27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Fr. Simham)

by | Oct 2, 2021

Some of you who are sitting here may be married for 30 or 40 years or even more. Some of you may be married only for few years. Some of you may be having only bad or good memories of marriage. And some of you may be just thinking of get married and some may be never intending to get married. Yet, for all of you the ‘Word of God’ today has something to say about marriage. That ‘marriage is a Vocation’. Marriage is a ‘call from God.’

Often when we hear of the word ‘vocation’ or call, we associate it with vocation to priestly or religious life. We often think that God calls people only to be priests or nuns, as he used to call the prophets and Judges in the Old Testament. We usually think that when a person becomes a priest or a nun, he or she had vocation. And if he or she gets married, he or she had no vocation. But what we forget is that marriage or married life is also a vocation. In fact it is more ancient and nobler than the vocation to priesthood or religious life.

I will not be wrong if I say that the first call of God for men was to married life, not for priesthood or religious life. Look at the first reading today from the book of Genesis. God created Adam. He found him to be alone and so he said, ‘it is not good for man to be alone.’ He created different animals and birds, but none of them (not even another man) were found to be a perfect match for him. So he created a woman, led her to him and joined them together. First marriage took place. First companionship was established. Man began to sing the first love song, ‘bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh…and so on.’

So marriage was and is a call for companionship. It is not good for man to be alone. It is for the well-being of the spouses as the church teaches us. He called them to be companions to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. That is the promise the couple make to each other even today.

I, so and so, freely take you, so and so, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day on, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health and I promise to be faithful to you until death do us part.

And visa-versa.

Remember, this is your call to holiness. God is calling you to be a companion of the other in all times, and through that you obtain your holiness and salvation. Being a good husband is your path to holiness and being a good wife is her path to holiness. I feel sorry for those people who sometimes neglect their families and do all what a priest or a Nun should do at the neglect of their family. No, your path to holiness is primarily your family.

Secondly, marriage is a call or vocation to be ‘co-creators.’ Let me explain. Look at the first reading again. God created eve, led her to Adam, blessed their union, Adam sang that first love song, ‘bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh and so on. And God said, ‘Listen now; I have a task for you as married couple. It is my call or vocation for you. I cannot go on fashioning men out of the dust of the earth and women from man’s ribs. No! You increase and multiply. You continue the work of creation. You be my co-creators. You bring forth life on earth and multiply. I am giving my work to you.’ Do you realise the noble task God has given them. It is a noble and holy call to the married couple to be co-creators, to be co-operators with God in continuing the work of creation. That is what parenthood is all about. Saying ‘Yes’ to God who calls you to be his co-creators.

Yes! Dear brothers and sisters, all what I want you to realise is that marriage is a vocation. To be husband is a vocation or call. To be a wife is a vocation or call. To be a father or mother; it is your vocation. Find your salvation in being a good husband and father or wife and mother. That is your path to holiness.

And let me conclude saying, ‘Vocations to priestly or religious life directly depend upon vocations to married life. If there is a decline in marriages, there is also decline in priestly vocations. History proves this. Most priests and religious emerge from believing, practicing, loving Catholic families. In fact, in many ways, the love between a husband and wife is the foundation stone upon which every other Christian vocation is built. Strong marriages and families make a vital, joy-filled church. So today there is a greater need to pray for marriage-vocations and then all the other vocations will take care of themselves. Amen.

Fr. Showreelu Simham