Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

(Sirach 6:5-17; Mark 10:1-12)

In the gospel Jesus not only crimps the male prerogative to divorce in accord with the original intent of creation, he also reverses the consequence of original sin. At their judgment God tells Eve that she will be dominated by Adam. Now, Jesus indicates, there will be equality again between the two. Behind this audacious move Jesus intends both to save women from the ignominy and poverty of being divorced and to urge husband and wife to become the best of friends.

The reading from Sirach indicates the value of such a relationship. A “best friend” listens to our venting to help us tolerate life’s vagaries. She or he also protects us from the consequences of rash action by proffering wisdom when we are angry or confused. Other friendships may be as deep as water on a tabletop. They only coax us to avoid responsibility and then offer platitudes in distress.

We want to encourage our young to look for a spouse who will be a true friend. Too often men marry women more from sexual attraction than from virtue. And women look for men for much the same reason as well as their capacity to provide life’s comforts. These values are out of line with the Kingdom Jesus preaches. If our young are to live as Jesus would have them, they will take as much care in finding a spouse as a Fortune 500 corporation in choosing a CFO. They will search for a person who is -- most of all – faithful, honest, caring, and wise.