Joshua 24:1-13 / Matthew 19:3-12
Fairy-tale marriages usually end with "and they lived happily ever after".
Of course we hope and pray that all marriages will be like that, and not just those fairy-tale marriages.
But it is not just with marriages, but in whatever state in life, whether single, or widowed, or religious or priesthood, we want to live happily ever after.
In the 1st reading, Joshua gathered all the tribes together with the elders, leaders, judges and scribes before the Lord.
They had already crossed into the Promised Land and they have overcome their enemies and were beginning to settle down.
And that's when Joshua reminded them that it was not the work of their sword or their bow. Moreover, the Lord gave them a land where they had not toiled, they lived in towns they never built, they ate from vineyard and olive groves they never planted.
In short, God had entered into a covenant with them and blessed them. Where once they were a people wondering in the desert, now they have a land of their own. Once, they were eating only manna and quails. Now, they are in land flowing with milk and honey.
So they would live happily ever after. They should. What more could they ask for? But when we read the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, we know what happened when they were settled down.
They were unfaithful to God, they broke the covenant, turned to idolatry, and did all sorts of things that displeased God. They did not live happily ever after. and it was all their doing.
In the gospel, Jesus gave a teaching about marriage in response to a question about divorce. He reiterated that from the beginning God blessed marriage and married couples can live happily ever after.
But it is not just with marriage. In every vocation and in every state of life, we are also called to a life of happiness.
But this happiness can only be achieved when the building of God's kingdom is the objective and purpose in the vocation and state of life that we are in.
Then with God's blessings, we will live happily ever after.