Reflection on the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The dimension of service to the kingdom must be included in our lives. Whether overtly in church life or implicitly in social life, the Christian must devote himself to building up God's people.

Father Cesar Augusto, SJ – Vatican News

WTo marry or not to marry is the question raised by São Paulo in today's second reading.

Judaism placed great importance on marriage because children would come from there and help to become faithful to the people of Israel. Singles and widows were seen as abnormal because they did not follow the natural vocation of marrying and procreating.

Christianity saw in celibacy a close and strong bond immediately connected with the kingdom of heaven. This allows the celibate person to devote themselves fully to the affairs of the kingdom of heaven.

One builds the kingdom of this world, the other, builds heaven. Many feel that they have no choice but to dedicate themselves to the religious or priestly life, and because they want to, they want to take care of the future reality. Others, realizing the beauty of married life, are called to have children and build a family.

But what about those who see the beauty of both careers, who want to do God's will, and who don't want to follow the appeals of the flesh?

Everything is good because everything leads to God, although for some people one of these two options is better than the other. It's not a doctrinal vision of what's best, but the vocation, the calling of God, that makes us happy and fulfilled.

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Saint Paul praises celibacy and wants to show the benefits and reasons for celibacy to those who regard marriage as the unique vocation of man.

Rather than magnify celibacy as the only vocation worthy of men, the apostle to the Gentiles seeks balance by stripping marriage of its superiority over other means.

Both professions are important and neither is better than the other. Better to feel the person called. In fact, holiness consists in knowing how to respond to whatever God's call may be.

Saint Paul is very practical and praises the celibate life for the love of the kingdom of heaven, which allows men to live always in union with God, with a heart that gives themselves completely to God and their brothers, without distinction and without any limitation. Hence, the greatness of celibacy takes on the meaning of complete and utter donation to the kingdom.

However, our reality presents us with married men and women who, individually or as a couple, take care of the family with sacrifices and devote a lot of time to the community, who do not become the bulwark of the same community. We cannot close our eyes to this reality!

It is doing God's will regardless of marital status. It must be lived and assumed within the profession given by God. It does not matter whether we are laymen or religious. We can never shut ourselves down in our lives.

The dimension of service to the kingdom must be included in our lives. Whether overtly in church life or implicitly in social life, the Christian must devote himself to building up God's people.

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