Faith Daily | 25 February 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 540
you have taught us through your Son
that love is the fulfilling of the law:
grant that we may love you with our whole heart,
and our neighbours as ourselves;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 10: 1-12
He left that place and went to the region of Judea and* beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ 3He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ 4They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’ 5But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” 7“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,* 8and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Paul McLaughlin
In this reading we find again the Scribes and Pharisees testing Jesus and seeking to discredit him in the eyes of his followers. In this case they raise the issue of divorce and whether it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife.
Their concern is with the law, their law, and not any morality aspects of the marriage and divorce. The question seems to be what one can get away with under the law and not what God’s view of marriage and divorce is and what he has commanded. Interestingly, it is only a man who should do the divorcing, not a wife against a husband.
Always aware of their trickery, Jesus is able to explain and justify Moses’ commandment but he emphasises God’s plan for marriage. It is not so much an issue that his questioners do not understand divorce as that they do not understand marriage and that those God has joined together cannot be separated by man.
Today we live in a world where it is very common for marriages to end in divorce and the issue is a very sensitive one for many people. The law can permit a divorce for many more reasons than immorality or adultery. Statistically, we know that many marriages are marred by violence by one partner against the other and even murder in some cases. Most people today would think that divorce is appropriate for those situations. In contrast we hear daily of many long, successful and happy unions which have withstood the storms and challenges in a way that would be pleasing to God.
FINAL PRAYER: from the Marriage Service, APBA, p663
God of all grace,
friend and companion,
look in favour on all who are made one in marriage.
In your love deepen their love,
strengthen their wills
to keep the promises they have made,
that they may continue
in life-long faithfulness to each other;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.