August 17, 2012
Matthew 19: 3-12
Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘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, let no one separate.”
They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
God’s Many Gifts for God’s Greater Glory
It seems as if graduations were just last week, and now the newspapers are filled with back to school sales. One realizes how fast time has flown when it seems that just yesterday I was buying a slide ruler for high school physics. The return to school provides an opportunity to think about the purpose of education, particularly Catholic education. Although much has been written as to the purpose of this particular endeavor, Ignatius of Loyola may have penned the most concise purpose for sending children to school.
A according to the First Principle and Foundation as stated in the Spiritual Exercises, men and women are created to praise, reverence, and serve God and by this means come to fulfillment in this life and eternal fulfillment in the next. The things that are created are to be used insofar as they help us attain that for which we are created: Union with God. Therefore, our project is to make use of things insofar as they help us attain the end for which we are created and avoid those things that take us from that purpose.
Since, as Christ teaches us, we are commanded to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, the correct use of the created world would fundamentally be in light of these two commandments. A good education, particularly one which identifies itself as Christian, would view its fundamental goals in light of this Ignatian insight. For some of us school is no longer a reality, but that does not excuse the necessity of continuing education towards ways in which we can use God’s many gifts for God’s greater glory.
—Fr. Michael Maher, S.J.
Lord, whatever we encounter this day, may it elicit from us a deeper response to our life in you. May our thoughts and behaviors, our duties and our decisions lead us to deepening your life in us. And whatever the opportunity and whatever the challenge, we surrender ourselves to you. We cling to the promise that your presence is constant and your generosity is limitless. We move forward in hope with hands and hearts reaching out to you.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!