The Reflections are copyright protected and permission to use them is requested.

May 25: Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Reading James 5:9-12
Gospel Mark 10:1-12

“So they are no longer two but one flesh.”

Today’s Gospel passage (corresponding to Matthew 19:1-9) is the springboard from which Saint John Paul II began his series of reflections titled “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body”. This revolutionary series is often commented upon, but rarely read itself. Even less often read are the words of Jesus at the end of today’s Gospel passage.

Divorce is commonplace in our society. Many see it as a “necessary evil”, while others see it as a positively good choice or option. However, Jesus is very clear. Divorce from a valid marriage and subsequent remarriage is morally equivalent to adultery, with the difference that while adultery is a mortally sinful act, remarriage after divorce results in a mortally sinful state of life.

Nonetheless, Jesus puts this condemnation within a positive context. He explains why marriage cannot be dissolved by any human person. To claim the power to dissolve a marriage is to claim power over God. To claim this power is to deny the essence of marriage: that two have become “one flesh.”