between two people becoming one bone and one flesh that can never be separated. This marriage contract is a beautiful gift given to man by God himself. Anyone who breaks the covenant will suffer the consequences for his own soul. So, man: obey the good things that God gives man, for it is a covenant that brings joy, happiness, and eternal life to man. Never break the marriage covenant.
God also laid the marriage covenant as the foundation for the Church as the bride of Christ. Therefore, between the holy Church and God are always closely united and never separate, never betray God. When a wife or husband commits a crime, it is against God Himself. Likewise, it can be said: If the holy Church is the bride of Christ, if she does not keep the laws of God given to the holy Church, then the Church herself is betraying God.
Therefore, today, God wants to invite his children to be faithful to the marriage covenant arranged by God that will bring happiness and eternal life to each person’s soul. Live and keep the commandment that God gave to man in the world, which is: “What God has joined together, nobody can seperate.”
Thanks be to God. Amen.