First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes…

Yesterday’s Gospel reading was from Mark 10:2-16:

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him. He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” They replied,”Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.”But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this. He said to them,”Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you,whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.

Lots of things should be drawn from the passage above: it’s particularly rich. There’s plenty to say about the sexual abuse scandal in the Church, about the US divorce culture, and about Catholic views on marital sex. But I’m not used to seeing the first paragraph and second paragraph presented together like this. It seems that usually people quote one half or the other to prove their point on a given topic. But I like the flow of the text. Christ upholds the sacredness of marriage, then marital sex, and who’d have thunk it, children!

Would that all unions were within the sacred confines of the marriage! Would that all married people took seriously Christ’s command, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” when consummating their marriage!

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