The Readings of this Sunday evoke a serious discussion on marriage and family. In our time, marriage and family have become controversial topics of discussion, especially when we seek to understand them without reference to God’s will as found in Sacred Scripture. The Readings of today discuss the origin, intention and purpose of marriage as designed and instituted by God, Himself. Genesis 1 and 2 present the Story of Creation; God created everything that would be needed by human beings, and then made Adam out of clay breathing His Spirit into him to animate him. After Adam was presented with all of God’s creation to name and have, God saw that Adam was not happy and satisfied because none of the other creatures were like him. In Genesis 2:18, God decided that “it is not good for a man to be alone”, so God fashioned one who would be like Adam, from Adam and corresponding to Adam in dignity, to be his “helper”. When Eve was made, Adam, in great delight and gratitude, spoke the first recorded words of a human person in the Bible: “this one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, this one shall be called woman”. The author of Genesis concludes today’s scripture text with a theological explanation for the unity and indissolubility of every validly contracted marriage.
In the Gospel, the Pharisees, experts in Mosaic law, in order to test Jesus, sought His comments on the justification for divorce. Jesus cleverly referred them to Moses the law-giver. They responded by asserting that Moses did permit divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). The Divine teacher informed them that Moses had seemingly conceded to divorce because of the “hardness of people’s hearts”, that is, their refusal to bend their wills and opinions to God’s will. He therefore restated God’s original concept of marriage: God is the originator of marriage; He made them male and female, and both freely unite to form an exclusive, permanently intended relationship of intimate unity. Thus, when marriage is validly contracted, divorce has no jusঞfiable place.
Like the Pharisees of Messianic times, the permanent nature and unity of marriage can only be controversial when we approach the institution without reference to Sacred Scripture and seek to explain it only on the basis of our human desires. In this matter, as well as in other complex and mysterious matters of faith, Jesus recommends the trusting attitude of children to us. Like children, and as God’s children, we should seek understanding of Divine mysteries only after we believe and so allow God’s will to purify our desires and practices.
May God make us all faithful custodians and “protectors” of the now endangered institutions of marriage and family; may all who desire to start new families be given grace to actualize their good heart desires, and may all families passing through periods of family turbulence find Spiritual refreshment and renewal in God’s healing words.
God bless your beautiful family. God bless you.