Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Sirach 6:5-17; Mark 10:1-12)
In a recent issue of First Things editor R.R. Reno comments on the nature of marriage as holding together two people of enormous differences. In most cases at least a man and a woman are raised with different visions of life handed down by their parents. They also respond emotionally to situations in different ways because of their distinct hormonal compositions. Physical difference may pique some curiosity, but after a while there is less to share than among people of the same sex. And yet the couple because of the sheer power of sexuality can form a loving union to nurture a family. To support marital relationships, Jesus upholds a necessary injunction in today’s gospel.
Jesus is forced to comment on the perennially troublesome question of divorce. Moses seems to make allowances for it, but the issue is the proper interpretation of Moses. Should divorce be allowed for any pretext like the currently popular complaint of incompatibility? Or should divorce be limited only in the case of an extreme irregularity like, for example, someone attempting marriage without the capacity for sexual intimacy? Jesus knows that married couples need a strict law to support their efforts to overcome all the differences in a marital relationship.
Traditional marriage is under assault from those who would dissolve it for any difficulty and, more recently, those who consider its purpose only to provide cover for sexual intimacy whatever the gender of the partners. The condition of future generations is at stake, but the populace seems bent on ignoring Jesus along with the wisdom of the ages.