Divorces are never easy. Other than the divorcing couple, there are many other persons who are also hurt in the process. It must have been difficult therefore, even for Moses, to concede to the stubbornness of his people’s heart and allow divorces.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus hits the nail on the head when He brings a child before the crowd and challenges them to become like children again, identifying the need for us to trust implicitly in His Kingdom, as the antidote to that stubbornness.
There is a crisis of trust in Trinidad and Tobago today. The trust of workers has been betrayed by many employers and union leaders. The trust of the electorate has been broken by elected officials from all sides of the political bench. The trust of the citizenry has repeatedly been shattered by errant members of the Police Service and an inequitable Judicial system.
Catholic clergy, too, are by no means exempt, as the trust of faithful has been crushed by the despicable actions of many and the complicity of some. The truth is, we have become a distrusting and untrustworthy society, where the stubbornness of our hearts has caused values and ethics once held dear, to be trampled underfoot.
How then do we regain that ability to trust each other and our institutions, so that even in our confusion and brokenness we can remain committed to the ideals of the Kingdom? How do we help persons to trust their priests and the Church again? How do we ask couples to trust their partners again instead of heading to the divorce courts?
Reconciliation is always achieved by parties first recognising their own contribution to the problem and then asking forgiveness of each other. If the Catholic Church is to be light and lead the way for others to follow, then we too are called, collectively, to admit our guilt and ask forgiveness of those whom we have wronged. Jesus challenges us today to bring to Him those who are most often ignored and undervalued, and yet it is their trust that wins them their place in the Kingdom.
Throughout the ages, the Church has praised Mary as the perfect example of someone who trusted implicitly in the plan of God for His Kingdom. These times are no different, and we would do well as Church to remember Mary’s ‘yes’ to God, that even in her own confusion, her greatness was in her abiding faith.
The Marian month of October affords us the opportunity to rededicate our lives to the service of God and country, even when common sense tells us otherwise. There are many sectors of our society that are today experiencing a deficit of trust, who feel betrayed, deceived and broken, and who still look to us, as Church, to lead them to Jesus.
Today we enjoy neither the luxury of complacency nor the option of refusal. The paradox in rebuilding trust though, is that the only way to achieve it, is to trust again.