The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her filthy crimes. Say, “The Lord says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in cleansing water, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in napkins. No one leaned kindly over you to do anything like that for you. You were exposed in the open fields; you were as unloved as that on the day you were born.
‘“I saw you struggling in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live, and grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts and your hair both grew, but you were quite naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread part of my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I bound myself by oath, I made a covenant with you – it is the Lord who speaks – and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver, and dressed in fine linen and embroidered silks. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour – it is the Lord who speaks.
‘“You have become infatuated with your own beauty; you have used your fame to make yourself a prostitute; you have offered your services to all comers. But I will remember the covenant that I made with you when you were a girl, and I will conclude a covenant with you that shall last for ever. And so remember and be covered with shame, and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I have pardoned you for all that you have done – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and to test him they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’
They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’ ‘It was because you were so unteachable’ he said ‘that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning. Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of fornication – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’
The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is not advisable to marry.’ But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted. There are eunuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’
Your time had come, the time for love.
Waiting on the fulfilment of God’s promise can sometimes be very agonizing. During waiting, one may experience squabbling with God, fighting with him during prayer, refusing to talk to him because talking to him hurts, and being frustrated because at the end of the day, you know that there is nowhere to go but to stay where God is. As St Peter said, ‘Lord, who shall we go to?’
The first reading gives us a glimpse at how loving and doting our God is when the right time comes. “The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendor.”
I sometimes forget that God desires our good much more than we desire them. God desires our dreams to be fulfilled much more than we crave for them. God is more anxious to fulfill his promises to us much more than our impatience to have them happen to us right now. When the period of waiting becomes unbearable, we are willing to settle. But God stands firm. He wants it perfect.
Looking back, every single life event that happened in my life happened at the right time. Every single event happened when I had the right disposition and maturity to handle it. Coming from a broken family, I grew up thinking that I had it all in control. It’s only now after God has formed me spiritually that I am invited to look through the wounds that I didn’t know were there. If God had asked me to look at them earlier, it may have hurt me more.
So what do we do when waiting becomes excruciatingly painful?
- Have patience and embrace the pain with God.
- Continue walking with God – we have nowhere else to go.
- Offer up our pains and sufferings for an intention.
- Believe that one day, God will clothe us with splendor.
Brothers and sisters, it is my prayer that we allow ourselves time to grow while waiting for God’s time.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dear Lord, where else can we go? Help us stay with you in trying times.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for being firm and unyielding with your timing. Thank you for not allowing us to settle but for encouraging us to wait for you to clothe us with your own splendor.