February 25, 2011
Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Sirach 6: 5-17
Mark 10: 1-12
Very frequently, the Pharisees would approach Jesus in order to trap Him in His speech. Saint Mark says: “they were testing Him.”
In this passage from the tenth chapter of Mark, they ask Jesus a question about divorce. Christ answers their inquiry but not in the way they expected or wanted Him to do.
Christ reminds His listeners that divorce was never something God willed or intended.
“What God has joined together, man must not separate,” Jesus says, and goes on to give His teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery.
Unfortunately, civil authorities have made divorce readily available and this seriously weakens and threatens marriage, an institution of divine origin meant for the continuation of humanity.
Today, many Catholic couples are directly affected by this situation. It is helpful for us to recall the teaching of the Church in regard to divorced and remarried couples:
349. What is the attitude of the Church toward those people who are divorced and then
1650-1651 The Church, since she is faithful to her Lord, cannot recognize the union of people who
Are civilly divorced and remarried. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
Commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12). The Church manifests an attentive solicitude
toward such people and encourages them to a life of faith, prayer, works of charity and
the Christian education of their children. However, they cannot receive sacramental
absolution, take Holy Communion, or exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities as long
as their situation, which objectively contravenes God’s law, persists.
(Question 349, The Compendium of the Catechism.)
Let us pray fervently for all married couples and for all those who are experiencing difficulties in their marriage so that the lord will strengthen and assist them to persevere.