Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel we find a strong reminder of the true desire of God regarding marriage. The sacraments, instituted by Christ, are gifts from God that help us with grace to aid in our salvation. God created us as men and women, and by coming together in marriage the couple becomes one, joined together in Christ through their love of each other. The grace received in marriage strengthens the couple to live their lives focused on Christ together, through struggles and difficulties. As Catholics, we have to grasp ahold of the grace that God offers, and we have to work against societal trends that cheapen relationships and consider marriage to only be valid when convenient. And in our own desire to do that, we must support others who are seeking the same goal. Let us pray today, then, for couples and those seeking marriage, that God may strengthen them to grow in holiness together.
Saints Louis and Zélie Martin,
today we turn to you in prayer.
By fulfilling the duties of your state in life
and practicing the evangelical virtues
as spouses and as parents,
you have modeled for us
an exemplary Christian life.
May the example
of your unwavering trust in God
and your constant willingness to surrender
all the joys, the trials,
the sorrows and the sufferings
that filled your life
encourage us to persevere
in our daily challenges
and to remain in joy and Christian hope.
—Prayer of Spouses and Parents to Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin (parents of St. Therese of Lisieux