Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(James 5:9-12; Mark 10:1-12)
One of Jesus’ more radical notions is given in today’s gospel. His insistence that man and woman form an inseparable union in marriage conflicts not only with Mosaic law but with social convention of time immemorial. It condemns divorce out of a concern for the weak, usually the woman and often the children of a family.
Today people want to transcend the problems of divorce with court-ordered child support and equal pay for women. As just as these measures seem, they cannot replace adherence to Jesus’ call for marital fidelity. Indeed, they beg the question. One-parent families lack the social integration which children need to grow in virtue. A man and a woman sharing love provide much more than economic security to their offspring. They afford the family a palpable model of how God works in the Trinity.
The Church bravely stands for the family as the basic unit in society. It does so not to hold on to a tradition of the past but to give hope for a more humane future. Only through stable families will we create a society founded on love’s concern for the good of the vulnerable.