February 25, 2022

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… Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.

This was the answer Jesus gave to those who were questioning him about what he considered adequate grounds for divorce. It is interesting that just as this was a test question in the first century, it is still today. And Jesus’ answer is the same: divorce is not part of God’s plan for marriage. God joins marriages together. It is not a human invention. Therefore, we have no right to sever what God has made one. This must be the basic understanding of marriage.

The Pharisees, however, asked the wrong question: is it lawful to divorce. The question they should have asked is, “What does God say about marriage?” They come at the question asking, basically, “What can I get away with?” They are interested in their rights, not their responsibilities to marriage. There is no concern for the implications of divorce, what divorce means for the wife or husband, or what divorce means for the children. The concern is selfish. On what grounds can I divorce? And Jesus’ answer was “none.”

Why is marriage for life such a big deal? The reason is that our marriages are supposed to reflect the love relationship between Christ and the church. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31–32). Christian marriages are supposed to be showing Christ to the world, the faithfulness between Christ and the church.

Let Us Pray:

O loving God, help me to see all of life’s problems by asking how you want your people to respond to them. Then, give me the strength to do what you would have me do.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.