|Jesus answered: "It is not everyone who can accept what I have just said..."|
I received this email a couple days ago after sending out an email explaining some of the basic canon laws concerning the sacrament of matrimony:
"My question is..... Jesus did not make all these rules, the clergy made all these dogma of faith. All too restrictive and pushes away people to the church. Here comes pope Francis who wants to include all. In the ministry, lectors etc, I reserve my opinion.;)"
(The statement in red is erroneous, but read on anyway because I don't make the dogma of faith a central part of this writing.)
My answer is this:
Jesus made all these rules and never backed away from them. The rules about marriage appear in Matthew,chapter 5 and chapter 19. Notice that when his listeners start to negotiate the matter, Jesus tells them that there are some who can take it and some who can't. None can if they try to do it by themelves. It is only possible with the gift of God. Period. Pope Francis can't change that, and he knows it.
5 Jesus 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’?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
7 They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss [her]?”
8 He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
9 I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.”
10 [His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted.” (Mt 19)
These are the Jesus rules for marriage. He also left us with the rules for how to treat strangers, how to pay laborers, how to pray, how to live our lives in obedience to His Father, how to serve one another, etc. You want rules? Read the Bible. You want to negotiate the rules for your own comfort? Read the New York Times.
God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ listened to prayers which were presented to them begging for a mitigation of punishment. We have the example of Abraham negotiating for the salvation of Sodom and Gomorrah; we have the example of Moses praying for God to show mercy to His people in the desert after they were caught worshipping an idol; we have numerous examples of Jesus listening to prayers for the forgiveness of sins and the curing of the lame, etc.
In the above examples, and there are many more in Sacred Scripture, we see God granting merciful justice in response to valid and sincere petitions for help and forebearance.
NOWHERE is there an example of God the Father or His Son Jesus Christ granting a mitigation of their commands for doctrinal or moral obedience...nowhere...even at the cost of seeing people turning their back on Them and walking away.
Think of the story of Jesus in the Synagogue of Nazareth where His people sought to kill Him; think of the accusers of the adulteress who walked away in shame; think of those who walked away from the "Eat my flesh and drink my blood" statement; think of the followers of the "Way" who were expelled from the Temple; think of the many times St. Paul was bodily removed from the synagogues of the places to which he brought the Good News.
You don't see any signs of God negotiating to make things easier, do you?
His covenant, the New and Everlasting Covenant is sealed in the blood of His Son and countersigned in our blood, nothing less. Just ask any martyr.
Moreover, let's take the example of the Mother of Jesus leaving "her people" a message about the rules: "If you do not obey I will be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so heavy I can hardly restrain it."
Mother Mary does not negotiate the terms of the consequences of the falling of the Arm of her Son. She says plainly and forcefully:
"If the harvest is spoiled, it is your own fault. I warned you last year by means of the potatoes. You paid no heed. Quite the contrary, when you discovered that the potatoes had rotted, you swore, you abused my Son's name. They will continue to be spoiled, and by Christmas time this year there will be none left. If you have wheat, it will do no good to sow it, for what you sow the vermin will eat, and whatever part of it springs up will crumble into dust when you thresh it.
A great famine is coming. But before that happens, children under seven years of age will be seized with trembling and die in the arms of those holding them. The others will pay for their sins by hunger. The grapes will rot and the walnuts will become worm-eaten."
The clergy does not have the authority to talk like that.
In conclusion, listen to our Holy Mother at La Salette talking to us after pointing out the cursing by using the name of Jesus; the lack of Mass attendance and the lack of fasting during Lent:
"If the harvest is spoiled it is your own fault."
I think I see a couple of "clergy" rules in there, right?
My point in all of this is this:
The Bible as we know it is at least 3,000 years old from its first words. About 1,800 years old in its present form. It tells us about what God wants us to know about Him. Who He is and what He expects from us and what He promises to do for us and what He expects us to do for Him in return. During all this time, from chapter 3 to this day, people have turned their backs on Him, All the while blaming Him for their defection. It never seems to be our fault, to hear us tell it.
Here and now I say with the Weeping Mother at La Salette, it is our fault, because we turn our back to His extended Hand of Grace. It is our fault when we subtract our soul from His presence in His Church by blaming her rules rather than to see Him in her call to obey His rules.
If you can't help yourself from crying at funerals, then you shouldn't to come to mine because I don't allow crying at my funeral.
Peace to you all.