Yesterday’s readings were about marriage. I love the way the three readings went together so clearly. First we heard how God took a rib from Adam and made Eve who was “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” so that marriage from that day forward was that
a man would leave his parents and become one flesh with his wife
This is how God designed marriage. One man, one woman become one flesh.
The next reading was from the letter to the Hebrews and describes how Christ suffered and poured Himself out for the Church. As St. Paul teaches, Christ is the head and the Bride, His Church is the Body and they are “one flesh”. As the Bridegroom Christ gave every last drop of Himself for her sake.
Christ and His Church are One.
The final reading was from Mark’s Gospel where the Pharisees try and trick Jesus by asking about divorce. In this Gospel they ask if it allowed for a man to divorce his wife. St. Matthew adds the detail of “for any reason” as the Pharisees had apparently been discussing the teachings of Hillel the rabbi who allowed divorce for the most trivial reason (much like no fault divorce).
Jesus points out that Moses only allowed divorce in the second law he gave Israel (God gave the first law in the Commandments) because Israel was stiff necked and unteachable.
God says He hates divorce (Hosea??) and Jesus adds that God designed marriage from the beginning to be between one man and one woman and they leave their parents and become one flesh.
No valid marriage can be ended by men. Marriage is a reflection of the Bridegroom Christ and His Bride the Church. It is why families are called domestic churches.
Those who have split Christ’s body have broken His command and forgotten His prayer that “they should be one.”
Jesus then goes on to welcome the children and insist that children should be welcomed. They teach us to remain innocent for the Kingdom of Heaven.
In today’s Divine Office St. Paul points out that child bearing can help bring a mother to heaven.
When God calls two people to marriage, He expects them to accept His life in their life and all the little lives He might wish to send. He is life, not barrenness. Children are gifts even when they are part of our cross.
If you ever forget that love is about sacrifice and that it hurts, look at a crucifix. Even the “cleaned up” ones show Christ suffered for us. Thank God He will never ask any of us to suffer to the depth that He did.
And while I’m talking about Christ’s crucifixion; don’t forget to pray for those brave Catholic souls who have endured crucifixion over the last few weeks. There’s a photo going around of an unamed martyr crucified by “Islamists”.