Mass Reflection- What is Commitment???

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As I sat in Mass last night, I was compelled-as I usually am- to think deeper about the readings I was hearing be proclaimed...

Msgr. Moyer had some very insightful things to say in his homily, and it got me thinking. Our readings were from Genesis 2: 18-24, Hebrews 2: 9-11, and Mark 10: 2-16. This week, we read the familiar passages that outline God's plan for marriage and why He designed it. In the Gospel, Jesus is confronted by the Pharasies and tested- what else is new? They ask him if it is lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. Jesus responds by asking them what Moses said, to which they respond: "Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her." But then Jesus lets these men know a little something more than they bargained for, He lets them know why Moses allowed divorce. Jesus tells them that, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he (Moses) wrote you this commandment." BAM! He then goes on to say that from creation, God had something better in store for marriage! Jesus sites our first reading, saying that a man should leave his father and mother to be joinend to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. After this, Jesus goes one step further, stating, "therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate." Wow. Lets take a closer look at that statement. Jesus says that if God has joined a couple together, man must not separate it! What a commitment! He is not saying, "whoever you have a crush on will probably be with you for a while and then break your heart." NO! Instead, Jesus tells us that if God himself has joined you together, then man "MUST NOT SEPARATE." Meaning, that of course we have the power to do what we want, but it is not God's plan!

Msgr. Moyer said something that had been on my heart while reading these passages last week in preparing for Mass (yes, I 'prepare' for Mass by reading the passages for the week before hand to have a better understanding of them on Sunday- something that I HIGHLY recommend you try). He said that the word that comes to his mind while reading deeper into the Word this week is 'commitment'. Commitment is essential in our lives. And I am not talking about the "commitment" you had last Wednesday to destroying that entire Chipotle burrito stuffed, literally, to the breaking point. I am talking about the kind of commitment to one person that lasts- forever. I know that we are bombarded by a culture that sees marriage as a fad- something that might help us get ahead for a time, something that may look nice for a while, but something that we can ultimately end whenever we feel like it. I am here to tell you all that is not what God had in store for marriage. If this union is truly something that God has joined together, then there should be no reason a silly man like me should pretend to know better than Him! If God wanted marriage to be temporary and fleeting, like so much of our world is, then He would have said that!

And I know one thing you may be thinking...What about all of the people that have been so devastated after a breakup with a relationship that they truly thought was the one? To all of you I would simply say, I have been there. The more you and I interact, the more you will find out about my personal story, A story I will not go into full detail explaining now, but I will share with you that I dated a girl for almost seven years, only to see that relationship end and her move away to start a new life (a life we had planned together- just with a little less me). I was under the impression that God had joined us together at a young age and He would see us through the tough times. I did everything that I believed God wanted me to do in the relationship. And things were very good for a long time. We were both happy. It ended, in part, because she needed a fresh start, a life on her own. There was no hollywood breakup event that made the news, just a broken heart and a question; what now. I was "committed", but God had other plans. One thing that you will come to believe in as you get older- I say this because you have undoubtably already experienced it multiple times, but may not have wanted to accept it yet- is that God has other plans. Remember, Jesus said that if God has joined it together, no man shall separate it. So, what does that really mean for our broken hearts? God has something else in store for us! God knows exactly who we are and what we were made for! We are all called to be faithful servants that glorify His name- a holy people set apart! We need to trust in that. We need to trust that if we contribute the committment part of the equation, God will provide the "finding the other variable" part! Beleive me, I was a wreck after the breakup with my longtime girlfriend. I sulked around for a while, lost weight, felt sorry for myself, and even wondered if God really did know what He was doing. But, just over a year after my breakup with my girlfriend, after a lot of prayer and finally doing what I needed to do all along- letting go and letting God work in and through me- I met Abby. Abby is the most beautiful person I have ever known, in every way. She is so much more than I could ever deserve and yet exactly all I could ask for. We are totally committed to each other and living each day in order to get each other a little bit closer to Heaven. I married Abby this summer and the promise that Jesus proclaimed in Mark was fullfilled for Abby and I.

I want you all to know that commitment is not something that comes easy- to the contrary, it usually comes with great trials. Such is anything that is worth fighting for. I challenge you to be committed to something good. Whether it is a sport, club, church, coming to every LIfe Night, or just living an authentic and faithful life. Commit yourself to God and to the idea that you believe what He said. Believe that He does have a plan for you. In the midst of your suffering, or in the middle of the greatest joy- He is working. Find solace in the fact that God is with you and will not leave you. How do I know that He is here for us? I know because Jesus taught us what the message of this week is fully lived. He gave up his life so that we could live ours freed from sin. He gave everything as a sacrifice so that we could have a chance to truly live. What a commitment.

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