19th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 18th August 2023

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  • 19th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 18th August 2023

Lord, may I always listen to Your voice

19th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 18th August 2023

Josh. 24:1-13; Ps. 135:1-3,16-18,21-22,24;
Mt. 19:3-12 (Ps. Wk. III)

The central part of Joshua’s address to all the tribes gathered at Shechem is a recitation of Israel’s history from the time of the patriarchs to the period of the conquest. He calls the people to total loyalty to the Lord in response to all that the Lord has done for them. Just as the original Israelites had committed themselves to God in the Covenant, the Israelites in Joshua’s day must do the same. This calls for the renewal of the original Covenant and a total re-dedication of the people to God.

Jesus reminds the Pharisees about God’s original intention for marriage. He appeals to the original will of the Creator, as expressed in the Book of Genesis. God made human beings male and female for the precise purpose of a lasting union. Human beings cannot undo the union that the Creator has made binding. Jesus adds that Moses “allowed” divorce during his time mainly because of the Israelites’ “hardness of heart”. It is based on Israel’s unwillingness to be taught and guided by God’s Word. Therefore, the provision in the Torah for divorce reflects the rebellious will of sinful humanity and not the will of God, the Father. Jesus has come to re-establish the original will of the Creator for marriage.

The readings remind us that it is essential that we discern the original will and intention of God for our lives and in all situations, especially in marriage. Let us not be distracted by the “voices” of the world or by false ideas and thinking, however good and noble they may seem.

Lord, may I always listen to Your voice.

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