Together In Marriage – Fr. Mohan Bathineni

Fr. Mohan Bathineni’s Homily October 3, 2021

“Dear friends in Jesus, a woman whose husband had died went to a local news office and asked, ‘What does it cost me to have an obituary in your weekend edition?’ ‘It is $100 for five words.’ Answered the clerk. 
‘Do you have any discounts?’ She questioned, ‘because all I want is two words.’ 
‘No ma’am’ the clerk answered, ‘the minimum is five words.’ 
‘In that case’ she said, ‘so as to get the most out of it, have these five words, Tony dead car for sale.’

Dear friends in Jesus, how do we get the most out of our life? This question may have many answers, but listen to the answer God gives in the Bible when He says, ‘My people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge.’ What is the inference here? The inference is we make the most out of our life when we know what life is all about, when we have knowledge of it and that we screw up and ruin it by the lack thereof. Yes dear friends, to get the most out of our life we need to have good knowledge of it. 

Today’s readings talk to us about marriage and naturally to get the most out of marriage we need to know what marriage is all about, but today one problem with marriage is many people are entering the bond of marriage without really knowing what marriage is all about. Lack of knowledge is one of the reasons why many marriages are failing today. There are some basic truths about marriage many spouses do not understand even after many years of their marital life. The book of Genesis, chapter 24 implies some basic truths regarding marriage. Accordingly every marriage is the will of God, the decision of God and the work of God. Proverbs 19:14 says, ‘Home and possessions are an inheritance from parents, but a wife is from the Lord.’ And in the Gospel today, Jesus makes it very clear that it is God His father who joins a woman and a man in marriage. Yes dear friends, marriage is not what we do. It is not our business. The Bible says, It is God who does marriages and that marriage is the work of God and so every time you talk about your marriage make sure you include God in it. I heard about a Hispanic boy I think who helps us in this regard. On his first day of school his teacher asked him a question in Spanish. ‘Como te llamas?’ What is your name? And he proudly answered in Spanish, ‘Me llamo David, un hijo de Dios.’ I am David, a child of God. This is what we got to do every time we talk about our spouses. We need to include God in our introductions and so don’t say, ‘This is so and so my spouse.’ Say, ‘This is so and so my God given spouse.’ I say this because every time we utter God’s name in connection with our spouses and with our marriage we are inviting God into our marriage and we are trusting our marriage to His care and providence. If marriage is the work of God it naturally follows that it can not be successful without God’s help and support, but how many couples today seek God’s help and support in time of trouble? Only a few.

Look at Rachel in the Old Testament and look at what she does when she has an issue with her marriage. When she does not have children she goes to Jacob, her husband, and says, ‘Give me children or I shall die.’ And Jacob responds saying, ‘Who am I to bring you children? Go to God. It is He who brought us together in marriage. As Him and He will help you for sure. Rachel goes to God. She talks to Him in prayer and the Bible says God takes care of her. Dear friends in Jesus, the success of your marriage is contingent on your knowledge of it as well as it’s dependence on God. 

In the Gospel today Jesus deepens our knowledge of marriage by teaching about its permanence. There are just two things I request you to consider today to help make your marriage strong and permanent. 

  1. Number one is communication. Communication is the most important element in marriage. It is all because successful people owe a lot of their success to good communication. Many marriages fail today because there is not enough good communication between spouses. In fact, most divorces are communication related. Talk to your spouses about things you are interested in, about what is bothering you. Talk to them about your hopes and dreams. How would your spouse help you realize your dreams unless or until he or she knows about them? How would your spouse understand your thoughts,  moods and emotions unless and until you express them.
  2. Number two is to handle marriage problems well. When you marry, you marry not only the upside, but also the downside of your spouses. Recognize and accept their downsides and turn them into opportunities to understand, love and cope up with them. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized problems and turned them into opportunities. Everything said and done we are human and we tend to fail no matter how much knowledge we have no matter how careful we are.

Just know that God still loves you no matter your marital status today and so today if you are married take a moment to recommit yourself to your spouse. If your marriage is in difficulty, pray for God’s healing power to come into your marriage. If you are a widow or a widower, thank God for the good memories. Ask Him for the grace you need this week. If you are single because of divorce pray for an intimate relationship with God to fill the void in your life. If you are a single parent ask God to be the missing parent for your children and if you have never married pray that God brings His breast to you in His own time and at the end let us reflect these words today: marriage is made in Heaven, but it’s maintenance is done here on Earth.”