Gospel: Matthew 19:3-12
Some Pharisees approached him. They wanted to test him and asked, “Is a man allowed to divorce his wife for any reason he wants?”
Jesus replied, “Have you not read, that, in the beginning, the Creator made them male and female? And the Creator said: Therefore, a man shall leave father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one body. So, they are no longer two, but one body. Let no one separate what God has joined.”
They asked him, “Then why did Moses command us to write a bill of dismissal in order to divorce?” Jesus replied, “Moses knew the hardness of your hearts, so he allowed you to divorce your wives; but it was not so in the beginning. Therefore, I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, unless it be for immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
The disciples said, “If that is the condition of a married man, it is better not to marry.” Jesus said to them, “Not everybody can accept what you have just said, but only those who have received this gift. There are eunuchs born so, from their mother’s womb. Some have been made that way by others. But there are some who have given up the possibility of marriage, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who can accept it, accept it.”
“The two shall become one body.”
There are two essential ele ments of lifelong faithfulness in marriage, without which mar riage is an impossibility, without which marriage cannot endure, namely: the offering of one’s self and sacrifice. They are both an expression and assurance of the love of a woman and a man for each other. The love that reigns in their marital relationship is always ready to give and to sacrifice. Mi nus this selfgiving and sacrificial love, marriage collapses.
Was it not through offering/ giving and sacrifice that God’s saving plan in Jesus proceeded? Jesus, as an embodiment of the love of God, taught and showed us how this giving and sacrifice, in concrete form, might be imi tated. From his ministry of giving and sacrifice, we know how he impacted the lives of people he had come across with, and what he won for us. That is why in mar ried life we have an idea how gi ving and sacrifice might affect the relationship of a couple. It is said: “Lifelong faithfulness in mar riage is a sign and manifestation of the kingdom” (Brendan Byrne). That is only so when marriage is marked, among other things, by selfoffering and selfsacrifice.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019