Reflections from October 4 Gospel
In today’s Gospel, Jesus sheds light on the nature of Christian marriage. The Pharisees were trying to trick him, but Jesus transformed their plot into a teachable moment. Speaking of the Mosaic law that allowed a man to divorce his wife, Jesus indicated that this man-made law was not the standard by which marriage should be understood. Instead, he referred back to the story of Adam and Eve, where we see the first human couple living in a state of perfect harmony and bliss with each other and with God. God’s original plan for marriage was part of the joyful paradise in Eden.
But sin entered the world, and with it came a rupture in the pristine unity of the man and the woman. Thus Jesus explains divorce as the result of sin (i.e., “the hardness of your hearts”). But as always, Jesus calls us to transcend the slavery of sin. And more than that, he promises us his own divine help, his grace, and his Spirit to enable us to accomplish what we could not do on our own power.
Questions of the Week
How does the Gospel message today speak to the modern debate about marriage?
What does the image of man and woman as “suitable partner” say to you?
According to Hebrews, Jesus and Christians have a common “origin” in “suffering.” What’s the message here?