They Left their Boat and their Father

(Homily for Third Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Message: God set up this whole scheme of marriage and family: That we would learn love, not just for a day, but for life eternal.

Venerable Bishop Sheen used to say that the key to unlocking the Bible is the "Divine Nuptials." The Bible begins with the marital union of our first parents and concludes with Jesus the Bridegroom receiving his bride the Church. We see the Divine Nuptials written on almost every page. It's interesting today that when Jesus calls James and John they "leave their boat and their father." The book of Genesis describes that reordering of one's life: father and mother no longer have first place, but rather one's spouse.

I had a wonderful experience of the Sacrament of Matrimony that I would like to share with you. Right after Christmas I brought a nine-person delegation to the Mary Bloom Center in Peru. Included was an engaged couple I was particularly close to. I encouraged them to get married in Peru and gave three reasons:

1) Why wait? Studies show that when a man and woman have made a basic commitment of their lives, they gain little and can lose a lot by waiting.

2) They would avoid the nightmare of finding the "perfect setting" with all the implied competition - and deciding who to invite and who not to invite.

3) It would be a beautiful experience for the children and families of the Mary Bloom Center. The children enthusiastically took part in learning songs in English & Spanish - and forming an honor guard for the bride & groom.

Beyond these reasons I have to say that I like the St. Mary of the Valley approach. When I became pastor seven and a half years ago, I inherited the custom of monthly blessing of those with anniversary of matrimony. This blessing emphasizes that marriage is not a day but a lifetime.

And for life eternal. Today St. Paul tells to work and pray to overcome divisions. That's the reason, by the way, that God set up this whole scheme of marriage and family: That we would learn love, not just for a day, but for life eternal. Amen.


Spanish Version

From Archives (Third Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2014: The Big Story: Gathering the People
2011: Personal Responsibility and Solidarity
2008: When John Had Been Arrested
2005: In the Land of Gloom a Light Has Shone
2002: Heresies Must Arise

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

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MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

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