We all know people who have gotten divorced, even among those who call themselves conservative (the most beloved politician of American conservatives was divorced, the leading “conservative” candidate in the US at the moment has been divorced twice).
We all know of priests who have solemnly promised to be celibate who have broken that promise: sometimes criminally.
Broken vows can be tragic, but even more tragic would be for us to let go of our ideals and resign ourselves – as individuals, as a Church, and as humankind – to hopeless mediocrity.
And so in today’s Gospel (Matthew 19:3-12) our Lord challenges us with truth and with ideals about marriage and about celibacy.
We must not let go of our ideals, even if we or others fall short.
When we fall short, we can and must come to the Father of mercies for the grace of forgiveness and for the grace to go forward as best we can in this world: faithful to his truth, faithful to the ideals he has given us, and thankful for his mercy.