Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time - Scripture Reading
The Gospel according to Matthew 19:3-12
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?"
He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, 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, man must not separate."
They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?"
He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery."
His disciples said to him, "If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry."
He answered, "Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."
When the topic of marriage and divorce arises, St Joseph - Mary’s most chaste spouse - always comes to mind. He did contemplate on privately divorcing Mary, but God sent an angel in his dream to tell him that it is through the Holy Spirit that she conceived (Matthew 1: 19 – 20). Joseph put his absolute trust in God and remained obedient to God’s will. The many dramas that Joseph had to endure while being married to Mary gives us an example of how tough marriage can be. Yet God provides the grace for married couples to endure those tough times as He did for Mary and Joseph.
Let us pray for married couples, that they may remember their vows to each other and to God.